steem

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Sierra Newsletter (Winter 1988)



Sierra Newsletter (Winter 1988)

gfyuna20

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Modelers Were ‘Astronomically Wrong’ in COVID-19 Predictions, Says Leading Epidemiologist—and the World Is Paying the Price

Dr. John Ioannidis became a world-leading scientist by exposing bad science. But the COVID-19 pandemic could prove to be his biggest challenge yet.

Ioannidis, the C.F. Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention at Stanford University, has come under fire in recent months for his opposition to state-ordered lockdowns, which he says could cause social harms well beyond their presumed benefits. But he doesn’t appear to be backing down.

In a wide-ranging interview with Greek Reporter published over the weekend, Ioannidis said emerging data support his prediction that lockdowns would have wide-ranging social consequences and that the mathematical models on which the lockdowns were based were horribly flawed.

Ioannidis also said a comprehensive review of the medical literature suggests that COVID-19 is far more widespread than most people realize.

“There are already more than 50 studies that have presented results on how many people in different countries and locations have developed antibodies to the virus,” Ioannidis, a Greek-American physician, told Greek Reporter. “Of course none of these studies are perfect, but cumulatively they provide useful composite evidence. A very crude estimate might suggest that about 150-300 million or more people have already been infected around the world, far more than the 10 million documented cases.”

Ioannidis said medical data suggest the fatality risk is far lower than earlier estimates had led policymakers to believe and “is almost 0%” for individuals under 45 years old. The median fatality rate is roughly 0.25 percent, however, because the risk “escalates substantially” for individuals over 85 and can be as high as 25 percent for debilitated people in nursing homes.

“The death rate in a given country depends a lot on the age-structure, who are the people infected, and how they are managed,” Ioannidis said. “For people younger than 45, the infection fatality rate is almost 0%. For 45 to 70, it is probably about 0.05-0.3%. For those above 70, it escalates substantially…”

Because of this, Ioannidis sees mass lockdowns of entire populations as a mistake, though he says they may have made sense when experts believed the fatality rate of COVID-19 was as high as 3-5 percent.

In March, in a widely read STAT article, Ioannidis said it was uncertain how long lockdowns could be maintained without serious consequences.

“One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy, society, and mental health,” Ioannidis wrote. "Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis, unrest, civil strife, war, and a meltdown of the social fabric.”

Nearly three months after that interview, the world has seen unemployment levels unseen since the Great Depression, mass business closures, spikes in suicide and drug overdose, and social unrest on a scale not seen in the US since the 1960s.

“I feel extremely sad that my predictions were verified,” Ioannidis said. He continued:

“Major consequences on the economy, society and mental health” have already occurred. I hope they are reversible, and this depends to a large extent on whether we can avoid prolonging the draconian lockdowns and manage to deal with COVID-19 in a smart, precision-risk targeted approach, rather than blindly shutting down everything. Similarly, we have already started to see the consequences of “financial crisis, unrest, and civil strife.” I hope it is not followed by “war and meltdown of the social fabric.” Globally, the lockdown measures have increased the number of people at risk of starvation to 1.1 billion, and they are putting at risk millions of lives, with the potential resurgence of tuberculosis, childhood diseases like measles where vaccination programs are disrupted, and malaria. I hope that policymakers look at the big picture of all the potential problems and not only on the very important, but relatively thin slice of evidence that is COVID-19.”

Ioannidis did not spare modelers who predicted as many as 40 million people would die, or those who claimed the US healthcare system would be overrun.

“The predictions of most mathematical models in terms of how many beds and how many ICU beds would be required were astronomically wrong,” Ioannidis said. “Indeed, the health system was not overrun in any location in the USA, although several hospitals were stressed.”

Conversely, he added, these actions had detrimental effects on the US health care system, which was “severely damaged” because of measures taken.

Only time will tell if Ioannidis is proven correct in his assessments. But if he’s even half right, it would suggest that the experts did indeed fail again.

There’s little question that the lockdowns have caused widespread economic, social, and emotional carnage. Evidence that US states that locked down fared better than states that did not is hard to find.

