Tuesday assorted links


#7 unusual for sure. Cruel? Have you seen Bambi recently, it holds up poorly.

BBC's Animals of Fathing Wood is even better. It is a remorseless examination of life and death in a Darwinian paradigma.

Perfect for child molesters and murderers.

No, it is not like that. It is a fierce look into a Nature, red in tooth and claw.

Darwin, of course, faced slavery in Brazil but he also realized his love for God could be induced from nature when faced with the "grandeur of the Brazilian forest." He even quotes scripture there. Lincoln, who travelled the Ohio and Mississippi rivers gets less credit for his travels but the consummate rhetorician could cut anything down. Both were pockmarked with willful life, and Darwin's extravagance with associated with mincing geological chronologic with biological diversity helped prove Lyell's nonbiblical view of geology actually supports a biblical view of organic life: only God created species which were "immutable." Lincoln, on the other hand, doubted Christ's divinity. He kept platonic ideals that liberated reason instead of extending freedom. As the Poet Robert Burns writes: For I am keep it by Thy fear
Free frae them a'.
(Lander, Lincoln & Darwin)

Darwin liked very much his stay in Brazil.

Ichh nugierig zu erfahren, wwas bloggen System Sie gerade ssind Hilfe?
Ich erleben einige Moll Sicherheit Probleme mit menem neuestten blog und Ich
würde gerne etwqas finden, mehr sicheres .Hahen Siee

Basketball in Tibet: that's some high altitude play. When I visited, I got "mountain sickness" (same as in Peru). All the people there are red skins. I don't have the gene for high-altitude living.

4. How long before we get to read the articles on the unintended consequences of eliminating parking requirements? Two years? Three?

The consequences are not unintended. The goal is to make the city less livable for white males that commute and pay the bulk of the taxes.

Good Poe! You almost had me there.

The bulk of San Francisco’s taxes are paid by people who live in San Francisco, not commuters. City residents (many of whom don’t even own a car) overwhelmingly prefer the greater walkability and affordability that comes with reducing parking.

"Many of whom don't own a car"

And many who do. A casual walk down any street in SF shows nearly every available parking space occupied. To the extent that people do own cars, they swamp all available spots. Your generalization is vastly overbroad. Even San Franciscans who take Muni to work every day often own cars.

Less than one-third of San Francisco households (31%) have no car. While this is high by US urban standards, it is still a minority. It is nowhere near New York City (50%).


The city has two economists who do cost-benefit analysis of proposed laws. I'd love to see this one.

Cites have a huge problem. The planners want density which brings traffic. There is an abundance of money from gasoline taxes to pay for improvements and expansion of highways but only the citizens see the benefit in that. But mass transit and better yet light rail, that is where the money is for unions and large companies and kickbacks and voting blocks. So the car must go even if it hurts the citizens.

Great job channeling Trump! Perfect fiction instead of fact, plus religous dogma instead of logic.

LGBT Altitude Sickness! (Facebook gave out more data than disclosed). Tech Giants is "white supremacists." It's basically drunk driving, but the alcohol is corruption, the same corruption that inspired Michelle Goldberg to write this: https://www.thecut.com/2015/05/i-was-a-proud-non-breeder-i-changed-my-mind.html

Of course the only hope for change, is if there is a political punishment. Which does seem likely unless the democratic party changes. Say all you want about health care but how you can avoid mental health is about as big a blind spot as I've seen.

So how does the NYT do headlines?
The Times introduced native ad units to its homepage in January, with Dell, Intel and Goldman Sachs as the initial sponsors.

SEO Headlines, on the other hand, were driven by state names and sections that appear in the newspaper, presumably to bolster their relevance in searches that mention these topics.

"eventually [even] Thomas Jefferson persuaded his state to yield to the West."
So, how come Editorialists are changing their tune but the headlines haven't? In NYT organizational management, "New" is "Separate" and U.S." is "Equal." (The number 1 or 2 used words in NYT headlines). It's possible that weddings is "bed bugs," popular is SEO.


