Lion of the Blogosphere

Are iPhones keeping the poor people poor?

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I bought an iPhone 6 today. The cost of the phone, plus service, will cost more than $2,000 (probably more like $2,200) over the next two years. That’s a lot of money. Yet every poor person seems to have one of these things.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 28, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Technology

NY Post says shootings are up in Manhattan

with 78 comments

The New York Post reports that shootings are up in Manhattan:

There have been 50 “shooting incidents’’ since Jan. 1, compared with 31 in the same time period in 2014 — an increase of about 38 percent. Some of these “incidents’’ involved more than one victim.

The number of shooting victims nearly doubled, from 33 to 61.

Has the end of stop-and-frisk emboldened the criminal element to carry guns?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 27, 2015 at 9:25 am

Posted in Crime

How about that Islamic State?

with 66 comments

A 2013 Pew survey found that 91% of Iraqis favor Sharia being the official law of the land. Thus it’s not surprising that the Islamic State has a good amount of support among Iraqi Sunnis who favor the Islamic law imposed by the Islamic State over living with secular law imposed by a Shiite-controlled government.

What a huge mistake to think that Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds could live together in the same country without a brutal dictator like Saddam Hussein to keep law and order. However, the United States insists on exporting it’s love of “diversity” to the rest of the world. In reality, nobody wants diversity besides Western liberals, and even Western liberals, when they have a choice, choose to live in an un-diverse place such as Portland Oregon (where everyone else is also a white liberal) rather than a diverse city like Detroit or El Paso.

Even though Barrack Hussein Obama and Saddam Hussein share a name, Obama lacks Saddam Hussein’s fortitude to do whatever it takes to ensure law and order. There’s an article in today’s NY Times about how the airstrikes are ineffective because the pilots are not allowed to strike anything next to civilians, and of course the Islamic State has learned to keep all of their military people in civilian areas to avoid being hit. Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have held back like that.

Obama also lacks the will to put American troops on the ground. Although that would probably turn into a Vietnam-type situation in which the American military is restricted from using its massive firepower to obliterate everything, and a lot of Americans just get killed. No one wants that. I don’t want that.

Is it really such a big deal if the Islamic State winds up becoming a real state? How would the Islamic State be any more dangerous than Iran? The Islamic State has no nuclear capability. Obama is worried about the wrong enemy.

I also like the Islamic State, because they keep disproving all of the liberal nonsense about Islam being a religion of peace. This is a good lesson for all to learn.

I feel bad for any moderate people living in the area who don’t want to live in a strict theocracy. And of course, it’s even worse for the people who are beheaded for being the wrong religion. In retrospect, the people of Iraq were better off under Saddam Hussein, and the people of Syria were better off under Bashar Assad.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Posted in International

Woman killed by cow

with 15 comments

Reported by AgriLand, Ireland’s largest farming news portal:

Another farm death has occured, after a woman in Co. Monaghan died from injuries she sustained when attacked by a cow.

A reminder that it’s much safer to have a desk job than it is to work as a farmer.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

Posted in Death by cow

28 shot, 9 dead in Baltimore over weekend

with 38 comments

The breakdown in law and order, caused by the riots last month, has resulted in the criminal element running amok. This is the result. (Link to story.)

Black lives only matter if they are killed by police. They obviously don’t matter when blacks are killing each other. Only a strong militaristic police presence can prevent that from happening (absent better teaching of middle-class values in the public schools).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 26, 2015 at 9:40 am

Posted in Crime

Soylent, it’s not just a movie with Charlton Heston

with 84 comments

According to the NY Times, liquid food-replacement products, such as “Solyent,” have become very popular in Silicon Valley, because the coders are too busy coding to have time to eat anything else.

