URLs du Jour — 2013-05-28

Pun Salad: Not One of Us Gosh, you take a little blogging vacation and everything goes to hell: the IRS harassing tea-partiers; the DOJ investigating reporters for doing their job; the Obama Administration pushing a blatantly unconstitutional speech code onto institutions of higher education; the State Department obviously lying about Benghazi; and the University Near Here spending a six figure sum on stupid proposals for a new logo that everyone hates.

We will take a deep breath and continue on as if nothing happened.

  • I GIMPed up today's illustration based on Jay Nordlinger's recalling the Obama campaign's famous TV ad from last year: "MITT ROMNEY. Not One of Us." I concur with Jay:

    So true — truer words were never spoken. Not one of them at all. Nothing like them.

    Say it with me and Jay, brothers and sisters.

  • If you feel tempted to read Sheryl Sandberg's massively-hyped new book, Lean In, you might want to read Phil Greenspun's take on the tome. Phil is a hatpin, Sandberg's book is a balloon overinflated with hot air.

    Sandberg identifies the same tendencies for underlings in a bureaucracy to hold their tongues that Max Weber noticed 100+ years ago (p85; no reference to Weber). She offers some practical advice for dealing with the problem of the boss not getting frank feedback on page 86: ostentatiously reward people who breach etiquette by speaking uncomfortable truths to higher-ups.

    That's news you can use: tell your boss "uncomfortable truths" and hope like hell he or she has read and believes Sandberg.

    But if you do decide to buy Lean In, please note that you can do that by clicking right here

  • At HuffPo, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush (their "Senior Religion Editor") opines on "Why Everyone Should Oppose Ten Commandments In Public Schools -- Especially Religious People". I liked this:

    Every religious person should object to having the Ten Commandments in schools because you are allowing other people -- people over whom you have no control -- the responsibility of interpreting said commandments.

    Brandeis, like most of his bent, doesn't come to the obvious more general conclusion: you should not allow people — over whom you have no control — the responsibility of pushing any doctrine onto your kids.

  • Jonah Goldberg writes perceptively (as usual) on the Administration's "idiot" defense for its recently-revealed misdeeds.

    A free people will have legitimate differences on questions of policy. A government as vast as ours is — never mind as vast Obama wants it to be — is destined to abuse its power, particularly in a climate where a savior-president is incessantly delegitimizing dissent (and journalistic scrutiny). Government officials will behave like idiots sometimes, not because they are individually dumb but because a government that takes on too much will make an idiot out of anyone who thinks there’s no limit to what it can do. That alone is good reason to fear tyranny. Indeed, it would be idiotic not to.

  • Last but not least, Randal O'Toole takes on the latest statist excuse for Bigger Government: without it, our bridges will fall down and kill us all! Aieee! But

    Recent highway safety data reveal a striking 20 percent decline in fatalities between 2007 and 2010. This decline was associated with a mere 2.2 percent decline in driving, suggesting that–in the absence of the recession–a 2.2 percent increase in highway capacity and other congestion relief could have produced a similar decline in fatalities. Of the 41,259 fatalities in 2007, 13 were due to a bridge failure; there have been virtually none since then.

    Gosh, you mean that using knee-jerk scare tactics might actually misallocate government resources and—oops!—make us all less safe? Shocker!


Last Modified 2013-06-19 9:42 AM EST