URLs du Jour

2017-11-01

■ Some Proverbs you can only read and say "Ayup". Proverbs 19:14 is one of them:

14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
    but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Well, at least the wife part.


■ Michael Tanner asks a good question at NRO: Aren’t Republicans Supposed to Care about the Deficit? It's a grim tale. Bottom line:

Republicans, Democrats, and Donald Trump are all far more interested in buying votes today than in reining in unnecessary government spending. As a result, our children and our grandchildren will be left to pay the bill. As President Trump might tweet, if he cared: Sad.

Also dangerous, but all these people care about is getting re-elected on their fake promises that, somehow, all the money your Federal Government takes from you will somehow trickle back down to your level. Someday.


■ At Reason, Marian Tupy says relax: Corporations Are Not As Powerful As You Think,

Concern over the power of large corporations is back in the vogue. From Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on the left to Fox News' Tucker Carlson on the right, politicians and opinion makers worry about the influence of U.S. corporate giants on politics as well as on the private lives of ordinary Americans. People are concerned about Facebook's censorship of content, Twitter's banning of controversial users and Google's possession of staggering amounts of information about users' search histories, shopping habits, etc.

As a libertarian, I say, pish-tosh! If you don't like a particular company, find an alternative provider or live without a particular service altogether. Alas, most people are not libertarians or as closely wedded to the sanctity of the contract as the latter tend to be.

I also say pish-tosh. Not as often as I should.

Ms. Tupy quotes an interesting factoid from an article by Mark Perry, who compared the 1955 and 2017 versions of the Fortune 500 list:

According to Perry, "only 60 companies … appear in both lists. In other words, fewer than 12 percent of the Fortune 500 companies included in 1955 were still on the list 62 years later in 2017, and 88 percent of the companies from 1955 have either gone bankrupt, merged with (or were acquired by) another firm, or they still exist but have fallen from the top Fortune 500 companies (ranked by total revenues). Many of the companies on the list in 1955 are unrecognizable, forgotten companies today (e.g., Armstrong Rubber, Cone Mills, Hines Lumber, Pacific Vegetable Oil, and Riegel Textile)."

I almost certainly won't be around in another 62 years, but I hope that people then have longer memories than they do today.


■ I'm retired, not looking for a new job, and would not work for the Democratic National Committee if they paid me uness they paid me a huge amount of money. And there's another reason, noted by Town Hall. DNC Email: Straight White Men Need Not Apply.

The Democratic National Committee is hiring for some new positions in their Technology Team, including Chief Security Officer, IT Systems Administrator, and Product Manager. In the email soliciting job applications, it says that the DNC is looking for a "staff of diverse voices and life experiences."

Unfortunately, according to the DNC's Data Service Manager Madeleine Leader, this desire for "diverse voices and life experiences" apparently doesn't extend to "cisgender straight white males." In the closing paragraph of the email, Leader said "I personally would prefer that you not forward to cisgender straight white males, as they are already in the majority."

Town Hall helpfully notes, for those folks not acquainted with current Progressive lingo: "'Cisgender' is a term meaning someone who identifies as the gender assigned to them at birth, i.e. someone who is not transgender."

The DNC claims to be an "equal opportunity employer", so somebody's lying.


■ Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ column doesn't have a lot of non-football content this week, but I liked this, about the anti-Trump Steele Dossier:

As for the Steele Manila Folder, what’s inside may be phony. But supposing some contents are authentic, what could there be that was not already known to the 62 million Americans who pulled the lever for Trump? His lack of qualifications, his narcissism, his smirking disdain for the institutions of our democracy—everybody knew! Ninety-nine percent of the time, the things that everybody knows are more disturbing than secrets.

Even more disturbing: the things we know but nevertheless pretend we do not.


■ Ah, the Google LFOD alarm bell dinged for this Canadian (Penney Kome) to confess: My dad put the tattoo on the Marlboro man's hand. There's a picture. (Specifically, it's the US Marine Corp emblem.)

I must confess that my Dad, Hal Kome, was the advertising creative director who told the art director to put a tattoo on the hand of the Marlboro man. Dad was well versed in Freudianism. He added the tattoo to signify rugged individuality. Marlboro cigarette sales soared, and the Marlboro man became iconic.

But Penney's rambling essay is not really about her dad, it's about that individualism stuff.

But the competitive, individualistic model was always flawed. Not only did individuals burn out, but structures teetered and collapsed from the inherent instability of people competing instead of co-operating. Yet a certain macho streak persevered, crying, "Live free or die!" Some far-right folks in the States declared themselves "sovereign citizens," not under the authority of any government's laws.

Penney writes like an earnest 24-year-old, but she's actually in her late 60s. See if you can make it through her simplistic, tendentious essay without your eyes rolling out of their sockets.


■ I wish I had found this Remy video before Halloween; I would have (at least) posted it in response to the "All Eyes on UNH" diktat on Problematic Costumes. So, belatedly, enjoy: