"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Housing the People: An Interview with Dr Loh Kah Seng

Episode 34: Housing the People: An Interview with Dr Loh Kah Seng

"Not all the social groups in a society respond the same way as the official narrative would state. So for example, the much lauded Singapore story’s narrative about our move from kampung housing or slums and squatter areas into public housing, which is supposed to be the modern form of housing. Superior, clean - was was not true for people. One of the things I found actually was that for many of the people who first moved into one room emergency flats build by the HDB and SIT in the 50s or 60s, those housing was not very different from living in the slum area in Chinatown, or a squatter area in a kampung the margins of the city...

There wasn't enough state intervention and support given to the kampungs, that's why they continue to burn. That's why we see Bukit Ho Swee happen. Whereas a lot of the state resources were given to not making the kampungs, safe or sanitary, but basically the British colonial government wanted to get rid of the kampungs in the city area, and much more effort and resource was given to building what the British considered low cost flats. They were being built by the Singapore improvement Trust for the working class population [like in Tiong Bahru]. And these were never working class, low cost housing - only in the eyes of the British...

‘One common lament of Singaporeans, older Singaporeans is how we’ve lost this kampung spirit. But it suggests that the kampung spirit also developed because of an absence of the state in that because there was no state intervention in critical areas because we had to do things on our own therefore we develop this local spirit of people having to look out for each other. So it seems to me that when people lament the compound spirit they’re also lamenting a certain loss of autonomy’...

When the kampung dwellers or fire victims move into public housing on a permanent basis, they begin to adopt a way of life, which is drastically different from what they had done before. So for example, pigs and wooden toilets were no longer possible. And this also meant that it had an economic impact. Rent had to be paid in the flats on a regular basis. So you can't just wait for part time employment, or casual employment, in order to pay the rent. It had to be paid, and the HDB was going to press you to pay the rent every month. And subsequent to that, from 1968 onwards, when the government began to allow the use of CPF savings to pay for the ownership, the purchase of HDB flats it also became important therefore, to have a full time permanent job in order to continuously contribute to the CPF and pay for the purchase of the flat over long term installments.

So from that perspective, the CPF and coupled with the public housing project was immensely successful in changing how people looked at their life and the importance of work… buying a flat is one of the rituals that most Singaporeans go through which is very different from the past when Singaporeans basically do not care very much about the kind of housing they were living in as long as it was large enough for their family, or as long as it was relatively close to their workplace or to their family and friends...

‘This is a sort of an inflection point where before this… Singaporeans could live off the land in a almost autonomous fashion. They didn't have to be participants in the economy, in the state, they could have pigs, they could grow vegetables, but once you get into HDB housing, it's not just the flat, but it's a whole different lifestyle that comes with it. You have to take part in the modern economy, you have to be plugged into, you know, rent payment, tax payments, and you have to, you know, you can't have any sort of independence from the state. So that's what you meant by squatters to citizens’"

Links - 22nd August 2019 (1)

The Monopoly of Legitimate Benevolence – Ts’ang Chung-shu - "The benevolent sovereign concept was one of the earliest to spread beyond China’s borders... Thus, for example, a tendency to evaluate governments based on economic performance has been observed and measured over time and across the majority of Chinese-influenced states. Chu et al. (2013) used Asian Barometer Survey data to show a strong correlation between positive evaluations of the economy and support for government in the PRC, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mongolia, but –crucially — not in Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia or Thailand (all of which have historically been subject to far less Chinese influence)... Econometric studies have shown that — contrary to normal practice elsewhere — corruption has a positive effect on economic growth in East Asia... In countries that were traditionally subject to Chinese cultural influence, governments tend to attach a high level of importance to dealing with the issue, whether by fighting it outright or by attempting to integrate it within the sphere of state control. The time and energy devoted to these battles only makes sense if they are interpreted as governmental struggles for survival against rival economic power networks, rather than being seen as ordinary law-enforcement actions... Those who refused to allow themselves to be coopted into the dominant faction had to be jailed or executed, not merely because they broke the law, but because they had the potential to become an independent state-within-a-state. Indeed, Xi has said as much openly"
Basically Chinese culture is about corruption and patronage
Further support for saying that Xi's war on corruption is really a war on corruption that doesn't benefit him

The Comparative Politics of Corruption: Accounting for the East Asian Paradox in Empirical Studies of Corruption, Growth and Investment - "Numerous empirical studies demonstrate that corruption reduces investment and/or slows growth. But how robust are these relationships? This question is answered by conducting a series of crosscountry regression tests using four different corruption datasets. We find that corruption slows growth and/or reduces investment in most developing countries, particularly small developing countries, but increases growth in the large East Asian newly industrializing economies. The latter finding provides solid empirical support to a country case literature that explains the East Asian paradox––the combination of high corruption and high growth––in terms of stable and mutually beneficial exchanges of government promotional privileges for bribes and kickbacks."

A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been - "The consensus among the soldiers was that the U.S. should just leave the area to the Indians and the mosquitoes; as one general put it, “I could not wish them all a worse place.” Or as one lieutenant complained: “Millions of money has been expended to gain this most barren, swampy, and good-for-nothing peninsula.” Today, Florida’s southern thumb has been transformed into a subtropical paradise for millions of residents and tourists, a sprawling megalopolis dangling into the Gulf Stream that could sustain hundreds of billions of dollars in damage if Hurricane Irma makes a direct hit. So it’s easy to forget that South Florida was once America’s last frontier, generally dismissed as an uninhabitable and undesirable wasteland, almost completely unsettled well after the West was won... The Army Corps of Engineers, the shock troops in the nation’s war on Mother Nature, built the most elaborate water management system of its day, 2,000 miles of levees and canals along with pumps so powerful some of the engines would have to be cannibalized from nuclear submarines"

Why Arabs are so Easily Offended - "Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychologist who has had extensive experience with treating Muslim youths has identified four main differences that are important in order to understand the behavior of Muslims and how they interact with Western influences. Without dismissing the intrinsic value of multiculturalism or the need to identify with ones cultural roots Sennels has identified four main differences that are important in order to understand the behavior of Muslims. They concern anger, self-confidence, the so-called "locus of control" and identity... In Muslim culture, anger is seen as a sign of strength. To Muslims, being aggressive is a way of gaining respect. When we see pictures of bearded men hopping up and down and shooting in the air, we should take it for what it is: these are the true role models of acceptable behavior... it is honorable to respond aggressively and to engage in a physical fight in order to scare or force critics to withdraw, even if this results in a prison sentence or even death. They see non-aggressive responses to such threats and violence as a sign of a vulnerability that is to be exploited. They do not interpret a peaceful response as an invitation to enter into a dialogue, diplomacy, intellectual debate, compromise or peaceful coexistence but the opposite... Muslims are brought up to have an "outer locus of control." Their constant use of the term inshallah ("Allah willing") when talking about the future, as well as the fact that most aspects of their lives are decided by older traditions, clan tribal affiliations and authorities, leaves very little space for individual freedom. Independent initiatives are often severely punished. This shapes their way of thinking, and means that when things go wrong, it is always the fault of others or the situation."

Are Muslim Arabs Especially Fatalistic? - "The eminent sociologist Max Weber (1958) argued that capitalism first emerged in Protestant countries and not elsewhere because, as religions go, the Protestant faith was less fatalistic than the others.Other social scientists have found that East Asian Canadians are more fatalistic than European Canadians (Norenzayan & Lee, 2009), Southerners are more fatalistic than Midwesterners (Sims & Baumann, 1972), and Hindus are more fatalistic than Westerners (Kapp, 1963).In a similar vein, many scholars have noted that Muslim Arabs are more fatalistic than non-Muslims and non-Arabs (De Atkine, 2004; Huntington, 1996; Nydell, 2005)."

Contrasting Muslim And Western Psychologies: The Locus Of Control - "As far as integration goes, we can’t just blame Muslims. I think that a reason why they may not describe themselves as Danes or French, even after several generations, is because they are not welcome to feel that way. I’ve noticed that the only countries in the world where integration seems to be successful are the countries where English is the dominant language. That may be because English is an amalgamation of so many other languages, so maybe there is something inherently inclusive about it. Also, in places like North America and Australia, we are lucky to enjoy pluralism because we are not ethnically defined."

