Comey and McCabe Leap From The Moral High Ground Into The Trump Abyss

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitAndrew_McCabe_official_photoBelow is my column in USA Today on the rapid demise of James Comey and Andrew McCabe, who have fulfilled the very stereotypes drawn by President Donald Trump.  Comey continues to spin the controversy over his book as fulfilling what he saw as a need for ethical leadership (i.e., Comey himself).  Comey acknowledged that he never asked Mueller if he should wait on the book.  Why? If you are so committed to the FBI and this investigation, why would you not ask about the possibly deleterious effects of a tell-all book (which discussed both public and nonpublic evidence).  Clearly the book was not helpful to the investigation, but that did not matter to Comey who saw the greater need as advancing himself as the personification of virtue and ethics — while cashing in on the first tell-all book from a former FBI Director.

Here is the column:

President Donald Trump has long shown the unique ability to bring out the worst in people. It is by design. Trump will name call, badger, and taunt until critics lose their professional or personal control. They fulfill the stereotypes and caricatures that Trump creates for them. It is a strange skill set that most of us would not want to cultivate but its success cannot be denied this week.

In one week, two of Trump’s most stalwart critics — James Comey and Andrew McCabe — took headers from what most people viewed as moral high ground. Both Comey and McCabe have launched public campaigns attacking their critics and cashing in with people who are willing to ignore clearly unprofessional conduct.McCabe and his GoFundMe windfall

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe has long been a focus of Trump’s ire. His wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, received roughly $700,000 from a close Clinton ally and the state Democratic party in her campaign as a Democrat for the Virginia legislature. McCabe would later play a key role in the Clinton investigation and is mentioned in emails that are viewed as overtly hostile to Trump.

Trump’s attacks on McCabe were largely exaggerated and unsupported. The nexus between his wife’s campaign and the investigation is tenuous at best. However, equally tenuous is McCabe’s nexus between Trump and his own termination. McCabe was fired after an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General’s Office — both offices run by and staffed by career officials. Moreover, the investigation of McCabe began a week before Trump was sworn in. It preceded and had no connection to Mueller.

After his termination, McCabe immediately attacked the career staff as unfairly targeting him. His attacks became increasingly Trump-like as he described what the president loves to call “a witch hunt.” None of it made sense. Whatever was in the report motivated FBI Director Christopher Wray to push McCabe into an immediate terminal leave after reviewing the summary weeks ago. Furthermore, it was the career staff that recommended his termination — an unprecedented decision for a former acting FBI Director.

With the release of the report looming, McCabe quickly created a GoFundMe page that portrayed himself as a victim before the facts were released by the IG. He repeatedly increased the target goal and quickly raised over $500,000 from the hopelessly gullible. He then shut down the page just before the report was released. The report is now out and the career staff found that McCabe suffered a “lack of candor” (read: lied) not once but four times about leaking information to the media. Moreover, it concluded that he took the action not in the public’s interest but his own personal interest.

Now McCabe’s lawyer is threatening lawsuit in Michael Cohen-like blasts. His attorney declared that he is pursuing possible defamation lawsuits against “the president and senior members of the administration” for “wrongful termination, defamation, constitutional violations and more.” He added the Cohenesque taunt of “Thank you for providing even more material for the defamation suit we are actively considering filing against you and your colleagues. Stay tuned.” Most of us would rather not.

James Comey and the tell-all book

This week Comey became the first former FBI Director to write a tell-all book that is already raking in massive profits. It is not just the tenor but the timing of the book that is so controversial. Comey was in charge of a still ongoing investigation and is a cooperating witness in that investigation. Yet, he decided to rush a book to print to discuss both public and non-public evidence. He seemed to take a lesson from Trump who once said, “Remember, there’s no such thing as an unrealistic goal — just unrealistic time frames.” Waiting for the end of the investigation was simply unrealistic if you wanted to maximize book sales. It did not matter that such a book can only undermine an investigation (and Comey’s value as a witness).

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership is a transparently self-serving and distorted account of Comey’s struggle with Trump, who is portrayed as a virtual soul-snatcher with a mob-boss demeanor. Yet, the book panders to the most petty elements to sell this story. Consider how he sets the scene for what he describes as a historic meeting:

“His face appeared slightly orange with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coifed, bright blond hair, which upon close inspection looked to be all his … As he extended his hand, I made a mental note to check its size. It was smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”

Comey goes on in the book and his interview this week with George Stephanopoulosto gratuitously question Trump’s marriage while declaring that there is evidence of obstruction by Trump. He further emphasized that it is “possible” that Trump engaged in a “golden shower” with Russian prostitutes in Moscow and that the Russians have compromising dirt on him. Comey has no evidence to support these claims. He indicates simply that it is “possible” — which predictably caused a sensation … and sales. Of course, it is also possible that Trump did in Jimmy Hoffa and runs a panda-skinning operation in the White House. For a former FBI director to engage in such speculation over salacious claims (in the midst of an investigation) is a new low even in a city plagued by sleazy tell-all books.

Comey has succeeded in proving Trump’s point. After facing bipartisan calls for his termination after discussing evidence against an unindicted person (Hillary Clinton), he is back doing the very same thing with Trump. On both occasions, he acted for his own interest not the public’s interest.

Since being fired, Comey has also been accused of removing memos that he prepared during the investigation against FBI rules. Four of the seven memos are considered classified and he gave four to a friend to leak the information to the media. Instead of giving the memos to investigators or Congress, Comey (the man tasked with finding leakers) became a leaker himself. He then followed Trump to Twitter where he first lurked under a pseudonym and then started tweeting out attacks to the delight of his followers.

Ironically, Trump may prove to be just the moral hazard that Comey describes. After all, both Comey and McCabe ultimately failed the moral hazard that they breathlessly recount in their public campaigns. They yielded to  temptation and will be richer as a result. The cost will fall not on them but on their colleagues and the FBI they used to lead.

Jonathan Turley, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, where he teaches constitutional and tort law. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley.

963 thoughts on “Comey and McCabe Leap From The Moral High Ground Into The Trump Abyss”

  1. Brilliant observation Professor Turley. This nugget is undeniable:

    “President Donald Trump has long shown the unique ability to bring out the worst in people. It is by design. Trump will name call, badger, and taunt until critics lose their professional or personal control. They fulfill the stereotypes and caricatures that Trump creates for them. It is a strange skill set that most of us would not want to cultivate but its success cannot be denied this week.”

    1. well its called trolling for those who have been asleep for a decade and a lot of difficult people are good at it

  2. Trump is the kitchen overhead light and these two are the cockroaches. They didn’t get the way they are since the 2016 election. Most men’s buttons are ego; Trump understands this.

  3. We need a “tell all book” from J. Edgar Hoover. He was the first FBI Director. He was the one who conspired with others and directed others (like a mob boss) to kill JFK, MLK and RFK. For those of you who do not know these initials: President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. In that chronological order. The historians and the media ignore this topic on purpose. They do not want to get killed. A FBI Director or the CIA Director is a mob boss. They kill in the name of God and Country. God spulled backwards is dog. Dog Bless America! Land of the Free! Home of the Blame!

    1. He was the one who conspired with others and directed others (like a mob boss) to kill JFK, MLK and RFK.

      I see you’re wiggling the straps of your straightjacket this morning.

      1. The above was directed at Liberty2nd, and any other whacky conspiracy minded folks who happen to be in the neighborhood.

  4. One cannot hold and hence relinquish that which was never possessed. To quote Lord Acton,”Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

  5. “President Donald Trump has long shown the unique ability to bring out the worst in people.”

    JT, you say this all the time, as if these are good people it’s just the President who makes them bad. The worst in these people has always been out there, it’s just some refuse to see it and call it for what it is. These people and by these people not just Comey and McCabe have launched an attempt to topple a duly elected President. The witch is on her broom flying free.

    1. “these people” have been “bad people” for decades. All Trump has done is subject them to scrutiny.

      As we learn more we find that Mueller and Comey have been involved – usually leading, most every embarrassing disaster the FBI has had for 3 decades.

    2. They fulfill the stereotypes and caricatures that Trump creates for them.

      This one sentence jumps off the page. Trump didn’t create these lawless characters; he exposed them.

      1. This is what happens when a bureaucracy becomes unaccountable. That is why sunlight is always necessary to push men to do the right thing. In the darkness where no one else can see man will all too frequently take what he wants.

    3. Right on. Trump didn’t bring out the worst in anyone. He brought out the Comey in Comey, he brought out the McCabe in McCabe, and something nobody gives him credit for — he revealed what the mainstream media is really all about, and it has nothing to do with keeping people informed.

      1. Good observation.

        I would also note – Comey, McCabe and now Mueller have been squeezing and investigation Trump surogates for almost 2 years.
        They have come up with nothing but process violations.
        No one has “flipped” no one has “turned”. Some of these people are not pillars of integrity – yet they are all claiming to be innocent, or at worst to have made small mistakes.

        Their interogators have been in the spotlight for less than half as much time – and they are all turning on each other.

        Either people only marginally associated with Trump with little reason to be loyal to him are bound by a code of omerta more compelling than that of La Cosa Nostra, or they have nothing to tell they are not ratting people out – because they have nothing to tell.

        Conversly those the left has raised as pillars of integrity – Comey, McCabe, Lynch, …
        Are ratting each other out right and left under a little pressure.

        It is the people in the Obama DOJ/FBI who are behaving like a bunch of guilty criminals who have been caught and are trying to deflect attention to their co-conspirators.

        Even the very act of blaming each other now, demonstrates the existance of a conspiracy – atleast one of silence.

        If as an example Lynch was compromised in late 2015 – why are we hearing that NOW.

        Wouldn’t someone with “a higher loyalty” come forward to speak truth to power THEN ?

  6. This post shows Turley is capable of putting together objective thoughts, whereas anything he has to say about Stormy-ass Daniels case is clouded by his relationship with slimeball Avenatti. Overzealous Muler smart enough to aim his Zealotry at fringe players being fully aware that potential witnesses Comey and McCabe would get shredded if he were to ever trump up charges against Trump. Public self-imposed implosions of potential witness Comey and McCabe are another indication that no actions will be taken by Muler against Trump. Couple this with Muier referring Cohen matters Souther District of NY = Muler punting on direct pursuit of Trump, but instead attacks on fringes/fringe players to mark his territory and save face regarding time and money spent on this charade.

    1. P.S. Both Muler and Trump are aware of mutually-assured destruction in case of direct confrontation and thus both avoiding this like two Cold War warriors.

          1. Mespo asked, “Wonder who really wrote this one? Judith Miller or Jayson Blair.”

            Nancy Gertner, a judge on the Federal District Court in Massachusetts from 1994 to 2011, is a senior lecturer at Harvard Law School.

            1. Dear Late: Party is over. Trump outworked HRC (via television as main media). Stop pulling conspiracy stories off shelf to placate your denial. No disgruntled voters have stepped forward claiming that they got duped by Russians because that was not the case. And stop hoping for Muler to bail you out because he aint gonna go after Trump directly. He has already signaled this to anybody paying attention. Good Day.

              1. You’re a good sport, Bill Martin. But Trump can’t fire me anymore than more than you-know-who can. Robert Swan Mueller The Third remains he who will not be deterred. In the end, Trump will cough up Kremlin fabricated evidence in his own defense. At that point The Senate will have no choice but to remove Trump from office. Thanks for playing, Bill.

                1. “The party’s over
                  It’s time to call it a day
                  They’ve burst your
                  Pretty balloon
                  And taken the moon away…”

                2. Late4Dinner/ Puntual for Vendetta..
                  – You should brace yourself for the possibilty that this may not happen.

                3. And you have some evidence to support your flights of fancy ?

                  Ylou might wish to start thinking about the fact that Mueller has not managed to come up with anything – because their is nothing to find.

              2. “No disgruntled voters have stepped forward claiming that they got duped by Russians because that was not the case. ”

                IF such voters did exist and come forward – that wouldn’t change anything either.

                Clinton has been lying to us for decades – and alot of voters have been duped.

                What the left is trying to say is “only we are allowed to dupe voters”.

                You can vote for someone because they are handsome, tall, dress well, are white, or black, or indian, are catholic, or jewish or not, Because your neighbor told you to, because the press told you too, or even because the russians told you to.

                The entire world is free to try to persuade you – even “dupe” you.

                Absent holding a gun to your head, there is no crime.

                The right to vote includes the right of the duped to vote and the right to vote stupidly.

            2. L4D:

              “[Mass. Parole Board Member] Albano was appalled that, later that same year, Mueller was appointed FBI director, because it was Mueller, first as an assistant US attorney then as the acting US attorney in Boston, who wrote letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies.

              Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset.”

              https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/1970/01/19/one-lingering-question-for-fbi-director-robert-mueller/613uW0MR7czurRn7M4BG2J/story.html

              *******************************

              Judge Nancy needs a better ghost writer and you need to understand the NYT has an agenda other than “all the news that’s fit to print.”

          2. In Judge Gertner’s own words from the first article cited above:

            I was the federal judge who presided over a successful lawsuit brought against the government by two of those men and the families of the other two, who had died in prison. Based on the voluminous evidence submitted in the trial, and having written a 105-page decision awarding them $101.8 million, I can say without equivocation that Mr. Mueller, who worked in the United States attorney’s office in Boston from 1982 to 1988, including a brief stint as the acting head of the office, had no involvement in that case. He was never even mentioned.

            1. Judge Nancy here is quite the impartial jurist with her autobiography: “Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate.” She’s also a dyed-in-the-scales swamp liberal graduating from Barnard and then Yale with a teaching gig at Harvard amidst her “advocacy.” Her husband is legal director for the ACLU and she used to keep a hit list of lawyers and judges she thought were sexist. Madame DeFarge-ish, no? Quite a source of unvarnished truth — liberal style.

        1. A fine article. That it is true will only heighten the abuse from the mindless far right idealogues here.

  7. Thank you, Professor Turley. The truth is almost impossible to find in today’s media. Even when people find it they refuse to believe it or follow up to ascertain its validity. You are one of the very, very few people on whom I can rely for objective, incisive and informative perceptions. Sadly, as the dearth and quality of comments on this excellent article displays, the apathy, inertia and ignorance of the American people persist and remain our greatest enenemies. Please continue your heroic efforts. You are serving our Country with extraordinary honor, dignity and patriotism.

  8. The high moral ground of Phoenix is 500 feet higher than Washington, D.C. They never had high moral ground.

      1. David Benson – we have buildings taller than the Washington Monument and mountains more than 1000 feet higher than the official elevation of Phoenix.

  9. (1) “Comey and McCabe Leap From The Moral High Ground …” — LOL — I must’ve blinked somewhere over the last several years. When did these two felonious clowns ever occupy any “moral high ground”?

    JT apparently has a questionable idea of what “moral high ground” means. An analogy might be to credit Al Capone for having the moral high ground right up to the point where he got convicted.

    (2) “President Donald Trump has long shown the unique ability to bring out the worst in people.”

    LOL, Part Two: What JT refers to as “bring out the worst if people” I’d call “cause people to stop hiding behind a façade and show the world what they really are.” I think that explanation makes a lot more sense. But Turley is compelled, it seems, to view everything — literally everything — through the warped prism of his own anti-Trump perspective.

    I think perhaps JT’s problem is that Trump doesn’t put much effort into trying to hide what sort of person he is, whereas most other people — the sort of people Turley likes to associate with — expend unbelievable amounts of time and energy trying to make others think they are something other than what they really are.

    They appear to be polite — keyword “appear” — until it’s revealed that they aren’t really polite at all, and in many ways, are less polite than the average person. They appear to be honest and trustworthy, until the façade is removed and it turns out that that appearance of honesty and trustworthiness was actually one of the most dishonest and untrustworthy things about them.

    I conclude that JT — like so many democrats and anti-Trumpers — prefers polite dishonesty to honest rudeness. And I think that’s a fatal flaw in one’s ability to accurately judge a person’s character.

    (3) When Trump solves the North Korean problem that’s been threatening the entire planet for a very long time — and it looks like he’s on the brink of doing just that — People such as JT will still be lamenting the fact that name-calling — aka “Rocket Man” — something that polite frauds such as Obama would never consider doing — certainly didn’t hurt, and it probably helped in ways that they just can’t wrap their constricted minds around.

    Simply put, people such as JT will be calling for Trump’s impeachment because he had the audacity to be rude enough to actually solve one of the world’s most threatening problems, and in so doing, was rude enough to demonstrate that being a polite fraud such as Obama is no solution to anything.

    The excuse to call for impeachment — whatever the excuse might be (and people have been floating various excuses for impeachment since the day after election day) — will just be a façade they’ve erected to hide their own foolishness.

    1. Good post, William. Trump doesn’t bring out the worst in people – he exposes what they really are. Which he can do for the precise reason that he doesn’t have any pretense about himself.

      Call him an immoral womanizer – he doesn’t care. Call him fat and ugly – he doesn’t care.

      I wouldn’t want to have dinner with him, but he’s exactly what this country needed at this time.

      1. Foxtrot, I know people that have eaten or been with him. My understanding is that in public he sometimes appears a bit of a jerk but in private or when working he is very gracious. I never met him personally, but I was at a meeting with a speaker who later worked for the President when he won the election. Trump walked into the room and didn’t suck the oxygen out of the air. He remained in the back and said a few nice words about the speaker and nothing about himself or the campaign. He then graciously left.

        I think some of his eccentricities are a turnoff and perhaps open to criticism. However, I am convinced he is a decent human being better than most that seek power.

    2. Sad. This quote reveals your character:

      “I think perhaps JT’s problem is that Trump doesn’t put much effort into trying to hide what sort of person he is, whereas most other people — the sort of people Turley likes to associate with — expend unbelievable amounts of time and energy trying to make others think they are something other than what they really are.”

      You see, people like you, and the day glo bozo, don’t understand that other people aren’t like them. Others really do believe in telling the truth, that one’s word is his bond, and that if you say you’re going to do something, you really do it. That the right thing to do is always, even when no one else is watching. In short, you say what you mean, and mean what you say. Thus, to use your language, “the sort of people Turley likes to associate with” aren’t expending any time whatsoever trying to make others think anything, because these people really are who they represent themselves to be. I understand that such a concept likely doesn’t resonate with you, which is merely another reason to take pity on you and your isolated and miserable existence. While I won’t deign to diagnose people who think like you and the day glo bozo, there’s a word for people who don’t understand or empathize with their fellow humankind.

      this is to “everybody’s running a con, I tell ya, and I’m no different” willie

      1. Marky Mark Mark – my understanding was that you were unqualified to diagnosis anyone for anything. Supposed you have a law degree and have passed the bar. That does not make you an expert on mental disease or physical disease, etc. You backhandedly tried to diagnosis people though, didn’t you? You are practicing without a license. Bad boy!!!!

      2. Do ordinary people value telling the Truth ? I do not know about others – I certainly do.

        By that criteria – no in in or aspiring to go to washington is even slightly appealing.
        Not to mention that the entire left and media fail too.

        Trump unapologetically plays loosely with the facts.
        As does every other politician, the entire left and the media.
        Any criteria that indicts Trump, indicts the entirety of the government, left and media.

        Clinton was caught KNOWINGLY lying repeatedly about matters of substance.

        There is a world of Difference between Trump’s inarticulate spin or lack of precision and Clinton’s Flat out lying – even under oath.

        Sory M, but in a test of integrity – Trump actually wins.
        But most of us understand that the lies that those like Clinton, McCabe, Comey, Lynch have been telling – sometimes under oath are far more serious.

        Your expecting impending perp walks – so am I. The “elites” that sought to manufacture collusion are now engaged in a circular firing squad. The hysterical #resistance, is collapsing. Participants are now seeking to cover their own asses.

        For almost two years Trump and his surogates have been under infinite pressure – yet, they have not turned on each other or Trump.

        There are only three possibilities.

        There is nothing for them to tell.
        They do not know anything.
        Or the code of Omerta amoung even minor Trump surrogates is stronger than that of the Mafia, and certainly stronger than that of the so called people of integrity – Comey, McCabe, Lynch, …

        But you do not seem to be able to separate integrity from ideology. So I would not expect you to notice.

        1. I work against the Fibbies in my day job. Although I’ve questioned the accuracy of some of an agent’s testimony, I’ve not ever caught one of them in a verifiable lie under oath. Because I work against the Fibbies, I know the pace of their work. They are never in a hurry; and when they start unsealing the indictments and corresponding arrest warrants, they come en masse and hard. The investigation by the Special Prosecutor is roughly one year old; one of my current clients is facing the music for a conspiracy in which all the relevant conduct occurred in 2014 and 2015, and his indictment wasn’t unsealed until early 2017. Whatever the Special Prosecutor has against the day glo bozo and/or his closer henchmen, it’s not ripe yet. So your “three possibilities” theorem is laughably naive; these people are top-notch in the cop-world universe and will take all the time they need to cross all the Tees and ensure that their case is bulletproof. As for “ideology,” I’m basing my belief on perp walks on the ridiculously idiotic words emitting from the day glo bozo’s mouth; as is true of most criminals, buffoons and sociopaths, his own words will make the case against him.

          this is to “but, but, Hannity swears it’s all a witch hunt” dilly

          1. Marky Mark Mark – “your client’? Pleeeeeze. A couple of months ago you were handling Chapter 7s. At best you are on a team, at worst you doing research for the firm while everyone else is doing the fun work.

          2. “I work against the Fibbies in my day job”

            As an assistant file clerk in that large legal enterprise in your mind do you as assistant file clerk file the “Fibbies ” under the letter F?

            1. In the real world outside of the fantasies of the wackjobs hereabout, I’m a sole practitioner who practices only criminal defense at both the trial and appellate level.

