Birdbrain | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

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Recent Comments

Re: “March again, this time for science

Olphart- Why the insults about the difficulty I will have in changing, and being objective, and worst of all accusing me of watching Hannity- never have watched him or the other buffoons on Fox, or the buffoons on MSNBC. It is certainly not objective or scientific to read something you disagree with and immediately resort to cheap insults. You say you disagree with most of the issues I atrtribute to the Left- if so, then you should understand my point. I have been in a scientific profession for over 30 years. The amazing advancements in my field over that time are almost exclusively due to good science; no one is a bigger believer in Science than me. I am appalled that Creationism would be considered part of any science instruction in public schools, or that parents would send their child to a private school that teaches it.
My main point is that people identified with the Left and the Right support many things which have no scientific merit at all. Since the article mentions only the easy targets that the Raperts of the world support, I focused on the loony left-wing issues in my list. I had no trouble in coming up with the list on my own in a few minutes. I don't see that I am all that bent out of shape, just asking for a little objectivity (a mainstay of science, by the way). I will be very surprised, but in a good way, if the parade mentions anything beyond Creationism and Climate change. If they do, I will gladly report back to you.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Birdbrain on 04/16/2018 at 1:08 PM

Re: “March again, this time for science

Great quote: "science is about truth and facts". Obviously the March will focus on Right Wing (Republican) targets, like Creationism vs Evolution, and climate change. I will ignore the author of this story's mentioning all the issues that fall into the social "science" realm, not wanting to deal with that oxymoron. (although there could be thousands of signs about "trigger warnings", "safe spaces", shouting down guest speakers at universities who don't preach the PC gospel, etc )
In addition to the admittedly correct targets above, I am certain they will also be marching against the unscientific views associated with the Left: anti-animal research; anti-vaccines; anti-genetically modified food; anti-genetic studies of human behavior; gluten-free everything; organic foods; male circumcision = rape; the blaming of every tornado, hurricane and drought on global warming; all of Al Gore's wrong predictions in his movies; raw milk; raw water; gender fluidity.
So then we'll see that science is about "truth and facts", not a new form of religion, not just a bunch of confirmation bias. I can't wait to see this "science" parade.

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Birdbrain on 04/16/2018 at 10:08 AM

Re: “Equal Pay Day highlights wage gap

The data are accurate in the aggregate sense, but they do not take into account the variables such as the number of hours worked per week in a specific job; where I work about 40% of the women work less than full time, by choice. Only a small fraction of men do the same. The women are also more likely to take extensive time off for maternity and to raise their kids; some men do this as well, but a lower number. Being off more (for excellent reasons, I might add) is associated with fewer chances for promotion and raises. You can argue about the shortcomings of maternity/paternity leave in our country if you want, but that is a different argument for another day. I believe what I see in my workplace is not at all unusual, so if 40% of the female employees are working only about 60% of full time, and say 10% of the males are working 60% of full time, total income of all the women (where I work the gender breakdown is about 50/50) is going to be about 80% of what all the men make. These are professional positions, and I know for a fact that the basic salary levels are the same across the board.
I am sure there are still women who are paid less than men for the same job title, same work, same qualifications, same experience, etc, and that is unacceptable. But the 80% figure is entirely misleading without explanation.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Birdbrain on 04/11/2018 at 6:13 PM

Re: “Equal Pay Day highlights wage gap

Yes, the "data" shows the average income correctly, and it's about 80% less for women in total. The reason it doesn't reflect reality is that it doesn't take into account variables that have nothing to do with gender equity, like the number of hours a person works. I work in a place with almost a 50/50 split between male and female professionals. At least 40% of the females work less than full time. Their salary is based on their "FTE" % times the "full time salary base". So if the salary line for that position is $100,000, the 60% employee makes $60,000, the full time employee makes $100,000 (regardless of gender; there are males who work less than full time as well). That doesn't take into account that women are more likely to take time off for pregnancy, or to take care of their children, or to do other things that might delay their career advancement, and lessen the chances of promotions and raises. (again, there are men that make the same choices that have a negative impact on their salaries, it's just that in USA at this time, that is less common).
I'm sure there are still examples of women with the same qualifications, the same experience, and the same

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Birdbrain on 04/11/2018 at 6:00 PM

Re: “UAMS will reduce workforce by 600 positions, including 258 layoffs: UPDATE

This has nothing to do with Asa or any plans to cut back on medicaid expansion, although that could make things worse. The hospital is full, and from what is known, the "cash flow" is positive. Probably any bureaucracy as big as UAMS could stand some streamlining, but the major problems are: 1) They are encumbered with ALL of the depreciation expense of the new buildings that have been built over the past 10 years or so (per U of A system rules), so there is a lot of "on paper" expenses that they have to encur that are a very large portion of the deficit 2) They have very minimal state support (and haven't for years, under previous administrations as well as the current; 3) The support they DO receive is mostly used for the state's Medicaid match, so it "passes through" UAMS and goes right back to the Feds; 4) Someone said ACH should "kick back" some funds- UAMS has been siphoning funds from ACH for years (through the UAMS departments based at ACH) and I'm sure they don't want to nor should they "kick back" anymore! 5) It is my understanding that the budget for the current FY was way too optimistic in terms of revenue "margin"; I don't know how much of that is true, but I expect that is true to some degree.
The most appropriate "fix" is for the Governor and legislature to either increase the amount of direct support or remove the Medicaid pass through that uses up the current support UAMS is currently getting; and modify the accounting rules to remove all or part of the depreciation expense currently being imposed on UAMS. I'm sure there are management issues that could help as well, but not to the degree of the current issues. So Asa and the Republican legislature can be part of the solution, and hopefully will be, but they have little to do with the current problem, which is based on the above financial issues which have been present for years.

32 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Birdbrain on 01/08/2018 at 4:51 PM

Re: “David Dunn, former legislator and election integrity commission member, died Monday

I don't believe I have ever read such horrible comments on this site. You should all be ashamed. He was a very kind, funny, gregarious, hard-working man who loved Arkansas. He had friends of all stripes. Unlike too many of us, you didn't have to be in lockstep with him on every issue to be his friend. I hope his wonderful family does not read these awful comments.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Birdbrain on 10/18/2017 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Arkansas ACT scores decline due to test being offered to all students, officials say

Sorry Les but I think you're off by several orders of magnitude on the logarithmic nature of ACT scores. Imagine the difference between a 20 and a 36? Might as well be infinity.

Posted by Birdbrain on 09/11/2017 at 4:28 PM

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