URLs du Jour


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  • Proverbs 14:28 gets into the mechanics of royalty:

    28 A large population is a king’s glory,
        but without subjects a prince is ruined.

    "I'm a prince!"

    "Yes. Well, exactly how many subjects do you have, Prince?"

    "Well, um…"

    "Uh huh. You're ruined! I read it in Proverbs!"

  • <voice imitation="professor_farnsworth">Good news, everyone</voice>: An excerpt from Jonah Goldberg's new book Suicide of the West is up at NR, and it's apparently free even to lowly non-subscribers. On the astounding fact of capitalistic modernity:

    Virtually every objective, empirical measure that capitalism’s critics value improved with the emergence of Western liberal-democratic capitalism. Did it happen overnight? Sadly, no. But in evolutionary terms, it did.

    Among economists and anthropologists, this is “settled science.” Economists left and right might bicker over minor details, but they agree that poverty is man’s natural environment. As economist Todd G. Buchholz puts it, “For most of man’s life on earth, he has lived no better on two legs than he had on four.” Nobel Prize–winning economist Douglass C. North and his colleagues write in Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History that “over the long stretch of human history before 1800, the evidence suggests that the long-run rate of growth of per capita income was very close to zero.” Economic historian David S. Landes is not exaggerating when he writes, “The Englishman of 1750 was closer in material things to Caesar’s legionnaires than to his own great-grandchildren.” For roughly 7,500 generations, everywhere in the world — ancient China and Rome, medieval Europe and Aztec-era Mexico — the average person lived on the equivalent of $3 per day.

    Hint: I have Jonah's book on my Amazon Wish List.

  • In one of the eye-rolling events of the past few days, President Trump has signalled his willingness to, um, revisit his decision to pull the US out of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). I.e., attempt to unbreak the dish he tossed on the floor. At NR, Veronique de Rugy points out: Rejoining TPP Won’t Be Easy. There are a lot of hurdles. But the bottom line:

    One final note, I don’t know much about international negotiations but I know that there is a reason why we tell our kids not be obnoxious in their dealing with others, even when they think they have the upper-hand or even if they believe they will never need other kids again. Nasty behaviors may come to bite you you know where at some point. This may be one of those moments for America. We, the people, may learn that painful lesson once again. Will the White House learn it too?

    The Pun Salad Magic 8-Ball says: "Outlook not so good".

  • In another eye-roller (as related by Eric Boehm at Reason), Trump Attacks Syria Without Congressional Authorization (or Clearly Defined Goals).

    The attack commences without two fundamental elements of any hostile engagement against another nation: authorization from Congress, and a clear understanding of the mission's aims. These are not mere technicalities, regardless of how often they have been brushed aside by various chief executives in the name of expediency.

    The childish "do something!" urge is bad enough when it motivates bad legislation; when it inspires warlike activity, it's certainly worse.

  • And of course, some CongressCritters object to the lack of authorization. But Congressman Justin Amash points out just how hypocritical the objections can be:

    For residents of New Hampshire CD1: Yes, of course Carol Shea-Porter signed the letter. She wasn't in Congress in 2013, so I won't speculate on her hypocrisy.

  • New Hampshire Commie Public Radio answers the perennial question: What Is The Free State Project? (brought to us via the crack Google LFOD News Alert Team). It's very nuts and bolts (or, you might say, fruits and nuts) about the inner stresses of the FSP, and the tactics of the anti-FSP folks too. For example, there's a movement to "out" current or former members of the FSP who run for political office.

    Yes: "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Free State Project?"

    It’s a question that rubs Carla Gericke the wrong way, which isn’t surprising. Carla stepped down from the Free State Project in 2016 and is now running for state senate for the second time.

    "It seems very McCarthey-esque," she told me. "I mean, I could break down the Democratic Party into all kinds of little nuanced groups...maybe I'll send out a thing that asks, you know, 'Are you a socialist?'"

    In addition to running for state Senate, Carla is now heading the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence. Their mission is to “educate citizens on the benefits of the Live Free or Die state peacefully declaring its independence and separating from the federal government of the United States.”

    Yes, NHPR doesn't know how to spell "McCarthy".

  • And finally Michael Ramirez on the Facebook imbroglio:

    Closely related: "What, Facebook makes money from ads?!"

Last Modified 2018-12-22 7:14 AM EDT