I bet $10 NBA turnovers per game went up in 2008 per weighted average.

Seems perfectly fact-based to my observation. Public transit, especially in the SF Bay Area, is used for political objectives including wealth transfer. This patronage is commonplace in Latin America.

Nope! I live in Portland Oregon and I have seen it first hand.

5. If this is supposed to be a valid excuse for shooting someone, shouldn't it apply equally to the police, and every other homicide defendant as well?

Maybe afterwards we can bring back "crimes of passion" as a defense too. I hear that the body has all sorts of hormones that go batshit when you hear your wife is cheating on you.

Makes me wonder if this "expert" was cross-examined about how the victim "saw" the threat posed by the (homicidal) officer. I don't see how the psych-babble justifies taking a life. It would seem to be excellent reason to disarm the police, however.

Right. So often we hear how the suspect didn't immediately and perfectly obey all of the officers commands. Perhaps the suspect was himself confused or scared or panicky. Maybe the suspect didn't understand what the officer said. Maybe he was blinded by flashlights in his face and disoriented. There are so many possible similar explanations for why someone might do the wrong thing in response to being surprised by a police officer suddenly pointing a gun at him.

Part of it is training, they train police to shoot and keep shooting until the subject is down and dead. Part of it is philosophy, if the police say drop the knife and you do not then the only logical conclusion in police philosophy is you intend to use the knife to kill the police. The idea or concept that you are innocent until proven guilty or that you do have constitutional rights doesn't enter into the equation. And of course they excitement/pressure of a multi-police, multi-squad car response with half a dozen or more police yelling different and conflicting commands everyone with a gun (the police, mostly) are ready to use it. There is literally nothing in police training to defuse the situation or to take any action other than shoot.

Of course having said all that the actions of the young man shot were incredibly stupid and contrary to the impression the story gives you he was very close to the officers and acting erratically.

Guns kill people, and for every wrong police shooting there's at least one right one. I watch the "ASP" channel on YouTube, which has CCTV coverage, and the one that stands out, among many, of a heroic police action was this cop in Arizona I think, who was shot at by a white male from 10 feet away (he was crazy), and while the cop is on his back, and the white perp fleeing from the department store, and all parties moving like crazy (you have to see this video to believe it), the cop gets a shot off from 10-20 yards that drops the perp dead. It's obviously training plus luck (handguns often don't work well from these distances under stress). Way to go, one less crazy mouth to feed in prison. But then it seems you get those disturbing Minnesota (licensed black man carrier Livestreamed in car) and LA (Australian white women in alley who phoned in a threat and was meeting the cops to explain) videos for every heroic action (probably on balance more heroes than cowards however).

The incident of shooting a concealed carrier was a tragic miscommunication. Both parties were unclear and both thought the other was able to read their minds. The officer knew for a fact the victim was armed, and the victim apparently reached for his wallet in an area where a gun was likely to be. I believe the officer panicked. Minnesota has a gross negligence standard with respect to negligent homicide, and that likely tipped the balance in the officer's favor at trial. I've reached an uncomfortable acceptance of the jury decision. The jury had more information than any of us spectators.

In the latter case, the officer had a history of problems that the department overlooked because of his race, ethnicity and religion. Assuming all the facts are out, he panicked. There was no reasonable belief she was armed. His actions are clearly criminal.

In both cases the cops were charged and put on trial.

There is actually quite a bit in police training to defuse situations and avoid shooting. Has been for quite some time and growing further. In 10 million arrests there are only about 1000 deaths by cop. This implies a large amount of restraint. I forget the stat and don't have a source, but less than 1% of cops discharge their firearm at a crime scene during their entire careers. Obviously urban cops have higher than average shootings.

While I agree that no cop considers the legal ramifications at the time they pull the trigger, they act as if they do because the law is ingrained in their training, procedures, and attitudes.

The efficacy of a Crime of Passion defense varies by jurisdiction, but it still exists. It is often used to attack the mens rea of premeditated murder, resulting in conviction of the lesser included manslaughter charge. But it doesn't take more than a little prior thought and preparation to prove premeditation. Passionate actions are measured in seconds, not minutes and certainly not hours.

