URLs du Jour


Proverbs 16:11 brings us to the humdrum world of weights and measures, a Godly duty now relegated to the National Bureau of Standards:

11 Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
    all the weights in the bag are of his making.

Very much in the spirit of "In God We Trust", I think.

Historical research: IGWT has appeared on coins since the Civil War; it has appeared on paper currency since 1955.

Possibly related fact: a 1955 dollar would buy stuff it takes about $9.13 to buy today. So just because it says "In God We Trust" doesn't mean you can trust it to hold value. Maybe God should sue for the unauthorized endorsement devaluing His brand?

■ I assume you are reading this while cowering under your bed. Because, as Matt Welch and Eric Boehm note at Reason, it's time to extend a: Welcome to the 2018 Government Shutdown!

After spending years blasting congressional Republicans as obstructionists who would rather shut down the government over their pet issue than work with the president on broad legislation, Democrats decided to use what little congressional power they currently have to...shut down the government over their pet issue rather than work with the president on broad legislation.

Well, turnabout is fair play I suppose.

■ My state's senators, both reliable partisan hacks, issued a joint statement:

I could not resist an off-the-cuff snarky reply:

I have no idea whether any low-level flunky is classifying and counting up replies to Senatorial Tweets. My guess is that Twitter is a write-only medium for them.

■ Jonah Goldberg's G-File for the week is shooting fish in the barrel that is politicians' hypocrisy.

There’s an enormous amount of talk about the erosion of democratic norms these days, and I subscribe to much of it. (Heck, I have a book coming out called “The Suicide of the West.”) But what is more dangerous to democratic norms: a president who all but his most besotted worshippers recognize as an irresponsible loudmouth or the quiet-spoken alleged institutionalists who routinely claim that virtually anything Republicans want to do will lay waste to humanity, kill poor people, usher in a paranoid feminist’s dystopia, or “rape and pillage” American citizens? If your answer is that Donald Trump is still more of a threat, fine. I wouldn’t expect otherwise from liberals. But maybe you should at least contemplate that this relentless wolf-crying is one of the reasons you got Donald Trump in the first place.

Jonah's book comes out in April, I might get it as a birthday gift to myself.

@kevinNR writes on The Great Leap Forward. In China, yes. But are we about to make one ourselves, thanks to tax reform? There's reason to be skeptical.

The Trump administration is congratulating itself with great energy on Apple’s recently announced plans to repatriate some of its overseas cash, paying $38 billion in corporate taxes to the U.S. Treasury and investing billions in the United States, creating perhaps tens of thousands of jobs in the process. That is all welcome news. But it is news that is easy to understand, too. Apple did not make any decision to repatriate those overseas funds. The U.S. government in effect seized them. The tax bill simply “deemed” those funds repatriated and imposed a 15.5 percent tax on them. There wasn’t any persuasion involved, and Apple was not responding to economic incentives. That was pure fiat. As for the future investments in U.S.-based facilities and workers, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said forthrightly that a big part of that is related to the tax reform and that a big part of it isn’t. The most arresting observation in the Reuters report on Apple’s $38 billion tax bill is this: “The payment would not represent a major impact on its cash flow this quarter.” Apple had long ago earmarked money for the eventual payment of some U.S. tax on its overseas earnings.

The big news is not how tax reform affects an established company like Apple, but whether it can spur (unpredictable) innovation and prosperity here in the US.

■ Andrew Klavan claims, with some justification, that Democrats Play Women for Fools.

Women — those women who allow feeling states to supersede reality — are driving Trump's unpopularity. The Democrats know this. And they know, if they are going to win back the House in 2018, they've got to convince women that they are #MeToo victims and Trump is somehow to blame — even though their actual lives and their actual country and their actual economic state are all getting better!

The Democrats are assuming women are fools who want to be lied to. Are they right?

Or women could simply find the Trump's loutish behavior trumps all that. Which would be understandable.

■ A new American Consequences is online, and P. J. O'Rourke opines on Pareto and His Principle.

[…] what made Pareto famous is something he simply noticed, early in his career, while working as a civil engineer for the Italian railroad. Going over maps and deeds of right-of-way, Pareto realized that about 80% of land in Italy was owned by about 20% of Italian families.

He did historical and international research and discovered that this 80/20 pattern of land ownership was prevalent around the world and through the ages.

PJ notes the prevalence of the 80/20 rule pattern outside of land ownership. He doesn't mention computers, but he could have:

  • 80% of bugs are found in 20% of the code

  • 80% of time spent fixing bugs is on 20% of the bugs

  • The first 80% of code is done in 20% of time.

And I've heard said that 80% of execution time is spent in 20% of the code.

■ The Daily Signal (rightfully) gloats: Google Removes Fact-Check Feature Targeting Conservative Media.

Google says it is discontinuing its fact-check feature because it proved to be too faulty for public use, directly attributing the decision to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The company has no date set for when it will return, if ever.

Gee, just maybe do you think Google was too eager to release faulty features because of their left-leaning bias? Fortunately, that algorithm sloppiness won't show up in self-driving cars, right?

Last Modified 2018-12-28 4:45 AM EDT