Soylent, Schmilk and some others typically taste like bland, gritty pancake batter. But never mind that, since the meal replacements save techies money and time. While a meal generally costs upward of $50 at Silicon Valley-area restaurants, a week’s worth of Soylent or Schmoylent totals $85

That sounds pretty disgusting. And not worth $85/week, which isn’t cheap considering the icky factor. If I wanted to eat practical and super cheap, I’d go with peanut butter and bread, plus a multi-vitamin in case that’s missing anything. Not saying I’d enjoy living only on peanut butter and bread, but it sounds more appetizing than Soylent for half the price, and it doesn’t require refrigeration. Plus it has a more wholesome name. Didn’t they bother to watch the end of the movie?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 25, 2015 at 10:08 am

Posted in Technology

Satellite radio vs. Spotify

with 73 comments

Avon Lon writes:

A friend recently tweeted that anyone who drives a car without satellite radio is “poor.”

Augustus responds:

Satellite radio sucks. Using spotify unlimited through your phone is much much better.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 22, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Technology

Economic treadmill

with 93 comments

Commenter Jim writes:

Unfortunately economic and technological progress cannot supply people with what is most important to them – social status. It doesn’t matter if economic and technological advances supply everybody with a golden bathtub. Nobody will be any happier, they will just envy the fortunate few with platinum bathtubs.

If we get to the point where everybody can have a platinum bathtub then something else will become the marker of social status.

This is true.

So on the one hand, people can say that there will always be scarcity because there will always be something highly desired that not everyone can afford to have, such as a platinum bathtub. But on the other hand, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get out of this through economic or technological advances, yet our politicians and economists act as if people would be happier if only we could manufacture more stuff and have more economic activity.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 22, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Economics

Upper West Side crime wave?

with 32 comments

In April, there was a third shooting this year in Manhattan Valley (the area of the upper west side that’s east of Broadway between 96th and 110th streets), which is more shootings than in all of 2014.

Has the end of stop-and-frisk policing emboldened the criminal element to carry guns?

At the same time, people are being mugged in Central Park much more frequently than in the recent past.

Is this a hint that the law and order created by twenty years of conservative mayors (Guiliani and Bloomberg) is coming to an end?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 21, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Crime

Business and stupid regulations

with 18 comments

A commenter said that the financial crisis was not the fault of banks because of government mandates. “Any policy that has a negative impact on minorities is forbidden by the government, forcing banks to find ways to make more loans to people who are probably not going to be able to make the payments.”

While I disagree with the policy, stupid government regulations do NOT prevent companies from operating profitably, because every other company has to deal with the same regulations and costs get passed along to consumers. It’s part of the value transference economy.

In the case of mortgage lending, if a bank makes 100 loans to white borrowers with an expected profit of $1 million, and 20 loans to black borrowers with an expected loss of $200,000, then the loans to the blacks are a cost of doing business. If, in order to continue to make loans, the bank determined that the expected profit was too low to justify the risks, they should have stopped lending. Instead, banks acted irresponsibly, in favor of short-term paper profits instead of long-run financial stability.

The situation for banks is similar to the 80/20 affordable housing rules in New York City. For every eighty condos developers build for rich people, they are required to build 20 money-losing apartments for poor or middle-class people. I disagree with the policy, but it doesn’t prevent developers from making lots of money because they just charge more for the 80 “market-rate” units.

It’s not as if business leaders are pushing government for more socially conservative policies. Just the opposite. They don’t care, because they pass along the costs to consumers. Business leaders seem to love big liberal government, as long as it comes with low taxes.

Businesses hate only two things: 1) competition; and 2) paying taxes. They don’t care much about regulations, and even favor them if they think that they limit competition by increasing barriers to entry.

* * *

Regulations are also “good” because they create make-work for people, and the prevailing political and economic philosophy is that everyone should have a job where they work 40 hours per week. If, through reduction of stupid regulations, the economy were made so efficient that half of the jobs disappeared, how would people earn enough money to live without transfer payments from the government?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 21, 2015 at 10:16 am

Posted in Economics


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