Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Drop in Crime

Kevin Drum has an interesting article out on the spectacular drop in violent crime since the early 1990's and its possible connection with lead. Says the theory: as leaded gas was eliminated, there was a corresponding reduction of pathologies in young people.

However, throwing about 1% of the population in prison has a way of reducing crime. Having the largest incarceration rate in the world does have an affect, at a huge economic and human cost.

Part of that surplus labor Marx talked about is swept away, hiding the fact that capitalism is inherently incapable of providing full employment.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Romney Lost Because of Anti-Mormon Bigotry on the Right

Well , the previously mentioned alienated evangelicals never showed up. Why ? Because many of them won't vote for a Mormon.

I should have known this since my ex-boss was a hard-right Baptist, and repeatedly stated a few years ago he would never vote for Romney.

One could almost call this the Bradley effect of the 2012 election. Romney couldn't hit Mc Cain's numbers, and in fact, wasn't close.

Some evangelical leaders, worried that Mitt Romney's Mormonism could suppress conservative turnout on Election Day, are intensifying appeals for Christians to vote.

In poll after poll, evangelicals have overwhelmingly said they would back the Republican presidential nominee despite theological differences with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But what had been thought of as a hypothetical question for American evangelicals for years, Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler said recently, is now a reality with this election and is being tested in a contest that will likely be decided by slim margins.

1'Evangelical leaders worry Romney's Mormonism could suppress conservative turnout' - AP

Friday, November 2, 2012

Polls and the Right (Why Romney is much Closer than it Looks)

The last few national elections have seen a mostly unreported trend in initial exit polling. They are almost invariably underestimating Republican voting percentages.

This is because there is a small but significant chunk of the right that has dropped out of what one could call the mainstream conversation. Their world is Fox and Breitbart, and anyone doing an exit poll is part of the liberal MSM.

I am guessing that this is also the case in phone polling. If one lives amongst these conservative communities one notices that the degree of alienation is quite profound. Their world is slipping away, or what they imagine was their world.

This leads me to believe that the election is much, much closer than polls are indicating.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gaga and Assange

Presidential Election

No great insight, but the presidential election will be decided on turnout. Obama dominates the polls based on registered voters, while Romney is inching ahead in terms of likely voters.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chavez Wins Decisively

But we can expect our bought-and-paid-for media to tell us Venezuela is a deeply divided country.

A ten point victory in the U.S. is a blowout, in governments that are not obedient it is a sign of crumbling support.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mitt Compares Obama to His "Boys" ?

Did anyone else hear that in the debate ?

As in, just because you say something a lot (like my boys) doesn't make it true.

If Medicare Is So Great

As the two candidates insisted tonight -- then why not extend it to the general population ?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Some of Fair Trade is Nuts

At about :19 in this ad, we catch Michael Franti manually hoeing some coffee plants ! This is pretty much crazy, as I doubt this is the most technologically sophisticated or efficient way to grow coffee. The world cannot feed its population on 17th century technology, not to mention the fact it is utterly back breaking to hoe a field all day. I've done it.

There's a reason humans have invented tools , i.e. technology, since the beginning of our existence and that is too make life easier. We need to argue for a society where technological progress can benefit the entire population, and not retreat into a luddite distopian utopianism.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Intellectual Underpinnings of the Charter School Movement

KIPP's new bumper sticker slogan: Work Hard. Be Nice.

Translation: SHUT UP (work hard) AND DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD (be nice).

Mumbling Over Student Loan Defaults

Nowhere in this article on student debt is the obvious mentioned. The federal government could just increase grants to college students or make tuition free. The latter for like 80 billion, a minimal cost in the context of the federal budget.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Akin and Missouri

It looks like Akin is more than competitive in Missouri, which is confirmation of how much of a backwater the state has become.