Sunday assorted links


You know, it would be possible to fisk Jonah Goldberg's article. I usually like the guy and his writing so it wouldn't be a pleasure but it would be possible. He makes claims that are just absurd - Trump's interviews are hardly like infomercials. For one thing, the media hates him so much. Universally hates him. For the other he does fairly substantive interviews - he did one with a usually hostile CNN last night. Hillary certainly doesn't. Most journalists would die before asking her a tough question.

But he misses the point. Trump is winning. And Bill Bennett is right - it would be unfair to take the nomination away from him if he wins it fair and square. Worse, it is dumb politics. You can't ask the Base to vote for you if you give them nothing cycle after cycle and then when they decide to vote for someone else, you nullify their votes. The Establishment can't win on their own.

So in the end it is a simple problem. The Establishment has treated its voters with contempt and so created the Trump phenomenon. And he is a buffoon. Not to mention a Democrat when it comes down to it. So what? Goldberg is a member of the Establishment. The only thing we need from them is a mea culpa and some sort of path to healing the rift between the party and its base. Simply trying to brow beat people into voting for some other pathetic member of the Bush family isn't helpful. So what is he offering? Just more of the same Tourist-in-a-Foreign-Land thinking that if he speaks slowly enough and loud enough the base will get it this time and fall in line.

On the matter of fair and square though ... he needs 50% to win doesn't he? I'm not 100% clear on this, but isn't it well within established rules to insist on another round where delegates pick from the top candidates? If Trump is number 1 of 6, but number 2 of 2 in a second round, then he hasn't won "fair and square". Not sure how to search for these rules though.

Right. If only a minority (whether of delegates or popular vote) support Trump, it would be ridiculous to say that "fair and square" means that this minority's wishes should trump the anti-Trump majority.

This might be technically right but pragmatically false. If Trump walks into the Convention with several hundred more delegates than anyone else but just shy of the mark it's going to be quite a task for the Party to simply decide he doesn't get the nomination. Given the quality of the people he attracts, we might get to enjoy the spectacle of delegates fight fighting live on national TV and riot police having to shut down the whole thing.

Even if this is true it is still very very far from Trump winning "fair and square". It's closer to the opposite (though it is not really that either).

"This might be technically right..."

What would make something untechnically right?

What would make something untechnically right?

Well an example would be the assertion that if Trump enters the convention with a commanding lead then one would expect him to emerge on the ballot (say top or bottom).

Technically there's no rule that says that must happen but we all know if Trump goes in there with, say, 1150 delegates and the nomination ends up going to, say, Mitt Romney all hell is going to break loose as his people will think the nomination was stolen from him and they and most of the American people would be 'untechnically right'.

Everyone seems to assume that a vote for any candidate other than Trump is an anti-Trump vote. This is nonsense. A person can be deliberating between voting for Cruz or Trump and decides to vote for Cruz. If Cruz drops out, that vote doesn't automatically go for Rubio or Kasich. On the 50%, no. Trump needs 50% + 1 of the total delegates to own the nomination. So long as there are more than two candidates, he can easily do this with less than 50% of total votes.

Why does the establishment detest Don Trump so much?

Trump's hypocrisy and militarism tower above Mount Everest and nearly reach the levels of his rivals for the GOP nomination.

My guess is that the GOP establishment fears lack of access to Federal slush.

They hate him because he is not a republican and he is about to take control of their party

No, they hate him because they want Brazimerica.

They hate him because the smarter ones realize that he demonstrates just how shallow they really are. Jonah Goldberg’s was shocked that Bill Bennett is leaning towards supporting Trump. How could MR. I Virtue, middle name Am, possibly be blind to Trump's numerous moral failings? His answer is to compare Trump's rise to 'invasion of the body snatchers' but the reality is Bennett, Gingrich, and much of the Conservative establishment had long ago ditched conservatism as a philosophical ideal. I remember once reading a Bill Buckley column snickering at Rolling Stone for having classified ads for drugs and abortions in its back pages. Today the National Review looks like an outfit that would be hawking Trump get rich quick schemes if he wasn't on their hit list (I still get their emails promoting ways to 'double your social security check').

In all the debates I watched I didn't see Trump versus philosophically sophisticated politicians who couldn't get the mob to listen to their ideas while the demagogue stole the audience's laughter and cheers. I see 3 rather pathetic demagogues trying to look impressive against a professional high school kids doing their own professional wrestling show in the back yard going against the WWF.

Boonton is right. Marco Rubio essentially admits as much when he says the key to Trump's popularity is that he says what many Republican voters wish they could say but are deterred from doing so by civilized social norms or political correctness. The Republican Party has tried to pretend that white resentment does not motivate a substantial proportion of their voters and the fact of Donald Trump's popularity among Republican voters makes this facade impossible to maintain. Trump isn't an entirely negative phenomenon for this reason: he is forcing larger numbers of people to acknowledge an awkward fact about the Republican Party that has been clear to some of us for years.

What's this white resentment though? Why don't they just pick themselves up by their bootstraps like their ideology tells them to.

Like, are they just a bunch of lazy bums looking for handouts or someone to hand them cushy jobs under heavy protectionism? /sarc

Yeah, why don't they pick themselves up by this boot straps and enforce the immigration laws? Because government stops them.

Why don’t they just pick themselves up by their bootstraps like their ideology tells them to.

They were never terribly enthusiastic about libertarianism in the first place, so it's not hypocrisy.

BTW, this comment is an excellent example of liberal contempt for working class whites. It's no wonder they've stopped voting for you.

You liberals really are disgusting. The working and middle class is being forced to pay taxes to people that hate them by a university and government class that hates them and discriminates against them and you prattle on about bootstraps. I have been in the admissions committees and hiring decisions. I know that you and the Tyler Cowen's of the world will go to any length to make sure the kids of this working class don't gain admittance to elite institutions.

"BTW, this comment is an excellent example of liberal contempt for working class whites. It’s no wonder they’ve stopped voting for you."

They haven't. See John Quiggin's disaggregation of the data here:

Based on this data, only 49% of whites earning less than $40,000 vote Republican. In the 2008 election, McCain won 51% of whites earning less than $50,000 and Romney did only slightly better in 2012. This vote is heavily contested between the two parties. The idea that the Republican Party is the party of working class whites is bogus.

"I know that you and the Tyler Cowen’s of the world will go to any length to make sure the kids of this working class don’t gain admittance to elite institutions."
Yeah, it must be that...

