May 13, 2011

Recent postings mulched

Google's Blogger was down for much of yesterday and today. It now seems to be working, but the last couple of days of my posts and your comments have vanished. You get what you pay for.

P.S. Thanks to a reader for posting the text in the comments here. I'll see if Google revives them with your comments. If not, I'll repost them for completeness sake.


Formerly.JP98 said...

Makes me glad I've been lazy about updating my Blogger blog.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there sites that take snapshots of the web and save them

I am thinking "way back machine" and other sites

perhaps one of the loyal isteve readers can go to one of these sites and grab all the missing content and give it to you, Steve

Anonymous said...

they'll be restoring it though?

Blogger is back now. We're still working on restoring some of the data. For more details, see this post:

Anonymous said...

The Goog giveth, the Goog taketh away.

Polistra said...

I normally save the Monthly Archives to my own computer fairly often, but I didn't save in time for this.

You may be able to recover part of the lost entries from Google searches. I managed to remember a unique acronym I'd used in my Thursday writing, and found one paragraph on Google, from which I can reconstruct what I was trying to say. But the whole thing wasn't cached.

Wayback machine won't help; it doesn't show things until they're 6 months old.

sf said...

I think everything is on vdare blog still

Anonymous said...

Luxury taxes on cars?

Something that's obvious to me living in California is that the level of tax cheating in the state is now extremely high. Whether from serving on the jury in an Iranian immigrant used car dealer tax evasion case or observing the expensiveness of the cars on the road, it's clear that there is a vast tax evasion economy in California.

A state needs a wide variety of taxes to reduce the payoff from figuring out how to game any single one.

Southern California is not (yet) the old Ottoman Empire where people lived in seeming shacks with opulent interiors to keep the Sultan's tax farmers from noticing and then squeezing them. There's still an if-you've-got-it-flaunt-it attitude that's especially visible in car purchases. Thus, the most straightforward way to tax gray market income would be through a luxury tax on car purchases. For example, besides the existing taxes, you could establish a simple incremental luxury sales tax on new and used car purchases that would be zero percent up through $10,000, then add 1 percentage point for each $10,000 of sales price over that.

Thus, a $20,000 car (e.g., a nice, big, new Ford Fusion or Hyundai Sonata, 4 cylinder, automatic transmission, power everything), would cost an extra $100 in luxury tax.

Price Tax
$30,000 - $300
$40,000 - $700
$50,000 - $1,200
$60,000 - $1,800
$70,000 - $2,500
$80,000 - $3,300
$90,000 - $4,200
$100,000 - $5,200

Or, you can put the starting point wherever you like, presumably at whatever you think is the most expensive car you'd buy. An $80,000 car won't get you from Arleta to Azuza any faster than a $40,000 car or a $20,000 car, so taxing more heavily social climbing cars doesn't cost society much in lost efficiency, just as major league baseball's luxury tax on the Yankee payroll doesn't mean that Alex Rodriguez quits baseball to take up a more lucrative career as a personal trainer.

Of course, cheating on this anti-cheating measure would happen -- dealerships would make kickback arrangements with seemingly 3rd party shops to add $4,000 wheels, and the like. But, this seems like a pretty reasonable way to catch a little of the tax evasion that is going on at low cost to the honest and thrifty.

Anonymous said...

Melinda Gates's Secret Plan

Once upon a time, rich people like the Rockefellers and Bushes donated a lot of money to population limitation charities. Now, that is vastly out of fashion because it's considered racist.

What if, though, the efforts of Bill and Melinda Gates to force every child to go to college are really a triple bankshot superduper secret effort to implement the traditional philanthropists' goal of lowering birthrates among the poor? But, this time, the rich are trying to do it much more indirectly by inducing underclass NAMs to waste time in college before having children?

Here's a 2008 NPR interview with Melinda Gates:
Melinda Gates Calls for More Emphasis on Education
Q. Can we reasonably expect 100 percent of high school students to become college students?
A. Yes, I think we can. And, in fact, I'm here today in the Chicago school district visiting with students – huge number of Latinos and African-American populations, and guess what? I'm in schools where 95 to 98 percent of these kids are going on to college, and it's because they started freshman year with teachers who believe in them and said, 'These kids can do it.' And maybe they are not coming in with the right reading or math skills, but we are going to bring them up, and we are going to have high expectations of them. And guess what? Those kids are succeeding, and those kids are getting into college.
Q. That would be a dramatic increase of the share of high school students, if 100 percent went on to college. I mean, you would be effecting an enormous social change if you could reach –
A. Correct, and that is the idea.

Does Microsoft Bobette have a plan? A clue? Beats me.

One important fact that is almost never talked about is that African-American fertility rates fell sharply in the 1990s, and that, basically, nobody is unhappy about that. The problem is that virtually nobody talks about why that happened. It's not the kind of thing you are supposed to study for lessons about how to reduce Mexican-American fertility down toward replacement levels. My vague impression from what readers have told me is that spread of the Depo Provera shot was not unimportant in the 1990s decline of black fertility. That sounds a lot simpler than sending everybody to college. But, you aren't supposed to know this kind of stuff; so who knows what really happened?

