steem

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Ignorant Mob Assault on Rand Paul Shows How Political Tribalism Undermines Progress

Following the death of George Floyd in May, a bipartisan national consensus emerged that serious criminal justice reforms were needed. This put emphasis on an issue that already had broad spectrum support.

Polling shows that a clear majority of Americans support reforms such as ending “no-knock” search warrants, limiting police use of chokeholds, eliminating the civil liability shield for abusive police officers, mandating dashboard and body cameras, and more. In fact, even a majority of police officers support these reforms.

So why hasn’t Congress actually accomplished anything? Well, the disturbing saga that just played out featuring Sen. Rand Paul reveals the problem in a nutshell.

An irate mob swarmed the Kentucky senator and his wife as they left the Republican National Convention on Thursday evening to walk back to their hotel. Video captured shows the Pauls being shielded by police officers as members of the mob scream obscenities at them. Agitators then try to push past the police and assault the legislator and his spouse.

“Just got attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House,” the senator tweeted afterwards. “Thank you to [the DC Police Department] for literally saving our lives from a crazed mob.”

“Thursday night felt like being in a terrifying dystopian novel,” Kelley Paul wrote in a Washington Examiner op-ed after the fact. “The mob swarmed me and my husband… We rushed up to two police officers, and I believe that is the only thing that kept us from being knocked to the ground. As the mob grew and became more threatening, we literally could not move, and neither could the two officers for several minutes. The rioters were inches from us, screaming in our faces.”

“Mobs are terrifying,” she continued. “They looked at us with no humanity — just a vicious and righteous zeal.

What’s particularly ironic is that these agitators were screaming obscenities about criminal justice and the death of Breonna Taylor at one of the most outspoken champions of police reform in Congress.

The assailants screeched things like “Say her name!” and “Breonna Taylor! Breonna Taylor!” Yet they were harassing the very senator who met with Taylor’s family and worked with them to craft legislation banning the “no-knock” police search warrants that led to her tragic death.

That’s right: Rand Paul literally introduced the “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act.”

Paul has also championed other criminal justice reform causes such as sentencing reform and demilitarizing the police. It’s no exaggeration to say that he has done more to advance criminal justice reform than almost any other elected Republican in America.

None of this mattered to the mob that menaced Paul and his wife. The agitators, and some left-wing commentators, were too blinded by tribalist hatred of Team Red to even acknowledge the basic fact that Paul has explicitly worked for justice for Breonna Taylor:

d12e9117613a1599144490-donate-thankyou-landscape.png

Join us in preserving the principles of economic freedom and individual liberty for the rising generation

This is just a sampling of blind partisan hate that has poured Paul’s way. The ignorance and bigotry of this behavior is manifest. But it’s all part of a broader phenomenon, and this disturbing affair reminds us how partisan tribalism makes progress impossible.

Even Democrats and liberals who disagree with Paul on everything else ought to appreciate his work on criminal justice and seek to work together on the issue. Some, such as Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, have done so in the past. But increasingly, many on the Left instead indiscriminately vilify all Republicans and are unable to view them as anything other than inherently evil members of Team Red.

Such partisan venom—to say nothing of literal mobs—makes cooperation toward shared goals impossible and sets back progress. If the other side will still hate you and never give an ounce of credit, why would any elected official ever stray from the party line?

Unfortunately, tribalistic behavior is hardly exclusive to the Left.

Some prominent Republicans and conservative media commentators regularly engage in similarly tribalist and blind opposition to Democrats. (Although, thankfully, the Right is far less prone to mob violence and rioting than today’s Left). However, other Republican leaders like Senator Paul have shown a willingness to reject tribalism and work with anyone across the aisle, from Rep. Ro Khanna to Sen. Bernie Sanders, where common ground can be found.

Simply put, tribalism is to progress what bleach is to growing grass. Until more Americans can view our political opponents not as inherently evil enemies but as real people who aren’t always wrong, no meaningful change can be accomplished.

Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo is a libertarian-conservative journalist and the Eugene S. Thorpe Writing Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

The Ignorant Mob Assault on Rand Paul Shows How Political Tribalism Undermines Progress

Friday, September 11, 2020

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (781-784)

See the previous post in this series here.

I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides a while back. These are pictures span from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s. These came to me second hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.

Getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that we found after he died. That along with having some negatives I wanted to scan is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives, an Epson V600. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job.

This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer (or perhaps a close family member) from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. His career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/

Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them. I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date.

A couple of these photos are from a February 22nd, 1958 wedding. The others are undated but likely from roughly the same time period.




Lil + Leo




2/22/58 - Hal, Pat + Del - Vicky - Dressing the Bride


Pat + Del

Thursday, September 10, 2020

TV Gamer (June 1984)



TV Gamer (June 1984)

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (777-780)

See the previous post in this series here.

I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides a while back. These are pictures span from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s. These came to me second hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.

Getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that we found after he died. That along with having some negatives I wanted to scan is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives, an Epson V600. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job.

This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer (or perhaps a close family member) from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. His career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/

Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them. I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date.

The first photo is labeled "Santa's Village" and like the other photos in this set was probably taken in the late 1950s. The second photo (of a baby) is the only one with any kind of date and it was processed in March 1958. The last two photos are nature shots with one of them featuring a porcupine.


Santa's Village


Processed March 1958


Porcupine in tree at Farragut



The entire collection that has been scanned and uploaded so far can be found here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Minneapolis Law Preventing Business Owners from Protecting Their Own Property Backfires Horribly

Violent riots broke out in Minneapolis again on Wednesday night. This time, chaos rocked the city after misinformation falsely suggesting the police had killed an unarmed black man went viral. The violent outbreak sadly came as no shock, because by now, Minneapolis is no stranger to destructive riots.

After all, Minneapolis is where the tragic police killing of George Floyd took place in May, sparking nationwide unrest. During the aftermath of that incident, violent riots consumed the city. Countless businesses were looted, vandalized, or burned to the ground, and multiple people were killed. In a jarring example of how deadly this chaos was, police found a charred body in a Minneapolis pawnshop days after the riots died down. Arsonists had murdered a man, possibly without even realizing it.

Yet even in the face of wanton destruction and violence, city ordinances are preventing Minneapolis business owners from protecting themselves and their property. As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the city currently bans exterior security shutters. These are the type of shutters they pull down over a mall storefront when it closes, that would make it much harder to break in and loot it. They also prevent windows from being broken, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace.

Why are security shutters banned in Minneapolis? Because city officials say they “cause visual blight,” and “create the impression that an area is ‘unsafe’ and ‘troublesome.’”

Now, many business owners are running up against this regulation as they seek to protect their reopened stores from future flare-ups of violence. (The earlier riots destroyed at least 1,500 Minneapolis businesses.) Liquor store owner John Wolf saw his store looted after rioters broke in through his windows and stole more than $1 million in alcohol. He’s fuming at the city regulations that stop him from protecting his property.

“Times have changed," Wolf told the Star-Tribune. "I am going to spend millions of dollars to bring my business back, and I don't want to buy 20 window panes and have them broken the first day. Property owners should have options on how to protect themselves."

Technically, business owners can apply for an exception to this rule. But it is incredibly difficult to get such a variance approved.

A city spokeswoman acknowledged as much, reportedly saying that “while someone is authorized to file a variance, it is challenging to meet the legal findings that are necessary to grant a variance from this type of provision.” The city says it has only ever received one request—which it rejected.

"I have never felt so vulnerable,” car repair shop owner Mark Brandow told the paper. He wanted to install security shutters on his property in July but was told by city officials he was ineligible to even apply for an exemption. They are only now letting him appeal. In the meantime, his storefront remains boarded up.

"People in the neighborhood have asked me to take the boards off because it is ugly," Brandow said. “But I don't need to be pretty. I'm going to leave it ugly until I get some satisfaction.”

