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A Couple of Things Rattling Around My Brain

Yesterday was my birthday. One of the good/bad things about Facebook is that if you place your birthday in your Facebook profile, everybody can figure out when your birthday is. As a result, you get lots of birthday wishes. 🙂 This the best video that was posted to my Facebook site yesterday.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan has vigorously argued that we need to give more tax breaks to the wealthy so they can “grow the economy.” As we’ve seen over the last 30 years, every major tax break provided by several different administrations were given to the wealthy. They were able to grow their incomes while incomes of the middle and lower classes have stayed stagnant. Upper mobility is more difficult here in the United States than it is in many European countries.

The Economic Mobility Project states:

“Most studies find that, in America, about half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income are passed on to the next generation,” their report concludes. “This means that one of the biggest predictors of an American child’s future economic success — the identity and characteristics of his or her parents — is predetermined and outside that child’s control. To be sure, the apple can fall far from the tree and often does in individual cases, but relative to other factors, the tree dominates the picture. These findings are more striking when put in comparative context. There is little available evidence that the United States has more relative mobility than other advanced nations. If anything, the data seem to suggest the opposite.”


By |2011-10-27T10:21:09-04:00October 27th, 2011|Economy|Comments Off on A Couple of Things Rattling Around My Brain

Who’s brain is bigger?

Interesting but not terribly useful information.


A study to be published next year at University College London suggests that conservative brains are structured differently than the brains of other people. The investigation, led by Geraint Rees, focused on 92 individuals in the U.K. — 90 students and two members of Parliament.

Specifically, the research shows that people with conservative tendencies have a larger amygdala and a smaller anterior cingulate than other people. The amygdala — typically thought of as the “primitive brain” — is responsible for reflexive impulses, like fear. The anterior cingulate is thought to be responsible for courage and optimism. This one-two punch could be responsible for many of the anecdotal claims that conservatives “think differently” from others.

Since only adults were included in the investigation, researchers were unable to determine if cerebral physiology drives politics or if political beliefs change the brain. A previous University of California study suggests the former is possible, isolating a so-called “liberal gene” — the neurotransmitter DRD4 — responsible for an increased receptiveness to novel ideas.

By |2011-01-04T22:12:58-04:00January 4th, 2011|Domestic Issues, Party Politics|2 Comments

Paris Hilton's Rebuttal

So, who knew that Paris Hilton had a sense of humor? Who knew that it appears that she has a brain? She doesn’t attack John McCain but she does poke a stick at him. Her energy plan…wait. I’ll stop there. I’m not going to seriously consider a Paris Hilton energy plan. I can’t do it.

By |2008-08-06T19:28:39-04:00August 6th, 2008|Election 2008, Energy|Comments Off on Paris Hilton's Rebuttal
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