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God

July 29, 2011 10 comments

Before I begin, let me say what this is not.  Also, let me say up front that this is primarily directed toward objectivists who tend to deny the existence of god.  It is not a defense  (or a criticism for that matter) of anyone else’s definition of god or any dogma surrounding such a belief.  It is an attempt to start from scratch and define god in a way that is indisputable by definition.  Once this is accomplished we can argue about the nature of god all we want instead of arguing about whether or not god exists.  This approach treats god as a concept not a physical thing (of course it’s theoretically possible that god could still be a physical thing.  That is a question about the nature of god but this definition as a concept would still apply even if god is a human shaped being with a long white beard who sits in the clouds throwing lightning bolts and could potentially be hit by a 747 one day.)  If “god” is understood as a concept, then saying god doesn’t exist is the same as saying love doesn’t exist or 2 doesn’t exist.  When someone describes a feeling that they have as love it is not a serious intellectual argument to insist that they are mistaken because love doesn’t exist.  The feeling they are describing exists.   Whatever the feeling is, chances are they are conveying some useful information about it by labeling it as love.  If you don’t know what love means you can ask questions about the nature of the feeling and the meaning of the word.  But demanding to see “proof” that love exists is completely nonsensical.  The same is true of the number 2.  Numbers are a concept people came up with because they are useful for thinking and talking about things.  You can’t touch 2 it’s not a physical thing, it’s a concept.

The word love was invented to describe something.  People didn’t create a word that is completely useless to describe a feeling that doesn’t exist.  Certainly, different people may mean different things when they use the word, and some meanings may be more useful than others but these are questions about the nature of love.  Similarly, the word god (or what have you) was created to describe an idea that exists.  What I want to do here is to establish a baseline definition of this word that is inclusive of most (monotheistic) conceptions of god without adding any more meaning than necessary for this purpose.  This establishes a boundary between god and science which is necessary for the peaceful coexistence of the two.

As a starting point, take as axiomatic that the universe exists.  It is impossible for science to explain where it came from.  All of science is an attempt at creating a model of the universe.  The universe is therefore the boundary of that model (this is essentially the definition of “universe”).  To put this a different way: whatever information we discover and incorporate into our scientific understanding is part of the universe.  But it is impossible for this model to address the question “where did the universe come from?”  To see the impossibility of this, notice that the laws of physics (at least as we understand them) do not allow for the universe coming from anywhere.  Matter cannot be created or destroyed.  Energy cannot be created or destroyed (these are sort of archaic statements of these laws but the recognized exceptions don’t contradict what I am saying here to the best of my knowledge).  Therefore, if you want to talk about the origin of the universe, you must be able to conceive of a force lying outside the laws of nature which govern the universe.  So basically, whatever this force may be, call it god.

With this definition in hand we can derive some properties of god.  First of all, if the universe is a chain reaction governed by immutable natural laws, then everything that has ever happened or will ever happen was determined by those laws and the initial conditions of the system (as I have said previously, you may prefer to think of reality as consisting of many dimensions of which we only observe one, but this is just a more complicated way of thinking about the same concept).  To put it another way, the position and motion of every particle at the moment of the big bang led to me sitting here right now writing this article.  If a particle had been somewhere else at that moment, something different would have happened.  So if everything that happens is a result of the laws of nature and the universe’s initial conditions, then whatever unobservable force determined those laws and initial conditions caused everything that will ever happen to happen.  Or in other words, by definition, god is omnipotent.

Notice that this is exactly the opposite of what I consider the straw-man notion of omnipotence commonly considered by atheists.  That notion is that omnipotence means that at any moment god may arbitrarily choose to do things that violate the laws of nature.  This is not a refutable implication.  To see what I mean imagine something impossible and then imagine that happening.  If you were a scientist, what would you do?  You have two options: you could refuse to believe it, in which case you would be a terrible scientist, or you could change the laws of science to account for it.  Naturally, science must generally do the latter.  Considering this fact, it shouldn’t be surprising that everything (for the most part) we have observed (or at least confirmed) fits our current laws of science.  God cannot do things that contradict the laws of nature (note that these are not necessarily the same as the laws of science).  If he (she/it/whatever you prefer) could, then the law in question wouldn’t be such a law.  So this position would be identical to believing that there are no laws of nature.  This is certainly not my position, nor do I think it is widespread among the god community.  Once you notice this, it is obvious why people on the science side who suffer from this misconception of omnipotence find the concept so repulsive.  The purpose of science is to discover the laws of nature.  obviously, people engaged in this pursuit will not get along with those who seem to deny the existence thereof.  But once god has been defined as the source of the laws of nature, the two concepts are perfectly compatible.  In fact it is the very existence of laws of nature which makes god, as defined above, omnipotent.

