Friday assorted links

by on March 25, 2016 at 11:05 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Richard March 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

6. “Note that as meth consumption has increased, the rate of violent crime has declined.”

See how easy that is?

2 Chris March 25, 2016 at 12:33 pm

I agree it’s a terrible comment because it implies causation when there is just coincidence. The terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s was mainly due to Soviet support of domestic left wing European terrorist groups and others (such as the IRA). Muslim immigration had absolutely nothing to do with the decline of the Red Brigades, IRA, ETA, or Baader-Meinhof. They ended because either the European countries defeated them, the collapse of the Soviet Union deprived them of support, or political processes ended the conflict.

It would be more accurate to state that when the cumulative number of Muslim immigrants were low, Islamic based terrorism was non-existent, but has increased as more Muslims lived in Europe.

3 jizay March 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm


That was a disgustingly disingenuous article. Almost everything after 2000 is Islamic terror and everything before (IRA, ETA) abated for reasons having nothing to do with immigration. Why are these otherwise smart people so desperate to deny a problem?

4 AIG March 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

“Why are these otherwise smart people so desperate to deny a problem?”

Because they are humans, and biased. Of course, this is no excuse for actually putting down on paper something so obviously stupid.

5 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 12:15 pm

No one is denying anything. They are trying to encourage people to keep it in perspective and not adopt responses which are likely to contribute to further radicalization.

6 Harun March 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Better keep quiet about Islamic terror or the Muslims will become even more angry and kill us!

7 Thor March 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

If this is not an example of denying something, I’d would be interested in seeing what denying something really looks like!

8 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 11:44 pm

Harun – indeed, that would be dumb. The problem is “look, 0.001% of Muslims engage in terrorist activities …AAAAAAHHHHH!! they’re ALL coming to KILL us!” kind of thinking.

Thor – find me a public official, news outlet or advocacy group that denies anything. While they may not engage in the hysterics that you may prefer, to a number, they recognize the problem of radicalized terrorism among certain segments on Muslims (but this seems like not admitting the problem to you, because the faux problem as stated in respond to Harun is getting altogether to much press these days).

9 jc March 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Nice job, quickly demolishing the argument that meth use causes less violence.

Doesn’t do as much to disprove a suggestion that “the clear reduction of violence at the same time that meth use increased means that those who claim violence increased like crazy, due to meth use, are overstating their case”.

Was Scott arguing along the lines of the former or the latter (or both)? I’m not sure.

Sometimes people hint along the lines of the former while falling back on the latter when pressed. Krugman is a master at this. I suspect Scott, though, was simply arguing along the lines of the latter, and would only – at most – go as far as saying that the former is highly speculative but, I suppose, technically plausible (e.g., via some sort of mechanism such as newly injected out-group members result in slight subconscious decreases in out-group feelings b/w ethnically similar rivals that undermine violent motivation just enough to lower violent acts b/w these rivals).

10 AIG March 25, 2016 at 4:32 pm

As Global Warming has increased, piracy on the open seas has decreased.

Or is it, as piracy in the open seas has decreased, global warming has increased?

Surely, a professor economics at a prestigious university would be able to figure this one out.

11 Heorogar March 25, 2016 at 5:37 pm

#6 – The only way to defeat terrorism is to ignore it.

12 So Much For Subtlety March 25, 2016 at 10:19 pm

We have had lots of experience of terrorism since 1945. And no, ignoring it has not worked. The Russians tried to ignore the Chechens. Didn’t work. The public demanded a response. The public will always demand a response.

We also have a lot of examples of First World countries losing to terrorists. People like Yasir Arafat and Nelson Mandela died well respected by all, with fat bank accounts and Presidential limos. Gerry Adams will, no doubt, join them. As will Bill Ayers.

On the other hand we have examples of people who have won against terrorists. Latin American terrorists tried to destroy democracy. They managed to do so. The military took over and they stopped playing silly games. They ran death squads. They tortured. They executed. They won.

13 Thiago Ribeiro March 26, 2016 at 9:01 am

“We also have a lot of examples of First World countries losing to terrorists.”
You mean like the British caving to the Zionists after they murdered British soldiers?
“People like Yasir Arafat and Nelson Mandela died well respected by all, with fat bank accounts and Presidential limos.”
Like Menachem Begin? Oops, he was a prime minister. My bad.

14 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 11:51 pm

The notion that existing world powers have “lost” to terrorists defies any logic that I’m aware of. Like, that would imply that they actually won. If they have won in any sense, it is that people like you are falling over themselves to justify the expansions of the police state, curtailments of civil liberties, and reneging on principles that we should judge people based on their own merits, not their group identity.