The science myths that will not die - "Thyroid cancer is now the most common type of cancer diagnosed in South Korea, but the number of people who die from it has remained exactly the same — about 1 per 100,000. Even when some physicians in Korea realized this, and suggested that thyroid screening be stopped in 2014, the Korean Thyroid Association, a professional society of endocrinologists and thyroid surgeons, argued that screening and treatment were basic human rights. In Korea, as elsewhere, the idea that the early detection of any cancer saves lives had become an unshakeable belief... annual mammograms did not reduce mortality from breast cancer. That's because some tumours will lead to death irrespective of when they are detected and treated. Meanwhile, aggressive early screening has a slew of negative health effects. Many cancers grow slowly and will do no harm if left alone, so people end up having unnecessary thyroidectomies, mastectomies and prostatectomies. So on a population level, the benefits (lives saved) do not outweigh the risks (lives lost or interrupted by unnecessary treatment)... Focusing so much attention on the current screening tests comes at a cost for cancer research, says Brawley. “In breast cancer, we've spent so much time arguing about age 40 versus age 50 and not about the fact that we need a better test,” such as one that could detect fast-growing rather than slow-growing tumours...
Myth 2: Antioxidants are good and free radicals are bad...
mice genetically engineered to overproduce free radicals lived just as long as normal mice, and those engineered to overproduce antioxidants didn't live any longer than normal... one study in humans showed that antioxidant supplements prevent the health-promoting effects of exercise, and another associated them with higher mortality. None of those results has slowed the global antioxidant market... Today, most researchers working on ageing agree that free radicals can cause cellular damage, but that this seems to be a normal part of the body's reaction to stress. Still, the field has wasted time and resources as a result...
Myth 3: Humans have exceptionally large brains
Myth 4: Individuals learn best when taught in their preferred learning style
Myth 5: The human population is growing exponentially (and we're doomed)"

The Red Pill Room: Of Feminism and Femininity: A Brief History - "The source of the problem is that "Woman As Independent Earner" encompasses little, if anything, of the previous incarnations of Femininity. And it is increasingly distant from the long-established roots of feminine identity, so much so at this point that one can easily say that Femininity has fractured, and is experiencing a severe crisis."Woman As Independent Earner", the Strong, Independent Woman archetype, has been promoted by feminism and non-feminist women alike as a lofty goal to aspire to. Loftier than any other, save only in the most conservative enclaves. The "Feminine Mystique" that was once a point of rebellion has now eroded into a caricature of former feminine glories. Encouraged by feminism to reject marriage and the pursuit of reproductive goals in favor of education and vocational aspirations, the remnant of the old standards still hold women up to personal and social expectations far more in line with the Agrarian past. Femininity is experiencing an identity crisis again because now that it has successfully established "Independent Earner" into its matrix, it doesn't know how to make it relate to the other cast-off identities a woman has in her metaphorical closet. The problem is that "Independent Earner" is now the dominant paradigm in Femininity, at direct odds with "Home & Hearth" and "Motherhood". And it's sharing a mostly-unhealthy relationship with "Sex Kitten", these days... To feminism, making a permanent commitment does not confirm a woman's adult ability to face up to her adult responsibilities . . . it implies an irrevocable commitment to one potential breeding partner in a way that precludes feminist "agency" to make a better mate selection at a later time... By denigrating the power of lifelong marriage as a goal for a young woman, advising her to max out her SMV early and ignore her MMV until all the decent dudes are long gone, feminism manages to screw young women out of reproductive options even as it fights to secure reproductive rights for them."

7 ways social media fooled political experts in GE2015 - "GE2015 was not the social media election that it was touted to be...
1. Sharing stuff on social media did not lead to more knowledge about the GE.
In fact, survey results collected by Dr Debbie Goh suggested that an excessive use of personalised communication via social media – that is, sharing and producing political content based on personal interests and values – had a negative influence on the knowledge of some groups of voters... the online chatter was “not to engage in a complex discussion of the GE”, but to partake in the “carnival atmosphere” created by it...
3. Among swing voters, those who attended a particular party’s rally tended to vote for the other party instead.
4. The more knowledge participants think they have about on political issues, the more they voted for the Opposition.
5. The more a voter thought his or her vote would make a difference, the more he or she tended to vote for the incumbent PAP.
6. Voters were influenced by closed social media groups more than they were by open social media groups.
7. Participants used social media to relate to other users more than for expression or information seeking."
Every election, people forget the lessons of the last one

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Links - 21st August 2019 (3)

Big Green, Inc. : The Money Fueling the Environmental Left - "Today’s environmental movement is fueled by a group of interconnected, left-leaning foundations that are seeking to disrupt the development of America’s energy resources. In order to understand how these groups work together and where the environmental movement’s funding originates, IER developed Big Green, Inc., a database that tracks environmental grants stemming from 14 foundations and directed to over 1,900 grassroots activists groups and totaling more than $4.2 billion. Our key findings include:
• The “David vs. Goliath” narrative surrounding environmental activism is false. Environmental organizations outpace conservative and free-market groups in terms of funding and organizational capacity.
• As evidenced by the emergence of the “Keep it in the Ground” Movement, this money plays a major role in shaping public opinion, which translates to economically destructive policy initiatives that emanate from all levels of government.
• A key strategy of the environmental movement is to target key institutions that drive the ideas that animate our society.
• Environmental funding has been tied to foreign actors, which raises concerns over the role geopolitics plays in environmental advocacy."
Of course, money only disqualifies arguments from the "right wing"

Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico - "Linkages between climate and mental health are often theorized but remain poorly quantified. In particular, it is unknown whether the rate of suicide, a leading cause of death globally, is systematically affected by climatic conditions. Using comprehensive data from multiple decades for both the United States and Mexico, we find that suicide rates rise 0.7% in US counties and 2.1% in Mexican municipalities for a 1 °C increase in monthly average temperature. This effect is similar in hotter versus cooler regions and has not diminished over time, indicating limited historical adaptation. Analysis of depressive language in >600 million social media updates further suggests that mental well-being deteriorates during warmer periods"

Reasons for Attempting Suicide among a Community Sample of Adolescents - "The motives of suicide attempts among a community sample of 99 U.S. high school students were explored. Participants completed an in‐depth computer‐assisted self interview about their most recent attempts as well as additional psychosocial measures. Results indicated that nearly 75% of the adolescents engaged in suicide attempts for reasons other than killing themselves and that depressive symptoms and premeditation prior to the attempt were significantly associated with increased risk for engaging in the attempts with death as a clear motive. Linking motive for an attempt (death, interpersonal communication, emotion regulation) and treatment approach may improve prevention of subsequent attempts and completed suicides."
This suggests that many suicide attempts are just to get attention

Decriminalization of Suicide in Seven Nations and Suicide Rates - David Lester, 2002 - "In a study of seven nations, suicide rates were higher in the years after decriminalization of suicide than before...
The present study examined the inf‌luence of decriminalization in seven nations, namely, Canada in 1972, England and Wales in 1961, Finland in 1910, Hong Kong in 1967, Ireland in 1993, New Zealand in 1961, and Sweden in 1864"

In Singapore, a Shocking Rise in Suicides from an Unexpected Age Group - "Although persons aged 60 and above account for just a tenth of Singapore's population according to government numbers, the number of persons from this demographic who committed suicide in 2017 was 129 out of the 361 cases across all age groups. That number was a record high in that age group since the government started tracking suicides in 1991... accumulated debt from habitual gambling, medical fees or living expenses are prevalent push factors. Brandishing a constantly changing skyline peppered with skyscrapers of banks and the iconic Marina Bay Sands casino and hotel, “the Switzerland of Asia” is also known to be one of the most expensive and most stressful cities in the world... Instead of spending the holidays alone in their nursing homes or one-room apartments, they will don Eugene’s VR headsets to enjoy a traditional Lion Dance or visit China together.One of the few developers in the world granted access to Facebook’s cutting-edge proprietary technology, Eugene has worked on other projects involving the elderly too, which include using VR to bring dementia patients to their old homes and help them remember their loved ones. Eugene told VICE that the trial run of his Chinese New Year VR sequence yielded generally positive reactions: many of the seniors were in good spirits afterward and seen chatting excitedly about the experience"

Elderly suicides: Why euthanasia is not the solution - "Is euthanasia or assisted suicide a solution we should consider, especially in light of the recent news that elderly suicides in Singapore have reached an all-time high last year? Some have indeed suggested so.Personal autonomy is one reason given, while for others, euthanasia is a compassionate way of ending suffering. The alternative to not providing euthanasia, it is argued, are the suicides that are already happening... in 2015, two British scholars published a ground-breaking study in the Southern Medical Journal of US states that have legalised assisted suicide... The study found that far from reducing suicides, legalising assisted suicide is associated with a 6.3 per cent increase in the total suicide rate – including both assisted and non-assisted suicides. For the over-65 age group, the increase is 14.5 per cent. This is alarming, especially considering that US-style assisted suicide is sometimes held up as a more moderate and well-regulated model, compared with the excesses of the Belgian euthanasia regime, for example. In Belgium, up to 50 per cent of euthanasia goes unreported, doctors end over 1,000 patients’ lives a year without request, and euthanasia is performed on children... Not only does legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide give the impression, as Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon observed in 2013, that society has “no (or at least low) collective interest in fighting to preserve the lives of those” who are eligible for such life-ending provision, such as the elderly or the terminally ill, such persons become more at risk of viewing their own lives as less worth living or protecting.And we might also ask, is there not a double standard in seeking to allow some people assistance in suicide, even as we do all we can to prevent young people and others from committing suicide?... support for euthanasia also often begins with the worrying assumption that certain people like the elderly and the sick would kill themselves anyway. But is this a truly compassionate outlook?For one, research has found that just as hearing about others’ suicides can increase suicidal behaviour, stories about individuals who consider suicide but decide against it can also lead to reduced suicide rates.This suggests that suicide is less inevitable than some might think... Offering euthanasia, on the other hand, validates the person’s belief that his life is lacking in dignity, or altogether worthless.This is not true compassion, but a failure to find alternative pathways out of those negative feelings. Autonomy then becomes a form of abandonment from the community."
So much for the "myth" of the slippery slope