              1. Mark M. writes: “I’m a sole practitioner who practices only criminal defense at both the trial and appellate level.”

                I don’t know if one can believe you. I think your personality fits more into the category of assistant paper filer for a not very good law firm. If what you say is true that is good because if you represent a criminal based on what we see on this blog that criminal will end up in jail where he belongs.

                You haven’t demonstrated the intellectual capacity of a poor lawyer on this blog and that is your fault. You can always change the image we have of you by better postings.

                1. Haha. Then don’t believe. I care not at all. I’m not trying to convince you of anything; for my purposes, you can stay just the way you are: delusional, gullible and woefully misinformed. You, and your ilk, are my entertainment. I’m just poking you through your small-minded, intolerant, paranoid, self-imposed cage.

                  This is to “not really getting the picture” allan

                  1. “Haha. Then don’t believe. I care not at all. ”

                    Good because you need to put your attention on filing A-Z and not getting so many paper cuts. Have you had your blood count taken to make sure you aren’t anemic?

                    “You, and your ilk, are my entertainment. ”

                    OK, Dick Tracey, we recognize your gifts paper cuts and all. But in your mind at least keep getting your clients convicted especially in front of those 12 blow up dolls.

              2. Marky Mark Mark – now it comes clear. You are getting appointed as a public defender. Considering the statements you have made about criminal law, you are a danger to your clients.

              3. I know just about every criminal defense lawyer in my county and most of the good ones in my state.

                They vary from brilliant to idiots.

                I am personally in an estate mess at the moment where the judge, and a gaggle of lawyers do not know such things as that distributions from a trust are not normally taxable.

                Nor do they no what a contract is – not basic contracts 1L – it is like they never watched even the paper chase. I doubt a one could repeat the required elements for a contract – not even the judge or his clerk.

                This is an estate case – and no lawyer involved seems to know the basics of the standards for the executor. Yet the judge has been doing orphans court for 20 years.

                So no, I am not impressed because you claim to be a sole practitioner of criminal law.

                I have dealt with very good lawyers and incredibly shitty ones.

                You have not persuaded most of us you are not the latter.

          3. Given the numerous instances in which the FBI has been publicly excoriated specifically for the kind of nonsense that you claim never to have seen – your credibility sucks.

            Recently a federal Judge completely tossed the cases against the Bundy’s – because the FBI had REPEATEDLY lied.
            Sen. Ted Steven’s case was reversed by Judge Sulivan – because the FBI had manufactured evidence, hid exculpatory evidence and LIED about it – the FBI did discipline one agent – the whistleblower.

            We have Mueller Botching TWICE the Anthrax case – twice hounding innocent americans – one to suicide, and the last NAS report confirms the Anthrax did NOT come from Ft. Dietrich and probably came from Al Qeda.

            The IG has already found McCabe lied – twice under oath. There is a criminal referal regarding Comey. Comey is claiming that Lynch was compromised. It is littlerally not possible for Comey’s may 2017 testimony to be truthful – it contradicts too many known facts.

            The NAS also did an indepth study of the FBI crime lab about a decade ago.
            It found it was likely the best in the country and it was CRAP. That reports were being fabricated, that the science did not come close to supporting the conclusions.

            Mueller also botched the Atlanta bombing hounding someone who was actually a hero for over a year.

            Sorry Mark – I do not find you credible.

            1. John Say – assuming that Marky Mark Mark actually is a lawyer and actually has been assigned in some capacity by his firm to a federal criminal case, Marky Mark Mark is a baby lawyer, wet behind the ears. 😉 He actually thought the only way you could charge someone was through a grand jury. He had never heard of a preliminary hearing.

              1. Lawyers like to argue. Mark M isn’t any good at it. Is rather disconcerting if he actually is a lawyer.

                1. DSS – I think he went to a third-tier law school and did not get a good legal education or he is a paralegal for some firm and pretending he is a lawyer.

                  1. “I think he went to a third-tier law school ”

                    Paul, Mark has blood all over his fingers. It must be from paper cuts working as the assistant filer at a third-tier-law firm.

              2. False, yet again. I never claimed such. Your formal logic lesson for this error is the simple “Because A equals B does not mean B equals A.” I wrote that out for you in words rather than symbols so that you could internalize the message in a medium you would understand.

                this is to “on just about any day, I’m liable to just make sh*t up for the hell of it” paulie

            2. Sen. Ted Steven’s case was reversed by Judge Sulivan – because the FBI had manufactured evidence, hid exculpatory evidence and LIED about it – the FBI did discipline one agent – the whistleblower.

              If I’m not mistaken, the bad actors in that case were federal prosecutors, not the FBI.

              1. There were issues both with the prosecutors and the FBI.

                One of the interesting facets that compares quite well to what we are seeing is that the prosecution refused to turn over evidence – despite orders to do so.
                It fought tooth and nail.
                When it lost, it redacted what it turned over.
                When the redactions were finally exposed – the FBI had redacted the exculpatory evidence.

                The primary source unraveling this – was an FBI whistle blower.
                And he was the only person actually disciplined in the case.

          4. The investigation by the Special Prosecutor is roughly one year old;

            The investigation began in July 2016, run by the Andrew McCabe clown posse. The FISA warrants were obtained in October 2016.

            That aside, Lawrence Walsh secured a mess of indictments on mickey-mouse process crimes, but these were generally secured after his office had built cases against the big game. It was the same deal with Kenneth Starr’s office. The comical case against Julie Hiatt Steele was an appendix. The Watergate office had a primary crime and then obstruction of justice to address, so it’s first set of indictments concerned the primary crime and it’s next set concerned 2d echelon actors who’d turned state’s evidence. The third set were the big game. The third set were indicted in March 1974, 21 months after the investigation began. You’ve had that much time, and you’ve got bupkis.

  10. The La-Di-Dah Class, of which Comey and McCabe belong, are notoriously unable to see their own flaws. I was in the kitchen the other night spoon feeding Snagglepuss, and Steven Colbert came on. I consider him a smarmy, stupid little prick, so I don’t watch him. But, Snagglepuss was hungry, so I had to listen to a few minutes of Colbert doing some routine about Republican Congressmen retiring to “White Acres” with all the allusions to Republicans being racisssts!

    I mean, where does Colbert live??? I bet it is someplace that is white as snow, just like most Liberal Democrats. Even Maxine Waters. How do these creeps not see their own hypocrisy??? My God, they are worse than Brother Jimmy Swaggart who got caught with hookers, booze, and blow in a cheap motel.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. “… worse than Brother Jimmy Swaggart who got caught with hookers, booze, and blow in a cheap motel.”

      LOL — that’s a bit unfair, don’t ya think? You can’t really expect a guy who’s into hookers, booze, and blow to waste money on a pricey motel. That would sort o’ cut into the hookers-booze-and-blow budget.

    2. On the 1st night at the event they served an attendee calf fries & they were big, & they were great.

      On the 2nd night the same attendee loved the calf fries so much he ordered them again.

      The waitress served the gentlemen & after a bit commented the this nights calf fries were much smaller & were sour to the taste, upon which the waitress explained that some days the bull fighter wins & some days the bull wins thus today the Bull wins & Colberts small balls were served.

  11. Washington, DC’s highest elevation is 409 feet. Perhaps this explains why politicians’ definition of Moral High Ground is rather flat and lacking to the rest of us.

  12. No matter how bad the behavior and the often criminal aspects of Mr. McCabe and Mr. Comey, so many people that post on here consider their problems trivial. Pres. Trump is so evil and bad for the country, that its A-OK to do whatever it takes to rid the US of this person.

    So we’ve witnessed the past administration spy on media, members of Congress, private citizens, and its all A-OK because Pres. Trump must go. The DOJ/FBI have continued to stonewall Congress, but that’s A-OK because Pres. Trump has to go. We’ve been subjected to numerous investigations which seem to be reaching events from over a decade ago in an attempt to remove Pres. Trump, because he just has to go.

    So we will continue to watch the criminality unfold and no matter how far it reaches, its all worthy because Pres. Trump should be in jail.

    Sorry folks, being a jerk isn’t a crime. Winning an election isn’t a crime. Trimming regulations is not a crime. Letting people keep more of their money isn’t debt busting. Striking back when chemical weapons is a good thing. Letting the whole world know, that we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

    And I will put up with Pres. Trump’s bad behavior, because his actions speak louder than his words.

  13. Mr. Turley, you continue to take facts and meld them with speculation and innuendo to support your own grift–the continuing irrational support of Trump and the money attendant thereto.
    Today I saw “The Death of Stalin.” I commend this to you. The analogies to what Putin is up to now are frightening. The schema put forward seems to be where Trump wants to go. In a black humoresque way, the exits and entrances of toadies in the Trump admin echo those in Stalin’s admin. OK, maybe they aren’t assassinated, but they are disappeared. There’s your real story, not some nonsense about Comey and McCabe.

    1. If Comey had talked with Mueller before the book was published, an idea that Turley implies was preferable, Fox would have spun it as conspiracy, bias, collusion….

    2. A very apt comparison, unfortunately. Uncle Stalin required enablers at first, as well.

      this is to hollywood’s insightful post.

  14. Comey and McCabe are completely entitked to tell their version of events instead of taking their firings in silence. Trump took personal vengeance against both of them so deserves to face everything they can throw at him – kitchen sink and all. Stop trying to make out that Trump didn’t want them both gone. He was highly motivated to see the backs of both of them once they denied their ‘loyalty’ to him personally.

    He would also fire Sessions and Rosenstein at the drop of a hat but these would be too politicalky sensitive.

    1. ‘ivankinsman’ your comment does nothing to refute what Turley wrote. I doesn’t matter that Trump wanted them gone. You missed the point of the article – Turley did not defend Trump, he merely exposed Comey and McCabe……………

      1. Nope … great abider by it. Why dud Trump fire Coney for investigating Russian collusion. Who is exactly breaking the law here – we will wait and see for Mueller’s findings.

        1. Comey and McCabe are completely entitked to tell their version of events instead of taking their firings in silence. Trump took personal vengeance against both of them so deserves to face everything they can throw at him – kitchen sink and all. Stop trying to make out that Trump didn’t want them both gone. He was highly motivated to see the backs of both of them once they denied their ‘loyalty’ to him personally.

          He would also fire Sessions and Rosenstein at the drop of a hat but these would be too politicalky sensitive.

          Your entire post assumes facts that are not in evidence while ignoring facts that are. If you are a great abider of the rule of law, then what evidence do you have that makes you believe Comey and McCabe are entitled to their version of events and President Trump is not justified in their firings?

          1. Amendment VI

            In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

            1. Absolutely – and Trump has gotten none of that.

              BTW the sixth amendment has nothing to do with being fired.

              When you are fired you are entitled to payment for all parts of your employment agreement you have fulfilled and damages for any parts your boss has failed.

              That is all.

            1. That’s it!? According to you that is the only fact you have identified? Are you not ignoring the underlying facts of what Russian Investigation means? How about actual evidence of crimes leading up to the Russian investigation, nothing there for you to see? How about evidence of crimes during the Russian investigation, nothing there either? Come on, actual evidence of crimes…ready, go.

                1. THAT IS IT. THT IS All THERE NEEDS TO BE.

                  Congratulations, oh great abider! You’ve summed up quite well the Lawfare State masquerading as the rule of law. Please tell me you didn’t actually pay for a law degree.

                2. The media and establishment DC who reflexively defend Mueller haven’t explained how they came to trust him so completely. It’s a question worth asking given the bumpy historical record of Mueller’s tenure as FBI director from 2001 to 2013.

                  http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/19/revealed-robert-muellers-fbi-repeatedly-abused-prosecutorial-discretion/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=fb3020858a-RSS_The_Federalist_Daily_Updates_w_Transom&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-fb3020858a-79248369

                  And that is a bright red flag about special counsel Mueller.

                    1. No, everyone does not. The people who’ve observed his conduct in the last year do not and the people who remember who Steven Hatfill is do not.

                    2. Lol! We’ll it didn’t take long to expose you. Cursing, really? Silly of me to be objective. My 9 year old knows more about right and wrong than you do. 🤣

                    3. In Washington, people are careful what they say about others and frequently say things of approval or disapproval that are disingenuous. What is pathetic is that at your age you don’t recognize that.

                    4. “Don’t state the bleeding obvious”

                      It most definitely is not obvious to you ivankinsman. You seem to have the mindset of a child in an adult’s body. Hopefully, you will study more and talk less so your mind can grow into your body.

                    5. I understand enough I think my friend. Michael Cohen is under immense pressure and is going to flip – and then all the dirty washing surrounding this President will out. Rosenstein-Mueller are presenting a united front against Trump trying to undercut the investigation, claiming it has ‘gone rogue’ etc. Slowly slowly catchee monkey. Enjoy.

                    6. “I understand enough I think my friend. ”

                      It is not that you can’t think rather you think like a child. Sometimes childhood innocence is very helpful but now is not that time.

                      “Michael Cohen is under immense pressure and is going to flip – and then all the dirty washing surrounding this President will out. ”

                      You have a lot of hubris to have such certainty when making such a prediction. Whatever dirt might be found will not have significant involvement in either the candidacy or the Presidency of Trump. The actions taken have diminished the rule of law which is of much greater importance. I don’t know that they will find anything significant enough in Cohen’s papers that would stop the President from continuing to do the excellent job he has done to date. That is what counts.

                      While you beam at the fact that the President may have had a singular affair with Stormy, the President is dealing with Korea which in a few years could have its missiles targeted to where you live. I find the MSM and those disparaging the President rather stupid as he is on the brink of negotiations with North Korea. Children don’t care about these things rather they giggle that a man might have been with a woman and might have had sex.

                    7. So, here you admit he had sex with Stormy but fail to criticise your hero for stating outright that he did not i.e. basically lying outright to the media. So, which is it?

                    8. “So, here you admit he had sex with Stormy”

                      Though totally unimportant I didn’t admit anything of the kind.I said ” the President may have had a singular affair with Stormy,” which also means he may not have had sex with Stormy. The problem is voyeurs like you seem to get a charge thinking about other people having sex and like to talk about it. A bit odd, but each to his own.

                    9. No YOU completely miss the point here, which is strange for someone so pedantic.

                      The point is that it happened – why else would Cohen pay $130,000 to an adult porn star except for an NDA (and it was very sloppily done) – and Trump has publicly lied about it.

                    10. “pedantic”

                      Ivankinsman I see you are trying out new vocabulary words. That is good because you need to get up to speed.

                      I see your voyeurism is titillating you and the fact that Cohen paid out $130,000 is getting you into a near frenzy. It’s making you draw conclusions that aren’t yet known. All I can say is so what? At worst a man cheated on his wife with a one night stand (and we don’t know if that happened). I guess you don’t realize it but men have been cheating on their wives for ages. In some countries mistresses are official and in other countries harems might exist. I hope what must be new knowledge for you doesn’t send you out on a sex rampage.

                      The big question about a man or a woman having sex outside of marriage is SO WHAT? unless you are the spouse. Your picture doesn’t look like Melania so I don’t think you are in the game.

                    11. Firstly Ivankinsman you don’t know whether he lied or not? Stormy said she had a consensual affair with the President ten years after the affair and before an election. Who cares if he had sex with her? You do. It excites you. Maybe you need an affair of your own. Maybe you will have one and if you have a partner deny the affair occurred and even if it didn’t occur you might deny it as well. Why are we involved in the personal lives of our leaders?

                      You know what sex is, right? A man and a woman become aroused and the necessary anatomical parts are put together. Both generally enjoy the experience if it is consensual. What do you have against two people having pleasure together? Why must that act be announced to the world? Do you announce to the world every time you go to the bathroom or everytime you engage in solo sex? Do your friends ask you if you had sex the night before? Do you answer? Do you always have that urge to tell them? What is your hangup?

                    12. You are a moron. It is not the sex. It is the fact that he LIED about it. If you think he didn’t have sex then you’re the only man in the US who thinks so. Don’t you understand? He got his attorney to draw up an NDA and then has now lied about the whole affair. Christ – how often do I have to explain this to you. A US President cannot be caught out blatantly lying in public.

                    13. A US President cannot be caught out blatantly lying in public.

                      What? It’s okay if you don’t get caught, or be publicly blatant about it? Hmmm, do you bother to proof your comments? Anyway…

                      Newsflash! Sure they can. They have and will do so in the future. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. The question is what should be done about it? Donald Trump, private citizen may have had sex with a porn actress 10 years ago. This would be an issue between him, his wife and perhaps his family. It could potentially harm the Trump brand but somehow I doubt that.

                      Another Newsflash! I’ve lied, you’ve lied, we’ve all lied about personal things we would be embarrassed about. Things that could harm the very people we love the most. Go ahead, cast the first stone. Character is an issue when it comes to elections. Would Donald Trump not have been elected had it been discovered he had sex with a porn actress years ago? I wouldn’t have been surprised to discover that. It certainly wouldn’t have altered my vote and you know why? Because for all his shortcomings in the private sector, his opponent had proven in her public service that she is never to be trusted with public service again.

                      So what grand lie has President Trump told that has negatively affected our national security, economy, etc.? What has President Trump done that has violated his oath of office? What has he done that is unconstitutional? Because that is the short leash he is on.

                    14. Olly, I liked your response to Ivankinsman. It further demonstrates that void in logic he has that I mentioned in my own reply. He is so partisan that he loses sight of the issues and thereby contributes very little.

                    15. “You are a moron. It is not the sex.”

                      Of course, it’s the sex or the issue would never have been raised in the first place. Whether he had sex with Stormy or not would have been a nonentity and we would be discussing foreign policy such as North Korea, Syria, Iran, Russia and China, economic policy or something else. Why else in a world of important issues is Stormy at the top of the news day in and day out?

                      Your third sentence is also about sex and men. ” If you think he didn’t have sex then you’re the only man in the US who thinks so.”

                      Get a life. Get a girlfriend or a boyfriend. I don’t care if he had sex with her or not. It is not an important issue.

                      Then you lie: “He got his attorney to draw up an NDA ”

                      The issue is whether Cohen did it with or without Trump’s request. You have made a present unknowable into a distinct truth. That is a lie. You don’t know whether or not “He got his attorney to…” In your case, you lied and your lie was a lot worse lie than Trump’s if he actually lied. He lied perhaps for embarrassment and perhaps because he is married and maybe he changed in the ten years. We don’t know. You lied for a pernicious reason, an attempt to destroy another man.That is a disgusting lie and you should be ashamed of yourself.

                      The rest of your statement is self-serving and since we know you will intentionally lie without good reason you don’t have the moral standing for anyone to actually listen to your moralizing on telling the truth.

                    16. I do not understand why ANY of this is a monumental public issue.

                      I do not understand Why Cohen scurried to get these NDA’s.

                      So what Trump may have had consenual and possibly just slightly kinky sex with a porn star.

                      To a large part of the country that is something to envy.

                      There is no claim of misconduct. I beleive Daniels claimed that she was not enthused – but she still consented.

                      This is all a nothing burger.

                      Trump lied about it ? I have no idea what Trump has said about it.
                      I really do not pay much attention to what Trump says I am far more interested in what he does.

                      Regardless, whatever he might have said – it was not under oath.

                      Cohen got NDA’s and might have participated in spoking stories.

                      SO ? When did that become a crime ?

                      I sign NDA’s all the time, They are perfectly legal.

                      Cohen acted on his own. Cohen did not act on his own – again SO WHAT?

                      I do not like Trump, I do not like Cohen.

                      But this raid and the entire discussion about it stinks to high heaven to me.

                      We do not issue search warrants absent an actual credible allegation of a crime.

                      This entire “get Trump” nonsense has been rooted in lies and no actual evidence,
                      So yes, I am really skeptical

                    17. ” do not like Trump”

                      Dhlii, so what? You aren’t going to marry him and neither are any of the others on this blog. All I want from Trump is that he does a good job which he is doing.

                      The left can’t argue economics or international affairs so they argue sex.

                    18. ivankinsman – the Gulf of Tonkin was an outright lie. A lot of us knew that. Presidents have lied to the public when the need was there. They lie about National Security matters all the time. Clinton has lied, Obama has lied, Carter might have lied (hard to tell there).

                    19. If lying about Sex was what it was about – Bill Clinton would have been jailed.

                      I have no idea whether Trump “lied” about Daniels.

                      What I know is that Cohen – possibly at Trump’s direction paid for her silence, something that is legal.

                      There is nothing illegal about NDA’s. There is no right on your part to know whatever you want about the consensual private lives of others.

                      “A US President cannot be caught out blatantly lying in public.”

                      I can not name a president during my lifetime that has not be caught out blatantly lying in public.

                    20. If you want to cast your vote for a proven liar that is your democratic choice. Let’s see how other voters feel come the November mid-terms.

                    21. “If you want to cast your vote for a proven liar that is your democratic choice. Let’s see how other voters feel come the November mid-terms.”

                      Ivankinsman, Obama lied a lot and had the maximum 2 terms. Hillary lied and even was an abuser of women, yet won the nomination for the Democratic Party. Trump engages in puffery, has changed his mind and likely has lied at some time or another, but I doubt anyone has lived a full life without an occasional lie. However, when comparing him to Obama and Hillary he sounds like the Pope. Hopefully, for America, the Democratic Party will change more to its former self before another Democrat is seated at the head of government. A better hope would be for more candidates thinking more like Trump and winning.

                      I wonder if Churchill lied? If it weren’t for him your English relatives across the sea would likely be speaking German.

                    22. Allan – if it makes you feel better Churchill did lie in his books on WWII. Because of the Official Secrets Act, he could not say that he was getting information from Enigma and Purple, so he went around it.