In the Latin American examples you cite, the anti-leftist death squads, torture and execution, to a number, eventually led to backlash upon the return to democracy and the entire continent went very much to the left. Yeah, the “terrorists” won, but only because they got killed in such large numbers and horrific manners that the public evaluated that those doing the killing could only have been on the wrong side of the good. (ummm… which foreign power supported those torturous and extra-judicial killing-oriented military juntas?)

15 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 7:56 am

Over-reacting won’t help either. For example, in fighting the IRA, the British did not start to demonize all Catholics or all Irish as terrorist monsters. A handful of violations aside, they were pinpoint focused on the terrorists and their networks, as we should be in the present day as well.

16 Harun March 26, 2016 at 2:24 pm

IRA weren’t that religiously motivated, though. (Though I wonder about ISIS, how can ex-Baathists suddenly become Islamists.)

17 Thor March 26, 2016 at 2:46 pm

I am not over-reacting; I genuinely worry about — and revile — Salafist fanatics. I recently read what the Brussels attackers said. It was not a list of demands. It said: “Die infidels”.

18 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 11:54 pm

I worry about and revile them too. But I do not want to paint the other 1.59 billion with the same brush.

The response should be proportional to the risk.

19 Ted Craig March 25, 2016 at 11:14 am
20 Arjun March 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

What a rubbish explanation. “State-sponsored terrorism was a deeply Soviet phenomena…Russia is the birthplace of modern terrorism…” Never mind the incredible lengths that the United States also went in this strategy, (Contras, anybody?). Its especially hilarious that the article talks about the continuation of state-sponsored terrorism and al-Qaeda without even mentioning al-Qaeda’s origins in the US and Saudi-sponsored jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan. But I suppose that would run counter to the mythology of the US being a bastion for peace, democracy and freedom that hacks like this guy base their job security on.

21 Ted Craig March 25, 2016 at 11:43 am

So, it’s a “rubbish explanation” for the decline of terrorism in Europe because South America?

22 anon March 25, 2016 at 11:56 am

How old is terrorism? How long have terrorists made semi-intelligent, if irrational, use of available technology? Seems to me much older than 1960.

23 Axa March 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm
24 Adrian Ratnapala March 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm

The Gunpowder plot is much older still. But I don’t think it or the Orsini affair really count because they were not really trying to create a climate of fear among civilians.

But it’s also too broad to define terrorsim as merely terrorising civilians, as that strategy is probably as old as warfare. The Romans and Mongols certainly did it. If we define it as secretive, low-intensity warfare that uses post-gunpowder technology to terrorise civilians, then I suspect 19th century european anarchists and communists either invented or else greatly developed the strategy.

The Soviet government was simply the largest successor of the such movements.

25 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 7:58 am

As long as there have been kings, presumably.

26 A Definite Beta Guy March 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm

You should explain why the article is rubbish, not why you hate America. As an aside, the US did not blow up Soviet marketplaces as a matter of strategy. Nor did the Mujahdeen. The Mujahdeen and the US cooperated to shoot down Soviet helicopters. That’s not terrorism.
In contrast, Soviet-supported terrorists kidnapped the Italian Prime Minister and executed him. Soviet policy in the Cold War was to terrorize the West using the various Fifth Columns that have always existed.

27 Bob from Ohio March 25, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Arjun is an actual communist. Naturally he responses harshly to critics of Communist nations.

28 Arjun March 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Eh I didn’t really think the article through all that much, I just wanted to get a snarky comment in about the US and its sponsorship of terrorism abroad

And it is, in fact, accurate to describe US policy as such. Cooperation between the CIA and the various mujahedin factions went far, far beyond simply shooting down Soviet aircraft. Especially after 1985, CIA support included training people in making car bombs and other sorts of IEDs, supplying high explosives, supplying mortars and whatnot, etc. And it was known that the rebels were using this to indiscriminately terrorize urban centers controlled by the Soviets and/or their Afghan allies, like Kabul. At least, this is what I remember from my recent re-read of Steve Coll’s “Ghost Wars”.

There is actually a pretty fascinating article in New York Times from February 4, 1990, on this, titled “Afghans: Now They Blame America”, that talks about how Afghans were getting increasingly angry about how US-backed rebel forces were indiscriminately shelling civilians areas and killing hundreds. Here is an excerpt:

>In the courtyards of 1,000-year-old mosques, in the sinuous back streets of ancient cities, in smoky restaurants where men in turbans chewed mutton kebabs, ordinary Afghans regularly approached and asked – sometimes in puzzlement, more often in anger – how the United States could allow the rebels to fire American-supplied weapons into neighborhoods and bazaars, killing and wounding the ordinary people on whose behalf they claim to be fighting.

