URLs du Jour


  • It's the State of the Union message tonight; I'll be maintaining my (at least) quarter-century tradition of not watching. Kevin D. Williamson had it right two years ago:

    The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live.

    And that's just the first paragraph. Unless you have some sort of professional obligation: don't watch. And even then, you might consider Peter Suderman's State of the Union Drinking Game.

    [Bonus URL from Charles C. W. Cooke: "The State of the Union Is Inappropriate". I'm pretty sure that refers to the speech, not the actual state of the union.]

  • Andrew Klavan writes on a point I've been fumbling with for a while, and (of course) manages to express it eloquently and convincingly:

    For those of us who love comedy, one of the most delightful ironies of progressivism is how regressive it is, how mired in the past. While conservatives gather to discuss fresh reformist ideas on how to fight poverty and keep a free society afloat, all progressives ever do is reach into their Magic Box of Tomorrow and draw out the same sclerotic socialism that's been poisoning the lives of nations since at least the 19th century.

    Note that the most recent report of the Fraser Institute on the Economic Freedom of the World puts the US in sixteenth place among countries. Similar research, using slightly different methodology, from the Heritage Foundation puts us at number 12. Both are dismal results. Would some/all GOP candidates pledge to move us up in the rankings, with a Klavan-like explanation of why that's important? That would be nice.

  • President Obama isn't above using the specious "if it saves just one life" argument in favor of "gun control":

    We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something – anything – to protect our kids from gun violence?

    That argument doesn't apply, however, when it comes to

    The Pentagon said Monday that it transferred Muhammed Abd Al Rahman Awn Al-Shamrani from Guantanamo Bay home to Saudi Arabia, bringing the prison’s population down to 103.

    So: Mr. President, if it could protect our kids—even just one of the little tykes—from terrorism, why not just leave these bastards safely locked up?

    But never mind: Obama isn't constrained by logic or principle when it comes to doing what he wants.

  • A reminder of why I put "gun control" in sneer quotes: it goes back to this Thomas Szasz quote:

    The FDA calls certain substances "controlled." But there are no "controlled substances," there are only controlled citizens.

    So it is with "gun control"; the aim is not to control guns, but to control citizens.