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19 Oct 16:31

SCIENCE: A Nine-Year Collaboration Has Just Shown How Sugar Exacerbates Cancer….

by Glenn Reynolds
16 Oct 16:15

Pierre Lemieux on trade and protectionism - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

Pierre Lemieux on trade and protectionism

Canadian economist Pierre Lemieux (Department of Management Sciences of the Université du Québec en Outaouais) wrote a couple of guest posts recently for EconLog on international trade and protectionism. Here are a few excerpts from those posts:

From Pierre’s first post: “You Can’t Benefit from Free Trade if You Don’t Have a Job. Right?

The important point is that free trade benefits consumers more than its competitive pressure harms producers. Economic theory provides a nice geometric demonstration of the proposition that the total cost of protectionism for consumers is higher that its total benefits to producers. The demonstration can be (imperfectly) explained in plain English: if free trade harmed producers more than it benefits consumers, the former could outcompete their foreign competitors by bribing domestic consumers with better prices and still gain compared to ceding the market to foreign producers – and protectionism would not be necessary. When domestic producers are unable to compensate consumers for not patronizing foreign suppliers, it means that free trade benefits consumers more than it harms producers.

From Pierre’s second post “A Protectionist Utopia?

That free international trade benefits most people, that it increases general prosperity, can be grasped with a reductio ad absurdum. If protectionism were good between countries, it would also be good between states, regions, towns, etc. It would be worth protecting California against Mississippi, if only because wages are 39% lower in Mississippi than in California. “If it could save only one job…” is as bad an argument against international competition as against domestic competition. Protectionist measures do favor some individuals, but it is at the high cost of reducing opportunities for most individuals. And even those who seem to benefit from protectionism, or their children, are likely to lose out in the long run.

Note: Pierre has a forthcoming book addressing common objections to free trade that will be published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

(ht/Jon Murphy)

Pierre Lemieux on trade and protectionism
Mark Perry

13 Oct 19:24

THERE’S MY SHOCKED FACE AGAIN:  The Numbers Are in: Social Security Robs the Working Poor….

by Sarah Hoyt
12 Oct 15:38

SHAMEFUL: How NBC ‘Killed’ Ronan Farrow’s Weinstein Exposé. Addressing a controversy that …

by Stephen Green

SHAMEFUL: How NBC ‘Killed’ Ronan Farrow’s Weinstein Exposé.

Addressing a controversy that has been percolating for the past several days in the media ecosystem since The New York Times published its own Weinstein exposé—including questions about whether NBC executives caved to the well-connected Weinstein and his formidable lawyers, Charles Harder, Lisa Bloom, and David Boies—Maddow brought it to a boiling point by telling Farrow: “NBC says that the story wasn’t publishable, that it wasn’t ready to go at the time that you brought it to them.”

Farrow fired back: “I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier. And immediately, obviously, The New Yorker recognized that. And it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable. In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.”

Farrow’s blunt claim highlighted an uncomfortable debate among NBC News insiders, and beyond, concerning the quality and status of his investigative reporting and the reasons why a respected television network would kill a sensational scoop about a famous, influential, politically wired, and undeniably newsworthy figure like Harvey Weinstein.

Rumors about the iconic producer’s alleged misconduct with women have fueled journalistic curiosity for decades. But the 65-year-old Weinstein somehow managed to keep his alleged misdeeds from public exposure—until now.


11 Oct 18:36

'Might Not Even Remember What Happened Yesterday'....

'Might Not Even Remember What Happened Yesterday'....

(Top headline, 3rd story, link)

09 Oct 14:30

THOMAS CHATTERTON WILLIAMS IN THE NEW YORK TIMES: How Ta-Nehisi Coates Gives Whiteness Power. I h…

by Glenn Reynolds


I have spent the past six months poring over the literature of European and American white nationalism, in the process interviewing noxious identitarians like the alt-right founder Richard Spencer. The most shocking aspect of Mr. Coates’s wording here is the extent to which it mirrors ideas of race — specifically the specialness of whiteness — that white supremacist thinkers cherish.

This, more than anything, is what is so unsettling about Mr. Coates’s recent writing and the tenor of the leftist “woke” discourse he epitomizes. Though it is not at all morally equivalent, it is nonetheless in sync with the toxic premises of white supremacism. Both sides eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories, all the while feeding off of and legitimizing each other, while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice. Both sides mystify racial identity, interpreting it as something fixed, determinative and almost supernatural. For Mr. Coates, whiteness is a “talisman,” an “amulet” of “eldritch energies” that explains all injustice; for the abysmal early-20th-century Italian fascist and racist icon Julius Evola, it was a “meta-biological force,” a collective mind-spirit that justifies all inequality. In either case, whites are preordained to walk that special path. It is a dangerous vision of life we should refuse no matter who is doing the conjuring.

This summer, I spent an hour on the phone with Richard Spencer. It was an exchange that left me feeling physically sickened. Toward the end of the interview, he said one thing that I still think about often. He referred to the all-encompassing sense of white power so many liberals now also attribute to whiteness as a profound opportunity. “This is the photographic negative of a white supremacist,” he told me gleefully. “This is why I’m actually very confident, because maybe those leftists will be the easiest ones to flip.”

If you divide America along racial/ethnic lines, eventually the largest racial/ethnic group will start to think of itself as a racial/ethnic group and act accordingly. But in the meantime, it’s a good living for Coates, and I guess an okay one for Spencer.

