To Rally or Not to Rally?

As I approach this week the “Stand Up for Peace” rally that I have been helping to plan for months, I began to think about what drives people to attend rallies or to stay home. As someone who has not planned a rally before but who has participated in many over the decades, I started to wonder …

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Nuclear diplomacy in the age of Trump

Less than twenty-four hours since Mr. Trump and Mr. Un shook hands, many pundits are critical of  the outcome. I am certainly no fan of  either of these two national leaders. Trump defines arrogance and narcissism as well as any public figure. His braggadocio is so untethered to reality that it’s difficult to believe anything …

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A Search for Wisdom

The nearly two month absence in blogging is the biggest gulf since I started this activity some years ago. I think my small handful of regular readers probably appreciated the break. I have certainly been reading and thinking but not much has jelled into anything approaching coherence in my mind. Maybe I have never been …

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In Other Words (Week of April 23)

On the Left Time’s Up, John Engler From Progress Michigan, John Engler’s history in handling sexual assault as Michigan Governor and more recently as MSU interim president. Earth Day: A Revisit From Ramona’s Voices, remembering the first Earth Day. Tax Day 2018: Celebrating The Contributions Of All Michiganders From the Michigan League for Public Policy blog Factually Speaking, tax …

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Independent Streams (Week of April 16)

Problems East Lansing Is Going To Soon Have A Housing Market Overload IPPSR affiliate Charles Ballard is quoted on East Lansing demographics and student housing choices. New Findings Raise Concerns About Avian Malaria In Southwest Michigan IPPSR affiliate Eric Freedman pens article on the spread of avian disease in Michigan as temperatures rise. In Today’s World, Student …

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In Other Words (Week of April 9)

On the Left Nestlé “We Own the Muskegon River” Waters Gets MDEQ Approval to Pump 400 Gallons of Ground Water Every Single Minute(link is external) From Up North Progressive, Nestle’s controversial request to increase water pumping for resale approved by MDEQ. Medicaid Work Requirements: A Prescription For Problems(link is external) From the Michigan League for Public Policy …

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In Other Words (Week of March 12)

On the Left Time To Double Check Your Paycheck! (You Could Be Paying Later).(link is external) From the Michigan League for Public Policy’s blog Factually Speaking, federal tax reform and your paycheck. DeVos Fails Standardized Test(link is external)  From Progress Michigan, a reflection on Betsy DeVos’ latest interview on 60 Minutes. The Sinister Motive Behind Trump & DeVos’ Plan …

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How NSA Tracks You (Bill Binney)

Anyone who is paying attention knows that the Obama FBI/DOJ used massive government surveillance powers against the Trump team during and after the election. A FISA warrant on Carter Page (and Manafort and others?) was likely used to mine stored communications of other Trump team members. Hundreds of “mysterious” unmasking requests by Susan Rice, Samantha …

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In Other Words (Week of February 19)

On the Left Schuette Silent On Environmental Issues(link is external) From Progress Michigan, Bill Schuette’s silence in responding to environmental issues. The NRA Is Killing Us And Their Weapon Is The Second Amendment(link is external) From Ramona’s Voices, gun violence in schools and the role of the NRA. Enough With The Bonuses, Mr. President*!(link is external) From Eclectablog, …

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In Other Words (Week of January 22)

On the Left Our Bleeding Hearts Might Have Saved Us(link is external) From Ramona’s Voices, how the left should move forward after President Trump’s first year in office. Nassar Goes To Prison For Life But MSU Still To Be Held Accountable For Their Role In The Rape Of Over 150 Girls(link is external) From Eclectablog, the university’s …

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Independent Streams (Week of January 15)

Problems How Many Grace Hoppers Have Been Lost From The Innovation Pipeline?(link is external) IPPSR affiliate Lisa Cook noted for research on innovation among women and African Americans. Jobs Are Plentiful In Some Rural Areas. Housing, Not So Much(link is external) IPPSR affiliate Mark Skidmore discusses housing shortages in rural America. Old Specimen Provides New Insight Into …

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Independent Streams (Week of January 1)

Problems Op-Ed: Special Education Funding Is Unequal(link is external) IPPSR affiliate Sarah Reckhow co-authors article on the inequities of special education funding in schools. Baton Rouge Police Detectives ‘Woefully Short’ Working The City’s Historic Number Of Killings(link is external) IPPSR affiliate David Carter discusses the influence of detective caseloads in solving homicides. Other Views: Black Infant Mortality …

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Outrageous!!!

