■ When I read Proverbs 28:28, I thought I'd somehow gotten my verses out of sequence:
When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.
But no. Instead it appears the Proverbs guy kind of ran out of steam here, recycling something he'd already pointed out sixteen proverbs earlier.
■ Jacob Sullum at Reason summarizes: We Can't Cut the NEH, New York Times Columnist Says, Because Books Are Important. The columnist in question is Nicholas Kristof, and he echos a bad argument from Norman Ornstein that we noted last week: if you oppose federal funds for arts and humanities, you oppose arts and humanities. Sullum:
By the same logic, you oppose education if you oppose the Department of Education, and you oppose shelter if you oppose the Department of Housing and Urban Development. For Ornstein and Kristof, there is no difference between valuing something and insisting that the federal government force other people to pay for it—an attitude that is far more fiscally consequential than the programs they happen to be defending right now.
To belabor the obvious: it rarely occurs to folks inside the progressive bubble how absurd their arguments seem to those of us on the outside.
■ KDW (I'm just going to call him that from here out) makes his nomination for "the dumbest word in politics". And that word is ‘Politicized’. RTWT, but:
People tend to complain about things’ being “politicized” most intensely when the politics is going against them, and the Democrats seem to just be getting the news that Barack Obama’s remarkable self-centeredness made him very, very good at winning elections — for himself. The rest of the Democratic party is in pretty poor shape. And the question they face in the immediate future is not whether to politicize the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch but whether to do so in a stupid and self-destructive way, attempting to do from their current minority position what Republicans did to poor old Merrick Garland (for excellent, political reasons) from their majority position. The problem with that isn’t that it is political, but that it is a terrible idea.
I also got a chuckle from: "The Bill of Rights is, properly understood, a List of Stuff You Idiots Cannot Be Trusted to Vote On."
■ At the Observer, Ashe Schow does a fine debunking of "Equal Pay Day": Today We Judge Women by How Much They Earn. Good point here:
Why do we care so much what people make? Why are women being valued solely by their income, when so many non-income-related things make a person valuable to society? Things like volunteer work, charity and, of course, raising the next generation should be considered. We shouldn’t be telling anyone that they are only as good as the money they earn.
There are numerous fallacies behind "Equal Pay Day", but that's a biggie.
■ Northwestern University's Laura Kipnis writes at the Chronicle of Higher Education of her experiences being Eyewitness to a Title IX Witch Trial.
Torch the miscreant, resanctify the community. It was the campus equivalent of a purification ritual, and purifying communities is no small-scale operation these days: In addition to the five-person faculty panel, there were three outside lawyers, at least two in-house lawyers, another lawyer hired by the university to advise the faculty panel, a rotating cast of staff and administrators, and a court reporter taking everything down on a little machine. Ludlow had his lawyer (and on one occasion, two). And there was me.
Professor Kipnis is rightly disturbed. Her article is long, the ending is sad, but it's an invaluable snapshot of What's Wrong.
■ You may have noticed that Atlanta lost an freeway bridge a few days back. Wired's Rhett Allain (physics prof) runs the numbers on his modest proposal: Sure, Atlanta Can Fix Its Freeway—Or Build a Ramp to Jump It. Bottom line:
[The ramps—one for takeoff, one for landing] might be quicker to build than it would be to replace the missing section of the interstate. Also, it would serve as a type of speed enforcement. If you are driving too slow you won’t make the jump. If you are driving too fast, you will miss the landing ramp. Oh, it would also be cool to watch. Everyone driving over the jump would also be required to yell “YEEEEEEE HAAAWW”.
Yessss. Professor Allain is at Southeastern Louisiana U, which should be higher on any college applicant's list of schools than Northwestern.