But that's the thing. Trump isn't about free markets and bootstrapping. He's not very conservative! Unless the received wisdom wants to update itself and decide that latent white racism doesn't manifest itself in military interventionism and neoliberal ideology, as academics have suggested my whole life.

This election is confounding.

Allowances for slight hyperbole, the number of working class whites who should be voting for the "working class party" should be much higher, no?

/sarc = sarcasm. I think a few people missed that.

Thursday, blaming liberals for classic conservative ideology is ... not very aware. You're so programmed that when someone you group as a liberal sarcastically comments about a conservative point, that you still blame "liberals". You are THAT programmed.


The sad truths of upper-class bias in university admissions are well-known (in some circles) and quite real. Quote

"Last year, two Princeton sociologists, Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford, published a book-length study of admissions and affirmative action at eight highly selective colleges and universities. Unsurprisingly, they found that the admissions process seemed to favor black and Hispanic applicants, while whites and Asians needed higher grades and SAT scores to get in. But what was striking, as Russell K. Nieli pointed out last week on the conservative Web site Minding the Campus, was which whites were most disadvantaged by the process: the downscale, the rural and the working-class.

This was particularly pronounced among the private colleges in the study. For minority applicants, the lower a family’s socioeconomic position, the more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualifications."

First, it's not just the "establishment" that opposes Trump; it's about 60-70% of primary voters.

Voters are motivated along three axes: (1) identity, (2) ideology, and (3) candidate's personal flaws. It's hard to argue that GOP opposition to Trump is driven by identity, unless one claims that 60-70% of GOP voters are motivated by pro-immigrant, pro-Muslim, or pro-Hispanic affinity. That leaves ideology (free trade, constitutionally limited government, etc.) and personal flaws (Trump University scam, policy ignorance, general dishonesty, infidelity to Christian values, authoritarian tendencies, etc.). Given what we think we know about voter ignorance, it might seem implausible at first that 60-70% could be motivated by careful consideration of ideology and candidates' character. Yet, it seems even more implausible that 60-70% of GOP voters naturally identify with immigrants, Muslims, and Hispanics.

Interestingly, many progressives try to discuss the Trump phenomenon by imposing an identity-based narrative. See, for example, Ricardo and Nathan W's comments about "white resentment". If the GOP were largely motivated by identity, though, we wouldn't see such widespread opposition to Trump. Contrast that to the Democratic side, for example, where identity does seem to play a dominating role. Sanders's draws support mainly from whites, while Blacks overwhelmingly support Clinton. Also, some prominent Clinton supporters have characterized male Sanders supporters as basically sexist (BernieBros) and female supporters as either immoral gender traitors --- there's a special place in hell for them, apparently --- or boy-crazy adolescents interested only in meeting dates. Admittedly, ideological devotion to democratic socialism is also a motivating factor in addition to identity. Given that even Sanders is "sick and tired of hearing about Clinton's emails", personal character seems to be a negligible factor.

"Interestingly, many progressives try to discuss the Trump phenomenon by imposing an identity-based narrative. See, for example, Ricardo and Nathan W’s comments about “white resentment”. If the GOP were largely motivated by identity, though, we wouldn’t see such widespread opposition to Trump."

What I said is that many of the people who are supporting and voting for Trump are motivated by identity. I never said the entire GOP was motivated largely by identity -- I said a substantial proportion of Republican voters are. In a contest where there are four people running, it isn't kosher to describe the leading candidate's failure to secure a majority as demonstrating "widespread opposition" to him and what he stands for. If you were to ask a bunch of primary voters to rank the candidates and if a large majority had Trump ranked last, then you would have some basis for your description but it still wouldn't refute my point.

The 60-70% who voted for someone other than Trump are not all necessarily anti-Trump. That he wasn't their first choice does not prove or even imply that he was not their second choice.

For a political party, "the establishment" is the workers who make the party a success. Most are unpaid and get no glory. The visible establishment are the ten thousand elected officials, but to get elected, they have dozens to hundreds to thousands of volunteers (who might get more than expenses, but most don't. Few get actual pay for working.).

And then there are the loyal party members who show up at every dinner and pay $20 for good eats and fellowship with like minded folk and vote in every primary based on party loyalty to commonly held views, mostly local.

Membership in parties once had the same kinds of community engagement as 4H, Grange, Lions Club, Rotary, church social groups, with many people participating in several of them. Beyond the "cause", individuals joined out of duty and stewardship, but also for the reward of networking and fellowship.

These were the ways you connected with people outside your family and work before facebook, etc.

So, imagine someone going into Lions Club and trying to change the club objectives to demand the blind take responsibility and just become sighted, or else they are deemed losers by official Lions Club declaration. That's essentially what Trump, as well as Cruz and Sanders are trying to do.

The GOP's "jig is up," so to speak.

Here Jonah Goldberg represents the loser-establishment (no-different-than-democrats) GOP in expressing his fear and loathing for Trump. They hate him because Trump has exposed to tens of millions of Republican voters the facts that the GOP doesn't give a tinker's dam about them, except when they must lie to them at election time.

The GOP needed those voters. In attacking Trump they signal their attitudes on the great unwashed whom they have deceived and betrayed for decades.

Amusing to note that when it was working, the GOP would convince a minority of Americans that they were the "real" ones, before screwing them on policy

Fever dreams...

Empty deflection.

As of Feb 3-7, 2016 only 30% of Americans identified Republican. As I understand it, Trump is winning with a minority of those.

So we can't really say Trump is the democratic choice.


I could see an email indicted Clinton winning over that, and then the Republicans spend a couple months in fake navel gazing, before beginning the next clown circus.

You can’t ask the Base to vote for you if you give them nothing cycle after cycle

Maybe I'm missing something but this sounds very strange to me. Based on my observations, elected Republican politicians have faithfully followed their professed ideology, which is broadly defined as limited government, low taxes, economic liberalism and social conservatism. They have had little success with the last, and I can imagine why social conservatives would revolt, but The Donal hardly seems to be an exemplar of socially conservative values nor has me made a peep about them in his campaign. Republicans have never run on a platform of limiting immigration or protection of domestic markets, since, I guess, the 1920s? So how is it fair to say that the voters were not given anything cycle after cycle? They seem to have been given exactly what was promised and voted on.

Large numbers of Republicans never actually cared that much for libertarianism (low taxes etc.). These voters were getting stiffed election after election while the GOP whored it up for corporate interests.

The way many conservatives talk about it, there has indeed been a betrayal - of free market ideals! Hence the war on "crony capitalism." They've been imagining a revolution, all right, a SINCERELY libertarian one. Psh, nope. They must feel like the loneliest people on the planet right now.

