URLs du Jour

2017-07-20

Ayn Rand has a posse

■ I have no quarrel with Proverbs 22:2:

2 Rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord is the Maker of them all.

We all remember the famous zinger from the comedy duo Fitzgerald & Hemingway:

"The rich are different from you or me."

"Yes, they have more money."

And as is all too common with quotes that "everyone knows", the real story is somewhat different.

■ You may have heard: Nancy MacLean wrote a shoddy, sloppy, fundamentally dishonest (but Federally subsidized) book about Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan. The refutations and revelations continue to come thick and fast, because frankly, as Steven Hayward notes, "there is literally a howler on every page." I've long since given up on linking to everything about Prof Nancy.

But this, I promise, is pricelessly illuminating: three weeks ago, Jonah Goldberg wrote on the imbroglio, and opened:

In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid there’s that great bit about the super-posse that chases the outlaws. They’re led by a legendary law man, Joe Lefors, and an Indian Scout (Lord Baltimore), who can follow horse tracks over rock and water.

I mention this because if I were Nancy MacLean, I’d much rather have Lefors and Lord Baltimore coming after me than to have Don Boudreaux, Steve Horwitz, Jonathan Adler, Russ Roberts, and the rest of the libertarian super-posse on my ass.

Pun Salad linked to Jonah's comments at the time, quoting a different couple paragraphs.

I mention this in light of an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Nancy MacLean Responds to Her Critics. Specifically, this is how she characterizes Jonah's remark:

And some of the rhetoric has been quite threatening. Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of National Review, said I should worry about the "the libertarian super-posse on my ass."

Gee, Nancy. Had you asked me for advice on how to respond to criticism of your lazy and fraudulent scholarship, I would have pointed out that you should avoid dishonestly describing a colorful metaphor as "quite threatening". People will correctly conclude that you're either a habitual prevaricator, or in the throes of self-dramatizing delusion.

■ But that was the second part of her answer to the Chronicle interviewer. Here's the question, and the first part of her answer:

Do you have any evidence for your claim in that Facebook message that the attacks on your work are "coordinated"?

I’m not saying they called each other up and planned a series of critical responses to my book. What I’m saying is many of the critics come from similar backgrounds — they are libertarians who trained at or are employed by the very institutions I write about in my book.

Holy cow. She should have just said "no". It's like she's never heard of the law of holes: When you find yourself in one, stop digging.

The Facebook message in question accused "the Koch operatives" of "using Washington Post [Volokh Conspiracy] blogposts as a seemingly respectable pivot for a coordinated and interlinked set of calculated hit jobs."

Apparently, now she wants us to think that "coordinated" and "calculated" means "from people of similar backgrounds".

That's the kind of straight-shooting honesty we've come to expect from Prof Nancy.

■ When it comes to prevaricating GOP senators, Patterico is not in a forgiving (or forgetting) mood: This Means WAR: The ObamaCare Betrayal by Senators Capito and Murkowski Can Never Be Forgotten or Forgiven.

Capito and Murkowski are the most worthless type of hypocrites imaginable. They have postured as being against Obamacare, but they never really were. They voted in favor of the (partial) repeal in 2015 — and yet they claim they cannot vote for the same bill today, in 2017.

I have lost my capacity for outrage at the GOP, but Patterico hasn't.

■ At the Federalist, Ashe Schow notes the predictable response to an overdue change: As Policy Shift Looms, Left Smears Campus Due Process Advocates As Rape Apologists

A good way to tell if the Left currently believes one of their beloved policies will disappear is how viciously they write about the potential change. In this case, they’re trying to smear people who believe those accused of heinous crimes should be able to defend themselves as somehow supporting the heinous crime. That is where we are in society.

Ms. Schow names and shames.

■ Dan Mitchell takes The Libertarian Hypocrisy Test! But unfortunately…

For all intents and purposes, the test is just a series of “gotcha” questions. [The "test" author] probably hopes that libertarians will get flustered when confronted by this collection of queries.

But Dan is not flustered.

■ And finally, my Google LFOD alert was triggered by a Patch article: Sununu Signs NH Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law.

“The governor deserves credit for his steadfast support of this commonsense reform,” said Matt Simon, the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Unlike his predecessors, who opposed similar proposals, Gov. Sununu appears to understand that ‘Live Free or Die’ is more than just a motto on a license plate.”

Yes. We also put it on our highway signs.