                    23. Apparently you have not read Churchills books. I have.
                      He is absolutely clear throughout the significant role that Bletchley and cracking Enigma played.

                      Our most significant source on enigma and code breaking in WWII prior to the 60’s or 70’s was Churchill.

                    24. dhlii – I read his books in the 1950s and do not remember any mention of Enigma or Purple. Of course, it has been 60 some years, so I could have forgotten, but it is unlikely.

                    25. It has been 20 years since I read them.

                      That said I remember the discussions quite Clearly.

                      He specifically discusses allowing the bombing of coverntry to protect the secret than the codes were broken.

                      He discusses the numerous missions that were to capture German weather ships or other German outposts in order to get the keys necescary to reopen the cracking, when German changes shut Bletchly out.

                      He disusses the changes in tonnages that were sunk during the times when Britian could not read german messages.

                      There is much more detail in many other sources, but you can not read churchil without knowing that the english for much of WWII were reading German encrypted wireless.

                      I am pretty sure that he was able to tell the Russians that Barbarosa was iminent – they ignored the warning. But he did not tell them how he knew.

                      I am pretty sure it was discussed with respect to the naval/air opperation to destroy Romels reinforcements and supplies.

                      I beleive he also has discussions regarding the hubris of the Germans at not realizing their codes were broken. As hard as the British tried to protect that secret, it should have been obvious just by patterns in the war – particularly the success and failure of the U-Boats.

                      What I found more interesting – though not in Churchill was that the Germans had Cracked the British codes too.

                      While Churchill is preening at the Hubris of the Nazi’s for failing to grasp that their own codes had been broken, the British did not grasp that their own weaker codes were being read by the germans.

                      Though there were some differences. The germans trusted enigma so greatly that the would transmit messages via wireless, which was easily intercepted.

                      Even without breaking codes this was stupid as it allowed signals analysis to gain alot of information just from patterns of activity.

                      While the British had weaker codes and did not use wireless as much.

                    26. John Say – you will notice that Churchill does not mention using a computer to crack the codes. If you are interested in codes I have a book for you. The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone. It is about the Friedmans, especially the wife who created the NSA and was the first of the Americans to decode Enigma. Their backstory is fascinating. 🙂

                    27. John, Paul’s words to you were: “dhlii – I read his books in the 1950s and do not remember any mention of Enigma or Purple.

                      There was no mention to my knowledge of Enigma and that information was released many years later. That Churchill revealed things is true but not the same as revealing Enigma’s existence.

                    28. To be clear I do not recall whether Churchill used the words Enigma, or Ultra.

                      But he explicitly noted that the UK was frequently reading Coded german messages.

                      I recall reading books like “the ultra secret” and how hard they were to get published and later reading churchill and thinking – that here Churchill was writing fairly openly about what Winterbotham spent decades trying to be able to say.

                      Above I said I do not recall, I actually beleive that Churchill DID explicitly – but I do not want to re read Churchills many volumes looking for a few references to Bletchley, Enigma, Ultra, ….

                      Enigma was the generic name for the encoding/decoding machine.
                      Its existance was NOT particularly secret – The Japanese used an early version.

                      One of the reasons for the secrecy was that the Russians continued to use a more complicated version into the 60’s/

                    29. John writes:”To be clear I do not recall whether Churchill used the words Enigma, or Ultra.”

                      That is the only thing that counts and Paul said he didn’t mention those names and I think he is correct. I never saw them mentioned before a certain date and I think that may have been when Stevenson wrote his book on the subject “A Man Called Intrepid”.

                      ” I actually beleive that Churchill DID explicitly – but I do not want to re read Churchills many volumes looking for a few references to Bletchley, Enigma, Ultra, ….”

                      You can get Kindle and do a search.

                    30. I have a kindle. I have multiple copies of Churchills books – they are all on paper.
                      I do not beleive that they are free on Kindle – and churchill wrote many very long books on that time period.

                      I read most of the books on Ultra – such as the Stevenson book, long before I read Churchill.

                      That is one of the reasons I am sure of Churchills remarks.

                      I was well aware of the difficulties the 60’s books on Enigma/Ultra had getting permission to publish when I read Churchill.

                      And I explicitly remember while reading Churchill think that much of what was in the Stevenson and other books had been in print for some time in Churchill’s books.

                      It pays to be one of the most famous prime ministers of history.
                      No one is going to censor your books.

                    31. I am not disputing your remarks on Churchill only that I believe Paul to be correct about Churchill not mentioning “Enigma” in his book. You disputed this with Paul. The first time I became familiarized with Enigma was when Stevenson’s book came out. Then I read Stevenson’s book.

                    32. I have not disputed the use of specific words
                      I have disputed the claim that Churchill did not discuss the fact that England was reading the German codes – Churchill was open about it.
                      Churchill did not go into details about rotors and jumper boards. But he did address the severe consequences when some change distrupted the code reading, and the efforts that were taking to restore that ability – such as raids on weather stations.

                    33. Earlier comment: “He is absolutely clear throughout the significant role that Bletchley and cracking Enigma played.”

                      later comment: “I have not disputed the use of specific words”

                      You can walk it back if you wish, but that is what you said. You should have told Paul he was correct and then walked it back.

                    34. “Earlier comment: “He is absolutely clear throughout the significant role that Bletchley and cracking Enigma played.”

                      later comment: “I have not disputed the use of specific words”

                      You can walk it back if you wish, but that is what you said. You should have told Paul he was correct and then walked it back.”

                      The two comments do not conflict.
                      The specific words I use to describe Churchills writings are not a claim about the specific words Churchill uses.
                      But they are a claim about what Churchill says.

                      If I used different words
                      He is absolutely clear throughout the significant role that code breaking and cracking the german codes played.
                      Would that make it clear.

                      You are working a typical left tactic – one that is used against Trump all the time.

                      NYT Headline “Wiretap data used in inquiry of Trump Aides. ”
                      Trump Tweet: “Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”

                      Left wingnuts – Trump Lies! The NYT article does not say precisely the same thing as Trump Tweeted.

                    35. “Earlier comment: “He is absolutely clear throughout the significant role that Bletchley and cracking Enigma played.”

                      That your comments don’t necessarily conflict, the fact that you didn’t recognize Paul as correct demonstrates that you were walking back what you said.

                    36. “That your comments don’t necessarily conflict, the fact that you didn’t recognize Paul as correct demonstrates that you were walking back what you said.”

                      Are we having a debate over whether churchill used specific words ?
                      If so that is news to me. I do not know or care what the answer to that is. Nor have I ever.
                      Or are we debating the issues that Churchill discussed ?
                      If it is the later, then my remarks have been accurate, consistent and reflect the truth.
                      They represent no “walking back”

                      With respect to Paul, I have made my argument. I need not repeat it. I am not looking for conflict,
                      Merely noting that Churchill did write alot about the topic of breaking the german codes,
                      The substanitive differences between Churchill’s work and the later published works on enigma/ultra are:

                      Church was writing on a much broader topic, and did not get into the same degree of detail.
                      He MAY not have used the same precise words.

                      But he covered pretty much all the major historical events that had to do with the code breaking – either the various actions specific to ensure or restore access to german messages, or the actions that benefitted from breaking the codes.

                      One specific example is that he covers warning the Russians that the Germans were about to unleash Barbarosa. He specifically covers the fact that he had to make that case to the Russians without alerting the Russians to the fact that England was reading Germany’s coded messages.
                      He made the case with Russia primarily by using signals analysis – noting the frequency of messages to different geographical locations – things the Russians could verify on their own.

                      Ultimately he failed to convince the Russians with absolutely disasterous consequences.

                    37. No Churchill did not mention Computers.

                      I am not sure that Turing’s Bomb’s were recognized as actual computers until the 70’s.

                      Though certainly they were recognized as a predicessor to computers.

                      Thank you for the book recomendation.

                      In the past I have worked in this area.
                      I was part of a small startup – one of out most successful products was an HPC made of FPGA’s that were programmed to crack DES. Each FPGA was 3000 times as fast at decrypting DES as a top end PC.
                      Further Decryption scales linearly – much like Turing’s Bomb’s so an array of 100 FPGA’s can crack DES 300,000 times faster than a PC.

                      We sold alot of these the FBI. We also sold a few to NSA.

                    38. I added it to my wish list. It is a topic that appeals to me, but it probably will be a year or more before I get to it. I have a long backlog.

                      I am a book-a-holic, as is my wife. There are likely 10,000 or more books in my home and I have read most of them. But I have enough left unread to take me until I die and then along came kindle and ebooks.
                      I think we already have 1.000 of those that we are working our way through.

                      I read classics – whether plato or Kant or Churchill.
                      I read economics, philosophy, computers, architecture ….
                      I read fiction including some like Clancey that are purely entertainment.

                    39. John Say – if you are interested in the classics get the Great Course on Great Authors from your library. Each lecture each 1/2 hour and you can decide who you are missing and want to add to the list. 🙂 Fascinating material. Found out Sappho was probably straight as an arrow. 🙂

                    40. Allan – the videos are worth it because they add maps, spell the names correctly, etc. Right now I am taking 5 courses and have finished 10 or so. I rip them to my computer so I can view them at my leisure. I used to get the audios, which I liked, however, these are better.

                    41. Thanks, Paul. I was thinking of getting just the audio to save a couple of hundred dollars. If I remember, when I have time I will consider buying it.

                    42. Allan – see if your library has it. They may also have as an electronic download.

                    43. “Allan – see if your library has it. They may also have as an electronic download.”

                      That is such a pain and I think I would have to go to a much bigger library. I will not be watching it all at once. More likely I will watch it over a long period of time.

                    44. Obama lied a lot? Prove it or shut up. Don’t impugn the character of a successful two-term President, comparing it with that of a second-rate highly dodgy real estate salesman from Brooklyn.

                    45. Ivan writes: “Obama lied a lot? Prove it”

                      I’ll give you one to comment on and then I will give you another and another.

                      ‘If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor’ I give you this one because this irked a lot of the American public.

                    46. If you like your health insurance you can keep it

                      From 2016 SOTU
                      “We’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters.”
                      “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.” GDP growth in 2016 was 1.5%
                      “Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results.” Obama opposed every consequential energy improvement during his tenure.

                      “No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.” Hours AFTER Iran seized US sailors.

                      “As someone who begins every day with an intelligence briefing, I know this is a dangerous time.” Obama attended Few intelligence briefings.

                      There are websites documenting Obama lies.
                      One site identifies well over 1000

                    47. “Watch this Allan.”

                      No need. You can summarize what you think is the worst lie and if you wish the second worst lie and then if need be I will listen to it. We all lie in the broadest of sense. There are white lies to protect others, there is puffery that you see in advertisements and elsewhere, there are errors, etc. so basically at one time or another, we all lie quite frequently. Then again there are lies because the subject is no one else’s business. Bill Clinton lied in that fashion when he had consensual sex with Monica and that was in the White House. None the less she was of age so that was nobody’s business.

                    48. “If you want to cast your vote for a proven liar that is your democratic choice. Let’s see how other voters feel come the November mid-terms.”

                      If you felt it important to vote for someone who was NOT of proven bad character, then neither Trump nor Clinton was a proper choice.

                      I did not vote for either.

                      I am not interested in Clinton voters ranting about Trump’s poor character.
                      Pot meet Kettle.

                    49. Agreed. It was a choice if either bad or the worst. Neither candidate in my opinion was looking out for the interests of the working man. Let’s see if the US can produce another FDR or an individual who can rise above vested interests, which neither Trump or Hillary Clinton have been able to do. Trump is loved by his ‘base’ but anathema to everyone else. Clinton was loved by the pc liberal lefties but despised by everyone else.

                    50. FDR was possibly the worst president in our history.

                      He was arrogant and clueless. He is the only president ever to cause a downturn inside of a downturn.

                      You left wing nuts fixate on “vested interests”.

                      This is simple – power corrupts. Giver government power and you will get corruption.

                      Clinton was far more the lackey of “vested interests” than any republican ever.
                      Nothing personal – beyond the idiocy of beleiving that republicans are somehow more beholding to interests than the left.

                      You want less influence ? Less corruption ? There is only one way to acheive that,
                      Less government!

                      PERIOD STOP

                      I suggest that you look into public choice theory.

                      Or just think about the fact that the very same humans you do not trust not to poison your hamburger are the same ones you elect to run your government.

                      Actually worse. Those who aspire to business atleast aspire to profit from production.
                      Politicians aspire to profit by weilding power – your power.

                      You will NEVER reduce “vested interests” without shrinking government.

                      You MIGHT be able to change who specifically they are, but that is it.

                      So long as govenrment has power – someone will seek to rent it.

                    51. November is a long way away and if recent Trends continue it will be D’s in trouble not R’s.

                      Trends are not going to continue exactly as they are – there will be ups and downs between now and then for each party. But I would take odds against a blue wave.

                    52. Then he will be the only sitting President who retains his party’s majority in the mid-terms, and he is much too much of a divisive character to do that in my opinion.

                    53. “Then he will be the only sitting President who retains his party’s majority in the mid-terms, and he is much too much of a divisive character to do that in my opinion.”

                      That would be false – it is Rare, but it happens.
                      Bush held the house in 2002, lost it in 2006.
                      Neither Nixon, Ford, nor Reagan ever had their party control the house.
                      Kennedy, LBJ. and Carter held the house through their presidency.
                      Coolidge and Hoover held the house through their presidency
                      Wilson lost it – but at the start of his 2nd term.

                      How far back do you want to go ?

                      The recent pattern of volatitility is a consequence of the Great Sorting.

                      That is nearly over.

                    54. “The PRESIDENT HAS LIED IN PUBLIC. What he lied about is immaterial – you just don’t get it, do you…”

                      I take lying seriously.

                      I did not vote for Trump.
                      Nor did I vote for Hillary.

                      We have a long list of people – from Flynn to McCabe, from Papadoulis to Comey, from Van Der Zwaan to Lynch who have lied. Thus far it is those from the Obama administration who lied in public.

                      Regardless, I take that seriously.

                      I think everyone who signed a warrant asserting that the Steele Dossier constituted probable cause of a crime should be fired, and probably prosecuted.

                      I want to hold everyone responsible for their lies.
                      I especially want to hold those in government responsible for their lies – because they are supposed to be the ones holding others accountable for lying.

                      Unfortunately I am not going to get what I wanted – and thus far int eh grand scheme of things. Trump MAYBE publicly lying about consensual sex with a pornstar is just about the least significant lie we are facing.

                      So here is what I am doing – and all that you have the right to do.

                      I am not voting for liars.
                      There is no crime of public lying so that is the most that you or I can do.

                      I am however seeking those who lie to their employers to be fired.
                      I am however seeking those who lie under oath to be prosecuted and jailed.

                      I am seeking that regardless of whether they play for the red team or the blue team or the government team.

                    55. “Looks like you had to look up pedantic in the dictionary – yes or no? 🙂”

                      Are you for real? If I need to look up a word in a dictionary I wouldn’t hesitate, but the word “pedantic” is a high school word at least where I come from. I think your education is lacking. I am not calling you a moron like you called me only expressing my feeling that whatever your education was, it was incomplete and left a large void in logical thinking.

                    56. Ivankinsman, you can take it any way you want for what you say and feel has already been proven to be of little value.

                      This comment “So I take that as a yes then.” demonstrates the intellectual maturity of a six-year-old.

                    57. Oh Allan you are preaching from your pulpit again. Lighten up man – don’t take life so seriously or you may end up not laughing … just like your orange coiffured hero.

                    58. “Oh Allan you are preaching from your pulpit again. Lighten up man – don’t take life so seriously ”

                      Ivankinsman, I appreciate your concern for my well being but to alleviate any thoughts you have about my possible deprivations do not worry. I live a relative life of luxury on my own terms and never had to work for a boss. Because I am relatively affluent my taxes went up not down due to Trump’s plan yet I believe he did the right thing even though it costs me money.

                      I am a serious fellow that takes learning seriously and that has benefitted me greatly because one can be serious and happy enjoying the same craziness as those that lack any serious thought at all. Don’t use the excuse of, not taking life so seriously, to give up on being reasonably serious for it is better to have a good full life rather than one full of regrets.

                    59. Ok I too am relatively affluent, university educated and self-employed – and am English living in Poland so I observe from afar.

                      I basically look out for the interests of the average working Joe which makes me pretty much sceptical of all politicians.

                    60. If you are English meaning British or even from one of the other English speaking nations formerly attached to Britain then perhaps one can understand the distance you have that causes great difficulty in understanding the American scene. I am glad that you look towards the average working Joe and are skeptical about all politicians.

                      America became great and replaced Britain as the world power because of what America was. I don’t want to backtrack because though you might believe the poor are very poor in the US it is most likely a very wrong opinion because the US today probably spends more than any other country on social entitlements for the poor.

                      I am not against social programs for the needy though there are considerations in this federalist system. I am against taking money from hard working middle-class people and spending on illegals living here and citizens that are able-bodied enough to work. I don’t like waste and want my government to spend money with the same care given when I spend my own.

                    61. … should I say illegal immigration, and this is one positive I see about Trump.

                      Where we seem to vehemently disagree is over Trump himself. I agree with Comey that he is ethically unfit to hold the office of President and think him a ‘showboater’ (which he himself called Comey) and a ‘blowhard’ as the Bushes call him, always out for himself and having a flabby billionaire’s self-conceit that I, and I think many like-minded people, find disgusting. Personally I am fed up with continuously having to see and listen to this man’s innate need to be constantly grabbing the headlines and always in the spotlight, and will be extremely happy when 2020 rolls along. Love him or loathe him – I put myself in the latter category.

                    62. Ivankinsman, illegal immigration: The US needs immigration, but it also needs to be able to absorb immigrants when they come here. A country functions better with one language and similar cultural values even if it contains many different cultures, religions, races etc. People immigrate to the United States because they don’t like what they see where they come from. I don’t want them to bring those bad things with them. This culture evolved in great part based on Judeo Christian values and English common law.

                      Additionally, though I think the social and entitlement benefits in the United States are much greater dollarwise than from where you come from or other large countries in Europe, since financing is limited, I don’t think Americans should have to reduce those benefits because suddenly they are paying for those that came into the country illegally and never paid appropriately into the system.

                    63. There are myriads of assumptions in your argument.

                      Dealing with significant immigration is quite simple – it requires little more than shrinking the state to only those tasks that actually require the use of force.

                      A country does not inherently function better under the arrangements you describe.
                      But a large state is far most sustainable in a monoculture.
                      The democratic socialism of the nordic countries works moderately well – because 95% of the people have a deep and broad shared culture. They are all from the same tribe – not merely race, and religion.

                      Conversely growth and rising standard of living tend to be greater in countries with greater diversity.
                      But diversity is NOT consistent with deep and broad states.

                      With respect to entitlements – the social safetynet.

                      Those should not exist. They were never the legitimate role of government, and they are an impediment to rising our standard of living.

                      Further they are slowly failing on their own.

                      The question regarding entitlements is how to mitigate the harm of false promises we as a nation have made, while ceasing to continue mistakes into the future.

                    64. Dhlii writes: “it requires little more than shrinking the state to only those tasks that actually require the use of force.”

                      Theory is great and you are big on theory. The problem is the reality is different. The state is not shrinking so other controls must be used. The same goes for the rest of your comments which in an unreal world might sound good but in a real world can be disastrous.

                    65. Allan – it is not theory.

                      The data has been telling us that since Adam Smith.

                      Two things robustly correlate to more rapidly rising standard of living – less government spending, greater economic freedom.

                      Theory tells us that is what we should do, experience tells us that is what we should do. The data tells us that is what we should do.

                      You are correct that is not what we are doing.
                      And because of that, we are less well off than we could be – and that is fact, not theory.

                    66. Dhlii, your response [“Dealing with significant immigration is quite simple – it requires little more than shrinking the state”] was theory for in the real world your simple answer was not happening as you admit later in your statement
                      .

                    67. That something is politically difficult – even impossible does not make it mere theory.

                      We know how essentially open boarders works -we have had it in a huge way in the past.
                      As have other countries.

                      The inability to do something because of current politics, is not the same as not knowing how it will work.

                    68. “The inability to do something because of current politics, is not the same as not knowing how it will work.”

                      Theories change as time advances and this is one of those times.

                    69. “Theories change as time advances and this is one of those times.”

                      Theories that do not work are changed – that is the scientific method and it is the underlying mechanism of free markets.

                      Very little of Adam Smith is being revised – expanded on maybe, but not revised.
                      Contrast that to Freud who though equally brilliant and 100 years later founded a science that has gone myriads of directions away from him.

                      And yet oddly Economics and psychology are near one in the same. They are both the study of human behavior.

                      The theories, principles and laws of economics are all patterns of human behavior.

                      No one is seeking to repeal the law of supply and demand.

                      We may live in an era where what people are taught in school has changed, where people are not exposed to the knowledge of the past that has proven itself. That we actually teach garbage that has been refuted over and over by history. We may be following myriads of wrong paths.

                      But the fundimental principles of human behavior are unchanged.

                      Nor are the facts – greater freedom STILL means more rapidly rising standard of living – now just as it has in the past.

                      We have new ideas, and more commonly we have very bad retreads of very bad old ideas.

                      But we do not have anything that works nearly as well as the libertarian principles – that apply to politics and economics that I argue.

                      All change is not good. All new theories do not work, all new directions are not good directions.

                      We know what worlds. We are choosing to beleive otherwise.

                    70. “Theories that do not work are changed ”

                      John, in the point of discussion the world changed and those changes may have had an impact on the theory. You are too attached to things you wish to believe so you transform theories into fact.