Kris March 13, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Maybe I’m missing something but this sounds very strange to me. Based on my observations, elected Republican politicians have faithfully followed their professed ideology, which is broadly defined as limited government, low taxes, economic liberalism and social conservatism.

Sorry but when did they deliver on limited government, low taxes, economic liberalism or social conservatism? There has evolved a consensus about government spending. The Republicans have control of both Houses. Did they do a damn thing to limit spending? Cruz tried. They hated him for it. Boehner et al continued to vote for deficit after deficit as Obama added unbelievable levels of debt. Did not lift a finger. Did they keep the Feds out of Gay marriage? No. Rolled over on that too. The only area where there has been any success is in economic liberalism. Since Reagan there has been some deregulation. Essentially the Republican Party is run by very wealthy Democrats as a massive tax dodge and that is it.

So the Base is looking for someone who might throw them a bone every now and then. Good for them. A pity it is Trump.

For one thing, the media hates him so much. Universally hates him. For the other he does fairly substantive interviews – he did one with a usually hostile CNN last night.

That anyone paying an iota of attention could think Trump is getting something other than the kid gloves treatment beggars belief. This morning he went on four different Sunday Morning shows, and not a one involved any questions about allegations that his campaign manager assaulted a female reporter at a rally this week. He hasn't been meaningfully pushed on his puffed-up business record, including, but not limited to, the numerous failed and/or fraudulent enterprises, the role family wealth played in constructing his empire, or the gross inconsistencies in the record regarding his actual wealth.

Quite simply, Trump gets a free pass from mainstream outlets because he's good for business. Multiple media executives have said as much, and there are multiple documented cases of Trump essentially dictating pretty outlandish terms in exchange for access (such as switching a video interview to phone interview at the last minute because he thought he didn't look good).

As much as any candidate other than Trump would already have cleared the field with similar electoral results, any candidate other than Trump would never have sniffed those same results but for the media's acquiescence in turning the race into a reality show.

Yeah, except for all those people calling him Hitler, he's gotten a real easy ride from the media.

Because Twitter memes are, of course, nearly as devastating as unprecedented levels of uncritical free media are beneficial.

Anyone who thinks the Hitler talk is just random people on Twitter and such has their head up their ass. Lots of respectable media are doing it too.

It was trivially easy to find that article. Google "Trump Hitler" and tons of this stuff comes up.

Basically everyone from left to right is comparing Trump to Hitler (or Mussolini) in varying degrees of explicitness except for the neo-Nazis and their apologists, who like to portray him as a well meaning and reasonable guy who, well, just LOVES AMERICA.

George Soros funds some radicals to shut down Bernie Sanders' and now Trump's rallies. The entire media blames Trump.

That is not kid gloves. That is insane partisanship.

Re: 1, if that is the strongest case for daylight savings time it is extremely weak. It arbitrarily defines "reasonable" sunrise and sunset times such that DST maximally provides them.

If those 'reasonable' times were so valuable and DST didn't exist you would expect organizations to change their own working hours (8–4 some parts of the year, 9–5 other times; not all orgs could do this but surely many could). Since we don't observe that in areas lacking DST (Arizona and formerly Indiana) I am extremely skeptical that this makes sense at a federal level.

If I'm wrong and there are organizations adjusting their schedules in the absence of DSTs I would be *extremely* interested in hearing about it, that would be substantially more convincing.

Basic issue is political, not objective evaluations of reasonableness.

Why should 435 semi-ignorant politicians on the Potomac dictate to 300 million+ people how to tell time?

Next thing you know Congress will be commanding the permissible amount of water for a toilet flush or shower flow in everybody's home. There is no area of life that the government feels restrained from intervening. Observe the forest, not just individual trees.

Why should 435 semi-ignorant politicians on the Potomac dictate to 300 million+ people how to tell time?

They don't. Your state legislature decides whether to follow federal Daylight Saving Time.

Arizona does not follow DST, but the Navaho Reservation inside Arizona does follow DST, but the Hopi reservation inside the Navaho Reservation inside Arizona does not follow DST. Found this out when writing code for optimal email delivery time.


Congress assumed FULL authority over national time standards with the "Uniform Time Act of 1966", plus amendments.

The states have absolutely no authority in this area, according to the U.S. Congress and Federal statutes.

However, Congress did grant, under its total authority, exemption options to individual states if they wished to formally exercise them. Congress could revoke these exemptions tomorrow, if it chose to.

Congressional time rules are legally enforced by the Dept of Transportation and Federal District Court in Washington DC.

The states have absolutely no authority in this area, according to the U.S. Congress and Federal statutes.

Citation please...The Florida Senate has had numerous bills to stay on one time permanently. All have failed.

Plus wikipedia states:

States were allowed to exempt themselves from DST as long as the entire state did so. If a state chose to observe DST, the time changes were required to begin and end on the established dates.

Under the Uniform Time Act, moving an area on or off DST is accomplished through legal action at the state level. Some states require legislation while others require executive action such as a governor's executive order. Information on procedures required in a specific state may be obtained from that state's legislature or governor's office. Although it may exempt itself, if a state decides to observe DST, the dates of observance must comply with federal legislation.

Why should 435 semi-ignorant politicians on the Potomac dictate to 300 million+ people what side of the road to drive on?

Because it's a basic coordination problem of the sort government has been relied on to solve for generations.

yes yes yes. Private citizens, organizations, businesses, and state/local governments are absolutely inept at coordinating with each other. Chaos would prevail.

We must have a brilliant centralized group of government politicians and bureaucrats with comprehensive police powers to make the nation run properly.

There must be some formal name for this amazing political and economic coordination principle?

So, you can tell your employer you are changing your start-stop time at work so you have more daylight, and he will just change closing times to suit your needs, sending out advertising and notices to suppliers and customers to coordinate their doing business with you?

On the other hand, if you get people like you to vote for the right people with a commitment to increasing the daylight after your work ends, Congress takes care of the coordination problem by changing everyone's standard time in a local.

Nothing requires anyone to set their watches and clocks using the jack boot dictates of big government. Your boss can set the clock you must work to based on his idea of when it's high noon, or what darkness going to light should be 6 in the morning. You then coordinate by setting your work watch accordingly, and likewise setting the watches for your kid's school, for church, etc.

Of course, government will set it's clocks by the government standard and you must coordinate with that time, if required to meet a government deadline.

Thaler says DST is just a nudge to get up earlier in summer.

As much as I hate it on Vulcan terms (all timescales are arbitrary) I have to give him that.