>During 1989, according to estimates made by Western relief agencies, rebel rocket attacks killed at least 1,000 people in Kabul, the capital, and perhaps several times that many across the country. But through it all, American officials insisted that the United States would continue to arm and finance the rebels, while supporting their refusal to negotiate with the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul. By the fall, the officials had begun to speak almost casually of the need for another ”season” or two of fighting before the rebels could force the capitulation of the Kabul Government.

29 So Much For Subtlety March 25, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Arjun March 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Eh I didn’t really think the article through all that much, I just wanted to get a snarky comment in about the US and its sponsorship of terrorism abroad

I think we got that.

Especially after 1985, CIA support included training people….

So basically you are objecting because after 65 years of the Soviets funding, training, arming and inspiring terrorism the CIA got a little bit of their own back? Fascinating.

ordinary Afghans regularly approached and asked – sometimes in puzzlement, more often in anger – how the United States could allow the rebels to fire American-supplied weapons into neighborhoods and bazaars, killing and wounding the ordinary people on whose behalf they claim to be fighting. … During 1989, according to estimates made by Western relief agencies, rebel rocket attacks killed at least 1,000 people in Kabul, the capital

Rockets? So those would be Soviet-made or Chinese copies of Soviet-made Grad-type rockets? How precisely is that the fault of the CIA? All you are showing is the well known Middle Eastern (and for that matter Communist) habit of blaming everyone else for their own problems. Muslim fire Chinese-made rockets at other Muslims and for some reason the American Crusaders are to blame?

Besides, everyone can see a Soviet-inspired piece of AgitProp. Of course the Afghans know why the Americans continued to fund the fight against the Soviet-backed puppet government. As soon as it fell, America went home. Although naturally the Left blames America for that too.

30 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 8:15 am

SMFS – Americans are a lot more careful about who they sell their weapons to. Generally speaking, this is much to their credit. But it also implies a degree of attributable responsibility.

Seriously? You’re questioning that American-made arms were intentionally directed to the rebels in Afghanistan? Arjun openly admits to his desire to shape the narrative to discuss American-sponsored terrorism, but you are denying basic facts.

31 Harun March 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Actually, most of the arms sent were Soviet stuff we bought from say, Yugoslavia or Egypt.

Even tried to send some Swedish stuff, too. Oerlikon 20 mm anti-aircraft cannon

We did send stingers.

32 The Anti-Gnostic March 25, 2016 at 11:17 am

#2 – this is why I can’t understand the drive for more, more, more immigration. There is increasingly less need for manual laborers, who are usually disabled by their 50’s. And other countries need their Talented Tenth so they don’t become like Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, etc.

33 Mr. Econotarian March 26, 2016 at 3:41 am

“this is why I can’t understand the drive for more, more, more immigration. There is increasingly less need for manual laborers”

Where do you see that? There is growing need for affordable house cleaners, gardeners, nannies for working skilled mothers, etc.

There was a big drop in semi-skilled manufacturing employment in the US (about seven million jobs removed), but even that sector has added a million jobs since the end of the recession.

Unemployment is down to 4.9%, which is very historically unusual for the US in recent times.

34 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 8:23 am

I think problems in Syria, Palestine or Afghanistan are rather unrelated to any brain drain.

Imagine: a million people with IQ > 140 go to Palestine, Syria or Afghanistan, but share precisely the same historical views as have evolved in those countries in the face of historical context and pre-existing culture.

What changes? An escalation of war sounds just as likely to me as anything else. Smart people are just as likely to want vengeance as anyone else, no matter that they are smart enough to see that it will not likely contribute to greater economic gains or political stability. An entirely different sort of values and attributes is what is required.

35 BC March 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm

“I can’t understand the drive for more, more, more immigration. There is increasingly less need for manual laborers”

No one is calling for mandatory, forced immigration. Under open borders, if demand for foreign labor decreased, then that would lead to less immigration (relative to the case of no decrease in demand). It’s almost as if there would be some sort of invisible hand that guides immigrants to the destination where they are most needed.

36 anon March 25, 2016 at 11:27 am

6 will go down in infamy, both for correctly pegging Obama as cooly rational, and fear of terrorism as lizard brain irrational.

37 Derek March 25, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Surrounded by well trained and equipped Secret Service agents with a $1.8 billion budget Obama is indeed cooly rational.

38 Heorogar March 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm

“Coolly rational” translated: ignoring terrorism is the only strategy to defeat it. Previously, Chamberlain and Hitler proved that appeasing mass evil is irrational.

