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Nearly 7 years and here is my thousandth post. I thought about discussing how to win friends and influence people on Ricochet as a subject but that’s a silly subject. I have a fitting favorite song and then I want to talk about fishing at Webber Lake in Northern California. Preview Open

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Member Post

 

My wife and I released the fourteenth book we’ve collaborated on last week. Molly Goes to London is the 11th book in the Molly and the Magic Suitcase series. The books are meant to introduce young children to cultures around the world. This one took a while. We released the first ten all within four […]

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The Trump Growth Machine

 

I discovered my genuine confidence in the sustainability of the current economic growth cycle when I recommended to my 27-year-old Uber driver that he invest some portion of his wages in a diversified index fund. Although the stock market will surely ease off its current pace, it nevertheless should prove far more profitable than standard money market funds with their puny returns. The good news is that the current trend likely will not fizzle out anytime soon thanks to several key factors, including lower taxes and deregulation.

Igniting economic growth, as the Trump administration’s policies are doing, is not as straightforward as it sounds because it is easy to make spectacular mistakes in judgment if caught in the grip of Keynesian economic theory. A day after Barack Obama’s 2008 election, the Dow plunged by almost 500 points. On the day of Trump’s election, the economist Paul Krugman wrote with his legendary overconfidence: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.” The Federal Reserve, he added, could not cut rates again to forestall the anticipated recession—and the Trump administration would only make matters worse because it was “ignorant of economic policy.” But the Dow soared by 250 points.

Krugman’s basic mistake is that he wants to use monetary and fiscal policy to shift income and wealth away from investment to consumption, or indeed vice versa. The theory is that only government stimulation can make up for the chronic shortage of private investment, given the general lack of confidence in market institutions. This approach falsely assumes that some omniscient policymaker knows best how to make and implement a collective decision about the appropriate balance between investment and consumption. But there are several errors with this way of thinking.

Open Letter to Non-Vacation Planners from Vacation Planners

 

Look, we get it. You want to go on vacation to relax. So do we! It is that we don’t find it relaxing spending three hours looking at each other and saying, “What do we do today?” when we want to do something, and when we do there are lines and traffic and hassles we could have avoided. It is stress that could have been avoided by planning, something you don’t seem to appreciate, even when you get the benefit.

Women often seem to think romance just happens. Men know that it takes hard work to pull off. Men seem to think women take too long to dress. No, it takes time to put the ensemble together. In both cases, the end results can look spontaneous, but there was work, and planning involved. The best vacations are that way. When the Planner does a good job, everything just seems to happen.

First Principles: Why Are You Okay with This?

 

It seems that many historically Republican and conservative commentators, thought leaders and pundits take the same side as those in the Democrat party on certain issues that involve President Trump. One of those is Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation and the related controversy over the FBI and DOJ, and in particular the secret Memo. They insist that Trump is wrong-headed in his attacks on the FBI and DOJ.

One glimpse of this perspective is voiced by Senator Marco Rubio:

Modesty

 

Early in George W. Bush’s first term, I was dining with a friend who didn’t agree with my worldview. He challenged my certitude, allowing that he wasn’t sure about many issues. “Don’t you wonder whether you’re right?” he asked. “Well,” I replied, “If I held an incorrect view, I’d change it to the correct one.”

It was a joke, obviously, but I’ve thought of him many times in the intervening years, as my doubts have multiplied about many questions. In that time, I’ve learned – slower than I should have, admittedly – that it’s often impossible to know what the “right” view is. The world is complicated, and our capacity to understand, while glorious, remains limited.

The randomized, controlled study is one of the best tools to test hypotheses, and yet psychology and other fields are currently embroiled in debates over the reliability of published studies. A 2015 examination of 100 psychological studies, published in the magazine Science, found that two-thirds could not be replicated. Similar problems were found with cancer research.