#4 The picture they use in that article can't be SF, can it? That looks like ME or somewhere else. I hope it is. Those houses are hideous.

#5 I'm a combat veteran although I've never been directly involved in taking another life. I've spoken with several who have and the agreed upon wisdom is that - past event #1 - a very clear line develops pretty quickly regarding the decision to kill. The kill chain can absolutely be trained and controlled, as well as the triggers which set that process (mostly muscle memory) into action.

The problem is that training pretty much runs the gamut as far as quality. Your CCW holder vs. police academy graduate vs. combat veteran vs. DevGru might as well be as far apart from each other in capability as the heavenly bodies. But there is a line that exists outside the subjective interpretation, and its only that line that matters.

"I feared for my life" might cut it for John Q. Public, but we should, and in my opinion do hold professionals to a higher standard.

#7 Cruel AND unusual.

Infortunatey it is SF, probably the western half. Much of the city looks like that and is zoned for single family housing only, which is a big part of the housing crisis. Those homes probably cost about 1.2M.

Indeed that is SF, most likely the Sunset District. Those houses were built en masse following WWII as affordable housing for veterans. Prior to that it was all sand. They are very small: 1200 to 1300 square ft with two or three bedrooms and one legal bathroom. Cost over a million now.

My brother lives near there and owns a similar house. I like the bay windows. I would never live there. I loathe California for precisely decisions like this article.

@Anon, @Willitts

Unbelievable. It looks like Emirati or Saudi row-housing. Maybe Sao Paulo, although there's too much space between the houses. I've never seen that section of the city so there's my answer.

Seven figures for that...proof positive that valuation has completely decoupled aesthetics. Also logic.

It's easy to say that a million dollar home should be a mansion. In most places they are. Of course value is set by supply and demand. More than half of SF houses are rentals. Both Proposition 13 which regulates property taxes and permit bureaucracy disincentivizes visible renovation. A lot of these houses have been passed down as bequests. Some have elderly owners. Some have multiple or extended families crowded in. Most have unwarranted additions that don't appear in listings. There are so many DINKs in SF that these can be quite spacious and luxurious for them. Tech money has driven house prices up.

The land these houses are built on is worth two to three times what the structure is worth. Dont look at the house. Look at the location of the dirt...er, sand.

Indeed, if you follow the photo credit, those houses are in Crocker-Amazon, or if you actually live here, outer-Mission.

And count me as an overpaid white male who will be very happy to see on-street parking have to compete with other uses. Although it is amusing to hear libertarians complain about not being forced by the government to buy bundled goods.

#4 Parking? Not in my backyard /s
Nice to hear about a move in the right direction.

Also the source for #5 -- nice. The web design is absolutely gorgeous and the articles all seem interesting and worth reading.

#6 What a wholesome story :)

Agree on #5. I'm going to have to start checking it regularly. Never heard of it before either.

5. The attitudes of law enforcement runs the gamut, from calm and polite to excitable and aggressive. I mostly have pleasant interaction with law enforcement. This past spring I was returning to my low country home when I was stopped by a local policeman for speeding shortly after getting off I-95. The officer asked where I had been, and I told him I had been in Florida for business for several days. He asked my business, and I told him I am a lawyer. He got all excited and said he knew I had to be a lawyer because of the Matlock (seersucker) suit I was wearing. He gave me a warning and sent me on my way. That had to be a first: avoidance of a speeding ticket because of a seersucker suit. My point, besides that I wear seersucker suits, is that this officer had a very good attitude. Now, he did not fear for his life: is someone who wears seersucker going to be a threat. Wearing gangsta outfits, on the other hand, could be hazardous to one's health.

If old white guys committed assaults at the rate of 6:1 to young black guys, then your treatment by the police would be a lot different.

landistin distinlan


“Wearing gangsta outfits, on the other hand, could be hazardous to one's health.”

Don’t go Trump on us now, rayward.