39 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 7:25 am

Wait, is the devil incarnate for all the drone killings and bombing runs in a fair number of countries, or is he “doing nothing”?

Let us know when ISIS develops the capacity to build 2,000 tanks and 500 fighter jets a month, and starts massing armies in the general direction of Europe, and the Hitler analogies may seem rather more appropriate. In the meantime, it’s about 10,000 guys driving around the desert with jeeps and AK47s.

40 anon March 25, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Irrational answers. Shrug. If you can’t score where you err’d I probably can’t help you.

41 Cliff March 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Well that last bit is certainly true

42 anon March 25, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Are you joining the nitwit club?

OK. Can you explain why Secret Service costs might be higher in an election year? Or how we can kill an ISIS bigwig and be doing appeasement on the same day?

Stupid trolls.

43 anon March 25, 2016 at 11:28 am

5. Yes, probably. Good connection.

44 Cliff March 25, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Flynn effect is a general rise in non-g-loaded IQ scores over time. The article is about urban birds evolving to have superior immunity and to score better on some bird-tests the researchers invented.

45 anon March 25, 2016 at 8:37 pm

It is about environmental complexity yielding better problem solving, to which you answer with essentially semantic quibbles.

46 Alain March 25, 2016 at 11:30 am


I find it interesting that the core innovation from cafex is that they can protect the coffee machine. The robot arm, the sexy plexiglass, all there for protection.

They also built an app, so there is a little more than protection, but it looks like the vast majority of the effort is to protect again random people that would do harm. It’s a sad commentary on society.

47 Axa March 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

…or simple repulsion to human hair in coffee. Also, in litigation happy places, it’s good to isolate a machine that can get really hot and releases very hot fluids.

48 Alain March 25, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Lol, no.

These coffee machines can already be found in the offices of good employers within the US. Zero issues.

49 JWatts March 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

OSHA rules generally require robots of a certain size to be gated with an E-Stop circuit. I’m unsure whether this falls under OSHA rules and whether this is large enough to require gating. However, it’s quite likely it falls under some agencies purview.

50 Alain Hamel March 25, 2016 at 9:23 pm

In offices they don’t need the robot arm. The robot arm is there only to move the coffee from the coffee/mixing machine to the place where the customers pick up the coffee. The reason the customers don’t take the coffee from the machine is because the inventors assume that random thugs will break the somewhat delicate machine.

51 Brian Donohue March 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

#3 is good.

52 anon March 25, 2016 at 11:42 am

I have no objection to it in theory, because in theory it is all correct. But in practice?

53 Brian Donohue March 25, 2016 at 12:15 pm

If your point is that macroeconomics is squooshy, duh.

If you’re suggesting Noah’s article brings any acumen to the table, you are mistaken.

54 anon March 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

It is standard rhetoric to dismiss facts because they “belong” to your opponent. Hence, it is “Noah’s article” rather than the macroeconomic reality in Japan.

Kocherlakota’s proposed path was taken in Japan, it failed to produce inflation.

55 Brian Donohue March 25, 2016 at 12:31 pm

That’s not what that graph shows. Abenomics produced inflation. Deflation was running at 1% a year for three years before moving up since March of 2013.

Even now, inflation is still above 1%. Abe needs to do more to establish credibility. It took the US three cracks at QE to figure out the “whatever it takes” message.

Meanwhile, scads of people seem in an awful hurry to declare this a failure and shut it down.

56 anon March 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm

“Japan’s consumer prices increased by 0.3 percent on the year in February of 2016 after showing no growth in the previous month and beating market consensus, as cost of food rose further while prices of transportation dropped at a slower pace.”

57 Brian Donohue March 25, 2016 at 1:31 pm

As I mentioned in my previous comment, Japan had been running at 1% DEFLATION prior to Abenomics.

Repeating now, Abe needs to strengthen Central Bank’s efforts to “whatever it takes” if they want to what the 2% target.

Are under the bizarre impression that Japan’s Central Bank is unable to create inflation if it really wanted to?

58 anon March 25, 2016 at 1:38 pm

I was responding to ”Even now, inflation is still above 1%.”

59 Cliff March 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm

So you concede the actual argument, then?

By the way “so-called core-core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, rose to 0.8 percent.”

60 anon March 25, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Cliff, your ability to join a conversation and miss it’s meaning is amazing.

After much effort, Japanese inflation is running 0.3% annually, to which Brian answers, well they should just try harder.

I consider that quite laughable, a promise from blog comments that Japan only needs follow blog comment advice.

61 Brian Donohue March 26, 2016 at 1:58 pm

@anon, I was quite satisfied with how the thread proceeded and presented to anyone who might come along and read it.

