URLs du Jour

2018-03-26

[Amazon Link]

  • The two halves of Proverbs 14:9 don't mesh very well, but each is a trivial sage observation.

    9 Fools mock at making amends for sin,
        but goodwill is found among the upright.

    Note: again with the mockery. The Proverbialist really hates mockery. Some sort of traumatizing childhood experience?


  • A point/counterpoint on John Bolton's appointment as Trump's National Security Advisor. First, at Reason, Jacob Sullum lists 5 Things About John Bolton That Are Worse Than His Mustache. Only five? Here's the fifth, anyway:

    5. Bolton favors attacking North Korea. While Trump recently agreed to a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the hope of negotiating denuclearization, Bolton (as always) favors a more aggressive approach. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece last year, he laid out three "military options," including a pre-emptive strike on "Pyongyang's known nuclear facilities, ballistic-missile factories and launch sites, and submarine bases."

    That's not good, of course.


  • But at NR, David French counters (noting that the NYT cited the same op-ed): John Bolton Isn’t Dangerous. The World Is.

    Even one of the pieces that the New York Times cites to justify its alarm — Bolton’s 2017 Wall Street Journal article analyzing military options in North Korea — contains this key sentence: “The U.S. should obviously seek South Korea’s agreement (and Japan’s) before using force, but no foreign government, even a close ally, can veto an action to protect Americans from Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons.”

    This is a sensible statement, indicating both the desire for agreement with key allies and the necessity of national self-defense, and the Times fails to effectively grapple with the truth underlying Bolton’s essay — a quarter-century of American nonproliferation policy has failed.

    This is one of the times my libertarian/conservative coinflip mostly comes out conservative, albeit with an option to flip back if I see a rational, serious argument otherwise. But see what you think.


  • A story from Omaha, where I used to live long ago: Omaha man ‘liked’ a tweet, and then he lost his dream job. His name is Roy Jones, his employer was Marriott, and his dream job was the overnight shift in an Omaha office building responding to tweets.

    It was in this hectic environment that Jones says it happened. While logged into an official Marriott Twitter account, he believes he probably — and accidentally — clicked “like” on a pro-Tibetan tweet thanking Marriott for listing Tibet as its own country, and not a part of China, on a survey.

    This "like" moved the Chinese dictatorship to anger, Marriott has lots of business interests in China, so Roy was sacrificed to appease the Chinese.

    Kind of disgusting, but maybe Roy can get a job working for John Bolton. I'm pretty sure Bolton's not worried about irking Chinese Communists.


  • Our Google LFOD alert rang for another Nebraska-sourced story, just down I-80 from Omaha. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports Lincoln area below national average in seat belt usage, police say; extra enforcement efforts planned.

    Lincoln-area drivers and passengers wear seat belts slightly less than the national average, a recent survey found.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had observers monitor how many people were wearing seat belts last week in crash hot spots in the city, near the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus and in Lancaster County, Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said at a news conference Friday.

    The observers found seat belts were in use 85 percent of the time, four percentage points lower than the national average of 89 percent, he said.

    Four percentage points! Oh, the shame. Oh, the humanity!

    Yes, the NHTSA was on the taxpayer-funded job, spying on people driving by to see how well they measured up to the state's diktat.

    The story is a not-too-thinly-veiled advocacy of making seatbelt non-use a primary offense (i.e., cops can pull your car over solely because someone isn't belted). Right now, in Nebraska, it's a secondary offense.

    But where's LFOD?

    A 2016 survey of states by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found states with primary offense seat belt laws had higher usage rates than those with secondary laws.

    Georgia, which has a primary offense law, had the highest rate — 97 percent — while New Hampshire had the lowest rate at 70 percent, the survey found.

    The "Live Free or Die" state has no seat belt law.

    A sloppy inaccuracy there (and I've commented at the paper's site): Seat belt usage is required for 18-and-unders. Adults are allowed to make their own decisions about risky behavior. At least in this specific area. At least for now.