This predictable consequence is part of the irony of the law's justification. The city’s anti-blight measure created more blight.

f420ae73881b1598916653-thankyou.png

Join us in preserving the principles of economic freedom and individual liberty for the rising generation

Well-intentioned Minneapolis officials banned security shutters, because they wanted their streets to be more visually appealing. Yet they failed to consider that store owners would only seek to install security shutters for a good reason—that is, if they were necessary.

We now see the results of this folly. Boarded-up stores, shattered windows, and permanent “closed” signs are far more likely to “cause visual blight” than security measures. The results of rioting run unchecked surely do far more to make an area seem “unsafe” and “troublesome” than metal security shutters.

KB Balla’s destroyed sports bar, Minneapolis. Image credit: GoFundMe.

So once again, we see sweeping regulation backfire and have unintended consequences that achieve the exact opposite of their original goals. This is what FEE’s James Harrigan and Antony Davies dubbed the “Cobra Effect.”

They told the comical yet revealing tale of how an Indian city placed a bounty on cobras to try and solve their infestation problem, yet achieved the opposite result. Why?

At first, more people hunted cobras to get the bounty, and the cobra population decreased. Yet then individuals started breeding and raising cobras at home in order to get the bounty again. When the government cancelled the bounty because the population had seemingly declined, citizens released all the cobras they had been raising in their homes into the wild.

The end result was a worse infestation of cobras than the city had to begin with.

“Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended,” Harrigan and Davies wrote in explaining why the regulation failed.

So, it’s no surprise that preventing business owners from protecting their own property hasn’t beautified the streets of Minneapolis—it has left them in shambles.

Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo is a libertarian-conservative journalist and the Eugene S. Thorpe Writing Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Games Machine (May 1988)



The Games Machine (May 1988)
The Games Machine was a multiformat computer gaming magazine published in the U.K. in the 1980s. It covered both 8-bit and 16-bit computers. Contents of the May 1988 issue include: Features
  • Prove You're The Best! - Final chance to enter for the first National Computer Games Championships.
  • Battle Between Progs - TGM's American correspondent, Marshal M Rosenthal, reveals Nolan Bushnell's latest exciting hi-tech robot-toys from Axion.
  • Double-O's Back In Town - John Gilbert reports on how computers have puffed fresh life into the steam train-set.
  • Nailing Bulls To The Doors - Robin Hogg goes behind the scenes at Bulletin 1000, the people who help sell computer games via tellies.
  • The Games Machine Questionnaire - Your opportunity to tell us about TGM - use it, PLEASE!
  • Grow Your Own Radio - A broadcasting revolution is imminent thanks to a new generation of computer-clever radios and a relaxation of broadcasting strictures. Mel Croucher explains...
  • It's A Crime! - The TGM crew take on KJC's Play By Mail game in a bid to explain how the system works.
Regulars
  • Readerpage - How you feel about what, and why.
  • News - TGM Bulletins (not quite 1000)
  • Infodesk - More answers on technical queries.
  • Previews - Richard Eddy reveals Software Studio's latest plans for Karnov and Afterburner, and many more early glimpses.
  • Reviews - 27 pages of the latest 8- and 16-bit releases, plus MSX II.
  • Getting Adventurous - Rob Steel investigates crime, space piracy and comedy.
  • Going Overboard - Where No Vultures Fly - grisly board fun, plus boardgame news.
  • Fantasy Games - John Woods plays a Nordic RPG bid and indulges in gruesome reading from Harn.
  • Mercy Dash - Robin Evan's anti-heroine gets two pages to crucify Newsfield's recent Computer Arena software conference.
  • Music Matters - Two astonishing utilities for the Atari ST may herald the music performer's equipment of the future, says Jon Bates.
  • Endpiece - Mel's Trivia Quiz.
Win!
  • An Amiga & Monitor - Third of our computer giveaways. Don't miss out!
  • Omnibots Are Go! - Tomy robots and copies of GO!'s Bionic Commando are the prizes!
  • It's The Flintstones! - Unique boxer shorts, videos and games mark the launch of GrandSlam's great Flintstones game.
  • Sierra Adventures - Win the entire 16-bit Sierra On-Line adventure range!
...and more!

