URLs du Jour

2017-06-13

■ It's back to the similes for Proverbs 25:23:

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
    is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

I confess that nothing about this proverb works for me. I don't get the simile—rain is supposed to be a good thing in Israel. And I can't imagine a scenario in which a sly tongue causes a horrified look.

It's bad enough to make me go to an alternate translation. Take it away, King James:

23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

Ah, there we go. That makes slightly more sense. But we're left with the question: why does the default (New International Version) translation say the north wind brings rain, while the KJV says that it driveth it away? Over to you, Bible scholars.

■ Once you reach a certain age, the AARP ("formerly the American Association of Retired Persons") starts bombarding you with propaganda-filled publications and sales come-ons. But to be fair, some of the articles are good. Did you know that 78-year-old Jane Bryant Quinn is still writing on personal finance? Did you know that she's the stepmother of famous MTV video jock Martha Quinn?

Since AARP is no longer an acronym, how can they justify pronouncing their name "Ay Ay Ar Pee"? They can not. When stuff from them shows up in the mail, I say: "Honey, we got something from AAaaaaarp."

Woops, got off track there.

Anyway, AARP can be irritating. Its latest gimmick is to present the GOP's proposed adjustment to health insurance rates as an "age tax". Right now, the law prevents insurance companies from charging seniors more than three times what younger people pay. The proposal changes that to five times.

Needless to say, they don't refer to current law as a "youth tax".

Also irked at the AARP: Christopher Jacobs at the Federalist: AARP Tars Health Insurance ‘Age Tax’ While Profiting Big From One

[Excerpt] Over the past few weeks, AARP—an organization that purportedly advocates on behalf of seniors—has been running advertisements claiming that the House health-care bill would impose an “age tax” on seniors by allowing for greater variation in premiums. It knows of which it speaks: AARP has literally made billions of dollars by imposing its own “tax” on seniors buying health insurance policies, not to mention denying care to individuals with disabilities.

It's a sleazy group.

■ A recent NR article by Darren J. Beattie purported to help us with Understanding Economic Nationalism

From the immediate abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to the recent “hire American buy American” executive order, to the strong likelihood of serious and important steps to renegotiate NAFTA, there is much in President Trump’s actions thus far in his term to encourage his economic-nationalist base.

If you like Trump-style economic nationalism, Beattie's article will give you some ammunition to argue for it.

KDW, however, is not a fan: Right-Wing Central Planning Is as Foolish as Left-Wing Central Planning.

The real world is populated by politicians and lobbyists rather than philosopher-kings, but a government of philosopher-kings that tried to micromanage the economy in the way Beattie suggests would fail, just as all similar attempts at putting the economy under political discipline have failed. Right-wing central planning is as foolish as left-wing central planning.

Agreed.

■ At Reason, Jacob Sullum speculates: Trump May Commit a Felony to Cover Up Nonexistent Crimes.

Based on what we know at this point, it is entirely possible that none of Trump's associates had anything to do with the Russian operation. It is also entirely possible that Trump's conversations with Comey did not amount to obstruction of justice. But Trump is now setting himself up to commit a felony by lying about those conversations to federal investigators.

Welcome to Wonderland, Alice.

■ And (relevant to the previous point) your Ramirez toon du jour:

Birdbrain