Death by donation: Euthanizing patients for organs gaining acceptance - "At international medical conferences in 2018 and 2019, I listened as hundreds of transplant and critical care physicians discussed “donation after death.” This refers to the rapidly expanding scenario in Canada and some Western European countries whereby a person dies by euthanasia, with a legalized lethal injection that she or he requested, and the body is then operated on to retrieve organs for donation.At each meeting, the conversation unexpectedly shifted to an emerging question of“death by donation” — in other words, ending a people’s lives with their informed consent by taking them to the operating room and, under general anesthesia, opening their chest and abdomen surgically while they are still alive to remove vital organs for transplantation into other people...
While literally “giving yourself” to others might seem commendable at first glance, let’s discuss three downstream considerations to abandoning the dead donor rule.
►People with physical and mental disabilities have expressed that they feel stigmatized and that society devalues their lives. Would this send them a not-so-subtle message to get out of the way and do something noble with their healthy organs?
►How quickly would we see expansion whereby those who can’t speak for themselves are included as donors?
►What does it mean for all of us when our healers — physicians — are in a position that directly overrides nearly 2,500 year-long prohibitions against taking life?
Consider the case of Ben Mattlin, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. In a 2012 column for the New York Times, he wrote of the “thin and porous border between coercion and free choice” for those who feel devalued. On the subtle erosion of his autonomy, he wrote: “You also can’t truly conceive of the many subtle forces (to die) — invariably well meaning, kindhearted, even gentle, yet as persuasive as a tsunami — that emerge when your physical autonomy is hopelessly compromised.”... According to a 2015 article in the NEJM, of the 3,882 deaths due to physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia in Flanders, Belgium, in the year 2013 alone, 1,047 (27%) were due to medication dosages to hasten death without patients’ consent. Such patients are generally unconscious and may or may not have family members around.In 2014, a statement on end-of-life decisions by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine asserts that "shortening the dying process" should be permissible "with use of medication ... even in absence of discomfort.” When discussing these facts, two prominent physicians, one from the Netherlands and another from Harvard, told me that where they come from, they call that murder. When physicians are participating in a procedure designed to take a person’s life, will patients feel 100% certain that their physician is firmly on the side of healing? What message does it send about the value of every human life when physicians endorse the exchange of one life for another? What affect has it already had on physicians complicit in such death-causing procedures?"
Very soon euthanasia will become like abortion - just a healthcare procedure. And doctors who refuse to practise it will be slammed like those who refuse abortions are condemned today

The war within Islam. - "All over the non-Muslim world, we hear incessant demands that those who believe in the literal truth of the Quran be granted “respect.” We are supposed to watch what we say about Islam, lest by any chance we be considered “offensive.” A fair number of authors and academics in the West now have to live under police protection or endure prosecution in the courts for not observing this taboo with sufficient care... this idiotic masochism has to be dropped. There may have been a handful of ugly incidents, provoked by lumpen elements, after certain episodes of Muslim terrorism. But no true secularist or even Christian has been involved in anything like the torching of a mosque. (The last time that such a thing did happen on any scale—in Bosnia—the United States and Britain intervened militarily to put a stop to it. We also overthrew the Taliban, which was slaughtering the Hazara Shiite minority in Afghanistan.) But where are the denunciations from centers of Sunni and Shiite authority of the daily murder and torture of Islamic co-religionists? Of the regular desecration of holy sites and holy books? Of the paranoid insults thrown so carelessly and callously by one Muslim group at another? This mounting ghastliness is a bit more worthy of condemnation, surely, than a few Danish cartoons or a false rumor about a profaned copy of the Quran in Guantanamo"
Slate was so different in 2007

RuPaul's show proves that identity politics is a drag - "I leaned over to my girlfriend and asked what the big deal was with Trinity Taylor. Why did no one want her to win?“She’s the only white queen left, so people don’t really want her to win.”Man, oh man. That is rich. The host of the show, RuPaul, is ultimately the one who decides who wins the title of All-Star. RuPaul, a gay black man, actively selecting white queens over black queens because she doesn’t like them was such a perplexing idea to me.Apparently, this was the issue. Trinity Taylor, the only white queen left, had a very strong season from the start and hadn’t really faltered at any point. From many people’s perspective, she was the most well-rounded queen and deserved the title.But her winning would again suggest to the Drag Race fans that RuPaul and her show perpetuate white supremacy... After 10 episodes and fierce competition, a draw. Both were inducted into the Drag Race Hall of Fame. The crowd went wild, and most in the bar were generally pleased.But that was the problem with a tie. A black Queen won, yes. But it kind of felt like she HAD to win, or the fanbase would throw a tantrum... It’s a type of pandering that we now keep seeing over and over in award shows and events of that nature."

The Fiscal Impact of Immigration

An Atlantic article that came out in early August, Conservatives Are Wrong About What’s Driving Immigration, claims that:

"The math of immigration is never zero-sum, and the country’s resources are never finite. Over the long run, immigrant and refugee families do not just make the economy bigger, but also pay more in taxes than they take in benefits. They make the country stronger and richer, and its finances more sustainable."

I was curious about the details of this claim, so I looked at the link paper.

What I found was not quite what was advertised.

The abstract of the paper, New Findings on the Fiscal Impact of Immigration in the United States, concludes that:

"Highly-educated immigrants confer large positive fiscal impacts, contributing far more in taxes than they consume in public benefits. To the extent that immigrants impose net costs, these are concentrated at the state and local level and are largely due to the costs of public schooling."

More specifically, Table 2: Dynamic 75-year Per Capita Net Fiscal Impacts for Recent and All Immigrants, by Public Goods Scenario and Education Level (2012 dollars), shows that even in the long run, even if you do not assign the costs of public goods ("the cost of national defense, interest on the national debt and foreign aid, among other shared expenses") to immigrants, those with a less than high school education are a net fiscal drag, and among all immigrants, those with only a high school degree are also a net fiscal drag.

Unfortunately, there is no breakdown of fiscal impact by both education and marginal cost of public goods, so we don't know if recent immigrants with a high school degree would have a net negative fiscal impact if the marginal cost of public goods were taken into account.

Some might say that the paper also points out that "the net fiscal cost of natives of similar education is far larger", but from a policy viewpoint a major objective of immigration policy presumably is to improve the fiscal situation - not make it even worse just because it's already bad (as the paper reminds us, we should use the marginal principle).

Similar research:

IZA World of Labor - Taxpayer effects of immigration

"The taxpayer effects of immigration need to consider the future paths of taxes and expenditures across generations. In the long term, the effects are positive in the US and in several European countries, and strongly positive for better-educated immigrants, but negative in other areas and for poorly educated and illegal immigrants and refugees

Links - 21st August 2019 (2)

We Need to Forgive the NYU Student Who Killed Her Child - "Michelle Jones is not like other PhD candidates rolling up to New York University this year. Firstly, she only got out of the joint two days before school started. Secondly, folks at Harvard are still arguing over whether they should have admitted her. And thirdly, when she was still a teenager, she killed her 4-year-old son and buried his body in the woods... we should forgive Jones because continuing to punish a woman for something heinous she did while a teenager will not help that woman’s murdered child in any way"
Luckily she didn't do something truly heinous and unforgiveable, like make racist remarks when she was 16 and be a conservative Parkland student, like Kyle Kashuv

How Harvard Should Handle the Kyle Kashuv Mess - "almost everyone did or said something in private at 16 that doesn’t necessarily reflect on their character years later... Harvard might conserve the valuable stigma that the college and its defenders want attached to racial slurs, while still alleviating the concerns of its critics, by affirming its desire for ideological diversity among its undergraduates and pledging to replace Kashuv with an openly conservative wait-listed applicant.“This isn’t about his politics,” it could then credibly announce."