Though not yet certain, the COVID-19 pandemic may well turn out to be another example of central planning gone wrong.

As I previously noted, it’s a sad irony that many of the greatest disasters in modern history—from Stalin’s "kolkhoz" collective farming system to Mao’s Great Leap Forward and beyond—are the result of central planners trying to improve the lot of humanity through coercive action.

During the coronavirus pandemic, experts may have unintentionally brought about one of the most serious human disasters in modern history by removing choice from individuals with superior local knowledge.

“This is not a dispute about whether planning is to be done or not,” Hayek wrote in The Use of Knowledge in Society. “It is a dispute as to whether planning is to be done centrally, by one authority for the whole economic system, or is to be divided among many individuals.”

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.

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (745-748)


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 unlabeled and undated. It's a picture of a building in the winter (there's snow anyway) but I can't ID the building. The second photo is from a wedding on February 22nd, 1958. A number of photos from this wedding have been scattered throughout these posts. The last two photos are dated October 1957 and appear to be photos from an air show.







wedding party - 2/22/58




October 1957




October 1957




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

Electronic Gaming Monthly (November 1996)



Electronic Gaming Monthly (November 1996)

gfyuna17

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

80-US (January 1979)



80-US (January 1979)

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (741-744)


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 the only one dated or labeled in this set and it is from Christmas 1958. The other photos are also likely from the late 1950s time frame. The second shows a neighborhood intersection, the third shows a dogwood? tree and the last one is of a beach somewhere.






Christmas '58










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

Monday, July 6, 2020

People Resent Businesses More In Highly-Regulated Industries

There is a positive relationship between the amount of governmental interference in an economic arena, and the abuse and invective heaped upon the businessmen serving that arena.

When I came across those words while reading Walter Block’s Defending the Undefendable, I was struck by the power of that under-appreciated insight (not to mention his great introduction to libertarianism opening the book).

Block’s primary illustration was the rental housing market, where “the spillover effects of bureaucratic red tape and bungling” are blamed on landlords, rather than on the government policies and procedures that caused them. And he named rent control as a primary culprit, because it “changes the usual profit incentives, which put the entrepreneur in the service of his customers,” into incentives where “the landlord can earn the greatest return not by serving his tenants well.”

Block’s conclusion applies far beyond just rent control. It describes many government interventions, not just those in the housing market. It characterizes price ceilings and price floors. It applies to taxes, particularly hidden ones. It extends to regulations that act like taxes or barriers to entry and competition. It also typifies inflation. And in each case, it is because the adverse effects of such government interventions, particularly reduced outputs and higher costs for the goods in question, set up providers to be incorrectly scapegoated as the cause.

Rent control undermines landlords’ incentives to provide the services tenants want, because it denies landlords the ability to receive adequate compensation to make those efforts worthwhile. As a consequence, landlords not only get blamed for unwillingness to do what tenants want, but also for efforts to evade the controls, such as tying apartments to the simultaneous rental of furniture, parking or other goods, even though such evasions keep the available housing supply from falling as much as it would have otherwise. Other price ceilings follow the same script.

Price floors such as minimum wage laws and “prevailing wage” requirements push prices up instead of down. The consequent higher prices and reduced wealth result from the coerced overpayment for inputs, rather than the fault of producers. But producers often end up getting blamed.

Hidden taxes are another example. Government gets more resources and control, while those people directly deal with can be given the blame. The “employer half” of Social Security and Medicare is a prime example. Employers must pay 7.65 percent directly to the government, on top of the wages they pay employees. But since employers know they must bear those costs, they offer less pay for a given level of employee productivity. The consequence is fingering employers for not paying employees what they are worth, when that actually derives from government siphoning off compensation.

Similar effects are triggered by employer-paid unemployment premiums, worker’s compensation insurance, and other non-wage forms of compensation. The resulting government rake-off from employees’ total compensation leaves them less to take home, triggering resentment at employers. But government claims credit for spending those dollars indirectly pickpocketed from workers.

