URLs du Jour — 2014-06-03

  • Via this morning's WSJ: New Hampshire's own Jeanne Shaheen is one of nine US Senators targeted in an ethics complaint filed by the Center for Competitive Politics, an organization (in their own words) "dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights." That is … not surprising.

    The detailed complaint is here. Jeanne is named for her co-signing of a 2012 letter to the IRS then-Commissioner, Douglas Shulman, urging the investigation of 501(c)(4) groups for their political activities. (Pun Salad noted that before.)

    I doubt this complaint will go much of anywhere in a Democrat-controlled Senate. But one would think there would be more outrage about powerful politicians even attempting to recruit the IRS as a political weapon against their critics.

    Senator Jeanne is also a co-sponsor of SJ13, a proposed Constitutional amendment aimed at reducing Americans' First Amendment freedoms.)

  • I don't have much new to say about Bowe Bergdahl, the American recently exchanged for five Gitmo terrorists. Bret Stephens notes the UCMJ allows the death penalty for desertion "in time of war". But, Stephens notes, we aren't in "time of war"; we are in "Time of Obama".

    In Time of Obama, dereliction of duty is heroism, releasing mass murderers with American blood on their hands is a good way to start a peace process, negotiating with terrorists is not negotiating with terrorists, and exchanging senior Taliban commanders for a lone American soldier is not an incentive to take other Americans hostage but rather proof that America brings its people home.

    There's more, detailing what a major disgrace it is; check it out.

  • I'd tell you if I saw a hippo in my backyard. In that vein, let me report that I saw a remarkably well done criticism of occupational licensing in the (egads) New York Times. First paragraph:

    IN Minnesota, more classroom time is required to become a cosmetologist than to become a lawyer. Becoming a manicurist takes double the number of hours of instruction as a paramedic. In Louisiana, the only state in the country that requires licenses for florists, monks were until recently forbidden to sell coffins because they were not licensed funeral directors.

    True fact: New Hampshire is one of only five states to require that shampooers be licensed. Live Free or Conditioned!

  • OK, it's been a while since Iowahawk tweeted this, and you've probably already seen it elsewhere, but:

  • I've become a fan of the Time Zone Database "Announcements" list, which describes (mostly) wacky political and religious changes to local time calculations around the world; all computers must upgrade lest they start giving out the wrong time.

    The latest release involves a problem with zic, the "Zoneinfo Compiler" that produces machine-readable datafiles from (barely) human-readable ones. The fix description:

    zic no longer generates files containing time stamps well before the Big Bang.

    Ah. Wish that all software developers were as careful with their code.


Last Modified 2014-10-07 5:02 AM EDT