Craziest wingsuit flight yet

HT: Julian Weeks

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BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – February 2017

BBC Watch

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during February 2017 shows that throughout the month a total of 102 incidents took place: eighty-two in Judea & Samaria, fourteen in Jerusalem, one in Petah Tikva and five attacks from the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula.

The agency recorded 86 attacks with petrol bombs, 8 attacks using explosive devices, one shooting attack and one vehicular attack in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem as well as one shooting attack in Petah Tikva and one shooting attack and four missile attacks from the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula.

Fourteen people – nine civilians and five members of the security forces – were injured in attacks during February.

As regular readers know, the four separate incidents of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula during February did not receive any coverage whatsoever on the BBC News website.

A vehicular attack at the entrance…

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Waiting for @stevenljoyce’s great leap forward

When I first heard of this idea to increase exports by 1/3rd, I immediately thought that the balance of payment balances. Any increase in exports will require a matching increase in imports unless we want to start exporting 10% of our GDP, running a trade surplus of 10% of our GDP relative to where it is now.

Countries do not normally embrace the Dutch disease. This is a large appreciation of the currency after an export boom will deindustrialise the import competing sectors and the non-booming export sectors. The exchange rate appreciation brought on by the export boom and heavy demand for New Zealand foreign exchange by foreigners will cause a large switch in consumer spending towards imports.

If exports are to go up by 10% of GDP, imports must too unless there is a change in incentives to invest and save in New Zealand and abroad. As Barro explains

The current-account balance is the difference between a country’s total income and its spending on consumption and investment (and net transfers abroad).

The current account is the difference between national saving — income not spent on consumption — and domestic investment. To think about why the ratio of the current-account deficit to GDP is large, ask why the ratio of investment to GDP is high or why the national saving rate is low.

Current accounts go into surplus or deficit because there is an international trade in savings. We either import the savings of others or export NZ savings. When net exports are positive, we are exporting our savings, when exports are negative, we are importing the savings of others.

The capital account surplus, otherwise known to scaremongering and export fetish types as the current account deficit, is the extent to which foreigners are willing to lend their savings to New Zealanders to buy imports in excess of export receipts.

When the current account is in surplus as it certainly must if we increased exports by 10 percentage points of GDP, New Zealanders would be lending a substantial amount of their savings to the rest of the world. What is the point of an export boom if we do not spend some of it?

It is just pedantic to point out the few countries outside of the European Union export more than 1/3rd of their GDP. That is just raining on Steven Joyce’s parade. Exports are still less than 30% of GDP in 2016 as the graphic below shows.

Source: OECD Factbook 2016.

Highly recommended reading: “On Political Correctness”

Why Evolution Is True

The American Scholar is the house magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society, with the journal’s name taken from a speech given to that society by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1837.  It’s published a number of distinguished articles, but a new one stands out: “On political correctness: Power, class, and the new campus religion“. It’s by William Deresiewicz, a widely published author and literary critic; and I wish I’d written the piece.

It’s long, and covers a lot of territory, but I highly recommend it. Its thesis is that “political correctness”, which Deresiewicz defines as “the persistent attempt to suppress the expression of unwelcome beliefs and ideas”, is proliferating in American private universities (not so much in public ones), and has many pernicious effects, including these

  • Homogenizing the student body, so that anyone with dissident views (read: conservatives, religious people, moderate feminists, pro-Israelis) is afraid to express them for fear…

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Star Trek Did More For the Cultural Advancement of Women Than Government Policies

Notes On Liberty

The fondest memories of my childhood center on the time I spent with my father watching Star Trek. At the time, I simply enjoyed science fiction. However, as an adult I have often revisited Star Trek (on multiple occasions) and I realized that I had incorporated subconsciously many elements of the show into my own political reasoning.

Not to give too much away about my age, my passion with Star Trek started largely with the Voyager installments. As a result, I ended up seeing Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway. And that’s what she was: the captain. I never saw the relevance that she was a woman. A few years ago, I saw her speak at the Montreal Comic-Con (yes, I am that kind of Trekkie) and she mentioned how crucial she thought her role to be for the advancement of women. By that time, I had already started to consider Star…

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