Don’t mistake my lack of response to your last couple comments for acknowledging that you have a point here, because, beyond ‘squooshy’, you really don’t.


62 Philo March 25, 2016 at 11:44 am

The Kocherlakota op-ed seems weak. He assumes that newly-created money that people deposit in their checking accounts will in turn be deposited by the banks with the Fed–but why assume this?–and that the Fed will pay interest on these deposits–but in fact it need not do so. And he assumes that if the government borrows money to finance construction this will be stimulative (absent “monetary offset”), without asking how the money would have been used if the government had not borrowed it. Kocherlakota was one of the best Fed governors, during his time in office, but surely we can do even better!

63 Ethan Bernard March 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm

6: “Each year, unnecessary deaths bother us more than the year before.”

This is evidence of progress. As for the chart, I think non-islamic political groups in Europe have recognised that employing terrorism only makes them unpopular. It was a sad moment when Spain changed policy on Iraq following the Madrid bombings, because a political aim was actually accomplished through terrorism.

64 Horhe March 25, 2016 at 1:25 pm

They may just be bidding their time until they reach a critical mass in Europe. Why rock the boat with terrorism? In this sense, Daesh is acting against the interests of the community.

There should be a sort of occupational licensing for terrorists. Otherwise, you just get young idiots blowing stuff up and ruining the political play behind a well planned terrorist campaign. Remember how the IRA realized that human (and horse) casualties are not working in their favor, because it steeled the Brits against them. So they started phoning in bombs directly to the media, leading to evacuations and only generating property damage, secondary damage and annoyance. No more casualties. The Brits then just had to realize that the economics of continuing to fight the IRA were not good anymore.

65 Derek March 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Maybe the timing and pacing of the attacks is strategic. Enough to keep the security apparatus on their toes and overwhelmed, but not often enough to elicit a really strong political response. By next week focus will be on getting resources to accommodate the migrants, and women will be encouraged to dress more modestly to avoid attracting attention.

66 Axa March 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm

#2: great idea: a) real espresso, b) very low floor footprint (low rent), c) 50K unit price is relatively low

67 tedm March 25, 2016 at 12:16 pm

#3 Under US law, the article I Congress (1) determines the toolbox available to the Fed, and (2) retains the ability to create (or perhaps better phrased as convert) additional assets that can be used as currency held by the public. In other words, institutions matter.

Central banks do not necessarily have the powers attributed to them by macroeconomists (especially market monetarists) – or at least not those powers exclusive of other agents ability to offset, bypass, or restrict. It is foolish to assume that central banks are omnipotent within their policy sphere and therefore need only be credible – even if one believes that monetary policy in general can be effective over some time horizon.

68 anon March 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm

This too.

69 Yancey Ward March 25, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Kocherlakota, as he admits, makes a number of assumptions in order to strengthen his argument, but I will just point out that the growing Helicopter-Money crowd will also be the crowd that will want to end interest on reserves, and will want the Fed to never reduce the balance sheet. It is all a slide towards full monetization of government spending (and the monetization of a lot of other debt, too)- that is and was always the end-point. It probably is simply our nature to take this path since we really never seem to learn from the past anyway.

70 Ray Lopez March 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm

I agree Kocherlakota (what a name) made assumptions, just as no crowding out, however, his statement that helicopter drop financing of government is no different than traditional government financing is counter-intuitive. Over at the blog “The Money Illusion” by Scott Sumner, both Sumner, who presumably is well versed on this topic, a gadfly poster named Don Geddis, and myself all missed this point (we all made the same assumption that helicopter drop is different than traditional financing).

71 Hazel Meade March 25, 2016 at 12:23 pm

#6 Wouldn’t many of those terrorist attacks be from Basque or IRA groups? Or Red Army Faction, etc? How about isolating just the Islamic terrorist attacks from the rest?

72 Yancey Ward March 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm

That would require an honest argument.

73 cliff arroyo March 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

And we certainly don’t want that…

74 anon March 25, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Didn’t the article acknowledge that directly?

But this is getting deeply into the weeds. The core message is to look at realistic risk and opportunity costs. Policy should “buy” the cheapest (and therefore the most) reductions in death rate, not the scariest.

75 Stephan Bar March 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm

not necessarily so. The scariest attacks may have the most impact on the population perception of safety. It may have the greatest economic impact by curtailing tourism or triggering lockdowns of the city center as we saw in Brussels earlier this year. The RAF did not target the general population with suicide bombers.

76 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Stephan – Just to introduce a line of thinking that I’m somewhat aware of (not that I approve of it).

