URLs du Jour

2017-02-07

Our Proverb du Jour is 29:5

Those who flatter their neighbors are spreading nets for their feet.

Fine, but … waitaminnit, whose feet? Flatterers or flaterees? I believe this shows that ambiguous pronoun references were a problem even back in the eighth century BC.

  • Econ prof Bryan Caplan is appalled by the definition of "Communism" in the Princeton Review's test prep book Cracking the AP Economics Macro & Micro Exams:

    Communism is a system designed to minimize imbalance in wealth via the collective ownership of property.  Legislators from a single political party - the communist party - divide the available wealth for equal advantage among citizens.  The problems with communism include a lack of incentives for extra effort, risk taking, and innovation.  The critical role of the central government in allocating resources and setting production levels makes this system particularly vulnerable to corruption.

    Prof Caplan invites you to "dissect it sentence-by-sentence." As you might expect from a dissection, the subject is left bloody and mangled on the table.

  • Sorry to blog again about that dreadful Audi ad at the Super Bowl, but people keep writing about it. The latest, from Dennis Prager at NR: "Audi: The Car for the Unhappy Woman"

    If there was ever a more mendacious or socially destructive ad on television, let alone during the Super Bowl, I am unaware of it.

    … and he proceeds from there, calling for a boycott of Audi.

    Fine, there is zero probability that I will buy an Audi in the future. (Unfortunately, this isn't really participating in the boycott, since the pre-SB probability was also zero.)

  • At Reason, Robby Soave reports: "To Thwart Fascism, Leftist Students Start Self-Defense ‘Fight Club,’ Which Actually Sounds Awesome".

    Did conservative students accidentally convince their liberal counterparts to take the right to self-defense seriously? To guard against Trump-inspired hate crimes, a socialist student club at the University of Central Florida has started a "Leftist Fight Club"—an ode to the well-known Chuck Palahniuk book and fi[l]m—to practice hand-to-hand combat and self-defense.

    There was a certain amount of hand-wringing in response. But it appears to be about self-defense, and if this makes even one leftist learn about taking responsibility for their own safety, it's probably a Good Thing.

    [Added slightly later, after caffeine kick-in] Of course, we should always ask "what could go wrong?" And in this case, that's pretty easy to detect: self-proclaimed leftists are prone to view normal discourse and advocacy as "violence", and their "self-defense" isn't unlikely to amount to initiation of actual violence. So there's that.

  • The always-marvelous Virginia Postrel columnizes: "Trump Would Crush the Winners of the U.S. Economy"

    Donald Trump says it all the time: “We don’t win anymore.” If you got all your economic news from the presumed Republican nominee, you’d think U.S. businesses hadn’t added any new jobs or accomplished anything worthwhile since sometime in the Johnson administration. Americans nowadays, he keeps suggesting, are total losers.

    While Trump’s rhetoric denigrates the achievements of U.S. companies and their millions of employees, his specific proposals are worse. They reveal a vision of the good economy as static, uninnovative and controlled from the White House. President Trump’s America is, despite the rhetoric, an economy with no place for winners.

    In a saner world, Virginia Postrel would be President.

  • And your Tweet du Jour from the immortal Frank J.:


Last Modified 2017-02-07 8:12 AM EST