URLs du Jour

2017-05-02

■ OK, I'm far from a Bible scholar, but this is what our default NIV translation provides for Proverbs 26:4 and 26:5:

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Hm. I'm having difficulty distilling useful advice from those adjacent verses. Is it just me?

■ John McWhorter writes at the Daily Beast on The Know-Nothing Campus ‘Protest’ Movement. He looks for, and fails to find, any logic in "protesting" in order to prevent the appearance of campus speakers whose words are easily available to anyone with a cable TV subscription, a library card, or an Internet connection.

What’s going on here, then? The term “crazy” fails us here. It refers to behavior that contrasts to a norm, whereas sadly this form of protest has become a norm itself in progressive circles of the collegetown orbit. Clinical insanity is not subject to faddism and copycatting. Equally off-target is the “snowflake” catcall, implying that these protesters just think they’re extra-special and must have things exactly their way. We are dealing with nothing plausibly classifiable as whining. The gloweringly indignant sarcasm, the screaming and profanity, the physical threats—people hurled an unearthed stop sign complete with its concrete base at a car Charles Murray was in—this is not pouting; it is fury and menace.

Odds are against McWhorter getting invited to speak at any campus near you, or me. Way too honest.

■ Thomas Sowell emerges from his semi-retirement to growl at the folks bemoaning ‘Tax Cuts for the Rich’.

One of the painful realities of our times is how long a political lie can survive, even after having been disproved years ago, or even generations ago.

A classic example is the phrase “tax cuts for the rich,” which is loudly proclaimed by opponents, whenever there is a proposal to reduce tax rates. The current proposal to reduce federal tax rates has revived this phrase, which was disproved by facts, as far back as the 1920s — and by now should be called “tax lies for the gullible.”

Another unlikely campus invitee…

■ At NR, David French opines upon America’s ‘Smug Liberal Problem’. He notes TV's Samantha Bee's smug efforts to deny her smugness, and the reaction to Bret Stephen's debut NYT op-ed column, insufficiently orthodox on "climate change". (One must not deny the urgency of "doing something" right now.)

Liberal dogma is rapidly becoming a secular religion, a “faith” that conspicuously omits any requirement that one love his enemies. Christians have long struggled to keep one of Christ’s most difficult commands, but many leftists don’t even try. To many, it’s not even a virtue. Indeed, the same kind of vitriol is a hallmark of the post-religious Right and is part of the explanation for extreme polarization. Post-Christian countries eschew Christian values, including the very values that can and should prevent even the most ardent activists from becoming arrogant . . . and intolerant.

Another symptom: "humor" shows that rely on politically-correct mockery. Like Samantha Bee's.

■ At Reason, Andrea O'Sullivan bids Goodbye and good riddance to the Obama administration's "Open Internet Order." (I usually use the article headline as the URL link text, but this is the subheadline, and I like it better. Anyway …)

Libertarians, rejoice—a U.S. regulator took the bold step of deciding that his office simply doesn't have the jurisdiction to control major parts of the internet. Last Wednesday, the free market-friendly Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai unveiled his plan to roll back the FCC's controversial 2015 Open internet Order (OIO), which granted the telecommunication regulator expansive discretionary authority over how internet Service Providers (ISPs) can operate and compete.

It's a big win; if you read O'Sullivan's article, you'll see how big.

But we can do better. I don't agree with Larry Lessig a lot, but I'm with him on this issue: Demolish the FCC.