Friday, April 26, 2019

END OF TIMES FALSE PROPHETS ...

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For those of you inclined to embrace these things, you might want to reread what the Bible has to say about false prophets (religion) and the antichrist (politics) operating in a world full of empty of religions. One thing's clear today. Evangelical Christians, with their embrace of Trump, are operating in an empty box of spirituality.

You can look at the other other religions and sects, and come to your own conclusions.

- Mark

WHY PURITY TESTS IN POLITICS ARE BAD

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- Mark

Friday, April 19, 2019

SERIOUSLY, WHO'S SIDE IS HE ON?

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- Mark

THE PRESIDENT WHO GAINED CHINA'S RESPECT FOR HIS "VERY, VERY LARGE BRAIN" SPEAKS

Remember when Donald Trump claimed that China respected him for his "very, very large brain"? Well, the Mueller Report makes it clear that while he might have a large brain, there may be "very, very" little in it ...

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- Mark

Seriously, and for the record, Neanderthals - who were known for the large cranial capacity - and other extinct human groups had big brains too. As the Scientific American points out, "it's not a sign of intelligence."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

FIRST READ ON THE MUELLER REPORT

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I just started reading the Mueller Report. Here's what I have so far:

* The Russians acted on Trump's behalf, with Paul Manafort providing polling data. 
* The key isn't "collusion" (always a Trump/Fox red herring), it's Russian "interference" in our democracy. 
* The key isn't "collusion" it's that Russia worked on Trump's behalf for very specific reasons.

All of this is acknowledged in the Mueller Report.

Look, if you're fine withe Russia - or any nation for that matter - meddling in our nation's democracy that's on you. But then, in the future, you need to stay silent when it comes to speaking about national security and defending our nation's homeland.

The Russians acknowledged that they wanted and needed Trump to win. One thing's clear: It wasn't to make America great again.


Those of you who believe the report clears Trump and his team of betraying America can continue to bury your head in the sand. You can choose to betray our country, but I won't.

Incredibly, we don't need the redacted sections to see who Attorney General Barr is protecting. In case you still don't get it, here's a hint. It's not America.

- Mark

THE REDACTED MUELLER REPORT IS RELEASED

Below is a large chunk of the 448 page Mueller Report, courtesy of the LA Times. Including the last 50-60 pages that couldn't fit in the screen shot below, it appears that between 5-8% of the report has been redacted.



There will be those who claim that 5-8% isn't much. To those who think like this, imagine if you were forced to take a 5-8% cut in pay ... imagine if your mortgage bill went up 5-8% ... if you took 5-8% from our national GDP we would end up with $1-1.5 trillion less in production.

You get the point.

What's missing from the Mueller Report is significant and probably damaging to Donald Trump.

Congress needs to bring Robert Mueller in front of America.

- Mark

Addendum: In case you still don't get it, this is just one of the reasons why we need to bring Mueller in front of Congress ...

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TRUMP'S GOLFING TIME ABOUT TO COST US $100 MILLION

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To read the original post with the original links, which includes more Trump golfing stats, click here.

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- Mark

THIS IS AMERICA TODAY

This photo was taken a few years ago. I'm posting it again because the backdrop and the look on the black officers face seems more tragic today then it did then. 

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- Mark

COMPENSATION FOR MALE DOCTORS, FEMALE DOCTORS ... YEAH, THERE'S A DIFFERENCE


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So I have a male (who else) friend who disagreed with the meme above, which I posted on Facebook. I did a simple search (which I shouldn't have had to do, but he voted for Trump, so ...) and found plenty of sources for him to read through.  I posted the three attached below for his convenience.

https://money.cnn.com/.../gender-pay-gap-doctors/index.html

https://www.newscientist.com/.../mg23731670-100-how-the.../

https://richtopia.com/women.../female-ceos-gender-equality


Here's the point. Pay gaps between men and women continue to exist in America, and should be addressed. The reasons why pay gaps continue to exist between men and women are many, but any knuckle-dragging male who has a daughter should be concerned.

The fact that most women get tasked with raising kids (especially after a divorce), face greater economic obstacles in single-parent households, and still face discriminatory challenges in the workplace are just a few of the issues that make earning less than a male counterpart one of the great challenges of modern America.

The meme/clip below should blow up into a ginormous meme/clip if you click on it. If not, click on the "richtopia" link above. It's there too.


Women Business CEOs & Executives in the Workplace Statistics (Infographic)

- Mark

Thursday, April 11, 2019

CONGRESSMAN THOMAS MASSIE (R-KY) ... THIS MONTH'S VILLAGE IDIOT

The medieval-like stupidity coming from the Republican Party is truly incredible. The line of questioning in yesterday's climate change committee hearing would be deeply repulsive if it weren't being done in what's supposed to be a serious venue, Capitol Hill ...
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In a few words, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), challenged former Secretary of State on his knowledge of science because of Massie's claim that political science is a "pseudoscience" and not a real science degree. 

Where do I begin?

