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Еврей без ярлыков Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Srulik" journal:

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April 21st, 2016
10:16 am

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09:57 am

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"US Currency to Get a Makeover"
The New York Times reports:

"Harriet Tubman, the African-American abolitionist and humanitarian who escaped from slavery and helped over 300 slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad, will replace the slaveholding Andrew Jackson on the front of a new $20 note, while Alexander Hamilton will remain on the front of the $10 bill. New designs for $5 and $10 notes will also feature women. The bills will be unveiled in 2020."

One comment I saw: "Great! We're replacing a slaveholding Democratic president with a freedom-loving, pro-gun Republican!"

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April 20th, 2016
11:37 am

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"Science is Broken"
...things only came to a head last year with the publication of a paper in Science. It described a major effort to replicate 100 psychology experiments published in top journals. The success rate was little more than a third. People began to talk of a “crisis” in psychology.

In fact, the problem extends far beyond psychology – dubious results are alarmingly common in many fields of science. Worryingly, they seem to be especially shaky in areas that have a direct bearing on human well-being – the science underpinning everyday political, economic and healthcare decisions. No wonder the whistle-blowers are urgently trying to investigate why it’s happening, how big the problem is and what can be done to fix it.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23030690-500-why-so-much-science-research-is-flawed-and-what-to-do-about-it/

There is no one single cause for the increase in nonreproducible findings in so many fields. One key problem is that the types of research most likely to make it from lab benches into leading scientific journals are those containing flashy never-before-reported results. Such findings are often too good to check. [...] In 2014, the Cardiff University neuroscientist Christopher Chambers and his colleagues starkly outlined what they think is wrong. They noted that the gold standards for science are rigor, reproducibility, and transparency. But the academic career model has undermined those standards by instead emphasizing the production of striking results.
http://reason.com/archives/2016/01/19/broken-science

From here.

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April 18th, 2016
11:00 am

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Get Bernie Out of the 1970s
An article by Jonah Norberg

[...] As a native of Sweden, I must admit this makes me Feel the Bern a bit. Sanders is right: America would benefit hugely from modeling her economic and social policies after her Scandinavian sisters. But Sanders should be careful what he wishes for. When he asks for "trade policies that work for the working families of our nation and not just the CEOs of large, multi-national corporations," Social Democrats in Sweden would take this to mean trade liberalization — which would have the benefit of exposing monopolist fat cats to competition — not the protectionism that Sanders favors. [...] Sanders isn't completely deluded, of course. Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries have experimented with very big government and semi-socialist ideas. There's just one problem: That experiment coincided almost perfectly with the region's only sustained period of economic decline over the last 100 years. [...] But in the early 1990s Sweden began to abandon its brief detour into Bernienomics. It deregulated, privatized, reduced taxes, and opened the public sector to private providers. The two decades that followed saw real wages increase by almost 70 percent. [...]

We also pay for the welfare state in a fairly brutal way, but one that doesn't hurt production as much: by squeezing the poor and the middle class. Unlike the rich, poor and middle-class people don't flee or dodge when they're taxed aggressively. The Social Democrats knew all along that they couldn't fund such a generous government by taking from the rich and the businesses — there are too few of them, and the economy depends on them too much. So Sweden and Denmark take in lots of revenue via highly regressive value-added taxes at a normal rate of 25 percent of sales — the only tax where the rich and poor pay exactly the same amount in kronor. [...]

Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, the two leading Social Democratic thinkers of the 20th century, thought that the Scandinavian countries were uniquely suited for experimenting with high taxes and redistribution. They had homogenous populations with a strong work ethic, non-corrupt civil services, a high degree of trust in bureaucracies and politicians—and competitive free trade economies to foot the bill. If it did not work there, they suggested, it would be difficult to think it could work anywhere.

Full article here.

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April 13th, 2016
02:50 pm

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Barbara Anderson, RIP
My state of Massachusetts owes much of its relative fiscal sanity to this woman and her Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government, the only political organization to which I have ever donated. CLTG passed Proposition 2 1/2, a tax roll-back, and helped beat several attempts to convert the flat income tax into a graduated one.