And if you want more Trump, well, Coates will help you get more Trump, and a lot more effectively than Spencer ever has. Right after the election, John Podhoretz tweeted, “Liberals spent 40 years disaggregating [the] U.S., until finally the largest cohort in the country chose to vote as though it were an ethnic group.” That’s where “whiteness”-as-original-sin gets you. But hey, like I said, it’s a good living for some people.

09 Oct 13:26

DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS: The New York Times Reportedly Killed a Story On Weinstein’s Sexual Mi…

by Glenn Reynolds

DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS: The New York Times Reportedly Killed a Story On Weinstein’s Sexual Misconduct in 2004. “Ironically, a follow-up piece on Weinstein’s misconduct ran in the Times last week decrying the Hollywood celebrity’s ‘media enablers’ — which, based on Waxman’s piece, included the Times until just last week.”

As IowaHawk says, journalism is about covering stories. With a pillow. Until they stop moving.

06 Oct 16:41

AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE: IRS awards multimillion-dollar no-bid fraud-prevention contract to Equifax….

by Glenn Reynolds


06 Oct 15:18

JOHN RINGO: A Theory On Las Vegas….

by Glenn Reynolds
05 Oct 15:41

Elite athletic talent is a scarce resource and it must be rationed, either ‘over the table’ or ‘under the table’ - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

Elite athletic talent is a scarce resource and it must be rationed, either ‘over the table’ or ‘under the table’

From the Sports Illustrated article “Entire Notion of NCAA ‘Amateurism’ May Be on the Line in FBI’s Corruption Case“:

If the NCAA had adopted a system where players were compensated for their labor and compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness, perhaps all or some of these “under the table” payments would not have occurred. We’ll never know. But some will ask.

The Sports Economist comments:

Therein lies the problem.  Football and men’s basketball generate mountains of cash that run entire athletic departments (i.e., support the livelihoods of numerous people), but the athletes are effectively not compensated anywhere near the amount generated by their programs. Yes, they get grants in aid (scholarships) which are incredibly valuable to some players. But they can have no value whatsoever to some players, particularly those with a future in an elite pro sport league.

In college basketball, one 5-star recruit can be the difference between a run in the NCAA tournament and not making the tournament at all. Talk about a valuable resource.

Elite athletic talent is a scarce resource and it must be rationed.  It’s not a question of “does it need to be rationed?”, it’s a question of how. If it’s not rationed through a simple and efficient price system (i.e., by paying players some kind of salary more or less in line with their worth to their respective school – paying them “over the table,” as it were), then some other rationing system must be used. One of the alternatives is payment “under the table”: i.e., corruption.

Elite athletic talent is a scarce resource and it must be rationed, either ‘over the table’ or ‘under the table’
Mark Perry

04 Oct 21:40

THE MADNESS OF SAINT WOODROW: Or, What If the United States Had Stayed out of the Great War?…

by Ed Driscoll
12 Sep 16:10

Happy 137th Birthday to the ‘Sage of Baltimore’ — H.L. Mencken - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

Happy 137th Birthday to the ‘Sage of Baltimore’ — H.L. Mencken


Tomorrow (September 12) is H.L. Mencken’s birthday. The “Sage of Baltimore” (pictured above) was born in 1880 and is regarded by many as one of the most influential American journalists, essayists and writers of the early 20th century. To recognize the great political writer on his birthday, here are 12 of my favorite Mencken quotes:

1. Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.

2. A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.

3. A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.

4. Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

5. Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.

6. Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.

7. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

8. Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

9. If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.

10. For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

11. The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

12. As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

You can find more great Mencken quotes here.

Happy 137th Birthday to the ‘Sage of Baltimore’ — H.L. Mencken
Mark Perry

11 Sep 16:14

Photo of the day: If only there were some market mechanism to discourage this type of over-buying…. - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

Photo of the day: If only there were some market mechanism to discourage this type of over-buying….

The photo above from a Tampa Walmart was originally posted on Reddit with the caption “I need it for my family.” It was re-posted on Reddit’s Libertarian website with the caption “If only there was some mechanism to discourage over-buying while simultaneously encouraging extra production and availability during a disaster.” When I posted the photo on Twitter, the best comment I got was “This lady loves anti-price-gouging laws.”

Photo of the day: If only there were some market mechanism to discourage this type of over-buying….
Mark Perry

01 Sep 13:29

A challenge for supporters of anti-price-gouging laws: when does a ‘fair’ legal price become ‘illegal gouging’ - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

A challenge for supporters of anti-price-gouging laws: when does a ‘fair’ legal price become ‘illegal gouging’

Those who oppose anti-price-gouging laws argue that market prices should prevail both before and after a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey because those market prices will do a better job of allocating scarce resources than artificially-low, government mandated prices. There is no obligation for those opposing price-ceiling laws to personally suggest what the prices will be, since impersonal market forces will determine prices, which will dynamically change and adjust constantly to the changing market condition.

But it seems like there is an obligation for those who support anti-price-gouging laws to explain to us when a price goes from being an “acceptable” price to being an illegal price that “gouges” the public and motivates legal prosecution of the “price gouging” business or individual. According to Texas law, a business or individual is guilty of “price gouging” when the price is “excessive or exorbitant.” Of course, I guess the Texas Attorney General is the “decider” about when a price “gouges” but what advice would supporters of anti-price-gouging laws give to the attorney general?