There are actually people out there arguing seriously for global use if GMT. I prefer that on Vulcan terms, but consider it unlikely.

A computationally intensive approach would be to use GMT for all scheduling, and a personal local time based on solar noon for your current location. Smart watches could do it at a walk.

Putting JVM's, comption2.4's, and anon's comments together, we don't really need the government to tell us when to wake up or go to sleep. However, in response to JVM, if people didn't want DST, they would opt-out of it by adjusting their schedules to counteract it. Since we don't observe that, we can conclude that, for most people (outside of Arizona and Indiana), DST merely offsets the schedule adjustments that they would have made in the absence of DST. Maybe, we should call it Menu-Cost Saving Time. There may be an opt-in/opt-out effect but, surely, at least *some* people would opt-out if they really found DST objectionable. As for whether anyone adjusted schedules before DST, I don't know, and it's largely irrelevant by now. DST was enacted long enough ago such that time preferences may have changed since then. We can only observe today's preferences, which is that no one seems to opt-out of DST.

When I lived in London a daylight savings enthusiast was going on about how he wanted it all year round, and how it would be good to have the same time all through Europe (Spain for example uses Central European Time).

It told him we could go even further, and have a global common time, I even had a good name for it "universal time coordinate".

In a Canadian small town in the 1970s and 1980s my father's legal practice was changing its opening hours in summer on top of DST, opening and closing 30 minutes earlier, thus amplifying DST impact. This strongly illustrates social preferences which DST only reflects.

Daylight Savings Time is an excellent idea, and the current calendar is more optimized than it was in the past.

For once, I agree with Steve. Winter/Summer time is a great idea. Summer can be enjoyed better.

I don't mind the concept of DST, but it starts way too early. There are a few of us who don't like to wake up in the dark, and if we waited until mid April, the sun would still be coming up at 6 PM. Now I have to spend a month getting up in the dark.

It was excellent of the Romans to add two summer months; it's just a pity they didn't abolish February.

Daylight Savings Time depends on whether you have low or high IQ, that is, are an early riser (lower IQ) or night owl (higher IQ, like me, TC, others).

DSL optimizes "sunsets" and minimizes "sunrises", so it's for high-IQ people (night owls).

That said, people that actually do the work (as opposed to thinking about work, or solving theoretical problems) are early risers (lower IQ people).

Source: various social studies.

Personally, I like not having to change the clock, even though I'm a night owl, so I favor abolishing DST.

Bonus trivia: for nationalist reasons the Philippines now has "Philippine Standard Time" (PST) which has the same acronym as Pacific Standard Time.

My family of early risers does well on standardized tests. Some also worked as bakers, back in the old country. Go figure.

If it is so great why don't we do it for twelve months a year? That would surely optimize the DST calendar even more than in the past, wouldn't it?


The Earth's spin means there are 24 hours in every day. With DST, the government would have us forget this fundamental physical fact, instead having us believe that only 363 days actually have 24 hours, while a 364th day has 25 hours and a 365th day has but 23 hours. That is an absurdity so great that I can rarely conceive of how anyone could abide it, especially since the sole benefit is that sundown an hour "later" than usual.

I'm sorry but neither seconds, minutes and hours are physical facts. All of them are abstract concepts developed by humans. The "objective" time unit is day = 1 Earth rotation. For me, I´d prefer a decimal division of the day instead of the primitive & barbaric 60*60*24.

I've come across creditable arguments for decimal time. I'm a fan. Can't see it catching on but one can have fun suggesting it to people who get too tedious about the benefits of SI.

Powers of 10/decimals are a poor idea for human-centered measurements and counting. People often want to divide things into halves, quarters, thirds. This implies that we should be using a duodecimal (base 1100b) counting system. Notice the word "dozen"? If we have to have a factor of 101b as well, then base 111100b might make sense, but its a bit large for humans. Perhaps base 11110b? Or if we give up on easily dividing by 11b, then perhaps octal (base 1000b) or hexadecimal (base 10000b) might be better.

Notice that time measurements actually do use 1100b and 111100b as scales factors.

Actually, I think there was a year or maybe two during the early 70s when DST was closer to 9 or 10 months out of the year for supposed energy savings but the public complained.

IIRC, it was one year, covering the winter of 1973/74. A great many of my schoolmates where shlepping about with reflective tape on their clothing because it was dark out until 9:00 in the morning or later and there was a good deal of anxiety about youngsters being run over walking to school or to bus stops.

I read 3 entirely and it is excellent. I wonder how Tyler heard of that one...

I think via this tweet

The part that I found unconvincing is where the author dismissed the third article as trivial because it "found only that what is learned is related to what goes on
in the classroom". But he doesn't describe what classroom goings-on they were studying -- and isn't the point of improving math education to improve "what is learned" by changing "what goes on in the classroom"?

If they truly were only concluding that what happens in the classroom matters, then that is indeed not helpful. But if they had suggestions for changing or more importantly improving on "what is learned" then that is the type of research that matters. His abrupt dismissal of the article doesn't allow us to even begin to judge.

We abolished daylight savings time in Russia, and I more than happy about it, because it results in too much inconvenience, in any case it's too dark in winter, and all the light time in winter people usually spend at work.

This. I grew up in Chicago and hated that the sun was down before 5 in Dec/Jan. Who cares how early it rises, let me leave work with some sunlight.

To have light after school/work in Chicago in the winter, you need year round DST, not to eliminate it. In Michigan, on the western edge of the eastern time zone, not only do we have another hour of light on the afternoon in the winter but get wonderfully long summer days. It is a definite improvement. Especially in the summer when light at 430 AM is useless to everybody, but an extra hour in the evening allows for more outdoor activity. Fireworks do have to start late, though.

Yep exactly, I think some people misunderstand the entire concept of DST. Saying, yes let's abolish it, I want more daylight after work in the winter makes no sense. If you abolish DST, absolutely nothing changes between November and March (in the US) -- if it's too dark for you now, it will be just as dark for you then. It's only the summer months that would now see ridiculously early sunrises for many, which as Slocum points out are at best useless to the vast majority of people (and which makes a trade of later sunset for later sunrise seem like a patenly good idea for most everyone).

Now if you want to argue let's just stay in DST all year, I'd be for that, even with the very late sunrises in the winter (when I'm gong to work in the dark anyway, so what's another hour of darkness in exchange for a bit lighter after work?).

