■ Oy! Again, with the mockers in Proverbs
11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.
This (also) isn't the first time we've noticed the Proverbialist
drawing a distinction between wisdom and knowledge. If you're
interested in further explanation, Googling finds an article at the Lifehack site:
Are the Differences Between Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight?
But if you're a mocker, I'm afraid I can't save you from the
punishment the Proverbialist promises.
■ At Reason, Mark Lisheron warns the Lone Star State: Out
of the Way, Texas, Federal Hurricane Rescue Is Coming. He shares
a 2005 post-Katrina insight:
"No government screwup is so colossal that it can't be used to justify yet more government," we wrote in our 2005 roundup of the coverage, "After the Storm." "For most liberals, Katrina merely proved that Washington needs more resources to prevent and respond to such disasters; for many conservatives, it proved that society is a fragile construct that can collapse into chaos at any moment, and that only police or military force can hold it together in times of stress."
And of course, for libertarians it proved that Governments Screw
Up. Let's be aware that confirmation bias works that way.
■ George F. Will's column discusses Trump,
the Novice Protectionist, and he demolishes
trade fallacies. Sample:
Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute says that in the last 20 years the inflation-adjusted value of U.S. manufacturing output has increased 40 percent even though — actually, partly because — U.S. factory employment decreased 5.1 million jobs (29 percent). Manufacturing’s share of GDP is almost unchanged since 1960. “U.S. manufacturing output was near a record high last year at $1.91 trillion, just slightly below the 2007 level of $1.92 trillion, and will likely reach a new record high later this year.” That record will be reached with about the same level of factory workers (fewer than 12.5 million) as in the early 1940s, when the U.S. population was about 135 million. Increased productivity is the reason there can be quadrupled output from the same number of workers. According to one study, 88 percent of manufacturing job losses are the result of improved productivity, not rapacious Chinese.
Also making a fallacious appearance: West Virginia Governor (and new
GOPite) Jim Justice.
■ I think Andrew Klavan makes about the best pro-Trump case that can
be made: Trump
vs. the Enemies of the People.
It's true that Donald Trump cannot yet claim a major legislative
accomplishment. It's also true that he himself bears some of the
blame for that: the distractions of his chaotic style have given
cover to a divided and spineless GOP legislature. Nonetheless, those
of us who voted for him with misgiving can still feel more than well
pleased with his three major achievements so far: the appointment of
an excellent Supreme Court justice; the battle against the Giant
Squid-like beast of the regulatory state; and the fact that he's not
Hillary Clinton, a felonious battle-axe who would've continued the
Chicago-style corruption of the Obama administration and destroyed
the American Experiment with freedom-smothering socialism. Speaking
personally, I'd put Trump on Mount Rushmore for that last
But there's a fourth major accomplishment too, unofficial and
extra-governmental though it may be: Trump's emotional torture of
■ Charles Sykes rebuts the Klavan argument pretty effectively: The
Trap of Liberal Tears. Yes, Trump drives the lefties crazy, and
that's fun. But:
This has become a familiar pattern among some on the right, who rush
to defend anyone (especially Trump) who is attacked by the Left, no
matter how reckless, extreme, or bizarre their behavior has been.
If Liberals hated something, the argument goes, then it must be
wonderful and worthy of aggressive defense, even if that meant
defending the indefensible and losing elections. So in years past,
conservatives embraced and defended figures like Christine (“I am
not a witch”) O’Donnell and lost winnable senate races with
candidates who said bizarre things about rape (Todd Akin) or were
just too weird for the electorate (Sharron Angle.)
I would have put a pointer to Sykes' post in a comment on Klavan's article, but it
already has (as I type) 328 comments. I haven't read them all, but
the signal-to-noise ratio seems low.
■ The Free Beacon's Rachel Frommer tells the story: Law
Professors Condemned as Racist After Praising America’s 1950s
The lawprofs in question are Amy Wax (University of Pennsylvania)
and Larry Alexander (University of San Diego). They spin a
reading in full,
and here's an excerpt:
All cultures are not equal. Or at least they are not equal in
preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy. The
culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but
is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are
the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some
working-class whites; the anti-“acting white” rap culture of
inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among
some Hispanic immigrants. These cultural orientations are not only
incompatible with what an advanced free-market economy and a viable
democracy require, they are also destructive of a sense of
solidarity and reciprocity among Americans. If the bourgeois
cultural script — which the upper-middle class still largely
observes but now hesitates to preach — cannot be widely reinstated,
things are likely to get worse for us all.
That sort of thing Did Not Sit Well with
"54 Penn Alumni & Students" who penned a pensive missive to the
college paper, the Daily Pennsylvanian. Sample:
But at the same time, history teaches us that these hateful ideas
about racial superiority have been embedded in many of our social
institutions. They crawl through the hallways of our most
prestigious universities, promoting hate and bigotry under the guise
of “intellectual debate.” Indeed, just days before Charlottesville,
Penn Law School professor Amy Wax, co-wrote an op-ed piece with
Larry Alexander, a law professor at the University of San Diego,
claiming that not “all cultures are created equal” and extolling the
virtues of white cultural practices of the ‘50s that, if understood
within their sociocultural context, stem from the very same
malignant logic of hetero-patriarchal, class-based, white supremacy
that plagues our country today. These cultural values and logics are
steeped in anti-blackness and white hetero-patriarchal
respectability, i.e. two-hetero-parent homes, divorce is a vice and
the denouncement of all groups perceived as not acting white enough
i.e. black Americans, Latino communities and immigrants in
Lest you think I picked out a particularly turgid and querulous
paragraph, I encourage you to click over and read the whole thing.
It's all like that.
The "54 Penn Alumni & Students", of course, have their chilling
We call for the University of Pennsylvania administration — Penn
President Gutmann and the deans of each school — as well as faculty
to directly confront Wax and Alexander’s op-ed as racist and white
supremacist discourse and to push for an investigation into Wax’s
advocacy for white supremacy. We believe that such statements should
point directly to the historical and sociopolitical antecedents of
Wax’s hate speech, and to disallow hate speech whether shrouded in
respectability or not.
Coming soon to a University Near Here? Geez, I hope not.