URLs du Jour

2008-09-22

  • Both libertarian Will Wilkinson and conservative Jonah Goldberg think this essay by Roderick T. Long on large-scale popular misperceptions of America's economic history is the cat's pajamas, so you better read it. It has obvious implications to the current imbroglio. It won't cheer you up.

  • Looking for insightful economic analysis on the mess? Boy, are you in the wrong place. Although there's a lot of good sense out there, and ringing true for me is Jim Manzi:
    It is a Hayekian nightmare on several levels, and as I said previously, its ideological consequences are likely to be substantial, long-lasting and negative. I can make the arguments as loudly as anyone, and I believe them, that the causes of this problem that can be laid at the feet of government are ill-advised market interventions and poor regulation, rather than insufficient controls on the market. The best long-term solutions, in my view, all involve less government intervention. It will be important to make these arguments. But the patient has been hit by a car, and is lying on the ground bleeding. It’s all well and good to discuss how irresponsible he was to wander drunk into the street, how we should better design our traffic control systems, and so on. But first we need to stabilize the patient and stop the blood loss.
    Not too cheerful either.

  • Also not cheerful, but on a different topic: Betsy Newmark has a good review of current efforts to muzzle Obama critics. The Washington Times recalls good old Al Gore's fulminations about "digital brownshirts" who (he imagined) were under directions to "harass and hector" Bush-critical journalists. Al, where are you now?

  • In our college life category:
    [Indiana University student Lucas] Widdicombe told police he had not urinated in the cup and had no intentions of pouring it on people. Widdicombe said someone had given him a cup of urine while he was in the restroom, and he decided to take it back to his seat to show his friends.
    I'm thinking that this news story will pop up every time a potential employer Googles "Lucas Widdicombe". Good move, Lucas. (Via University Diarist.)

Bella

[3.5 stars] [Amazon Link] [IMDb Link]

Picked up via the online recommendation of Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online, this is a small and decent movie about life-changing moments and decisions.

It opens with soccer player Jose, with his agent, about to sign a pro contract for $2 million. ("2.2 million," his agent reminds him. "We don't round down.") He's ebullient and cocky.

The movie suddenly jumps forward a few years, and Jose is not a soccer star; he's a cook in an upscale NYC Mexican restaurant, withdrawn and impressively bearded. He's working for his all-business brother Manny, who chides him for getting too lavish with the employees' pre-opening meal. Also in trouble is waitress Nina; she's been calling in sick and tardy, and it's the last straw for Manny, who fires her.

But Jose sees Nina as a troubled soul and puts her under his wing; they wind up spending the day together, and the movie follows them around as they wander New York, hop out to Long Island to visit Jose's family, revealing things about themselves as they go.

So: pretty good. Also made me hungry for upscale Mexican food.


Last Modified 2013-07-19 10:12 AM EDT