4. I've seen on this blog the same foolish rationale that minimum parking requirements are a "subsidy" for automobile drivers. This is a false frame.

Roads are a congestible public good, and cities properly provide them because of the market failure in the absence of government. Parking, both on and off street, is part of that public good.

Congestion is an externality involved in this quasi-public good. The mandatory minimum parking relieves a substantial amount of that congestion.

If you've ever actually lived or worked in San Francisco, you know that most houses are rentals with garages converted into illegal living spaces, often separate apartments. Street sweeping makes a substantial proportion of on street parking unusable. Off street parking is rationed by high prices and restrictions. The resulting population density (and low fares) makes public transit extremely crowded and filthy.

Not only will this repeal make all these things worse, it will be counterproductive to the stated goals.

That's a thorough way of repeating my claim above, that traffic logjam is an intended side effect. Also, I believe the marginal cost of a single parking spot can drop quite a bit if constructing a multi level large underground parking garage.

The thing is, that it doesn't really matter what you call it: subsidy, public-good, minimal parking requirements or anything else - it won't change the fact, that it's no longer financially feasible. A Prius alone takes up 90 ft² in space, which goes for about 3-400$/month in the Bay Area (cheapest industrial lease, similar to renting public space). Wow, that's a lot that comes in the package with owning a car! And while some may argue that it's a wrong alternative, since nobody would use that space for commercial uses (though car parking is a commercial business itself), start-ups like Grabb-it seem to try and capitalize on just that.

According to the text police officers are special. They experience "deadly force mindset" while the rest of us experiences self preservation AKA survival instinct.

5. Cops in America kill "only" 1000 people per year out of 10 million arrests. The vast majority of these 1000 deaths are justified. Of those that are unjustified, the cops are often punished severely.

I don't know the stats of cops using deadly force where the target survives, but about half of gunshot victims survive being hit with handguns.

This tells me the US does not have a severe and pervasive problem of cops using deadly force. The use is proportional to the amount of violent crime we have. We seldom see news reports for the hundreds of thousands of times cops restrain themselves in using deadly force and convince a perp to drop a weapon.

Every incident you hear of, including the one in this article, is only anecdotal. If you had thousands of such anecdotes, it would still be a minuscule portion of arrests.

Cops have a very difficult job making split second, life preserving decisions. The courts rightfully side with them most of the time, and when the courts don't side with them, the misconduct is usually obvious.

The number is consistent as well. The largest number are white males too since that is the largest criminal group.

We just see videos now which are exploited by "activists".

Cops have a very difficult job making split second, life preserving decisions.

That's the typical apologetic response when these incompetents fail at their job.

In reality, the use of the 14th century technology of an extremely rapid chemical action to drive a small metal pellet through the body of a person that fails to obey the orders of a public employee is rather strange while simultaneously technology exists to send machinery to other planets and propel men into space. The only possible explanation is that humans actually derive pleasure in killing other humans. Every armed law enforcement agent knows that at some point they might feel compelled to shoot someone. They go to work anyway. It can't just be the lucrative retirement benefits they'll get for only a few years of riding around in a nice car.

While an individual cop is somewhat inconvenienced by the paperwork that follows blowing somebody full of holes, uninvolved cops see it as a plus. Publicity means that people are reminded that not following instructions will result in death and encourages submission, which is what cops demand.

I'm sure that criminals who carry deadly force will play nice when they learn that no cop carries deadly force. And I'm certain that this new power dynamic will attract a better crop of candidates to policing as a career.

Interestingly enough, the armed services don't grab people off the street to make into fighter pilots. They're required to show that they're qualified for their position EVERY DAY. It doesn't take very many miscues before they're flying a desk and nobody has to die. Why should law enforcement be any different?

supply and demand

#7. "Creative" punishments are just aimed at getting press for the judge.

Few people, including the judges, think they are effective. Its just an extension of the judge lecturing defendants.

#1) Start by traveling.

