URLs du Jour

2017-07-21

Prudent Caution :)

Proverbs 22:3 is not so much a Proverb as it is an Observation:

3 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

I've noticed that myself! Unfortunately, simply telling the simple "Be prudent!" is not efficacious.

■ One continuing theme in Nancy MacLean's dishonest interview attempting to defend her work Democracy in Chains in the Chronicle of Higher Education the other day was the whine that critics "appeared not to have read the book". Well, at Reason, Brian Doherty (an actual libertarian historian) has read the book, and reported back to us on What Nancy MacLean Gets Wrong About James Buchanan.

It's a relatively long article. No surprise there.

[…] The historian has little to no evidence for her history. She invents some when necessary, and will at times just make assertions to suit her narrative, mustering neither real nor phony evidence to back them up. Many of her factual and interpretive errors have already been covered elsewhere, in venues ranging from Vox to The Washington Post. Rather than get lost in the weeds of covering every false statement or misleadingly gerrymandered quotation in this book, I want to focus here on the core claims that it gets wrong:

MacLean fundamentally misunderstands Buchanan's intellectual project, treating his theories about politics as an apologia for the wealthy and powerful. This gives short shrift to a serious body of thought, and it fails to see that his arguments can indict the wealthy as much as anyone else.

I suppose the furor over Prof Nancy's shoddy hit job will eventually die down. But it's kind of fun to watch until then.

■ What's the problem on health care? @JonahNRO knows: On Health Care, Bipartisan Dishonesty Is the Problem.

I like partisan fights when those fights are about something real. The Medicaid fight was at least about something real. But most of this nonsense is a battle of liars trying to protect past lies in the hope of being able to make new lies seem just plausible enough for the liars to keep repeating them.

The battle has for years not been about improving affordability and availability of health care—which would mean moving toward a free market—but simply claiming victory for one side, or (better) defeat for the other.

■ And how worried should you be about the future of free expression? David Harsany knows: Be Very Worried About The Future Of Free Expression.

“Ads that perpetuate gender stereotypes will be banned in UK, but not in the good ol’ USA!” reads a recent headline at the Web site Jezebel. Yay to the good ol’ USA for continuing to value the fundamental right of free expression, you might say. Or maybe not.

Why would a feminist — or anyone, for that matter — celebrate the idea of empowering bureaucrats to decide how we talk about “gender stereotypes”? Because these days, foundational values mean increasingly little to those who believe hearing something disagreeable is the worst thing that could happen to them.

Why, it almost makes me mad enough to want to perpetuate a gender stereotype. In a manly way, of course.

■ It was a banner day for my Google LFOD Alert. One revealed a bit of New Hampshire history of which I was unaware, in this Laconia Daily Sun article about our Governor and Executive Council visiting the Funspot arcade, claimed to be the largest in the world. Here's the thing about the owner, Robert Lawton:

He was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in the 1960s and introduced a bill that resulted in the state motto, “Live Free or Die,” appearing on vehicle license plates.

So: undying gratitude to Mr. Lawton.

■ And if you're into body art, and have some spare time this weekend, you can boogie into Manchester and attend

The 11th annual Live Free or Die Tattoo Expo will again draw plenty of colorful buzz to the Queen City.

More than 3,000 people are expected at the three-day event in Manchester, with more than 200 tattoo artists and body piercers offering their services on site.

I will not be attending, but the deets are at their website.

And—wow, this is kind of fascinating—one of the sponsors is North Conway's Samuel O'Reilly House, which bills itself as the "World's First Tattoo Bed and Breakfast".

Which implies that there's more than one, I guess?

■ Ah, but the most common occurrence of LFOD in recent news is due to You Know What.

  • Five Thirty Eight:

    New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed HB 640 and made New Hampshire the 22nd state to decriminalize marijuana. The “live free or die” state was slower than the likes of Mississippi and Nebraska in making this change.

  • The Washington Times:

    The Live Free or Die State has become the last in New England to decriminalize marijuana after New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu autographed a bill rolling back penalties for cannabis possession.

  • The young-adult website Vox:

    New Hampshire just took another step in ensuring its state motto — “live free or die” — is true for marijuana.

Sigh. OK, we get it. LFOD is all about pot and tats.

Although, of course, it's not not about pot and tats. Or Pats and Tots.

If you want me, I'm headed up to Funspot.

■ And finally, your tweet du jour: