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March for science, not politicization of science

April 20th, 2017 No comments

I found Maria Gutzeit’s April 18 column “Marching because facts matter” rational and readable.

Regarding the “March for Science,” I’d expand her definition by noting that science is a process that should inform policy but is not a policy itself. Policies are formulated by participating individuals and organizations and they should be based on facts and reason rather than impulse and emotions.

Then the respective polities in our republic evaluate and vote on these policies as communicated and ultimately legislated by our representatives.

Realizing that humans are involved, rational, reasonable and well-intentioned people may disagree on what the most efficacious and cost-effective approaches are to solving problems that are informed by the scientific process. Disparities on policy solutions are therefore not a pro-science/anti-science binary.

As an engineer, Maria no doubt does not find this expansion revelatory. I thought it important to illuminate, as some are wont to politicize science itself.

Published in The Signal 4/20/17

https://signalscv.com/2017/04/20/ron-bischof-march-science-not-politicization-science/

The Case Against Liberal Compassion

February 26th, 2017 No comments

This assessment also provides an answer to the question of why liberals always want a bigger welfare state. It’s because the politics of kindness is about validating oneself rather than helping others, which means the proper response to suffering is always, “We need to do more,” and never, “We need to do what we’re already doing better and smarter.” That is, liberals react to an objective reality in a distinctively perverse way. The reality is, first, that there are many instances of poverty, insecurity, and suffering in our country and, second, that public expenditures to alleviate poverty, insecurity, and suffering amount to $3 trillion, or some $10,000 per American, much of it spent on the many millions of Americans who are nowhere near being impoverished, insecure, or suffering. If the point of liberalism were to alleviate suffering, as opposed to preening about one’s abhorrence of suffering and proud support for government programs designed to reduce it, liberals would get up every morning determined to reduce the proportion of that $3 trillion outlay that ought to be helping the poor but is instead being squandered in some way, including by being showered on people who aren’t poor. But since the real point of liberalism is to alleviate the suffering of those distressed by others’ suffering, the hard work of making our $3 trillion welfare state machine work optimally is much less attractive—less gratifying—than demanding that we expand it, and condemning those who are skeptical about that expansion for their greed and cruelty.

Those of us accused of being greedy and cruel, for standing athwart the advance of liberalism and expansion of the welfare state, do have things to say, then, in response to the empathy crusaders. Compassion really is important. Clifford Orwin, a political scientist who has examined the subject painstakingly, believes our strong, spontaneous proclivity to be distressed by others’ suffering confirms the ancient Greek philosophers’ belief that nature intended for human beings to be friends. But compassion is neither all-important nor supremely important in morals and, especially, politics. It is nice, all things being equal, to have government officials who feel our pain rather than ones who, like imperious monarchs, cannot comprehend or do not deign to notice it. Much more than our rulers’ compassion, however, we deserve their respect—for us; our rights; our capacity and responsibility to feel and heal our own pains without their ministrations; and for America’s carefully constructed and heroically sustained experiment in constitutional self-government, which errs on the side of caution and republicanism by denying even the most compassionate official a monarch’s plenary powers. Kindness may well cover all of Barack Obama’s political beliefs, and those of many other self-satisfied, pathologically altruistic liberals. It doesn’t begin to cover all the beliefs that have sustained America’s republic, however. Nor does it amount to a safe substitute for those moral virtues and political principles necessary to sustain it further.

– William Voegeli, Senior Editor, Claremont Review of Books

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/the-case-against-liberal-compassion/ 

Categories: Economics, General, Geopolitics Tags:

Heretic!

May 20th, 2014 No comments

Heretic

For The Benighted Souls Who Believe The NRA Proposal Of Armed Security In Schools To Protect Children

December 24th, 2012 No comments

 

COPS in Schools (CIS)

 

The COPS in Schools (CIS) grant program is designed to help law enforcement agencies hire new, additional school resource officers (SROs) to engage in community policing in and around primary and secondary schools. CIS provides an incentive for law enforcement agencies to build collaborative partnerships with the school community and to use community policing efforts to combat school violence.


http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/default.asp?Item=54

Hard Facts – An Energy Primer

May 1st, 2012 No comments

“Policymakers should take time to understand the facts about energy and the obstacles to making it affordable and reliable given its critical role in our lives and our economy. America is home to vast natural resources, but many of our energy policies are built on the notion that energy is scarce and becoming more scarce. The reality is that we have more combined oil, coal, and natural gas resources than any other country on the planet. We have enough energy resources to provide reliable and affordable energy for decades, even centuries to come. The only real question is whether we will have access to our abundant energy resources, not whether sufficient resources exist.”

