URLs du Jour

2017-06-29

■ Dear friends, we continue our study of the Bible with Proverbs 24:21-22. And it's delightfully old-school, telling any would-be snot-nosed rebels against authority to get back on the right side, or else:

21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son,
    and do not join with rebellious officials,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them,
    and who knows what calamities they can bring?

The Lord and the king are BFFs, you know. At least, that's what the king says.

■ The Dallas Morning News, to its credit, totally fessed up after publishing an anti-gun propaganda piece: How news organizations, including this one, unintentionally misinformed the public on guns

An eight-paragraph Washington Post article on page 10A reported on a national study about kids and guns. The last sentence said 4.2 percent of American kids have witnessed a shooting in the past year.

“Really?” [DMN subscriber Steve] Doud wrote. “Does it really sound believable that one kid out of every 24 has witnessed a shooting in the last year? I think not, unless it was on TV, in a movie, or in a video game. In that case it would probably be more like 100 percent.”

His instincts were right. The statistic was not.

'Twas too good to check. There's a New Hampshire connection too: the "4.2 percent" number was from a paper from UNH's David Finkelhor; the DMN blames him for a misleading table entry, blames the CDC for misquoting it, and (finally) blames the news organizations, including his, for believing and publicizing it.

■ A particularly brilliant video satire from Remy:

Remy for President!

■ But if you prefer the wordy version, here is @JonahNRO: The Left Espouses Dangerously Stupid Health-Care Rhetoric

The truth is that health-care “reform” has been a story of bipartisan malpractice. Obamacare was lied into passage (“you can keep your doctor,” “you can keep your plan,” etc.) on a strict party-line vote. The Republicans spent the better part of a decade vowing to tear it all down. When the dogs caught the car, they had no idea what to do next. They’ve halfheartedly opted to keep the structure in place but carve off a chunk of money to fund tax cuts (but not for the working-class people most harmed by their bill).

Trump’s irresponsible promise to leave entitlements alone has been memory-holed by Republicans because they want to claim they repealed Obamacare to give the president a “win.” The Democrats, likewise, are more concerned about keeping Obama’s health-care “win” on the books for the sake of his legacy than with fixing Obamacare’s dysfunction. And if that requires calling Republicans murderers, so be it. It’s just words.

OK, so Jonah for President, Remy for Veep.

■ Can you stand one more Nancy MacLean link? Too bad, here's one anyway, from Steve Horwitz at Bleeding Heart Libertarians: MacLean on Nutter and Buchanan on Universal Education. RTWT for the details, but the bottom line is:

This is an example of a running problem with the book. MacLean has, by her own admission, very little knowledge of economics. In addition, her knowledge of Buchanan’s system of thought comes mostly from his autobiography Better than Plowing, The Calculus of Consent, and two secondary sources that are highly critical and have their own problems of good faith interpretation. In the most generous reading, she is misunderstanding arguments and chopping up quotes because she simply doesn’t understand what Buchanan and his collaborators are up to. In the least generous reading, she has a theory and she’s going to cut up the evidence to fit that theory. If one believes that modern libertarians are the enemies of democracy, progress, equality, and all that’s good in the world, and MacLean clearly does, then the evidence will always be read, and sometimes constructed, in ways that support the argument on the side of the angels.

Unfortunately, anyone who takes the time to read the actual sources she’s working from, or who understands public choice theory, can see this exercise for what it is: a travesty of scholarly standards (no, Charles Dickens’ novels do not count as data about the economic conditions of the 19th century) and a smear job on one of the great minds of the 20th century.

Sorry, it's like rubbernecking a dreadful car accident (a taxpayer-funded one in this case). I just can't look away.

■ Finally: are book cover designers getting lazy? You be the judge:

[Amazon Img]   [Amazon Img]

[Note, the above are technically Amazon ads, which you may be blocking. Don't do that, they're just book cover images.]