Archive for April 2013
Some commenters suggested that he might be prole, but that’s highly unlikely because proles don’t ride bicycles, and the only proles living on the Upper West Side work there as supers (not counting the underclass who live in housing projects as proles).
However, it’s possible that he’s a middle-class guy like a schoolteacher. Back in the 1970s, coops on the Upper West Side were completely affordable for schoolteachers and other civil servants. It wasn’t the super-expensive place that it is today. This is one of the points of Charles Murray’s book, Coming Apart. The cost of living in a good neighborhood used to be affordable to people with regular middle class jobs.
Looking south on Riverside Drive.
This article in the NY Times about scummy lending practices targeting retirees demonstrates why I’m opposed to libertarianism.
To retirees, the offers can sound like the answer to every money worry: convert tomorrow’s pension checks into today’s hard cash.
But these offers, known as pension advances, are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, threatening their retirement savings and plunging them further into debt. The advances, federal and state authorities say, are not advances at all, but carefully disguised loans that require borrowers to sign over all or part of their monthly pension checks. They carry interest rates that are often many times higher than those on credit cards.
The rest of the article details the outrageous and immoral practices used by these pension-advance lenders.
Libertarianism assumes that people are capable of making intelligent and wise decisions, but the reality is that the average person isn’t all that intelligent or wise, and half the people fall behind even the average.
While there may indeed be some instances where the modern nanny state has gone too far, with respect to pension-advance loans, the nanny state hasn’t gone far enough. These types of loans need to be outlawed.
The Saturday Essay in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal is about the genetics of criminology.
The important points are:
“More than 100 studies of twins and adopted children have confirmed that about half of the variance in aggressive and antisocial behavior can be attributed to genetics.”
“Numerous studies have found that identical twins, who have all of their genes in common, are much more similar to each other in terms of crime and aggression than are fraternal twins, who share only 50% of their genes.”
“In a landmark 1984 study, my colleague Sarnoff Mednick found that children in Denmark who had been adopted from parents with a criminal record were more likely to become criminals in adulthood than were other adopted kids.”
The essay also explains the difference between the typical murderer and the serial killer. The typical murderer has low future-time orientation, while the serial killer has high future-time orientation, which is required in order to be able to kill multiple times without getting caught. Note that the term “future-time orientation” is my term and is not used in the essay.
This leads us to the common sense way to permanently reduce crime, which is to prevent the criminal-prone from reproducing. How could we do that? Pretty easily, actually. If we offered convicts the opportunity to shave some time off of their sentences by having a vasectomy, this could have a dramatic future benefit.
Earlier today, some commenter included a link to a blog post about how the Boston Marathon bombings is some sort of vast evil conspiracy.
However I know this is not a conspiracy because there’s nothing about this incident that advances the interests of the people in power, and the people in power are the only people who might have the power to orchestrate some sort of conspiracy.
There is much truth in this column: Mugged by Reality. After Boston, Obama can no longer ignore the global jihad. What happened in Boston is the very exact opposite of anything that the elites who run the country wanted to happen.
Furthermore, there is no need for a conspiracy to explain what was clearly inevitable. The article I linked to above documents many incidents of Islamic terrorism relabeled as something else by the media (like the Fort Hood massacre), foiled by authorities, or failed because of the stupidity of the would-be terrorists. With this background of activity, it was inevitable that eventually there would be an Islamic terrorist who managed to successfully pull something off that couldn’t be ignored by the elites who control the narrative.
I did, however, find it disturbing that, somehow, the entire city of Boston got put under something resembling martial law, all because some 19-year-old kid was on the loose. And by the way, the kid wasn’t found until after the curfew was removed and a regular citizen spotted him and called police. This is an example of facist law enforcement being given a green light to run with their inclinations and do what they always wanted to do. They weren’t behaving a whole lot differently than law enforcement in third world countries. It’s the natural behavior of law enforcement which is normally kept in check in civilized countries like the United States.
I noticed this advertisement on the subway on this morning.
I think this ad is part of a very new trend in bobo attitudes. As Charles Murray pointed out in his book Coming Apart, one of the key moral values of bobos is nonjudgmentalism with respect to their inferiors.
But first there was Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to ban large sodas, because bobos are disgusted by proles who are fat. And now there is this anti-pregnancy campaign sponsored by New York City, and no doubt approved personally by Mayor Bloomberg.
There was opposition to the campaign because the usual suspects say that it unfairly stigmatizes single mothers. The WNYC article demonstrates the traditional bobo value of nonjudgmentalism. But the whole point of the ad campaign is to stigmatize disgusting prole behavior like nonmarital teen births. The bobos are fed up with prole behavior, and they are beginning to shed the value of nonjudgmentalism in favor of letting the proles know that they are behaving badly.
WHAT THE LION THINKS ABOUT THIS
The soda ban I could take or leave. Fat proles don’t bother me that much. In fact, the ability to quickly discern a person’s social class based on their weight has its benefits.
But I think this is anti-teen-pregnancy is the smartest idea ever to come out of government in the last decade. Nothing is more damaging to our society than the breakdown of the traditional family in which men and women get married before they have children. I would vote for Bloomberg, if he ever runs for office again, based only on his support for this anti-pregnancy campaign.
The immigration proposal pending in Congress would transform the nation’s political landscape for a generation or more — pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that, if current trends hold, would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.
Funny how Republican leaders, themselves, are too stupid go get that.
Authorities say a man wearing a full camouflage suit inside the Visitor’s Center quickly drew the attention of police.
Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Joe McGarrey says they caught up with him inside a vehicle in the underground parking garage.
“The car was full of trash,” he said. “So as a precaution on the safe side, we cleared it with K-9, cleared it with the bomb squad.”
Nothing dangerous was found, but the man was taken into custody for questioning.
As far as I know, it’s not illegal to wear camouflage (as long as he’s not impersonating a police officer), nor is it illegal to have trash in the back of your car.
This guy was arrested for dressing like a prole.
I, personally, would be a lot more worried about a guy dressed in Islamic clothing driving around with a lot of stuff in the back of his car.
Kendrick Ball, owner of Camp Get Right Boxing Gym in Worcester, Mass., remembers Tamerlan for his look. “He was dressed like he was about to walk on the runway,” Mr. Ball said. The first time he met Tamerlan, in 2010, “He had on a trench coat and a pair of tight jeans, silver shoes, a white shirt unbuttoned halfway down and hair pushed back like John Travolta.”
Even Muslims can be guidos.
I haven’t posted a photo this week. So here’s a photo: the intersection of 69th Street and Central Park West. The Upper West Side has nice-looking pre-war architecture.
And here’s a thought about photography: you are used to seeing images like this, but they are creations of the digital era. You couldn’t have gotten an image to have this HDR-look before digital photo-editing. This is not to say that the image is wrong. I think it correctly shows the way I perceived the scene when I was there.
Below is closer to what the photo might have looked like in film days, and that’s also what the photo would look like if you just accepted the out-of-camera JPEG instead of shooting RAW and doing digital post-processing.
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One of the big problems with pre-war architecture is that they didn’t anticipate the future need to provide room for air conditioners.