URLs du Jour

2017-02-24

Proverbs 29:21 [New International Version]:

A servant pampered from youth will turn out to be insolent.

We can speculate about what that shows about social mobility in BC Israel. Or we can switch to a different translation. Here's good old King James:

He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.

… the insolence is gone, and we have, more or less, a heartwarming character arc of a lowly servant becoming one of the family.

The "Holman Christian Standard Bible" pulls no punches about what "servants" really were back in the day. And they stick with the original unsentimentality:

A slave pampered from his youth will become arrogant later on.

Can't have that!

Er, I'm having a difficult time drawing a consistent lesson from today's Proverb, so we now return you to our regularly scheduled program:

  • Ever since reading Jason Brennan's Against Democracy last year, I seem to have become attuned to how Politics Makes Everything Worse. And I've been a fan of Virginia Postrel for decades, so her recent essay was self-recommending: "Don't Let Politics Invade Your Closet or Refrigerator". Her takeoff point:

    After 20 years, the big Outdoor Retailer trade show is leaving Salt Lake City -- not because it ran out of space or got a better deal elsewhere but because Utah lawmakers opposed an expansion of the industry’s biggest federal subsidy.

    The issue being Obama's designation of 1.35 million acres of federal land in Utah as a "national monument", a very contentious move in the state. Utah GOP pols, specifically, were opposed. Which (in turn) raised the ire of the "Outdoor Industry Association", which pulled the trade show.

    Ms. Postrel notes this as just one example of the upswing of politically-motivated boycotts and counter-boycotts. It's hard to see how this ends well.

    Confession: about the only item of which I've joined an announced boycott is Firefox. (But Firefox's market share has been sinking for years, and it's doubtful the boycott has had any effect on that.)

    I have (more in sadness than in anger) stopped reading some authors for their irritating political views: e.g., Ken Jennings, John Scalzi, Stephen King.

    I should be more precise. I don't mind mere disagreement. But when I see statements that demonstrate an author holds my political views and values in utter contempt, that's kind of a deal-breaker.

    As near as I can tell, they haven't missed me.

  • Heat Street reports: Facebook Suspends Christian Homeschool Mom’s Account for Citing the Bible.

    Allegedly. Facebook's suspension mechanisms are opaque, and its rules are vague, so nobody knows for sure.

    Fortunately, my Bible-quoting is restricted to my blog. I'm not in trouble for that, at least not yet.

  • At Reason, Brendan O'Neill finds that "Outlandish Trump Hysteria Mirrors Obamaphobia"

    How thin is the line between reason and delirium. Just a few years ago, Democrats and liberals were presenting themselves as paragons of level-headed politics in contrast to those cranky Obama bashers and birthers in the darker crannies of the worldwide web. Now, four weeks into the Trump presidency, they've become the thing they mocked; they're giving febrile Obamaphobes a run for their money in the paranoia game.

    "Febrile." Heh.

  • Also at Reason, Judge Napolitano is not fond of the methods used to take down Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn. 'Twas the "Revenge of the Deep State".

    Last week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that members of the intelligence community — part of the deep state, the unseen government within the government that does not change with elections — now have acquired so much data on everyone in America that they can selectively reveal it to reward their friends and harm their foes. Their principal foe today is the president of the United States.

    Judge Nap notes this is the near-inevitable result of the "maniacal passion for surveillance" brought about under Dubya and Obama.

    It would be nice to think that Trump will start dismantling that apparatus. But another scenario has him gaining control over it and using it for his own purposes. I wouldn't consider that unlikely.

  • And your Ramirez du Jour:

    Snail's Pace

    ObLink: "Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Replacement for Obamacare". Just grow a spine and do it, Republicans.