Let’s use the actual example of John Shepperson of Kentucky, who in 2005 took time away from his normal job to buy 19 generators, rent a U-Haul truck, and drive it 600 miles to the Katrina-damaged area of Mississippi. John offered to sell his generators at twice the price he paid, to help cover his costs and make a profit. Instead his generators were confiscated, Shepperson was arrested for price gouging, held by police for four days, and the generators kept in police custody. They never made it to consumers with urgent needs who desperately wanted to buy them.

Let’s assume that John Shepperson paid $500 at his local Home Depot for each generator. He had to pay $9,500 upfront (or charge that amount on a credit card), rent the U-Haul, drive 600 miles, find a place to stay while traveling, etc.

Q: Since charging $1,000 per generator was considered to be “price gouging” by the local authorities in Mississippi, what price would have been acceptable to those authorities and to supporters of anti-price-gouging laws? $600, even though that might not have covered all of John’s costs and expenses? $700? $800?

Further, John Shepperson invested a lot of money and took a lot of risks in his entrepreneurial venture, so that should be carefully considered. For example, what if he drove to Mississippi and found out that he wasn’t able to sell all 19 generators, either because there wasn’t enough demand, or he wasn’t able to access all of the willing customers for generators because the roads were impassable due to flooding, etc. What if ten other entrepreneurs got to the affected areas and satisfied all of the demand for generators, leaving John with no customers. Or what if the competition among sellers was so intense that the market price for generators was only $600 and John was barely able to even cover all of his costs?

So who decides what price John Shepperson would have been allowed to charge for generators, and what specifically is that decision based on?

Bottom Line: While it’s easy for “armchair observers” to criticize price-gougers entrepreneurs like John Shepperson for “price gouging,” it’s much more difficult for those who are “long on indignation and short on economics” to convincingly explain to us when a “fair” legal price crosses some arbitrary, squishy, fuzzy line and becomes illegal “gouging.” Are there any supporters of price gouging laws who are up to the challenge? Apply your analysis to John Shepperson, and tell us the maximum legal price he should have been allowed to charge before he was guilty of “gouging.” Explain your analysis in detail.

Prediction: Nobody can successfully and convincingly meet the challenge.

A challenge for supporters of anti-price-gouging laws: when does a ‘fair’ legal price become ‘illegal gouging’
Mark Perry

28 Apr 17:58

Barrett Brown Re-Arrested For Giving Media Interviews Without Permission

by Mike Masnick

The weird, sickening persecution of Barrett Brown continues. Whether or not you like the guy (and every time we post about him, we hear from people who provide reasons why they dislike him), the way he's been treated by our justice system is despicable. If you don't recall, Brown is an award winning journalist, who certainly went deep with Anonymous and other online groups. Eventually that resulted in him being arrested and harassed by prosecutors for sharing a link. When the infamous Stratfor hacks were released, he shared a link to the files to get people to sift through them. Because some of the files included swiped credit card numbers, he was charged with "trafficking" in stolen credit cards. Oddly, right before trial -- realizing how insane it was to charge him over this -- the feds dropped the charges around linking, but pushed forward on other charges because he hid a laptop in a cabinet and (stupidly...) got angry at the FBI when they came to investigate. The odd part is that following a plea deal, the judge sentenced him to an astounding 63 months in jail -- and cited the sharing of the link (again, those charges were dropped, but it sometimes appeared the judge didn't realize that) to explain why.

But the odder part throughout all of this was just how vindictive and petty everyone in the system were towards Brown -- and specifically towards his interactions with the press. The feds sought to stop the media from reporting on Brown's case and got a judge to block Brown or his lawyers from talking to the media. And once he was in prison, the feds cut off his email.

All this weird petty shit, just to stop him from talking to the media.

Late last year, he was released from prison (earlier than expected) and has been complying with all the terms of his release... except, apparently, officials disagreed with that... because he was conducting interview with the media, according to D Magazine, where Brown has been working since his release. The Intercept, which employed Brown as a columnist while he was in prison, has more details, claiming that his check-in officer suddenly claimed that he needed permission before he could conduct media interviews -- something he had not been told at all.

According to his mother, who spoke with Brown by phone after his arrest, Brown believes the reason for his re-arrest was a failure to obtain “permission” to give interviews to media organizations. Several weeks ago, Brown was told by his check-in officer that he needed to fill out permission forms before giving interviews.

Since his release, Brown has given numerous interviews, on camera and by phone. But according to his mother, Brown said that the Bureau of Prisons never informed him about a paperwork requirement. When he followed up with his check-in officer, he was given a different form: a liability form for media entering prisons.

Just last week, Brown was interviewed for two days by VICE, and his PBS interview was set for Friday.

Leiderman said he had not been presented with a formal justification for the arrest but was told that it had “to do with failing to abide by BOP restrictions on interviews.”

That's both astounding and frightening at the same time, and seems like a fairly blatant kick in the face to the First Amendment. There appears to be no other reason for his arrest other than his speech in the form of conducting media interviews (often critical of criminal justice system). Nothing about this makes sense, other than out of pure vindictiveness. And, of course, if the idea was to shut him up about this, it seems quite likely to backfire massively. Not only will Brown continue to be able to talk about on this, but it's drawing much more attention to the issue from many others in the press, wondering what kind of world we live in when you can be arrested for agreeing to do media interviews.