Even less hidden taxes, like sales and excise taxes (which can be better hidden as value-added taxes buried in the supply chain rather than added at the retail level, which is why so many politicians like a VAT), lead to scapegoating of suppliers. Those taxes place a wedge between what the customer pays including the tax and the smaller amount the seller receives net of taxes. But it is still all too easy for customers’ views of producers to reflect what they pay to their suppliers including taxes for services received, rather than the smaller amount sellers actually get net of taxes. To illustrate, when was the last time you actually looked at what your markets, gas stations, etc., actually received from you, apart from government’s take, even though that information is printed on your receipt?

Government mandates and regulations also produce misaimed blame. Many regulations act like taxes (e.g., a producer doesn’t care whether a $100,000 burden of dealing with government is called a tax or a regulation), raising costs and prices to others, for which suppliers will largely be blamed. Regulations that create barriers to entry, like a cornucopia of licensing regulations, restrict supply and competition, leading to higher prices and shoddier performance, because they undermine the competition that is buyers’ most important protection against maltreatment.

Inflation is another page from the same playbook of disguising the messenger as the cause. While it is caused by government expansion in the money supply, those in government can always point fingers at someone else: businessmen can be blamed for raising prices (and called monopolists or colluders in the process); workers and unions can be blamed for demanding higher wages; landlords can be blamed for raising rents; bankers can be blamed for charging higher interest rates, etc.

The positive correlation between government involvement and the abuse and invective aimed at producers that Walter Block lays out holds across a wide swath of the economy. And that misaimed blame game is particularly to recognize, given how often politicians promise to unify us, but turn to techniques—price floors and ceilings, taxes, regulatory and entry restrictions, inflation, etc.—which guarantee the opposite effect. Such cognitive dissonance is an important red flag, because logical contradictions do not make for good policy.

Gary M. Galles
Gary M. Galles

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. His recent books include Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014) and Apostle of Peace (2013). He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Personal Software (Summer 1983)



Personal Software (Summer 1983)



Personal Software was one of a multitude of U.K. based computer magazines from the 1980s. From the few issues I've seen, this magazine typically features a different computer or computer family in each issue and offers a variety of type in content in addition to some editorial content. This issue from the Summer of 1983 features various Commodore computers and includes:

  • Getting Converted - Hints on how to convert programs from one Commodore machine to another.
  • Leapfrog - Our micro version of that old pub game played with coins.
  • Power Boat - Have all the fun of power boating without feeling seasick!
  • The Valley - Save the kingdom of the Valley by combating dragons, Balrogs, and Wraiths. Choose your character with magic or physical strengths and do battle in our epic game, The Valley.
  • Towers of Brahma - Moving rings from one pillar to another may sound easy but just try it!
  • Micro Examination - Test your friends and children with this multiple choice program.
  • Quiz Time - Assess your performance in terms of speed and accuracy with a multiple choice program.
  • Multipurpose Records - Set up your own filing system which enables you to store, search, edit and retrieve data.
  • VIC Editor - Take one VIC-20 and add this program and what do you have? A VIC-20 with an "enlarged" screen.
  • Commodore Communications - Get Commodores talking to each other using this application.
  • Address Book - Compile an address book, or any other similar list, and throw away those bits of paper.
  • Multicolumn Records - A multipurpose data base program for use at home or in the office.
  • Subroutine Library - A library of BASIC subroutines.
  • Toolkit Program - A simple toolkit program for the Commodore 64.
  • Tailoring VIC's Characters - Create your own characters on your VIC-20.
  • Maxi-Mander - Bomb-proofing your software against unskilled fingers.
  • VIC Blow Up - Find out how characters are made up and generate giant versions on the VIC-20.
  • Program Protection - Simple tips on how to protect your program from being easily copied.
  • Bibliography - A brief perusal of some of the multitude of books on Commodore computers.

...and more!

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (737-740)


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 undated but taken at Santiam Pass in Oregon. The next was processed in September 1961 and shows flowers on a window sill. The third is also undated but taken at a beach somewhere. The final photo shows an elderly couple next to a flag poll and was also processed in September 1961. Al of these were probably taken in the late 1950s/early 1960s time frame.