Member Post

 

 I listened to several programs last week that tied into President Trump’s State of the Union speech last night, involving North Korea. Many are worried that Trump is trying to start something, instead of trying to calm the situation. Past administrations have tried and continue to try with diplomacy, international coalitions and sanctions. While Kim […]

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North Korean Defector Most Powerful Moment of Perhaps Any SOTU

 

Last night President Trump appeared downright presidential. While there is plenty of partisan bickering that can (and is) being done regarding the policy proposals and political points raised, the stories of individual guests of the First Family were some of the most powerful in recent memory.

There was a couple — a police officer and his wife — who adopted a heroin-addicted baby born to a woman the officer met on a patrol. When President Trump introduced the family, the adoptive mother, Rebecca Holets, removed the cover she was using to nurse the baby in order to be honored by those present in the gallery.

FDA Asks Diarrhea Treatment to Contain Itself

 

Over a year ago, I noted that both the DEA and NIDA had expressed concern over the diarrhea treatment loperamide, widely known by the brand name Imodium. Loperamide is an opioid that, with normal use, mostly stays in the gut where it belongs, but which, if it’s taken in massive doses or combined with a P-glycoprotein inhibitor, works its way into the bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier for a pathetic sort of high. Or, if you believe methadone treatment works, the high becomes somewhat less pathetic: loperamide has gotten a reputation among addicts as the poor man’s methadone, a means of easing withdrawal for those done with the dope.

One reason methadone is supposed to work as an addiction treatment is that it’s metabolized so slowly. It has an extremely long half-life (15-55 hours) compared to heroin’s (2-3 minutes). This smooths out the highs and lows to help those treated establish a normal life. Since methadone treatment is dispensed at clinics, not by pushers, it redirects addicts’ dependency toward authorized channels, which regularizes their life in another way. Loperamide has a half-life between heroin’s and methadone’s (9-14 hours). That half-life makes loperamide tempting as “DIY methadone treatment”.

Member Post

 

I haven’t read all the posts yet about the State of the Union address, so if this is a repeat, beg pardon.  Sincere kudos to the President of the United States of America for his brilliant accomplishment in turning the word “dreamers” on its ear by stating “Americans are dreamers, too”. In one simple phrase […]

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Get Woke, Go Broke: Democratic National Committee Version

 

“When the enemy is making a false movement, we must take good care not to interrupt him.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

If you watch CNN or MSNBC, you would think that Trump is on the verge of collapse and that the forces of (social) justice and (social) good (aka, the Democratic Party) are going to swoop down annnnnnny second now and free us from his evil grasp.

Member Post

 

Lost with the state of the union last night was the vote earlier in the day in the Senate failing to pass The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act by a vote of 51-46. It required sixty votes to pass. This was to ban abortions after 20 weeks from conception, the point where supposedly a fetus […]

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Bezos, Buffett, and Dimon to the Rescue

 

The NY Times reports that the leaders of three prominent US companies (Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase) are forming an independent healthcare company for their employees, with the ultimate goal of remaking the entire American healthcare system.

So we have three very smart guys with almost unlimited resources, setting a very noble goal. Best of luck to them.

Member Post

 

It is School Choice Week.  However, in reality, our kids do not have much choice in schools.  Do they?  In America, we have home schooling – largely an unknown concept around the world.  And we have charter schools.  Yet, it is not accepted by all; especially those who need it most.  While I was able […]

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We’re Taking Twitter Too Seriously

 

Given the outsized role Twitter played in the last Presidential election; both the real one (Trump’s use of it to reach the American people immediately and without a filter was unprecedented) and the imagined (no, Russian bots didn’t manipulate the election), it’s unsurprising a New York Times story about fake followers has sent some shockwaves.

In short: Some prominent folks, from celebrities to journalists to athletes have purchased fake followers from a company that traffics in such things. You want to seem more well-known, well-respected? Having 100,000 more Twitter followers; more people who seem to follow your every whim, goes a long way in adding to that cache. One of the individuals identified by the Times as having bought followers was Richard Roeper, a film critic from Chicago. Yesterday afternoon, this news broke:

Member Post

 

Here’s the latest news on my iPhone’s lock screen. I can’t recall the MSM saying anything like Obama “made bold claims” or that reactions to his SOTU were “mixed,” can you? As usual, they’re not lying. But they ain’t telling it like it is either. Preview Open

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