Tuesday assorted links

1. Very good science educational channel on YouTube — Primer.

2. Joe Weisenthal on negative interest rates.

3. “The results provide evidence that referees favor home teams, teams losing during games, and teams losing in playoff series. All three biases are likely to increase consumer demand.

4. “This country does not rest on socialism and secularism. It rests on a bedrock of Jewish identity that has a lot to do with people who came here from Baghdad, Aleppo and Casablanca, and understand things that are deeply important about being Jewish in the Middle East and the Arab world.”  Link here.

5. ““In these fights between criminal factions, I root for the machete,” said Gilson Cardoso Fahur, a congressman from Parana state…

6. “Thanks to Hewlett and a few other people like him, I calculate that about 3% of billionaire philanthropy goes to climate change, compared to 0.01% of the federal budget.”  Or try this: “…the government recently admitted that its California high-speed rail project was going to be $40 billion over budget (it may also never get built). The cost overruns alone on a single government project equal four years of all the charity spending by all the billionaires in the country.”


6. Just think of the children of all the consultants and lawyers.

someone needs to check there privledge.

Hey, those kids won't get a birthday Beemer without an endless train of government money. Think of the children.

If 3% of billionaire philanthropy goes to climate change, 40% of that is funded by other taxpayers who have to make up for the tax exempt giving of the billionaires. I believe there should be not charitable tax exemption. If you want to give then give after paying taxes on your income.

+1, charitable giving should not be tax deductible

Dear Ms. Rat,
If you read the article instead of commenting out of your depth, you might disagree with your own statement. Try something new, and read something longer than a tweet.

I'll stand by my comment. If you can manage to actually post a counterfactual, then feel free to. Or maybe just try something a little deeper than baseless attacks.

Anon obviously doesn't understand how links work. Go and read the article discussed by clicking on the blue text. The internet is amazing, but these hyperlinks aren't all that new.

& somebody needs to check their spelling!

#6 "I calculate that about 3% of billionaire philanthropy goes to climate change" I assume that's all the flying they do.

6. Waiting to build transit after everybody has moved in, land is incredibly expensive, and construction costs accordingly are very high, proves, what, that Americans can't plan lunch. China builds transit when the costs are relatively low because everybody hasn't moved there yet and the people come to it. If someone were to propose building transit in a relatively undeveloped area in America, our hosts would complain that it's not needed and should be built, if at all, after everybody has moved in, the land is incredibly expensive, and construction costs accordingly are very high. Now about those autonomous cars: who is going to build the separate right of way necessary to make them possible?

people immigrate to America because cannonization requires ideals. Its a lesson we have learned unsuccessfully. Americans still can't grasp that Othello knew what he was doing the whole time. So, I'm idly believing something I have yet to prove. Israel represents that republican American ideal perhaps donated, or perhaps just lost, where you smile upon a fact. Our democratic ideal requires "perfection" all at once. A celebrity beat a Clinton? We equate production of capital with ownership of an idea. OK, maybe standard deviation flaps like a butterflies wings. And Jesus compared how he breathed to a butterfly's flight. He was so still, Indian's believe his conscious is Shiva the destroyer who inspired Picasso to, in what could only be explained by a donation of his very soul, to represent the crucifix as beautiful. Divide the average public confession by the average guilt trip, and you've found that the average "race" in America is still white. Is this distance a "RECKONING?" Shark bait is the leprechuan of pride. The most sacred object in the Vietnam War crucified the grave of Adolph Hitler. This valley of attack, it requires zero idol worship. It requires understanding the conscious, your own, to be just as important as what you say out lout. Speech is light, and everytime you pronounce a word you deciphering love from hate. Obviously, Proust proved imagination to be existential logic. Reason to laugh harder. Maybe Trump was what a democrat calls a scientific ending.

Narrative space is an allotment made for the reader. Quotations right? But the reader has to pay back in justice. Romance storms and the positive charge of entropy is domesticity. And that kitchen, I'll never get in because I know inside nature there is a key that unlocks the spell of time. Weather is how nature acts--interpret in accordance with your beliefs.

Have you seen The Squad's video campaign ad for trump?

"6. Waiting to build transit after everybody has moved in, land is incredibly expensive, and construction costs accordingly are very high, proves, what, that Americans can't plan lunch"

Europeans are building subways and railroads for a fraction of the cost. Government in the US is dysfunctional when it comes to new infrastructure building.

Why would incredibly expensive land make the construction costs accordingly very high? In reality, construction costs are higher in remote areas than in populated ones.

" In reality, construction costs are higher in remote areas than in populated ones."

That's not true when you are talking about subways and train right of ways. In the middle of nowhere, you are building across fields, in the city you are tearing down multistory buildings.

Waiting to build transit after everybody has moved in,

How did they move in?

By swimming over the Rio Grande.