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (773-776)

See the previous post in this series here.

I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides a while back. These are pictures span from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s. These came to me second hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.

Getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that we found after he died. That along with having some negatives I wanted to scan is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives, an Epson V600. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job.

This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer (or perhaps a close family member) from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. His career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/

Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them. I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date.

The first photo was processed in May 1962 and appears to have been taken inside a cathedral. The others feature a building with a U.S. (and others) flag, a soldier, and somebody enjoying a swimming pool. There are no dates are labels but these were all likely taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s.


Processed May 1962







The entire collection that has been scanned and uploaded so far can be found here.

80-U.S. Journal (May/June 1979 )



80-U.S. Journal (May/June 1979 )
80-US was one of the earlier computer magazines. It covered, as you might guess from the name, the TRS-80 computer. This issue from May/June 1979 includes: Features
  • Troubleshooting Hardware
  • String Packing Techniques Exposed!
  • Which Brain?
  • Chinese, Android and other Nims
  • Mind Reader
  • System/Command
  • The Monitor You Already Have
  • The Barber & Beauty Shop Cash Accounting & Payroll, Part II
  • TRS80 Fortran - an evaluation
  • Business Computing
Departments
  • Random Access
  • Clubs & Publications
  • Letters
  • Software Review: Starfleet Orion
  • A Note on Basic
  • Hangups
  • Unclassified Ads
Columns
  • Editorial Remarks
  • View From the Top Of The Stack
...and more!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Why Uber and Lyft Are about to Shut Down All Operations in California

This Friday, Uber and Lyft are set to entirely shut down ride-sharing operations in California. The businesses’ exit from the Golden State will leave hundreds of thousands of drivers unemployed and millions of Californians chasing an expensive cab. Sadly, this was preventable. 

Here’s how we got to this point.

In September of 2019, the California state legislature passed AB 5, a now-infamous bill harshly restricting independent contracting and freelancing across many industries. By requiring ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft to reclassify their drivers as full employees, the law mandated that the companies provide healthcare and benefits to all the drivers in their system and pay additional taxes.

Legislators didn’t realize the drastic implications their legislation would have; they were simply hoping to improve working conditions in the gig economy. The unintended consequences may end up destroying it instead. 

Here’s why. 

AB 5 went into effect in January, and now, a judge has ordered Uber and Lyft to comply with the regulation and make the drastic transformation by August 20. Since compliance is simply unaffordable, the companies are going to have to shut down operations in California. 

Their entire business model was based upon independent contracting, so providing full employee benefits is prohibitively expensive. Neither Uber nor Lyft actually make a profit, and converting their workforce to full-time employees would cost approximately $3,625 per driver in California. As reported by Quartz, “that’s enough to boost Uber’s annual operating loss by more than $500 million and Lyft’s by $290 million.”

Essentially, California legislators put these companies in an impossible position. It makes perfect sense that they’d leave the state in response. It’s clear that despite the good intentions behind the ride-sharing regulation, this outcome will leave all Californians worse off. 

Uber employs approximately 140,000 drivers in California and Lyft employs roughly 80,000. These 220,000 working Californians will now lose their source of income in the middle of a pandemic and recession, all thanks to the naive intervention of Sacramento regulators who thought they could plan the market. Moreover, the millions of Californians who benefit from and rely on cheap, accessible ride-sharing services will be out of luck.

Yet this isn’t some one-off example where regulators just got it wrong. Rampant unintended consequences inevitably plague any attempt to intervene and “fix” the economy by central planners convened in the state capital. 

Here’s how FEE’s Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan summed up the key insight of unintended consequences:

Lawmakers should be keenly aware that every human action has both intended and unintended consequences. Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended. So while there is a place for legislation, that place should be one defined by both great caution and tremendous humility. Sadly, these are character traits not often found in those who become legislators.

There was nothing humble or cautious about the approach California took to regulating the ride-sharing industry. Legislators took a cursory look at a business model they clearly didn’t understand, wished it was different, and thought they could rewrite it entirely on their own. This hubris has not improved conditions for workers, but brought the industry to the brink of destruction. 