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13 Mar 18:51

Pro trolls are the majority

by (VD)
This is why I don't hesitate to nuke commenters who show even modest signs of possibly being hasbara, or, in the vernacular, paid trolls:
A majority of online and social media defenders of Obamacare are professionals who are "paid to post," according to a digital expert.

"Sixty percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time," said Michael Brown. "They were paid to post."

He began investigating it after his criticism of the former president's health insurance program posted on the Obamacare Facebook page. He was hit hard by digital activists pretending to be regular people. She reports that he evaluated 226,000 pro-Obamacare posts made by 40,000 Facebook profiles.

"Digital activists are paid employees; their purpose is to attack anyone who's posting something contrary to the view of the page owner wants expressed," he told Attkisson. "Sixty percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time."
Translation: a paid troll will produce 1,356 comments on a single subject. One reason why we don't see very much of that nonsense here is because the moderators and I operate on the principle that it is better to take out an honest critic than to permit a troll to comment freely.

Posted by Vox Day.
13 Mar 18:50

News is Conspiracy Theory +15

by (VD)
Spacebunny joked yesterday that she was old enough to remember when Echelon was conspiracy theory. It has now become readily apparent that what used to be derided as "conspiracy theory" is nothing more than the news, 15 years early. Consider a few historical references from this blog.

The Patriot Act and the IAO are constitutional abominations. The War on Terror is being used exactly in the same way that the War on Drugs has been used for decades - to provide the federal government with the ability to infringe upon the liberty of the American people. Your house can get stormed with a no-knock raid if an anonymous telephone call accuses you of the wrong sort of botany project, and soon the same thing will be the case if you happen to visit the wrong web sites or use dangerous terminology in your emails. Echelon is still out there transcribing American faxes, emails and telephone calls, after all.
- October 22, 2003

The US government sees fit to eavesdrop on everyone inside and outside the United States with its Echelon system, but unlike a parent trying to raise a child, that level of oversight is necessary. Terrorists, don't you know. Why, without it, we wouldn't have caught bin Laden and prevented the 9/11 attacks....
- December 10, 2004

Arrived too late, the act has been done.
The wind was against them, letters intercepted on their way.
The conspirators were nine of a party.
By Caesar the Younger shall these enterprises be undertaken.

Echelon and the Bush administration's spying on Americans will be defended by the Supreme Court, should it ever get that far. Most likely, they'll do so by refusing to hear a challenge against it.
- January 3, 2006

CIALeaks proves, once and for all, that Edward Snowden is one of the greatest heroes in American history. One hopes that the God-Emperor will recognize this and offer him a pardon; it is the CIA that is far more of an enemy to the President and the American people than the Russians these days.

Even better, President Trump should appoint Snowden to be the head of the NSA and charge him with turning it into a government agency that is entirely compatible with the U.S. Constitution and rule by the people. #SnowdenForNSA

Posted by Vox Day.
01 Mar 19:03

Laufman alleged to be leaker

by (VD)
Cernovich Media has the scoop on the alleged Trump administration leaker:
Obama holdover David Laufman is the source of the national security leaks, Cernovich Media can exclusively report. David Laufman, Chief of Counterintelligence, has all classified information regarding espionage pass by his desk.

The leaks have wrongly been blamed on the FBI, sources tell me, leading to a morale issue with the agency.... Laufman, who had donated to Obama’s presidential campaign fund in past election cycles, was the DOJ official who investigated Hillary Clinton in what was promised to be an independent investigation. How an Obama donor could be trusted to investigate Obama’s heir apparent was never explored by the fake news media.

Even worse is that as Chief of Counterintelligence, Laufman has the power to kill any investigations into leaks, a power he has been exercising.
They say it is impossible for a White House to plug the leaks. We'll see.

Posted by Vox Day.
25 Jan 21:17

Are for-profit colleges magical mobility machines?

by Sarah Gustafson

In a recent working paper, Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan of the Equality of Opportunity Project investigate how different US colleges perform according to a metric that is of deep sociological interest: How many of their students came from families in the bottom quintile of the income distribution, yet managed to enter the top quintile by their early 30s? That is, which colleges and universities combined relatively broad access to underprivileged students with high rates of intergenerational mobility?

This analysis produces fascinating rankings of institutions of higher education, and a new number of enlightening figures. The first picture reproduced below (Figure V.A in the paper) gives a sense of the central findings. There is a strong relationship between access and success: Schools that admit fewer students from the bottom quintile see more of those students enter the top quintile. The blue dots in the top left of the figure are the Ivies plus a few other highly selective colleges. They admit very few students from poor households, but half or more of them make it to the top quintile of the income distribution.


Chetty et al. define a metric that quantifies this trade-off: the so-called Mobility Rate. This rate is the product of the Success Rate (on the Y axis, the percentage of students among those that come from the bottom quintile who make it to the top quintile) and Access (on the X axis, the percentage of students who come from the bottom quintile). The product of the two, then, is the overall percentage of all students who come from the bottom quintile and make it to the top quintile.
There will always be outliers, and attempts to replicate them may well become fruitless exercises in wishful thinking. Instead, the paper offers a more reliable path forward.
This mobility rate varies from school to school – the curves in the figure above connect schools with the same rate. What the authors take away from this picture is that there are schools which have the same success rate, but very different levels of access. They believe that the colleges that deserve more study – or perhaps even imitation! – are the outliers that combine a given success rate with a particularly high level of access.