#5 I made the mistake of watching some snippets of video taken inside the very large Brazil prison riots 2 years ago between Commando Vermelho and Primero Commando Do Capital.

I am also rooting for the machete. I came to the conclusion the world would be a better place without both of them. Go machete go. Win machete win.

How do they get machetes? Are they homemade or smuggled in?

If they can acquire machetes, why cannot they get, say, spears or pikes? The phalanx was an effective fighting structure for centuries; can’t you see it working with 6 abreast in a Brazilian prison cafeteria?

Both. And not just machetes....

"If they can acquire machetes, why cannot they get, say, spears or pikes? The phalanx was an effective fighting structure..."

Because they're criminals and their lack of impulse control is likely what landed them in prison in the first place. The Phalanx is an extremely complicated military formation requiring very strict discipline. Also, they're animals.

#2 is pretty good. I used to think "savers" were entitled to a positive real rate of return. Alas, no. You have to be prepared to take some risk (at a minimum, limiting your ability to liquidate immediately) in order to "earn" such a return. In the USA, you can currently guarantee a real return of about 0.75% by buying and holding a 30-year TIP.

In some currencies, time horizon alone is currently insufficient to guarantee a positive real return. C'est la vie.

Buyers of US 30 year bonds might not take any nominal risk, but they do take a whole bunch of real risk. I tend the go with Scott Sumner most of the time with on bubbles, but it does seem to me that an awful lot of trust is being pinned on the Fed to be trustworthy on inflation. That has definitely been the way to bet for the last 30 years but I am old enough to remember the 1970's.

If you buy TIPs, the only risks are if CPI doesn't keep up with purchasing power or the US defaults in the next 30 years.

How do TIPs handle deflation?

That is very complex; please see marketplace.org. Here is a snippet:

TIPS come with a “deflation floor” that protects the holder's principal value if the depression scare turns into a deflationary episode. In other words, if the Consumer Price Index is falling the floor guarantees the TIPS owner either the inflation-adjusted principal or the par value at maturity – whichever is greater.

(I was the inflation-indexed bond manager for a $15 billion fund when they were first issued.)

Thank you.

Re 3, the quote doesn't mention basketball yet it was obviously about the NBA

3: The problem is worse in the NBA (basketball is basically a worse game, with refs having too much power to pick the winner) but it exists everywhere.

Nice that someone has actually studied it. For decades, otherwise-smart people have droned on about "home field advantage" as if it were caused by "home cooking" (um, no, none of these guys eat at home) or "fatigue from travel" (um, no, at least half the time the home team had to fly home to play) or "the friendly fans" (um, no, if you're quality of play depends on people clapping, you'd be fired by age 15).

None of these things, even when added up, comes close to explaining the large advantage enjoyed by teams playing at home. People will spend weeks trying to figure out if they should throw sliders or cut fastballs to the other team's utility infielder when he's batting left-handed in the 7th inning or later, but just completely accept that their entire team has a 10% better winning percentage at home because of the "home cooking."

It's the officials. It's always been the officials. And if your favorite sport has a big disparity in home-road win differentials across the board... your home sport is arbitrary and dumb.

I can't help but wonder if 5 is a troll link for the "Brazilian" commenter guy. If so, I fully approve.

Looking forward to learning how Captain Super President Bolsonaro will solve this!!!!

#1 Only about 9 videos, so any eval is premature.

#4 - Interesting article, and I am glad I did some googling before commenting this time.

Yeah, I had to look up the distinctions between Mizrahi versus say Maghreb and Shepardic Jews, who aren't even mentioned by Friedman. He says the distinction is between Ashkenazim vs Mizrahim, and makes a good case for it.

Interesting article, but also troubling. If Israel is inherently and inextricably a Middle Eastern country, well the history of the Middle East nations doesn't give one a great cause for optimism. Feuding groups, ethnicities, religions, etc. seemingly peaceful only when controlled by a autocratic empire.

"the history of the Middle East nations doesn't give one a great cause for optimism". It depends on your time scale. If your time scale is one thousand years, you are right. If it is ten thousand years, then the Middle East (understood largely, say from Egypt to Persia) is by far the most innovative and creative region of the world. China and the Greco-Roman world are great too, but they are not really playing in the same league.


"Netanyahu says, You were mistreated by the elites. I am mistreated by the elites, by the media, by the judiciary [in the corruption cases he’s facing]."

Seems to be going around.

"But Netanyahu is incredibly competent. He’s intelligent. He’s an ugly politician, who knows how to push people’s buttons. And he’s helped by the naiveté, perceived or genuine, of the 'old left'."

Deplorable! But, once again, familiar.

"Benjamin Netanyahu overtook David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister — chiefly, says Friedman, because Netanyahu so well recognizes the cutthroat, merciless reality of Israel’s Middle East location "

To do any less would be suicidal.

I love Israel and Israelis.