"This may surprise you but I think she's probably, in the history of Massachusetts, the most important woman ever in terms of her effect on the citizens of the state," said Ted Tripp, a longtime friend of Anderson's and chairman of the North Andover Taxpayers Association. "She was a champion of freedom and of less government. The two of them went together to her." [...]

The success of Proposition 2 1/2 came just months after she was made the group's executive director.

Proposition 2 1/2 limits the amount a community can levy in property taxes to 2.5 percent of the full and fair value of real and personal property in that community. It also restricts the rate of increase of the levy limit to 2.5 percent annually, plus new growth. The law includes provisions for voter-approved overrides or debt exclusions. The legislation also cut the auto tax rate from $66 to $25 per thousand of assessed value and removed compulsory binding arbitration for police and fire unions. It also ended school board fiscal autonomy, under which school committees had to be provided with whatever they demanded for a budget.

Virtually every political organization in the state lined up against the effort, saying it would have a crushing effect on communities, particularly schools. But it passed, and the state eventually grew stronger economically.

Full article here.

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02:30 pm

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Кто бы сомневался...
People wildly overestimate the number of gay Democrats and rich Republicans

When you survey Americans, they estimate that a staggering 38 percent of Republican Party supporters earn more than $250,000 a year. This is impossible, because only 1.5 percent of Americans live in households that have incomes that high. It's even more off base when you consider that rich people are actually much more likely to be Democrats than Republicans. So overall, the total share of Republicans who earn more than $250,000 a year is quite small.

Conversely, Americans also say they believe that nearly a third of the Democratic Party's supporters are gay or lesbian, and that something like 40 percent are African-American. Again, this is another wild overestimate, because fewer than 4 percent of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, or transgender, and only about 20 percent of Democrats are African-American.

People misperceive the composition of their own party somewhat less than the composition of the opposite party, which is about what you would expect. But the really important — and somewhat frightening — conclusion of this survey is that these misperceptions get worse, not better, among people who pay more attention to politics.

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April 11th, 2016
01:19 pm

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Прогресс!
В этом году Orthodox Union (OU) простёр свою пасхальную хашгоху на кукурузную водку и кукурузный бурбон:



Хекшер уточняет: OU Kitniyot, естественно. Мей китнийот, хе-хе. Доступны эти продукты, увы, пока только в штатах Нью-Йорк и Коннектикут.

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11:01 am

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Как приятно видеть успех!
Посадить ракету на плавающую площадку – это вам не груши обивать!

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April 7th, 2016
09:52 am

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Пир духа во время чумы :-)
Коллекция агитплакатов с просторов Американщины.





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April 6th, 2016
10:40 am

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Brave Woman
When Passionate Advocates Meet Research on Diversity, Does the Honest Broker Stand a Chance?
By Alice H. Eagly

Published in Journal of Social Issues
Special Issue: Ageism: Health and Employment Contexts
Volume 72, Issue 1, pages 199–222, March 2016

Abstract

(emphasis mine)

In an ideal world, social science research would provide a strong basis for advocacy and social policy. However, advocates sometimes misunderstand or even ignore scientific research in pursuit of their goals, especially when research pertains to controversial questions of social inequality. To illustrate the chasm that can develop between research findings and advocates’ claims, this article addresses two areas: (a) the effects of the gender diversity of corporate boards of directors on firms’ financial performance and (b) the effects of the gender and racial diversity of workgroups on group performance. Despite advocates’ insistence that women on boards enhance corporate performance and that diversity of task groups enhances their performance, research findings are mixed, and repeated meta-analyses have yielded average correlational findings that are null or extremely small. Therefore, social scientists should (a) conduct research to identify the conditions under which the effects of diversity are positive or negative and (b) foster understanding of the social justice gains that can follow from diversity. Unfortunately, promulgation of false generalizations about empirical findings can impede progress in both of these directions. Rather than ignoring or furthering distortions of scientific knowledge to fit advocacy goals, scientists should serve as honest brokers who communicate consensus scientific findings to advocates and policy makers in an effort to encourage exploration of evidence-based policy options.

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