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Topics - K-S-U-Wildcats!

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The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / Howard Schultz Watch
« on: January 30, 2019, 01:59:01 PM »
I think Howard Schultz may need his own thread. I’m gonna state right up front that this may not be a good thread. It could be a total disaster or waste of time.

But at least for now, Schultz interests me in a way that none of the other liberal krazies running for president do. Here is a guy who was a mega patron of liberal politicians, and a huge critic of conservatives, who is now pondering a run as an independent because he thinks the other candidates have gone completely socialist, and even worse, the democrat base is also too socialist for him to have any chance of winning the nomination.

And it seems to me that what sparked Mr. Schultz to throw his hat in the ring is the belated realization that, though he may be doctrinaire liberal on social issues, he’s rich. And not merely Dem-politician-millionaire rich, but successful businessman billionaire rich. And the Occassional Cortex’s of the New Democratic Socialist Party are coming for him if they gain power. And that worries him, as it should.

So maybe this thread shouldn’t be just for Schultz, but other rich libs like him. Like Bloomberg. Who are kind of having an “oh eff, what have we done?” moment. This is interesting to watch. It’s also interesting to watch the Dems’ media operatives, who adored guys like Schultz and Bloomberg, turn on them.

Ok chums, I know this might be skirting dangerously close to the Liberals Losing Their F’ing Minds Over Trump thread, but I really think we need a thread devoted exclusively to liberal journalists and other media personalities utterly embarrassing themselves. I hope you agree.

No - this thread is not exclusive to Jim Acosta. The qualifications for inclusion are (1) liberal, (2) media, and (3) gobsmackingly stupid and embarrassing in an LOL kind of way.

I’ll lead off with a few.

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / Today is September 11
« on: September 11, 2018, 07:15:12 PM »
Try to imagine being this guy, in this situation. I really can’t see myself acting so calmly or heroically.

6:27 a.m.( pacific time) First cell phone call from Tom to Deena
Deena: Hello
Tom: Deena
Deena: Tom, are you O.K.?
Tom: No, I’m not. I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked.
Deena: Hijacked?
Tom: Yes, They just knifed a guy.
Deena: A passenger?
Tom: Yes.
Deena: Where are you? Are you in the air?
Tom: Yes, yes, just listen. Our airplane has been hijacked. It’s United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. We are in the air. The hijackers have already knifed a guy, one of them has a gun, they are telling us there is a bomb on board, please call the authorities. He hung up.

6:31 Deena calls 911

6:34 The phone rang in on call waiting, Tom’s second cell phone call.
Deena: Hello
Tom: They’re in the cockpit. The guy they knifed is dead.
Deena: He’s dead?
Tom: Yes. I tried to help him, but I couldn’t get a pulse.
Deena: Tom, they are hijacking planes all up and down the east coast. They are taking them and hitting designated targets. They’ve already hit both towers of the World Trade Center.
Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane. (a pause) Oh my God. It’s a suicide mission…(he then tells people sitting around him)
Deena: Who are you talking to?
Tom: My seatmate. Do you know which airline is involved?
Deena: No, they don’t know if they’re commercial airlines or not. The newsreporters are speculating cargo planes, private planes and commercial. No one knows.
Tom: How many planes are there?
Deena: They’re not sure, at least three. Maybe more.
Tom: O.K….O.K….Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No.
Tom: We’re turning back toward New York. We’re going back to the World Trade Center. No, wait, we’re turning back the other way. We’re going south.
Deena: What do you see?
Tom: Just a minute, I’m looking. I don’t see anything, we’re over a rural area. It’s just fields. I’ve gotta go.
He hung up.

6:45 a.m. Third cell phone call from Tom to Deena
Tom: Deena
Deena: Tom, you’re O.K. (I thought at this point he had just survived the Pentagon plane crash).
Tom: No, I’m not.
Deena: They just hit the Pentagon.
Tom: (tells people sitting around him “They just hit the Pentagon.”)
Tom: O.K….O.K. What else can you tell me?
Deena: They think five airplanes have been hijacked. One is still on the ground. They believe all of them are commercial planes. I haven’t heard them say which airline, but all of them have originated on the east coast.
Tom: Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No
Tom: What is the probability of their having a bomb on board? I don’t think they have one. I think they’re just telling us that for crowd control.
Deena: A plane can survive a bomb if it’s in the right place.
Tom: Did you call the authorities?
Deena: Yes, they didn’t know anything about your plane.
Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane into the ground. We have to do something. I’m putting a plan together.
Deena: Who’s helping you?
Tom: Different people. Several people. There’s a group of us. Don’t worry. I’ll call you back.