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/hardfacts-uploads/NJI_IER_HardFacts_ALLpages_20120423_v8.pdf

Categories: Economics, General, Geopolitics, Science Tags:

Reuters on “thoughtful conversation”

January 14th, 2012 No comments

“Once you’ve reached a certain number of points, you become a recognized user. Congratulations: your comments will be published instantly from now on. Our editors will still review your comments after they’ve been published and will remove them if they don’t meet our standards. When that happens, you’ll lose points. Lose enough points and you’ll revert to new user status.” Or banned. I imagine they left that part out for a reason. What could it be? I recommend you read the whole post and match your distillation with mine.

http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

So, correct thinking, from the moderator’s perspective, is rewarded and the inverse is punished. Neat.

“Sorry, but this account has been banned from posting comments”

Apparently I’ve been banned from posting on Reuters articles/blogs for reasons unknown and uncommunicated with no recourse. For context, I’ve participated actively online since 1986 and have never been banned/restricted in any forum. None.

One might conclude that “thoughtful conversation” represents speech that comports with a moderator’s worldview. If that’s the case, I’m proud not to have earned Reuters approbation.

Categories: Economics, General, Geopolitics, Technology Tags:

USA Corporate Taxation Infographic by Mint.com

October 26th, 2011 No comments

11.10.21_Mint_Taxingcorporations.png

Categories: Activist Lunacy, Economics, Geopolitics Tags:

Digging

July 27th, 2011 No comments

Categories: Economics, General, Geopolitics Tags:

What is a “Feminist Economist”?

July 15th, 2011 No comments

Over at Ms. Magazine blog you’ll find an article entitled “A Feminist Economist Speaks Out: Deficits are a Grrrl’s Best Friend” that’s unintentionally hilarious in its absurdity. Be sure to read the comments.

I too responded with a comment but apparently the moderator found it too offensive to post. I’ve reproduced it here:

The magical thinking behind this article is breathtaking. It is the inflationary currency devaluation insanity that most advanced economies learned not to engage in decades ago. Recall the stagflation, price controls, astronomical interest rates, gas rationing and general malaise of the ’70s under Nixon and Carter? You don’t because you’re too young? Educate yourself and you’ll see why responsible people wish to avoid it.

The premise of this article is a non sequitur. Think printing. A mouse click in the Treasury is NO different than printing Dollars to increase the money supply when it isn’t supported by growth in the economy. Issuing Treasury Bonds is selling debt and is exactly like a national credit card. The global economy buys these bonds which must be paid back by USA taxpayers WITH INTEREST. Failure to make scheduled payments is called Sovereign Debt Default. If you wish to understand how the inability to print dollars makes a difference, read about any state that’s in financial trouble due to abysmal bond ratings (think California, Illinois, etc.). The low credit rating means less interest and more risk in buying their bonds because of mismanagement of state economies, i.e. structural deficits (spending more than your revenues). These states have higher borrowing costs. There’s a reason many states have balanced budget amendments.

Want to see the future this “feminist economist” (what the heck is that?) would produce? Look at Greece, who spent 115% of their annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for years. They’re being bailed out by the EU (really, the frugal Germans, Europe’s largest economy). Point being, no entity is large enough to rescue the USA if we continue on this unsustainable path. The USA, with 5% of the global population produces 25% of global GDP.

Bottom line: Spending does not create economic growth. It’s exactly the inverse. Also, don’t source your information from ideologues who bend facts to suit their world view. Anyone who places “feminist” before their job title falls into this category.

Categories: Activist Lunacy, Economics, Geopolitics Tags:

Economic Freedom & Quality of Life

July 13th, 2011 No comments

Categories: Economics, General, Geopolitics Tags: