URLs du Jour

2017-09-03

■ Might as well say this up front. Proverbs 21:17 is ridiculously wrong:

17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
    whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.

Maybe this made a lot more sense in an era in which nearly everyone was desperately poor.


■ At Heterodox Academy, Saint Jonathan Haidt writes In Defense of Amy Wax’s Defense of Bourgeois Values. He runs down the history of Wax's op-ed, and the frenzied Progressive reaction to it, good if you've missed it. His analysis is accurate:

I have gone to great lengths to show that Wax’s central claim about culture is probably correct. But the choice to denounce or not denounce should not really hinge on whether Wax was correct; it should hinge on whether she was making an argument in good faith using methods of argumentation that fall within the normal range of her part of the academy. There are no footnotes in a Philly.com opinion essay, but in Wax’s other writings on family law it is clear that she knows and is informed by the relevant social science research. Do Wax’s colleagues believe that her essay in Philly.com constituted a profound violation of professional ethics, akin to data fabrication or taking a bribe? Or do they just believe that she was wrong?

Haidt connects this up with other academic cases. He doesn't mention James Damore's non-academic experience with making "an argument in good faith" at Google. Bottom line: bucking Progressive ideology on matters genetic or cultural is an increasingly dangerous thing to try, whether you're in academia or out.


■ Baylen Linnekin at Reason brings us some bad news: FDA Pushing Forward with Terrible Menu-Labeling Rules.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the agency will forge ahead with implementing the Obama administration's costly, misguided, pointless, reckless, and potentially unconstitutional menu-labeling rules.

Is Trump's FDA to blame? Just slightly; the real problem is that Obamacare mandates it.


@kevinNR finds The Hope in Houston.

Hurricane Harvey has inflicted appalling suffering upon Houston, a city I called home until only a few months ago. But those flood waters have revealed more than they have covered, and what they have revealed gives us cause for hope.

A simplistic reader of Kevin's work might characterize him as hard-headed and unsentimental. And, for that reader, his essay here might seem wildly out of character. But look deeper: he's consistent in the cultural traits he knows and admires.


■ Rabbi Yonatan Neril, writing at HuffPo, rang our Google LFOD alert with Earth to Houston: We Have a Problem.

The moment we learn that an iceberg may be ahead, everything needs to change. We all need to correct course to curb climate change, even though it may be inconvenient. In this country, the philosophy of “live free or die” resonates deeply, and many of us are resistant to changing how way we live or having our freedoms compromised by policies like a carbon tax. Nature goes by a different motto: live sustainably or die, and the Gulf Coast and the Bay of Bengal today proves that sooner or later, our lives will suffer the consequences of our carbon-intensive lifestyles. Choices we can make that impact our carbon footprint include how often we fly, drive a personal car, eat meat, and buy food from outside our locality. We need to put both the present and future of our children and grandchildren first, over maintaining and expanding our own standard of living.

Rabbi Neril provides a standard climate-change rant, which you will either find persuasive or not, but (fearless prediction) it's not going to shake you from your previously-held opinions.

However, this bit:

Flooding on the Gulf Coast and in South Asia impacted 60 million people, killed 1,200, […]

That's kind of like saying that California and New Hampshire rang up 1830 homicides in 2014. It's true but misleading. As I type, Harvey's death toll is about 45. Dreadful but much smaller than what's being reported out of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

In any case, Rabbi Neril's suggestion of "Live Sustainably or Die" is unlikely to show up on New Hampshire license plates any time soon.


■ Susan the Bruce has (I think it's fair to say) a rant on the libertarian silence concerning the recent "pop up Border Patrol Inspection" on I-93 up in the White Mountains. She connects this with …

Privacy advocates were howling in outrage at the thought of a “national ID card.” It proved so unpopular that the date for compliance was put off several times. In 2007, it was announced that compliance by states would be put off till 2009. In 2008 the deadline was extended to 2011. NH was one of the states that fought hard against REAL ID. That opposition was in character with the “live free or die” philosophy we’re supposed to be famous for embracing. It was in character with our reputation as a libertarian leaning state.

Susan's not wrong. New Hampshire caved badly, and REAL ID is not the only example. Her conclusion: "Live Free or Die has become Roll Over and Submit."


■ Whoa, somebody report Pun Salad as a hate site! We're linking to Breitbart: 12 States Where the Second Amendment is Your Carry Permit. Showing that Susan the Bruce isn't wrong, but she's not entirely right either:

New Hampshire–On February 22, 2017, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed legislation abolishing a permit requirement for concealed carry in New Hampshire. Open carry without a permit was already legal in the state and those who permitless concealed carry argued that they were just making the laws congruent. After the bill was signed, Fox News quoted Sununu saying, “This is about making sure that our laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to the live-free-or-die spirit.”

LFOD lives a complicated life here.


Last Modified 2017-09-03 10:21 AM EST