URLs du Jour

2018-04-06

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  • Proverbs 14:20

    20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
        but the rich have many friends.

    That's pretty harsh. A terse verse summing up that old blues song "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"

    Once I lived the life of a millionaire, spendin' my money I didn't care
    I carried my friends out for a good time, buying bootleg liquor, champagne and wine
    When I begin to fall so low, I didn't have a friend and no place to go
    So if I ever get my hand on a dollar again, I'm gonna hold on to it 'til them eagles grin
    Nobody knows you, when you down and out
    In my pocket not one penny, and my friends I haven't any

    Music fans of a Certain Age will remember this from the Derek and the Dominos version on "Layla". But it's much older and (to my slight surprise) written pre-Depression.


  • So, I was all set up, via RSS feed, to follow Kevin D. Williamson's Atlantic columns, but… yeah, that didn't work out. At Reason, Katherine Mangu-Ward points out the obvious: By Firing Kevin Williamson,The Atlantic Shows It Can't Handle Real Ideological Diversity

    Williamson expressed the view that abortion is murder and should be punished to the full extent of the law (although he also later indicated that he has mixed feelings about capital punishment). I do not share his view. But by declaring Williamson to be outside the Overton window of acceptable political discourse because he believes strongly that abortion is a serious, punishable crime, The Atlantic is essentially declaring that it cannot stomach real, mainstream conservatism as it actually exists in 21st century America.

    Williamson uses colorful and sometimes rash language. He didn't have to detail the grisly form of punishment he would inflict on women who decide to terminate their pregnancies. He chose to do so because he enjoys provoking a reaction. But The Atlantic knew that about him before it hired him.

    A common pro-life slogan: "Abortion stops a beating heart." Also stating the obvious. Williamson chose to deal with that obvious point instead of ignoring it. The folks at the Atlantic can't bear to be reminded of that fact.


  • And Williamson's former colleague at NR, David French, also has thoughts worth your attention: On the Cowardly Firing of Kevin Williamson.

    The Atlantic has caved to the intolerant mob and fired Kevin Williamson, and in so doing has contributed to a slanderous fiction — that Kevin is so beyond the pale that he has no place at one of the nation’s premiere mainstream publications. His millions of words, his countless interviews, and his personal character were reduced to nothing — inconsequential in the face of deleted tweets and a five-minute podcast dialogue.

    So, what are The Atlantic’s readers now missing? I ask you to read Kevin’s February 18, 2016, NR cover story about the opioid crisis. It’s not a chart-filled, graphics-heavy analysis. It’s a story about people. It’s a story told the way only Kevin can. It takes a reader who may not know or may never meet a heroin addict, and it puts you in their world. By the end, your heart breaks.

    Williamson's too good a writer not to land on his feet somewhere or other, so I don't worry about him much.

    I was an Atlantic subscriber on and off over the last few decades. I briefly considered resubscribing when I heard they'd hired Williamson. But didn't. Dodged a bullet there. I don't worry about them, either; I simply hope the magazine will spiral into navel-gazing irrelevance and financial ruin.


  • Also at NR, J. J. McCullough reminds us of something: Roseanne Barr Is a Complete Nut.

    Barr has never met a conspiracy theory she didn’t love. She’s a 9-11 truther who believes that “Bush did it,” and she has called the Boston Marathon bombing one of many “false flag terror attacks” perpetrated by the Obama administration to “remove” the Second Amendment. For good measure, she also believes that the old man Bush killed JFK.

    You can find YouTube videos of her rambling about “MK ULTRA Mind Control” on RT, and she seems particularly fond of the notion that the American ruling class is running some manner of pedophile sex cult. Her views on Jews and Israel fluctuate wildly — in the past, she has called Israel a “Nazi state” and alleged that Zionism was created by the Third Reich (or something — I challenge you to succinctly summarize the opinions expressed here), though more recently she’s taken to accusing Hillary Clinton of plotting Israel’s destruction and labeling aide Huma Abedin a “Nazi whore.”

    I confess I watched the new Roseanne. For about fifteen seconds.


  • Drew Cline makes a too-rare reappearance in the Union Leader: Occupational licensing reform would lift regulatory burdens.

    Here's a bit of trivia: New Hampshire’s tallest building was erected by a general contractor unlicensed by the state of New Hampshire. Before you decide to avoid forever Manchester’s 20-story City Hall Plaza, you should know no building in the state, including your house, was built by a state-licensed general contractor — because New Hampshire doesn’t license general contractors.

    The state doesn’t license carpenters, auto mechanics, welders or asphalt layers either. Yet your home does not fall apart, commercial buildings don’t tumble down, roads don’t dissolve in the rain.

    It turns out that for many occupations that pose significant potential risks to others, the marketplace provides pretty powerful incentives for providers not to kill their customers.

    Not for the first time, I recommend The Captured Economy by Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles; the book's chapter on occupational licensing is stellar and radical. As I noted after reading: they don't just go after the "easy" targets, like cosmetologists, but also the sacred cows: doctors, dentists, lawyers.


  • But maybe we should demand occupational licensing for American journalists. Because, as Andrew Klavan documents, American Journalists Are Hysterical Knuckleheads.

    This column has, on occasion, been disparaging toward American journalism, but only because it is now populated by the biggest bunch of knuckleheads ever to be assembled outside of Knucklehead City on the planet Knucklehead. Remember the sitcom news anchor Ted Baxter with the big voice and the slick haircut and minuscule IQ? Well, if you added the emotional stability of a three-year-old having a temper tantrum, you would have your typical American journalist and commentator, not just on cable but at the networks and newspapers too. I could lasso a gorilla, give him a lobotomy, and teach him to do the job better than these clowns in fifteen minutes/

    Don't hold back, Andrew. Tell us how you really feel.