6:54 a.m. Fourth cell phone call to Tom to Deena
Deena: Tom?
Tom: Hi. Anything new?
Deena: No
Tom: Where are the kids?
Deena: They’re fine. They’re sitting at the table having breakfast. They’re asking to talk to you.
Tom: Tell them I’ll talk to them later
Deena: I called your parents. They know your plane has been hijacked.
Tom: Oh…you shouldn’t have worried them. How are they doing?
Deena: They’re O.K.. Mary and Martha are with them.
Tom: Good. (a long quiet pause) We’re waiting until we’re over a rural area. We’re going to take back the airplane.
Deena: No! Sit down, be still, be quiet, and don’t draw attention to yourself! (The exact words taught to me by Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Training).
Tom: Deena! If they’re going to crash this plane into the ground, we’re going to have do something!
Deena: What about the authorities?
Tom: We can’t wait for the authorities. I don’t know what they could do anyway.
It’s up to us. I think we can do it.
Deena: What do you want me to do?
Tom: Pray, Deena, just pray.
Deena: (after a long pause) I love you.
Tom: Don’t worry, we’re going to do something.
Hangs up

Paul Manafort. He’s on trial for tax evasion and related charges from over a decade ago? Somehow this is part of the special counsel investigation but it’s tough to understand how. Case has gone to jury. And the jury is now asking for definition of “reasonable doubt.”  :facepalm:

No capitalism allowed here, boys and girls. This thread is all about the New Face Of The Democratic Party TM.

Let’s start with their deep understanding of economics!

“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs.”

Oh man I can barely sleep the anticipation is killing me! Who will Trump pick?!

I think it’ll be Kavanaugh or Barrett. Both would be solid originalists/textualists and significant improvements over Kennedy. Kavanaugh strikes me as the slightly less controversial pick - more in the safer mold of Gorsuch, Alito, and Roberts. So I guess he’s the favorite.

But then again, controversy may be exactly what Trump wants. It’s no secret that Trump is an expert at trolling the libs into behaving like complete whackadoos utterly outside the mainstream on issues like immigration (Abolish ICE lol) and judges. Barrett’s background as a devout catholic mother of seven would give the libs an absolute meltdown heading into the midterms. And let’s be honest, the optics of picking a woman blunts the liberal’s “ZOMGthispickisgoingtooverturnROEandwecantkillbabiesanymore!” hysteria.

Which hat will Trump choose?! :excited:

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / Happy INDEPENDENCE DAY!!
« on: July 04, 2018, 01:01:54 PM »
To my goEMAW brothers and sisters, I hope you have a kickass Independence Day. Even if you’re one of the 2/3rds of Dems who aren’t extremely proud to be Americans.

If you are in that 2/3, cheer up. You have the good fortune of living in the nation that is the single greatest force for good and enlightenment that this world has ever known.

goEMAW explains: American Exceptionalism

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / Super Bowl Ad Thread
« on: February 04, 2018, 05:10:49 PM »
Ok are the PC zealots and millenials going to suck all the fun out of this year’s ads? Here we go.

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / The State of Our Union
« on: January 28, 2018, 07:46:15 PM »
It’s getting better, fellas. Economy on rocket fuel. Trump is gonna win so hard Tuesday night.

Thing I’m most looking forward to: Trump inviting a DREAMer to attend and telling him or her that we are so close to finally achieving immigration reform including a path to citizenship, stronger border enforcement, and badly needed reforms - if the Democrats will join us.

Second thing I’m looking forward to: Maxine Waters’ rebuttal on BET (seriously, I’m setting my DVR for this).

How many Trump statements will be punctuated by a big NY “buleeve me”?

How many networks will attempt some sort of “live fact check”?

Will RBG attend?

Who will the Dems choose to give their speech? Obviously needs to be a woman and hispanic. Who does that leave? (Edit: they picked a white guy.... but he’s a Kennedy! Going back to that well. Talk about white privilege!)

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / 2017 in Review (Pit Style)
« on: December 27, 2017, 11:55:10 AM »
IMHO, 2017 was a pretty amazing year for America.

1. Stock market, already performing strongly under Obama, went absolutely bananas under President Business, jumping about 6,000 points (over 25%) in one year! Amazing for retirement and college savings accounts and other investments.

2. About 2 million new jobs created and unemployment down to 4%. Labor Force Participation Rate is slowly eking back up after decades of decline.

3. GDP now growing at 3% and likely to go higher?!

4. By most estimates, illegal immigration has dropped by at least 50%. And this without the wall (speaking of which, the prototypes look damned sexy).

5. Papa Trump delivers a massive tax cut to the Dub family, and for the vast majority of Americans. Also slashes corporate tax rate and the rest of the world is now concerned about America's "unfair advantage."

