Hey, kids! How do you feel about collective guilt?
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin condemns any people.
That's easy to make fun of, but there's a kernel of truth there.
Specifically (since I am at least a part-time libertarian), let's
Madison had to say:
To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or
happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.
On my more pessimistic days, I think that the US is severely testing that
A new issue of American Consequences is out, with quite a few
P. J. O'Rourke articles. I liked his take on
Markets are ruled by greed and fear. Or so they say.
For example, Warren Buffett famously declared, “Two super-contagious
diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investment
community… We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to
be greedy only when others are fearful.”
Which is just a wordier version of the old stock trader maxim: “Buy on fear, sell on greed.”
And since Pun Salad has long been interested in risk, I enjoyed the
bottom line, as expressed by P. J.'s friend Jay Caauwe after they
attend a heavily technical
session on "Risk Management":
The quants talked about portfolio performance alphas, volatility
betas, standard deviation sigmas, and all the risk sensitivities and
hedge parameters expressed in Greek letters – delta, vega, theta,
rho, lambda, epsilon… I felt like I was in some awful fraternity
initiation shotgunning coffee instead of beer.
I said to Jay, “I can’t understand a single word they’re saying about
Jay just smiled.
“P.J.,” he said, “if you could measure risk, it wouldn’t be risk.”
Wise words there.
Why, it's almost as if our government's actions to stem opioid abuse
are wrong-headed! Because, as Jacob Sullum notes at Reason:
As Opioid Prescriptions Fall, Opioid Deaths Rise
The decline in opioid prescriptions that began in 2011 accelerated last year, according to the latest data. Meanwhile, opioid-related deaths continue to rise. The opposing trends show the folly of tackling the "opioid crisis" by restricting access to pain medication.
Fearless prediction: the people who assured us that restricting
opioid prescriptions would save lives will not accept any
responsibility, nor incur any penalty, for their role in increasing
pain and death.
I know you've been wondering: should conservatives try to punish radical professors for offensive
speech? At NR, David French has the answer for you:
Conservatives Shouldn’t Try to Punish Radical Professors for
Offensive Speech. The recent test case is Fresno State's Randa
Jarrar, who tweeted out attention-seeking vileness on the occasion
of Barbara Bush's death. (Warning: picture of Prof Jarrar at the
But culture drives law, and law drives culture. Every time that we
refuse to tolerate offensive expression, we incentivize the culture
of crocodile tears. We motivate government officials to expand state
power over speech until the silencing exceptions swallow the
free-speech rule. California’s recent efforts to compel crisis-pregnancy centers to
advertise for free or low-cost abortions represents what happens
when the people, to borrow my friend Greg Lukianoff’s excellent
phrase, “unlearn liberty.” Periodic conservative efforts to expel
radical professors from the academy demonstrate the pernicious
effects of a “fight fire with fire” mentality. In both cases, a
culture of coercion triumphs and liberty loses.
French's solution: deny the lefty trolls the
attention they crave. The worst punishment of all.
Philip Greenspun has a semi-contrarian view on the recent airline
1380: think about the flight attendants.
If you’re looking for heroes, though, think about the flight
attendants. They’re in the back of the plane with 140+ screaming
passengers. There is a hole in the airplane. At least one person has
suffered injuries that will prove to be fatal. Others are injured as
well. They have received no training for this scenario. (Most flight
attendant training, as I understand it, is directed at evacuations
once the aircraft has landed.)
Not to take anything away from pilot Tammie Jo Shults, but she'd be
the first to tell you that a single-engine failure is something
pilots are extensively trained to handle via simulator, without
And the Babylon Bee reports news from the other side of the
Libertarian Careens Car Through Back Yards, Open Fields, Off Cliff To Avoid Using Government Roads
LEBANON, NH—In a calculated move intended to demonstrate the power
of the free market, libertarian man Patrick Wallace drove his SUV
through dozens of other peoples’ back yards, across several open
fields, over a stretch of rocky terrain, and even off a cliff into a
small ravine in order to avoid using any government-funded roads,
sources confirmed Thursday.
According to witnesses, the man got into his vehicle to head to
work, started it up, and immediately barreled across his lawn, down
his neighbor’s side yard, through a row of back yards, and right
into an adjacent wood, all while carefully preventing his tires
from ever touching any road built by tax dollars.
Heh! I'm pretty sure, though, that a True
Libertarian would have more respect for private property rights than
that demonstrated by Mr. Wallace.