                    71. “John, in the point of discussion the world changed and those changes may have had an impact on the theory. You are too attached to things you wish to believe so you transform theories into fact.”

                      We are looking at much the same thing, making the same arguments and somehow reaching difference conclusions.

                      Never – not even in the 18th century US were my principles put into perfect practice. – and they never will be. But at various times and places in history to varying degrees they have been put into practice.

                      Whether individually or in concert those principles have always resulted in increased rise in standard of living in comparison to any other alternative.

                      No other competing set of values and principles can say the same.

                      Off and on throughout the 20th century we have tried myriads of permutations of greater statism.
                      All have always underperformed lessor statism.

                      The above is just the facts.

                      It is true that throughout the world – even in the US for all of the 20th and all of the 21st centuries, progessives have sought to impose greater statism.

                      It is true that to some extent they have succeeded in doing so.
                      It is true that it has demonstrably worked more poorly than less statism.

                      Classical liberalism is a theory – one that is born out in practice.
                      All forms of statism are also theories – ones that have under performed classical liberalism in practice.

                      The most compelling argument for progressives – what sometimes empowers them in politics, is the false presumption that government can dole out goodies for free.

                      Almost no one actually votes progressive when confronted with the actual cost of any progressive program.

                      Even here progressives cite polls indicating the high favorability of various elements of Obamacare.

                      But in every instance those polls flip to super majority oppositions – numbers over 80% when asked if voters would pay a small amount more for that benefit.

                      All that is necescary for my principles to triumph is for the electorate to understand that progressivism has an actual cost. It is not even necescary for voters to grasp the real cost. Almost any cost makes progressivism unappealing.

                    72. “We are looking at much the same thing, making the same arguments and somehow reaching difference conclusions.”

                      As I said: “You are too attached to things you wish to believe so you transform theories into fact.”

                    73. “As I said: “You are too attached to things you wish to believe so you transform theories into fact.””

                      That is a mischaracterization.

                      I am interested in how things actually work.
                      Not how people beleive they work.

                      How they actually work will determine the effect of what we chose to do.
                      For many aspects of that we are well past theory.

                      How people beleive they work will unfortunately determine the political choices we make.
                      Frequently to our detriment.

                      It is a fact – one that I rail against that we will often make poor choices based on emotions rather than facts, logic, reason.
                      It is also a fact that those choices will work badly.

                    74. “I am interested in how things actually work.”

                      That doesn’t give one the license to convert theory into fact.

                      I will repeat my contention: “You are too attached to things you wish to believe so you transform theories into fact.”

                    75. “That doesn’t give one the license to convert theory into fact.”

                      That is correct – Data gives me that license.
                      How things have actually performed in the real world does.

                      “I will repeat my contention: “You are too attached to things you wish to believe so you transform theories into fact.””

                      I am not transforming theories into fact. The behavior of different ideologies in the real world is sufficiently well demonstrated by DATA,

                      It should not be two difficult for you to find numerous statistical studies and regressions demonstrating that the rate of increase of standard of living inversely correlates to the size of government, or that it positively correlates to individual liberty.
                      Those are the strongest factors.
                      There is a raft of weaker correlations – such as inverse to level of taxation, inverse to level of debt. inverse to spending.

                      The world and the economic is sufficiently complex that we are dealing with strong correlations rather than proven causation. But these correlations are robust, across time – both short and long, and across different countries.

                      The probability that my “theory” will produce strong positive results is just shy of certainty.
                      The probability that the inverse will produce strong negative results is just shy of certainty.

                      Wise people do not bet against those odds.

                      But that is precisely what not merely the left – but all other ideologies demand that we do – bet against the odds.

                    76. “That is correct – Data gives me that license.”

                      You didn’t have adequate data.

                    77. ““That is correct – Data gives me that license.”

                      You didn’t have adequate data.”

                      Of course I do.

                      Are you actually questioning that growth in standard of living strongly inversely correlates to the size of government or positively to individual liberty ?

                      While there is plenty of data.
                      That is so obvious that you can look arround the world at history without getting very deep and establish that.

                      It is self evident – not merely logically self evident – but self evident from observations of the real world by ordinary people without sophisiticated analysis.
                      Further that non-technical analsysis completely holds up when data analysis tools, regressions and statistical analysis are performed.

                    78. J:”““That is correct – Data gives me that license.”

                      A: You didn’t have adequate data.”

                      J: Of course I do.”

                      Not enough data or proof. Theory, not fact.

                    79. Allan; Not enough data or proof. Theory, not fact.

                      Really ?

                      Come on, this is not like you.
                      I have been quite specific. the facts are so well established that most typically the left just ignores the argument and deflects elsewhere. They rarely seek to actually directly challenge the facts – because the facts are so robust that most people can see them just by having them recounted.

                      Do I need to provide Data that the standard of living in China has risen nearly vertically in the past 40 years ? That India would have had the most dramatic rise ever – except that China did better still ?

                      If what most of us can observe directly is not sufficient for you.

                      Try Google – there is phenomenal amounts of data on this and almost nothing controverting it.

                      If you need the data in a popular and left paletable form – the PBS/BBC series “the commanding heights” is available on youtube 6 hrs of relentlessly exploring the economic history and data since WWII.

                      Adam Smith grasped this FROM THE DATA in 1776 – that is almost 250 years ago

                      “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”

                      This is not theory. It is not new.
                      Those whose ideas are unsettled by this – do not refute it, they hide from it, try to ignore it.
                      They do not debate it.

                    80. “Dealing with significant immigration is quite simple – it requires little more than shrinking the state” is the quote for theory v fact.

                      Though I don’t have disagreements with shrinking the state, the argument is whether that specific statement is theory or fact. IMO it is a theory that does not adequately consider the variables.

                    81. This is only partly on point but it is related.

                      My side of this “theory vs. Fact” argument is that
                      quite often we have the data to know with high degree of certainty the right answer,
                      but we are emotionally wired to respond more strongly to the negative rather than positive – even when the negative is inconsequential and the positive is enormous
                      https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1084

                    82. To disprove a theory all one has to do is provide one example where the theory doesn’t work. In this case, you are calling your theory a fact. See how the following works out.

                      Take two African nations A is reducing government and B has a massive drought. Citizens from B will migrate emigrate to A.

                    83. Allan – let me complicate your problem. Between African countries A and B are countries C, D, E, and F. C and D are at war with each other and E and F also have droughts. Now, do they migrate or make a plea for international help?

                    84. “To disprove a theory all one has to do is provide one example where the theory doesn’t work.”

                      You are smarter than this.

                      To disprove a theory, you must provide one example where the theory does not work in a closed system with all other variables fixed.

                      You can not disprove Newtons laws of motion – using a pool table with large holes drilled in it.

                      Take two African nations A and B, A is reducing government. Both have a massive drought. Over time many citizens from B will migrate to A.

                    85. “To disprove a theory, you must provide one example where the theory does not work in a closed system with all other variables fixed.”

                      Take note you didn’t adequately portray the premise nor did you adequately create the closed system you talk about with a description of the variables involved. I mentioned this exact problem when I earlier said. “IMO it is a theory that does not adequately consider the variables.” Even a theory needs to consider the variables, but I try not to be so specific on a blog such as this.

                    86. “Take note you didn’t adequately portray the premise nor did you adequately create the closed system you talk about with a description of the variables involved. ”

                      Correct – I modified your example to eliminate the obvious additional independent fariable.

                      When we say “correlation is not causation” what we are saying is that we do not have the ability to test every theory in a controlled closed system.

                      When we really and truly have closed and controlled systems, the results are certain, and establish absolute laws of behavior, and the existance of a counter example – in the same closed controlled system falsifies the law.

                      In many many things we can not acheive that closed controlled system for testing. –
                      At the extreme where we have almost not control, and no closure, and we do not conduct experiments but work from historical data and then try using regressions and other techniques to factor out the influence of other independent variables and factors.

                      A Paul Romer asserted in a recently published paper – that is really an echo of Hayek, Austrians and their classical liberal ancestors, you can take any theory you want. Put it into a complex model with numerous coefficients. make a number of small adjustments to the other coefficients and produce a modal that will hidcast near perfectly.

                      Correlation is not causation. It is however real world support – data, and it is not inherently equal to all other claims or theories. Correlations come with measures of quality – the probability that the correlation is causation.

                      If you wish to argue that things such as the relationship between freedom and standard of living do not have the same degree of certainty as F=ma – that would be correct.

                      The absence of absolute truth is not the absence of truth, or the equality of all ideas.

                      Absent perfect experimental tests, we can attach every theory a truth probability based on either observations and statistical analysis or less than perfect experimental conditions.

                      When I say that larger government will reduce the rate of growth in standard of living – that is not “theory”.
                      But it is also not absolute truth – that does not exist, and the closest we come to it is in the hard sciences.
                      But it is real world and highly probable to be true We can accurately say that for every 10% of GDP that government increases the rate of improvement in standard of living decreases by 1%.
                      We can be have an error bar for that result. and have an excellent understanding of the distribution of actual outcomes within that error bar.

                      Finally returning to Romer’s work (and Hayek, and the Austrians, and …).

                      All the above is not enough. We can not reason from data and regressions to models.

                      We find this problem with machine learning and neural networks – we can setup a neural network for a specific problem, and we can feed it data, get results, and then use clean clear precise mathematical processes to derive the correct values for the coeficients in the network and get results that will perform the assigned task with a high probability of accuracy – often far higher than humans can acheive.

                      But when we look at the neurons and their programing – it makes no sense, it has no pattern, it does not reflect the logic that reflects the way the problem is actually solved.

                      And if we throw the neural network a curve ball – something it was not trained for the output is not likely to be correct.

                      In otherwords we have constructed the same kind of model as economists working backwards from data – one that hindcasts perfectly but has poor performance forecasting.

                      There are infinite choices of coefficients for the model. There is a small subset – but with a large number of members that will hindcaste accurately. There are far fewer that will forecast correctly.

                      The difference is that like the neural nets, to get beyond a back propogated network – that works for the test data – and anything similar, but may fail spectacularly if throw a real world curve ball, the coefficients must be meaningful, they must reflect knowledge – they must encapsulate a theory of the process, and they will then forecast as accurately as the theory reflects the actual behavior of the system.

                      This is what distinguishes libertarianism (or classical liberalism) from alternatives. It performs extremely close in practice to what is predicted by theory – even in the ridiculously complex systems of the real world. Nothing else comes close.

                      And so I have looped back to the argument we are having.
                      Much of what I am offering/arguing is a THEORY, that to a high probability has worked in practice to the extent it has been adhered to.
                      Pick any other ism you want, pick any other economic model – those are not both true.
                      In fact most neither work in theory or in practice. But that does not preclude the ability to construct a model reflecting that theory that will hindcast.

                    87. ““Take note you didn’t adequately portray the premise nor did you adequately create the closed system you talk about with a description of the variables involved. ”

                      Correct – I modified your example to eliminate the obvious additional independent fariable.”

                      I was referring to your initial premise, not the variables of the recent discussion.
                      —-

                      “When we really and truly have closed and controlled systems, the results are certain”

                      Think of Heisenberg.

                      ” historical data and then try using regressions and other techniques to factor ”

                      That creates layers of evidence and not all evidence is of the same quality. One rates the evidence based upon its reliability from low to high.
                      —-

                      “relationship between freedom and standard of living”

                      My guess is that freedom and standard of living is a curve rather than linear. I would further guess that if placed on an x and y-axis the curve would rise and then fall all things being equal (perhaps including an irregularity) and that the graph would be different based on the typical factors we use to compare nations.

                    88. “I was referring to your initial premise, not the variables of the recent discussion.”
                      You were making assumptions regarding what you call my theory.
                      The hypothetical was yours.

                      “Think of Heisenberg.”
                      While what I am refering to does not perfectly physically or parametrically match Heiseneberg – there are similarities. Hiesenberg essentially says even the hard sciences are probablistic.

                      Regardless, though there are far more degrees of freedom I am talking about similar behavior to Heisenberg except in a different domain.

                      When we have BOTH real world data and theory that is consistent accross the required domains and the theory and the data correlate strongly we have something similar to Heisenberg – we can evaluate the truth of different propositions probabilistically.

                      Vut we need to be careful – that is why we need a cohesive theory – which is hard to impossible to draw from data alone, but that is consistent with the data.

                      Because if we are weighing truth probabilistically, each truth that we place into our system constrains those we can follow with,

                      The left is absolutely abysmal at this. Progressivism is inherently self contradictory.

                      You can not concurrently have all viewpoints being equal, and theirs being superior.
                      Yet go to any blog where progressives post and you will constantly get – the argument – that is just your point of view – in otherwords you can have whatever point of view you want but so can I.
                      And elsewhere complaints about racism, sexism, homophobia as if clearly some viewpoints are correct.

                      An ideology that is not internally consistent AND predictive is useless.

                      Most left arguments are some form of appeal to emotion.
                      Often those arguments are attractive.
                      When Obama was elected I “prayed” two prayers.
                      First that everything I was certain of was wrong,
                      and if that was not true, That Obama would be wise enough not to do what would not work.
                      Unfortunately neither prayer was answered.

                      An appealing argument has no value if it does not work.

                      While I think the root of some of your criticism is that Libertarian arguments do not have the popular apeal needed to get broadly enacted, and that is correct. At the same time those arguments that have sufficient appeal do not work.

                    89. “You were making assumptions regarding what you call my theory.
                      The hypothetical was yours.”

                      You are way off from what you stated was a fact that I called theory. You keep expanding the discussion without clarifying what you are talking about while confusing issues. That makes it impossible for one to respond responsibly even if there are some interesting statements that you make.

                      When I said:“Think of Heisenberg.” I was talking about his uncertainty principle in the context of one limited point under discussion. You were so certain yet Heisenberg was “uncertain” so I thought that would lead you in the direction of either limiting your variables or expanding your proof while placing limits but instead you expanded the discussion so it became an entirely different discussion. Nothing is certain except “uncertainty”😀

                    90. Again you raised Heisenberg.
                      There is BTW an excellent explanation of the mathematics of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in the 3Blue1Brown’s video’s on Fourier Transforms.

                      Maybe my digression into the HUP was a bit long.
                      But it was not tangential. the HUP is one aspect of the science of knowledge.

                      I am only guessing based on your arguments that you think uncertainty is the distinction between fact and theory.

                      Nothing is knowable with absolute certainty.
                      Uncertainty does not transform something from a fact to a theory.
                      The inability to know anything with certainty does not preclude absolutely falsifying many things.
                      I would note that the purpose of the HUP was to validate an atomic model despite being unable to demonstrate with absolute certainty some of its predictions.

                      When I state something as a fact – that means it is falsifiable, it has not been falsified, and it has the same probability of truth as other things that we have accepted as fact.

                    91. “I am only guessing based on your arguments that you think uncertainty is the distinction between fact and theory.”

                      No. I was dealing with specific rhetoric the context of which has been totally lost.

                      Re theory vs fact in the other discussion. There are theory and fact, however, one should not forget laws (not in the legal sense).

                      Sometimes I feel that you sound like a Randian who uses his own dictionary.

                    92. “Sometimes I feel that you sound like a Randian who uses his own dictionary.”

                      Maybe that is because I have read most significant classical liberals from John Locke and Adam Smith to Nozick, Coase and Friedman.

                      And yes some Rand.

                      Most of what I argue, every one of them has asserted.

                      Regardless, I am not an objectivist, nor an austrian, nor chicago school
                      But if all three agree on something I am probably repeating it.

                    93. “I thought that would lead you in the direction of either limiting your variables or expanding your proof while placing limits”

                      I have already addressed the fact that while we have alot of data, the amount of data for government from about 3% of GDP to about 20% is sparse.

                      With respect to limits or other variables – there are numerous factors. Freedom and Government spending (which is almost an inverse proxy for freedom) have the strongest correlations. They are not the only factors – if a large asteroid strikes the earth standard of living will plummet.
                      There are myriads of other factors – that was part of what my digression into neural networks was about.
                      It is even possible to force the weight of Freedom to be low and still get a model that correctly hindcasts.
                      In different forms the mathematics of back propogation in neural nets, The Romer work I refered to Hayek’s valedictory and economic observations going back to the late 19th century all tell us that.
                      Nor is that issue limited to economics.

                    94. “I have already addressed the fact that while we have alot of data, the amount of data for government from about 3% of GDP to about 20% is sparse.”

                      Your “fact” was more worldly than you suggest here since you utilize the data only from the US rather than the entire world which was what your “fact” implied. To quit this never-ending discussion we can call what you call fact and I call “theory” or theorizing “The New Say’s Law” on the relationship between shrinking of government and the 1) standard of living or 2) migration (this discussion got bolloxed up with a lot of rhetoric unrelated to the question at hand). We can have a team discuss this new law with regard to Libya whose government shrank to the point of anarchy, yet I don’t think the standard of living rose. We can have a second team evaluate a good but shrinking government that faces immigration from a much larger nation where the people are dying of starvation or Ebola.

                    95. “Your “fact” was more worldly than you suggest here since you utilize the data only from the US rather than the entire world which was what your “fact” implied. ”

                      Bzzt, Wrong – go back and read what I wrote.
                      My assertion is not based merely on US data.
                      I did not “imply” that it was based on MANY MANY studies, of both the US and other specific individual countries, but of the OECD, as well as the world – I stated it OUTRIGHT.

                      Over the past 70 years there have been many studies – I probably have papers from atleast 50 on my laptop – of individual countries, of groups of countries or the entire world. These have all consistently produced results that are as consistent as differing methodologies and the complexities of the real world allow.

                    96. “Bzzt, Wrong – go back and read what I wrote.”

                      Bzzt, you wrote only of those things that agreed with you and your proofs weren’t adequate though that is understandable on a blog such as this. Remember we are not arguing whether or not we both agree to the relationship (we do) rather whether such a relationship is fact, theory (theorizing), or law.

                    97. “Bzzt, you wrote only of those things that agreed with you and your proofs weren’t adequate though that is understandable on a blog such as this. ”

                      I do not pretend that I have proven everything I claim to be true.
                      Almost no one posting comments does that.
                      Only that proof exists.
                      As you note, blog comments are not a reasonable forum for proving economic rules.

                      I do research claims made by others – both those I agree with and those I do not.
                      I go to a fair amount of trouble to not be wrong before criticising something – particularly where there are issues of fact.

                      “Remember we are not arguing whether or not we both agree to the relationship (we do) rather whether such a relationship is fact, theory (theorizing), or law.”

                      We appear to be arguing about what constitutes a “fact, theory or law”

                      That is very epistemological.

                      Presumably we both agree there is no absolute truths.

                      You raised the HUP – so I presume that you accept that atleast in some contexts,
                      That probability and the absence of falsification are sufficient to establish that something is true.
                      Though the nature and degree of uncertainty is different in different contexts,
                      ultimately probability is an issue in every context.

                      In the real world – F=ma or e=mc^2 are not the norms of complexity.

                      more often we have g = Ax^n + By^o + Cz^p …….

                      Establishing A and n with absolutely certainty does not tell us what g is.
                      That does not mean that the values of A an n are not “facts”.

                      we can even know for certain that Ax^n is the most significant term – that it has the dominant effect, that its action is immutable, and still not know what g is – except that we can know that for any pairs of (A,n) that all other things being the same, g will be higher where Ax^n is largest.

                    98. “I do not pretend that I have proven everything I claim to be true.
                      Almost no one posting comments does that.”

                      I don’t expect that from anyone but if you say something of this nature is fact then you should have proof based on what a researcher stated and that should mimic exactly what you are saying. Even then one has to question the type of research and the researcher.

                      Instead, you are utilizing what you have read, drawn conclusions and stated those conclusions are facts.

                      I strongly believed that your initial statement was in error because your initial statement assumed the curve to be linear when it is not. You later agreed with me that on a graph the relationships would resemble a curve rather than a linear structure so your statement cannot under those circumstances possibly be true.

                    99. “I don’t expect that from anyone but if you say something of this nature is fact then you should have proof based on what a researcher stated and that should mimic exactly what you are saying. Even then one has to question the type of research and the researcher.”

                      I would disagree with you that, that is the standard. But that is a different debate and we have enough at the moment.
                      Regardless. the proof you require exists, I sent a link to one PDF. Several years ago I had some pages on my website with links to a couple of hundred interesting economic papers – atleast 1/4 on this topic.
                      I probably need to bring those pages back up.

                      You can question the research and the researcher when One economist reaches a conclusion.
                      It gets harder when it is hundreds using different research methods and from different backgrounds.

                    100. “I would disagree with you that, that is the standard. ”

                      In other words, you believe you can state whatever you want and call it fact without proof and without knowledge of the researcher? Not only that but you believe you can use your own words to augment the conclusions and call those words fact? Bullsh!t. It gets harder when it is hundreds using different research methods and from different backgrounds.

                      “It gets harder when it is hundreds using different research methods and from different backgrounds.”

                      If the researchers (all research and researchers being equal) draw different conclusions then you can not extrapolate your own facts and expect others to agree with you. You are an engineer. I hope you don’t build bridges.

                    101. “In other words, you believe you can state whatever you want and call it fact without proof and without knowledge of the researcher? Not only that but you believe you can use your own words to augment the conclusions and call those words fact?”

                      non-sequitur.

                      I do not beleive, and did not argue what you said, otherwise your statement is correct.

                      I said that the standard you asserted, was not the standard.

                    102. “If the researchers (all research and researchers being equal) draw different conclusions then you can not extrapolate your own facts and expect others to agree with you. ”

                      True, but not what is being argued.