6. We have an unabashedly America First president in the WH.

7. Scott Pruitt heads the EPA. The world hasn't ended. The Man-made Global Warming Catastrophe is still a sham. We withdraw from the absurd Paris Agreement.

8. Energy exports at an all time high. ANWR (a small slice, at least) open for drilling. Oil prices continue to be quite reasonable.

9. ISIS is in shambles.

10. On the education front, Betsy Devos is rolling back the Obama admin's absurd Title IX sexual assault kangaroo court and co-ed locker room guidances.

11. We've finally moved our Israeli embassy to what everyone knows is Israel's capital. The UN condemns. We slash nearly $300 million in funding to the UN.

12. We're starting to see how truly lucky we are to have dodged the Hillary bullet, with all her Russian COLUSION on Uranium One and the Trump dossier peddling.

13. Gorsuch!! Trump’s addition of textualists like Gorsuch and others to the federal bench may hinder liberal (and some conservative) aims, but it is good for the rule of law. I could not have asked for a better replacement for Scalia. Scary to think we close that seat was to flipping to another liberal ideologue.

GO AMERICA! I am excited to see what 2018 brings, especially on the economic front!

First a quiz!

When candidate Trump first set about the job of redefining politics (and reality) back in 2015, people had lots of predictions about how things would turn out. One year isn’t long enough to know everything we need to know about his presidency, but it’s long enough to to check some of our predictions. As a public service, I put together a list of predictions that various people made about Trump that you can use to evaluate your own predictive powers. Count the number of items on the list that you once predicted would be true. I’ll tell you how to evaluate your score at the end.

Did you once believe…

1. Trump will never win the GOP nomination. [Yes]

2. Trump will never win the presidency. [Yes]

3. Stocks will drop if Trump is elected. [ha ha NO]

4. President Trump will deport ten million illegal immigrants. [Millions? No]

5. Trump will be gone (impeached, jailed, or quit) by end of 2017. [No]

6. Trump’s immigration ban on several Muslim countries will be found unconstitutional. [Yes, I correctly predicted it would found unconstitutional at the district and 9th levels before being vindicated by the SC]

7. Trump colluded with Russia, and that’s a crime. [No]

8. Trump obstructed justice (a crime) by firing Comey. [No]

9. Trump’s skills as a “con man” might get him elected but it won’t transfer into doing the job of president. [No]

10. Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will cause huge problems. [No]

11. Trump’s tweeting will cause huge problems. [Yes and in some cases it has, like Bergdhal]

12. GOP will never embrace Trump. [Yes and for the most part I've been right]

13. Trump will get nothing important done. [No, but I thought he'd get more done]

14. Trump will not work effectively with leaders of other countries. [No]

15. GOP senators will vote against GOP priorities because of President Trump’s mean tweets. [No]

16. Trump will not nominate qualified judges to the Supreme Court. [No]

17. Trump is incompetent. [No]

18. Presidential approval polls are a good predictor of how a president will perform. [No]

19. The military won’t follow Trump’s orders. [What?! NO]

20. GDP will never stay above 3%. [No]

— end —

I didn’t get any of those predictions wrong. But if you got 15 or more wrong, you might want to consider never saying anything about politics out loud again for the rest of your life. Just a suggestion.

I only missed on 2!

I mean, the FBI basically set the whole thing up, but they did a wonderful job foiling it once the perp reconsidered.

Jameson first attracted FBI attention after the agency received a tip that he'd been interacting with Facebook posts praising the Islamic State, including one showing an image of Santa Claus in New York and a box of dynamite with the words, "We meet at Christmas in New York...soon," a federal affidavit states.

An undercover FBI agent talked with Jameson over the Internet. They eventually met in person and talked about Jameson possibly traveling overseas to fight for ISIS or initiating an attack in the U.S., a criminal complaint states.

Court documents show Jameson told the undercover agent he was "well versed" in the Anarchist Cookbook, a book detailing the construction of explosives.
The agent told him "to go home and think about what he was saying," the documents say, but Jameson instead said he was ready and wanted to do something similar to recent attacks in New York and San Bernardino, Calif.

Jameson told the agent he wanted to place explosives on Pier 39 and use them to corral people toward a location where he could continue killing. He said Christmas at the tourist attraction "was the perfect day to commit the attack," according to the federal court documents.

He said he didn't need an escape plan because he "was ready to die," the affidavit states.
The agent asked, according to the complaint, whether he could help get any supplies for Jameson, to which he replied that he'd need a rifle, ammunition, chowder, tubing, nails and remote detonators.

Later that night, according to his arrest report, Jameson told the undercover agent he couldn't talk and "I also don't think I can do this after all. I've reconsidered."

Jameson was then arrested and the FBI got search warrants for his home.