Second, if one had knowledge of all the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the system, then one would know everything that would ever happen.  Of course, you may not wish to attribute conciousness to god as defined above, but the reality is that since god is a force existing outside our physical universe, this consciousness is impossible to refute or deny.  So what is important for our purposes is: can we imagine the existence of such a perspective?  The answer is yes, and from that perspective one would be omniscient.  In order to have complete knowledge of reality (possibly in multiple dimensions), all you need to know are the positions and vectors of all the particles at the moment of creation.  Notice here that we may consider the big bang as time t=0 but if we discovered tomorrow that we could explain what happened at some time leading up to that then that would become t=0 in our model.

Naturally we cannot achieve this level of knowledge but it is important to recognize the concept of this perspective.  This is what I meant in the earlier post about determinism vs. free will being a matter of perspective.  People who take the determinist side are imagining god’s perspective, people taking the free will side are imagining the human perspective.  Neither one is wrong (though for most applications the human perspective is more relevant).  Furthermore, this perspective is precisely what scientists are aspiring to, so why some of them feel the need to deny the very existence of the concept is puzzling to me.

When defined this way, god establishes the boundary of science.  But it is important for both sides to realize that this boundary is constantly moving.  It is not stupid to recognize that there are things you don’t know.   Any person, at any time, has some knowledge and understanding of the workings and origins of reality and this understanding is always incomplete.   If someone says god causes the tides, this is not wrong.  It may leave you desiring more information and you may discover the concept of gravity and realize that the Moon causes the tides but you are left with the question of where the Moon came from.  You may then discover that the Moon broke off from the Earth billions of years ago after a collision with a giant asteroid.  But you still don’t know where the Earth or the asteroid came from.  This process continues but every time you figure out something you are just moving the boundary.  When you get all the way back to the big bang you are still left with the question “where the heck did that come from?” And let’s not forget about where gravity came from.

A person may explain to their children that they came from their parents and their parents came from their grandparents and their grandparents came from their great-grandparents and their great-grandparents came from god.  This is not incorrect, it gives all the information they know and then identifies that any cause more primary than great-grandparents falls into a category defined in the manner above.  If later the children find out about great-great-grandparents, this doesn’t refute the notion of god.  Indeed there is no amount of information you could collect about the universe which would do this, it just moves the boundary between what we know and what we don’t.  But certainly this boundary is worth recognizing if your intention is to expand it.

Our understanding of the laws of nature leaves plenty to argue about.  So please, let us concentrate our energies on those things rather than “does god exist?”  Once you get over this hurdle, I actually think a lot of the attributes commonly attributed to god make a lot of sense.  But if you just say there’s no such thing as god you can’t even consider these questions.

 

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Gimme Back My Bullets

July 26, 2011 4 comments

For full effect open this in another window while reading (if you’re a lefty open this instead).  The mayor of Baltimore proposed a new tax of $1 for every bullet sold.  This is absolute proof that the people supporting these things are either complete idiots or actually purposely want to tear down the last line of defense between the people and a tyrannical government.  I’ve gotta start with the basic argument for the right to bear arms.  I’ve been over this before but if you’re listening to the second song, chances are this has never occurred to you. (I’ve never heard a “liberal” say “yes an armed citizenry is important to secure liberty but I just think it’s worth sacrificing that safeguard to reduce crime a little.”  They alway say something like “well all you NRA people want everyone to have a bazooka.”  Seriously that’s the exact line they all say every time….)

On Earth, liberty is the exception!  Most people who have lived on Earth have lived under poverty and oppression.  The few examples of societies that have valued and protected individual liberty have been the result a concerted intellectual effort to determine how such a thing could be achieved and a significant physical struggle to implement it.  It requires military force to implement and protect it!  Leftists should know this, after all it was their hero Mao that said “all political power grows from the barrel of a gun.”  In order to have any kind of prosperous society you must have a government to enforce property rights and enforce contracts.  This function requires the government to have enough physical strength to overpower any individual or small group of individuals.  But when you create this apparatus, there is a constant threat that it could be used to enslave the people rather than ensure their liberty.  The only way to prevent this is for the people collectively to have enough physical strength to overpower the government should they lose control of it and to have some mechanism in place to organize them into action if the government crosses certain lines.