Since we live in democracies, when our governments engage in foreign/military policies against overseas actors, there can be a certain attributable responsibiliy to civilians. Since we select our own governments, civilians can be viewed as a legitimate target because they are assumed to have selected the policies taken by the government. However, it seems that the terrorists do not consider that we are likely to favour ever stronger responses in the face of terrorism.

Apparently they think we’re pussies who will demand that our governments cave when faced with a few terrorist attacks. Well, maybe we are pussies, since some seem willing to set aside important core values in response to events which, when put in perspective, really aren’t such a big threat as they are made out to be. Unfortunately, they aren’t pussies either, and the more we inflame them, the more they inflame us … well, fortunately most of the most powerful countries in the world are primarily headed by people with a level head.

77 Jan March 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing. Why are we counting white on white terror? It’s not even in the same universe as Islamic terrorism. Who cares if they are both almost always “homegrown” culprits. My stars!

78 Hazel Meade March 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm

If you’re trying to argue that Muslim immigration isn’t linked to terrorism, then you should really break it down by which groups are doing the terrorism over time. A long-term decline in white-on-white terrorism may be masking a long term increase in Muslim-on-white terrorism. And yes, that’s a totally reasonable thing to want to know.

79 Jan March 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

I’m arguing that, by the numbers, Europe used to have a bigger terrorism problem but that today, because it is Islamic terrorism, the freak-out factor is higher. No, we shouldn’t accept any kind of terrorism, but we also shouldn’t let the fear of it–especially when it is low by historical comparison–change our values and cause us to alienate a quarter of the world’s population. I’m not saying you are advocating that, but I fear it’s the direction we’re heading.

80 Careless March 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm

Yes, when you import the people terrorizing your country, that’s a bigger failure of the government than when you have natives terrorizing you.

81 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Careless – imagine that countries on the receiving end of Western bombardments were to have a similar outlook to your. How would they deal with Westerners? Oh … not well … maybe they can be understood after all.

82 Careless March 27, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Yes, Nathan, I’d imagine they wouldn’t want to import American drones at all. You moron

83 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 7:28 am

Careless – We drop 10,000 times more bombs on them than the other way around. Who is the threat to who?

84 Bjorn March 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm

#6. Dig the brazen racism. Only terrorism in Western Europe counts. Sorry Nigeria, nobody cares about you. Notice how everybody gets weepy and demonstrative about Belgium but nobody gave a second thought to a similar incident in Turkey the week before. Oh well as long as we all get on our knees and praise our mighty leftist leaders all is well. With the spreading cancer of virtue signalling closet lefties, unlimited immigration promoters, and the second Muslim Conquest, one can pretty much predict public schools in the U.S. will all be converted to madrassas in the next 20 years.

85 anon March 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Tragedy declines with the square of the distance. Like gravity.

86 Albert March 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Of course in Nigeria, they are, right now, holding candlelight vigils and such for the people who were killed in Belgium? Right? Care to provide some links? And maybe do the same for Turkey’s mourning for the victims in Belgium….

87 Hazel Meade March 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

It’s not racism, it’s exhaustion. There’s just too many of them to care about any but the closest to home.

88 Careless March 25, 2016 at 2:57 pm

It can’t be exhaustion, given that the attack in Turkey happened before Belgium

89 Cliff March 25, 2016 at 8:22 pm

“any but the closest to home.”

90 Careless March 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm

Belgium is really not that much closer than Turkey from here.

91 Anon. March 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm

If you find poop in the kitchen, you will be shocked. If you find poop in a toilet, it’s not very surprising.

92 Ray Lopez March 25, 2016 at 1:19 pm

It’s not racism, it’s politics. Violence is politics not racism (unless you are using the term racism to include politics).

93 Bob from Ohio March 25, 2016 at 2:57 pm

“Sorry Nigeria, nobody cares about you.”

Clearly wrong. When Boko Harem kidnapped 250 girls a year or so back, people created a Twitter hash tag “Bring Back our Girls”. Mrs, Obama even posed for a picture with the Twitter hash tag on it and tweeted it.

A Twitter hash tag!!! Tweets by the First Lady of the USA!!!

How more deeply could we care?

94 Jan March 25, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Yeah, just a hashtag, right?

Or are you just miffed we didn’t send a drone army to kill all those bastards (along with the kidnapped girls)?

95 Bob from Ohio March 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Did you read the “fact sheet”. We provide more aid to trailer parks destroyed by tornadoes.

We did send a “Multi-Disciplinary Team “. A comfort to the parents I am sure.

The hash tag was probably more effective.