Crazy Nut On Internet: I love ISIS!

FBI: Oh really? Planning anything?

CNOI: Totally. Gonna go fight for ISIS and kill people. Totally gonna do it.

FBI: Sounds great. What can I provide for you to turn this from an internet whackjob rant to something actionable? Can I help you plan anything?

CNOI: Totally, get me a bunch of guns and stuff. I'm totally gonna do this. Any day now.

FBI: Okey dokey.

CNOI: You know what, I don't want to do this anymore.

FBI: You're under arrest.

Media: Man, the FBI totally foiled that terrorist attack. Get some medals ready.

Authorities trot one of these "busts" out every few months.

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / Entitlement Reform
« on: December 07, 2017, 10:47:23 AM »
:lol: :lol: :lol: Paul Ryan: GOP will tackle Medicare, Medicaid, welfare in 2018

Yeah, the GOP is definitely going to tackle this stuff. In an election year. :rolleyes:

Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director of the prominent DC-based Virginia chapter of the ACLU, was invited to speak at the venerable William and Mary College. But she was quickly shouted down by BLM activists and other radical leftists, for reasons that still aren't quite clear. The heckling was so bad that she gave up, left the stage, and later published an outline of her planned remarks.

The ACLU then issued a statement concerning the event which read, in part....

Disruption that prevents a speaker from speaking, and audience members from hearing the speaker, is not constitutionally protected speech even on a public college campus subject to the First Amendment; it is a classic example of a heckler’s veto, and, appropriately, can be prohibited by a college student code of conduct as it is at William and Mary. As a government entity, a public college like William and Mary has an obligation to protect the freedom of the speaker to speak and not to allow one group of people to shout down or seek to intimidate other speakers or members of the audience who wish to hear the speaker from exercising their own free speech rights. This is true regardless of what individuals or groups are speaking, protesting or counter-protesting.
What happened at William and Mary on Sept. 27 is a part of a larger national trend that is challenging campus leaders across the country to find the right formula for assuring that critical community conversations can take place in a culture of inquiry consistent with a true learning environment. Actions that bully, intimidate or disrupt must not be without consequences in any such formula.

But then - poof - these parts of the statement vanished. When contacted, the ACLU acknowledged that the statement had been revised because of internal disagreement.

The ACLU always had a leftward-leaning social bent, but has generally been a reliable champion for freedom of speech. It appears that that their liberalism is now corrupting that, too.

Essentially Flyertalk / Silver Dollar City
« on: October 20, 2017, 07:12:48 PM »
The KSUDub family highly enjoyed it. Better than Disney? Yes, in many ways.

Lotta pros. Few cons. Appreciate that it's only a half-day drive and significantly cheaper. And Florida is super gross (although Branson is no picnic). Going in the fall made for awesome atmosphere.

People watching: way more hillbilly and old people, way less morbid obesity than Disney. I consider that a good trade because super fat people make me feel sad and icky. It's also important here because (con) the concourses are super narrow compared to Disney. This is because SDC is like combining a Six Flags with a renaissance festival. Vendors every damned where.

Rides generally kicked ass. SDC has some top notch roller coasters. Better than anything Disney offers with the exception of Everest. Wildfire and chowder Keg were silky smooth and intense. Some of the best I've done. The Outlaw was the most intense coaster I've ever done, but also a bit too bouncy for my tastes given that it is a wooden coaster. Another bonus: while park was crowded and kid rides took a while, I practically walked on to every coaster. Lots of good rides for kids, too. Contrary to some reports, however, Fire In The Hole sucked balls.

I would actually say SDC is better for kids because there are way more fun activity areas for them that don't require standing in line.

Cons: fewer stroller but way more old people on scooters + narrow concourses = pain in the ass. Way fewer staff made ride boarding process slower than it needs to be. Not enough signage to clearly direct you around the park and it can be quite confusing to navigate.

Disney has some great things, iconic rides, and slightly more sophisticated decoration, but I'd say SDC wins on points.

So Boy Scouts is now accepting girl... scouts. You know who is pissed about this? Girl Scouts. They already have their own organization. And they basically had only two reasons to exist: (1) they couldn't join the boys' club, and (2) cookies.

They've still got the cookies, but for how long? I was storefront peddling that stale, nasty, horribly over-priced cub scout popcorn this past weekend and (I crap you not) my son said "Dad, why can't we sell cookies? People buy way more cookies than popcorn."

If the Boy Scouts are making a play for the girls, it's only a matter of time before they come for the cookies. This is the beginning of the end for GSA.

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / Which Side is More Rational Now?
« on: October 06, 2017, 03:57:08 PM »
Well, neither, according to this guy. Very long but interesting read.

A few excerpts....