May 1965








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

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

California Legislature Votes to Strike ‘the State Shall Not Discriminate’ from Constitution, Opening the Door to Legalized Discrimination

On November 5, 1996, Californians headed to the ballot box to weigh in on the California Civil Rights Initiative—aka Proposition 209—to end government discrimination.

The measure, modeled on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, read:

“The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group, on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

In the first electoral test of affirmative action on the continent, Californians overwhelmingly rejected the policy. Prop 209 received 55 percent of votes, and has held off legal challenges since.

On Thursday, the California legislature voted to strike those words from its Constitution, paving the way for repeal of Prop 209.

On Twitter, supporters of the vote said the move, which would permit state discrimination based on race, sex, color, ethnicity and national origin, would “advance true racial and gender equity in this state.”

Like the segregationists of the past, these supporters are openly and defiantly seeking to use state-sanctioned discrimination to advance a cause they see as noble. For white segregationists of the past, that cause was protecting the white race from mingling with other races and maintaining a firm grip on power in the South.

For social justice advocates today, discrimination is a tool to advance the interests of non-whites, particularly in the university system, where applicants of certain races would be legally permitted to be given preferences.

There are serious problems with this approach, however.

First, as Janet Nguyen pointed out in the OC Register, enrollment of minority students surged following the passage of Prop 209.

“In spite of dire warnings that Prop. 209 would negatively impact minority enrollment at the state’s University system, underrepresented minority student enrollment at the UC system has actually risen significantly since 209’s passage, from 15 percent in 1999 to 26 percent in 2019,” wrote Nguyen, a former California lawmaker and the nation’s first female Vietnamese-American state legislator.

Second, equality before the law is arguably the greatest pillar of a liberal society. It’s an idea that reaches back across time and civilizations, from philosophers like Guan Zhong (720 B.C. - 645 B.C.) to historians such as Thucydides, who at the funeral of Pericles stated, “If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if to social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way.”

Equality before the law is at the heart of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the enumerated rights carved out by the General Assembly of the United Nations at its third session in 1948. In Article 7, it states clearly and proudly: "All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.”

To abandon such a principle is to abandon a cornerstone of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism, one of the greatest individual rights that has protected individuals from arbitrary rule and government abuse for centuries.

In a 2011 article, economist Steve Horwitz explains why equality before law is so important:

For most of human history political leaders acted with near total discretion, distributing benefits and impositions among their subjects however they like. One of the most important accomplishments of the liberal movement was to subject those with political power to rules. Starting with the Magna Carta and up through the democratic revolutions and constitutions of the eighteenth century, liberalism worked to create a society ruled by law not by men.

Many on Twitter were horrified by the California legislature’s vote.

Fortunately, Californians will have the opportunity to vote on equality before the law in November. We can only hope that California voters show more wisdom than the lawmakers running their state.

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.

gfyuna15

Monday, June 29, 2020

Nintendo Power (September 1995)



Nintendo Power (September 1995)



In 1995, Nintendo Power was primarily covering the Super Nintendo...and the Game Boy of course. The September 1995 issue includes:

Full Coverage

  • Killer Instinct - The arcade sensation receives its Super NES debut, and we have the moves and the melodrama. Killer moves from Nintendo's top players.
  • Doom - Doomsday is near! Now Super NES gamers can get in on the intrigue that has kept PC players rapt for endless hours.
  • Red Alarm
  • Golf
  • Castlevania: Dracula X - The legend of the Belmonts lives in a new thriller for the Super NES, and fans of the Castlevania series will find it to be a haunting challenge.
  • The Mask
  • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
  • Galaga/Galaxian

Take 2 Review

  • The Syndicate

Special Features

  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Preview - What's shakin' in Kremland? Get the inside scoop on development of Diddy's Kong Quest, the sequel to last fall's king of the jungle.
  • Men of Power - An insider's Interview with NOA's Top Team.
  • What color is yours? - The contest results.

