By reader request, I will be writing about evolution in the near future.

Also, I will be writing about my views on why Americans have swung from wild support of Democrats to wild support of Republicans in the past 2 years.

I have been asked to write about Israel, marijuana, capital punishment, eurocentrism, afrocentrism and terrorism, so I will probably write about at least some of those topics as well.

I also plan to write about tax structure, deficit issues and government spending issues.
Do you ever notice how some people change the facts depending on the situation?

Here's an example.  Certain people tend to dislike racial profiling (I'll call them liberals, and I'll later explain why that's one of the better descriptions to use).

In the case of Muslims, liberals tend to make a claim that goes something like this: Not all Muslims are terrorists, so Muslims shouldn't be singled out for racial profiling of terrorists.  In the case of Muslims, large percentages of them are more religious than non-Muslims, and hence they likely tend to become influenced by their religion, which is, of course, an environmental influence.  The Koran has both negative and positive verses in its text.  Some text directly advocates peace, some text directly advocates violence.

Liberals tend to downplay the environment influence of the Koran on Muslims, and don't advocate profiling, even though profiling is rational when you consider that the violence in the Koran would influence a small proportion of Muslims to become violent, and when you consider that almost all terrorists are Muslims (you may counter by saying that the peaceful sections of the Koran would counterbalance this, but they wouldn't, really, because most Muslims are by nature peaceful, and hence would've tended to be peaceful regardless of whether the text told them to be).

Then you have another scenario.  When it comes to talk of behavioural differences between groups, liberals tend to do a complete 180, and suddenly take the position that the environment is the main influence, not genes.

Well, you can't have it both ways (assuming the environmental impacts in the two situations being compared would both be significant enough to either affect or not affect behaviour).

Either the environment is a factor, or it isn't!

So, when I hear these contradictory arguments coming from the same groups of people, I tend to think that they actually don't believe what they are saying, because they tend to contradict themselves!

It seems that their main purpose is to advocate the argument that they prefer, depending on the context, and to hell with logic.

What could be motivating liberals to contradict themselves?

Looking at both examples I gave, what's a common denominator that could account for why they contradict themselves?  I'll let you try to figure that out.  I have an idea; I'd like to hear responses.

Now, conservatives can certainly also contradict themselves.  But in regard to this example, and in general, I believe that the tendency occurs much more often among liberals.

My preferred descriptor was not "liberals", because that can get people on the defensive.  However, I didn't think that a more accurate term was useful either.

The most accurate term may be to call such contradictory people “irrational”.  But then my argument would have sounded funny.

I would have been saying: Irrational people believe the environment is not a main factor in one scenario, then they contradict themselves and say that in a similar scenario the environment is a main factor.

And some readers may have then said to me: So what? That's not surprising...they are irrational, it’s to be expected that they contradict themselves!  What's your point?

So, you can see why I felt the need to describe these people as liberals. But I’m open to suggestions from readers who can provide me with a less inflammatory description that would still get my point across.

If readers can think of any situations in which conservatives typically contradict themselves, let me know!
Do you notice that people seem to think a violent crime against older people is especially egregious?  Do you notice that people seem to want to assist older people with everyday activities more than they would want to assist a younger person?

Well, their frailty means they have more trouble with everyday activities, and would have more trouble fending off an attack. In that regard, I can understand people's beliefs.

But think about this: aside from their frailty, there is perhaps NO reason to think of older people as being more deserving of assistance.  Why?

Well, older people were young once.  I would think that, proportionately, there are as many nasty and nice older people as there are nasty and nice younger people.

After all, nasty and nice young people age.  I would think a nasty young person would tend to be nasty when they get older, no?

My point is this:  I believe that many people seem to think of older people as harmless, gentle people that are deserving of assistance, when in fact there are likely, proportionately, as many nasty older people as there are young people!

Now, if an old lady is crossing the street, the chances are that she's nice and not nasty, simply because there are likely more nice or neutral people in the world than there are nasty people.  So go ahead and help her, since she's frail.