In September 2016, in collaboration with my colleagues Richard West and Maggie Toplak, I published a book titled The Rationality Quotient. In it, we described our attempt to create the first comprehensive test of rational thinking. The book is very much an academic volume, full of statistics and technical details. We had expected our academic peers to engage with the statistics and technical details, and they did begin to do just that after its publication.

But then the November 8, 2016 United States presidential election intervened.

The nature of my email suddenly changed. I began to receive many communications containing gallows humor, like “Wow, you’ll sure have a lot to study now” or “We sure need your test now, don’t we?” Many of these emails had the implication that I now had the perfect group to study—Trump voters—who were obviously irrational in the eyes of my email correspondents.

Subsequent to the election, I also received many invitations to speak. Several of these invitations came with the subtle (or sometimes not-so-subtle) implication that I surely would want to comment—after first giving my technical talk, of course—on the flawed rational thinking of the voters who had done this terrible thing to the nation. One European conference that solicited my participation had as its theme trying to understand the obviously defective thinking not only of Trump voters, but of Brexit voters as well. The wordy conference prospectus clearly presumed that every educated person would view any opposition to increased globalization as obviously irrational. I—the author of a rational thinking test—was seen as the ideal candidate to give the imprimatur of science to this conclusion. No less insistent have been friends and relatives who assume that I am the perfect person to affirm their view that a substantial number of people who cast ballots for Trump were irrational in their thinking.

Rather than reply to these emails, or give all the talks requested, or affirm all of the leading questions addressed to me, I thought it would be more efficient to write this single essay and disappoint all of my progressive correspondents at once. I am very sorry, progressives, to have to tell you that the Trump voters were, in fact, not irrational—or at least no less rational than the Clinton voters. Several kinds of analyses in cognitive science support this conclusion.

When what a person acts, wants, and desires are expressed as preferences. Decision theory is actually neutral on what a want or desire can be. It is the public, not economists, who tend to emphasize money or material wealth. Decision theorists are perfectly happy to call the non-material goal of seeking social prestige a desire with a utility value. Utility theory also does not dictate that every goal has to reflect strict self-interest in a narrow sense. We can have as our goal that other people achieve their goals and that can have utility value for us. Thus, neither material goals nor self-interested goals are necessary according to utility theory. Many goals that motivate people are neither self-interested nor material, such as preserving the environment for posterity.

Failure to appreciate these nuances in rational choice theory is behind the charge that the Trump voters were irrational. A common complaint about them among Democratic critics is that they were voting against their own interests. A decade ago, this was the theme of Thomas Frank’s popular book What’s the Matter with Kansas? and it has recurred frequently since. The idea is that lower income people who vote Republican (not necessarily for Trump—most of these critiques predate the 2016 election) are voting against their interests because they would receive more government benefits if they voted Democratic. Many of these critiques contain the presumptions that, to be rational, preferences must be self-interested and that people’s primary desires are monetary. I have just discussed how rational choice theory contains no such presumptions, so on that basis alone the claim that such voters are irrational is unfounded.

In addition to being misplaced, leftists never seem to see how insulting this critique of Republican voters is. Their failure to see the insult illustrates precisely what they get wrong in evaluating the rationality of the Trump voters. Consider that these What’s the Matter with Kansas? critiques are written by highly educated left-wing pundits, professors, and advocates. Perhaps we should ask one of them whether their own vote is purely self-interested and for their own monetary benefit. They will say no, of course. And they will deny as well that their vote is irrational. Progressives will say that they often vote against their own monetary interests in order to do good for other people. Or they will say that their vote reflects their values and worldview—that they are concerned about the larger issues that are encompassed by that worldview (abortion legislation or climate change or gun restriction). Leftists seem unable to see that Republican voters—even lower income ones—may be just as attached to their own values and worldviews. The stance of the educated progressive making the What’s the Matter with Kansas? argument seems to be that: “no one else should vote against their monetary interests, but it’s not irrational for me to do so, because I am enlightened.”

The implicit insult in the Kansas argument often goes unrecognized, and, if I may use some cognitive science jargon here, it is a form of ‘myside’ bias. For example, leftists who work for nonprofit organizations are often choosing their values over monetary reward. And likewise, conservatives joining the military are often also choosing their values over monetary reward. The What’s the Matter with Kansas? argument seems to ignore or deny this symmetry. Many Republican voters with modest incomes cast a vote to help others rather than for their own monetary interests—precisely as do the progressive Democrats who find such Republican behavior puzzling. So no, neither the Kansas voters in Frank’s book, nor the Trump voters are voting against their interests, broadly—and correctly—defined. Even if part of the Kansas critique is correct (they are voting against their purely economic interests), these voters are not necessarily irrational because they may be sacrificing monetary gain in order to express their values or worldview.