Benevolent intentions simply aren’t enough. As famed free-market economist Milton Friedman once noted, “concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.” Still, not all hope is lost for the future of ride-sharing in California. 

In this case, voters will have an opportunity to rectify the unintended consequences of this failed attempt at central planning. Uber and Lyft have successfully secured the addition of a ballot question to the November election that will give Californians the opportunity to vote to create an exception to AB 5 for ride-sharing app drivers, allowing them to once again work as independent contractors. (Although freelance writers and many other professions will still be left in the lurch.)

If this vote succeeds, it might be enough to bring Uber and Lyft back to California. But the struggling Golden State will continue to run into problems like this as long as its legislators continue to abandon humility in favor of a heavy-handed approach.

Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo is a libertarian-conservative journalist and the Eugene S. Thorpe Writing Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Videogaming Illustrated (September 1983)



Videogaming Illustrated (September 1983)

Videogaming Illustrated is one of many short-lived video games magazines from the early 1980s. Videogaming Illustrated actually went through a few name variations in its short life with it actually being called Videogaming and Computergaming Illustrated in this September 1983 issue. That sure is a mouth full. This issue includes:

  • Nybbles - Introducing Nybbles, a brand new column of industry whispers.
  • Eye On - New games from Atari, new hardware for Vectrex, an industry shakeup.
  • Preview - Is Space Dungeon the best videogame ever created?
  • Focus On: Traditional Education Bytes It! - Computers are playing a major role in education in America; herein VCI provides tips to the bewildered; guidelines that will help parents select educational software, comprehensive lists of some of the best programs available, a quick glimpse at computers, and a wild projection of teachers of the future.
  • Conquering - Robot Tank is a stunning new combat game from Activision.
  • Conquering - Sir Dudley Dashley will need help to rescue Lady Penelope in Jungle Hunt.
  • Behind the Scenes - Your right to play videogames: don't bet on the Constitution for support.
  • Chip Ahoy - New Coleco games and an arcade laserdisc fantasy game are previewed.
  • Supergaming - Step by step instructions will explain how to fix your Atari joystick.
  • Championship Videogaming - Our readers submit player's tips, Earthworld solution!
  • Arcadia - Flash! Pinball is alive and well and returning in force to arcades!
  • Conquering - Sinistar - can it be destroyed? Bubbles - can they clean the crumbs? Bagman - can he clean up as well? Answers can be found herein.
  • Computereyes - LOGO is slicker and easier to use than BASIC.
  • RAMblings - Reviews of Wizard & Princess, Jumpman, Arcade Machine.
  • Input - The Atari vs. Coleco controversy is revived in our readers' letters column.
  • VCI Special - The Book of Videogame Lists - an indispensable and irrelevant guide.
  • Video Victor

...and more!

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (769-772)

See the previous post in this series here.

I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides a while back. These are pictures span from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s. These came to me second hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.

Getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that we found after he died. That along with having some negatives I wanted to scan is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives, an Epson V600. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job.

This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer (or perhaps a close family member) from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. His career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/

Many of these slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them. I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand written or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date.

The first photo in this set is a family portrait from circa 1973. The husband sure doesn't look happy... The rest of the photos appear to be from the early 1960s based on the date stamped on them. Two feature a statue, fountain and other architecture that someone other than me could probably identify. The other is a nature shot of a small waterfall.



Processed May 1973


Processed May 1962


Processed May 1962


Processed July 1961

The entire collection that has been scanned and uploaded so far can be found here.

