URLs du Jour

2018-04-15

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  • Proverbs 14:29 goes into the "timeless" pigeonhole:

    29 Whoever is patient has great understanding,
        but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

    As you probably know, Patience is one of the seven heavenly virtues; but a hot temper is not necessarily a sin, unless it leads to Wrath.

    Jesus excepted.


  • Speaking of patience, Reason's Matt Welch has none with The Deep-State Liars of the #Resistance.

    During his half-century spent defending Americans' civil liberties, here's what has changed, according to lawyer Alan Dershowitz: "Now conservatives have become civil libertarians, and liberals have become strong supporters of law enforcement, the Justice Department and the FBI," the professor and pundit said after dining with President Trump on Tuesday night.

    That snorting sound you hear? That's a thousand libertarians shooting coffee through their noses at the notion that the GOP is newly sympathetic to issues of law enforcement overreach and intrusive investigative tools. Republicans had an opportunity as recently as three months ago to rein in warrantless snooping under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. What did they do? They voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize the practice for another six years: 191-45 among GOP members in the House, 43-7 in the Senate.

    So (if you have patience) wait a few years until the political winds shift, and you can watch the corresponding attitudes mutate once again.


  • Philip Greenspun peruses a recent position of the ACLU on an issue you might not expect: Why does the ACLU advocate for paid family and medical leave? Good question, and I especially like this observation:

    One area where the ACLU could make money is management consulting. In the pre-filled letter to send to politicians, the organization suggests that members write that, with this kind of law in place, “employers save money by retaining better staff”. Thus any rational employer should implement a paid leave system even in the absence of a law forcing them to do it. But profit-seeking employers are leaving money on the table, so to speak, by not paying workers to not work. So the ACLU could charge employers to educate them on the profit-enhancing technique that the ACLU knows about, but that employers don’t know about.

    The self-appointed experts that know everything about how businesses should be better run are thick on the ground. Thick in other ways, too.


  • Brought to us via the Google LFOD News Alert is this Union Leader article: Family-leave bill faces veto. Our Governor explains one of a number of reasons:

    "While I believe access to a paid-leave program would provide a benefit to some Granite Staters, it is not in our 'Live Free or Die' nature to force citizens to pay for a service they do not want," states Sununu. "HB 628's current opt-out provision is unduly burdensome on both employees and employers, and the need to have the opt-out document notarized is absolutely unnecessary and cumbersome."

    Now if he were only consistent. But the correct application of LFOD is appreciated where we can find it.


  • Ex-druggie Ryan Fowler of the Concord Monitor, on the other hand, invokes LFOD to explain New Hampshire casualties of the war on drugs.

    Clearly, the winner of the war on drugs is the prison industrial complex. The owners of federally and state contracted jails and prisons are profiting from this crisis at a loss to taxpayers. Disproportionate numbers of poor people and people of color are being locked up for simple drug possession, often to meet contractual detention quotas. These bad deals paved the way for handing out murder convictions for people who share drugs that result in death. These are called “death resulting” cases and have become common over the past year and a half in the Live Free or Die state. Most people who are charged this way are low-level drug users who simply share drugs. These policies help no one and conflict with Good Samaritan laws, keeping people from calling 911 during an overdose event.

    It's my impression that relatively few people are locked up for "simple drug posession" any more. Or even "share" drugs. But (nevertheless), Fowler's correct about the fatal incentives of current law.


  • Out in Michigan, the Mackinac Center (For Public Policy) notes a Strong Link Between Cigarette Tax and Illegal Smuggling Rates. And LFOD shows up, of course:

    At the opposite end of our smuggling spectrum, there are source states. The state with the highest outbound cigarette smuggling is New Hampshire, at a whopping 86 percent. That is, for every 100 smokes consumed in the Live Free or Die State, another 86 are smuggled out. This is not a function of New Hampshire having a particularly low tax rate ($1.78 per pack), but of having one that is just relatively lower than that of its neighbors. Idaho (25 percent), Wyoming (22 percent), Delaware (21 percent) and West Virginia (20 percent) round out the top five.

    New Hampshire's tobacco retailers give thanks every day to (a) God and (b) neighboring state legislatures. Probably in that order, but I'm not betting on that.