"its California high-speed rail project was going to be $40 billion over budget "

That's $1,000 per Californian. And that's just the over-run. This may well be the biggest boondoggle in Human history if they never manage to finish a substantial portion of the project.

Peter Lindert in his Growing Public book (2004) about the growth of public sectors in modern economies (as a good thing, or at least not a bad thing) includes some discussion comparing total charitable giving by churches etc. to alleviate poverty and poverty traps compared to even minimal amounts of early modern government spending on the same types of things. The latter considerably dwarf the former, as I recall.

5. So Brazil can't even manage to keep order inside its prisons, let alone in its numerous favelas. Its corrupt president gave up on prosecuting corruption. Economists keep cutting their economic growth forecasts for Brazil.

There is no order or progress in Brazil. It's time to call Brazil a failed state. Sad.

#1 For a very good educational science primer, see Michel van Biezen's lectures:

4: Maybe right wing Israelis and their US unregistered neocon foreign agents and lobbying groups should stop using the same leftist Identity politics language whenever any criticism is leveled against them: victim mentality, nation of victims, speak on behalf of a besieged racial/ethnic group rather than individuals that they can improve their condition who need to rely on handouts or rely on the perception of continual oppression as an excuse for everything, they are their own social justice warriors.

But they are masters of victim politics and this Marxists language as they are beneficiaries of $4 billion per year US welfare check to help subsidize their defense so they can pay for goodies such as Universal Healthcare. Maybe US descendants of slaves and Sociology/Gender Studies/Afro-American Studies departments can learn a thing or two from right wing Israelis and their lobbyists and their victimhood appropriation whether justified or not.

C- trolling.

Though as someone who has had the food at Casa Bonita, I'll say you have a right to be angry.

Nah, that's D trolling

4. Jews are used to looking down at goyisher kops, but are faced with an uncomfortable reality: why is Israel so poor? If the Jews are so smart, and so business-savvy, why isn't Israel richer than Germany or Alabama? It's richer than Italy, but that's not saying much. The presence of the Mizrahi gives them someone to take their anger on. If only those "Arabs" weren't here, they can say, then Israel would be the richest country in the world. It keeps them from having to consider that maybe the anti-semites were on to something when they said Jews were smart but prone to dishonesty and corruption.

In fairness, Ashkinazim have how many points of IQ over Sephardim? At least a full standard deviation, I think.

I don't think anyone really knows how smart non-Ashkenazi Jewish groups are. Mari Stella Botticini claims they're all smart because of educational trends than transcend the North-Central European branch. It seems doubtful, but its not like there's clear data to the contrary.

Yuito, Franky, and M, what a gang of morons you are!

Well, who said Jews are so smart?
I don't think they are better than general.

Israel poor? At a ppp GDP per capita of 40,000 dollars, it is firmly within the group of rich countries. Quite impresssive considering it has no natural resources to speak of and has to spend a considerable amount of money on defense and security

#4 Some thing the left in the US fails to get is the extent of rabid antisemitism in the Middle East. The left thinks you can just go over and make good-faith compromises about land and get peace in return. It's not about the land or Palestinians. It's 90% hate.

Luckily, we have a lot of recent Arab and Middle Eastern immigrants in the US. Just go to one and start talking crap about Jews and watch the floodgates open.

Among the many fun facts you'll learn: There is a strong belief that Jews corrupted early versions of the koran for their own benefit. There is a strong belief that Islam predates Judaism and Christianity (this may be a Sunni thing, as I never heard about this in Shiite Iran growing up). There are many many conspiracy theories, most very ugly. Old people in my own family had real fears off blood sucking, though I think (hope) that has died out.

You can also read the koran and see what the direct word from above has to say about the Jews (online versions with keyword searches are great).

Maybe attitudes have changed since my rude awakening to these facts about 5 years ago. Maybe my sample size was too small/unrepresentative. So, please don't take my word for it. Take advantage of our multiculturalism and find out for yourselves.

Well yeah "The Koran is eternal, has existed forever and its revelation was only understood in corrupted forms by Jews and Christians and others" is an Islamic bedrock belief.

It might be offensive to Jews, and historically false and complete fantasy, but it doesn't seem clearly more so than trash like Jewish beliefs about being a special chosen people and the Biblical narratives of Israel and the Hebrew people.

On Joe Weisenthal on negative rates: be careful to distinguish deposits and credit! In a deposit, your stuff is available at all times. In a credit, you give up your stuff for a period of time. Not the same thing. When you hire a guardian to take care of your house while you're absent, you pay him. When you rent your appartment, you get paid. Old debate...

#4 - I applaud Israeli efforts to rid themselves of the Westernized social democratic interlopers.

Israel is becoming more Middle Eastern - this is inevitable.

I don't think the future is going to be very comfortable for the Ashkenazim, anywhere really. They should continue their trend of secular out-marriage.

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