Obviously, in America the collective action mechanism is what is encapsulated in the constitution and the keystone that makes it possible is the 2nd amendment.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

Most Americans today were born into (relative) freedom and therefore take it for granted.  I don’t think most of them have even given a though to what systems are required to protect their liberty, they just think that because it’s always (since they can remember) been there that it will always be there.  This causes them to make poor decisions.  Consider the bullet tax.  As I see it there are 3 reasons a person would support such a tax.  1.  They don’t think weapons are important for protecting our liberty, either because they haven’t even thought about it or they reject the above argument for some reason, they don’t care about guns and they think it will reduce crime.  2.  They agree with the above argument but think the expected reduction in crime is worth the risk to liberty.  3.  They agree with the above argument and they actually want this safeguard removed.  (They also may just want more money for the government but Rolley denies this so let’s take him at his word….)

If you fall into one of the first two categories (which I will lump together from now on), then banning guns sort of makes sense.  I don’t think it would reduce crime that much and obviously I don’t think it’s worth it but at least it’s possible to see why someone might believe differently.  But consider the effects of a bullet tax.  What behavior is this expected to change? According to Rolley it increases the cost of committing a crime.  This is true but let’s put our economist hats on and consider how much this increase in price is likely to reduce the quantity of crime.

How many bullets do you think the average drug dealer shoots in a year?  I have no idea but let’s be pretty liberal and imagine he shoots 100 bullets per year in the course of committing crimes.  So you increased the cost of being a drug dealer by $100/year (I’m assuming here that he doesn’t just go outside Baltimore to buy his bullets because no doubt if they get it there they will suddenly realize that it doesn’t work unless it’s done at the Federal level and call up Cass Sunstein).  Is this going to put drug dealers out of business?  I think not.

But wait, maybe it affects the number of bullets they use.  Maybe the drug dealer upon finding himself in a situation where he would otherwise be willing to take the life of another human being for whatever reason, will now stop and reconsider because of the extra dollar that this will cost him…..No you don’t think that’s very likely?  Well maybe a person who has finally decided to off their spouse will change their mind because of that dollar?  The guy robbing liquor stores will have to spend an extra $10 to fill up his clip maybe this will make him get a real job instead.  And certainly the people who shoot up schools and workplaces and then commit suicide will be deterred when they find that they will have to spend an extra $50 on bullets.  Stop me when I’ve made my point…. Just try to imagine a single crime that will be prevented by a $1 tax on bullets.  If you can think of one please post it in the comments so that I will have a comment and everyone can see the mental gymnastics that your side is willing to go through to justify this nonsense.

So what would a $1 bullet tax likely accomplish?  Two things that I can see.  First of all, people who have guns are still going to have guns.  What they probably would do is not train as much (possibly not at all).  Currently range ammo for a 9mm runs about 20-25 cents, so if you go to the range and shoot a hundred rounds it costs you $25.  A little more than going to a movie but it doesn’t break the bank.  Now add a $1 tax per bullet and it costs you $125.  Think that will have an effect on the amount of practice people have?  So that’s a great idea, let’s reduce the training of all the gun owners in the country, that will make us a lot safer.

Second, people who actually think guns are necessary for the defense of liberty tend to stockpile a lot of ammo.  Obvioulsy, the ammo is an important component to the collective defense of liberty.  Add a $1 tax per bullet and this will drastically decrease people’s willingness to stockpile ammo.  But why would you want that?  These bullets sitting in the safe’s of NRA members are not increasing crime, they are just sitting there providing a safeguard against tyranny.  So which do you think it is 1, 2, or 3?  For most people I think it’s 1 actually, those people have to wake up.  But the politicians who propose this stuff must have thought about it enough to realize that there’s no way this will reduce crime.  If not, they are stupid.  I mean really, really stupid.  Ether one should bother you.

Atlas Now?

Categories: Atlas Now?