                      “You are an engineer. I hope you don’t build bridges.”

                      My degree is in architecture, and I have(had) the technical background to build bridges.
                      And as a teen I actually built small wooden bridges.
                      I also won a contest at the US Naval Academy in 1975 by building the strongest bridge to span a 12″ gap with a fixed about of balsawood.

                      Today I am embedded software engineer.

                      Some of my work was used in GWII and Aegis Cruisers, and Predators, and some things at JPL that I was not allowed to know about, and for detection of nuclear smuggling at ports. As well as in wood chippers the size of Semi-Trucks that can eat a person in seconds, and medical centrifuges, and …..

                      So yes, if I screw up, people could die.

                    103. Allan and John – have the two of you considered meeting for coffee and duking this out? You could both bring your book??? 😉

                    104. “You would not build a bridge with such unstable facts as you present here.”

                      Again you are too intelligent for this.

                      You have the ability to check these assertions out.

                      You keep trying to pretend you are arguing with me – your not, you are arguing with the data.
                      The same kind of data that tells us most everything we know about economics – or is all of that an educated guess too ?

                      You have stated that you think that what I have argued is true, that all you are arguing about is essentially whether this is the same quallity as a Paul Krugman column or of the work that gets Nobel Prizes.

                      Just a small survey of some of the work.

                      In 1987 Solow won the Nobel prize for his work on Economic Growth.
                      Solow tied it to Techonogical innovation – while not exactly the same as freedom, it is actually quite close, innovation does not occur without freedom.

                      Peden (1991) using empiracle methods to determing the optimal total governement size for the US using data from 1929-1986 found that the growth optimizing maximum size of TOTAL government was 17% – that is consistent with results from broader studies of all OECD countries as well as all countries of the world. And that US growth would be above 4% at a 17% total government size.

                      Nearly every nation has studied its own economic history to determine its theoretical optimum government size. Uniformly the answer is ALWAY Significantly lower than it currently is.

                      Vedder and Galloway (1998) came up with a slightly higher “optimal governemnt size” for the US but in other respects mirrored Peden

                      Scully (1994) estimated the growth optimizing tax rate – assuming that we are not massively inflating of creating a debt bubble the long term growth optimal tax rate is the long term growth optimal spending rate. Scully came up with a total (FSL) tax rate of 22% of GDP as the growth optimizing maximum.

                      Alfonso and Jalles (2011) studied 108 countries from 1970-2008 and found that generally increasing government size hinders economic growth, but they found some aspects of govenrment more harmful than others and core institutions such as the rule of law had a positive impact.

                      Di Matteo (2013) studied 186 countries using data from 1980 to 2011 found an optimum at 26% total Government producing a growth rate of just over 3%

                      Facchini and Melki examine (2013) survey 84 previoius studies – 2/3 find govenrment size negatively correlates to growth. 1/4 are inconclusive, and 8% found a small positive benefit.
                      There are not many areas of economy inquiry where the results are so strongly lopsided.

                      Maggazino (2010) found that economic growth actually triggers growth in government but he also found the opposite is false. Growth in government is strongly negative for economic growth.

                      CEPR (2014) (fairly left leaning) found that Population growth corresponds to economic growth and that global growth it slowing because population growth is decreasing.
                      They also found that increasing regulation – an effect of increasing government size was strongly negative for growth.
                      They found that enhaved government benefits reduced LFP and therefore economic growth.

                      Grossman (1987) using a Pigovian model found strong support for Public Choice theory based negative growth impact of government size – the larger government becomes the more rents seeking and the more negative impact on the economy

                      You can find just about every govenrment and every central bank of consequence as well s CEB IMG, WB have all produced – sometimes several studies with the same results – bigger govenrment less growth.

                    105. “I strongly believed that your initial statement was in error because your initial statement assumed the curve to be linear when it is not. You later agreed with me that on a graph the relationships would resemble a curve rather than a linear structure so your statement cannot under those circumstances possibly be true.”

                      I expected it was clear that the relationship was non-linear. Relatively early I qualified my assertion with a range – which should introduce the assumption that outside that range behavior is different.
                      Further a linear premise will fail trivially to reductio ad absurdem. Few things in the world are truly linear.

                      If I was not clear that the relationship is non-linear I apologize.

                      I will note that vast amounts of economic research produces linear results that are obviously not linear.
                      In the fine print you will always find some range conditions of some kind, but not usually in the abstract.

                      Christine Romer as an example did a study of the economic impacts of a variety of types of taxes in OECD countries. She produced constants for the economic impact of each type of tax.
                      The constant is the slope of the line – i.e. Linear. It is certain that the effect of taxes is not linear.
                      but it may be close to linear on people as an agregate within the OECD.

                      I quoted you Barro’s multipliers for the economic impact of government spending – again constant multipliers i.e. linear. but the effects are certainly not linear, though they may be close in the set of existing governments.

                    106. “I expected it was clear that the relationship was non-linear. ”

                      Not clear at all and I doubt any good mathematician would have believed your words to mean non-linear or at the very least if they were giving you the benefit of the doubt they would say they couldn’t be sure.

                    107. y=x^2

                      Further – as noted even top ranked economists report results as scalar multipliers – i.e. implied slopes when they certainly are not.

                      I am not going to hold myself to a higher standard in a blog post than romer or Barro in a paper.

                    108. “I am not going to hold myself to a higher standard in a blog post than romer or Barro in a paper”

                      Don’t worry you will never even come close.

                    109. “To quit this never-ending discussion we can call what you call fact and I call “theory” or theorizing “The New Say’s Law” on the relationship between shrinking of government and the 1) standard of living ”

                      I presume you understand John Say is a pseudonym, regardless, this is the work of many many many others.

                      Here is just one paper. This is an econometric study with multiple regressions. thought that might appeal to you.
                      http://www.cps.org.uk/files/reports/original/120522105633-smallisbest.pdf

                      Or google
                      “The Impact of Government Expenditures on Economic Growth in Jordan”
                      Substituting whatever country you want – Nigeria, France, …
                      There are dozens of permutations of this.

                      The point is I did not “invent” this.

                      You can also search for the Armey Curve or the Rahn Curve or even the Laffer curve – though that is specific to taxes.

                      But this is not the something that belongs to either Richard Rahn or Richard Armey

                    110. “I presume you understand John Say is a pseudonym”

                      Of course. That is why I called it “The New Say’s Law” emphasizing the word “New” to distinguish between a man, long dead and your newer “Law”.

                    111. Fine.

                      I am not proposing anything.
                      I am reporting on a blog something that many others found

                      Are you familiar with Robert barro ?

                      One of his major areas of work is the economic effects of govenrment spending.
                      Not only has he published many papers on the subject, but he has gathered and made available the worlds largest database of spending and growth data.

                      Barro found that there was no form of government spending that had a multiplied greater than .8
                      That means for every $1 government spends at best the economy shrinks by $.20
                      The average multiplier according to Barro is .25-.35.

                      We are dealing with essentially the same issue just being explored in a different way.

                      And yes, Barro is likely incorrect – the effect of some specific type of spending is not likely to be perfectly linear. But that does not mean we can not know that military spending at times of war is less economically harmful than social safetynet spending.

                      Nor does it make the generalization that you can draw from Barro’s results any less certain because there is noise and other factors in the data.

                    112. “I am reporting on a blog something that many others found’

                      There is no problem with that, but when research reveals something in one circumstance that doesn’t make it true in all other circumstances especially where there are so many variables. (I brought up two examples and the nature of the curve that all conflicted with your initial statement.)

                      “That means for every $1 government spends at best the economy shrinks by $.20”

                      That is something I believe but Barro didn’t say what you said in your initial statement.

                      “We are dealing with essentially the same issue just being explored in a different way.”

                      When you explore it in a different way that means variables (and noise) may have changed so one cannot make the leap from the first statement to the second. I accept Barro because he was providing more of an average based on a set of variables focussing only on a small segment that reflected the US economy during a certain time period. In other words, instead of providing a graph from 0 to 100 he provided a graph that may have included only 50-70 and that may appear relatively linear since exact numbers are not being used and he is looking more at averages.

                    113. “That is something I believe but Barro didn’t say what you said in your initial statement.”

                      And I did not specifically say Barro did, though I will note that Barro is making a very closely related argument.

                      If govenrment spending multipliers are all below unity, then government spending has a negative effect on growth and standard of living.

                      Barro says the average multiplier is from .25 to .35.

                      Assuming the higher .35 with the federal government at 20% of GDP, then the negative impact of government spending of 20% of GDP would be about 13% of GDP.

                      So Barro is essentially arguing for a much stronger negative impact – oh, and a linear one.

                      regardless I am not wed to Barro’s numbers.

                      In fact I am not wed to anyone’s specific numbers including the 1% for each 10% of GDP.

                      As noted we are engaged in blog commenting. Not only are the standards different but even the claims are different.

                      I think Barro’s work is significant – I think that it is true, but not necescarily correct.

                      And I think that is a part of what we are arguing.

                      You keep, coming back with:
                      The effects are not linear,
                      or an error in methodology might result in an error.
                      Or myriads of other specific criticisms – that either are or might be true.

                      But your criticisms – even if correct do not alter the fact that the effect of government spending inside a scope that currently covers most nations are net negative.

                      So long as the net is always negative, inside reasonable parameters – my argument is a fact.
                      Further it means that again inside the parameters, what we should do is clear.

                    114. “And I did not specifically say Barro did, though I will note that Barro is making a very closely related argument.”

                      Close might be good enough throwing horseshoes but it is not good enough in the concept of our discussion.

                      As I have said over and over again we don’t disagree much on the subject matter only on your claim of fact in your initial statement.

                    115. “Close might be good enough throwing horseshoes but it is not good enough in the concept of our discussion.”

                      I beleive you are confusing True with precision.

                      Generalisations can be true (or false) without being precise.

                    116. “I beleive you are confusing True with precision.”

                      You are confusing facts with educated guesses.

                    117. “You are confusing facts with educated guesses.”

                      At what level of statistical significance is something an educated guess ?

                      That are somethings in economics that are more certain – but not many.

                    118. “” migration”

                      For the data – hundreds of pages of it on population and growth.
                      Try Julian Simon””

                      Again, the disagreement has little to do with the idea since we basically agree and that agreement existed long before this discussion. The only disagreement is one that has to do with the terms used to define this idea.

                    119. I am not especially interested in a debate over semantics.

                      Can I assume that you accept that anything that we accept as true is only probabilistically true.
                      Essentially that the HUP is universal – I am NOT talking about the specifics of how the HUP operates – that derives from the wave partical duality. I am addressing the understanding that we can not know anything to absolute certainty.

                      Assuming that is the case – what is your label for what we can establish with a reasonably high degree of certainty to be true ?

                      If “facts” show patterns, and those patterns meet that standard of reasonably high certainty and those patterns are not – falsifiable.

                      To be clear a falsifiable pattern is one where with all other independent variables controlled, the result never deviates outside the range of certainty.
                      It does not refer to situations where other independent variables result in changed outcome.

                      No scientist would claim that they had falsified some principle of science by monkey with an independent variable.

                      What is your name for the explanation of that pattern.

                    120. “I am not especially interested in a debate over semantics.”

                      You know where I stand in matters such as these so you must be interested in semantics as you keep trying to prove your initial statement to be “fact” and I only objected to the use of that word because it becomes confusing when facts turn out to be assumptions.

                      “Can I assume that you accept that anything that we accept as true is only probabilistically true.”

                      Only for the variables and time frames we are dealing with. I object to broad-based conclusions of fact when it isn’t warranted.

                    121. ““Can I assume that you accept that anything that we accept as true is only probabilistically true.”

                      Only for the variables and time frames we are dealing with. I object to broad-based conclusions of fact when it isn’t warranted.”

                      I would suggest rereading, There is a logical contradiction in your qualification.
                      ONE of the reasons that truth is probabalistic is that it is generalized – without the scopes and time frames.

                      There is nothing wrong with a broad-based conclusion of fact, without the parameters you are demanding.
                      All that is required is that the truth includes uncertainty,

                    122. “We can have a team discuss this new law with regard to Libya whose government shrank to the point of anarchy, yet I don’t think the standard of living rose.”

                      I told you this was a curve. I also told you that there are many other factors to growth,
                      Just that Freedom is the most significant.

                      That does not make it sufficient to overcome nearly ever other factor being negative.

                    123. “I told you this was a curve.”

                      Bzzt wrong. I told you I believed it would be a curve and you agreed with my assessment. Your initial statement indicated a linear relationship paraphrasing, ‘the smaller the government the better …” That indicates a linear relationship.

                    124. When I have been somewhat specific I have been clear – the relationship appears to be near linear from 20% of GDP through about 80%.

                      ‘the smaller the government the better …” does not mean linear.

                      If you really want my posts to be even longer, I will attempt to fully parameterize every statement with charts and formula.

                      But I am making arguments here – not publishing a research paper.

                    125. “When I have been somewhat specific I have been clear – the relationship appears to be near linear from 20% of GDP through about 80%.”

                      Unfortunately, that is not what you said.

                      “‘the smaller the government the better …” does not mean linear.”

                      Of course it does. Plot it out.

                      No need to make the posts even more confusing by making them longer. Quote the original major study’s conclusion along with the major parameters where your words don’t expand their conclusions and then state them as fact.

                    126. ““‘the smaller the government the better …” does not mean linear.”

                      Of course it does. Plot it out.”

                      You can’t based on the statement.

                      The graph could be linear, or asymptotic or parabolic, ….

                      y = x^2 is not linear,

                    127. “The graph could be linear, or asymptotic or parabolic, ”

                      Yes, but in terms of what you wrote and in context it appeared to be linear, but in actuality, your line, curve or whatever was referred to in only one direction where when plotted from zero to 100 the curve rises (falls) and then falls (rises).

                      You were wrong and from that, you were creating your own facts.

                    128. “‘the smaller the government the better …”

                      Not inherently linear.

                      I do not feel that it is necescary – particularly in the context of a blog to assert that any generalisation that I make is not linear or might have different behavior in edge conditions – that we can only hope we are lucky enough to ever have to deal with.

                      If you do, we are likely to have this spat again.

                    129. “assert that any generalisation that I make”

                      If you are not clear then I have a right to interpret the statement in the way I think you meant it. Otherwise you will one day make a linear assertion and we are back at the same point again.

                    130. “We can have a second team evaluate a good but shrinking government that faces immigration from a much larger nation where the people are dying of starvation or Ebola.”

                      Again back to Julian Simon – the actual real world data correlates decreasing starvation with increasing population.
                      It also correlates decreasing disease with increasing population.

                      You are too smart for this. I can understand having to persuade some of the lefties here that Malthus was wrong. Please do not tell me I must argue that with you ?

                    131. “Again back to Julian Simon – the actual real-world data correlates decreasing starvation with increasing population.”

                      That is one variable and it doesn’t suffice. That starvation is related to reduced populations can be true and providing food can increase the population which occurred in India decades ago. Increasing technology and standard of living has been shown in many instances to lead to a lower birth rate.

                      You are mixing up a lot of data and drawing very specific conclusions tying a lot of data together that may be likely but are not fact.

                    132. “That is one variable and it doesn’t suffice.”
                      That is why we do things like regressions.

                      I thought we were passed this argument.

                      Every claim I have made – and all science is prefaced with the assumption that all other independent variables are controlled.

                      “That starvation is related to reduced populations can be true and providing food can increase the population which occurred in India decades ago.”

                      I am not going to get specific about starvation – beyond noting that historically increased populations mean less starvation and declining populations mean more.
                      And yes – there are other factors – you can presume I say that always.

                      “Increasing technology and standard of living has been shown in many instances to lead to a lower birth rate.”
                      True, at the same time increased numbers of people accelerates the development of technology
                      The “ultimate resource” in Simon’s book is human intelligance. More people means more of that means more rapid advancement. Further the effect is non-linear. The ability to make effective use of human intelligence increases with the increase in the number of people. The technology that is the consequence of more people, brings us closer compounding the beneficial effects of more people.

                      But I would suggest reading Simon. Fighting the ZPG crowd is not top of my list of critical political issues.
                      It is just another example of the failures of the left.

                      “You are mixing up a lot of data and drawing very specific conclusions tying a lot of data together that may be likely but are not fact.”

                      I am not doing it. Economists have been doing it for decades. I am just repeating it.

                    133. “”That is one variable and it doesn’t suffice.”

                      That is why we do things like regressions.”

                      But you didn’t do a regression study.

                      “Every claim I have made – and all science is prefaced with the assumption that all other independent variables are controlled.”

                      When appropriate conclusions are drawn they should be based on all variables.. In some sectors of the economy especially from the left (in my experience) conclusions are drawn by manipulating the variables to reach the conclusions they desire and then call those conclusions fact. That is basically what you did in your initial statement.

                      ” am not going to get specific about starvation”

                      That is your problem. You are not considering variables that should be considered when creating overly broad conclusions that you represent as fact.

                      “True, at the same time increased numbers of people accelerates the development of technology”

                      Increased numbers of people may or may not accelerate the development of technology. The Mid East has almost 1/2 billion Arabs and Israel under 9 Million people. Israel, as small as it is, develops many times more technology than its neighbors that have 50 times the population.. Too many of your statements are not factually correct.

                    134. “But you didn’t do a regression study.”

                      I did not do any studies. I have read and observed.
                      But the papers I have read did do regressions.

                      Regardless, you are back to arguing that a statement I have made is false – because I did not provide you with the supporting detail you want.

                      Again this is blog comments not JSTOR,
                      Further the ommision of evidence is not disproof.

                    135. “But the papers I have read did do regressions.”

                      On what did they do regression studies? Certainly not to create your errant statement of fact.

                    136. This is getting ludicrous.

                      the linear/nonlinear debate as well as the edge conditions issue is incredibly pendantic ever for this blog.

                      You say you basically agree – though I am not sure what that means.

                      If you agree in theory but not in fact – what does that mean ?

                      I am not interested in the way things work in some hypothetical universe.

                      The only agreement that has any meaning is agreement that translates into knowledge of how to act in the real world.

                      We are in many of the messes we are in because the left has spent 3/4 of a century imposing theories by force that have no factual support.

                      I am offering a “theory” if you must that has a probability of producing growth that nothing else that we have tried in human existance approaches.

                      Just like the electron in the atom – it is not certain, it is probabilistic, there are enough independent variables that we have little control over that things could still F’up.

                      We are not getting anywhere in this debate.
                      This has become entirely semantic.
                      So much so that I am not sure anything can reach your requirements to be a “fact”

                    137. “If you agree in theory but not in fact – what does that mean ?”

                      I expect facts to remain constant and not change unless the facts were tied to variables.

                    138. “When appropriate conclusions are drawn they should be based on all variables.. ”

                      Nope, I beleive I used an example before that you can not disprove F = ma because your billiard table has holes in it.

                      We determine principles, laws, fixed relationships, by fixing all the independent variables except the one we are testing.

                      “In some sectors of the economy especially from the left (in my experience) conclusions are drawn by manipulating the variables to reach the conclusions they desire and then call those conclusions fact. That is basically what you did in your initial statement.”

                      Nope, the left does the opposite. It draws or refutes conclusions without fixing the other independent variables first.

                    139. ” you can not disprove F = ma ”

                      Newton’s law was based on noninterference. It was well recognized that any interference would change the calculations. One uses that pure law and adds in anything that interferes to calculate the true numbers.

                      Your initial statement that you called fact wasn’t pure it was already contaminated by a multitude of variables.

                      One crazy study (by a leftist Harvard researcher Himmelstein) that hit the headlines was that 50% of bankruptcies were caused by medical costs. A ridiculous conclusion and statement of fact according to the leftist fact checkers (I took issue with one of them, but I think she only knew how to write good prose but had no mathematical ability.) That is the type of statement my comment was directed to. You decided to say “nope” by showing an alternative way of manipulating data. That is pure foolishness.

                    140. “Newton’s law was based on noninterference. It was well recognized that any interference would change the calculations. One uses that pure law and adds in anything that interferes to calculate the true numbers.”

                      So are you trying to say that my assertion is a law rather than a fact ?

                      BTW Newtons laws also fail at an edge condition.

                      We still teach them as laws – because most of us are not dealing with things traveling 3/4 the speed of light often

                    141. “So are you trying to say that my assertion is a law rather than a fact ?”

                      Perhaps you could think that since I called it the ‘New John Say law of…’, but I don’t think I would include that in my textbook or quote it in public. We already have an old ‘Says Law” and there is a lot of argument over that. I think Thomas Sowell has written on Says Law and is a proponent but does that make it a fact?

                    142. “Says law” is the law of supply and demand (or part of it).

                      There are only 3 known exceptions to it.
                      One is presitige goods – where people will actually pay more specifically to be identified as being able to pay more for something.

                      I forget what the other two are, but as I recall one is rare, and the other has never been seen in the real world.

                      To me that about as close as you can come to a fact in economics.

                    143. “One crazy study (by a leftist Harvard researcher Himmelstein) that hit the headlines was that 50% of bankruptcies were caused by medical costs.”

                      I do not know Himmelstein, but Warren actually taught my wife at Penn Law and I met har long before she was consequential.

                      The more publicly well known study was Warren’s.
                      I read her study. It was absolutely dead on perfectly correct.

                      What was NOT correct was how it was sold to the public.

                      In 2005 there were 2 million bankruptcy filings (all did not result in bankruptcy).
                      In 2006 the number returned to a norm of about 600000

                      As I recall, according to Warren 1/3 of all bankruptcies discharged medical debt.
                      The average amount requested to be discharged in those bankrupcites was 2500.00
                      If I recall the average debt discharged was about 7500.