#6 — first thought, there’s a lot of backstory missing that would be helpful to know. Second thought, Americans are very very decent, compared to run of the mill humans. And humans are very decent compared to run of the mill animals.

The warm reaction to this half-story baffles me. If the full facts made the mother's actions more sympathetic, they would have been included, from which we can infer that they do not. Given his absence from the reported events, it seems likely that the child was being removed from her father. I don't see how we can conclude anything from the article's omission of any mention of allegations against home except that the Post was entirely unable to corroborate them. For all that we have been told, Perriello took part in the unjustified parental theft of a child.

There is that, but OTOH the child seems to have spent her first five years living in the US.

So the mother-as-thief story doesn't make sense either. If she couldn't legally remove the child from Sierra Leone, why did she go to Sierra Leone in the first place?

Forgiveness lies in the realm of androgyneity. Sympathy is great, it provokes a bond between humans and animals and nature and space. Empathy is something different. Surely, no one can be angry at someone else for forgiveness. And yet, it is ultimately unfulfilling. Between man and woman lies not God or Animal between straight and gay lies not Good and Evil; there is no transcendence in forgiveness. As Alexander Pope writes: "Man hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest: in doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast." Yes, it must true to be a part angel; it is something else to be partly a brute. (Lander, Lincoln & Darwin).

Thank you for that interesting insight, although I believe you did not mean to say "androgyneity" at the seventh word, first sentence, and your last sentence lacks an important verb, in English.

I am sure I do not agree with you completely, though. Consider this, as a response:
"There is no mask that temptation (say, the temptation not to forgive someone who seeks forgiveness) cannot wear, and the idea that Satan (who is afraid of your guardian angel, by the way) is purely a logician is an illusion held by not a few naive people. Many a shifty old man (sad!) sees him as an opponent in an academic argument, but if he does the observer is still at the stage of games and trifles. Sometimes, though not often, the black desire to harm wins out over quicker and less bitter delights. When that happens, evil shows itself for what it truly is, not a way of life, but an attack on life itself." (from Bernanos, a funny guy, but awful serious sometimes ....)
or this
"More often than not, nothingness (for example, that aspect of nothingness which we look at when we think, what difference does it make if we forgive or do not forgive someone who does not seek forgiveness, or when we think, what difference does it make when we protect or do not protect others from those who do not seek forgiveness - does that cover it? yes it does) ... [nothingness] is reluctantly and despairingly taken to be the only hypothesis available when all the others have failed, since by definition it cannot be disproven (think about that!) and is beyond the scope of reason"
(Bernanos again)
or this
"The strange mistake (that one makes when one rejects the values of bravery in the face of evil and forgiveness in the face of repentance) was that of a man not yet aware that pride has no substance, being no more (pride, that is) than the name given to the soul devouring itself."

Forgiveness is a subset of Justice, in Heaven there is Justice and forgiveness no longer matters
Forgiveness is a subset of Wisdom, in Heaven there is Wisdom and
forgiveness no longer matters
Forgiveness is distinct from Forgetfulness,
in Heaven there is neither forgiveness nor forgetfulness anymore.

And yes, it is possible to feel righteous anger at those who offer forgiveness, either on behalf of themselves or, even worse, on behalf of others, where a request for forgiveness was neither said nor felt.

As I said, there is Justice in Heaven, and forgiveness and forgetfulness will have passed away with this earth and the evil thereof.

"How did you do it"
"do what"
"get her to act like a human?"