Savings

July 22, 2011 4 comments

I have just come from a very spirited discussion of savings that started on Mises.org and carried over onto Robert Murphy’s blog.  Apart from some distractions which dominated much of the conversation there are some important questions raised about savings.  Foremost among them is the issue of whether the interest rate is a payment for foregoing consumption or liquidity.  This goes back to Keynes (and probably before, I haven’t done all the required Austrian reading).  I think I can clear up the issue though.

The thing most people seem to miss is that the prices of goods are dynamic.  They can change over time.  For instance, if there is a stock of oil on Earth (assume we know what it is and how to get at it) the price of oil (in a dynamic equilibrium) will evolve over time to equate the discounted marginal value of it at all points in time.  Owners of the oil will have to decide at any given time whether to sell or hold their oil.  The decision will come down to whether they expect the price of it to increase by more or less than the rate of profit from some alternate investment.  This means they will sell oil until the price is expected to rise at the rate of interest (assuming no difference in risk etc.).  In this way the owners of oil receive a payment for holding it in the form of a price increase.  Note that the oil does not physically grow it is its value that grows because of the change in price.  This of course is a partial equilibrium analysis, it doesn’t explain why the interest rate is what it is.

The same is true of money in a natural (free market with commodity money) economy.  People who hold gold or silver are rewarded or punished by the change in price level.  Price (from now on I will suppress the term “price”) deflation means they receive a “payment” for holding money (the value of the money increases), inflation means they are charged for doing so.  What does this have to do with interest?  Well first you have to say which interest rate you are talking about.  The nominal interest rate is the nominal payment for lending money.  Therefore, if people hold other investments the return will be the rate of deflation + the nominal interest rate (approximately).  The reason people save is so they can consume later.  If people have no preference between holding their savings in money and, let’s say a corporate bond, then they would hold it in whichever one paid the highest return.  Since the rate of return on holding cash is determined by the rate of deflation/inflation, any positive nominal interest rate would cause all savings to be held in bonds rather than cash.  However, this does not appear to be the case.  The observation of a positive nominal interest rate indicates that people prefer holding some amount of cash to other investments for some reason at an equivalent rate of return.  This is because money is more liquid than other assets and people don’t have certainty about when they will want to spend it.  This “liquidity preference” drives a wedge between the rate of return on money (the deflation rate) and the rate of return on other investments (the deflation rate + the nominal interest rate).  This wedge is the nominal interest rate.

So that’s liquidity preference but how does time preference factor into this?  The classical theory of interest rates basically says that the interest rate is determined by people’s willingness to substitute consumption in one period with consumption in some future period.  This is still the case here.  This can be seen by deriving the real interest rate via the Fisher equation:

r=i-π

where r is the real rate, i the nominal rate and π the inflation rate.  Note that this economy would likely (but not necessarily) be characterized by deflation not inflation so we could rewrite the Fisher equation as:

r=i+d

where d is the deflation rate.  When written this way it is easy to see that the real interest rate, which is the “payment” for foregoing the ability to consume until some point in the future is equal to the payment for foregoing the actual consumption (d) and the payment for foregoing the ability to change your mind at some point along the way (i).  Or you could look at it another way:

d=r-i

The payment for foregoing consumption by holding cash (d) is equal to the real rate minus the premium for giving up liquidity (i).  And finally:

i=r-d

The premium for giving up liquidity is the payment over and above that which is required to postpone consumption (r) which is required to induce holding wealth in the less liquid asset.  So as you can see, it all works out, liquidity preference and time preference can coexist.  You just need to have 3 prices: 2 interest rates plus inflation rate.

 

Signs of the Commodity Bust

July 21, 2011 3 comments

Cotton Prices Fall.  I think this is the beginning of the backlash from the inflated commodity prices we have seen following the global monetary uber-stimulus over the past 3 years.  Notice that “China, the world’s largest cotton consumer, reported a 32% year-on-year drop in its cotton imports in June, confirming market fears over weak demand.”  China (along with many other countries) has been talking about tightening monetary policy recently, this is the likely result of that.

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Probability and Determinism Vs. Free Will

July 19, 2011 8 comments

Trying to find new ways to explain why our monetary system is a disaster gets tedious, probably even more so for the reader than the author.  So I’m going to start peppering in some philosophy.  These will mostly be motivated by arguments I have had, largely with objectivists.  It all adds up to a sort of general theory of god and reality but we will work toward that a little at a time.  Today I will address the age-old debate over free will versus determinism but I must start by explaining the nature of probability.

