URLs du Jour

2018-01-07

Proverbs 17:27

Proverbs 17:27 is one we could preface with: "Even in Ancient Israel, they were able to figure out that…

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
    and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

Punchline: "…but our current political climate discourages that sort of behavior."

Bonus: I was able to find a picture on Flickr to embed that someone else thought illustrative of the proverb. Thanks, Ishak Tjokrokusumo!


■ The folks who want conservative/libertarian critics to go easier on Trump will invariably point to his record so far on deregulation. True, it's better than it would have been under Hillary. But, at Reason, Baylen Linnekin notes that it's not working out everywhere: 'Food Police' Thriving Under Alleged Deregulator Trump. The culprits are FDA director Scott Gottlieb and the USDA:

There's good reason to be skeptical of the willingness of Gottlieb's FDA to cut food regulations. For example, he doubled down last fall on awful Obama administration menu-labeling rules, part of the Affordable Care Act, saying the FDA will act in part because Gottlieb is a "doctor" and "father." He's also continued the Obama administration's nannying pursuit of all things "Loko," going after the snortable chocolate Coco Loko with the same gusto Obama's FDA targeted the caffeinated alcohol beverage Four Loko.

It's not just Trump's FDA that stinks. His USDA has also been lousy. The Trump administration rolled back Obama administration rules on USDA school lunches—so that the rules are different than they were recently but still awful like they were before that—with the embarrassing claim to be "making school lunches great again." The USDA also recently targeted Maine after the state adopted a food sovereignty law that would have allowed cities and towns in the state to deregulate local meat sales.

A good item to shove in the face of the next nattering Trump fan.


@kevinNR thinks the GOP should extend its political appeal From Sea to Shining Sea.

In its quest to “Make America Great Again,” the Republican party, and to a lesser extent the conservative movement that animates itself, has taken a position of enmity toward much of what made America great in the first place. With all due respect to those amber waves of grain, coastal urban America has in many ways led the way: Hollywood, Wall Street, Ronald Reagan, punk rock, Ellis Island, Edison, Apple, Facebook, Google, J. P. Morgan, General Electric.

The modern conservative movement was not a product of the Old South or the Midwest but an intellectual phenomenon that percolated up in Southern California and New York City. (With apologies to Mr. and Mr. Koch, there’s a reason William F. Buckley Jr. did not choose to launch a journal in Wichita.) It’s all good and fine to point to the troubles — and they are many — of the Democrat-dominated states and cities, but in their rhetorical frenzy to abominate the Democrat-leaning parts of the country, Republicans have put themselves at odds with many of our most successful industries, institutions, and communities. Republicans sneer at Silicon Valley and at the elite universities that educate the people who work there. In favor of what? A resentment-driven cultural milieu that insists that the “Real America” is to be found elsewhere, and that the “Real America” looks like Hee-Haw without the music or self-deprecating humor. They insist that San Francisco is Hell on Earth but never ask why it is that so many people want to live there — or they just write off those who do as degenerates and hopelessly un-American.

Kevin thinks that's bad politics, and it's difficult to disagree.


[Amazon Link]

■ It has been 30 years since Thomas Sowell wrote A Conflict of Visions, but it's never too late to review a book, if you are Matt Winesett at the American Enterprise Institute:

If you know someone’s position on gun control, you can probably make a fair guess about their views on everything from corporate tax rates to abortion. It’s not a perfect heuristic, but as Thomas Sowell writes in his 1987 classic, A Conflict of Visions, “it happens too often to be a coincidence and it is too uncontrolled to be a plot.”

This clustering of political beliefs cries out for explanation. It’s fashionable now to blame tribalism, but Sowell provides a different answer: Individuals hold different visions, “constrained” or “unconstrained,” which entail different views of human nature, different senses of causation — in short, different ideas about the way the world works. And it is the conflict between these macro visions that Sowell argues dominates history.

It's one of those books everyone should read.