3) While I'm very open to the idea that further improvements can be made, I imagine that after hundreds of years of mathematics education the low hanging fruit have mostly/all been picked. I would love to be proven wrong, I just highly doubt it. I imagine that the most likely benefits are not to be in pedagogy per se, but in reflecting on which maths teaching is most relevant in the production of good citizens, workers, innovators and leaders. Perhaps somewhat expanded use of visual explanatory tools could be useful for certain types of learners, however.

The Atlantic recently had an excellent article on the growing excellence of American students in international competitions. Although they don't say it, it seems that the failures of public education have led to parents paying for expensive private mathematics education:

I would say that no one in the US government has even tried to improve mathematics education. Which is why there is such a gap in the market. Certainly what the British call comprehensive education - putting all the students through similar schools learning similar curricula at a similar pace - is likely to produce seriously bad results for students with a talent for mathematics.

Good article.

I'm quite aware of issues relating to all students learning similar curricula at a same pace. Only once in my schooling was there a path up, but you had to score top 1% in ALL of eight areas. You could score perfect in seven categories, but if you were only in the top 2% in the eighth subject, you were not eligible. (And so I spent several years reading sci-fi at school instead of learning ... but I was pretty OK with that).

On the matter of private enriched learning ... it troubles me somewhat that a 1 in a million young mathematician may not be able to access such programs due to lack of family resources, but at the same time, I can definitely recognize that private supplements provide expanded opportunity for many children, most likely to the benefit of the nation (and, perhaps, world, on average).

The problem in using standardized tests for streaming, I think, is that it only targets kids who are at the top in ALL subjects, and this means that your 1 in a thousand/million mathematician might never access enriched learning if, say, he spells poorly or struggles with analogies/grouping. Unless the parents can access private sector enrichment, that is.

Anyways, I guess the take home point from that article is that, observing major differences among similarly developed countries, clearly there must be some things that can be done to improve math outcomes in the USA.

putting all the students through similar schools learning similar curricula at a similar pace

NO NO NO NO NO! That is not what is happening. All students are PRESENTED WITH the same things at the same pace. But lots and lots of them are not really learning what is presented. So they fall further and further behind and conclude "I'm not good at math. I hate math."

Ironically, the major benefits of tracking may go to the slow, not the fast.

If we have had 100 years of structured cycles of testing and change, then yes we probably have optimized to some endpoint.

What evidence do we have though, that change was test driven?

A skeptic might believe that we has a lower level of change, driven by each teacher's personal experience, begin again at retirement.

Nor were texts optimized globally for value added.

4) Very interesting. I don't think there's anything really new, but it's a really good review/compilation on a huge amount of very valuable literature and concepts within a more interesting/accessible framework for the fact of being related to more recent events. I'm sure this will be appearing on a fair few course reading lists in the next few years. Almost everything seems self evident after reading it, but perhaps if you'd never encountered it you probably wouldn't think it through and be aware of it.

I'm not sure what specific value it adds in transforming specific theories into formal economic models, but perhaps someone will find a way to put that to more direct use some day. Like, it seems fairly trivial to say that an upper manager only wants a project to proceed so long as expected value (don't cry over spilt milk) is positive, but that the lower level might prefer not to give enough negative feedback to kill the project, whether because they don't want to admit it or because they are concerned about being employed for longer on a project. What value does a formal economic modelling of such a situation add? Oh well, I guess a lot of economic theory is kind of like that ...

I was quite surprised about the bit where increased discretion in employee evaluation led to higher evaluations. I would have imagined that lower management would be just as happy as anyone to give suitably low evaluations in the case that low performers should be on their way out the door. There must be a lot of heterogeneity in this, but in referring to previous literature it suggests that this applies in some general fashion.

Also interesting, is that it's one of the first academic sources I've seen which unambiguously states that there were no WMDs in Iraq. Looks like this evidence puts the blame on Cheney, at odds with what the specialists were communicating.

The idea of transparency leading to too much conformism is also very interesting. It gives me cause to wonder about supporting very high transparency in the public sector. Maybe somewhat less than very high transparency would be better, and previously I'd only considered national security counterarguments.

It would have been interesting if he had tried to apply these ideas more extensively to governance and public sector involvement in the economy. For example, the tension between "code compatibility" and local knowledge / decentralized governance, say, with respect to health care.

Finally, while critiques of efficiency in the public sector certainly may still apply, for example the lack of market discipline to get rid of inefficient divisions or companies, the article is definitely a good counter against more dogmatic faith in the perfection of free market organizations to succeed.

Didn't read it, but browsing the reference list, one should find it perhaps a bit more than strange that a paper on organizational failure...cites precisely 6 articles from business/management/finance journals, whose focus is on...organizations. I'm going to go ahead and guess that there might be a bit more than 2 org science and 2 management science and 2 finance papers in the whole universe that deal with this issue. Probably.

#4) Goldberg is right, and I would add, this is why the conservative movement, whatever monstrosity it has become or it ever was...needs to die. And die a fiery painful death.

I only hope that people like him and others will figure it out soon enough, that they need to ditch this insane movement and this insane party. A Trump nomination by the GOP is the best way I know of killing off that party. And frankly, it just needs to die.

Why exactly?

Because there's nowhere else to go. The "conservative" movement has already reached the edge of the right: full blown conspiracy, full blown fascism, full blown nationalism, full blown protectionism, full blown racism.

There's nowhere else to go anymore. Either these people win and bring forth Mussolini's dream world, or they destroy themselves. Such extreme insanity in the GOP, is not the sort of thing that will be satisfied to wait another 4 years if they lose this election. They will self-destruct.

#4) Goldberg is right, and I would add, this is why the conservative movement, whatever monstrosity it has become or it ever was…needs to die. And die a fiery painful death.

A sentiment that an ordinary person would say sits uneasily with the self-concept liberals have about themselves. Or it would, if liberals were not assiduous traders in fiction.

What makes you think I'm a liberal?

Libertarianism is one of classical liberalism's bastard children too.

I'll concede you could be an alt-right crank of the sort who fancies The American Conservative is a worthwhile publication. Does that make it better or worse? The left has some capable policy wonks like Mark Kleiman. The alt-right has ... Rod Dreher.

Huh? I haven't the slightest clue what you're speaking of. But, that probably says a lot more about your political stance, than mine. I would describe myself only as a "Mitt Romney Republican". As such, I hate this new breed of "conservatism" just as much as they hate us "RINOs". But, since they have taken over the GOP at this point, and there's no turning back, then its best this party and this movement die off.

There's no redemption for the GOP if it continues to carry the dead weight of these insane "conservatives".

You don't have a political stance. You have an attitude. It;s valueless.