But what about temperament, character, and fitness for office? Surely it was irrational to vote for Trump if temperament is relevant, Democrats might say. But this argument is not a slam-dunk from the standpoint of rationality. It is simply not self-evident how people should trade off temperament versus worldview in their voting choices. This is especially true in the 2016 presidential election, where the candidates were unusually differentiated in their worldviews. In that election, Clinton represented what I will term the Global and Groups perspective (GG) and Trump represented the Country and Citizen perspective (CC). Clinton signalled to the electorate that she represented the GG perspective by emphasizing global concerns (climate change and global climate agreements; increasing US refugee intake; rights and protections for noncitizens) and continually addressing groups in her speeches (the groups of Democratic identity politics: LGBT, African-Americans, Hispanics, etc.). Trump signalled to the electorate that he represented the CC perspective by continually emphasizing country in his speeches (“make America great again”) and addressing his audiences as citizens with nation-level interests rather than group interests (trade deals that disadvantaged American workers; securing the country’s borders; etc.).

These two candidates (Clinton and Trump) more sharply differentiated these worldviews than any other combination of candidates in 2016. Bernie Sanders would have watered down the GG perspective, because his criticism of some trade deals made him less of a globalist than Clinton, and Sanders placed less emphasis on the Democratic identity groups. Similarly, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio as Republican candidates would have watered down the CC perspective by being sympathetic to global trade deals and pursuing voters as groups in the manner that Democrats do (Hispanic voters in particular). Clinton and Trump represented the GG and CC worldviews in much purer form. The issue for a Republican voter or an independent voter with a CC worldview was thus how to weight the temperament issue against worldview (for simplicity, we will stipulate here that the temperament issue resides with Trump). Because there is no way to ascertain what weighting of these factors (temperament versus worldview) is optimal for a given person, it cannot be said that a voter who chooses worldview over temperament is irrational.

To my Democratic friends who demur from my conclusion here, I pose a thought experiment. Imagine that the candidates for a presidential election were Ted Cruz on the Republican side and Al Sharpton on the Democratic side. Now it is the candidate with the GG worldview who has the character and fitness-for-office issues. Who would you vote for?

When I am successful in forcing Democrats to give a response to this imaginary election, a substantial number admit that they would vote for Sharpton. They justify their choice by citing things that are very rational, given their worldview: they worry about appointments to the Supreme Court, abortion, and gun legislation. The Democrats justify their choice in much the same way as the Trump voters did when they eschewed disqualifying him on the basis of temperament. The Trump voters worried about open borders and encouraging cities to defy federal immigration law, etc.—they worried about threats to their CC worldview in the same manner that the hypothetical Sharpton voters worry about threats to their GG worldview. The calculus of decision theory is not precise enough to dictate a particular weighting of temperament and worldview in something as abstract and multidimensional as a presidential voting choice. After choosing Sharpton over Cruz, few Democrats would consider themselves irrational. Cognitive science would agree with them. But, in the same manner, when those with the opposite worldview vote for Trump over Clinton, they are being no less rational. On instrumental grounds, neither the voters choosing Sharpton over Cruz nor the voters choosing Trump over Clinton can be deemed irrational.

If you are particularly ill-disposed toward Trump voters, at this point you may still be feeling that, deep down, there is something else wrong with the Trump supporters that was not covered in my discussion of instrumental rationality. You might feel that something in the domain of knowledge is wrong with the Trump voters: they don’t know enough, or they seem to be misinformed, or they don’t seem to listen to evidence. You would be right that there is something else that is worth assessing—another aspect of rationality that covers these additional concerns: epistemic rationality.

Concern with Trump voters in the epistemic domain is, however, not unique because this is a charge (the charge of epistemic irrationality) that Democrats have made about Republicans for some time now. Liberal Democrats have become accustomed, as we all have, to media presentations that are critical of conservative Republicans who do not accept the conclusions of climate science, or of evolutionary biology. These media presentations are correct, of course. The role of human activity in climate change is established science, and evolution is a biological fact. Thus, the denial of climate science or of evolutionary science clearly has a negative connotation, and rightly so.

However, there is a trap lying in wait for progressives here. It is very tempting for them to say: Well, the Democrats get climate science right, and Republicans get it wrong; the Democrats get evolution right, and conservative Republicans get it wrong; so therefore we liberal Democrats are getting everything factually right about all of the other charged topics that figure in political disputes—crime, immigration, poverty, parenting, sexuality, and so on. Such an argument is essentially the claim that Democrats are epistemically more rational than Republicans.