Anonymous said...

No, you get what you DON'T pay for.

Anonymous said...

Nigerian with 107 wives

About once every decade or two, the LA Times runs an article on some old guy in Africa with 100+ wives. I remember reading about a Kenyan in 1981, and another one in 1999. They're worth waiting for. In today's LA Times:

Always groom for one more
An Islamic faith healer in Nigeria has married 107 women. The wives seem happy, but religious authorities are not amused.
By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Bida, Nigeria
He fell in love with his first wife because she was sincere and eager to please. His second wife, a cousin, was irresistible because she did everything he wished and nothing he didn't. "That alone made me love her." His third wife won him because she submitted to his every request. "I saw her, I liked her. I went to her parents and asked for her hand in marriage."
Wife No. 4 was very obedient. So was wife No. 5. Wife No. 6, the same. As were wives 7 and 8 and 9 and …
Well, by then — it was the late 1980s — things had taken off for Bello Maasaba, an Islamic faith healer in this city in Niger state. He went from a wedding every few months to one every few weeks.
All told, the 87-year-old has married 107 women, which, even in a society with a tradition of polygamy, is on the high side.
Three years ago, Islamic authorities in Niger, a majority Muslim state with Sharia, or Islamic law, ordered that Maasaba divorce 82 of his wives, keeping four. He refused and was ordered by the Sharia court to leave town. (Muslim scholars generally agree that the Koran allows up to four wives, provided each gets equal treatment.) ....
With so many wives, how does he meet their romantic needs?
He smiles. Everyone asks him that.

Here's my 2002 article "The Problem with Polygamy," which was inspired by the 1981 article.

Anonymous said...

Nobody ever learns anything

From Bloomberg Business Week:

A Renewed Crackdown on RedliningIn the wake of the subprime implosion, the Obama Administration has stepped up its scrutiny of disadvantaged neighborhoods' credit access
By Clea Benson
Community activists in St. Louis became concerned a couple of years ago that local banks weren't offering credit to the city's poor and African American residents. So they formed a group called the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance and began writing complaint letters to federal regulators.
Apparently, someone in Washington took notice. The Federal Reserve has cited one of the group's targets, Midwest BankCentre, a small bank that has been operating in St. Louis's predominantly white, middle-class suburbs for over a century, for failing to issue home mortgages or open branches in disadvantaged areas. Although executives at the bank say they don't discriminate, Midwest BankCentre's latest annual report says it is in the process of negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Justice Dept. over its lending practices.
Lawyers and bank consultants say regulators and the Obama Administration are scrutinizing financial institutions for a practice that last drew attention before the rise of subprime lending: redlining. The term dates from the 1930s, when the Federal Housing Administration drew up maps using red ink to delineate inner-city neighborhoods considered too risky for lending. Congress later passed laws banning lending discrimination on the basis of race and other characteristics. "The agencies have refocused on redlining because, in the wake of the subprime explosion and sudden implosion, they are looking at these disadvantaged neighborhoods and not seeing any credit access," says Jo Ann Barefoot, co-chair at Treliant Risk Advisors in Washington, D.C., which consults with banks on regulatory issues.
The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requires banks to make loans in all the areas they serve, not just the wealthy ones. A Bloomberg analysis found the percentage of banks earning negative ratings from regulators on CRA exams has risen from 1.45 percent in 2007 to more than 6 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Because banks' 2007's credit practices should be a model for all eternity.
At the Justice Dept., a new 20-person unit dedicated to fair lending issues received a record number of discrimination referrals from regulators in 2010 and has dozens of open cases, according to a recent agency report. Potential penalties can reach into the millions of dollars. "We are using every tool in our arsenal to combat lending discrimination," Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Div., told a conference of community development advocates in Washington in April.

How'd that work out last time anyway?

Laban said...

I think Steve put them all on VDare.

If not I've got them on a feed aggregator - mail if you need copies.

"Nobody Ever Learns Anything" about restarting the housing crisis.

"Nigerian with 107 wives"

"Melinda Gates' Secret Plan" - education and fertility

"Thanks" - Stoppard

"Luxury Taxes on Cars"

Anonymous said...

Free is a very good price?

Formerly.JP98 said...

You know, I find it very ... interesting ... that Blogger went down less than 24 hours after someone suggested that Albertosaurus is the immortal guy from the old Star Trek series.

Anonymous said...

Blogger sucks. Switch to Wordpress, preferably hosted on your own domain. You never know when Google might decide your site is "hate speech" and delete it for good.

Anonymous said...

I second the earlier anonymous, I've always wondered why Steve hasn't switched to deploying Wordpress on his regular isteve domain (In case you don't sell it to Jobs that is). If you want any help, just ask for. I'm sure many technically inclined (and broke!) fans wouldn't mind volunteering their time to help you set it up.

Anonymous said...

You know, I find it very ... interesting ... that Blogger went down less than 24 hours after someone suggested that Albertosaurus is the immortal guy from the old Star Trek series.

Rats! Found out.

Today I'm beginning my own blog but I chose WordPress not Blogger. Maybe that was a wise move.