Commodore Computing International (June)



Commodore Computing International (June)
Commodore Computing International was one of a rather large number of Commodore computer magazines published in the U.K. This one targeted a more international audience I suppose, with prices on the cover of this particular issue for Belgium, Germany and the U.S. in addition to the U.K. The June 1989 issue includes:
  • CCI View - Publisher Antony Jacobson comments on the stunning speed of the development of the computer world.
  • News - The G2 VideoCenter, Image Maker and Photon Video news, plus lots more of the latest happenings from around the world of chips and memory.
  • DeluxePaint III - A much awaited upgrade with an animator's eye for detail.
  • Decision Maker - Would you purchase this program? Bob Collyer says you just might need it to decide.
  • Back to Basics - Peter Gerrard begins an exciting new series on the fine art of Basic programming for the C64.
  • Hearsay 1000 - Andy Eskelson reports on a fantastic voice recognition system for the C64/128.
  • Hearsay 1000 Offer - Speak - and your computer will obey! See how...
  • More more more 64 - 4 Power! Part II - Peter Gerrard describes the ports and plugs which link you and your C64 to the rest of the world.
  • Virus - Part III - Nancy Picard provides the vital guide to keeping your computer healthy.
  • DataStar 8000M Offer - The smallest pocket computer in the world can be yours!
  • A500 Control Centre Offer - Save your Amiga from harm!
  • 'Troubleshooting Your C64...' and 'Metrophage' - Books to keep you eye on the needs of today and the future of science.
  • Secureword - Andy Eskelson reports on a data encryption package that remains something of a mystery.
  • Readers Letters - Letter's put you write!
  • Whether or Not - Peter McDonald reviews a premonition program (you've heard of before?!?).
  • Technical Letters - Jack Cohen, our resident expert, explains those Commodore quirks.
  • Heard It On The Grapevine - Zak Mule Skinner reflects signals from the Mirrorsoft dimension.
  • Crazy Cars II - Rev up your engines for an accelerating sequel.
  • Horgans Hints - Pokes-a-plenty brought to you by games ace Tony Horgan.
  • Arcade Action - Horgan hits the arcades in search of Chase HQ and more!
  • Cover Offer - Supremely stylish Spring softwear fashion.
  • Run The Gauntlet - Does this game really separate the flora from teh fauna?
  • Renegade III - Hit the target with Renegade III
  • Breech - 'Once more into the Paladin/Breech, my friends, for God and Harry, England and Saint George.
  • Balance of Power 1990 - Tip the scales in your favor in the latest version of the geopolitical power struggle.
  • Chart Chattering Events - Two new number ones, while half man/half machine blows crime off the streets.
  • U.M.S. - Travel back in time to recreate the famous battles of your choice.
  • Danger Freak - Are you an adrenaline addict? Get your fix here!
  • Running Man - More marathon, murder and mayhem (his feet are killing him...and other people too!)
  • Adventure - Andy Moss goes on-line with Sierra - plus maps, letters, reviews and much more!
  • Competition - Win an Okimate color printer/ a Phillips color monitor plus loads of fantastic Electronic Arts Software!
  • A500 Covers - Protect your Amiga from the harsh elements!
  • G.M. Subscription Form - What every RPG fan wants and needs!
  • Writing Role Playing Games - Spice up your RPG from 'good' to 'great'!
  • Sentry Preview - A preview of an exciting new programming aid developed exclusively for CCI readers.
  • Programs - Too many to list - powerful programs for C64/128 and Plus 4 owners alike!
  • CCI Subscription Form - 'Sold Out!' Why listen to the pitiless cry of the newsagent when CCI could fly in through your letterbox!
  • Classified Advertisements
  • Magenta Pages
  • Advertisers Directory
...and more!

gfyuna26

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Sneaky Trick a Public Health Official Used to Make Mask Mandates Look Super Effective

As of early August, 34 US states mandate the use of masks in public to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The efficacy of face masks has been a subject of debate in the health community during the pandemic. Because health experts disagree on their effectiveness, countries and health agencies around the world, including the World Health Organization and the CDC, have done a reversal on their mask recommendations during the pandemic.

Reasonable and persuasive cases can be made both for and against the use of masks in the general population. Unfortunately, the science of masks and viruses is becoming less clear because of the politicized nature of the debate.

A case in point is the Kansas public health official who made news last week after he was accused of using a deceptive chart to make it appear counties with mask mandates had lower COVID-19 case rates than they actually did.