                      Those are the facts from my recollection of her paper.

                      The press went with “healthcare costs the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US.
                      Warren did nothing to silence that and while not parroting the exact stupid errors,
                      left plenty of room to beleive that is what she found.

                      BTW that means about 1.5B in medical debt is discharged in bankruptcy each year.

                      Or in 10 years 15B rather than the 1.5T that PPACA has cost us.

                    144. Off topic

                      “The more publicly well known study was Warren’s.
                      I read her study. It was absolutely dead on perfectly correct.”

                      I don’t know if you are talking about a separate study or the Himmelstein, Woolhander, Warren study which was ridiculous due to the criteria (variables). I thought it was $1,000 but using your numbers a person who ran a fortune 500 company and owned a house worth $25 million would be considered a medical bankruptcy if bankruptcy was declared where he had to pay more than $2,500 ($1,000). That made no sense yet it was accepted by the crazies.

                      It was a survey which was the stupidest thing since bankruptcy filings are open to the public and one could have discovered that bankruptcies due to medical costs were in the low single digits.

                    145. I am operating from recollection, so I may have some errors in the details.
                      I Do not recall who was part of the study besides warren.

                      But the study itself was not actually that bad.
                      It was the stupid things that it was claimed to mean in the media.

                      Regardless, using the figures from the study you could calculate the total medical debt discharge in bankruptcy. The total was less then the small amount of funding Trump received for the Wall.

                      My guess is far more is lost in medical fraud each year.

                      You may be right that the methodology was poor – I do not recall it being a survey.

                      But I do recall reading it and saying – this is not a serious problem.

                      And then hearing on the news how we were all going bankrupt all over to get out from under mountainous medical debt.

                    146. That Himmelstein study was one of the worst I ever saw by someone with a reputation, but that wasn’t his first crazy one nor his last. There is no way any unbiased individual that understood the study could accept it as a legitimate study especially since the bankruptcy data is available and conflicts with Himmelstein’s conclusions.

                    147. I will accept your characterizations of the study. That only makes things worse.

                      My impression on reading it was “This does not mean anything close to what we are being told”

                      We were sold a 1.6T bill of goods to solve a problem that was at worst 1.5B

                      That is like a mile or so of CA’s high speed rail.

                    148. Post 1) Allan:”“You are confusing facts with educated guesses.”
                      John: At what level of statistical significance is something an educated guess ?”

                      Everything can be an educated guess so levels of evidence are created. You are placing levels of evidence in a mishmash fashion so the evidence cannot be taken seriously.

                      2) “You keep trying to pretend you are arguing with me – your not, you are arguing with the data.”

                      I am not arguing with the data rather how you rate evidence and present things as fact.

                      “You have stated that you think that what I have argued is true,“

                      Yes, I believe many of your economic conclusions are true with regard to the time, date and place that we live in. That we reach the same conclusion doesn’t mean I agree your facts are solid.

                      3) “Again you seem to be saying that any argument not with sufficient precision and detail for a JSTOR article is unacceptable to you.”

                      No. I simply said that your initial statement was not a fact.

                      4) “I am more interested in the government size argument than the population argument “

                      The second one picks at your argument and makes a hole you either add variables, bend a straight line, or say you are interested in something else. Many of your facts as stated do not hold up to scrutiny.

                      “an increase in populations resulted in “more people struggling””

                      In the 50’s we started to help feed and then provide medications to India. The population rose but they ended up struggling with a greater population.

                      5) “The “methodology” you are criticising is not mine”

                      Your methodologies might not be yours, but your copies are like Chinese copies of original masterpieces.

                      6) “You are confusing difficulty or even higher degrees of uncertainty with error.”

                      No, you are confusing a poorly constructed paraphrase of facts with fact.

                      7) “We were sold a 1.6T bill of goods to solve a problem that was at worst 1.5B”

                      Not sure what you are talking about, but government controlled health care that we have today in my estimation is costing the population about double what it should cost and in the process has caused harm with the human capital involved.

                      You seem to read a lot to increase the number of facts. That is good but sometimes one has to sit back and put the books down and think about what one reads integrating the data points into a larger thesis while sharpening ideas so that there is a recognition of what one is actually thinking while corrective mechanisms have time to make their corrections.

                    149. 1). The assertion that this is about educated guesses is yours not mine.

                      I told you from the beginning there was plenty of economic and statistical support if you wanted to look for it. Subsequently I have linked to or referred to some of it.

                      You continue to argue as if I am standing on my own nakedly asserting something controversial – that in your heart you think is right, but that is otherwise unfounded.

                      Reality is the causes of Growth are a topic of significant economic research over many decades. There are many factors. To the extent there is debate it is only over the magnitude and ranking of different factors. The existance of many factors does not mean all are equal or that the weight of each factor is completely unknowable.

                      You continue to introduce terms without defining them.

                      I will agree that this is an educated guess if you will agree that Newton’s laws of motion are an educated guess.

                      Regardless, there is a significant disparity between the terms you are using and their common use meaning. I do not think most people think something with strong statistical support is an “educated guess”.

                      I do not care what terms you use – but if you wish to use them significantly outside their common meaning, you need to define them.

                    150. “I told you from the beginning there was plenty of economic and statistical support if you wanted to look for it.”

                      Your statement has support, but it is not a fact for all circumstances, times and places.

                    151. “Your statement has support, but it is not a fact for all circumstances, times and places.”

                      Almost nothing is.

                      You seem to be having a problem grasping that there are ALWAYS other independent variables.

                      Experimentally we constrain them – when we can to detemine whether the variable being tested behaves as we expect.

                      When we can not experiment we use regressions and other statistical methods to isolate the behavior of the variable we care about.

                      There is nothing about this that is unusual.

                    152. 2) “You keep trying to pretend you are arguing with me – your not, you are arguing with the data.”
                      Non-responsive response.

                      “I am not arguing with the data rather how you rate evidence and present things as fact.”
                      Your arguing about the definition of fact – without defining fact.

                      What level of probability do you need to call something a fact ? Educated Guess ?
                      Elsewhere you have thrown out “theory” and “law”.

                      What is your difference between a “theory” or “law” and a fact ?

                      I have told you that you have driven this to semantics.

                      Even there you are using terms unusually without defining them.

                    153. 3) “Again you seem to be saying that any argument not with sufficient precision and detail for a JSTOR article is unacceptable to you.”

                      “No. I simply said that your initial statement was not a fact.”

                      Again word games. we are well past the initial statement. I have provided substantial support for the initial statement as well as more than enough information to find atleast 100 DIFFERENT studies supporting it. I have found the work of a left wing economic research organization supporting substantial portions of it. I have shown you that economic research papers run more than 8:1 supporting this proposition – there is very little in economics with that level of support.

                      You do not want to use “fact” – fine, define fact – otherwise I have no means to measure your evaluation.

                      I expect that however you define fact, that you will use it consistently.

                    154. “Again word games.”

                      No. I have said it over and over again. Saying it another way, you overreached in your initial statement.

                      A fact is something that is indisputably true. I have provided details that demonstrate that statement as expressed might not always be true.

                    155. “A fact is something that is indisputably true.”

                      Nope. If I say “it is raining” that is sometimes true and sometimes not.

                      Even if I say if I let go of this bowling ball it will drop – that presumes that the bowling ball is heavier than air, and that gravity is strong and downward.

                      There are ALWAYS myriads of other factors, that also influence whatever we are examining.

                    156. “Nope. If I say “it is raining””

                      If you are outside getting rained on and you look around you and see it is raining I would say that is a fact even if there is a chance there is another cause. Then you would be mistaken. That is an empirical fact. However, you can’t expand that and say it is raining because my bones hurt.

                    157. “If you are outside getting rained on and you look around you and see it is raining I would say that is a fact”
                      Correct – a fact is not something that is always true.

                      “However, you can’t expand that and say it is raining because my bones hurt.”

                      I didn’t. You assumed equal effect, and you assumed no effect from other independent variables.

                    158. ““If you are outside getting rained on and you look around you and see it is raining I would say that is a fact”
                      Correct – a fact is not something that is always true.”

                      Indisputable is key but facts can later be proven wrong.

                      Your initial statement was not indisputable.

                    159. “Your initial statement was not indisputable.”

                      Then dispute it.

                      You have made two general arguments:

                      The first is that it is not absolute truth, and therefore wrong.
                      You continue to make that argument – despite having repeatedly accepted that is not true.

                      The second is that other independent variables can be completely ignored.

                      Both are invalid arguments.

                    160. “The first is that it is not absolute truth, and therefore wrong.”

                      The defense of your overgeneralization is wrong. The concept is on the right track.

                    161. “The defense of your overgeneralization is wrong. The concept is on the right track.”

                      I am not defending an overgeneralization, I am defending what I said.

                      I am separately defending the related concept that every one sentence argument does not have to have the detailed precision of a 70 page thesis.

                    162. “I am not defending an overgeneralization, I am defending what I said.”

                      You claimed what you said to be fact and it was a generalization… too broad.

                    163. “You claimed what you said to be fact and it was a generalization… too broad.”

                      Again define and distinguish generalization and over generalization.

                      If you are asserting that no generalization can be a fact – please explain.

                      Assuming that “too broad” is a distinct assertion from “generalization”.
                      what is the distinction between “too broad” and just the right about of broad.

                      Even facts are nearly useless if we can not generalize from them.

                    164. “If you are asserting that no generalization can be a fact – please explain.”

                      Your generalizations that I have commented on and you state as fact apply to limited circumstances. For any argument outside that limited circumstance that fact or theory doesn’t apply. That makes you and your ideas a target.

                      I’ll give an example previously given. Higher Population leads to more technology. Sounds logical but Israel a population of ~9 million produces ~50X the technology of ~500 million in the Middle East. Something like that invalidates everything else you say that is true or not. I provided my opinion on healthcare, not a fact. I stated IMO a market system would cost ~50% of what our system costs today. That is not a fact, rather my opinion. I provide opinion and you try to provide fact so you are held to a higher standard.

                    165. If you are not going to define the terms you use in any way – there is no possibility of understanding your arguments.

                      Past that you are back to this bizarre concept that you can falsify something by ignoring the fact that your counter has numerous uncontrolled independent variables.

                      You complain that I jump all over and then return to the population argument.
                      If you really want to understand how population increases improve standard of living – read Julian Simon.
                      He will explain it in excrutiating detail with statitics and numbers and math and everything you want.

                      With respect to your counter – standards of living in Egypt – or most anywhere, are higher today with more population than they were 20-30-40 years ago with lower populations.
                      In fact countries that were starving have more people and are feeding themselves.

                      Not only is there more than enough food to feed the world today – but it is grown on less land, and with very few exceptions countries are able to feed themselves. The execptions are all counties with serious political problems.

                      Absolutely some countries advance faster than others despite having larger populations – but that is not the thesis. You presume that all things are equal except population between Egypt and Israel;

                    166. “If you are not going to define the terms you use in any way – there is no possibility of understanding your arguments.”

                      I’ve defined numerous words some more than once. It’s not the definition that is a problem rather it is the way you formulate your facts and theories.

                    167. “I’ve defined numerous words some more than once. It’s not the definition that is a problem rather it is the way you formulate your facts and theories.”

                      Then you will have no problems pointing out where you have clearly definied and distinguished the terms

                      fact,
                      theory,
                      generalization
                      overgeneralization

                      as just a start.

                      I do not recall your doing so. I have no idea what you think each means, nor what you think the difference between them is.

                      Your repeatedly use generalization and over generalization interchangably as if they mean the same.
                      Most of us grasp that an over generalization is not a fact.
                      But a generalization may be a fact.

                      We also grasp that it is not sufficient to call something an over generalization.

                      Tossing out labels does not convert them to truths

                    168. “But a generalization may be a fact.”

                      Right. Your’s wasn’t.

                    169. Right. Your’s wasn’t.

                      Then you should be able to demonstrate that with a counter example that is properly controlled.

                    170. “Then you should be able to demonstrate that with a counter example that is properly controlled.”

                      No. You are the one stating the facts or theories. The burden is on you.

                    171. The burden to prove my argument is mine.

                      But you are claiming more than that I have not proven it.
                      You are making a positive claim that it is false, and that their are examples to falsify.
                      The burden of proving that is yours.

                    172. “The burden to prove my argument is mine.”

                      I provided examples that demonstrated your statement was too broad. That is all that is needed.

                    173. 3) Just to be clear – however you treat my initial statement I am free to treat your responses the same.

                      There is a difference between a skeptical demand for further proof and a denial.
                      There is a difference between insufficient proof and wrong.

                      You denied, something I have subsequently provided more proof for.

                      An assertion with insufficient proof can be subsequently supported.
                      As can a demand for proof.
                      A denial is either true or false.

                    174. 4). You are arguing against the scientific method.

                      I have not “added more variable” – very little is dependent on a single variable.

                      The scientific method is a process to isolate the effect of a single variable, by controlling for all others.
                      Where “controlled” experiments are possible – we literally fix the other variables.
                      Where experiment is not possible, we use what real world data we have and use statistical and mathematical techniques like regressions to do our best to isolate the impact of the variable in question.

                      It is not an assumption that there are no other variables.

                      You keep returning to this argument that other variables have an effect – that is true of EVERYTHING.

                    175. 4). You are arguing against the scientific method.

                      No.

                      “You keep returning to this argument that other variables have an effect – that is true of EVERYTHING.”

                      Probably, but you didn’t limit your statement to the variables known and you didn’t cover all the reasonable variables. Instead, you made other statements to complement prior statements such as (paraphrasing) increased population increases technology. I demonstrated how in the Middle East that seemed not to be true for a country 1/50th the size of the rest of the Mid East it produced technology making it a world leader in technological advancement.

                    176. “Probably, but you didn’t limit your statement to the variables known and you didn’t cover all the reasonable variables. ”
                      Not required. I do not need to specify that we are on earth or that the bowling ball is not lighter than air.

                      The presumption when stating anything like this, is that the only independent variable under consideration is the one being addressed.

                      “Instead, you made other statements to complement prior statements such as (paraphrasing) increased population increases technology. ”

                      No, different argument, different variable. But both effect growth positively.

                      “I demonstrated how in the Middle East that seemed not to be true for a country 1/50th the size of the rest of the Mid East it produced technology making it a world leader in technological advancement.”

                      No, you did not “demonstrate”, you did a comparison that involved numerous independent variables and claimed that somehow falsifed something – anything.

                      Your example might be interesting. But so long as there are numerous uncontrolled independent variables it can not disprove anything.

                      Regress your example so the data only reflects on independent variable, and then tell me if the results are different.

                    177. ” I do not need to specify that we are on earth or that the bowling ball is not lighter than air.”

                      That is because these would be reasonable assumptions. It is not a reasonable assumption that the greater the population the greater the technology.

                      “No, you did not “demonstrate”, you did a comparison”
                      Demonstrate= a practical explanation.

                      “Your example might be interesting. But so long as there are numerous uncontrolled independent variables it can not disprove anything.”

                      If you say all balloons are red all I have to do is find one balloon that isn’t red. That was the problem with your initial statement.

                    178. “That is because these would be reasonable assumptions. It is not a reasonable assumption that the greater the population the greater the technology.”

                      Does the definition of a fact
                      have a clause that says you can preclude noting exceptions based on reasonable assumptions ?

                    179. “Does the definition of a fact
                      have a clause that says you can preclude noting exceptions based on reasonable assumptions ?”

                      I don’t think the word comments on that and I think the key is the word “indisputable”.

                    180. I don’t think the word comments on that and I think the key is the word “indisputable”.

                      Indisputable – does not mean there are no other variables.

                      All that it means in this context is that ALL other things being equal, the outcome will be more growth with less government spending.
                      Or possible, in any given scenario – i.e. with other variables changing, the outcome if spending increased will be less growth than if it did not. That is a difference in two outcomes, not a difference between the start and the end.

                      You are continually trying to claim that the statement must mean that no other factors have any effect.

                      Neither reality, nor my statement say that.

                    181. “Indisputable – does not mean there are no other variables.”

                      That is right. When you are in a red room the room is red. When you are in a green room the room is green. When you are outside you can’t say the room is red without defining what room you are talking about. If you are talking about our economy and a specific time, place, within a certain range etc. then perhaps you can make a statement of fact or theory, but that cannot be overgeneralized to the rest of the world, different times, etc.

                    182. “When you are outside you can’t say the room is red without defining what room you are talking about.”
                      We are not outside the economy.

                      “If you are talking about our economy and a specific time, place,”
                      I am not.
                      That does not however mean you can make arbitrary comparisons form any place time where there are myriads of differences – beyond just the color of the room.

                      You can attempt to falsify my claims using the counters you made, but to do so, you must normalize the other independent variables so that you are comparing apples to apples.

                      Further though in OTHER more expanded remarks I have noted that in a specific range the data suggests an approximate slope – that assumption is not present in the original that you are so fixated on.

                      The more disparate the counter you are using, the less precise the comparison will be.
                      I would expect modern developed countries in the same time period to track the more detailed assertion of the scale reasonably close.
                      But compare radically different countries accross radically different time periods, and I would expect that after normalizing the data, that the sign will remain the same – more government will result in less growth.

                      “within a certain range etc. then perhaps you can make a statement of fact or theory, but that cannot be overgeneralized to the rest of the world, different times, etc.”

                      No one talks about the constraints of newton’s laws until you start discussion quantum physics in college.
                      Even in ordinary discussions between engineers no one says F-ma only works to about 2/3 the speed of light.

                      As you noted my statement was a generalization, that means that unusual constraints need not be specified unless we are at a time they matter.

                    183. “We are not outside the economy.”

                      Outside what economy? The US economy? Libya’s economy. 0 government involvement,100% involvement etc. You make statements that are too generalized to be considered fact.

                    184. “Outside what economy? The US economy? Libya’s economy. 0 government involvement,100% involvement etc. You make statements that are too generalized to be considered fact.”

                      Please go back and reread.

                      You made the “outside” claim, as an analogy.

                      The central issue being debated – when you are not arguing over arguing, is about economics.

                      The US, libya, It does not matter. the debate is inside the scope of economics, therefore your “outside the house” argument is a straw man.

                      You are rapidly racing towards any argument not covering the behavior of subatomic particles is overly broad and a false generalization.

                      Using Newton as an analogy again.

                      Is F = ma not a generalization ?

                      Worse it can actually be falsified at an edge condition.
                      Yet very rarely do people get pendantic and start shouting – overly broad generalization, not a fact.

                      Find a clear falsification, one outside the ede condition of that SMALL portion of government that actually enhances liberty by restricting the right to initiate violence.

                      Otherwise you are lobbing “feelings” as arguments.

                      My statement is an overly broad generalization – because you “feel” it must have exceptions.

                      I am not interested in what you feel.

                      You are a smart person.
                      I want your best arguments.

                      I will be happy to yeild to a better argument.
                      I would hope you would do the same.

                      “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
                      JS Mill

                    185. “Using Newton as an analogy again.”

                      Stop with Newton. Studies that involve human nature and interactions are quite different. You are barking at the wrong tree.

                    186. “Stop with Newton. Studies that involve human nature and interactions are quite different. You are barking at the wrong tree.”

                      Methods of science are NOT different, standards of what is truth or fact are NOT different.

                      We are primarily having an epistemological debate – a debate on the science and philosophy of knowledge, Not on human nature.

                      Newton’s laws are the perfect foil for this debate.
                      They are hard science, they are accepted as law/fact,
                      They are testable.
                      And yet they are provably wrong.

                      The point with respect to newton’s laws is they falsify your arguments.

                      Or are you claiming that the nature of truth is not only different but has a much higher standard when applied to human nature and interactions ?

                    187. “Methods of science are NOT different, standards of what is truth or fact are NOT different.”

                      The scientific method is used in both physics and studying human behavior. Human nature is very difficult to do scientific studies on and are very debatable so we try not to be so brazen.

                    188. “The scientific method is used in both physics and studying human behavior.”
                      Correct
                      “Human nature is very difficult to do scientific studies on”
                      Depends on what you are trying to measure.
                      Psychology can often as an example conduct controlled experiments on individual humans.

                      Where we look at agregate patterns of human behavior it is rare that we can construct controlled experiments.

                      Nor is this problem unique to human behavior.

                      Climate science is severely restricted in its ability to do controlled experiments.
                      In fact it has pretty much all the problems of economics.

                      All of that said, we have mathematical and statistical methods to allow us to address our inability to conduct controlled experiments.

                      Essentially we use math and statistics to isolate the effects of a single independent variable from the forest of uncontrolled independent variables.

                      And this is where your counter factuals all fail. You can not just grab two different countries and presume that because on the variable of interest at the specific moment in time without respect to other variables you get a result that does not appear to conform to what you expect, that what you have constitutes falsification. If might, but you have alot of work to do before you can be sure.

                      “and are very debatable so we try not to be so brazen.”
                      Back to an emotional argument.
                      We do not say “what we have found is false, because we are dealing with human nature and do not wish to be brazen”
                      We say it is probable and how probable it is. Which BTW is all we can really do with hard sciences.
                      The difference merely being the strength of the requisite probability.

                      Where we can conduct a controlled experiment – we need conformance within our ability to measure – to call something true. Because since we have controlled for all other variables, we know any change is a result of the variable under test.

                      Where we can not conduct a controlled experiment a lower level or probability results in a claim of truth – because we do not have th ability to with certainty factor our all other effects, so a perfect match to predictions is not necescary, just strong conformance, no falsifying examples, and the expected behavior inside of reasonable constraints.

                    189. ““Human nature is very difficult to do scientific studies on”
                      Depends on what you are trying to measure.”

