Wednesday assorted links

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Was reading tweets and watching video about Alton Sterling. Jeebus.

Re Alton Sterling: let's not jump to conclusions. The suspect may have been on the ground, reached for the gun that was already removed from his pocket, then shot once in the chest and once when he turned around in his back. That's the 'best case' scenario but it doesn't look good otherwise.

#2: How can firms be sued for offering "bargains" that aren't "bargains"? I assume the courts have come up with a definition for what constitutes a bargain... but it seems pretty arbitrary to me.

I've been told the Nevada Gaming Commission refused to allow slot machines that showed bogus near misses to players. You almost won. I suppose they thought that was just too dishonest. You can make enough money without doing that.

Well, the article states that the suits are largely being brought under a California state law. So presumably the legislature has provided some sort of definition, rather than leaving it to the courts to calculate.

Which is not to say that's any better--this is California we're still talking about.

And yet somehow it keeps ratcheting up. "California Economy Grows To 6th Largest In The World"

It's almost as if regulation sometimes somehow opens up economic activity.

"It’s almost as if regulation sometimes somehow opens up economic activity."

That would be more believable except for the fact that they just displaced France.

"But California’s rise in the global rankings comes largely at the expense of Brazil, which is struggling economically, and France, which was burdened by a weaker currency."

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/07/05/california-economy-gdp-6th-largest/

Regulation is about finding balance, a sweet spot, which should produce better returns than more or less.

If we had fewer straw men that we live in a free market now, and the next regulation brings socialism, I'd rest easier.

Or the straw man that the 6th largest economy is getting its balance horribly wrong. For many, they might actually provide a better example.

According to the World Bank's metric the US has an index of 7 on "Ease of doing business", whereas France has a ranking of 27.

So, California surpassing France does not indicate that "regulation" is helpful. It could just as well indicate that France's regulation is worse than California's.

In any case, the most proximal cause is that Brexit caused the Euro to drop and therefore France is currently listed as smaller than California at the current exchange rate.

To be fair, the Euro has been weak for 2 years. And France has been low for decades. So regardless of exchange rates California was likely to pass France eventually.

Ever been party to a conversation involving a Frenchman and an American, both of whom think their respective country is the centre of earth and the height of human civilization?

In fairness, the strength of California's GDP growth does counter the narrative that California is an economic disaster due to regulation.

While this one data point is not definitive, it is a data point that doesn't fit well with the conservative narrative.

California, like the U.S. more broadly, is so blessed with valuable resources that it can afford a number of asinine growth-inhibiting policies.

That the economy thrives in spite of a regulation doesn't make it any less asinine.

Funny. Six days of the week success goes to the worthy. And then the worthy are a bit too generous, putting them right out of consideration.

For contrast, I think 4 former Governors (somewhere else) just wrote a note on the anti-California game plan, and it's consequences.

http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article85812392.html

The lawsuit against Amazon (that was dismissed on grounds of the arbitration clause) apparently alleges that "Amazon misleadingly uses the “highest price it can find for the item” for the “list price,” instead of the current market price, to make consumers believe they are getting a bigger discount than they actually are." "

https://www.truthinadvertising.org/amazon-coms-list-price/

Something like:
For a couple months, an item is listed at a given price.
One day (with no intervening change in cost or demand), a "List Price" $20 higher is added, and the previously-standard price is now called a "Sales Price."

Or, as PD Shaw says above, calling "the highest price we can find anywhere" the "List Price." I suspect this explains some of the crazy high list prices I have seen on Amazon items: the seller offers the same item on some other site for 5-10X the market price, and whatever bot Amazon uses to find these prices comes across it and uses it as its list price.

Well the Amazon price is now the one true price, so every other site should just list theirs relative to Amazon (5% below Amazon - wow a really great deal) or (10% above at retail Amazon) I guess I have to but this since I am in a hurry.

Of course it needs to be designed to exclude the "other sellers" that have zero stars because they are fraudulent or charge for shipping or whatever, but Amazon already does this on the item page.

Gray swans in Lake Geneva's future?

"football". Cute.

Also known as the "only true football". The game where real man test their courage, their shrewdness, their integrity, their strenght. Football is war, with all its ecstasies, miseries, broken rules, desperate chances, glorious failures, glorious victories, by other means.

And cheerleader T&A!

There's nothing like that in real football, it's a pervesion, a mockery of the fair game by the Yanks. Football is war, war is hell, and there is no chearleaders in Hell (or maybe there are if they were bad). Football is about man defying fate, it's about man battling man, it's about stealing the God's fire and making the world burn. Football, like war, is a test of character.

You fair talk some amount of pish, Thiago.

#6: Don't worry; warlords will start picking up the slack soon enough by recruiting disaffected young men to drive technicals in anticipation of the coming anarchy

#7: MiE: Brazilian Hippo Burgers. You're welcome.

"Canada has largely escaped this rising loathing for others." How helpful, and how far from condescending, that the author is able to look into the hearts of others. And check back on Canada's "near-unanimous celebration of diversity" after it suffers an Islamist-inspired attack resulting in mass murder.