Every Issue

  • Player's Pulse
  • Power Charts
  • Classified Information
  • Counselors' Corner
  • Player's Poll Contest
  • Arena
  • Now Playing
  • Pak Watch
  • Next Issue

...and more!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (733-736)


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 and third photos in this set were processed in April 1973 but appear to have been taken near Christmas so I would guess they were taken either in December 1972 or January 1973. The second photos is of a sleeping dog and was taken in May 1965. The last photos appears to have been taken during a camping trip and it was processed in July 1965.








May 1965








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

Thursday, June 25, 2020

MacLife (February 2010)


MacLife (February 2010)

It's hard for me to think of these Macs as "retro" but this issue of MacLife is over 10 years old now. A decade is a long time in the computer world. This issue includes:

Features

  • 50 Killer Mac Apps Under $50 - We present the staff's picks for the 50 must-have apps under 50 bucks that will realign your universe. Or at least make your day-to-day much more efficient, productive, and pleasant.

  • Shop Different - iTunes may have revolutionized the way we buy music, but it's not the only fish in the song-buying sea. We examining and rate nine other MP3 stores to gauge how they stack up.

  • Appstravaganza - Where all the best iPhone stuff comes to party.

  • Odd Jobs - How Amos Winbush secured venture capital funding and launched a successful business, all from is iPhone.

Departments

  • Online at maclife.com - Get the dish on all the latest Mac rumors and news in articles, how-tos, and videos and podcasts on MacLife.com.
  • Consider - In search of the perfect laptop bag.
  • Share - Buggy things and family scenes.
  • Start - What's really behind all the hubbub on net neutrality? Hint: follow the money.
  • Win - Check out a smattering of the 10 can't-live-without iPhone apps offered up by this month's winners. Plus, show us your coolest vintage Apple gear and enter to win a Mysterious Box of Mystery.

Create

  • Ask - Need to transfer photos from your iPod, make backup copies of software discs, send video messages to your grandma, or email your iTunes playlist to a friend? You ask, we show you the way.
  • Make a Bootable Rescue SD Card - If your new Mac has a built-in SD card slot, you can make the smallest rescue disk ever.
  • Back Up Your Gmail - Keep a local copy of your Gmail messages - thanks to Mail, Automater, and iCal.

Reviews

  • Droid
  • MacHighway Easy
  • PHS300 Personal WiFi Hotspot
  • Bluetooth Comfort Laser Mouse and Compact Optical Mouse
  • InfoSafe
  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro "Triple"
  • Store 'n' Go USB Drive for Mac OS X
  • Sanyo Xacti HD2000A
  • Pentax Optio P80
  • SuperDuper!
  • BusyCal

Listen

  • Quiet Comfort f15
  • iTunes Dupes Barrier
  • Winshield/Vent Car Mount with Sound Amplified Cradle for iPhone
  • iBlink

Play

  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
  • Machinarium
  • The Movies Superstar Edition

...and more!

gfyuna11 - Yuna

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

One Overlooked COVID-19 Legacy Will Haunt Your Grandchildren

During the public health crisis caused by COVID-19 and the economic crisis that resulted from the government-mandated societal shutdown, the public’s attention has focused on short-term threats and immediate consequences. This, understandably, led to an emphasis on figures such as the approximately 2.1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, roughly 118,000 deaths from the virus, and the 44 million Americans and counting who have filed for unemployment since the crisis began.

But one key measure has gone under the radar—the untold trillions our government has piled onto the national debt during this crisis. This debt burden will haunt future generations long after the pandemic subsides and the economy reopens. Thus, our debt-financed COVID-19 response represents a fundamentally immoral intergenerational transfer of wealth. Those who directly benefit from the spending are sending the bill down the line for today’s young people and tomorrow’s taxpayers to bear the burden. Responding to a crisis today isn’t a justification for creating a crisis for the next generation to deal with—and the debt is indeed approaching crisis levels.

New calculations make the severity of the current debt spike dreadfully clear. 