But just don't assume her age means that she's somehow more likely to be nice than other people are!
Is it unlikely (or even impossible) for the USA to increase its wealth while it has a trade deficit?

It’s rare that commentators ask this. Yet I think the question is absolutely critical for the USA's future!

I really think that it is very unlikely for the USA (as a country, everyone combined, not just the public or the government) to increase its overall wealth as long as the USA has a trade deficit!

Why? Well, think about it.

The trade deficit means that, by dollar value, people in the USA bought more goods and services from foreign countries than they sold to foreign countries.

A business can't profit if its revenue doesn't exceed its costs.  So why should it be any different for the USA? The two aspects of the analogy might not be identical, but they are similar.

By the way, I assume (but am not positive) that the trade deficit measures all types of products and services that comprise revenue and costs.  If I'm wrong about this, it could mean my assumption is wrong. If that's the case, I hope someone will correct me. Perhaps it excludes investments in USA financial products?

But even if the trade deficit excludes some other products, I doubt their value would be large enough to offset the massive deficit.

Again, a trade deficit means the value of exports are less than the value of imports, of course.

If you think about exports, those are crucial!  If you sell products to foreigners, and get their cash, the USA as a whole is richer.  But if you are selling products to your own countrymen, the USA is not becoming wealthier overall; the money is simply redistributed from USA customers to USA sellers!

As for imports, they aren’t a complete waste. After all, when you buy something from a foreigner, you are getting something in return: an asset.  It doesn’t just disappear...or does it?  Well, in a consumer society like the USA, I would think that a lot of imports are things that you don’t require, that do eventually essentially disappear from common use, things like TVs, clothes etc.  TVs are replaced, clothes get ripped and kids grow out of clothes…so they do disappear, in that sense.

This means that when a family buys two TVs over several years, at the end of that period, their wealth has increased only by the value of the second TV. The first has been tossed!

Now, the foreigners that buy our exports would toss some of their purchases too…but because the USA buys much more than they do, the USA tosses a greater dollar value of goods than the foreigners do, and hence the wealth of the USA decreases by a greater absolute value, in that respect.

I would like to know how much of the USA imports are consumable or typically replaced within a few years.  I would be surprised if it’s not a significant portion of imports!

This appears to be the history of the balance of trade:

Look at that! During the 37 years from 1973 to 2009, there's been a deficit, and the deficit is trending higher and higher!

My thesis is that the USA may be losing wealth every single year there is a trade deficit! (Although during the years that the deficit was small, it's possible wealth was not lost).

Someone may counter by saying: how can that be?  GDP (the total goods and services produced by the USA) is growing virtually year over year!

Well, the GDP measure tells you little in this respect.  This is because GDP could be growing as a result of the USA borrowing money, and borrowing money is not an increase in wealth, it's actually a decrease in wealth, assuming you pay interest to borrow! (And the USA has certainly been borrowing more money than it earns in tax revenue. This is shown by the other large deficit, the budget deficit, and the debt of about $13 trillion).

Think about it.  The country could be organically shrinking as a result of buying far more goods than it sells.  Yet if the country is also borrowing massive amounts of money at the same time, and plowing that money into the economy, that economy will create goods and services and GDP will be much higher than it would be had the borrowing not occurred!

This means that borrowing and GDP growth are masking the shrinking of the country’s wealth!

The implication of this is frightening! It means that the USA may have been shrinking each of the last 37 years!

If this continues, what will happen?  Well, I suppose endless trade deficits would mean a country would shrink and shrivel!  At the very least, it would eventually become a third world country!

Now, I’m not suggesting that endless trade deficits will occur indefinitely.  As China becomes wealthier and pays its workers more, the cost of goods will become more expensive and the USA should import less.

But when will that occur? And what shape will the USA be in by then?