"You don’t have a political stance. You have an attitude. It;s valueless."

Not sure what the difference or distinction is between these two, but I'm sure you'll enlighten me. Of course, I'm not sure how one would describe the modern day phenomenon of "conservatism", or the bat-s**tery of Trump supporters, other than as an "attitude".

Here's an Alt-Right aggregator. Rod Dreher isn't on it grandpa.

#6: the Guardian link is just an appetizer, the main dish is on Nature "Chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing"

So, chimpanzees rock accumulation shares 2 features of human behavior described as ritual: collect artifacts in the same place and ritualized behavior. Of course this is not "religion", you can't describe a religious behavior by those 2 features. But, it begs for more research and discussions will arise.

Animal rights activists will see yet another reason to not use chimps in medical research, theologians of any religion will try to ignore the the same time I remember Psalms 148 and ponder if cathedrals are just a rock accumulation site of a hominid species that learned how compression arches work through painful trial and error.

'collect artifacts in the same place and ritualized behavior. Of course this is not “religion”': for many people it's probably a large part of religion.

Throwing rocks at a tree trunk reminds me of the pre-2004 version of the stoning of the devil during the Hajj.

Chimps are Muslim? Who knew?

My ape (monkey) is just like a human child. And he's clumsy. It's cute, he will move his hand around right in your face, sticking you in the eye by mistake, he'll drop food, he leaves smelly little turds in his sleeping quarters on occasion, but is so happy to see me, climbing on my shoulder, wrapping his tail around my neck (but not squeezing, he's still young), grooming my hair. I build him a big monkey house (he was in a dog crate before, and before we bought him he was on a restrictive harness that could only move along a wire rope). He also knows how to feign a bite to scare you (typical monkey behavior) and he is so smart, if he wants something you cannot hide it (he'll notice which pocket you put it in and pick your pocket when you're not paying attention). I highly recommend a primate over a dog as a pet, but they're a lot of work (many experts say they suffer from neurosis from being caged).

3. Wilf is dead, and has been consistently dead for over four years. Wilf's essay is dedicated to George Andrews, who continues to be very much alive. There's something strange about an essay written by a dead person who dedicates the essay to a live person. But mathematics is strange. In particular, Everyday Mathematics ("a comprehensive Pre-K through grade 6 mathematics program engineered for the Common Core Standards by the University of Chicago Mathematics Project"), whose title only Orwell could appreciate. Wilf wrote a book titled Algorithms and Complexity. Strangely, Everyday Mathematics would discard most of the algorithms we learned in Pre-K through grade 6 and substitute what are essentially guesses, or what might be called Intuitive Mathematics. In the Age of Trump, in which intuition ("I vote my gut") prevails over logic, even mathematics is intuitive. Math Knuckles is more logical. I wish Wilf were still alive so he could write more essays like this one.

5. I am not famous. Some people are famous because of their accomplishments. Bill Gates comes to mind. Some people are famous simply because they are, well, famous. Paris Hilton comes to mind. Jonah Goldberg is famous because of a dress, and his mother. No, I don't mean he wears his mother's dress (although if he does, there's nothing wrong with that). He is famous because his mother found a dress. In that respect he is much like Paris Hilton, at least one step removed from whatever accomplishment made each of them famous (the Hilton name, the mother's find). But Ms. Hilton definitely looks better in a dress. Goldberg's essay is similar to what made him famous: in the essay, Goldberg doesn't criticize Trump or voters who vote for Trump, he criticizes conservatives who don't criticize Trump. It's criticism one step removed. Like what made Goldberg famous.

Trump likely offers those who fund the Republican Party the best hope for achieving their number one priority: an enormous tax cut for themselves. The risk is that it will come at the cost of exposing the Republican Party's Big Lie to a large swath of what have been loyal foot soldiers. David Frum explains the dilemma facing conservatives. I believe the risk of losing the foot soldiers is overstated. Indeed, Trump is likely the best hope among the three top contenders to retain the foot soldiers, for Cruz is mentally unbalanced in a Nixonian way and Rubio is enthralled with the neocons: Cruz would turn the foot soldiers against himself for being the asshole that he is while Rubio would turn the foot soldiers against himself for sending real soldiers to their deaths. Trump, on the other hand, would deliver the tax cut to those who fund the Republican Party while bringing more than a few liberal populists to the Republican side with his promise not to touch social security, continued criticism of bankers, and aversion to military adventurism. I'm no fan of Trump, but all this hand-wringing by self-styled conservatives is a bit over the top (and exposes them and the Republican Party for their own mendacity).

Jonah Goldberg is famous because of a dress, and his mother.

No, he is mildly famous because he is a capable practitioner of the art of topical commentary, a trade at which few excel. You can look at the Townhall site to see the work of various aspirants who are one or two ratchets down from Goldberg in talent. It's not hard to gin up the names of people who've had successful careers in opinion journalism without his family connections and without his wit: Morton Kondracke, Fred Barnes, Anthony Lewis, Tom Wicker, and Sean Hannity to name just a few. (He was dead broke when National Review hired him, by the way).

The media pomp-and-circumstance surrounding the death of Scalia, despite his being a man the Establishment actively vilified, brought home how much misplaced reverence we have been encouraged to feel for These People. Scalia's quirky habits were brought out like relics to be treasured, his friendship with RBG on display as evidence the squabbling Olympians had much more in common, on high, than their interventions in mortal affairs would suggest. That there are no serious differences, really; it's all theater, and the troupe is cozy with one another.
Ditto the gag-inducing clubbiness of the Senate, and its many "traditions." The one data point in Cruz's favor is his being universally disliked by his particular co-workers.
Thanks to the "West Wing," I guess, there's now an outsized respect for the whole executive machinery. The modern awe of The Presidency is different than the people lining the road as FDR's body left Warm Springs - nothing so understandable, though photos of moments like that, and everything connected with November 1963 - tend to lend their successors a grandeur they have not earned. Witness the obligatory "weight of the world" shot of the President standing alone and somber at the Oval Office window, which photographers have usually captured within 2 months of his taking office. The automatic, ersatz feeling must undermine whatever is good about the real feeling of respect. In any case, it's unbecoming of the sort of men in whose interests this nation was putatively founded.
The joke will undoubtedly wear out its welcome, but that people are willing to elect a clown as the ship goes down suggests they have left a shred of dignity. Perhaps also that they've forgotten about our nuclear arsenal, but who but scolds thinks about nukes anymore?

There is no such thing as "Daylight Savings Time." An economist of all people should know that you can't put daylight into the bank or under the mattress for a rainy day. The "S" in IS-LM does not stand for "savings," either.