Harvard is Dumber Than Twitter - "No matter which side you take, one fact is impossible to shake off: America’s premiere educational institution has just declared that, moving forward, it will be in the business of scrutinizing the personal correspondence of all applicants to assure that only those who hold correct views are allowed in.Just what are the correct views? Unlike the other criteria taken into consideration when evaluating a candidate for admission, the university has made no effort to clearly communicate the moral standard by which it now judges young men and women. Even if you accept that it is somehow Harvard’s business to parse something offensive a kid wrote in a Google doc to his friends some years ago, long before he was catapulted, through circumstances beyond his control, into national prominence, consider the following questions.Would Harvard, say, bar a budding anti-Zionist activist who tweeted that the Jewish lobby controls America with its dirty money? Would it punish a young African American kid who, emulating his favorite rappers, used language that is hurtful to women and gays? Would it censor only teenagers, or do offenses committed at 11 or 12 also count? Or would it reserve its harshest judgments for the wrong kind of people—retrograde whites, especially men, including Jews, certainly, but not members of other minority groups, except for Asians, against whom Harvard already openly discriminates? These questions make some sense when applied to social media, our unremitting court of public opinion where everyone is always guilty and redemption is never on the horizon. This week, Harvard proved itself even dumber than Twitter, replacing the golden standard of education—a process of trial and error, guided by empathy and care—with the mean-spiritedness, narrow-mindedness, and mob mentality of the social network. It’s really not much of an exaggeration, at this point, to argue that Harvard’s mission is apparently no longer the development of young minds but rather the surveillance of young souls from childhood on, in order to certify an immaculate record of political correctness. The main model that springs to mind for this kind of secular institutional rage for the moral perfection of children is the early Soviet Union, where childhood indiscretions or undesirable class or ethnic origins could cost budding scholars their shot at a Party badge. The Sovietization of what passes for “higher education” in 21st century America is sad. It also proves Karl Marx’s famous quip about history unfurling first as tragedy and then as farce... the same university that reacted so harshly to Kashuv’s transgression is also the one that just a month ago summarily dismissed perhaps the most directly influential senior African American on campus—Ronald Sullivan, the famous criminal lawyer and the master of Winthrop House. His crime? Representing Harvey Weinstein in court. Harvard believes that there are crimes that simply cannot be forgiven. For adolescents, that means using vile language in private conversation. For adults, that means defending people accused of crimes in the press in an actual courtroom, as the law demands. Now think for a moment about the values that Harvard is inculcating in its young charges. The moral is simple: Don’t let your children apply there, because sooner or later the result will be tragic—for them, for you, and for America."

New York passes bill to allow driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants - "The Senate approved the Green Light Bill with 33 votes to 29, and the result was met with cheers and shouts from the gallery... "We are taking a stand for the rights of immigrants in a time where their livelihoods are being threatened and degraded to extreme degrees"... Twelve other states have similar provisions"
Since a driver's license is sufficient to vote in New York (and probably the twelve other states)...

Matt Walsh on Twitter - "call me old fashioned, but i was raised to take care of my husband make his plate every night, wash his work clothes for him, make sure he’s up for work the next morning, always have a clean house for him to come home to, etc. and that’s exactly wife i will be"
"Read the insane responses to this completely inoffensive tweet. Apparently women are allowed to choose, unless they choose to be attentive wives. That’s not an acceptable choice anymore."
Feminism isn't about choice after all (except the choice to have an abortion)

Teacher Defends Her Sexual Relationship With Her Student By Arguing His Grades Improved - "Brianne Altice, 36 was sent to jail after she admitted to having sexual relations with 3 of her students. She was given a lengthy sentence of 2 to 30 years in prison during a high profile trial.Altice pleaded guilty to sexual abuse charges stemming from allegations that she had sex with three students ages 16 and 17 in 2013.Recently Altice has defended her relationship with one of the students by saying that his grades improved with a little help from her. "

Her ID pic is killing me - "*pretty brunette*
*ID pic in black hijab*"

How to Create a Guest Account in Windows 10 - "Windows used to have a dedicated Guest account you could enable that would allow someone to temporarily use your computer, while ensuring they wouldn’t see your private data. Guest accounts also had limited access, so anyone logged in as a guest couldn’t install software or change system settings.This option is no longer easily accessible in Windows 10—but you can still create a guest account using the Command Prompt."
Why do I need to use the command prompt to add a Guest account in the current build of Windows 10? Updates should improve things, not regress them. And with the frequent changes most of the information online about "Windows 10" and guest accounts is outdated

Where your tax dollar goes - "How much money does Ottawa spend and what are its biggest expenses?Most people think it's health care or provincial transfers. Most people are wrong.The federal government spent $311 billion in the fiscal year 2016-17. The biggest single expense was elderly benefits. This includes Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement... Budgets have evolved from economic planning to political documents. They are printed into tidy books and given titles like an "Economic Action Plan" and "Building a Stronger Middle Class." It's hard to blame politicians who try to spin whatever spending measures they're introducing. The brutal truth of public finances is, governments don't really have much wiggle room. Much of the spending is baked into the plan long before any politicians even get elected. In general terms, about a quarter of any budget goes to transfers to individuals (those elderly benefits we started with, but also Employment Insurance and Children's Benefits). Another quarter of the pie goes to the provinces (including the Canada Social Transfer and the Canada Health Transfer). Crown corporations, public debt charges and national defence combine for another 18 per cent. That's nearly 70 per cent of a budget all but spent before you even get to your ideas around jobs, innovation, tax cuts or whatever buzzwords dominate that year's leadup to the budget. Governments inevitably focus the budget on that discretionary chunk of spending. But can we have a proper, informed debate on public spending when all those sunk costs are buried in the back of the book and left out of most conversations?Yalnizyan says the conversation is too often focused on how much we're paying in taxes and not enough on what we're buying with those tax dollars."

'Child marriage a necessity in Kelantan’ – roundtable by PAS gov’t concludes - "A roundtable organised by the PAS-led Kelantan government has concluded that underage marriage is consistent with the syariah law and even a “necessity” in the state."

The Best Way to Handle Winter Weather - "Research suggests that there are two kinds of people who tolerate the cold very well: indigenous Arctic groups, and men. And the more people are exposed to cold temperatures, the better they acclimate... people can psychologically adapt to the temperature outside if they are exposed to it for about 10 days or more"

DNA Tests Can Have a Placebo Effect - "people who were told they had the high-risk version of CREB1 ran for less time than before, and people who were told they had the protective version of FTO reported being less hungry than before. The team didn’t rely just on these self-reported measures. The people who ran on treadmills wore masks measuring the oxygen and carbon dioxide in their breaths. The people who drank smoothies had their blood drawn to test for hunger-hormone levels. The participants’ bodies agreed with their perceptions of fatigue and hunger.If these effects persist over time, the genetic information could end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy"

How the Weighted Blanket Became a Must-Have Holiday Gift - "Weighted blankets have been used as sleep aids and calming aids in special-needs communities for years... the triumphant story of the Gravity Blanket and many of its new contemporaries sounds more like a story of appropriation—a story about the sale of the special-needs community’s promise of life-changing comfort to the meditation-app-using, Instagram-shopping masses... the mainstreaming of the weighted blanket seems to imply a conflating of chronic anxiety or sensory issues with feelings of stress—or, perhaps more ominously, the repackaging of a coping strategy that originated in a marginalized community as a profitable relaxation fad at a moment when people feel particularly stressed."
Social Justice ruins everything"
This puts paid to the claim that more rights for someone else doesn't mean fewer rights for you - and it's not just where gay/transgender cake is concerned

Head of ITV comedy drops all-male writing teams | ITV | The Guardian - "ITV’s head of comedy has said she will no longer commission any show with an all-male writing team, or one that has just a “token woman”.Saskia Schuster took action after an audit of her shows revealed “an awful lot” of all-male teams and a “significant lack” of women in scripted commissions. She said for every five scripts sent to her by a man, she would receive just one by a woman.
So much for "more rights for some people doesn't mean fewer for others"

John Cusack deletes tweet after being accused of anti-Semitism - "Actor John Cusack deleted a tweet containing an anti-Semitic image Monday, blaming the initial post on a “bot.”The image Cusack posted depicted a giant hand bearing a Star of David enveloping a group of people, accompanied by the words "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize," which it attributed to Voltaire, with Cusack adding, "Follow the money."The quote, frequently misattributed to the French satirist, was in fact said by American white nationalist Kevin Alfred Strom."A bot got me," Cusack tweeted after deleting the initial tweet. "I thought I was endorsing a pro Palestinian justice retweet - of an earlier post - it came I think from a different source - Shouldn’t Have retweeted."
What does this say about the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism?

Political Moderates Are Lying - "there is a tipping point for when opinions held by a committed minority spread to the rest of the population. The tipping point is 10%... group preferences can change at the drop of hat. When Barack Obama openly supported gay marriage in 2012, his view not only became the de facto position of the Democratic Party but also produced preference changes across the US. Group preferences can also change radically over time. The Obama presidency significantly changed the political alignment of the Democratic voter base. According to Pew Research, between 2008 and 2016, Democrats have moved significantly leftward on a number of issues including racial discrimination, immigration, and the role of government. This is not unique to Democrats, however, as Republicans’ political preferences have been “Trumpified.”... Today, polarization among Republicans and Democrats is staggering. Tracking 10 political values since 1994, the Pew Research Center discovered a 36-percentage-point gap between Republicans and Democrats. The gap was only 15 points in 1994... how do moderates navigate this complex web of political tribes and echo chambers?Simply put, they falsify their preferences. Most moderates conform to group preferences that have been established by committed ideologues... Campus ideologues have created an “ethical” code of conduct for which the rest of the student body must follow. Aware of the reputational costs of defiance, the moderate majority conceal their true feelings, quietly nodding along to campus diktats. According to Gallup, 88% of students at Pomona College agreed that campus climate prevented them from speaking openly. In fact, one Pomona sophomore noted that defying campus dogma could result in being “socially shunned.” Surveys from the Foundation for Rights in Education and The Harvard Crimson also confirm this reality... fewer Americans (32%) occupy the political center in 2018 compared to 1994 (49%) and 2004 (49%). Preference falsification artificially inflates political polarization. If our political preferences have been falsified then our differences might not be as pronounced or as authentic as we think them to be.Nevertheless, group-based conformity is dangerous. Especially when most of us don’t actually agree with the directives of our intransigent overlords. Conformity can lead us down a path that most of us did not want to travel... Political tribalism has even distorted our view of who our real enemies are. A poll conducted by The Daily Beast revealed that Republicans were more favorable to Kim Jong Un (19%) compared to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (17%). Similarly, Democrats viewed Kim Jong Un (82%) less unfavorably than President Trump (88%)."