Why is the trade deficit not mentioned as often as its importance would justify? Why are the consequences of it not emphasized as much as you'd expect? For something so shocking to occur for 37 years straight...there should be alarm bells ringing!
A few readers have claimed that my having placed 74th in the world on Facebook's intelligence test is not a good measure of intelligence  That is false.

In the interest of saving space on this blog page, I address the issue here:
I was babysitting recently and suddenly realized: I think baby/toddler talk is nearly as efficient as adult talk!


A toddler saw me fall off the bed.  He didn't see the cause of my fall, so he said:

"Jack push you?"

Now, the reason he didn't say "Did Jack push you" is because his language skills aren't strong enough yet, of course.

But when you think about it, why would anyone need to include the word "did"?  It doesn't add much to understanding the comment.

I suppose that use of the word "did" would imply that he is asking whether Jack has already pushed me.  I suppose "Jack push you?" could also be interpreted as asking whether Jack is going to push me. I concede that the word "did" has some benefit in this context.  But my point is that the word doesn't add as much value as you might think:  after all, the context is important, and I didn't need to hear the word "did" in order to figure out that I was being asked whether Jack did push me, rather than being asked whether Jack was going to push me.

Another example:

A toddler was leaving the house, looks at me and says:

"Coming?" instead of "Are you coming?"

Again, the word "coming" by itself is all that's needed, because based on the context of him leaving the house, I could figure out that he's likely asking whether I'm coming now, not later.

Another example:

The toddler does something silly and looks at me and says "Funny?" instead of "Is that funny?"

Now I feel like using baby talk during a conversation just to see the reaction I get!
Lawyers have a prestigious, well paid job. But do they really have power?

I don't think so.  Although they have the power to influence a judge or jury's mind, and hence to influence life altering decisions, they are opposed by another lawyer with the same power.  They cancel each other out.

Even worse for lawyers, the real power is in the hands of the judge or jury. So, even if a lawyer is more capable than the opposing lawyer, they still don't have the final say. Now that's uncertainty.  And if the judge or jury is incompetent, irrational, biased or bribed, a lawyer is potentially in serious trouble.

There are countless jobs that actually have far more power.  Middle management has the significant power to fire or hire workers, provide raises, make budget and advertising decisions. Even relatively unskilled call centre workers have the power to reverse that $35 overlimit fee.

Now, being a lawyer might be very fulfilling.  I assume it's an intellectual challenge in many respects.

But in the end, once the intellect has been exercised, a lawyer should be prepared to be powerless.
I don't like it when the winning athlete thanks God.  If God helped the athlete to win, does that mean God dislikes the losing athlete? In that sense, thanking God for the win could be considered an insult to the loser!
Why are hate motivated crimes punished with sentences that are harsher than the sentences given for other crimes?

Is stabbing someone multiple times somehow more admirable than shooting someone because of their race or sexual orientation?
My blog has already mentioned that only one political ideology espouses more correct theories than the other, based on the evidence.  I won't say which yet. If you read my posts, it will become clear.

What isn't as clear, to most people, is that by advocating a certain political ideology they are actually wasting their life.  Many people espouse the same, incorrect political views for dozens of years...and in every single year they are literally wasting their life, promoting an ideology that is either not the most helpful one out there, or an ideology that is just plain damaging to society!

You often hear regret regarding time spent on relationships eventually gone bad, time wasted in line only to have the ABM machine run out of money when it's their turn, money wasted on clothes that don't fit and can't be returned.

Yet you rarely hear regret regarding dozens of years wasted promoting and voting for political theories that are incorrect!  It is true that many people don't realize how illogical their own views are; I am to assist them with that understanding.

One might, however, argue that taking policy action based on incorrect views help expose the strength of the correct views, by contrast. Unfortunately, there is usually no need to enact policies to determine which of two imposing views is correct. That can be determined simply by logic.

Imagine how much harm one is doing to society by voting for a political party that is harming society.  In that situation, one is actually assisting in harming their own society (and usually themself) by voting!

It's a quite sad state of affairs.