96 Jan March 25, 2016 at 6:05 pm

So, we should have sent commandos into Nigeria, despite the elected government not wanting any troops there at the time, potentially risking the girls’ lives in some sort of rescue operation? Is this in our vital national interests? Do we need to engage? What do you seriously think would have been appropriate?

97 Bob March 25, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Jan, when did I advocate US military force?

Bjorn made an accusation of not caring. I merely pointed out we do “care” very much. Very much. Oh so much.

I realize I mentioned the sacred Obama name so you had to rush to defend the sacred name but burning strawmen like you are is a big fire risk.

98 Harun March 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Keep in mind that Nigeria was at first not so interested in our help.

They have domestic politics, too.

99 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 8:47 am

Solidarity and symbols matter, even when it is difficult to allocate resources for a diversity of reasons.

That you use the fact of the twitter post to deride the First Lady, implicitly suggesting that she would never go further if she could, it’s pretty hateful (? if not, pretty damn close) and mean thing to do.

100 Jan March 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

-Yes, this is the 12th imam, Bjorn.

101 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 7:30 am

Referring to fellow citizens as “cancer” is treading in dangerous territory.

What next, call them “cockroaches”, and suggest that we should squish the verim out of existance? Like was on the airwaves in Rwanda leading up to the genocide?

Check yourself.

102 Flat Eric March 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm

#2 I watched the video and frankly it’s hard to see that robot barrister replacing the human equivalent, Especially in cross-examination.

103 The Anti-Gnostic March 25, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Clever. Saw that as well.

But seriously, we will probably move more toward administrative/inquisitorial vs. juridical/adversarial model. Litigation has become too expensive and unpredictable.

104 Cliff March 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Wishful thinking

105 Cyrus March 25, 2016 at 12:52 pm

In a hypothetical future where technological disemployment has eliminated meaningful economic opportunities for most human beings, would you continue to find a moral role for overstating the importance of desert in outcomes?

106 Horhe March 25, 2016 at 1:27 pm

In a hypothetical future where technological disemployment has eliminated meaningful economic opportunities for most human beings, will we still be bringing in low IQ tribalist third worlders to muck up the place?

107 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 8:52 am

Maybe we can send the tribalist first world thinkers to the moon or something, so we can find out how all their preferred ways of doing things would evolve if not held back by all the things they hate.

108 Sam Haysom March 26, 2016 at 9:24 am

Or we could send them to China where they’d turn into sad, lonely, and desperate “translators” roaming the Internet in search of human interaction. On second thought no let’s not that do that it only takes one of those to ruin a website.

109 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 10:26 am

If I was looking for human interaction I’d go to the bar or chase Chinese girls more often. For practical purposes you’re not allowed to talk politics here and people are rationally disinterested.

110 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 10:27 am

Anyways, what’s with this lack of confidence that leads you to get your jollies by engaging in personalized insults online?

111 Ray Lopez March 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm

@#1 – Benin city disappeared. Sounds like sour grapes. Another reason might be they build with earth not stone, like the ancient Greeks. It doesn’t count unless a future generation can discover it. Building with earth is like those serpentine mounds made by American Indians–very easy to overlook, and bulldoze into some shopping center in Ohio.

112 Jamie_NYC March 25, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Yeah, the people built a magnificant city out of bricks, and then the British “burned it to the ground”! Go figure…

113 Ray Lopez March 26, 2016 at 11:32 am

How do you burn a brick, unless it’s a mud brick made of straw? Use better bricks say I…

114 S March 25, 2016 at 2:14 pm

The rate of Muslim terrorism is what is relevant to the Muslim immigration question. The Troubles and whatnot are a distraction to the question – if more Muslims move here will there be more Muslim terrorism and is it worth it?

115 Donald Pretari March 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm

#3…My assumption about helicopter money referred specifically to 2008/2009, when we were facing a deflationary downturn/spiral. In 1933, the Chicago Plan recommended raising prices and giving money to suffering households. It worked. The point of the plan is to keep short term interest rates low and create rising interest rates going forward using especially the 10 yr time horizon. In other words, a disincentive to buying short term bonds and an incentive to buy longer term bonds. At first, the longer term rise will be identified with the govt borrowing which creates an expectation of higher interest rates ahead. As times goes on, however, and as the economy recovers and govt debt begins to decline ( because of higher tax receipts and less aid to people and businesses, and, yes, monetizing the debt ), the longer term rise will be seen as a sign of a recovering economy. At that point, Fed policy can handle the issue of a recovering economy.