"But more importantly, if you listen to Trump’s answers to almost any question about how he will fix a problem, he uses up the first 95 percent of his time explaining, re-explaining and demagoguing about how bad the problem is. (That is, if he’s not talking about polls.) Then in the last few seconds, he says we’ll fix the problem by being really smart or by winning or by hiring the best people."

Has this guy ever listened to a politician speak before? Because this is what they do 90% of the time.

Even if one thinks that Trump is different from other politicians only in degree, rather than in kind, one must concede that the degree is nevertheless remarkably further out along the distribution than what we've seen in some time.

Excellent comment

And once a young person has listened to the detailed policy proposals of a candidate and watched them hit the "circular file" in the first ten minutes of the administration, he/she forever after knows that every thing every politician says is a lie. Consequently choices are made on factors other than "substance," which everyone knows is stillborn.

#5. Dear Jonah, hope you remember this feeling next time you and your ilk want to prattle away about American exceptionalism and the divine provenance of the US Constitution or to sneer at those of us who refuse to be herded into either the D or R column. While Democrats and Republicans split hairs over their differences over on the coercive end of the political spectrum, some of us on the voluntarist end have spent our entire lives completely unrepresented in government and utterly shut out of the political discourse. The disgust you feel for Trump is the disgust we feel each and every election. And Trump, honestly, is but an average political specimen. There have been innumerable candidates more vile and repugnant. Thanks for sharing your suffering. We enjoy the schadenfreude it provides. Sincerely.

Apropos why the GOP went bust, there is a new vein of literature. It is the "I hated Obamacare but it saved my life story."

To back up, "Obamacare" was a Republican idea, piloted by a Republican governor, good for working class Republicans.

The party, to energize the base, did convince them that this Republican idea was world-ending, because it now came from a black socialist who probably was Kenyan and not a legal President anyway.

Own it, wear it, because it put us here, with a birther as leading GOP candidate.

Oh, no doubt. The GOP did this to themselves. They went after the lowest of the low for the past 8 years, precisely in the hope that the unthinking emotional anger of these people would win them elections. In essence, they did little different from what the Democrats always do: appeal to anger and hate.

Now, they can't control the monster they have created.

Sadly, it often went like this:

D: I want to help poor people.

R: You hate the rich!

Sadly, it often was that way. You can reverse the words and labels a little bit, and get the same effect.

Unfortunately, the bat-shi**ery of recent times is not limited only to conservatives. The bat-s**t crazies are 30-40% of the Democratic Party too, reflected in their support for Sanders.

We're reliving the 1930s now: Nazis vs. Commies seems to be the only choice available.

Yes, you are right. Bernie has some crazies as well.

Stories of people flipping from Bernie to Trump show how unhinged it has become.

When Bernie supporters march around with Soviet flags, stomp on American flags etc...then one doesn't need to find evidence of crazy only in the ones who cross between Bernie and Trump.

Bernie and Trump are pretty much the same thing, they just have slightly different "solutions" (or lack of) for the same mostly imagined problems. They really are, in my opinion, like the Nazis and the Commies. They seem different, but they are really both the same.

You have no understanding of commies or Nazis. Do you self delude or has someone helped you?

Can you believe that in China, not only do they not have daylight savings time, but they do not even have time zones. The entire country runs on Beijing time. In most countries of that size, you'd have 3-4 time zones.

+1 for China. To only use Central time, no DST, would be an improvement here.

No, it absolutely would not be an improvement here.

It is trivially easy to adjust say Pacific to Central once, and done. Now I wake up at 7am, and a 9am conference call with New York is a no-brainer.

Fought by people who refuse to eat lunch at 2pm?

Daylight savings time has a substantial effect on pedestrian mortality. Staying on DST all year would save many lives.

Apparently there are some pretty big energy savings relating to how much people have to have their lights on. When GWB tweaked DST a couple/few weeks back in the day, I recall some estimates of energy savings, and they were definitely not trivial. Not sure if that counters the cost to treat accident victims relating to an hour less sleep on the following Monday.

Drive safe!

There might not be any savings:

Man, you just extinguished my entire arsenal of decent things to say about GWB.

I think the article is trying to make more a case against DST than an even handed evaluation though ...

#1) The real question is why does (almost) everyone, including Tyler and all the commenters on this page so far, use the term "Daylight Saving*s* Time" when the proper term is "Daylight Saving Time" (no "s" at the end of "Savings")? I suspect that even people that know the proper term use the improper one. Can the right term become the wrong term due to non-usage?

I sort of thought that "What's the Matter with Kansas" was that those people wouldn't sign on to a role as victims, or as Arnold Kling might put it, "oppressed." From reading comments by full and partial supporters of Trump, they do seem to see themselves as victims, all right. What they won't sign on to, I guess, is being ministered to, morally as well as economically, by the kind of people who live in Marin County and Cambridge, Mass.

I haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas" but if that is the argument, it's obviously wrong and it's been obvious for some time. Corey Robin has pointed out that there is a long history of conservatives embracing and imitating liberal rhetoric when making their arguments. For instance, about 15 years ago, conservatives started lamenting about the lack of "ideological diversity" in university faculty. Many conservatives have also been effective in certain quarters in embracing some of the tenets of racial equality and feminism and insisting they are the true standard bearers of civil rights and equality. For elements of the right to embrace victimhood is in keeping with this trend. What squares the circle and allows Trump supporters to be simultaneously victims and macho ass-kickers is, I think, vicarious violence. When Trump talks about waterboarding terrorists for fun or asks his supporters to beat up demonstrators, his supporters get the catharsis and reclaimed status they are looking for.

For instance, about 15 years ago, conservatives started lamenting about the lack of “ideological diversity” in university faculty.

Complaints about the monoculture in academe have been a feature of conservative opinion journalism for more than 50 years. Stephen Tonsor was writing about this as early as 1962. Robin's talking out of his ass.

God and Man at Yale, for example.

"What's the matter with Kansas@ was a terrible book, but it didn't say that at all, it COMPLAINED that the problem was that Kansans would not think of themselves as victims of Capitalism and the US Right.

It was a stunningly obtuse book. How could be so deluded to not want the same things as people like Thomas Frank.

The weirdest bits were his own relationship to his native state and how off it was. He presents himself as a typical Kansan, he wonders how the state could turn out to be so different from the Kansas he grew up in. How Kansas was always a progressive state and talks about the general assumption of proggressive goodness in his Overland Park childhood, but then he describes his culture shock and isolation when he moved to Lawrence and attended KU and encountered its conservativism, how it was not cosmopolitan like the real reactionaries he grew up with in Overland Park.