Manhattan Institute economist Brian Riedl ran the numbers and concluded that between the $2.4 trillion cost of already-passed COVID-19 response pills, the economic downturn’s $4 trillion impact on the federal government’s budget, and $1.3 trillion in interest on the new debt, the COVID-19 pandemic and government response will lead to an astounding $8 trillion in new federal debt.

Riedl projects that the budget deficit may exceed $4 trillion this year—more than triple the deficit run during the peak of the 2008 financial crisis. And that $4 trillion figure assumes no further spending bills are passed, despite House Democrats having passed an additional $3 trillion bill and some members of the Trump administration calling for more “stimulus.”

“These pandemic costs represent additional gasoline poured onto a growing budgetary inferno,” Riedl warns.

And what led up to that pre-COVID inferno in the first place? As James Agresti of Just Facts writes:

As with the recent debt increases from the Covid-19-related laws, the national debt has been mainly driven for the past 60 years by social spending, or government programs that provide healthcare, income security, education, nutrition, housing, and cultural services. These programs have grown from 20% of all federal spending in 1959 to 62% in 2018:

Under current laws and policies, the Congressional Budget Office projects that almost all future growth in debt will be due to increased spending on social programs and interest on the national debt.

Legislators ignore this towering debt crisis at the peril of future generations. 

One immediate consequence that massive deficit spending imposes on future generations is crippling interest payments that tomorrow’s taxpayers will have to cover. The interest on the national debt must be paid each year, and the annual expense associated with that payment only increases as the total debt grows.

The annual interest was already projected to hit $1 trillion by 2030 before the latest crisis hit and before counting all the new debt. This means future generations will have to shell out trillions more in taxes every year to service the debt we’re accruing now via spending that, at least ostensibly, benefits us today. 

Image credit: Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

And it’s widely understood that high levels of government debt are a serious drag on future economic growth. This happens in part because massive government deficits “crowd out” private sector investment by drawing from the pool of available money. But that’s hardly the only economic consequence of government debt.

Here’s how the non-partisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation summed up the consequences of the runaway national debt:

Growing debt also has a direct effect on the economic opportunities available to every American. Based on data provided by CBO, income per person could increase by as much as $5,500, on average, by 2049 if we were to reduce our debt to its historical average.

In addition, high levels of debt would affect many other aspects of the economy in the future. For example, higher interest rates resulting from increased federal borrowing would make it harder for families to buy homes, finance car payments, or pay for college. Fewer education and training opportunities stemming from lower investment would leave workers without the skills to keep up with the demands of a more technology-based, global economy. Faltering support for research and development would make it harder for American businesses to remain on the cutting edge of innovation, and would hurt wage growth in the U.S. Furthermore, slower economic growth generally would also make our fiscal challenges even worse, as lower incomes lead to smaller tax collections and put the federal budget further out of balance.

Of course, it is future workers who will bear these economic consequences—not the Baby Boomers in Congress who are burning through taxpayer money at lightspeed. 

Here’s a hypothetical that helps put the gross immorality of skyrocketing government debt simply:

Imagine a parent who responded to a financial crisis affecting their family not by racking up bills on their own credit card, but by taking out a credit card in their child’s name and loading it up with charges for them to deal with later in life. This is effectively what the federal government is doing right now in response to COVID-19. At the very least, Congress shouldn’t have let the national debt continue to mount during the prior decade of growth. Fiscal responsibility would have cushioned the blow in case Congress was later forced to spend profusely in response to a crisis like COVID-19.

But instead, policymakers chose the path that would be politically beneficial in the short-term and shrugged off the future consequences as not their problem. As famed economist Thomas Sowell said, “The national debt is the ghost of Christmas past.” For future generations, holidays may not offer much cause for celebration.

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, June 22, 2020

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (729-732)


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.

Only the last photo in this set is labeled. It is the door of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and was taken January 7th, 1957. The first two photos appear to have been taken at some kind of party. The third photo is a gathering in someone's living room. All appear to have been taken in the 1950s.