"It's not always easy to take our share of our neighbor's sufferings and understand it. But we may never deride or dishonor it, Madame, never, never, never. In our poor broken world, suffering is (what we see) the Good Lord. We pass Him by without noticing Him, of course. But once we've recognized Him, offending Him is a very grave, a very serious matter. You were hurrying out, Madame de la Follette (said the man who knew how to forgive when asked to the woman who did not know how to do that, but the roles could easily have been reversed, remember, before we sign up for this world we are equal in the sight of God, and some of us bravely sign up for places where we are at greater risk of being tempted to be unloveable, when the story winds down) , almost knocking the door down, and you thought that you were afraid of me. What an idea! You can see that it wasn't me that you were afraid of, but yourself. You can see, I think, that you were deliberately cruel. It was as if you'd killed your soul to get it over with. Yes, Madame LaFollette, I saw your soul die. And now you're ashamed. That's all to the good, but it's no more than merely a natural reaction, is it? We stand before the angels (see, I am not the only person to know there are lots of angels out there, every moment and every day) with the [result] [that is, the result of our selfishness and fear - for the record, I am an expert on nothing if not on selfishness and fear] in our arms, embarrassed and confused. What else does God ask of us? Very little. Sorrow for having done evil, THE DESIRE TO MAKE UP FOR IT, sometimes the tiniest glance heavenward (off topic, if you want to be a good artist, try to draw and paint that glance once in a while), the wish to know, to be better, to understand (1974, September ... if I had an hour to explain, just an hour, heart to heart ....) ... we must all do what we can , given the strength, the insight, the graces ..... and whatever else .... WE'VE RECEIVED. As for me, Madame de LaFollette, I bless you, I bless you with all of my heart."

(That was a speech in an obscure novel by Bernanos - the speaker is an old, miraculously kind, and prayerful man dying of cancer, and his caretaker/landlady has been mocking him, preceded by a few lines from "10 Things I Hate About You", a recent pastiche of a Shakespeare play).

It's easy to say that people should take public transportation to work but it's a lot harder to do. The fact is a large percentage of the people who live in San Francisco don't work here. That's the reason Google, Facebook and other big Silicon Valley companies run their own bus systems. In most cases, getting from San Francisco to Silicon Valley and other places in the Bay Area by public transit takes hours. That means that if you don't work for a big company with buses (and most people don't) you pretty much have to drive.

You might suggest that people move closer to their work. However, one of the hallmarks of Silicon Valley is a high employment turnover rate as startups and even big companies come and go. While 20-somethings may want to move every year, families with two earners (who usually need to commute to different places) much less ones with kids in school find moving harder to do.

And even if you, as I do, take public transit to work there is the matter of the weekend. The Bay Area is a hard place to navigate without a car if you are trying to shop even just for groceries; try carrying a weeks worth of groceries home on the bus much less getting things home from Home Depot. And if you want to get out and go hiking or surfing it's pretty hard to do without a car. (And I say this as someone who spent 14 years living in D.C. without a car.)

The San Francisco supervisors, who almost certainly all have cars and garages, know this. They also know that real estate developers, who are some of their biggest campaign donors, love the loosened parking rules. This is why the green argument is so appealing to our politicians. They can use it as a fig leaf for giving campaign donors what they want without doing anything to fix the wretched state of public transit in the Bay Area.

50 years ago other "idealists" gave San Francisco "urban renewal". The results were a disaster for the people who lived in those neighborhoods but the "idealists" didn't have to worry because they didn't live there. Now people are telling ordinary San Franciscans (and most of us are not millionaire homeowners) that they don't need cars and again it's ok for the "idealists" because they have cars and garages so they don't have to worry about the consequences of their vote.

#3: financed by China and construction started in 1970. What an interesting Cold War time event.

At the time, China was suffering deep into the troubled Cultural Revolution. Less than 10 years before, Tanzania and Zambia were British colonies. The Brits reacted to the project like a sour ex-husband that sees the ex flee with richer guy.

I love this quote from the time: "After all, Chinese laborers built some of the first American railroads, so why shouldn't they be able to build this one?" https://www.nytimes.com/1971/01/29/archives/tanzaniazambia-railway-a-bridge-to-china.html

1. Although Tyler likes to make tongue-in-cheek comments about our wisdom and civility, the MR comments on the blegs are great for learning where to go and what to do in new places. I went to Iceland this past summer, and the Iceland bleg from several years ago led to me going on my favorite hike and eating at my favorite restaurant there.

Here's a post on when I took the Tazara passenger train from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia: https://kenopalo.com/2011/09/06/the-tazara-total-time-2-days-1-hour-26-minutes/

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