                      Our discussion doesn’t include the climate change debate and has to do with a vast number of different societies in different locations facing different stresses. That creates a lot of problems in measurement and developing laws that are good for each of these societies.

                    190. “Our discussion doesn’t include the climate change debate and has to do with a vast number of different societies in different locations facing different stresses.”

                      All independent variables – which both the person making the hypothesis and the person offering a counterfactual must control for.

                      Controlling an independent variable esentially means either fixing it so that it is not a factor, or accomplishing the same thing using statistical methods.

                      Regardless, the purpose is to isolate the effect of ONLY the variable under test.

                      It is not to say what the outcome will be if you change 10 independent variables.

                      “That creates a lot of problems in measurement”
                      Absolutely. In experimental science controlling independent variables is possibly the most important part of the experiment. In non-experimental science accomplishing the same thing using statistical methods has the same importance.

                      The strength or weakness of our conclusions rests on our ability to control for other independent variables.
                      The primary methodological critique is bad controls.

                      “developing laws that are good for each of these societies.”
                      Completely different topic – also a violation of Kant

                      Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.

                      Law that can not be universal is illegitimate.

                    191. “All independent variables – which both the person making the hypothesis and the person offering a counterfactual must control for.”

                      No. Your “facts” and “theories” though in specific circumstances may be true they are not true as generalizations. You have to delineate some of the limits. You didn’t do that. You were wrong.

                      Of course, you could say you were half right in your jagged line theory that went in one direction and left out the other direction. One could say you were only half wrong but half wrong means the “fact” is wrong.

                    192. “No. Your “facts” and “theories” though in specific circumstances may be true they are not true as generalizations. You have to delineate some of the limits. You didn’t do that. You were wrong.”

                      Every law of science is a generalization. I am not aware of a single one that explictly specifies that it only works when all other independent variables are controlled, and yet, every law of science will fail if you do not control independent variables.

                      You are arguing that science is something that it is not, and that I do not beleive you actually beleive yourself..

                      “Of course, you could say you were half right in your jagged line theory that went in one direction and left out the other direction. One could say you were only half wrong but half wrong means the “fact” is wrong.”

                      I am not saying or arguing either.

                      I offered a generalization – much like
                      F = ma.

                      I am not aware of any instances where all independent variables are controlled that that generalization does not hold true. You have not offered any instance where all independent variables are controlled that that generalization does not hold true.

                      I did not propose a linear theory – jagged or otherwise.
                      We had that debate already. Its is over. Let go.

                      Further you have constrained this argument to the most general form of the statement that I made.
                      You do not get to argue that you can incorporate bits and peices of more specific versions I have offered, without being them in as a whole.

                    193. “Every law of science is a generalization. ”

                      Yours was a generalization proven wrong in the real world. It sounds like you wish science to be a bunch of generalizations.

                    194. “Yours was a generalization proven wrong in the real world. It sounds like you wish science to be a bunch of generalizations.”

                      Again the conditions for falsifying something are not uncontrolled comparisons between vastly different instances with differences in numerous uncontrolled variables”

                      Science is a bunch of generalizations – ones that are either assumed to be true – because no counterfactual exists – that would be axioms, or ones that can be proven to be true logically based on the axioms.

                      No one cares about facts that are only true in unrepeatable unique conditions.
                      Science has no value unless it is a generalization – one that is true, or atleast thus far has not been proven false.

                    195. “Science has no value unless it is a generalization ”

                      Nothing has a 100% probability. Your comments are generalizations that can go 180 degrees in either direction. See other remarks.

                    196. “Nothing has a 100% probability. ”
                      Correct, and to be true, to be a fact, something does not have to have a 100% probability.
                      That is sort of what HUP means. Regardless, you can also get it from epistemology.

                      You are the one demanding 100% probability.

                      “Your comments are generalizations that can go 180 degrees in either direction.”
                      By varying other independent variables – often large numbers of other independent variables – absolutely

                      A cars brakes are designed to be able to stop the car. They are typically designed to stop the car, even if the gas is concurrently floored.
                      But they will not stop the car no matter how hard you press, if there is a tractor trailor pushing you from behind.

                      But when you step on the brakes the car will be subject to a force that will reduce the speed of the car RELATIVE to what it would have been had you not stepped on the brakes.

                      If there is a tractor trailer pushing you from behind at the time you step on the brakes – you may actually speed up, but even if your do, you will still speed up LESS than you would have without the brakes.

                      There is no brake on earth that will guarantee 100% that your car will be stopped by it – no matter what forces your car is subject to.

                      There is no law of science that will predict exactly what will happen based on changes to one parameter, if all other parameters are also free to change.

                    197. “You are the one demanding 100% probability.”

                      That is as far from the truth as possible. I never demand 100% probability. It doesn’t exist. I request reasonable limitations of one’s comments based on the variables that are common and have to do with the subject matter.

                      I’ll say it again. You will make statements that the sun will shine tomorrow and when it doesn’t you will say you were still right but the clouds and rain interfered. Such predictions are useless.

                    198. “I’ll say it again. You will make statements that the sun will shine tomorrow and when it doesn’t you will say you were still right but the clouds and rain interfered. Such predictions are useless.”

                      The sun will shine tomorow – no matter what. Whether clouds block portions of that sunlight from reaching the ground – the sun will still be shining. Further that sunlight will still have most of the same effects.
                      Energy will still be transfered to the planet, and the planet will respond to that energy transfer.

                      The response may not be identical, but it will be very similar.

                      And that is the point. We do not adjust for all the other independent variables, because failing to do so prevents the effect we are looking at. We adjust so that we can SEE the effect. The effect occurred whether we see it or not.

                      Greater freedom leads to higher standards of living than otherwise.

                      If a Tsunami intervenes destroying half the population – standard of living could actually go down dramatically. But greater freedom will still result in an outcome that was better than lessor freedom Tsunami or not.

                      The absolute standard of living is the sum of the effects of many factors.

                      but the effects of changing freedom will be positive, even when other changes to other negative factors result in an absolute negative change.

                      This is not that hard.

                      Further if we actually know the effect of the other independent variables (which we do not necescarily),
                      then we can actually predict the absolute outcome.

                      But even if we do not know the effect of the other independent variables, we can still know that changing freedom positively will result in a finally standard of living higher than had all the other changes to independent variables occured the same but freedom had not changed.

                    199. “The sun will shine tomorow ”

                      I was referring to a weather predictor for those of us on earth that wanted to know if they needed sunblock. I inadvertently demonstrated the problem with your simple statements that you state as scientific fact that means different things to different people. The author of the statement (in this case, myself) should have spelled it out. That is what you should be doing when you make statements of fact. But in my case, I wasn’t providing a scientific argument. You were and you were wrong.

                    200. “I was referring to a weather predictor for those of us on earth that wanted to know if they needed sunblock. I inadvertently demonstrated the problem with your simple statements that you state as scientific fact that means different things to different people. ”

                      No, you inadvertently demonstrated the error of your argument – and the difference between science and engineering.

                      “But in my case, I wasn’t providing a scientific argument. ”
                      That is correct – none of your purported examples of falsification meet the logical or scientific criteria for falsification.

                      A hypothesis – or a law of nature when proven, provides the effect of a single variable.
                      It does not tell you anything about the net outcome when multiple variables are changed.

                    201. Or discussion started on economic growth.

                      Our debate is about the scientific method – particularly as it applies where controlled experiments are not possible, and the requirements for falsification.

                      The references to climate science are analogous.
                      The existance of recod breaking cold in some countries does not falsify CAGW.
                      The existance of record breaking warm in others does not prove CAGW.

                      Tegardless of what you beleive about CAGW you can not provie it by a single example or disprove it by an unnormalized counter.

                    202. “Or discussion started on economic growth.

                      Our debate is about the scientific method”

                      I’ll quote from your previous argument: “Law that can not be universal is illegitimate.”

                      Thus one pares down the universe to that where the law applies. You were wrong.

                    203. “Thus one pares down the universe to that where the law applies. You were wrong.”

                      Not that you have demonstrated.

                    204. Allan: “Thus one pares down the universe to that where the law applies. You were wrong.”

                      John: “Not that you have demonstrated.”

                      Believe as you will but how does that help you get your point across?

                    205. “Believe as you will but how does that help you get your point across?”

                      Not a question of beleif. Falsifying something requires demonstrating a real world contradiction with all independent variables controlled.

                      The fact that conditions in Cuba or Venezuela are better than those in Somalia does not prove that socialism works.

                      Nor do the failures in Cuba or Venezuela as compared to the US demonstrate that socialism fails – atleast not until you factor our all other independent variables.

                      This is not a difficult concept.

                      You complain that my generalization is over broad – without defining that.
                      But your counter factuals are obviously overbroad because the differences between the two examples can be trivially atributed to factors other than the variable being tested.
                      You are “over generalizing” what constitutes falsification.

                      The objective of science is to come up with the most generalized expression of some hypothesis that can not be falsified. Not the opposite.

                    206. “Science has no value unless it is a generalization ”

                      The question was how your actions help get your point across? I don’t care what you believe.

                      The statement was: “Believe as you will but how does that help you get your point across?”

                    207. Clearly I am failing to “get my point accross” – presuming that is my goal.

                      Given that “the point” – atleast the one we have actually been arguing, rather than the statements we are using arround that argument – that “point” is just the scientific method, and you are rejecting it.

                    208. “Clearly I am failing to “get my point accross” ”

                      That is because of your chronic problem of refusing to deal with the common variables that exist. Instead, you make broad assertions only correcting them after the fact.

                    209. “That is because of your chronic problem of refusing to deal with the common variables that exist. Instead, you make broad assertions only correcting them after the fact.”

                      You are correct about other independent variables. You are incorrect about whose problem they are.

                      I have not asked that the be corrected after the fact.
                      I offered a generalization. While I did not specifically offer the data confirming that generalization – we both know that the issue has been extensively studied and that data exists.

                      Those studying the issue – long before I wrote the generalization you complain about, have done the work to correct for other independent variables, and found having done so that my general statement is true.

                      This is the normal way science works.

                      My only “assumption” is that you would evaluate my generalization using the accepted standards of science. That you understood that all generalizations are about ONLY the effect of the variable being offered – that all other independent variables must be controled. that any effort to falsify must also control for those variables.

                      You are correct, I did not while writing my generalization think – I need to put a bunch of conditions and exclusions, because Allan might make assumptions outside the norms of science and logic.

                    210. “You are correct about other independent variables. You are incorrect about whose problem they are.”

                      You are wrong. A scientific paper would be thrown out if the important variables weren’t taken into account and if any of the unmentioned variables might be more important than the variable under study.. It would be doubly tossed if a real-life example was provided that had an unmentioned variable more important than the one being highlighted the study. In fact that scientific periodical, if it had high standards, might never review an article from that author again.

                    211. “You are wrong. A scientific paper would be thrown out if the important variables weren’t taken into account ”

                      We have from the begining NOT been talking about scientific papers. I told you at the start, that if you want 70 page studies, you can google for them.
                      Thesis, hypothesis, laws of nature do not include the effects of every other independent variable.

                      “if any of the unmentioned variables might be more important than the variable under study.”

                      “It would be doubly tossed if a real-life example was provided that had an unmentioned variable more important than the one being highlighted the study. ”

                      Bzzt, wrong. It is quite common for a study to focus on variables other than the most important.

                      Authors write their papers as they please. They might or might not mention other variables.
                      The requirement is not that they mention them.
                      It is that they control for them.

                      It is a scientific error to not control for an independent variable.
                      It is not an error to not mention a variable so long as it is controlled.

                      The critical factor is that results are reproducable.

                      That requires controlling for everything except the independent variable.

                      Everything is of potentially infinite breadth. It is beyond what any paper or phrease could cover.

                    212. “If you say all balloons are red all I have to do is find one balloon that isn’t red. That was the problem with your initial statement.”

                      That is correct, but that is not the same as what I said, and that is not what you found.

                      As an example we are dealing with bowling balls.

                      All bowling balls are subject to gravity.
                      But all bowling balls do not fall when dropped.
                      A lighter than air bowling ball would not fall when dropped.

                      Government size negatively impacts growth.
                      But that does not mean that for a given size government growth will be exactly the same.

                      Every government is subject to the influence of both the size of government and other forces that effect Growth too.

                      You complain about unusual assumptions – you assumed that all governments of the same size must have the same size growth for my assertion to be true.

                      My original statement – which you keep returning to regardless of subsequent expansions, did not state that the effect was the same, only that the effect of government size on growth was negative. It did not state that there were not other effects on growth either.

                      You opened up the issue of assumptions – you made alot of assumptions.
                      You did not “falsify” my statement, you falsified, my statement plus your assumptions.

                    213. “My original statement – which you keep returning to regardless of subsequent expansions, did not state that the effect was the same, only ***that the effect of government size on growth was negative.*** ”

                      Start with chaos without infrastructure. Add a little bit of government that creates roads along with law and order. In this case, government size is increasing. Do you believe growth (economic I assume) will be more negative? I believe it would be positive. Which is it? Is your statement indisputable?

                    214. “Start with chaos without infrastructure. Add a little bit of government that creates roads along with law and order. In this case, government size is increasing. Do you believe growth (economic I assume) will be more negative? I believe it would be positive. Which is it? Is your statement indisputable?”

                      This has been addressed REPEATEDLY,
                      You continue to assume myriads of things that are not inherent to what I said.
                      Including that a short statement was the equivalent of a mathematical forumala and 100’s of research papers.

                      My statement was a generalization, but you have transformed it into a tripply absolute generalization.
                      The error remains yours. The statement remains True.

                    215. I am not an anarcho-capitalist – but an anarcho capitalist would tell you that even in the scenario you provide – government is still net harmful compared to voluntary solutions.

                      I actually agree. Where I depart from AnCap’s is that I do not beleive that voluntary cooperation in the use of force are possible.

                    216. 5) “The “methodology” you are criticising is not mine”

                      “Your methodologies might not be yours, but your copies are like Chinese copies of original masterpieces.”

                      There is no “my methodoligies”,
                      There is no “my copies”

                      Read the hundred plus studies – or don’t.
                      Critique their methodologies – or don’t
                      Critique my summary – or don’t.

                    217. “Critique my summary”

                      That is what I have been doing. Your initial statement was not a fact.

                    218. “That is what I have been doing. Your initial statement was not a fact.”

                      You still have not provided any definition of “fact”.

                      Sorry, once you said that a fact is something that is always true.
                      That is clearly wrong.

                    219. “Sorry, once you said that a fact is something that is always true.
                      That is clearly wrong.”

                      Argue with the dictionary.

                    220. You had to expect this.

                      Allan: a fact is something that is always true
                      Argue with the dictionary.

                      Dictionary:
                      fact:
                      n. Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.
                      n. Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed: Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.
                      n. A real occurrence; an event: had to prove the facts of the case.

                    221. Your quote or paraphrase of what I said was: “Allan: a fact is something that is always true”

                      “A fact is something that is indisputably true.”is what I said. I prefer the word indisputable and I should have left off the word “true”.

                    222. A fact is something that is indisputably round ? Red ? Flat ?

                      A fact is something that is indisputable
                      I think that means “true”.

                    223. John and Allan – just from the color perspective, nothing is truly ‘red’, it is always a shade of red. True red exists only in the rainbow.

                    224. “John and Allan – just from the color perspective, nothing is truly ‘red’, it is always a shade of red. True red exists only in the rainbow.”

                      Paul, why don’t we discuss Plato? What is the proper form of anything? It is its essence.

                      John has overgeneralized and in discussion changed the goal posts to make his statement more accurate while theorizing on a whole load of things further complicating the discussion at hand.

                    225. “Paul, why don’t we discuss Plato? What is the proper form of anything? It is its essence.”

                      In atleast the broadest sense these things matter. Free will and determinism are core philosophical concepts. You can beleive whatever you want with each – producing 4 possible positions,
                      But you can not believe there is an is not determinism or there is and is not freewill at the same time.
                      What you decide on each of these constraints What you can argue in all other contexts.

                      As an example – absent free will slavery is justifiable, With it, it is not.

                      I get into debates with the left constantly where they end up arguing against free will – failing to grasp that they are arguing for justifiable slavery.

                      Though not as grandly, Allan is doing much the same thing.

                      He has accepted (I beleive) that absolute Truth does not exist, but is demanding that I prove a truth I am asserting is absolute.

                      If Allan wishes to argue about truths and facts in hypothetical worlds – there possibly exists some theoretical world where he is right. But it is not this world.

                      Human behavior is not immutable – there is a wide variety of individual variation, but in agregate it is very nearly immutable. Human behavior distributes arround likely bell curves that change little if at all.

                      There is nothing theoretically wrong with communism. But it does not and will not work in a world with humans. That will not change no matter how often it is tried. Nor will humans ever change enough for it to work.

                      What we are debating is much like that – without altering aspects of human behavior that are essentially immutable in agregate – what I have asserted is true, it is a fact. Just as communism does nto work, is also a fact.

                    226. “Though not as grandly, Allan is doing much the same thing.

                      He has accepted (I beleive) that absolute Truth does not exist, but is demanding that I prove a truth I am asserting is absolute.”

                      You have made many generalizations that do not hold for all situations. I don’t demand truth, I request a reasonable methodology for discussion.

                    227. “You have made many generalizations that do not hold for all situations. ”
                      You have failed to demonstrate that.
                      Your examples have unconstrained independent variables, that you do not normalise.
                      Therefore they do not falsify my “generalization”

                      “I don’t demand truth, I request a reasonable methodology for discussion.”
                      Using words consistently would be a start.

                      Fact still does not mean indisputable.
                      Overgeneralization and generalization are not the same.

                      You still have not explained what you think the difference between fact, theory and law is.
                      We can throw in axiom

                    228. I have not changed any goal posts. Nor “overgeneralized”.

                      I expect general criticisms of general assertions and specific criticism of specific ones.

                    229. “I have not changed any goal posts. Nor “overgeneralized”.”

                      Apparently you failed to communicate.

                    230. “John has overgeneralized”
                      Nope, I will defend the general, generally, and the specific, specifically.

                      “and in discussion changed the goal posts”
                      Nope, you have made assumptions that are not in what I wrote and I am not ceding that argument – event though I think some of those assumptions are correct.

                      “to make his statement more accurate”
                      The statement is as accurate as it is. Your the one jumping from a general statement to a specific mathematical equation.

                      “while theorizing on a whole load of things further complicating the discussion at hand.”
                      As noted in the discussion on Free will – those other things matter.

                      I am trying to prevent you from doing something the left does all the time – making arguments that are actually ruled out by other things you accept as true.

                    231. ” I am not ceding that argument – event though I think some of those assumptions are correct.”

                      “That argument”, what is “That”? There was basically one argument that expanded to several but all based on the same problem, generalization.

                    232. can you atleast be consistent with your words.

                      over generalization and generalization as different sets – one is a subset of the other.

                      An over generalization is something that you can find a set of facts consistent with the generalization without other unconstrained independent variables but with a different outcome.

                      F = ma is a generalization.

                    233. “over generalization and generalization as different sets – one is a subset of the other.’

                      You do both.

                    234. John and Allan – you have had this discussion going for several days and it has devolved to figuring out how many angels dance on the head of a pin. I have suggested neutral ground. 🙂

                    235. Paul, this is what happens when one has too much time on their hands. John is arguing some basic points of Austrian economics that some might consider classical economics and others… He is too busy trying to get these points in and doesn’t focus on the difference of opinion. Outside of his overgeneralizations and inability to tighten his arguments so that they could be considered factual or theories, I mostly agree with his points. He even admitted he might have been too “STRONG” and instead of using the word broad added the word generalization so I don’t know what he is fussing about. His initial statement was too strong and was an overgeneralization. Thank goodness I don’t have a boss so I can do what I want.

                    236. Allan – yes I am using whatever you say to try to make other points or to make the same points stronger.

                      But at its core your argument is false.

                      First my one sentence argument is – just that, representing something more complex simply.
                      It is not intended to address every detail.
                      Your claim that it is an over generalization is false.
                      You lost the argument that my statement was linear when reality was a curve – because you misconstrued the statement as linear. Not that it mattered – a one sentence expression is not likely to tell you whether a claim is linear or curved.

                      Your claim that it did not cover edge conditions is true and meaningless.
                      F=ma fails at one edge. And yet it is still called a law of physics.
                      Regardless, it is not reasonable to presume that a single sentence expression of an argument captures in detail all edges.

                      You have been semantic and pendantic through this, and you are smarter than this.

                      As I noted you are also dancing dangerously close to fallacious arguments that those on the left make all the time.

                    237. “Allan – yes I am using whatever you say to try to make other points or to make the same points stronger.

                      But at its core your argument is false.”

                      My argument is that what you call fact or theory are not strong enough. You are using other “theories ” to make your case stronger but they are only tangentially related so act as deflections. Your statement is not true if all elements are not true. So either make your case better or draw some reasonable limitations to your facts. Or accept that your statement of fact was a generalization.

                      “You lost the argument that my statement was linear when reality was a curve – because you misconstrued the statement as linear.”

                      That is absolute garbage. You created a linear case even if the line was very jagged. It only travelled in one direction up or down and I suggested that it was actually a curve that went up and then down.

                      “Your claim that it did not cover edge conditions is true ” Of course it was true. They weren’t just edge conditions. They were real conditions and that made your statement false.

                      “You have been semantic and pendantic through this, and you are smarter than this.”

                      How does this statement of yours correct your problem of using a linear explanation rather than a curve that goes up and down?

                    238. “My argument is that what you call fact or theory are not strong enough. You are using other “theories ” to make your case stronger but they are only tangentially related so act as deflections.”

