Archive for the 'Big Media' Category
I sense fear among the fiat establishment, and I love it.
Volatility is a serious problem, if you’re trying to put together a currency, rather than a vehicle for financial speculation. If the currency of a country ever fluctuated as much as bitcoins did, it would never be taken seriously as a medium of exchange: how are you meant to do business in a place where an item costing one unit of currency is worth $10 one day and $20 the next? Currencies need a modicum of stability; indeed, one of the main selling points of bitcoin was that it couldn’t be destabilized by government institutions. But that comes as scant comfort to people watching the value of a bitcoin behave like some kind of demented internet stock during the dot-com bubble.
In reality, then, bitcoin doesn’t really behave like a currency at all. In terms of its market value, it looks much more like a highly-volatile commodity. That’s by design: bitcoins were created to be the most fungible commodity the world had ever seen – to the point at which they would effectively erase the distinction between a commodity and a currency. (Read more)
And the dollar is stable???
This picture reminds me of how easily people like David Frum divorce themselves from their feverish advocacy of policies after all the death and destruction has been wrought.
Glad the Gun Owners of America are getting some publicity instead of the traitorous NRA.
States with the most gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths, according to a study that suggests sheer quantity of measures might make a difference.
But the research leaves many questions unanswered and won’t settle the debate over how policymakers should respond to recent high-profile acts of gun violence.
In the dozen or so states with the most gun control-related laws, far fewer people were shot to death or killed themselves with guns than in the states with the fewest laws, the study found. Overall, states with the most laws had a 42 percent lower gun death rate than states with the least number of laws.
The results are based on an analysis of 2007-2010 gun-related homicides and suicides from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers also used data on gun control measures in all 50 states compiled by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a well-known gun control advocacy group. They compared states by dividing them into four equal-sized groups according to the number of gun laws.
The results were published online Wednesday in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
More than 30,000 people nationwide die from guns every year nationwide, and there’s evidence that gun-related violent crime rates have increased since 2008, a journal editorial noted.
During the four-years studied, there were nearly 122,000 gun deaths, 60 percent of them suicides. (Read more)
ABC Provides the echo chamber:
19 arrested at Chicago mall – where were moms when teen melee shut the mall?
According to the Associated Press, about 200 teens rioted at the Ford City Mall in Chicago after a fight between two boys escalated into a swarm that spilled into the parking lot, wreaking havoc and destruction on anything in its path. Nineteen youths, ages 13 to 18, were arrested, charged with misdemeanor mob action. A 16-year-old is charged with battery of a mall security guard who was trying to evacuate the mall, AP stated.
Imagine if Glasgow disappeared. Not overnight and not physically, but imagine if everyone who lived there decided to leave, in the space of 10 years. Argyle Street, in the city centre – empty. Byres Road, next to the university – derelict. The Crow Road – abandoned (except, perhaps – if this were an exciting new BBC drama – for an old Iain Banks novel, rain-damaged pages flapping in a gutter, symbol of the great evacuation). All those tenements, riverside apartments, suburban villas, all lying vacant. You’d sort of notice, wouldn’t you? You’d expect people to talk about it, at least.
If your geographic history differs from mine, and you’ve no mental image of Glasgow to play with, consider, instead, Sheffield, or Nottingham, or Belfast. All cities of about 600,000 people. Imagine if everyone who lived there upped and left.
Not the opening scenes of a dystopic science fiction screenplay, but the unfictional, real London, whose white British population has declined by roughly the population of those cities in the 10 years between the last two census surveys. “White British” (as opposed to Eastern European) citizens now make up less than half of London’s population. This is a change of profound significance, by any historical benchmark.
We have an ugly phrase to describe the phenomenon – I used it a fortnight ago, in a piece about the Tories’ attempts to woo votes from ethnic minorities (a term whose meaning has changed: in London, at least, we’re all “minorities” now). The departure of people from London’s hitherto majority grouping is called “white flight”.
It’s tempting to be caustic about the current, undoubtedly brief, spasm of media interest in the phenomenon. No one seemed to mind as inner London became more and more multicultural: that was what made it so “vibrant”, after all.
. . . .
To read the BBC article, by the home editor Mark Easton, there is nothing to worry about. Indeed, the historic shift of London, from a city of white Britons to a mixture of minorities, is a cause for celebration, and not just because of that oft‑lauded “vibrancy”.
That the proportion of white people in the borough of Barking and Dagenham has dropped from four fifths to less than a half in a decade is nothing more than the natural desire of increasingly prosperous people to retire to the seaside. I’m paraphrasing Mr Easton a little, but that was more or less the suggestion in his commentary. It’s a rising tide of prosperity that first of all flushed the Eastenders from Bethnal Green to Dagenham, and it’s the inexorable rise in property values that leads their descendants to move from metropolitan Essex to that beautiful county’s coastline.
“Leigh[-on-Sea],” said Mr Easton, “is a particular favourite.” After all: “Many residents from Barking and Dagenham will have taken the train along the Thames Estuary towards Southend on a work excursion – the old beano to the seaside.” And so everything is dandy?
. . . .
Take Bethnal Green. The people leaving Dagenham now are themselves displaced Eastenders. The borough they first left behind would be unrecognisable to their grandparents, with a mayor whose election was supported by an Islamist group with unpleasant (to put matters mildly) views.
Hate crimes disfigure its streets: in an ironic reversal of one reason for the East End’s fame – that it was where indigenous, working-class Londoners faced down home-grown fascists – the streets of Bethnal Green and Whitechapel are now scenes of increasingly violent attacks on gay people.
Headline from the left:
The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery
Krugman invents a straw man to accuse Hoppe of inventing a straw man.
Funny: Angry Bear finds some of the usual suspects explaining How to Debate Paul Krugman, and the answer appears to be this: invent a straw man who bears no resemblance at all to the economist/columnist of the same name, and ridicule that imaginary person.
I have to say, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I could play the role of History’s Greatest Monster to so many people. Thank you for the honor!
Aside from the silliness of the exercise, this little exchange is another illustration of a point I’ve noticed before: the way hard-right commentators assume that the other side must be their mirror image. They insist that no government intervention is ever justified; so liberals must support any and all government interventions. They want smaller government, as a principle; liberals must want bigger government, never mind what for. They believe that deficits and printing money are always evil; liberals must be for deficits and money-printing under all circumstances.
An hour spent browsing this blog would quickly refute all of this, together with the bizarre charge that I never look at evidence; you may not agree with my conclusions, but I sure do post a lot of numbers. But obviously looking at what I actually write would just be too painful. (Read more)
How to Debate Paul Krugman: “Ask Questions Like a Child”