URLs du Jour

2018-05-05

[Amazon Link]

  • I am a little disappointed in Proverbs 13:12:

    12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
        but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

    OK, so it's nice to have your wishes come true. But you know what would have been even better advice? "Sometimes things don't work out like you hoped. Suck it up and move on."

    I mean, I thought those Old Testament guys were supposed to be hard asses.

    And not that it matters, but there are a shocking number of books titled "Hope Deferred". Just ask Amazon.


  • In response to an NRO article from Sarah Quinlan ("Conservatives Are Wrong to Dismiss Feminism"), Kevin D. Williamson writes at Commentary: Dismissing Feminism? After taking a lot of women’s studies classes as a University of Texas undergrad…

    I came to conclude that feminism is an intellectually null non-philosophy. In its mild form—the version deployed for public-relations purposes—feminism is a small collection of banal and largely unobjectionable moral truisms. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people,” as one feminist writer put it in the 1980s, asserting a claim that no one in the civilized world really disputes. If feminism is the idea that women ought to enjoy equality before the law, full economic opportunity, personal autonomy not dependent upon fathers or husbands, etc., that’s also a claim that is rarely if ever disputed, at least as a political and legal question. (Many people believe that society would be better off if more women stayed at home raising children rather than working, but few seek to make that a legislative matter.)

    Beyond the banalities, however, is an "academic" feminism that's "infected with pseudo-science, … intellectually incoherent, illiberal, and shallow."


  • In his G-File, Jonah Goldberg looks at the (apparently never-ending) conflict between Trump fans and Trump non-fans: War on the Right. He begins, naturally enough, with that nasty idea William James came up with: the Moral Equivalent of War:

    Normally, I’d go on for several paragraphs — or pages — demonstrating how MEOW has been the central idea of American liberalism for over 100 years: from John Dewey’s “social benefits of war,” to Woodrow Wilson’s “war socialism,” to FDR’s explicit embrace of martial organization to fight the New Deal, to the New Frontier and the War on Poverty, straight up to Barack Obama’s call for America to be more like Seal Team Six. Instead, I just asserted it in a single sentence. The idea can simply be understood as the progressive version of nationalism, minus the word “nationalism.” When you say, “We’re all in it together” or, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country,” you’re making a nationalist argument, even if you think, as so many liberals do, that the word itself is icky.

    While many causes associated with the moral equivalent of war are well-intentioned and honorable in spirit (fighting poverty, conservation, etc.), the problem with the idea itself is that it is totalitarian — in a psychological, if not always in a political, sense.

    As with Kevin's argument in the previous item, Jonah is arguing with an essay by the pseudonymous "John Ericsson" in the Federalist: "It’s Time For The Right To Realize The Left Is A Much Greater Threat Than Trumpism". So maybe you should read that first.

    I flirted with this once myself, when I made the mistake of commenting negatively on an Andrew Klavan "you have to choose sides" article last year. People get irked when you reject the notion that you have to crawl into bed with Trump, or you're implicitly on the "side" of the leftists.


  • Remember the lyrics to Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues"? David Post asks the question that has nagged me for decades: If You Shot a Man in Reno, Why are You in California State Prison?

    I thought at first that this was pure poetic license - Cash needed "Reno" to rhyme with something else. But a look at the verse shows that's not correct (although it does provide a kind of false rhyme with "blowin'"). He could've used any two-syllable town name (with the emphasis on the first syllable - what the poets call a "trochee"): Merced, Fresno, Jackson, or even Tahoe. [Tahoe would be a good one - it borders Reno, leading to the intriguing possibility that the shooting took place right at the border, with the shooter in California and the deceased in Reno (or vice versa), leading to a nice jurisdictional battle between the two States over who can prosecute him and where he can be prosecuted.]

    An alternative explanation is that he wasn't actually charged with a crime for having shot a man in Reno (just to watch him die); he's in California prison because of some subsequent offense committed in California, and he's just reflecting, as country singers are wont to do, on his evil life and evil ways.

    Also of note: why would that train with the lonesome whistle be chugging past Folsom Prison on its way to "San Antone"? That's pretty far away from there. Fortunately, there's a good answer for that.


  • Andrew Klavan has something he wants to say to leftists triggered by cultural appropriation: Your Culture is My Underpants.

    I mention this because, earlier this week, a young lady named Keziah Daum tweeted a picture of herself in a Chinese-style prom dress. In the picture, Keziah was standing with her date. She looked absolutely adorable in the pretty dress and her date was obviously wondering how he got so lucky. It was a photo to inspire a smile in anyone who feels pleasure at the sight of youth, beauty, life, love, joy or the harmless delights of just being human.

    Andrew notes further: "People who get angry about pretty girls wearing pretty dresses have lost the plot of life." Also those college folks who will (almost certainly) get pissed at ponchos and sombreros tonight.