URLs du Jour


Proverbs 20:22 cautions about retaliation:

22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

I wonder if Marco Rubio has ever tweeted this Proverb, and I wonder if he's implicitly aimed it at a certain incumbent President?

■ A belated second-Monday-in-October item from Michael Graham in the Federalist: Why ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’ Is Far Worse Than Columbus Day. It's especially aimed at people who equate Columbus with imperialistic genocidal evil, while ignoring…

When thinking of pre-Columbian America, forget what you’ve seen in the Disney movies. Think “slavery, cannibalism and mass human sacrifice.” From the Aztecs to the Iroquois, that was life among the indigenous peoples before Columbus arrived.

For all the talk from the angry and indigenous about European slavery, it turns out that pre-Columbian America was virtually one huge slave camp. According to “Slavery and Native Americans in British North America and the United States: 1600 to 1865,” by Tony Seybert, “Most Native American tribal groups practiced some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America.”

Could it possibly be that the anti-Columbus people don't get the same frisson of self-righteousness in contemplating history through a non-Zinnian lens?

But let's offer equal time to Reason's Nick Gillespie, who's against Depicting Native Americans as Bloodthirsty Savages on Columbus Day.

One of the hallmarks of culture wars is that everything must be reduced to a Manichean struggle of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, left vs. right, you name it vs. you dread it. […] The only way to win at this game is not to play it. Demand a different and better conversation about politics, culture, and ideas, one in which simply mocking and shouting down other people and perspectives isn't the be-all and end-all.

I understand his point here. It's not that Native Americans weren't bloodthirsty savages (they were). It's not that Columbus's journeys didn't start a long string of violence and injustices aimed at Native Americans (they did). It's that posturing about that stuff today is childlishly divisive and unproductive.

I'll try to do better, Nick.

■ A short post from Michael Huemer (via Bryan Caplan) on: What's Killing Us? He observes (a) the leading causes of death in the US, and (b) the fact that political activism/discourse is entirely aimed at things way down on the list.

Hypothesis: We don't much care about the good of society. Refinement: Love of the social good is not the main motivation for (i) political action, and (ii) political discourse. We don't talk about what's good for society because we want to help our fellow humans. We talk about society because we want to align ourselves with a chosen group, to signal that alignment to others, and to tell a story about who we are. There are AIDS activists because there are people who want to express sympathy for gays, to align themselves against conservatives, and thereby to express "who they are". There are no nephritis activists, because there's no salient group you align yourself with (kidney disease sufferers?) by advocating for nephritis research, there's no group you thereby align yourself *against*, and you don't tell any story about what kind of person you are.

There's a lot of wisdom in what Huemer says here.

■ But we got a lot of LFOD action to report. Even some from overseas, like the Guardian, which provides Guardian readers' views on gun control. For example, "David" from North Carolina:

I am sorry to hear about tragic shooting incidents like the one in Las Vegas, but restricting gun rights from the vast majority people who use them properly is not just and is not the answer. We live in a country which was founded on the precept that individual liberty is more important than the collective good – “give me liberty or give me death”, “live free or die”. While tragic, incidents like Las Vegas are the price we pay for individual liberty. Proposed gun restrictions might actually reduce these violent incidents, but at what price?

There are other views as well. Should you need to hear them one more time.

■ My local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat, prints a weekly feature from Ron Cole entitled Dover Doin’s. This week, he discussed a recent visit to our state by a delegation from Kyrgyzstan:

Guess what was one of their favorite things about the Granite State? Our motto. One of the fellas on his way to the airport commented that after interacting with so many New Hampshire residents, he really appreciated how we epitomized, “Live Free or Die.”

For the record, Freedom House rates Kyrgyzstan as "partly free"; the Heritage Foundation ranks it, economic-freedomwise, as "moderately free"

■ The Concord Monitor bemoans: In New Hampshire, suicide stressors are abundant. And chief among them are those four little words on the license plates:

When it comes to suicide, New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” attitude may not be helping.

“There’s this mentality that, ‘Hey, I’m not going to ask for help. I can do this myself. And if I can’t, I’m just not going to get someone else involved,’ ” Elaine de Mello, Training and Services Manager of the Connect Suicide Prevention Project, said. “It’s this sense of privacy, like, ‘I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill.’ A struggling person doesn’t know what to do, so they don’t do anything.”

It's expected that some legislator will propose changing the license plate wording from "LIVE FREE OR DIE" to "PLEASE DON'T KILL YOURSELF".

The CDC puts New Hampshire's (2014) suicide rate at 17.8 per 100K. That puts us (by my count) behind 14 other states. Vermont edges us out with an 18.7 rate; what's their excuse?

■ New Hampshire Rep. Marjorie Porter, D-Hillsborough takes to the "New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism" website to advocate Time To Make The Laws, But Please Kill Private School Voucher Bill.

I am always amused by the number of new laws legislators in the Live Free or Die state feel are necessary. One colleague from across the aisle has filed thirty-two, all by himself! So much for smaller government.

Well, Marjorie, it depends on what the bills do, right?

[And I, for one, am always amused at those people who claim to be "always amused" when it's pretty clear they aren't even slightly amused, let alone "always".]

Marjorie's gripe is with SB193, which she calls "the private school voucher bill". Its actual title is Establishing education freedom savings accounts for students. It would funnel state funds to said "accounts", which then could be used to pay for private, or home, schooling.

One potential roadblock is NH's Blaine Amendment, an anti-Catholic measure added to the Constitution in 1877.

■ And LFOD made it to the Irish Independent, in a travel article by Deirdre Conroy: Living free in New Hampshire: A road (and ski) trip to remember.

'Live Free or Die' is the motto on every New Hampshire licence plate - a declaration originally made about the American Revolution by General John Stark. I was inclined to just 'Live and Drive Carefully' - but, even so, was pulled over by a state trooper when just 5mph over the limit. I was sent on my way after a full Homeland Security check. "You keep warm, ma'am."

Ah, another possible license plate replacement for LFOD: "KEEP WARM".

Last Modified 2017-10-11 7:18 AM EDT