It is not clear that this is the best lesson to learn from the paper. There will always be outliers, and attempts to replicate them may well become fruitless exercises in wishful thinking. Instead, the paper offers a more reliable path forward, in Figure V.D.


What this figure shows is that there is an entire category of schools that deliver high success rates for a given level of access: for-profit colleges. While the authors do not highlight this finding, it turns out that these often vilified institutions outperform both public colleges and private non-profit colleges. This difference isn’t smaller either: the mobility rate at for-profits is some 25% higher than at other colleges. This is a stunning discovery that surely merits more attention from researchers and policymakers alike.

The post Are for-profit colleges magical mobility machines? appeared first on AEI.

24 Jan 21:07

(via aranjevi)

(via aranjevi)

21 Dec 14:45

How to Get Vindication

by Scott Meyer

Old school.

For years, YEARS, I told that story, and I got called a liar more times than I can count. I always wondered, why would I want to make a story like that up? Did they think having seen this ridiculous, disgusting spectacle somehow made me feel like a big man?

“You think you’re cool, with your sports car and your successful career? Well wait until you hear my tale of gore, degradation, and animal husbandry! Then we’ll know who’s cool!”

Anyway, I’ll include a link to the relevant clip of Dirty Jobs, but I don’t recommend that you watch it.

30 Nov 14:30

Tragedy in Brazilian soccer

by (VD)
In the aftermath of the plane crash in Colombia that wiped out an entire professional soccer team, there is nothing that can be done except for the families and the nation to grieve. But the various gestures being made by their rivals are touching nevertheless.
The plane was carrying Brazilian club side Chapecoense Real to the first of two games to decide the Copa Sudamericana, South America's second-biggest club tournament. Based in the city of Chapeco, in southern Brazil, the unsung team was having a Cinderella season after defying the odds to reach the finals. The team's goalkeeper Marcos Danilo Padilha, 31, whose heroic last minute save assured their progression, died on the way to hospital after the crash.

Soccer-mad Brazil declared three days of mourning while their opponents Atletico Nacional, of Medellin, asked for the winning trophy to be awarded to the Brazilians in honour of the dead.

Fellow top division Brazilian sides also showed solidarity by offering loan players to Chapecoense and urging the national federation to give it a three-year stay against relegation while the club gets back on its feet.

Meanwhile the legends of the sport - from Lionel Messi to Pele - sent condolences.
These gestures may seem empty and pointless, but keep in mind that they are gestures worth literally millions of dollars. It's the equivalent of one team foregoing a Lombardi trophy and Super Bowl championship, and three other teams voluntarily giving up their chance at the big leagues and the subsequent TV revenue shares and advertising revenue that involves.

It won't bring the Chapecoense players back, but it will ensure they are not quickly forgotten. And it is always inspiring to see basic human decency persevere in the face of tragedy.

Posted by Vox Day.
04 Nov 14:12

Remember remember the 5th of November

by (VD)
Anonymous plants its flag and declares that the information it possesses will be made available "to the public in an organized, searchable, manageable way."
Anonymous 11/03/16 00:09:23 No.95833740

Over the next few days many new documents will be released. The contents of these documents will contain evidence of perhaps the largest coverup in American History. Before this happens we would like to explain ourselves and answer a few questions you may have.

Until this month, WikiLeaks and Anonymous have worked together in building an efficient, detailed, comprehensive set of documents that would be responsible for the incarceration of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and 21 individuals ranging from the DNC, FBI, CIA, and Clinton foundation. These documents will show without a doubt, evidence of Treason, Obstruction of Justice, Election Fraud/Manipulation, and Bribery.

This was intended to be the October surprise. But before the release of these documents, we were contacted by a member of the FBI, as well as another from the CIA, and a week later by the NYPD. All with information retaining to something much darker than even we imagined.

Due to the nature of these leaks, we all worked together as efficiently as possible to ensure two objectives.
  1. That all necessary information would be given to the public in an organized, searchable, manageable way.
  2. Those who provided us with this information would be able to find safety before these releases were made. (This concern wasn't without warrant.)

Anonymous 11/03/16 00:09:46 No.95833807

The new leaks being released this week will provide documents in the form of emails, pictures, and videos. Within these will be evidence of Bill Clinton, as well as at least 6 other Government officials, taking part in sexual acts with minors. As well as evidence of Human trafficking that also included minors.

We believe these pictures and videos were taken for the purpose of political manipulation. In order to make sure all participants followed through on a previously agreed agenda.

These documents were given to us by an American Governement official when he had come to learn that this crime had been covered up by Hilary and her staff through methods including bribery and blackmail. He also told us that due to the restricted access to these documents, they would soon know he was the one who released him to us.

We tried to make arrangements for him to exit the country safely, but he was killed before those arrangements could be carried out. We are still not sure if this is because they became aware of the leak, or if they were scared that he may in the future. In either case, his identity will be made public in this next set of leaks so that he can be honored for the hero that he was.

We will not only be releasing these documents, but we have multiple memebers of the FBI, CIA, and NYBD who will be publicly verifying their authenticity once their safety is assured.