Tage Rai on "Why people think their violence is morally justified"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 235 - Tage Rai on "Why people think their violence is morally justified"

"'Most acts of violence that people commit are motivated by moral feelings; that people feel, when they commit violence, most of the time, that what they're doing is defending morality. Their violence is righteous, basically.'...

'Examples that I would come up with would be… intimate partner violence might be a good example. And tied to that, things like sexual assault.So you know, I think a standard approach in the literature might have considered that, "Well, really what's driving that is an instrumental desire for sexual satisfaction," or something. And in fact you might think that if the perpetrator doesn't even necessarily recognize this victim as a human being and therefore they're morally disengaged from the act, they're just trying to get sexual satisfaction or something like that.Instead, that's actually not what we find at all.

What we find is that perpetrators really do ascribe a lot of mental and emotional states to their victims, a lot of moral considerations into their actions.And what they're trying to do is rectify what they see as a violated social relationship between them and the victim. Or between them and the victim's social category in general. So these men are trying to get back at women, or they're trying to get back at this particular woman. And they're trying to create what they believe to be the morally correct relationship between the two individuals.

And if you took that away, actually, if you did sort of strip away the humanness of the victim then actually the satisfaction of it would go away too, so the morality is totally tied to the act...

When we look at robbery… here's something where if I was really just thinking about it from an instrumental point of view I might have thought, "Oh, well, I should be robbing strangers out of convenience," let's say. So whoever's the easiest target, and I don't know them or anything like that.And that's just not really what we see. What we see is that actually a lot of times the robbery victims are people that you know'...

'If the goal of someone is to excuse their behavior and to mitigate blame, moral justifications are really bad in this context, right? Violent perpetrators shouldn't be making moral claims. They should be saying, "Oh, I didn't do it. It was an accident. I wouldn't do it again. I'm sorry." That's not what we see. We see they're owning their actions and saying, "Yes, I did it. I'd do it again. That person deserved it." These are all things that are going to make their situation worse not better.'...

The Iliad... We have this character, Achilles, who, basically, he's the greatest fighter, he's half-god. And the leader of the Greek army, Agamemnon, takes away his slave girl, right? And Achilles basically sulks in his tent and refuses to fight because his slave girl was taken away. He was given the second-best slave girl, when he thought he deserved the best slave girl. That’s your main hero on the Greek side.And the main hero on the Trojan side is this guy, Hector. And Hector is the brother of Paris. Paris is the one who kidnapped Helen and brought her to Troy, and caused this war to happen in the first place. And Hector's basically the older brother, and he's just trying to clean up this mess. And all Hector cares about is his family. He cares about his wife and his son or something, and he cares about his dad, and he cares about Troy and saving Troy and all of his people. And he doesn't have any special powers. He's just this really brave leader of the Trojans.And as a modern reader, reading this, who are you rooting for here?...

2,000 years ago, or 2,500 years ago, whatever, the ancient Greeks cheered in that moment. Achilles was the hero. Because he had sort of divine right and he was just naturally morally good. It was a completely different set of moral standards, that essentially makes Achilles the hero. And it was right for him to sulk in his tent. Of course he should have! He deserved that slave girl! And it would have been wrong for him to fight, because he had been offended... It shows this is a perfect example of how wildly different moral forms and values can be throughout cultures.'

'I increasingly feel, the more I read history, that the two main lessons I draw from it are, one, "Wow, people in the past were so similar to me. I didn't realize that people in the past could think and feel the same things I think and feel."And the other lesson being, "God, these are like aliens! How are these humans? I don't relate to these people at all!"...

I feel the same thing every time we read the Haggadah, on... I don't know if you've been to a Seder, a Jewish Seder on Passover. But there's this passage in the Haggadah, which is the thing we all read, where we're thanking God for all the things he did for us, including killing the firstborn children of the Egyptians. We're like, "Oh, it would have been enough if you had only done these things, but also you killed all these innocent babies! Thank you so much! That was such a lovely thing to do!"'"

Of course, there're people who claim morality is universal and timeless, and that we today know what virtue is, and that people in the past were wrong and immoral (and presumably, though they don't reply when I ask this, that people in the future who think differently from us will be wrong)

Links - 21st August 2019 (1)

READ: WAPO Opinion Piece Proves the NRA Doesn’t Only Exist for “Old, Straight, White Men” - "When offered a job at the NRA, McLaughlin expresses his hesitation.“While I was considering the position, friends urged me to say no because the NRA was homophobic and only existed for old, straight, white men. But I convinced myself that I would be able to leave my sexuality at home and bring my Second Amendment passion to work. I took the job.”After starting his new job, McLaughlin realized how inclusive the NRA is.“Two weeks after I started, at the NRA’s annual meeting in Dallas, Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, gave a speech that impressed me. He said, “We fight for you whether you’re black, white, rich, poor, gay or straight, because your life matters equally. You have every right to be proud of it and every right to defend it, and the National Rifle Association is proud to represent you.” McLaughlin writes.“I decided to be open about my sexuality at work. I was met with nonchalance. No one cared. I was embraced as a fellow Second Amendment supporter, just like everyone else. I work with people from all over the United States, from different faiths and of different races. Also, I’m not the only gay person. We are united in our belief that no one can take away our right to defend ourselves.”However, after McLaughlin released his op-ed, he was met with a lot of hostility from the “tolerant left” and took to twitter to express his disappointment.
"Interesting responses to my WaPo piece about being a gay 2A supporter:
The “tolerant” left called me racist, a traitor, ugly, fat, a nazi, a terrorist, homophobic and a disgrace.
Conservatives called me American, a patriot, a gentleman, a trail blazer, and a friend. #EnoughSaid""

The Use Incineration Bottom Ash As Land Reclamation Material - "Incinerationis a common waste treatment process that involves the combustion of municipal solid wastes to produce incineration ashes. More than 80% of these ashes comprise of a heavy fraction known as incineration bottom ash (IBA). IBA has been used in a few countries in road construction, embankments and other civil engineering applications. Another potential use for IBA is in land reclamation. Binding IBA with marine clay with additives produced solid matrices with high physical strength and low environmental impacts. Results showed that heavy metal concentrations within the matrix meet the Dutch criteria for industrial land use."
So much for the moral panic about running out of landfill space in Singapore

Trump Uses Chaos to Get Stuff Done - "the exhausting storms that mark political life in Washington obscure the ruthlessly effective work happening across the federal government."

Canada Declares Climate Emergency, Then Approves Massive Oil Pipeline Expansion - "Only one day after declaring a climate emergency, Canada has approved the expansion of a massive pipeline that will increase oil production in Alberta and release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

Kuroš Taheri-Golværzi - "That face you make when Democrats constantly repeat 'no one is above the law' while refusing to enforce immigration law"

L. on Twitter - "I told my homegirl “I attract fuck boys” She was like “you’re a woman, a pretty woman, you attract everyone. Then, you chose fuck boys” I damn near jumped out the car"

Mike Cernovich on Twitter - "No one talks about the Cambodian Genocide, which is among the worst holocausts as Cambodia never recovered. The reason why the media rarely brings it up? Pol Pot was a left wing communist"

Average internet speed up one year after net neutrality repeal - "Nearly a year after the repeal of net neutrality took effect, the average internet speed in the United States for fixed broadband rose 28% and the country is now ranked No. 7 globally.When the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality in December 2017, average internet download speed was approximately 77 Mbps and the U.S. was ranked No. 12 globally in average speed... Since the repeal took effect on June 11, 2018, average internet download speeds have increased 28% from 93 Mbps to 120 Mbps. "When I became FCC Chairman in January 2017, investment in our nation’s broadband networks had declined for two straight years," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement released last week. "So we turned the page on the failed policies of the past and charted a new course. We focused on reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens and cutting red tape that discourages broadband deployment. And we concentrated on updating our rules to match the modern communications marketplace ... The latest evidence reaffirms that our policies are working""

How do Spanish speakers feel about the term 'Latinx,' a gender neutral alternative to 'Latino'? - Quora - "Breaking the binary, as they put it, of the Spanish language is the ultimate measure of disrespect you could possibly do to the language. By attempting to ruin the grammar of their very language, which in many cases is the only thing binding every Latino together, you are showing that you do not care about Spanish. The only thing you care about is imposing an ideology and your dogma on a group of people who never asked for it. Or in other words, cultural imperialism, the very thing these people claim to be fighting against... If you genuinely respect the language and the people who speak this language on a day to day basis, and want to prevent this sort of strong-armed spread of words to cultures and languages who wish to not bear the brunt of a new wave of cultural imperialism, please keep using Latino and Latina. It is the correct way, it is the respectful way, it is the right way."
"Latinx is yet another term recently concocted by Western leftists that nobody in the real world wants or asked for. It’s another way for self-righteous westerners to feel good about themselves by supposedly fighting injustice and trying to include “everybody” by practising newspeak instead of actually doing something to change what they perceive as injustice.Just like cultural appropriation, hardly anyone outside the mainstream Western world (NA+WE+NE) cares... since many American Latinos were never taught in formal Spanish, they do not have the same kind of respect towards the Spanish language that a native Latino would... Latinx is a politically-driven word with no use other than to include an imaginary ultra-minority of third wave feminists. Unfortunately since this vocal minority dominates college campuses, the administrations of universities that are typically made up of pushover non-Hispanic whites (who don't understand the context) tend to follow along and use “latinx” as a way to refer to all Latinos out of respect to this vocal minority."