Probability is among the most abused concepts developed by mankind.  The reason for this (as with many other such concepts) is the failure to distinguish between reality and theory.  The understanding most people have of probability is based on its function in a theoretical model.  Therefore I won’t go to too much trouble defining this function.  Its meaning in a model is what you think it is.  You can read about it here.  When we say that X occurs with probability .2, we are assuming that X is a random event.  The notion of randomness is a theoretical construct.  Essentially it implies that we (the modeller) have complete knowledge of the process taking place and all that this knowledge amounts to is that it will happen with probability .2.  Notice that in a model, the event X never actually happens or doesn’t happen.  The model must say what the result would be if either event happened.  These results can depend on the probability of X and this can be changed at will by the modeller and the results on the effects both when X occurs and when it does not can be evaluated.

The confusion arises when people use probability to describe real world events.  If you roll a fair die and ask your friend what the probablity of rolling a 3 is, there is a 90% chance he/she will say 1/6.  But this is not true in the same sense as when you make a model and say that the probability of a 3 occurring in the model is 1/6.  This is because the event in reality is not objectively random.  What I mean by this is that it isn’t true that any of the six supposed possibilities can happen.  One of them will happen.  Which one it is depends on the exact way in which the die is rolled and the physical characteristics of the surface on which it is rolled and the movement of the air in the room and the temperature and humidity and the position of the moon etc.  All of these things add up to some particular outcome.  In other words, the outcome is determinate.

When someone says that there is a 1/6 chance of rolling a 3 what they mean is that they don’t know what will happen and the best estimate that they can make with the knowledge they have is to treat it as a random event with probability 1/6.  If they had all of the information pertinent to the event (and knew how to process it), they would be able to tell you with certainty what number would come up.  If they had some of that information but not all, they may be able to do better than to guess 1/6 but still not know the outcome for sure (go to 4:40).  Notice that these different scenarios all assume the same event taking place, it is only the knowledge possessed by the person making the guess that changes.  Stating the probability of a real world event is only a way of quantifying one’s ignorance of what will happen.

When we want to connect the theoretical interpretation of probability with real world events we often say something like “if you rolled the die a large number of times, the proportion of rolls that come up a 3 will approach 1/6 as the number of rolls approaches infinity.”  This is true as long as the die is perfectly fair and the person rolling it has no ability to influence the roll by their throw.  And we choose things like dice and coin-flips to represent probabilistic outcomes because they are things that are very difficult to influence or predict.  But the fact remains that each individual roll is a unique event.  If you rolled the die an infinite number of times and all the factors that affect the roll of the die were literally the same, the outcome would be the same every time. It is only because we don’t expect them to be the same every time that if we imagine rolling it many times we imagine getting different outcomes.  There is no such thing, in the real world, as the same event taking place an infinite number of times.  And each unique event will result in a specific unique outcome.  Some are relatively easy to predict and some very difficult but this is different from the idea of probability in a theoretical model.

The same concept applies to the actions of people.  I have, in the process of explaining this point of view, pointed out that it is possible to predict people’s’ behavior.  As an example consider a poker game.  Let’s imagine that I have a bad hand and I think my opponent also has a bad hand but one which is slightly better than mine.  It is my bet.  Leading up to this point I have observed some sequence of events and actions by my opponent that have led me to the conclusion just described regarding his hand.  Now there are varying degrees of certainty which I may have about his hand.  I might think there is a 50/50 chance that my guess is wrong or I might feel like there is a 90% chance that it is right.  Additionally, I might be absolutely certain that my guess is right and not believe it is possible he could have something else.  Notice that in any actual situation only one belief can be right (this is different from rational).  If he has what I think and I am sure of it I am right.  If he doesn’t have that and I am sure he doesn’t then I am right (of course then it wouldn’t be what I think he has).  Any probability  I assign to it other than 1 or 0 is incorrect, although it might be rational given my degree of knowledge.