This type of thinking is what some years ago prompted the Democratic Party to declare itself the “party of science” and to label the Republican Party as the science deniers. That stance spawned a series of books with titles like Mooney’s The Republican War on Science (2005). As a political strategy, this “party of science” labelling might be effective, but epistemic superiority cannot simply be declared on the basis of a few examples. A cognitive scientist is forced to be pedantic here and rain on the progressive parade. In fact, any trained social scientist would be quick to point out the obvious selection effects that are operating. The issues in question (climate science and creationism/evolution) are cherry-picked for reasons of politics and media interest. In order to correctly call one party the party of science and the other the party of science deniers, one would of course have to have a representative sampling of scientific issues to see whether members of one party are more likely to accept scientific consensus.

In fact, it is not difficult at all to find scientific issues on which it is liberal Democrats who fail to accept the scientific consensus. Leftists become the “science deniers” in these cases. In fact, and ironically, there are enough examples to produce a book parallel to the Mooney volume cited above titled Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left (2012). To mention an example from my own field, psychology: liberals tend to deny the overwhelming consensus in psychological science that intelligence is moderately heritable.

This isn’t the only instance of left-wing science denial, though. In the area of economics, progressives are very reluctant to accept the consensus view that when proper controls for occupational choice and work history are made, women do not make more than 20 per cent less than men for doing the same work.

Progressives tend to deny or obfuscate (just as conservatives obfuscate the research on global warming) the data indicating that single-parent households lead to more behavioral problems among children. Overwhelmingly progressive university schools of education deny the strong scientific consensus that phonics-based reading instruction facilitates most readers, especially those struggling the most. Many progressives find it hard to believe that there is no bias at all in the initial hiring of women for tenure-track university positions in STEM disciplines. Progressives tend to deny the consensus view that genetically modified organisms are safe to consume. Gender feminists routinely deny biological facts about sex differences. Largely Democratic cities and university towns are at the forefront of the anti-vaccine movement which denies a scientific consensus. In the same cities and towns, people find it hard to believe that there is a strong consensus among economists that rent control causes housing shortages and a diminution in the quality of housing. [Research citations for all the above are available from the author here.]

I will stop here because the point is made. There is plenty of science denial on the Democratic side to balance the anti-scientific attitudes of Republicans toward climate change and evolutionary theory. Neither political party is the party of science, and neither party exclusively contains the science deniers. Each side of the ideological divide accepts or denies scientific consensus depending upon the issue in question. Each side finds it hard to accept scientific evidence that undermines its own ideological beliefs and policies.

More formal studies have indicated that there are few differences in factual knowledge of the world between Republicans and Democrats. The Pew Research Center reported one of its News IQ surveys in 2015 (What the Public Knows, April 28, 2015) and found very few partisan differences. People in the sample answered 12 questions about current events (identifying the route of the Keystone XL pipeline; knowledge of how many Supreme Court justices are women; etc.) and the Republicans outperformed the Democrats on 7 of the 12 items. Democrats outperformed the Republicans on 5 of the items. On average, the Republicans in the sample answered 8.3 items correctly, the Democrats answered 7.9 items correctly, and the independents answered 8.0 items correctly.

The 2013 News IQ survey from the Pew Center (What the Public Knows, September 5, 2013) showed the same thing. People in the sample answered 13 questions about world events (identifying Egypt on a map of the Middle East, etc.). The Republicans outperformed the Democrats on 5 items, the Democrats outperformed the Republicans on 7 of the items, and there was no difference on one item. On average, the Republicans in the sample answered 6.5 items correctly, the Democrats answered 6.4 items correctly, and the independents answered 6.6 items correctly. In summary, the Pew surveys find few partisan differences in current events knowledge. Even if the Trump voters had come disproportionately from independent voters compared with previous Republican nominees, there would not have been a knowledge deficit among Trump voters.

Similar findings are obtained in specific areas of knowledge related to voting such as economics. George Mason University economist Daniel Klein and colleague Zeljka Buturovic (Econ Journal Watch, May 2011, 157-173) gave a 17-item questionnaire on knowledge of economics to over 2000 online respondents. They found that individuals labeling themselves libertarian or very conservative scored higher than individuals labeling themselves as liberal or progressive. Importantly, their major conclusion was not that conservatives were more economically knowledgeable than leftists. Instead, they stressed as one of their major findings how such surveys are tilted by the selection of questions. For example, the item “rent-control laws lead to housing shortages” (correct answer: true) is more difficult for progressives because it challenges their ideology; whereas the item “a dollar means more to a poor person than it does to a rich person” (correct answer: true) is more difficult for conservatives because it challenges their ideology.