The Monetary policy and Fiscal stimulus should reinforce each other in creating inflation expectations due to the debt. it was in this sense that Keynes said that it doesn’t matter what the govt spends the money on. It doesn’t. It’s the borrowing that creates the inflation expectations. Of course, every govt expenditure should make sense on its own, whether it be spending on infrastructure, temporary payroll tax cuts, temporary sales tax cuts, a dated coupon, tax cuts on investment, etc. It goes without saying, in the real world, at least, that govt will help suffering citizens get through the economic downturn. In my view, following Buiter, we should just give money out and leave it there, or follow Friedman’s plan in his essay “A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability.” I admit there are good arguments my preferred policies.

Since I prefaced my remarks by saying that this is what I would have done in 2008/2009, then what about now? I would put into place Friedman’s 1948 plan, which, being countercyclical, should begin working as hoped once it is put into place. I realize I’m asking for quite a lot.

116 Donald Pretari March 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm

#2…Robot tailors aren’t working out well either…

117 jim jones March 25, 2016 at 3:03 pm

As they say on Slashdot, correlation does not equal causation

118 AIG March 25, 2016 at 4:22 pm

#6. One has to be really really…and I mean really…dumb to think that. Especially if one is an economist.

As if, nothing else happened in Europe since the 1990s. Nope. Nothing else happened.

119 JWatts March 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm

“6. “Notice that as more Muslims have moved to Europe, the rate of terrorism seems to have declined…“

I’d like to see the same chart for the US. First, I imagine the correlation would be in the other direction and Secondly, the 9/11 attack wouldn’t even fit on that graph.

120 anon March 25, 2016 at 6:14 pm

To be non-emotional, use a chart of violent deaths in the US

Did terrorism budge those numbers?

121 Cliff March 25, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Pretty sure that was a tongue-in-cheek joke by Scott. I often miss his jokes as they are dry and it’s the Internet

122 Mark Thorson March 25, 2016 at 6:09 pm

I had thought my last two cats were killed by coyotes. The penultimate cat was last seen sleeping on my porch, and few minutes later I saw a coyote. Never saw that cat again. The last cat died violently, and eventually the body was found. That seemed odd — when a coyote kills anything, there’s usually no trace of the body. It was only recently I learned that owls also kill cats, and there’s lots of owls around here. They just kill and leave the body behind. This explains why owls kill cats but don’t eat them. Cats are competition. My cats certainly were — in summer they usually killed at least one rodent every night.

123 Shane M March 25, 2016 at 11:09 pm

+1. I didn’t know that about owls.

124 Tom Warner March 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Re: helicopter money, Kocherlakota is spot on, but dodges one issue: the real attractiveness of helicopter money proposals is the potential to circumvent a fiscally conservative or gridlocked government and legislature by giving fiscal authority to the central bank.

125 Tom Warner March 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm

by attractiveness I mean to supporters, not to myself

126 Tom Warner March 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm

also, his argument only applies to conservative central banks, not to regimes where central bank financing circumvents market discipline on sovereign debt.

127 Mc March 25, 2016 at 10:48 pm

you think the womyn are going 2 settle 4a cheezy, 10$ Dollah bill?

128 Mc March 25, 2016 at 11:01 pm

whatever denomination, delicate, and filled with grace

129 Mc March 25, 2016 at 11:12 pm

maybe 500 dollah, 1000 dollah

130 Mc March 25, 2016 at 11:18 pm

such is the numbahs, as we travel thru this sphere

131 Mc March 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm

the tumblers, subtly sway as we expand out into the universe

132 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 9:11 am

1) I was interested to find that, when reading Portuguese historical accounts of early official contacts in Sub-Saharan Africa, they referred to the political leaders unambiguously as kings, not chiefs or any such lesser sort of thing. It was the first Western historical account of interactions with Africa I’d seen which referred to a Sub-Saharan African historical leader as a king.

133 Art Deco March 26, 2016 at 9:24 am

#6: Kathy and “Carol” Fata, now this nonsense. Exactly how inane does an argument on behalf of disorderly foreigners have to get before it’s no longer considered utile by the advocates of open borders?

134 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 10:30 am

Well, speaking of disorderly people … have you seen what happens at a Trump rally when a silent black person shows up?

135 Art Deco March 26, 2016 at 11:52 am

No, but I’ve seen what happens when a twee Canadian who fancies he knows something shows up to libel people.

136 Nathan W March 26, 2016 at 12:35 pm

It’s not libellous slander when it’s true, for example numerous videos showing precisely such things. Shall I track down the links or do you want to research it yourself?

What’s with the rampant denialism of patently obvious things which connect Trump, Trump supporters and racism? I’m not saying that all Trump supporters are racist, but the ones who aren’t clearly they don’t have a problem with it.

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