Why Men Don’t Like Funny Women - "After the students finished writing their quips, a new set of participants rated the captions. They found the men’s punch-lines to be ever-so-slightly more clever—about .11 points more on a five-point scale... In a 2011 study in the journal Intelligence, male participants also penned more amusing captions than women did... Men wrote some of the best jokes, but they also used more profanity and sexual humor, and those jokes weren’t rated very funny... In a later experiment, Mickes gave both male and female participants a list of random words, such as “beef jerky” and “water slide,” and asked them to write paragraphs using the words. Without prompting, the men wrote funny paragraphs. The women’s paragraphs were more creative and better-written, but they weren’t funny. However, a surprising thing happened when Mickes explicitly told the participants to try to be funny in their paragraphs: Both genders used humor, and in equal measure. As in hockey, it appears, so in lols: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. The 2011 Intelligence study similarly found that men wrote more captions overall, both funny and lame. In other words, men make more attempts at humor, so they are successful more of the time.“Men are willing to take more risks [in humor], and they also fail more miserably,” Gil Greengross, an evolutionary psychologist with Aberystwyth University in Wales and author of the 2011 study. But for the man, “it's worth it. If you fail and you're not funny, you lost maybe a few minutes. But if the person laughs, the benefit can be huge.”... Funny people are more likely to be smart. (In one of the many New Yorker studies, the students who scored higher on intelligence tests also generated the funniest captions.)... we rely on humor as a proxy for intelligence. On average, women tend to use their laughter to lure in potential mates, while men use their jokes to attract as many women as they can... both genders would say they wanted someone “with a good sense of humor.” It was only when researchers pressed their subjects on what they meant, specifically, by “sense of humor,” that the sex difference became clear. Women want men who will tell jokes; men want women who will laugh at theirs... The neuroscientist Robert Provine once listened in on dozens of spontaneous conversations in public spaces and identified 1,200 distinct “laugh episodes.” He found that women laughed significantly more than men did, especially when a man was nearby... A 2001 study that analyzed casual conversations among young people found that while men told more jokes and more successful jokes in mixed company, women told many more jokes when they were in all-female groups. “Evidently,” the researchers concluded, “women only joke when men are not around.”"
The research seems to suggest that men are funnier than women

FactCheck: do black Americans commit more crime? - "It’s true that around 13 per cent of Americans are black, according to the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau.And yes, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, black offenders committed 52 per cent of homicides recorded in the data between 1980 and 2008. Only 45 per cent of the offenders were white... academics have noted that the proportion of black suspects arrested by the police tends to match closely the proportion of offenders identified as black by victims in the National Crime Victimization Survey.This doesn’t support the idea that the police are unfairly discriminating against the black population when they make arrests."

Racial differences in homicide rates are poorly explained by economics - "a one standard deviation increase in percent black corresponds to a bit more than a one standard deviation increase in the county homicide rate. Controlling for the poverty rate, single-motherhood rate, and racial segregation rate, as we see in model (4), reduces the association with black to about 0.6 SD...
Although the data are somewhat noisy and single-motherhood is quite strongly associated with the black population (r=0.76 at the county level), it seems to me that:
there is a non-linear relationship between single-motherhood and homicide (which may be throwing off the linear model estimates somewhat)
counties with very high rates of single-motherhood have very high homicide rates even with negligible black populations
blacker counties with low-rates of single-motherhood seem to have homicide rates much closer to the national average (the same cannot be said for other covariates)...
Controlling for single-motherhood rates with an unweighted loess regression I find little evidence to suggest that percent black adds much in the way of predictive validity... By now I think it should be pretty clear that the economic conditions of each group are not particularly strong predictors of their victimization rates and that they certainly don’t come close to closing the white-black gap. Even poor “white” counties have homicide rates quite a bit lower than affluent “black” counties with low poverty rates... While blacks are more likely to live in “high-poverty neighborhoods” (>= 40% poor at census-tract level), only about 10% of blacks live in these neighborhoods nationwide... It’s also worth noting that the hispanic poverty concentration is pretty similar to blacks and yet their homicide rates are much lower (even controlling for poverty rates)... black immigrants in the US experience vastly lower rates of incarceration (much closer to the white average). It’s also not likely to be explained well by selection (e.g., cognitive ability, education levels, etc) because we find these differences even controlling for education levels... it’s hard to even grapple with these things productively as a society when we deny basic objective facts and suppress vocal dissent."
Keywords: Single parent

The Real Root Causes of Violent Crime: The Breakdown of Marriage, Family, and Community - "State-by-state analysis by Heritage scholars indicates that a 10 percent increase in the percentage of children living in single-parent homes leads typically to a 17 percent increase in juvenile crime.
The rate of violent teenage crime corresponds with the number of families abandoned by fathers.
The type of aggression and hostility demonstrated by a future criminal often is foreshadowed in unusual aggressiveness as early as age five or six...
Neighborhoods with a high degree of religious practice are not high-crime neighborhoods.
Even in high-crime inner-city neighborhoods, well over 90 percent of children from safe, stable homes do not become delinquents. By contrast only 10 percent of children from unsafe, unstable homes in these neighborhoods avoid crime.
Criminals capable of sustaining marriage gradually move away from a life of crime after they get married.
The mother's strong affectionate attachment to her child is the child's best buffer against a life of crime.
The father's authority and involvement in raising his children are also a great buffer against a life of crime...
Since 1965, welfare spending has increased 800 percent in real terms, while the number of major felonies per capita today is roughly three times the rate before 1960. As Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) says, "If social spending stopped crime we would be the safest country in the world... between 1950 and 1974 black income in Philadelphia almost doubled, and homicides more than doubled. Even the Reverend Jesse Jackson, whose prescriptions for social reform mirror conventional liberal ideology, admits that black-on-black homicide is not an issue of poverty. The crime rate in other communities also shows no link between low incomes and crime. The Chinese in San Francisco in the mid- 1960s, for instance, had the lowest family income of any ethnic group (less than $4,000 per year) but next to no crime: only 5 Chinese in all of California were then in prison. There is a widespread belief that race is a major explanatory cause of crime. This belief is anchored in the large disparity in crime rates between whites and blacks. However, a closer look at the data shows that the real variable is not race but family structure... According to the professional literature, the absence of the father is the single most important cause of poverty. The same is true for crime... "A close and intense relationship between a boy and his father prevents hostility and inappropriate aggressiveness."... The dominant role of fathers in preventing delinquency is well-established. Over forty years ago, this phenomenon was highlighted in the classic studies of the causes of delinquency by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck of Harvard University. They described in academic terms what many children hear their mothers so often say: "Wait till your father gets home!"... The benefits a child receives from his relationship with his father are notably different from those derived from his relationship with his mother... "The woman has a contract with the government: She will continue to receive her 'paycheck' as long as she fulfills two conditions: 1) She must not work; and 2) She must not marry an employed male.""

CDC: Children do best with two biological parents - "Two biological parents provide the safest environment for a child, according to a study released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics. The study is the first to look specifically at biological and non-biological parents, rather than married, cohabitating, or same-sex parents.The study found that children are more likely to experience potentially traumatic events, like household violence or a parent’s incarceration, when they live with only one or neither of their biological parents."

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Links - 18th August 2019 (2)

Rockets from Batam, statistics and MHA - "One incident that the Singapore government seems to be obsessed with is the alleged rocket plot aimed at Marina Bay Sands in August 2016. I have read repeated reports on this alleged incident in the mainstream media even though the district court in Jakarta had ruled in 2017 that such a plot did not exist... Despite the verdict of the Jakarta court, why does the government continue to mislead the public that there was a rocket plot against Singapore in 2016?... Paragraph 14 is not only baseless, it disrespects the verdict of the Jakarta court. It is telling Indonesia that we will disregard the verdict and will continue to use the alleged incident to instill fear of a terrorist attack in the minds of Singaporeans... Singapore prides itself as having an independent judiciary. Anyone who remotely criticises the judiciary is hauled before the courts under the dreadful Administration of Justice (Protection) Act. Shouldn’t we respect the judiciary of Indonesia by accepting its verdict even if this alleged incident of a rocket plot can no longer be used to instill fear in Singaporeans?"

Anti Social Justice Warriors - Posts - "Fancy Co-Living Spaces Are the Trendy New Way White People Ruin Everything"
"Damn white people and their ***shuffles deck*** ROOMMATES!!!! I seriously wish Vice would just come right out and admit what they really think: the very existence of white people is racist."