Essentially Flyertalk / Need some Uber / Lyft advice
« on: July 28, 2017, 04:00:54 PM »
I've used Uber before no problem, but this time I've got an unusual trip in mind. I'm in a mountain resort town in Colorado (Estes Park) and I want to do an early morning hike that starts about 30 minutes south of Estes, sort of on the way to Boulder. I won't have a car that morning, but my friends can meet me at the end of the hike on the way down to Denver. So I just need a ride from Estes to the trailhead - at about 5:00 am!

I know I can schedule rides in advance, but what do you think my chances are of actually getting a driver for that early?

And do you think it matters if I use Lyft or Uber or do most drivers do both? I generally use Uber but I've got a $50 free card for Lyft.

The NYT is firing about 50 editors, about a 50% reduction, which isn't too newsworthy in and of itself, but shockingly they're being complete dicks about it.

Editors and reporters decry the lack of transparency Times management has shown in its plans to restructure its operation, which includes consolidating the two separate groups of editors into one group and asking copy editors to resubmit applications for roles in the newsroom.

The editors said they actually feel more respected by readers than by management, and reference an internal report in which the copy editors were compared to dogs urinating on fire hydrants.

This may be a short thread, but here goes!

Turns out the Obama FAA's rule that drone owners register their drones is against the law. Because that's what the law says. I present the D.C. Court of Appeals in Taylor v. Huerta:

In short, the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act provides that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft,” yet the FAA’s 2015 Registration Rule is a “rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler. The Registration Rule is unlawful as applied to model aircraft.

Judges doing what judges are supposed to do! :woot:

In other news, the 4th Circuit just ruled Trump's travel ban is unconstitutional - not because of the law as written but because of comments Trump made during the campaign. In other words, the same law signed by a different president would have been ok, which is a really interesting new legal paradigm. I think I hear Gorsuch laughing and cracking his knuckles....

The New Joe Montgomery Birther Pit / Reasons to Vote for Democrats
« on: April 16, 2017, 12:58:52 PM »
Lol. Literary trolling. An instant best seller.

The one star reviews... :lol:

Ok RFPs have gone out for Wall prototypes. Let's get to work. Here are the requirements:

Each prototype will be 30 feet long and built in San Diego, according to the requests for proposals.

Beyond that, bidding contractors have much latitude in what kind of wall they propose.

Under the new timeline established in the documents, interested bidders will have two weeks to create and submit a design concept of what the border-wall prototype will look like, with two design options for companies.

One will be exclusively for "reinforced solid concrete" prototypes, while the second for "other" materials is more vague and does not specify the type of materials that can be used in the design.

Other requirements include:

• A "physically imposing" height [:lol: I love this presidency] of no less than 18 feet but preferably 30 feet tall.

• Anti-climbing mechanisms, either by ladder or other tools like hooks that humans may be able to get across.

• Prevent tunneling 6 feet below ground.

• For breaches to the wall (using building or cutting tools, or torches) to take at least one hour in concrete designs, and 30 minutes in the "other" designs.

Our lifetime appointment super legislators will tell us today at 11:00!  :bwpopcorn:

Essentially Flyertalk / The Oscars (and more specifically, Best Picture)
« on: February 24, 2017, 02:59:57 PM »
I've undertaken an important project this afternoon to determine which movies should have won Best Picture based on "pop culture impact." That's not super easy to define, but I took into account things like box office receipts, polling on top 50 most viewed movies, etc. I also limited to bw 2000 and 1970 because it gets harder to judge the staying power of more recent movies, and I just didn't care to go earlier than 1970. So here is my list submitted for your consideration....

YearWinnerShould'a Won
1999American BeautyThe Matrix (Sixth Sense Runner Up)
1998Shakespeare in LoveSaving Private Ryan
1996The English PatientJerry Macguire (ID4 Runner Up)
1994Forrest GumpForrest Gump (Shawshank and Pulp Fiction Runners Up)
1993Schindler's ListJurassic Park
1992UnforgivenA Few Good Men
1991Silence of the LambsSilence of the Lambs
1990Dances with WolvesGhost
1989Driving Miss DaisyField of Dreams
1988Rain ManDie Hard (sorry Rain Man, but Die Hard)
1987Last EmperorDirty Dancing (yes)
1986PlatoonTop Gun
1985Out of AfricaBack to the Future
1983Terms of EndearmentA Christmas Story
1981Chariots of FireRaiders of the Lost Ark
1980Ordinary PeopleStar Wars: Episode V
1979Kramer v KramerAlien
1978The Deer HunterGrease
1977Annie HallStar Wars: Episode IV
1975One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestJaws
1974The Godfather IIThe Godfather II
1973The StingThe Exorcist
1972The GodfatherThe Godfather
1971The French ConnectionA Clockwork Orange

So according to this list, the Academy goes about 1 for 3 picking movies that audiences actually appreciate and have staying power (which actually is better than I expected).

I will take corrections under advisement.

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