Good Shepherd Lutheran Church - 1-7-57




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

Amiga CD32 (January 1994)



Amiga CD32 (January 1994)



The CD32 could have been a great console but it didn't live long enough for us to find out. Based on the Amiga 1200, this was Commodore's last attempt at a game console before going bankrupt. That happened shortly after the CD32 was released in the U.K. and just before there would have been an official U.S. release. Still, even it managed a dedicated magazine or two in the U.K. The January 1994 issue of Amiga CD32 (of which there were only two issues) includes:

  • Editorial
  • What's On The Coverdisc? - Arcade Pool, Superfrog, Marvin's Marvellous Adventure, Wembley International Soccer, Cannon Fodder, Top Gear 2, Kid Chaos, Bubble & Squeak and Banshee.
  • News - All the latest news on Commodore, plus a rundown of developments throughout the year.
  • FMV Feature
  • Joypad Offer
  • Competition - You could be in with a chance of winning one of 10 Marvin's Marvellous Adventure T-shirts.
  • Paravision SX-1
  • Previews - Alien Breed 2, Tower Assault, The Lost Eden, Mega Race, Marvin's Marvellous Adventure, Baldy, Space Academy, Evasive Action, Super Stardust and Manchester United Premier League Champions.
  • Half-Priced Games
  • Reader's Letters
  • Back Issue

Cheats & Tips

  • Cannon Fodder
  • Heimdall 2

Reviews

  • Guardian
  • Cannon Fodder
  • Soccer Kid
  • Sensible Soccer
  • Jetstrike
  • Last Ninja 3
  • Legacy of Sorasil
  • Darkseed
  • Bubble 'n' Squeak
  • James Pond 3
  • Superfrog
  • Arcade Pool
  • Battletoads
  • Brian The Lion
  • Litil Divil
  • Simon The Sorceror
  • Myth
  • Emerald Mines
  • Fire and Ice
  • Zool 2
  • Ultimate Body Blows
  • Premiere
  • Heimdall 2
  • Gunship 2000
  • Wembly International Soccer
  • Out To Lunch
  • Lemmings
  • Sabre Team
  • Banshee

...and more!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Commodore Horizons (May 1984)



Commodore Horizons (May 1984)



Commodore Horizons is one more of a seemingly endelsss number of magazines that covered the Commodore 64 (and VIC-20) in the U.K. in the 1980s. The May 1984 issue includes:

  • Letters - Taking issue with our games reviews, more on converting your computer, and the saga of tape versus disk continued.
  • Clubnet - This month Chris Jenkins visits the North London group.
  • News - Commodore's art competition, the latest hardware and software, and advance information on the CBM show.
  • Making music on the C64 - Computer music expert David Fox makes the 64 sing for its supper
  • Games software - Intrepid Pete Gerrard takes on the aliens, cavemen, charioteers and assorted baddies in this month's look at the latest games.
  • Business software - Mike Watts gets organized with databases.
  • Profile - The Hungarians are coming! We talk to David Bishop of Andromeda Software and reveal plans for a game invasion.
  • Fred goes Eatabout - Basic games programming made easy with the help of Steven Brain and a hungry caterpillar named Fred.
  • Basicmon - A powerful machine language code programming aid from M C Hart.
  • Software file - More readers' programs for you to enjoy, featuring colors, crashes and catastrophes for the Vic and 64.
  • Mains noise - Beat the buzz with these hardware hints from K Garwell.
  • Market view - All the latest on Commodore's performance in the competitive world of computing.
  • Answer back - Technical problems tackled by our exper Jack Cohen - this month more on monitors, printers and graphics.
  • Competition - Win a remote controlled turtle from Valiant Designs.

...and more!

gfyuna09 - Yuna

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Minneapolis Man Who Watched His Business Burn Says He’s Leaving. History Suggests More Will Follow

Since 1987, Kris Wyrobek has owned and operated 7-Sigma Inc., a manufacturing company on 26th Ave. in south Minneapolis that employs some 50 people.

Wyrobek says that after helplessly watching his plant burn during last month’s riots, he has no plans of sticking around.