“Outrageous –  Grossly offensive to decency or morality” (American Heritage College Dictionary) 4th ed. 2002, p.989.   Outrageous   This appears to be the appropriate word to describe the tax system bludgeoning recently performed by Republicans (Democrats and Independents were given little time to read, let alone participate in the development of the proposals). To suggest …

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A Sinkhole That Is Pulling Us All Down

While most local papers probably did not splash the news on their front page or headline their evening news last week, our largely bought Congress just gave the Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC) a sizable raise in thanks for their contributions and lobbying pursuits. President Trump’s initial budget request for the Pentagon was for a sizable $54 billion increase for the military …

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Talking Ta-Nehisi Coates, Seriously?

Glenn Loury is Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Brown University. John McWhorter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, American studies, philosophy, and music history. Loury (@19min): “He’s a good writer but not a deep thinker, and he’s being taken seriously …

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Independent Streams (Week of October 2)

Problems Summit Held For Ending Campus Sexual Assault(link is external) IPPSR affiliate Rebecca Campbell explains common trauma-responses in sexual assault victims. ‘Fake News’ Course Aims To Improve Media Consumption And Production(link is external) IPPSR affiliate William Dutton comments on the impact of ‘fake news.’ Cooking Books: DOD, HUD Defrauded Taxpayers Of $21 Trillion From 1998 to 2015(link …

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Varieties of Snowflakes

I was pleasantly surprised that New Yorker editor David Remnick and Berkeley law professor Melissa Murray continue to support the First Amendment, even if some of her students do not. Remnick gives Historian Mark Bray (author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook) a tough time about the role of violence in political movements. After Charlottesville, the Limits …

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Normies Lament

Ezra Klein talks to Angela Nagle. It’s still normie normative, but Nagle has at least done some homework. Click the link below to hear the podcast. From 4Chan to Charlottesville: where the alt-right came from, and where it’s going Angela Nagle spent the better part of the past decade in the darkest corners of the …

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In Other Words (Week of August 21)

On the Left Lack Of Support With Child Care Costs Leaves Families Struggling(link is external) From the Michigan League for Public Policy blog Factually Speaking, a look at the high costs of child care. U.S. Court Of Appeals Rules To Keep Michigan Wolves On Endangered Species List(link is external) From the blog Up North Progressive, Michigan wolves kept on endangered species …

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Independent Streams (week of August 14)

Problems Are We Thinking About Teacher Pay All Wrong?(link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Joshua Cowen discusses teacher pay. Using Science To Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade(link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Meredith Gore joins scientists in the fight against illegal wildlife trade. Are You Overestimating How Happy Your Customers Are?(link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Tomas Hult co-authors study on customer …

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A Farewell to Arms? Surely You Jest!

As I arrived home last night after a meeting and having been serenaded on the way first, by the end of Mr. Trump’s Afghanistan speech, and then by NPR’s commentators, I realized that I was more disheartened by the phalanx of commentators than by Trump’s final words. An additional irony for me was the reflection that here …

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The Bannon Channel

Rumor has it that Bannon will start a Breitbart TV channel to rival Fox News. Given the success of YouTube- / pod-casters like Joe Rogan (5 million downloads per episode), it’s plausible this could be done with very modest capex (the channel could start out as pure streaming and only go to cable later). Billionaire …

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In the matter of James Damore, ex-Googler

James Damore, Harvard PhD* in Systems Biology, and (until last week) an engineer at Google, was fired for writing this memo: Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber, which dares to display the figure above. Here is Damore’s brief summary of his memo (which contains many citations to original scientific research), and the conclusion: Google’s political bias has …