You can't wait for a bomb to go off in the Toronto subway so you can say you told us so, can you?

Didn't they suffer one in Ottawa just 2 years ago?

You forgot about the one with the plane, that happened before most people alive today were born.

1. The Guardian article is part of a week-long series on Canada, organized before the Brexit referendum, though I imagine it's of some interest to Remainers wondering where to go if they decide to join the Brain Drain of Britain.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/04/guardian-canada-week-what-how-involved

We'll forgive them Terrance and Philip.

The Toronto article was fine, but most enlightening so far has been the Iqaluit article. I had no idea Iqaluit was 50% non-Inuit and had enough Muslims to support a mosque.

The Montreal article was rubbish. There was more to the victory of the separatist Parti quebecois than the wastefulness of the 1976 Olympics---and parallels between the PQ victory in 1976 and the Leave victory in 2016 that haven't gone unremarked elsewhere. A real disappointment if you wanted some idea of what the fate of Montreal can tell us about the possible fate of London.

(Also the writer never saw Leonard Cohen with some blonde in his favourite dive that closed thirty years ago, though he's probably sworn he did so often that he believes it himself.)

#7, Release some Rinos out there, see how well they do. If animals can survive there on merit them them do so. For humans the trend is towards open borders where invasive immigrants can go anywhere and effect the local "ecosystem" (i.e. job market/economy) in the name of progress and yet when it comes to ecosystems we go full naturist fallacy.

And seriously what would a be a natural predator to a Hippo?

1. Maybe Canadians really are nicer, but if this were in the U.S., a non-trivial number of people would identity as "X" on their Drivers License just for the hell of it. I'd consider doing so.

I never knew Turkey Vultures were ungendered... ;-)

I think Canadians are more likely than Americans to do weird stuff like that for no good reason.

#2 good. they never made any sense to me and seem like a bait for the uninformed or a tactic to let crazed dealhunters convince themselves to getting something they don't need

1. Just moved back to Toronto for wife's work. It's safe and prosperous, but completely characterless. Of all the big "cultural capital" cities in Anglo countries, it is the by far the least interesting.

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RE: Canadian immigration

Nobody knows how to successfully integrate randomly admitted people from poorly developed countries. Whether it is Mexican and Central American people (or, earlier, African people) in the United States, or Middle Eastern, South Asian and African people in Europe, the results tend to be multi-generational poverty and various degrees of alienation. Mutual recriminations ensue.

Canada has has almost completely avoided this, but it’s important to realize why. First, we cherry pick the hell out of our own immigrants. This results in relative equality between the groups that are here. Second, this is easy for us to do that because we are surrounded by three huge oceans, one of them spectacularly inhospitable, with a large country between us and the large numbers of random people from poorly developed countries in Latin America.

Toronto has almost twice the violent crime rate of NYC and LA. It's about the same as Houston.

Canada's immigration policy is better than most with somewhat of a focus on skills (though 80% of arrivals are still family members) but this is now shifting to a focus on family class.

And immigrants are already among the poorest people in Canada with the Fraser Institute estimating immigration entails a net cost of $22 billion a year.

But, like Australia, the biggest reason for the relative success of Canadian immigrants is that many arrive from successful countries; first from Europe and now from Asia.

This government study highlights the stickiness of relative poverty among immigrants even after ten years.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2014364-eng.htm

It also shows how the income of immigrants improved significantly after the government tightened entry requirements and linked some immigration to having a job in place.

As mentioned above, these policies are now being abandoned by the current government.

"Toronto has almost twice the violent crime rate of NYC and LA. It’s about the same as Houston"

I'm guessing this is the source: http://globalnews.ca/news/267663/crime-rates-in-the-largest-u-s-cities-how-does-toronto-compare/.

Violent crime rate (per 100,000) - Toronto, 907. NYC, 582.

Note the differences in definition of "violent crime":

USA - " violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force."

Canada - "homicide, violations causing death, attempted murder, sexual assault, sexual violations against children, assault, pointing or discharge of firearms, robbery, forcible confinement or kidnapping, abduction, extortion, criminal harassment, uttering threats, harassing phone calls, violent violations."

I have a hard time believing these two definitions allow an apples to apples comparison in rates of **violent crime** between the two cities. The fact that homicide rates (as reported in the article) differ by a factor of nearly 5 also suggests that the higher Toronto violent crime rate is not comparable.

Good find. The idea that Toronto is twice as violent as New York is laughable.

"harassing phone calls" are classified as violent crime?

Meh. It takes time to get to know people. Also, just look around a bit. There's basically every scene.

1. If Syrian refugees were all dentists and accountants, Syria would be Canada, and there would be no Syrian refugees.

Theory 1: Countries with clean teeth and clean books don't tend to create a lot of refugees.

Theory 2: There is an unambiguous answer to the chicken and egg problem.

I was in vevey in April and I'm positive that I saw a black swan in the lake there! Very likely Nelson was there All along!

Can upload a picture if necessary !

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