URLs du Jour

2017-04-01

■ Our relentless march through Proverbs continues (even though it is April). Here is 28:26:

Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

That's a thought-provoker, even though it seems to say that I shouldn't trust any conclusions I might derive from those provoked thoughts.

Perhaps it's similar to what Richard Feynman said in his 1974 Caltech commencement speech on "Cargo-Cult Science".

The first principle [of scientific integrity] is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.

It's (honestly) a complete coincidence that our April 1 proverb concerns fools. As always, you are urged to be careful out there today.

Yesterday's Pun Salad prediction turned out to be on the mark.

Jordan Gamache, 34, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree murder, according to the Attorney General's Office.

I will trumpet these little victories as they occur. They're certainly rare enough.

■ Jacob Weindling lists The 25 Best Never Trump Conservatives to Follow on Twitter. No, I didn't expect Pun Salad to be there. But I did kind of think that Jonah Goldberg and Kevin D. Williamson would make the cut. It's a list targeted to his unconservative readers, so I suspect that he didn't want to expose them to too many sources of insight and accuracy.

■ Speaking of KDW, here he is on Trump's tweeted declaration of war on the GOP Freedom Caucus: Prelude to a Sellout. His bottom line:

Conservatives should not be under any illusions about President Trump’s orientation at this moment. After the health-care debacle, he is proceeding as though he believes that conservatives are his enemies, and he is ready to recruit Democrats, who will bring their policies with them, into that fight. Trump being Trump, nobody knows where he’ll be politically the day after tomorrow, but from one point of view it makes no sense to worry about Trump’s selling out conservatives: He was never a conservative to begin with, and it is impossible to betray principles that one does not in fact hold.

This is not news, but it bears repetition for folks who don't want to be singing that Who song one more time. As Robby Soave noted months ago:

Donald Trump is not a man of ideological principles, conservative or otherwise. He's a reflexive authoritarian who thinks the answer to virtually every problem is more government involvement, at least and especially if "winners" like himself are in charge.

Reason's May issue articles are filtering out to the website. David Bier had a good one: Why the Wall Won't Work. His bottom line:

In a sense, the wall merely represents the Trump administration's worst instincts and desires. It is harmful, wasteful, and offensive, but an ineffective wall is nonetheless better than the surge of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to round up and deport people that the president also wants. No wall has ever arrested, robbed, battered, or murdered nonviolent people, as immigration enforcement has. A wall will not create an interest group to lobby for itself, endorse nationalist presidential candidates, and demand more power and funding, as the Border Patrol union does.

The wall is more than a symbol. It will harm the lives of thousands of border residents and immigrants while wasting billions of tax dollars. But in a world run by nationalists, the one small source of comfort for non-nationalists over the next four years may be the knowledge that it could be worse.

Now, you may not like Bier's implicit advocacy of loosey-goosey immigration. But he does a pretty good job of showing that (specifically) Trump's Wall is an expensive folly.

And I was struck by how much it resembles other Prohibitionist follies: the original one on booze, and subsequent actual/attempted ones on drugs, guns, etc.

■ Bo Winegard and Ben Winegard write on A Tale of Two Bell Curves. A good introduction to what Charles Murray and the late Richard J. Herrnstein really wrote in their book back in 1994, and…

There are two versions of The Bell Curve. The first is a disgusting and bigoted fraud. The second is a judicious but provocative look at intelligence and its increasing importance in the United States. The first is a fiction. And the second is the real Bell Curve. Because many, if not most, of the pundits who assailed The Bell Curve did not and have not bothered to read it, the fictitious Bell Curve has thrived and continues to inspire furious denunciations. We have suggested that almost all of the proposals of The Bell Curve are plausible. Of course, it is possible that some are incorrect. But we will only know which ones if people responsibly engage the real Bell Curve instead of castigating a caricature.

But castigating a caricature is so easy!


Last Modified 2017-04-01 6:09 PM EDT