At a press conference, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman credited face masks with positive statewide COVID-19 trends showing a general decline in deaths, hospitalizations, and new cases.

Norman pointed to a chart (see below) that depicted two lines tracking cases per 100,000 people between July 12 and August 3. The red line begins higher than the blue line but then falls precipitously as it travels down the X-axis, ending below a blue line.

Norman explains that the red line represented the 15 counties with mask mandates, which account for two thirds of the state’s population. The flat blue line represented the remaining 90 counties, which had no mask mandates in place.

“All of the improvement in case development comes from those counties wearing masks,” Norman said.

The results are clear, Norman claimed. The red line shows reduction. The blue line is flat. Kansas’s real-life experiment showed that masks work.

It didn’t take long for people to realize something wasn’t quite right, however. The blue line and the red line were not on the same axis.

This gave the impression that counties with mask mandates in place had fewer daily cases than counties without mask mandates. This is not the case, however. In reality, counties with masks mandates have far higher daily COVID-19 cases than counties without mask mandates.

If the trends are depicted on the same axis, the blue and red lines look like this.

Many Kansans were not pleased with the trickery.

Kansas Policy Institute expert Michael Austin told local media that the chart clearly gives a false impression.

“It has nothing to do about whether masks are effective or not. [It’s about] making sure Kansans can make sound conclusions from accurate information,” Austin said. “And unfortunately, the chart that was shown prior in the week strongly suggested that counties that had followed Dr. Norman’s mask order outperformed counties that did not, and that was most certainly not true.”

Twitter was less diplomatic.

The chart is deceptive.

Worse, Norman also failed to note that the lines were on different axes until a reporter asked if the blue line “would get below the red line” if those counties passed mask mandates, which prompted Norman to mumble about different metrics and then admit that counties without mask mandates have lower case rates.

“The trend line is what I really want to focus on,” Norman said.

The deception prompted a non-apology from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment: “Yes, the axes are labelled differently … we recognize that it was a complex graph and may not have easily been understood and easily misinterpreted.”

Dr. Norman, meanwhile, vowed to do better next time.

“I’ll learn from that and try to [be] clearer next time,” he said following criticism from lawmakers.

The episode is unfortunate because it further clouds the science and erodes trust in the medical experts individuals rely on to make informed decisions.

It’s also ironic, because the controversy overshadowed the state’s positive data, which suggests masks may be working in Kansas. The chart may have been deceptive, but the data is correct and shows a 34 percent drop in COVID cases in counties with mandates in place.

It’s quite possible that drop is linked to county orders mandating the use of masks. Then again, the order may have nothing to do with the drop. Correlation, we know, doesn’t equal causation. If it did, the surge in COVID-19 cases in California following its mask order would be “proof” that masks increase transmission rates.

But science doesn’t work that way (at least it shouldn’t), and Dr. Norman knows this.

Maybe masks are an effective way to curb transmission of the coronavirus, or maybe it’s largely ineffective or even harmful, like the Surgeon General stated back in March. The truth is we don’t yet know.

What’s clear, as I noted last week, is that the top physicians and public health experts on the planet can’t decide if face coverings help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In light of this, it seems both reasonable and prudent that public health officials should focus less on forcing people to “mask-up” and more on developing clear and compelling research which will allow individuals to make informed and free decisions.

This, after all, is the traditional role of public health: inform people and let them choose.

Allowing individuals to choose instead of collective bodies is the proper and more effective approach, because, as the great economist Ludwig von Mises reminded us, individuals are the source of all rational decision-making.

“All rational action is in the first place individual action,” Mises wrote in Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis. “Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.”

Mask orders aren’t just about public health. They are a microcosm of a larger friction at work in our society: who gets to plan our lives, individuals or the collective?

Despite what many today seem to believe, society is best served by allowing individuals to plan and control their own lives.

But individuals benefit from sound and reliable information. Sadly, that is something public health officials increasingly appear incapable or unwilling to offer.

Jon Miltimore
Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune.

Bylines: The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times. 

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.