This hack has not come from Russia or anyone else they may try to blame this on. This is a leak from Americas own Government Officials who fear for their safety had the opposed them directly due to reasons that will be made clear soon.

We thank you for your patience, as well as your determination and assistance in helping us expose the corruption that has infested our own government. Democracy will be restored to America.

Remember remember the 5th of November.
The dates would appear to preclude the possibility, but I can't help wondering if the inexplicable suicide of Maj. Gen. John Rossi two days before he was to receive his third star might have been somehow connected to the events that Anonymous is describing.
The Army acknowledged Friday that Maj. Gen. John Rossi committed suicide on July 31, making him the highest-ranking soldier ever to have taken his own life. Rossi, who was 55, was just two days from pinning on his third star and taking command of Army Space and Missile Command when he killed himself at his home at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. ' 
And if you're still dubious about the idea that the Podesta emails refer to children, consider this email:
With enormous gratitude to Advance Man Extraordinaire Haber, I am popping up again to share our excitement about the Reprise of Our Gang’s visit to the farm in Lovettsville. And I thought I’d share a couple more notes:  We plan to heat the pool, so a swim is a possibility. Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you’ll have some further entertainment, and they will be in that pool for sure. 
Excitement about further entertainment from children between the ages of 7 and 11? Many of you are parents, have you ever known anyone to talk that way? Now consider a picture from the mother's Twitter account, captioned "Best party of the summer!"

UPDATE: Look, there are three possibilities. A) All of it is true and will be released as stated. B) Most of it is fiction and it's all been done for the lulz. C) All of it is true and none of it will come out. I don't know and neither do you. But, you have to admit, considerably more has already come out than ever before, and the promised release is consistent with the rumors of the circles of power being abuzz.

It will be what it is. Relax. We'll find out soon enough. In any case, all of this is obviously helping the God-Emperor ascend to the Cherry Blossom Throne. And above all, remember Matthew 10:28 and recall that WE do not fear THEM.

Posted by Vox Day.
29 Aug 02:22

Never donate to the Red Cross

by (VD)
I happen to know, from direct personal experience, that the Red Cross is entirely converged and totally corrupt, so it doesn't surprise me in the slightest to hear that the Red Cross is refusing donations in Louisiana unless they can profit from them:
“So as we are headed back home from the River Center in Baton Rouge volunteering our nursing services Dawn and I have come to the conclusion that neither of us WILL EVER volunteer or donate to the RED CROSS. The Red Cross basically takes over the shelters and starts refusing clothes, donations and various volunteer services UNLESS they are previously contracted. So what does that mean….well, 60 boxes of doughnuts were discarded this morning becuase the delivery vendor was not in contract, hot meals were refused becuase the entity providing wasn’t contracted, and medical supplies including medications were trashed for same reason. Clothes that were “donated” needed to be left on the street unless they were “furnished” by Red Cross. As of tomorrow, the shelter we were at will be completely over taken by the Red Cross other than the medical area because they couldnt have the actual room since LSU has a contract with state to provide medical care. Its sad when the military police were helping to “protect” the medical areas from the red cross when there are so many other issues at hand. Anyway, next time to want to donate or volunteer your services, do your homework.”
Don't ever donate to, or volunteer with, the Red Cross. They are fully SJW-converged and they have been for years. This is also why one should NEVER set up a non-profit. They are always quickly converged by the very people who have lots of time and are oh-so-eager to help.

Posted by Vox Day.
24 Aug 17:36

The Tutu Threat

by (VD)
No, that's not a forthcoming book from Simon Hawke, it is what Spacebunny has promised she will make me do if we are able to hit her $5k for 5k target for research for the Crohn's MAP vaccine as part of the Color Run in which we are participating next month.

Personally, I thought it was bad enough to have to be dragged out of bed at some obscenely early hour and then forced to embark upon some hellish modern Trail of Tears while people yell at you, and apparently, dye you like an Easter Egg somehow; apparently they were inspired by Cersei's walk of shame from A Game of Thrones or something.

I tried to point out that running a 5k is something I have done precisely once in my life, and that perhaps a 100-meter sprint for charity might be more in order, but I was outvoted as my treacherous spawn sided with her. Then Spacebunny promised that if the $5k for 5k was raised, both of us would not only run the race, but do so in tutus as well. And that she would post the pictures on Twitter. And that I would post them here.

So, if you are either a) interested in supporting scientific research that may bring an end to the ongoing torture that is Crohn's Disease or b) looking to have a pretty good laugh at my expense, you can do so by supporting Spacebunny's Color Run Page at Justgiving. I have spoken with several members of the research team, it is a lean and efficient organization, and the funds will not be wasted.
Prof. Hermon-Taylor, together with Dr. Tim Bull and other members of the team at St George’s University of London and scientists at the Jenner Institute University of Oxford, developed a modern DNA vaccine against MAP, which is the bacteria suspected of being the primary catalyst for Crohn's Disease. Developing this vaccine took 10 years and cost around £850,000, much of it donated by the families of Crohn’s patients, without whom this new vaccine would not exist.

The Crohn’s MAP Vaccine is a modern, therapeutic vaccine against MAP. Preliminary studies in animals have shown it is safe and effective. Now a trial in humans is needed to take the vaccine from lab to clinic. If effective, the vaccine will not only protect people from developing Crohn's Disease, but will also serve as an effective cure for those already suffering from it.
The money will go to helping pay for the human trial of the vaccine which has already been developed.

