URLs du Jour


  • narrative, consumption doodle I've seen a few people pointing to this essay by Deirdre McCloskey, usually to say "Read the whole thing." Let me add my voice to that choir. It's a response to the "master narrative of High Liberalism".

    How do I know that my narrative is better than yours? The experiments of the 20th century told me so. It would have been hard to know the wisdom of Friedrich Hayek or Milton Friedman or Matt Ridley or Deirdre McCloskey in August of 1914, before the experiments in large government were well begun. But anyone who after the 20th century still thinks that thoroughgoing socialism, nationalism, imperialism, mobilization, central planning, regulation, zoning, price controls, tax policy, labor unions, business cartels, government spending, intrusive policing, adventurism in foreign policy, faith in entangling religion and politics, or most of the other thoroughgoing 19th-century proposals for governmental action are still neat, harmless ideas for improving our lives is not paying attention.

    Advocates of limited government and individual liberty need to make such points more often.

  • I would love (for example) to make such points to President Obama. And—what a break—the First Lady has sent me mail offering me another opportunity to do so. The message begins:

    For the first 10 years of our marriage, Barack and I lived in an apartment in my hometown of Chicago.

    The winters there can be pretty harsh, but no matter how snowy or icy it got, Barack would head out into the cold -- shovel in hand -- to dig my car out before I went to work.

    In all our years of marriage, he's always looked out for me. Now, I see that same commitment every day to you and to this country.

    I think this means that Barack is committing to shovelling out my car this winter. Good news!

    The message goes on to offer a chance in a contest "to join Barack and me for a casual dinner." And there's a donation link. But the link to enter the contest without donating is here. If I don't win, I hope you do.

  • The windup of the New Hampshire legislative season has been a mixed bag, but Cato's Michael F. Cannon points out a bright spot: NH won't be setting up an Obamacare "health insurance exchange". (The Cato post contains a link to New Hampshire Watchdog, an excellent site. Non-Granite Staters might want to check the parent Watchdog site to see if there's an equivalent.)

  • So I checked the comments for the Slashdot story headlined "Astronomers Catch Asteroid In Near-Miss Video" to see how long it took someone to say

    Near miss? Near hit, rather....

    Answer: 48 minutes. And only a few minutes longer for someone to link to…

  • A couple weeks back, we linked to a Ron Bailey story at Reason detailing a dishonest hit job by the Union of Concerned Scientists about General Electric's support for various think tanks, including Reason's. The UCS has now corrected that sloppy report; details have been appended to Bailey's article.