Now assume that he does have what I think and that I believe this with certainty (if it helps, feel free to imagine that I can see his cards in a mirror behind him or some scenario like that exists).  Still in order to make the correct move I must predict his behavior  given that hand.  Let’s narrow the range of options I face to just two.  I can either make a bet, or fold.  If I think he will call the bet I want to fold because he has a better hand than me.  If I think he will fold to my bet then I want to bet because I will win the pot.  This requires me to analyze the process going on in his mind.  There is some process going on in his brain that takes in data and leads to some action and there is some data going in.  If I can understand both the process and the data perfectly I can theoretically know exactly what he will do.  This is not easy.  However, now imagine I decide that he will fold if I bet, so I bet and he folds.  At this point I turn to my friend and proclaim “I knew he would fold.”  I predicted his behavior and I was right.  In a previous discussion, I described an analogous situation to this and was told that I couldn’t have known that because he could have done something else.  Therefore, the reality was that there was some probability of him folding and some probability of him calling and therefore it was incorrect of me to assign a probability of 1 to folding.  But what probability should I have assigned?  The answer of course is “it depends.”  It depends on how much information I had about his thought process.  But assuming there is a true probability between 0 and 1 is a mistake.  The only correct probability I could have assigned was 1.

Now take this quote by a certain brilliant (and handsome) blogger: “If you roll a fair die and ask your friend what the probability of rolling a 3 is, there is a 90% chance he/she will say 1/6.”  In saying this, said blogger predicts other people’s’ behavior.  The logic behind this statement is something like: if everyone on earth who could possibly stumble upon this blog carried out that experiment my best guess about the proportion of them who would receive the answer “1/6” is about 90%.  But if you added information, the estimate may change.  For instance, some people may answer this incorrectly because they don’t know basic probability.  So if I knew the reader were going to ask around the economics department at their college I might adjust the estimate upward.  If I knew they were going to ask in the sociology department I would have to account for the increased chance of people responding “probability is just an illusion  pushed on us by the bourgeoisie man, you gotta wake up!”  If I knew the person being asked and I had had the argument about probability with them ten times before, I might know “for sure” that they would say 1/6.  They could say something else but this possibility doesn’t make me wrong.  The only thing that would make me wrong is if they did say something else.

But if I know what someone is going to say or do in a certain situation does that mean that they don’t have a choice?  Obviously not, it just means that I know what they are going to choose.  The confusion over this seems to stem from assuming the converse, namely that if someone has a choice, I can’t know what they will do.  This is equally false.  So if you think of determinism as predictability (which I think is the only reasonable way to think of it since adding any additional meaning is purely arbitrary) then there is no reason why determinism and choice can’t exist simultaneously.  It is only a matter of perspective.  The more information (and understanding) one has the more deterministic the universe becomes.  This is completely independent from the concept of choice.  The notion of an omniscient god is simply the limiting case of this concept.

What’s more, the argument that the notion of choice implies an objective probability strictly greater than zero of all choices occurring is self-defeating.  In fact, the notion that there must be a probability strictly greater than zero of every possible choice occurring is not consistent with choice.  If I have the ability to choose between two options I must be able to choose one with certainty.  If there is a predetermined objective probability of me choosing A and B then this is not a choice it is a random process–the antithesis of choice.

*Note: I know physicists are convinced that on an atomic level the universe is probabilistic.  I’m not an expert on that but I don’t believe it changes the implications of this theory.  Obviously people don’t have enough information to see the universe as deterministic and it may very well be the case that it is theoretically (not just practically) possible for us to have that much information but that issue is independent from the concepts of choice and determinism.  If anyone wants to start a fight about this I will say more about it.

So Long Glenn

As you may know Glenn Beck’s Fox News show is no more.  He is starting his own network (sort of) GBTV.   Unfortunately the show replacing him, “The Five,” represents everything stupid about cable news–five people sitting around shouting uninspired talking points at each other (although I have been pulling for Greg Gutfeld to get a better time slot, it’s not the best vehicle for him).  So I just want to say thanks to Glenn Beck for putting some interesting and thoughtful discussion on tv and not just the same tired analysis of the same headlines over and over again, and to post this article from his blog about his ratings.  This demonstrates the old adage that figures don’t lie but liars figure, and demonstrates why it’s so important to the other side to monopolize the attention of their followers and keep them intellectually quarantined from the competition.  If anyone on the left wants to bet me, I will make a large wager that FNC’s 5 o’clock spot suffers a significant drop in the ratings now that Glenn is gone.

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