And then the kicker is that he is not just from Overland Park, he is from Mission Hills, though he assures us they had the cheapest house on the block. So he describes this sort of insane view of rich people as evil grubby capitalist who hate the working class, and how Democrats are their friends, but they can't see this because "false consciousness", because they refuse to think of themselves as victims of Capital.

"Corey Robin has pointed out that there is a long history of conservatives embracing and imitating liberal rhetoric when making their arguments"

Think of it more as a mechanism about exposing hypocrisy, and it'll make more sense to you.

I like Jonah Goldberg very much- he is one of the smartest political writers in the field, but he is missing what Trump really represents. On its present path, the Republican Party is doomed in national elections- the demographics are unforgiving in this regard. In fact, the Democrats advantage has grown so large that a sitting president is now ready to ignore the legislature, the Republican's last bastion, to import even more voters from Mexico, central and South America- all Obama needs now is for the D.C. Appeals Court to approve his immigration moves, which it will almost surely do, and with Scalia's death, SCOTUS will be unable to do anything about it.

The Republican Party needs to enlarge its base, and agreeing to amnesties and looser border controls were an attempt to broaden appeal in the Hispanic voters, but this was and is literally sure to fail. This was the one thing Trump understood best, and he seized on it. All of Goldberg's criticisms of Trump's qualifications for the office are absolutely true- the man is a buffoon and an ignoramus, but what Goldberg really doesn't seem to understand is that all the other candidates are the same, but with better polish from a lifetime of running for office.

There is a reason Obama and the Democrats didn't do the immigration reforms in 2009-2011 by the legitimate method of passing and signing legislation, and Trump has capitalized on that reason. Almost nothing else in his campaign rhetoric really matters at this point, much to Goldberg's chagrin. I don't know if Trump can win the nomination outright, but it looks increasingly like he will do so. The Republican establishment can throw its support to Clinton if they want to, and perhaps they will, but if they do, then when January 2017 rolls around, it will be President Clinton with majorities in both houses, and likely filibuster proof ones at that. Either way, change is coming for the Republican Party- they will get a new coalition one way or another.

The Democrats have such a large advantage that they're in the worst shape they've been in in nearly 90 years regarding seats in state and federal legislatures..

Have you met my friend, Mr. Mander? Art, this is Gerry Mander. Gerry, Art.

then when January 2017 rolls around, it will be President Clinton with majorities in both houses, and likely filibuster proof ones at that.

If you wagered the Republican Party is going to suffer the worst electoral blowout any political party has suffered in 120 years, you're going to lose money.

Those who dislike Trump do so because he is cruel, a liar, a blowhard, arrogant and has few positive redeeming characteristics. Other than that, he's a great guy. I agree with Jonah that Bill Bennett, a person I otherwise respect, has been suckered in by Trump's popularity. As for Gingrich, he always has been too much of a political animal.

Cruel? Few positive redeeming characteristics? There are very few business leaders who've been on display more. Where's the parade of people to tell the world that the Trump Organization is a terrible company for which to work (remember Leona Helmsley)? Who's the equivalent in Trump's family of Joan Kennedy (or Patrick Kennedy)? Ivan Boesky's sister-in-law once referred to him as a 'piece of sewage', and did so in an interview with a reporter from Time magazine. Which of Trump's relatives has done the same?

"Those who dislike Trump do so because he is cruel, a liar, a blowhard, arrogant and has few positive redeeming characteristics."

I dislike Trump because he has publicly stated that he would order the military to murder innocent women and children. And he thinks judges sign bills. And he supports not allowing any Muslims to enter the U.S.

Sorry to break it to you, but there are no military operations without civilian casualties.

Sorry to break it to you, but deliberately targeting civilians is against the law.

I doubt, or at least hope, that members of the military would disobey such an obviously illegal order. It does not reflect well on the Republican Party that a Republican candidate who has pledged to order the military to murder innocent women and children is presently their leading candidate.

I'm all for deporting anyone who says we shouldn't have DST year-round.

"Then in the last few seconds, he says we’ll fix the problem by being really smart or by winning or by hiring the best people.”

Isn't that what Obama was famous for? He'd drone on about some issue and never have anything in particular as a fix for the problem.

Goldberg is an opinion journalist fixated on the dispositions and behavior of other opinion journalists. Waste of time. And it's not difficult to figure out in schematic outline how to address some of the problems that Trump has identified and discussed. The problem's in the details. If Goldberg fancies it's been normal to discuss with Anderson Cooper the engineering specs on public works projects or hiring timetables and training programs for federal agencies, he's lost it.

#5...Where then Gov. Reagan had the slogan "It's Morning in America" in 1980, Trump should have the slogan "It's Happy Hour in America" or "It's Ladies' Night in America." I'll give Trump that much, for free.

#5..."No one ever entered the White House so grossly ill-informed as RR."

What? He'd been the Governor of California for Eight Years.

While everyone is talking about the train wreck that is the Republican Party, it is diverting attention away from the disaster that is the Democratic Party. A crooked tyrant crony and a socialist with a juvenile's view of how the economy works? Is that the best the Democrats can do?

Just like the Republican Party, the various factions that vote Democrat have entirely different worldviews. It too cannot last.

I have very little doubt that Trump's unprecedented levels of free media from mainstream outlets such as CNN has much to do with how well he manifests the mental image their journalists have of the GOP, but the fact that it allows them to credibly divert attention away from the Secretary's awful, no-good campaign certainly doesn't hurt.

#6 chimps. I wonder if something dangerous to chimps lives in hollowed out trees - like snakes. It might make sense to fill hollow tree up with rocks to destroy a potential snake home / or mark it as warning or damage it by throwing stones. Watching the videos leaves me far from concluding ritual. I wouldn't have considered it unless ritual was suggested.

(On the farm when I was growing up we burned down a very large tall old dead/dying tree stump. We'd already removed the limbs, but there was no chainsaw anyone could find that was big enough to cut it down beyond a certain point. Anyhow, when we burned the huge stump a couple of huge snakes rolled out of the thing. Given our human reaction to seeing these snakes, it wouldn't surprise me if chimps would similarly be on the lookout).

Good point. Here's another hypothesis: It's fun. In kindergarten some of us dug a trench in the school courtyard perhaps 6 ft. long x 2 ft. wide x 3 ft. deep. We had no purpose other than fun but an anthropologist might have supposed it was a ritual.

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