Hands-free bubble tea: Viral Japanese trend involves using your chest as a drink holder - "Ever got tired of using your hands to hold your bubble tea?Well, a new trend in Japan provides just the solution, that is if you happen to be blessed in that department... One in particular shared that the great thing about having a big bust was that she could use her laptop and drink iced latte at the same time."

Genetic analysis shows lasting effects of caste system on health of modern Indians - "The earliest Indian residents are believed to have migrated from Africa about 75,000 years ago. Other groups of people also arrived on the subcontinent, from Central Asia and East Asia, and intermarried a great deal.Then, around the year 500 something dramatic happened. The caste system began to show its effects... the caste system began to be enforced much later during the Gupta empire, which ruled northern India between 320 and 550. The empire, also known as Vedic Brahminism, was noted for flourishing economics, art and literature, as well as for its enforcement of ancient moral laws and conduct that all Hindus must follow. These laws included allowing marriage only within each tier of each person’s caste... intermarrying was quite common among all parts of Indian society until 500 AD, when genetic signs of intermixing rather suddenly stopped... Not every group cooperated with the Gupta Empire rules, however. Another study published earlier this year, found that intermarrying was (and is) quite common in some northeastern Indian societies, especially around the Himalayas... endogamous practices have had some effects on health and disease. These aren’t entirely due to castes — many populations in the country were isolated long before the caste system was enacted. But a number of population and region specific diseases exist, including Madras motor neuron disease, Handigodu disease, and pseudocholinesterase deficiency among Vysyas. In addition, a number of Indian ethnic groups have selected for MSTN and DOK5 genes, which affect lipid metabolism and could have an effect on the incidence of type 2 diabetes."
So much for the Indian revisionists who claim caste wasn't a thing till the British

The Puzzle Of Indian IQ: A Country Of Gypsies And Jews - "The question of Indian IQ is a big puzzle. Far trickier than China’s IQ which I think I’ve basically figured out (101-102 today; 106-108 genetic ceiling). The PISA-adjusted IQ of India – as extrapolated from the states of Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, which are relatively rich and are reputed to have good school systems by Indian standards – is a miserly 75.4... the differences between Indians, and East Asians and Europeans, are huge. India is in fact at the upper level of sub-Saharan African IQ which typically ranges from 65 to 80. There are lots of factors holding India back: Malnutrition (which is on average perhaps worse than in sub-Saharan Africa), vegetarian diets, poor education system, a moderately high rate of consanguineous marriage. But all that said the sheer size of the gap makes me skeptical that all of it is down to environmental factors alone... whereas “China focuses on giving the masses a solid basic education that prepares them for manufacturing jobs” India on the other hand “focuses more on giving outstanding university educations to the meritocratic elite.”"

Myanmar doctor's licence revoked due to bikini Facebook posts - "A Myanmar model and doctor said she would appeal against a medical council decision to revoke her licence for posting photos of herself on Facebook in revealing outfits and bikinis.The Myanmar Medical Council suspended the medical licence of Nang Mwe San in a letter to her dated Jun 3, saying she dressed inappropriately.On her Facebook page, the 28-year-old often posts photos of herself wearing tight dresses, lingerie, swimwear and even traditional Burmese clothing in sexy poses.Mwe San has been a general physician for four years, but stopped practicing two years ago to pursue a modelling career"
Given that Christopher Lee Kwan Chen got suspended for posting stuff online irrelevant to being a doctor too, it would be cultural imperialism and ethnocentrism to criticise the Burmese for having their own standards of proper conduct

Tunnbrödsrulle: The Ultimate Swedish Style Summer Hot Dog - "Anthony Bourdain once said that one particular Swedish street food was, “…the most disgusting thing ever…and I love it.”Tunnbrödsrulle is served at many fast food establishments and snack bars in Sweden, just like any other hot dog you could pick up at your local gas station here in the States. But for those who’ve tried tunnbrödsrulle, they know it’s unlike any other hot dog.Tunnbrödsrulle is comprised of mashed potatoes, sausage or hot dogs, lettuce, shrimp salad, mayonnaise dressing, onions, ketchup and mustard and is served wrapped up in a tortilla or flatbread"

Lucas Lynch - Don't worry. He has a PhD. - Reza Aslan: "Your dad raped your mom."
"Don't worry. He has a PhD."

Differences in exam performance between pupils attending selective and non-selective schools mirror the genetic differences between them - "On average, students attending selective schools outperform their non-selective counterparts in national exams. These differences are often attributed to value added by the school, as well as factors schools use to select pupils, including ability, achievement and, in cases where schools charge tuition fees or are located in affluent areas, socioeconomic status. However, the possible role of DNA differences between students of different schools types has not yet been considered. We used a UK-representative sample of 4814 genotyped students to investigate exam performance at age 16 and genetic differences between students in three school types: state-funded, non-selective schools (‘non-selective’), state-funded, selective schools (‘grammar’) and private schools, which are selective (‘private’). We created a genome-wide polygenic score (GPS) derived from a genome-wide association study of years of education (EduYears). We found substantial mean genetic differences between students of different school types: students in non-selective schools had lower EduYears GPS compared to those in grammar (d = 0.41) and private schools (d = 0.37). Three times as many students in the top EduYears GPS decile went to a selective school compared to the bottom decile. These results were mirrored in the exam differences between school types. However, once we controlled for factors involved in pupil selection, there were no significant genetic differences between school types, and the variance in exam scores at age 16 explained by school type dropped from 7% to <1%. These results show that genetic and exam differences between school types are primarily due to the heritable characteristics involved in pupil admission."
So much for the 'myth' of meritocracy

Antisemitic Violence in Europe, 2005-2015: Exposure and Perpetrators in France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Russia - "Available data on perpetrators suggest that individuals of Muslim background stand out among perpetrators of antisemitic violence in Western Europe,but not in Russia, where right-wing extremist offenders dominate. Attitude surveys corroborate this picture in so far as antisemitic attitudes are far more widespread among Muslims than among the general population in Western Europe."

Dutch Prof Warns No Western Society Has Managed to Fully Integrate Muslims - "Based on his 20-year-long studies on integration and assimilation, Ruud Koopmans, a professor of sociology at Humboldt University in Berlin, has arrived at the conclusion that Muslims are more difficult to integrate than other immigrant groups.Professor Ruud Koopmans suggested than no Western country has managed to successfully integrate Muslims. In an interview with the Danish newspaper Berlingske, he stressed that despite individual pattern breakers, the overall picture and the general trend are discouraging... Muslims consider themselves separate from other non-Muslim groups, and refrain from broader interaction with those outside their religion. For instance, almost 60 percent of the Muslims surveyed rejected the idea of maintaining friendships with homosexuals, and 45 percent said the same thing about Jews. According to Koopmans, the fundamentalist interpretation of the Quran, which is prevalent among Muslims, prevents them from being integrated into Western countries. According to Koopmans' studies, up to 50 percent of Muslims in Europe hold fundamentalist beliefs. By contrast, the proportion of fundamentalists among Christians is much lower, at less than 4 percent. In his new book, "The Decrepit House of Islam", Koopmans paints a rather gloomy picture of the Muslim world; one marked by growing fundamentalism and sectarian conflicts. He concluded that when it comes to democracy, human rights, and political and economic development, the 47 Muslim-majority countries are worse off... attributing this to conservative views on the role of women, low investment into children's education and fundamentalist propaganda... [They] basically claims that the Quran and the Sunna must be taken literally, and that the way the Prophet lived in the 7th century must be the yardstick for how Muslims should live in the 21st century," Koopmans concluded. "Such a brand of Islam is, firstly, a threat to world peace. Secondly, it prevents integration.""

Fundamentalism and out-group hostility: Muslim immigrants and Christian natives in Western Europe - "Almost 60 per cent agree that Muslims should return to the roots of Islam, 75 per cent think there is only one interpretation of the Koran possible to which every Muslim should stick and 65 per cent saythat religious rules are more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live. Consistent fundamentalist beliefs,with agreement to all three statements, are found among 44 per cent of the interviewed Muslim... Against the idea that fundamentalism is a reaction to exclusion by the host society, we find the lowest levels of fundamentalism in Germany, where Muslims enjoy fewer religious rights than in any of the other five countries... Because the demographic and socio-economic profiles of Muslim immigrants and native Christians differ strongly, and since it is known from the literature that marginalized, lower-class individuals are more strongly attracted to fundamentalist movements, it would of course be possible that these differences are due to class rather than religion. However, the results of regression analyses controlling for education, labour market status, age, gender, and marital status reveal that while some of these variables explain variation in fundamentalism within both religious groups, they do not at all explain or even diminish the difference between Muslims and Christians. A cause for concern is that while among Christians religious fundamentalism is much less widespread among younger people, fundamentalist attitudes areas widespread among young as among older Muslims... While about one in five natives can be considered as Islamophobic, the level of phobia against the West among Muslims – for which oddly enough there is no word; one might callit “Occidentophobia” – is much higher still, with 54 per cent believing that the West is out to destroy Islam. These findings concord with the fact that, as a 2006 study of the Pew research institute showed, about half of the Muslims living in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom believe in the conspiracy theory that the attacks of 9/11 were not carried out by Muslims, but were orchestrated by the West and/or Jews... These findings clearly contradict the often-heard claim that Islamic religious fundamentalismis a marginal phenomenon in Western Europe or that it does not differ from the extent offundamentalism among the Christian majority. Both claims are blatantly false"

The History of Singapore: Living in a Time of Deception

Episode 23: Living in a Time of Deception

"Poh Soo Kai (PSK) on his memoir's title: The left wing was deceived. Kuan Yew presented himself... pro-forma as an anti-colonialist. When in fact he was fighting the left and working with the British...