Posted by Vox Day.
24 Jul 15:16

#GamerGate was just the beginning

by (VD)
#DNCleaks is the next big revelation in media corruption:
WikiLeaks released over 20,000 emails on Friday allegedly sent from the accounts of U.S. Democratic National Committee officials, including dozens of off the record media correspondence.

Dubbed the “Hillary Leaks series” by WikiLeaks, the leak is comprised of a searchable database of almost 20,000 emails with over 8,000 attachments and photos from the email accounts of top DNC employees.

Some of the most interesting emails to read are those exchanged by DNC staffers as they decide how to respond to media inquiries, and then their off-the-record and deep background responses to numerous national media outlets. The emails contained off the record correspondence with reporters at the Washington Post, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

Many emails in the database were sent from the email accounts of DNC’s Northern California finance director, Robert Erik Stowe, communications director Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan, finance chief of staff Scott Comer, finance director of data & strategic initiatives Daniel Parrish, finance director Allen Zachary and senior advisor Andrew Wright, among others.

The emails, according to WikiLeaks, covers the period from January 2015 through May 25, 2016.

Wikileaks said this is just part one of the Hillary Leaks series.
Some of this is really bad. It turns out that, in at least one instance, DNC officials were actually giving instructions to television executives to take people off the air because of what they had just said on the show being broadcast.

#GamerGate proved how the game media was operating in collusion, then showed how the mainstream media established and stuck by a false narrative. #DNCleaks is the first step in revealing precisely who has been establishing those false narratives.

Posted by Vox Day.
30 Jun 11:41

The mask comes off

by (VD)
Remember, the EU proponents always swore up and down that it was not a political project. Of course, as some of us always knew, they lied. Now they're not even bothering to pretend otherwise anymore, as in reaction to Brexit, two foreign ministers propose eliminating all the other national member-states before any other nations are able to escape globalist rule.
The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”. Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.

Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.  The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland - a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism - after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info.

The public broadcaster reported the bombshell proposal would be presented to a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries - made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia - by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

In the preamble to the text the two ministers write: "Our countries share a common destiny and a common set of values that give rise to an even closer union between our citizens. We will therefore strive for a political union in Europe and invite the next Europeans to participate in this venture."

The revelations come just days after Britain shook the Brussels establishment by voting to leave the European Union in a move some have predicted could leave to the break-up of the EU.

A number of member states are deeply unhappy about the creeping federalism of the European project with anti-EU sentiments running high in eastern Europe, Scandinavia and France.
I can't think of anything that will bring about Fixit and Frexit and Nexit, and any number of additional exits faster, than the EU doubling down on political integration. It's prodigiously stupid in any event; it could not be more obvious that economic integration has completely failed. But, as we know, SJWs always double down, and apparently there is no amount of failure and democratic rejection that will even slow down the globalists in their mad grasp for international power.

I have never been more certain that the EU will collapse, hopefully sooner rather than later. Socionomics always predicted the EU's failure to be inevitable, but now we're actually beginning to see it happen.

Posted by Vox Day.
28 Jun 11:15

The problem of peer review

by (VD)
Peer review simply isn't what it is advertised to be; it is not only little more than editing, most of the time it is not even competent editing:
As a scientist with a 15 year career behind me so far, I am afraid that my experiences reflect this. Peer review is excellent in theory but not in practice. Much of the time, the only vetting the papers get are two relatively junior people in a field (often grad students or postdocs) giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down. That is absolutely it. In theory, the editors should make the decisions with the recommendations of the reviewers, but the editors rarely have the time or the expertise to judge the papers and often automatically defer to reviewers. Also, the papers should be reviewed by luminaries of the field, but these folks rarely have the time, and either decline invitations or bounce the work to a student or another trainee. It's not just bad papers that get through, but also good, rigorous, papers that are bounced by this system.

Many if not most of the people in academic science today, at least in biology (my field), are overwhelmed with the need to publish in such high volumes, few people with the needed expertise can afford the time to go over the results in detail. All this while, at the same time and for the same reason, the volume of papers that needs to be reviewed goes up. I've heard of (and had myself) papers havve lingered for 4+ months before they even went out for review.

And, in our rush to publish, we often don't read this literature carefully ourselves but start citing papers anyway, which weaves these potentially weak or erroneous papers even more tightly into the fabric of their field.

It's difficult to care a lot about the quality of your work when you know the extra effort often doesn't help something go through this fickle review process, and when you know people will cite it without really reading it closely. There is little incentive to spend longer on a paper to make sure everything is right and the results are reproducible because there is very little accountability for errors and huge rewards for being prolific.
The ironic thing is that True Believers and the I Fucking Love Science crowd genuinely believe that "peer reviewed science" is the gold standard for evidence. But there is a reason scientific evidence is not automatically allowed in a court of law, let alone considered conclusive, and the more we learn about the defects of peer review, the better we understand that science's credibility is limited.

We have a word for science that is trustworthy, and that word is engineering. Until science can be applied, it cannot be fully trusted to be correct.

All peer review is really designed to do is to reassure the reader that the information presented fits safely within the confines of the consensus status quo.

Posted by Vox Day.
22 Jun 00:50

Sign Up to Vote in the Dragon Awards

by correia45

Free to sign up and no wrongfan shaming for bad think. if you are a sci fi or fantasy fan consider signing up to vote.