“The fire engine was just sitting there, but they wouldn’t do anything,” Wyrobek told The Star Tribune this week. "[The city doesn’t] care about my business. They didn't protect our people. We were all on our own."

Minneapolis is still reeling from one of the worst US riots in modern history. According to The Star Tribune, the city’s first survey of damage shows that nearly 1,000 commercial properties in the city were damaged and 52 businesses were completely destroyed.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called the city's response to the riots an "abject failure." Wyrobek no doubt agrees.

Unfortunately, history suggests the economic damage will endure long after the wreckage in Minneapolis is cleared.

Economic research and basic economic theory indicate that local residents will suffer from myriad cascading consequences ranging from business flight, reduced capital investment, higher insurance costs, and lower property values. All of these effects will be especially hard on underprivileged communities.

There is not an abundance of data on the costs of riots, but the evidence that does exist points in one direction.

The best data we have regarding the impact riots have on property values comes from a 2004 National Bureau of Economic Research report written by economists William J. Collins and Robert A. Margo. That paper focused on the aftermath of the 1960s riots and examined census data from 1950 to 1980 to measure the effect riots had on property values.

“Using both city-level and household-level data, we find negative, persistent, and economically significant correlations between riot severity and black-owned property values,” wrote Collins and Margo.

The authors found riots “significantly depressed” the value of black-owned property, noting that “there was little or no rebound during the 1970s.”

Residential property is hardly the only casualty, however. A 2004 economic study on the LA riots of 1992 found that in addition to the $1 billion in property damage and some 50 people killed, the riots accounted for a loss of economic activity that cost the city $3.8 billion in taxable sales and more than $125 million in direct sales tax revenue.

One of the authors of that study, economist Victor Matheson, said it took more than a decade for economic activity to return to its previous level in the parts of LA that were impacted.

“Economic activity in the areas affected didn’t return for at least 10 years,” Matheson said.

The visual evidence is more compelling than numbers, however. As the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, many US cities still have not recovered from riots of the 1960s. Take Detroit.

On the morning of July 23, 1967, 43 people were killed (1,189 injured), more than 7,200 arrested, and more than 2,000 buildings were destroyed in “the bloodiest incident in the long, hot summer of 1967.”

Six decades of decline followed in the manufacturing city that was already beginning to struggle because of pressure on an automotive industry facing union difficulties, labor strikes, and, later, increased competition. In 2019, Detroit, which had a population of 1.6 million in the 1960s and was one of America’s largest cities, had a population of 670,031, according to the US Census. Following the devastating riots, people fled, businesses left, jobs disappeared, and the city’s tax base shrunk. It’s now typical to find Detroit at the top of Forbes’s annual “most dangerous US cities” list.

Detroit’s experience might be the most dramatic example, but it’s important to remember the decline is not the exception but the rule. Sowell points to his hometown of Harlem, New York as another example of a neighborhood that has never recovered from riots.

Harlem was one of many ghettos across the country that have still not recovered from the riots of the 1960s. In later years, a niece of mine, who had grown up in the same Harlem tenement where I grew up years earlier, bitterly complained about how few stores and other businesses there were in the neighborhood.

There were plenty of stores in that same neighborhood when I was growing up, as well as a dentist, a pharmacist, and an optician, all less than a block away. But that was before the neighborhood was swept by riots.

The lesson is obvious. Investing capital in a business is an incredibly risky proposition. About 20 percent of new businesses fail in the first two years. Nearly half in the first five. Adding a risk variable that your property might be destroyed by mob violence is simply not one many business owners are willing to take.

In his work "What is Seen and What is Unseen, " the great French economist Claude-Frédéric Bastiat states that every action has not one effect but a whole series of effects.

“In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects,” Bastiat wrote.

In the case of riots, we’d do well to remember their effects go well beyond the immediate property damage.

Kris Wyrobek’s flight from Minneapolis may turn out to be a singular act or the beginning of an exodus. But either way, it’s a tragic near-certainty that the destructive ramifications of the Minneapolis riots will be felt by members of the community long after the wreckage has been cleared.

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.