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In Other Words (Week of July 31)

Inviting you to review our newest regular feature, In Other Words, of biweekly policy-related readings from divergent voices across Michigan. On the Left Why Your Religion Shouldn’t Be My Problem (link is external) From the blog Ramona’s Voices, a discussion on religious freedom. Governor Snyder, Please, It’s Time To Show Leadership In The Debate Over Trumpcare (link …

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A Prohibition Whose Time is Now

On July 7th, the UN passed the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty. A treaty the US will not join any time soon, just as it hasn’t joined many other global agreements including: Convention on Cluster Munitions Ottawa Treaty (Mine ban) International Criminal Court Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (Signed, but withdrew in 2002) As one might expect this UN …

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Report: Michigan Lags in Evidence-based Policymaking

In an increasingly ideological and partisan political world, the practice of evidence-based policymaking is a critical tool in ensuring the most efficient use of government resources. Objective outcome analyses and rigorous program evaluations can help policymakers and state officials guide limited funds towards investments with a proven track record (i.e., evidence) and away from programs …

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In Other Words (Week of July 17)

Introducing our newest regular feature, In Other Words, of biweekly policy-related readings from divergent voices across Michigan. On the Left A Better Budget For All Michiganians (link is external) Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, discusses the state budget in Factually Speaking blog post. Concealed Weapons For Convicted Stalkers? ‘What Could …

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Independent Streams (Week of July 10)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems Michigan Schools That Sue The State Would Be Punished Under 2018 Budget (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Kristi Bowman reacts to a new school state budget provision. Has The Death Of American Manufacturing Been Exaggerated? (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Lisa Cook discusses the ongoing …

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In Other Words (Week of June 26)

Introducing our newest regular feature, In Other Words, of biweekly policy-related readings from divergent voices across Michigan. On the Left Michigan Continues To Lag Behind Nationally In Outcomes For Kids (link is external) From the Michigan League for Public Policy blog Factually Speaking, Alicia Guevara Warren talks child outcomes. Why Are The Media Ignoring Stories About …

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Independent Streams (Week of June 19)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems The American Dream Is Fading Faster In Michigan (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Charles Ballard argues median wages should receive the same attention as unemployment rates. Civic, Business Leaders Emphasize Urban Agenda At Mackinac Policy Conference (link is external) IPPSR Affiliates Josh Sapotichne and Eric …

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Oliver Stone confronts Idiocracy

See earlier post Trump, Putin, Stephen Cohen, Brawndo, and Electrolytes. Note to morons: Russia’s 2017 GDP is less than that of France, Brazil, Italy, Canada, and just above that of Korea and Australia. (PPP-adjusted they are still only #6 in the world, between Germany and Indonesia: s-s-scary!) Apart from their nuclear arsenal (which they will …

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Climate Risk and AI Risk for Dummies

The two figures below come from recent posts on climate change and AI. Please read them. The squiggles in the first figure illustrate uncertainty in how climate will change due to CO2 emissions. The squiggles in the second figure illustrate uncertainty in the advent of human-level AI.   Many are worried about climate change because …

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Independent Streams (Week of June 5)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research. Problems No Easy Answers But At Least Right Questions At Mackinac Policy Conference (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Charles Ballard reflects on themes discussed at annual Mackinac Policy Conference. How To Attack Africa’s Neonatal Mortality Problem (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Sue Grady leads study on …

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Not Enough Bullets

I am struggling to remember an earlier time in my life when I felt like the world was as surreal as I find it now. We have a person in the drivers seat so self-absorb, most professional mental health experts I know concur  that he suffers from Narcissistic Behavior Disorder (NBD), based upon his public statements …

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Independent Streams (week of May 22)

Problems Books, Pencils, and Billboards: Local School Ad Spending Spikes (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate David Arsen discusses school choice and marketing. Researchers: Fake News Not Swaying Elections (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate William Dutton leads report on the impact of fake news on public opinion. Trump Fires Comey: It Looked Bad Right Away (link …

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