You can now sign up to vote in the Dragon Awards

The voting is open to all fans, and it doesn’t cost anything.

19 Apr 16:47

You Ought to Have a Look: Paris Climate Agreement

by Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels

You Ought to Have a Look is a feature from the Center for the Study of Science posted by Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. (“Chip”) Knappenberger.  While this section will feature all of the areas of interest that we are emphasizing, the prominence of the climate issue is driving a tremendous amount of web traffic.  Here we post a few of the best in recent days, along with our color commentary.

With Earth Day and the grand signing ceremony for the Paris Climate Agreement just around the corner, we thought it apt to highlight some relevant stories from around the web, particularly those critical of the central climate control enterprise.

Recall that we have pointed out the Paris Climate Agreement represents little more than a business-as-usual approach that has been spun to suggest that it represents a collective, international effort in response to a climate change “concern.” Increasing opportunities for riding your bike (etc.) now have been rebranded as efforts to save the world. Right.

We’ve shown that the U.S. pledge under the Paris “Don’t Call It a Treaty” Agreement, while a bit more aggressive than many, turns out to basically be impossible. Putting our name on such pledge seems a bit disingenuous, to put it mildly.

On top of all this comes a new economic analysis from the Heritage Foundation that basically shows that the U.S. intension under the Agreement would be mucho bad news. Here are the Key Points from the report “Consequences of Paris Protocol: Devastating Economic Costs, Essentially Zero Environmental Benefits”:


The justifications for all these findings are described in detail in the full report.

Clearly, considering all the negatives stacked up against the U.S.’s commitment under the Paris Agreement, it’s hard to find any justification for signing it that is built upon anything but false premises.

Next up is a notable article (h/t Judy Curry) called “Twilight of the Climate Change Movement” authored by Mario Loyola, Senior Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, that appears in The American Interest. Loyola points out that despite the “fanfare” surrounding the Paris Agreement, “the climate change movement faces big trouble ahead.”  Loyola explains:

Its principal propositions contain two major fallacies that can only become more glaring with time. First, in stark contrast to popular belief and to the public statements of government officials and many scientists, the science on which the dire predictions of manmade climate change is based is nowhere near the level of understanding or certainty that popular discourse commonly ascribes to it. Second, and relatedly, the movement’s embrace of an absolute form of the precautionary principle distorts rational cost-benefit analysis, or throws it out the window altogether.

Lots of good information in this article, including a review of the uncertainties in the science of climate change and how those uncertainties are downplayed, or swept away, in the pursuit of an anti-industrialist agenda—be sure to check out the whole thing.

Extending a look at the dangers of an anti-industrialist agenda, Cato Adjunct Scholar Alex Epstein gave a dazzling performance in presenting testimony before the April 13th hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “Examining the Role of Environmental Policies on Access to Energy and Economic Opportunity.” Alex laid out why restricting energy choice—which is the main premise of centralized efforts to mitigate climate change—is a really bad idea:

The energy industry is the industry that powers every other industry. To the extent energy is affordable, plentiful, and reliable, human beings thrive. To the extent energy is unaffordable, scarce, or unreliable, human beings suffer. 

His written testimony is available here.

But we’d be remiss if we left you only with that.

The real fireworks were in his oral testimony and included a tussle with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a call for an apology or resignation from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and telling the committee that most of them would probably not be alive today without cheap, plentiful, reliable energy. The highlights are available here. It is most enjoyable!

And finally, last, but certainly not least, is the Manhattan Institute’s Oren Cass’s excellent piece in the current issue of National Affairs, titled “The New Central Planners.” The piece critically examines the administrative state’s seemingly unquenchable desire to fix market “failures”—a conceit that is perhaps nowhere more on display than in the climate change issue. Here’s a taste:

By asserting that their frameworks, tools, and data prove government action will enhance market efficiency, economists are engaging in a new form of central planning. It differs in degree from traditional command-and-control socialism, but not in kind. It is less absolute — the market economy provides a baseline until an intervention occurs. It is less totalitarian — plans are executed through rules and incentives that alter the behavior of market actors instead of through the direct assignment of resources. But it is rooted in the same conceit that technical expertise can outperform market forces and deserves deference where applied. It suffers from the same challenges of incomplete information, heterogeneous preferences, and subjective values. It relies on the same refusal to acknowledge the inherent tradeoffs that underlie the allocation of scarce resources. And, as a result, it also reduces democratic accountability, economic efficiency, and total welfare.

The alternative to technocratic planning is not post-modern, nihilistic resignation to the impossibility of evaluating policy. It is an administrative state designed around a recognition that market signals and political preferences provide a better guide than can bureaucratic analysis, that those signals and preferences vary locally, and that optimization requires constant recalibration. Many current efforts at regulatory reform focus on increasing the influence of cost-benefit analysis, but in fact we need to reduce it. Management within the executive, delegation from the legislature, and oversight by the judiciary should all assume that technocratic expertise lies only in designing the specific rules to implement when there is a political demand for intervention, not in determining when such interventions are appropriate.

Oren’s article is so chock-full of good stuff that it’s really hard to decide what to excerpt, so be sure to take the time and read his entire essay. We’ll sure that it’ll be time well spent. The same is true for all of the above articles. You really ought to have a look!