                      The obligation to prove is mine – the obligation to disprove is yours.

                      I have not pretended to have proven my statement – though I have said that I you want there is plenty of proof available.

                      You have gone beyond “You have not proven”, you are asserting “You are wrong”, that is not the same.
                      And the obligation to prove becomes yours.

                      “Your statement is not true if all elements are not true.”
                      Correct, there are few elements. You are trying to claim it is not true if any independent variables effect it.
                      That is a fallacious argument. I have endlessly refuted that.
                      There are potentially infinite independent variables to most anything.
                      For any thesis, the independent variables are controlled. That is the scientific method.
                      In softer sciences where we can not use controlled experiments we use regressions and other statistical techniques to control.

                      We do not need to preface a statement about gravity with “controlling for air resistance, or which planet you are on.

                      “So either make your case better or draw some reasonable limitations to your facts.”
                      I have done what I am going to. You have already said that a 1000 papers will not change your mind.

                      Further you are again playing this back and forth – first you confine yourself to the original statement, then you demand that I provide more.

                      “Or accept that your statement of fact was a generalization.”

                      I am not arguing over whether it was a generalization – accept that I am not prepared to call it a generalization until you define “generalization” because your definitions tend to be amorpous and squirrelly.

                      I will say it is a generalisation – as long as your definition of generalization does not require it to be false.

                      F = ma is a generaization.

                    239. “The obligation to prove is mine – the obligation to disprove is yours.”

                      I have already demonstrated several times where your statements can prove to be inaccurate. Your response is to cite tangential papers rather than doing the most simple thing, revising and refining your statement.

                    240. “I have already demonstrated several times where your statements can prove to be inaccurate.”
                      And I have countered that each claim that you have made of falsification fails to control other independent variables and is therefore meaningless.

                      My response is obviously correct, therefore your efforts to falsify fail.
                      That does not inherently mean my statement is not falsifiable – though I think it is,
                      but it does mean you have failed to do so.

                    241. “And I have countered that each claim that you have made of falsification fails to control other independent variables and is therefore meaningless.”

                      I don’t need to mention the variables when your fact doesn’t match reality. It was your generalization or over generalization that is the problem.

                    242. “I don’t need to mention the variables when your fact doesn’t match reality. ”
                      Mention – no, account for – yes.

                      Now it appears you are really just attacking the way all science that relies on real world historical data rather than experiment is done.

                      When you can not conduct a controlled experiment, and you use real world data to validate a hypothesis you must ALWAYS control for the other independent variables.

                      It is not necescary to even note that other independent variables exist in the hypothesis – jut as it is not in a hypothesis you test by experiment.

                      But it is absolutely necescary to control for them – usually statistically.

                      Otherwise you are not doing real science.

                    243. I said: “I don’t need to mention the variables when your fact doesn’t match reality. ”

                      John: “Mention – no, account for – yes.”

                      You state a fact or theory and I show a real case scenario where that theory falls flat on its head. That is all I need to do.

                    244. Alan: “I don’t need to mention the variables when your fact doesn’t match reality. ”

                      John: “Mention – no, account for – yes.”

                      You state a fact or theory and I show a real case scenario where that theory falls flat on its head.
                      No you provided a purported counterfactual that has unnormalized independent variables.
                      It is therefore not a counterfactual.

                      You are not merely challenging me – you are not merely challenging economics,
                      you are actually attacking the foundations of science.

                      As an example the boiling point of water is 100C, that is with all other independent variables, like atmospheric pressure controlled.

                      Water boils at a lower temperature in Nepal – Does that therefore invalidate the boiling point of water ?

                      Of course not.

                      Your counterfactuals have the same problem.

                      It is the responsibility of those offering a hypothesis to control for independent variables in their validation of that hypothesis.

                      It is the responsibility of those offering a counterfactual to do exactly the same. To control for the independent variables. You did not, therefore your counterfactual has no value.

                    245. “Alan: “I don’t need to mention the variables when your fact doesn’t match reality. ”

                      John: “Mention – no, account for – yes.”

                      Allan: “You state a fact or theory and I show a real case scenario where that theory falls flat on its head.”

                      You should have stopped there.

                    246. “Allan: “You state a fact or theory and I show a real case scenario where that theory falls flat on its head.”

                      You should have stopped there.”

                      We have been through this again and again.

                      No statistician, no scientists, in the world would accept as a counterfactual an example that has numerous other uncontrolled variables.

                      This is not some secret.

                      water does not boil at 100C at 5000 ft. That does not mean that the laws of physics have been falsified.

                      Nor are the expressions of the laws of nature or science required to list every potential independent variable and their effect.

                    247. “Nor are the expressions of the laws of nature or science required to list every potential independent variable and their effect.”

                      The defense of your generalizations would turn science into one big generalization so that good theories would be mixed in with a lot of junk..

                    248. “The defense of your generalizations would turn science into one big generalization so that good theories would be mixed in with a lot of junk..”

                      I am not defending my generalization. I am attacking your attack on the scientific method.

                      We have not addressed at all whether my generalization (or any other) survives critical examination.

                      Only whether it survives attempts at falsification by purported counterfactuals with uncontrolled independent variables.

                      You continue to make mere assertion the equivalent of prove.
                      I have asserted something that both of us agree is atleast often true, and given you plenty of sources to establish that it is always true. Regardless you remain free to come up with an actual falisification, if one exists.

                      You confuse absolute and relative – my generalization does not claim Egypt will be equivalent to Israel, only that positive changes in freedom will result in positive changes in growth in each country – given no other significant concurrent changes. Israel and Egypt are different in many many ways that explain the absolute differences between the countries.

                      And you refuse to define terms that you assert are critical.

                    249. “I am not defending my generalization. I am attacking your attack on the scientific method.”

                      See my comment at ~10:30 PM on Israel and population. You seem more interested in proving yourself right when you are wrong than in discovering the truth.

                    250. “See my comment at ~10:30 PM on Israel and population. You seem more interested in proving yourself right when you are wrong than in discovering the truth.”

                      I have done almost nothing to “prove myself right” over the past several does.

                      I have been engaged in demonstrating that your counter claims are not merely wrong, but an obvious misrepresentation of science and the scientific method.

                      Your Israel/Middle east claim is so obviously eroneous. It is not even close to directly equivalent to the argument you are trying to refute.

                      No one has claimed that every country advances at same rate adjusted only for population.

                      The least error prone (though still imperfect) means of trying to falsify the argument would be to find a single country that advanced more rapidly when it had lower population.
                      I can actually think of one. But I highly doubt you can. They are not that easy to find.
                      Further even the one I can think of – all other things were NOT equal.

                      I would be happy to discover some actual truth.
                      If I were actually wrong, I would be happy to discover that.

                      I am not happy facing someone who is clearly smart enough to know they are feeding me the same obvious fallacy over and over and over again – that has nothing to do with discovering the truth.

                      Adjust your purported counterfactuals to correct for all other independent variables that are different, or there is no good reason to continue the discussion.

                      We are far past where it is reasonable to presume you are questing for the truth.

                      Just to be clear – this is beyond, populations and technology or governmnt sized and growth.

                      The arguments you are making are quite obviously wrong.

                      They are obviously wrong because using the same approach it is possible to falsify most if not all of science.

                      So either everything we know is false, or your argument is fallacy.

                    251. “I have done almost nothing to “prove myself right” over the past several does.”

                      Following the above sentence was a long dissertation of you trying to prove why you are right.

                    252. “Following the above sentence was a long dissertation of you trying to prove why you are right.”

                      What I am provably right about, is my attacks on the methodology of your counter arguments.

                      Demonstrating that you are wrong about your attempt at falsification does not prove me right.

                    253. “What I am provably right about, is my attacks on the methodology of your counter arguments.”

                      My methodology is what most credible scientists use. When making the type of factual statements you make they generally include the limitations and the variables. If they didn’t do so then (paraphrasing you) ‘larger populations create more technology’ would lead to the Middle East (excluding Israel) producing ~ 50 times more technology than Israel.

                      Keep arguing with long posts to deflect from the issue at hand. That proves you don’t have a case.

                    254. “My methodology is what most credible scientists use.”
                      No it is pretty much the opposite.

                      It is extremely rare for scientists to try to determine the effect of multiple independent variables concurrently.

                      The scientific method requires controlling independent variables – so that your hypothesis and conclusion can ignore their effect, and you are only reporting the effect of the variable being examined.

                      “When making the type of factual statements you make they generally include the limitations”
                      Depends on the context. We do not normally note that F = ma fails close to the speed of light.

                      “and the variables.”
                      Nope – other variables are almost never mentioned in hypothesis, and usually only addressed in conclusions when they can not be or were not properly controlled.

                      “If they didn’t do so then (paraphrasing you) ‘larger populations create more technology’ would lead to the Middle East (excluding Israel) producing ~ 50 times more technology than Israel.”

                      Nope, it would lead to the mideast – excluding israel, producing more technology than they would with a smaller population, assuming that population was the only independent variable that changed.

                      “Keep arguing with long posts to deflect from the issue at hand. That proves you don’t have a case.”

                      No deflect – I will be happy to continue to debate – what I actually wrote, though you now seem to wish to focus on the technology debate, which is actually Simon’s rather than mine, though I agree with it,
                      further it is likely a dependent variable on other factors.

                      Simon’s argument is that greater populations mean more mental resources seeking to get ahead.

                      The real independent variable is the number of free minds trying seeking to get ahead.
                      That strongly correlates to population, as well as to freedom.

                    255. John and Allan – first, define your terms. Agree to the terms you will be dealing with. Second, restart the discussion. You two are all over the map.

                      BTW, 8 million angels can dance on the head of a pin. This was proved in the Middle Ages. 😉

                    256. I have asked Allan to define his terms – he is the one who has introduced a bevy of terms to mean some qualified for of wrong – I beleive.

                      I can work with any workable definitions.

                      I can’t even get a definition of overgeneralize or the difference between overgeneralize and generalize.
                      Allan tends to use them interchangably.

                      But pretty much all useful conclusions of science are some form of generalization.

                    257. “Allan tends to use them interchangably.”

                      It doesn’t matter the term because whether you were too broad, too generalized or overgeneralized you were wrong.

                    258. “it doesn’t matter the term because whether you were too broad, too generalized or overgeneralized you were wrong.”

                      It does matter, and it is circular reasoning.

                      generalization
                      too broad
                      too generalized
                      overgeneralized.

                      You keep adding ever more undefined terms – maybe a few more adjectives will make your argument work.

                      And ultimately that my generalization is “too, over, …” because you say so.

                      I offered a generalization.

                      It is too broad, too generalizes, or over generalized – when you prove it can be falsified – properly,
                      not by these purpoerted counters that you are unwilling to recognize are full of myriads of other uncontrolled for indenpendent variables.

                      While you are not obligated to do so, your “too broad, over generalized, …” claims are just opinions and not particularly good ones until you do.

                    259. I will repeat: “it doesn’t matter the term because whether you were too broad, too generalized or overgeneralized you were wrong.”

                    260. “I will repeat: “it doesn’t matter the term because whether you were too broad, too generalized or overgeneralized you were wrong.””

                      You can repeat something ill defined and either inaccurate or wrong however many times you wish it does not make it true.

                      You are actually making the specific error you are accusing me of.

                    261. “You are actually making the specific error you are accusing me of.”

                      I have provided you with examples over and over again. I provided an example again at ~10:30 PM (Israel and population)

                    262. “I have provided you with examples over and over again. I provided an example again at ~10:30 PM (Israel and population)”

                      And I have demonstrated over and over – not only why they are specifically in error, and why they are generally in error, but why if your approach was valid, you could falsify all science.

                      The Israel/Egypt, or now Israel/Mideast argument confuses absolute and relative, as well as presuming that any law of science is the ONLY law of science – or more accurately that for any attribute – such as the rate of technological advance, there can be only one factor or law. That every theory, or law of science must not only explain the effect of the specific variable in question – but every other variable – even ones no one yet knows exist.

                      Your argument invalidates all science. It is therefore either fallacious or we must abandon all the science and its consequences of the past 7000 years, because it is pure coincidence that it works.

                    263. “And I have demonstrated over and over – not only why they are specifically in error,”

                      No, you haven’t. You have demonstrated that your theories statements are true if only variables didn’t get in the way. You don’t attempt to pare down your arguments by limiting variables that upset your theories.

                    264. “No, you haven’t.”
                      Bzzt, wrong. Your purported falsification does not meet the criteria of logic or science for falsification.
                      That has absolutely nothing to do with my claim. That is a methodological problem with your falsifications.

                      “You have demonstrated that your theories statements are true if only variables didn’t get in the way. ”
                      I have said almost nothing about that. That is your argument.
                      Further though it is “right” it is irrelevant. All scientific facts and theories require all other actually independent variables to be controlled.

                      I would further note that the purpose of controlling other independent variables – is not because the variable under consideration has no effect in an uncontrolled environment, it is that we can not isolate the effect without controlling for other variables. The effect is still there.

                      “you don’t attempt to pare down your arguments by limiting variables that upset your theories.”
                      Aside from the emotional phrase at the end – correct.

                      Just to be clear – the purpose of limiting other variables is to prove the effect – to make it clear, to make it stick out. Controlling the other variables does not CAUSE the effect. Failing to control them does not destroy the effect. But the presence of lots of uncontrolled independent variables makes it harder to prove the effect.

                      WE are not arguing about the generalization. We are arguing about the methodology for testing it.
                      And you remain wrong about that.

                    265. “Bzzt, wrong. Your purported falsification does not meet the criteria of logic or science for falsification.”

                      Bzzt, you are wrong. I don’t know what scientific journals you have published in but your theories and facts that leave out important variables, some of which prove your thinking process wrong, would never publish a paper that was so carelessly and unscientifically written.

                      I refer to one example that so far you haven’t been able to manage. Israel vs Middle East. Paraphrasing your statement of fact,’ larger populations create more technology’.

                      You left out the important variables some obviously far more important than the fact you provided along with the problem that larger populations can cause less technology to be created. That makes your statement a waste of time and just a bunch of words put together.

                    266. Your publishing remarks brought a thought.

                      You are confusing science and engineering.

                      I have been published – several times, as an engineer, not a scientist.

                      Scientists produce the rules that engineers use, They isolate the individual effect of each independent variable.

                      Engineers take the work of scientists and attempt to make use of it in the real world – accounting for ALL independent variables and forces.

                      Regardless, science is discovery, and requires isolating effects,
                      Engineering is application and requires considering all effects.

                    267. “I refer to one example that so far you haven’t been able to manage. Israel vs Middle East. Paraphrasing your statement of fact,’ larger populations create more technology’.”

                      The statement is not mine, it is Julian Simon’s. Though it is correct.

                      Your example does not falsify for obvious reasons that we have beaten to a pulp.

                      I would also note that you continue to linearly extrapolate when you have no basis for presuming a linear relationship. That is minor, but it reflects the same lack of rigor.

                      As I noted your error is methodological. First because what you propose is not only not the scientific method, it is anti the scientific method. But further because your approach would make science impossible. Rather than trying as the scientific method does, to isolate the effects of a single independent variable, you would require us to solved dozens of simultaneous equations for dozens of independent variables. That is an impossible task.

                    268. “You left out the important variables some obviously far more important than the fact you provided”
                      Yes, that is how science works – one variable at a time, controlling for the others.

                      “along with the problem that larger populations can cause less technology to be created.”
                      That is an independent hypothesis of yours – one I believe is false. Do you have an actual example of a large population increase in a country that absent any other change resulted is a slowing of the creation of new technology in that county.

                      “That makes your statement a waste of time and just a bunch of words put together.”
                      I would suggest that you might want to take your own arguments – and try to apply them as you have made them in the real world. They are unworkable. As I noted, it gets exponentially harder to solve anything as you add independent, unknown and uncontrolled variables.

                      Neither science nor logic work as you propose – because they could not.

                    269. When you succeed in poking actual holes in my arguments – I will look into seriously reconsidering or tightening them.

                      The only thing you succeeded in doing was making it clear that you are going to get weird over any argument made in less than book form.

                      You complain that my posts are too long – and then bitch when I make an argument in one sentence.

                      Quite often I do learn something from arguments such as this.
                      I look to revise or tighten some way I phrase something.
                      This is not one of those occasions.

                      I am not looking to expand the one sentence version of my argument to 50 pages to make you happy and cover most things in precisions.

                      If you want details – I noted that there are literally hundreds of papers on the narrow version of this topic.
                      Take it a step further and make the bigger argument – all constraints on freedom save that of initiating force to restrict the freedom of another leave us on net worse off, and there are probably thousands of papers that demonstrate some aspect on another of that.

                    270. “When you succeed in poking actual holes in my arguments – I will look into seriously reconsidering or tightening them.”

                      You bounce around like a basketball. You have already admitted to being too strong, You have recognized and used the term generalization which I accepted. You have changed your linear picture into a curve as suggested and you are recognizing that there are edge conditions that would make your statement false.

                      I consider that the holes have been poked.

                      I don’t care how long your posts are or how many different ideas you include. I care that you cannot separate a string of tangential ideas so that there is a direct reply to a previous response.

                      All the papers in the world won’t change anything. My beef is not with their papers rather with how you state something as fact with unclear edges.

                    271. “You bounce around like a basketball.”

                      Because you say so ?
                      Because you wish to fight about the obvious ?
                      Because I hope that maybe multiple different arguments might persuade you.

                      “You have already admitted to being too strong,”
                      If you want I can take that concession back.
                      Changing adjectives does not change facts.
                      But sometimes it makes them easier for others to accept.

                      “You have recognized and used the term generalization which I accepted.”
                      I am virtually certain you introduced the word generalize.
                      Regardless, you argument requires any generalization to be false.

                      “You have changed your linear picture into a curve”

                      No, I have responded to your argument.
                      You have fixated on the single one sentence version of the argument, not the more expanded versions or that which is offered by the papers I provided.

                      We are arguing specifically that – because YOU chose that. I made separate arguments that were APPROXIMATELY linear over a defined range. If you wish to merge the different expressions of the argument – fine, but then I get to use all parts. If you wish to attack only the single sentence inital representation – then you do not get to misapply information from later expansions of the same argument.

                      The claim that the one sentence version was linear was yours.
                      It isn’t linear. As I noted it is not reasonable to presume mathematical precision in a english sentence that is not mathematical. Regardless, even if you do so the sentence in question does not specify a specific curve.

                      “as suggested and you are recognizing that there are edge conditions that would make your statement false.”

                      f = ma has edge conditions that make it false – move on.

                      “I consider that the holes have been poked.”

                      I don;t.

                      “I don’t care how long your posts are or how many different ideas you include.”
                      Than don’t complain about it.

                      “All the papers in the world won’t change anything. My beef is not with their papers rather with how you state something as fact with”

                      Frankly, I have no idea what you beef is with.

                      As best as I can tell you are arguing that all generalizations are false.

                      Regardless, the argument you constantly return to is one that the statement is inherently wrong because of its form. Essentially the all generalizations are false argument.

                      I have provided you with a clear way to refute pretty much any generalization – find an actual example that falsifies it. But that example must meet the same conditions that are used to falsify a hypothesis in science. Thus far you have failed to do so.

                    272. ““You bounce around like a basketball.”

                      Because you say so ?”

                      Yes because you bounce around like a basketball.

                    273. “““You bounce around like a basketball.”
                      Because you say so ?”

                      Yes because you bounce around like a basketball.”

                      Circular reasoning.

                      Regardless, for the most part you have chose the turf of the argument.
                      You have introduce pleny to tangents – often interesting ones.
                      You can not complain that I follow them.

                      Further, you have created an epistemological debate.
                      That inherently means most everything about the nature of truth is in scope.

                    274. ““““You bounce around like a basketball.”
                      Because you say so ?””

                      Because you do when your theory, fact, generalization, overgeneralization doesn’t match reality.

                    275. “Because you do when your theory, fact, generalization, overgeneralization doesn’t match reality.”
                      But they do, and thus far nothing you have offered is an actual instance of falsification.

                    276. I have read some Austrian economists. But very little if any of what I was arguing was specifically Austrian.

                      Not a single one of the dozen or so papers I cited was austrian. I doubt that more than 1 or 2 of the hundred plus are austrian.

                      The claims regarding growth are common to just about all economics except keynes and socialists.

                    277. “very little if any of what I was arguing was specifically Austrian.”

                      Take note that your argument wasn’t necessary. I already stated your point that many of your ideas come from many economic positions. I stated: “John is arguing some basic points of Austrian economics that some might consider classical economics and others… “

                    278. I made some small concessions in the hope you would claim a small victory and go away.
                      You can not even manage that.

                      You will not let go of this.

                      You have already asserted that you basically agree – so any remaining debate is about whatever you think is outside that basic agreement.

                      I am not sure what that is because I can’t get you to commit to much.

                      You say over generalization – fine HOW?

                      You have tried to falsify – and failed.

                      Your linearity claim was both wrong and stupid.
                      Trying to sus a mathematical formula from a single sentence – particularly one that is not trying to offer a mathematical formula is really reaching.
                      Regardless, the statement was clearly not linearly constrainted.

                      You raised HUP which absolutely destroys the argument that truth is absolute – thank you.
                      Regardless, I was not writing about HUP before but I was thinking about it, particularly in the broad context.

                    279. “I made some small concessions in the hope you would claim a small victory and go away.”

                      Small concession? I don’t think so. Your concessions turned your fact into a nonfact.

                    280. “Small concession? I don’t think so. Your concessions turned your fact into a nonfact.”

                      The entire long chain is here for anyone who wishes to be bored silly to read.

                      It speaks for itself.