URLs du Jour

2018-02-27

Just a blogiversary note: the first post to Pun Salad was thirteen years ago today. I've edited the post to remove/update some anachronisms.

Still having fun, thanks for reading.

Proverbs 15:16 explores an either/or choice:

16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great wealth with turmoil.

Unstated presumption: fear of the Lord decreases turmoil. Are you sure about that, Proverbialist?

And even if that were true, maybe the issue is not so starkly binary. Is there a trade-off between fear of the Lord and turmoil? Can we solve for maximal utility?

I'm probably reading too much into this.


■ At Reason, J.D. Tuccille imparts some above-it-all wisdom to those of us tired of gun debates where everybody repeats the same talking points from previous years: Culture War Is All That’s Left When Gun Policy Battles Become Pointless.

Last year, I noted the growing tendency of the "dominant political tribes to effortlessly taunt each other by waving cultural flags—or putting the legal screws to lifestyle choices that aren't overtly partisan." Since then, the escalating strife between political and cultural factions has turned into economic warfare, as opponents of private ownership of guns pressure businesses to end relations with the National Rifle Association. The culture war is almost guaranteed to harden the sides rather than hand anybody victory. It's also unlikely to go away, since posturing and stigmatizing is all the combatants have as debate over actual policy slides toward irrelevance.

Ironically, predominately progressive gun opponents are adopting the conscience-driven boycott model—an exercise of free association rights—that many of them sought to deny to social conservatives who spurn the business of gays and lesbians (bake a wedding cake, anybody?). So far, Enterprise Holdings, Avis Budget Group, Chubb Limited, MetLife, Delta, United Airlines, and the First National Bank of Omaha are among the companies breaking ties with the gun-rights group, or just discontinuing discounts to its members. The end goal of this project seems to have less to do with policy changes than with flipping the bird to the five million members of the organization most closely associated with opposition to restrictions on self-defense rights.

It is the "do something" syndrome run amok.


■ I've been a longtime reader of Betsy's Page; that link will take you to a recent post (mostly) about gun stuff:

It really is ironic that, after so many mistakes and screw-ups by government officials that have been revealed after the Parkland shooting, that there is this great outcry to give government more power in restricting gun rights.

Or, as in a tweet she links to:

The RTWT score is strong with Betsy. Around 8.5 I think.


■ A. Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Dispatch asks Are You a Russian Troll? And he provides a quiz you can take to make sure! Sample question:

(1) When you see a post online that supports your political tribe, you

  1. treat it skeptically until its assertions can be independently confirmed;
  2. nod sagely and move on;
  3. pause to enjoy the sweet, sweet dopamine hit that comes from having your existing beliefs confirmed; or
  4. immediately share it with everybody you can think of.

Take it and let me know how you do, tovarisch!


■ A local-impact article from Wesley J. Smith at NR on the New Hampshire Medical-Conscience Bill.

The question of “medical conscience,” that is, whether doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and the like can be forced to participate in medical procedures or provide services with which they have a religious or moral objection is heating up. Now, New Hampshire is considering a bill that would provide protection for such dissenting medical professionals.

I'm sympathetic. But the lady-parts doc that is quoted in this Union Leader article makes a good point:

“About 95 percent of patients who come to see us want to have some form of contraception,” he said. “So if a physician who applies to my practice says that he or she won’t provide contraception to our patients, I don’t know how I could hire that person.”

So: "I won't perform 95% of the services provided by your business, but hire me anyway, or I'll sue you." Probably not the wisest thing for the state to weigh in on.


Last Modified 2018-03-02 4:29 PM EST