Drawing from a previous post, below I explain why political science is a "science" and why Congressman Massie is a candidate to win this month's Village Idiot Award. 

Let's start with this.

A while back I got into an exchange with a conservative friend on Facebook. He decided that economists John Maynard Keynes, Paul Krugman, and the "science" part of political science were not worthy of being taken seriously. Actually, it wasn't much of an exchange. I made it clear early on to my friend that his assertions were rooted in his general ignorance about the social sciences and the scientific method, so I was basically trying to help him understand how we discover facts in our world.

What my conservative friend was trying to say - like Congressman Massie - is that the hard sciences (physics, biology, etc.) are the only disciplines where we can find real answers. My friend, losing sight of his suggestion that the social sciences aren't scientific, then claimed that his economists - Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, et al. - are the only social scientists that we should follow because, you know, they're real scientists. 

Huh?

Since it was obvious that my FB friend didn't really understand what science entails - or what he's talking about - I decided to expose the absurdities behind his claims. It was fun, which is why - inspired by Congressman Massie - I'm sharing the discussion below, again (with a few edits).

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To begin with, the "science" in political science, or any other science for that matter, lies in the method, not in the certainty of outcomes. Those who found cures for influenza did not find answers the first (or the second, or the third, or ...) time around. They found cures using the same painstaking processes that eliminated confirmation bias and false positives, among others. 

It's the methods used that make the social sciences - and the hard sciences - scientific. There is no escaping this. 

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Whether you're trying to understand how markets behave so you can make investment decisions, or are trying to understand the causes for war so you can reduce the proclivity towards it, there is a certain process that you must follow (as I discuss here). A good political scientist, for example, can explain to you the causes for war and the characteristics behind empire cycles, for example, but we can't tell you exact dates when wars will start, or when the American empire will end in the future (and it will). 

Political science, like all social sciences, is not an exact science. But we also want to keep in mind that, in spite of incorporating more math into the discipline, the field of economics is not an exact science either. It never has been. 



So, if you have a friend that likes to claim that Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman - or any other economist for that matter - offers irrefutable evidence on how the world works (or should work) let them know that their arguments can be debunked with good counter arguments. In fact, here are a few good counter arguments for your Milton Friedman fans (in the FYI category, the arguments of Ayn Rand, who was no economist, are based on pure fantasy).

To give you an example of how unscientific the field of economics is let's think about the Nobel prize in economics (a farce if there ever was one). 




The Nobel committee has given the Nobel prize, in the same year, to economists who made opposing arguments about the same economic phenomenon. Twice. 

Can you imagine two geologists getting the Nobel prize, one for explaining the logic behind tectonic plates and the other for explaining God getting mad at America's lifestyles and causing earthquakes? 

I agree. It's an exaggerated example, but you get the point. Economists are social scientists who disagree about so many things that claiming absolute certainty for their findings is pure fantasy, especially if you don't incorporate what political scientists - and other social scientists - have to say on the issues they study (which is what makes Keynes, and now Krugman, superior on these matters). 

So, yeah, economist Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman may offer us evidence of their findings. But being economists does not necessarily mean what an economist has to say explains the real world any better than a political scientist or a political economist.


The Nobel prize in economics does nothing to alter this reality. 

So, yes, while economists and political scientists may sometimes be at odds with what they write and believe, it doesn't necessarily mean they're not social scientists and - contrary to what Congressman Massie might believe - it doesn't mean they aren't following the scientific method. 



It's the method, not the discipline.

- Mark

FYI Category: In 1974 Sweden's Gunnar Myrdal (planned economies) and Austria's Friedrich von Hayek (free markets) won the Nobel Prize in spite of making opposing arguments about markets.  Most recently Gene Fama (stock prices reflect worth, or real value) and Robert Shiller (stock prices reflect confidence, and psychology) became Nobel laureates in spite of telling us two entirely different things about stock prices.

- Mark


Thursday, April 4, 2019

THE PROSPERITY WE ENJOYED AFTER WORLD WAR II WAS NO ACCIDENT

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- Mark

TRUMP'S BIGOTRY AND LIES ON DISPLAY ON OUR SOUTHERN BORDER, STILL

Border Patrol Agents Detain Migrants Near US-Mexico Border
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- Mark

THE REALITY OF OUR ECONOMY

I'm in Chicago for a conference. I'll be presenting on our economy, and why it's setting us up for an economic disaster that everyone should recognize. When it comes to the broader picture we've seen this story before. It's why my paper presentation's titled, "Is History Whispering in Our Ear?"


- Mark

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

REPUBLICAN HEALTH CARE PLAN REVEALED

Donald Trump says the GOP will have a health care plan in 2020 (or 2021, whichever lie you choose to go with). They're just working out the kinks. Does Donald Trump believe anyone in America is stupid enough to believe ... oh, wait ... never mind. 

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Fortunately, the GOP has had a health care solution for years. Almost ten years to be exact. It's just not what you might have thought. Part I: "Don't get sick." Part II ...
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- Mark