PJ Thum (PJ) on the British Archives : When you were going through the material, was there anything which really shocked you or surprised you or just jumped out at you...

PSK: I was very shocked. First I went there to find out what were the real reasons for my arrest. Was it security? I know it wasn't security but I wanted to know what they write, and the archives showed it wasn't security but political. We were arrested on political grounds. In fact Moore the acting high commissioner, PBC Moore wrote that "if it was security we should arrest them straight away"... it's because we were political opponents and he, the British admitted that we were the strongest political force in Singapore at that time. And so we had to be smashed. We had to be crippled...

The greatest shock came when first I found that Lee Kuan Yew was like, you take Clause 30. Where detainees were not allowed to take part in the 1959 Rendel Constitution election... we all thought at that time that it was the British who insisted on that clause. But when I read the archives, I was shocked because it was Kuan Yew who initiated the clause and who persuaded the British to introduce it. And told the British that you introduce it, you bear the blame. But I am going to oppose. I can't believe the deception, the depth of deception. And in the Tanjong Pagar by-election he went to the extent to tell the electorate look if you vote for me I will have that clause which was introduced by him, suggested by him removed...

'When Lim Yew Hock wanted to spill the beans when he felt that Lee Kuan Yew was attacking him unfairly'

'On the Chew Swee Kee case. He said in the assembly: you play dirty, I play dirty'

'And of course, this is all in the government hansard of course. When Lee Kuan Yew realises what is going to come out of Lim Yew Hock's mouth, he jumps up and says "That's a dirty lie".'

'And technically he's correct. Because Lim Yew Hock said he and Lim Yew Hock both saw the colonial secretary together. But it wasn’t so. The colonial secretary was careful to see each of them separately. So it was a lie. Technically a lie'...

[On being detained and getting newspapers] ‘Why black out the economic news?’

‘I don’t know. I mean why don't they allow me to read Barisan newspaper? It's published legally. I asked for it they say no, we can’t let you have it. Unless you apply personally to the director. So I did apply. And he says, no no, he says Dr. Poh, I permit you to read this paper, that issue because you are not a communist. And the letter was sent by his department through the prison to me… I had the letter with me but during my second arrest, it disappeared.’

‘So you had in writing at one point that you weren't a communist. So then did you respond well if I'm not communist why am I here? Why am I locked up?’

‘They said you’re pro-communist’...

‘In British hongs, British firms, if they employ a British officer and he comes down to Singapore, he falls in love with a local girl, he can't get married. He can’t. If he gets married they send him back, sacked.’
‘And what happens to the local girl?’

‘He can only keep her as a mistress. And they all do that’"

Links - 18th August 2019 (1) (Oberlin)

Gibson’s Bakery awarded more than $11 million in years-long legal battle with Oberlin College - "Gibson’s Bakery won more than $11 million from Oberlin College Friday in a lawsuit stemming from protests outside the College Street business in November 2016.The bakery sued the liberal arts college and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo after a robbery at the bakery.Three black Oberlin students were arrested after one tried to use a fake ID and shoplifted... After the students were arrested, student protests erupted, claiming that the robbery charge and physical conflict were racially motivated. Protestors urged patrons to shop elsewhere... The students pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in August 2017, reading statements into the record that Gibson was within his rights to detain the robber and that the conflict was not racially motivated... Raimondo handed out flyers calling Gibson’s racist and spoke into a bullhorn at the protests. The suit also said other professors participated. A member of the Gibson’s Bakery legal team said the jury found:
Oberlin College and Raimondo liable for defamation
Oberlin College liable for infliction of intentional emotional distress
Raimondo liable for intentional interference of business relationships"

Punitive Damage Award Makes Oberlin Verdict More Meaningful - "Given the prevalence of malice and falsehood in modern outrage mobs, the culture was ripe for a case like the Oberlin trial, and the plaintiff’s attorneys have drawn the blueprints for copycat litigation... employees and administrators helped publish and distribute the false flyer, including by disseminating it to the media. The college also suspended its business relationship with the bakery.Anyone who’s spent any time dealing with campus controversies knows that activist administrators often help, support, and even direct the activities of radical students. Some administrators seem to view campus activism as part of the educational process itself, a rite of passage that helps prepare them for a lifetime of political engagement. In my litigation days, I’ve seen multiple instances where administrators help activists formulate messages, plan protests, and provide university resources to favored activists. When activists are engaged in constitutionally protected speech, there is absolutely no legal problem with this kind of university engagement. When, however, student activists are spreading outright lies and violating the law, university engagement becomes extraordinarily risky.Second, the size of the jury award will create a legal market for litigation. There’s a relatively simple reason why campus free-speech codes proliferated well before there was a concerted legal counterattack — money. It takes money to sue universities, and First Amendment cases simply don’t yield eye-popping jury awards. It took the creation of large networks of nonprofit, pro-bono lawyers to turn the free-speech tide on campus. Common-law torts are different. Plaintiffs can receive real compensation, and universities have deep pockets. In a radio interview yesterday, I compared the verdict to the kind of sound that causes prairie dogs to stand alert — suddenly, lawyers are paying attention... Critics are already decrying the “chilling effect” of the Oberlin verdict. To the extent that the verdict causes activist administrators to pause and consider the underlying veracity and merit of the public campaigns they’re asked to join, then this is one chilling effect that may well do some good"

Oberlin College ordered to post $36 million bond to delay Gibson's Bakery collection of Judgment - "“there is serious concern about [Oberlin College’s] ability to pay this sizeable judgment three years from now”. Gibson’s Bakery devoted much of its opposition to arguing for a bond on the basis that Oberlin College was in poor financial shape
Get woke, go broke

WATCH: Oberlin College accused of trying to wait out bakery owner’s cancer death

WORSE THAN YOU THINK: There’s More To The Oberlin Story Than Previously Reported - "Protesters didn’t just remain outside making their false accusations. Some students actually entered the bakery and harassed customers. Lorna Gibson, wife of David Gibson (son of owner Allyn Gibson), testified that students entered the bakery “and began taking pictures of people and making nasty comments to our customers shopping.” Lorna said she asked the students to leave and they refused, “and then they started pushing their cameras in my face and yelling things at me.”She said students blocked customers from moving about the aisles. Lorna also testified the store employees had their tires slashed."

Oberlin and the price of wokeness - "When a faculty member in the theatre department wrote to a local paper, criticising the Oberlin campaign, Raimondo said in an email to her fellow administrators: ‘Fuck him. I’d say unleash the students if I wasn’t convinced this needs to be put behind us.’ She clearly saw the students as her own army she could deploy when she wanted. But, on other occasions, it appeared that the administration was deferring to the students, raising the question of whether there were any adults in charge... The administration seemed to live in fear of the students. In a telling moment in the trial, Ferdinand Protzman, chief of staff for administration, testified that the administration cut ties with the bakery because they feared students would create a ‘tantrum’ on campus, especially in the cafeteria during dinner. Specifically, they imagined angry students might throw Gibson’s food on the floor of the cafeteria and stomp on it. ‘Doesn’t that sound more like a nursery school than a college?’, Gibson’s lawyer asked. ‘Nursery school students do throw food on the floor, yes’, replied Protzman... The Oberlin case reveals more than the usual story of a few campus crazies getting out of control. For a start, it shows how the social-justice agenda has been institutionalised now, taking the place of the traditional intellectual mission. Administrators play a facilitating if not leading role in setting this agenda, including helping with protests to prove they mean it. Across the US, colleges have developed bloated bureaucracies over the past two decades, with spending on administrators increasing at twice the rate of spending on teachers (and adjuncts replacing full-time professors). These officials dominate student life, setting the rules for everything from freshmen orientation to ‘microaggression’ guidelines and kangaroo courts to handle sexual-assault accusations. More importantly, the Oberlin case has shone a light on how the culture in colleges has become deeply corrupted. Courtroom details showed how Oberlin’s pursuit of wokeness had left it devoid of a moral compass. An example is how the administration could not bring itself to condemn shoplifting... Shoplifting among students is already outrageously bad: Oberlin town police reported that 83 per cent of shoplifting arrests were Oberlin students. A 2017 article in Oberlin’s magazine discussed the school’s ‘Culture of Theft’, almost as if it was a fun rite of passage. One bookstore owner said she loses $10,000 a year in stolen goods to students. The article’s author himself admitted he shoplifted from the storeowners he interviewed. This is really sick: here are some of the wealthiest students in the country getting their kicks off from stealing from the poor townies. Clearly, the moral rot runs deep in this institution."
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