URLs du Jour

2006-02-08

  • Don Boudreaux has an interesting note which I think is related to the Fallacy of Asymmetric Idealization mentioned a couple days ago; Don looks at the tendency of some to (a) take the level of government spending as reflecting the "informed will of the people"; (b) point with alarm at the budget deficit; (c) deduce that taxes must be raised.

    Waitagoldarnedminnit, says Don. (I'm paraphrasing.) If the spending level reflects the "informed will of the people", there's no reason to think that the current taxation level isn't also the informed will of the people. There's no obvious reason to prefer "informed will" on one side over the other.

    Or, alternatively, there's every reason to presume dysfunction on both sides, not just the taxation side.

  • And (via Poor & Stupid) George Reisman detects Newspeak in an NYT editorial. He quotes:

    But the biggest shortcoming [of the President's energy proposals] is the total absence of a program that would deliver any of these dandy new technologies to the marketplace. By program we mean a uniform set of incentives — what the economists call market signals — that would drive American industry to build the more fuel-efficient vehicles and the cleaner power plants that we need.

    Reisman points out, not altogether calmly, that "what economists call market signals" are produced by the market: people demanding things that they actually want, as opposed to the things the NYT editorial board thinks they should want. That is, of course, exactly the opposite of what the editorial advocates.

    Reisman concludes:

    The New York Times is a malevolent, alien influence, one that is hostile to the United States' very reason for being.

    Well, yeah. But what really irks me is their use of free-market lingo to push for coercive measures. Orwell memorably pointed to the comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism, who could not bring himself to say outright "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so." Similarly, the Times can't simply say: "We believe in forcing people to buy cars they don't prefer, and to pay sky-high prices for gas when you can get good results by doing so." They have to wrap themselves in the inflated language of "incentives" and "markets". Bah!

  • And Andrew Sullivan isn't particularly happy with the NYT (on a different matter) either:

    They are not journalists. They are merely cowards.

    In contrast, Little Green Footballs is relatively sedate:

    It's a lesson, all right—a lesson in Gray Lady hypocrisy. But it's neither startling nor new.

  • But (on the other hand), the NYT was brave enough to print this very bad news for the Food Police: Low-Fat Diet Does Not Cut Health Risks, Study Finds. Bring unto me the Quarter Pounders with Cheese! And the head of Michael Jacobson!

  • Instapundit dubs the Coretta Scott King funeral Wellstone II, after the 2002 funeral of Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota which Democrats turned into a political rally; most folks not driven by partisan hatreds found it distastefully ghoulish. And it didn't play out well for the Democrats in the 2002 elections, either in Minnesota or in the rest of the country.

    But that didn't stop it from happening again at the King funeral. Glenn's got lots of links to various reactions. And nails the problem succinctly:

    The problem with today's Democrats is that they try to invest the naked hunger for power with the dignity of the civil rights movement, a dignity that they no longer possess because it was based on a self-discipline that they no longer possess.

  • [Cathy
Poulin] And for whoever it was came here searching for "Cathy Poulin pictures". Here you go. But really, that's not a sign of a healthy mind. (Background here, fourth item.)

    For the person looking for "Lumumba chocolate": What? Sorry, I got nothing.

    For the person looking for "Courtney Cox dress Longest Yard": I don't blame you, but just rent the DVD again.

  • And Scott Adams brings his unique perspective to the Intoonfada:

    Let me go on record as saying I don't approve of the burning of embassies. But I must confess I'm intrigued by the notion of causing it to happen. Apparently the indirect method of causing embassies to be burned down is both totally legal and also a highly prized right. As you know, there aren't many ways you can burn down an occupied building and get away with it. But it is completely legal to use your freedom of speech to indirectly incite other people into doing almost any dumb ass thing you can think of. That's a big reason I became a cartoonist.

    So the next time you're about to commit mayhem because of a cartoon you saw in a newspaper, you might want to second-think that a bit.


Last Modified 2012-10-25 2:35 PM EST