URLs du Jour

2018-05-10

[Amazon Link]

  • I may be missing something in Proverbs 13:17:

    17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
        but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

    I'm not sure for whom this advice is meant. Hiring messengers was probably a thing in Ancient Israel, since there was no Postal Service, right?

    But isn't it pretty obvious that, given the choice between "Wicked Messengers, Inc." and "Trustworthy Envoys, LLC", you would probably go with the latter? Even without the Proverbial advice?

    Nevertheless, I should mention that this verse inspired a Bob Dylan song, which is our Amazon product du jour.


  • J.J. McCullough wrote a provocative essay NRO the other day: Time for a Compromise on Transgenderism. Basically: conservatives should grant that transgender men and women are "entitled to basic human dignity". Whereas progressives should cease advocacy of "the use of state authority to impose accommodation of transgenderism in a fashion far more totalitarian than is rationally justified."

    Uh, fine. But as a practical matter, progressives are never interested in "compromise", except as a temporary "lock in" tactic to ensure their final victory down the road.

    David French, also at NRO, has further objections: In the Transgender Debate, Conservatives Can’t Compromise the Truth.

    I don’t know any serious social conservative who doesn’t believe that a transgender man or woman is entitled to “basic human dignity.” No one is claiming that they should be excluded from the blessings of American liberty or deprived of a single privilege or immunity of citizenship. Any effort to strip a transgender person of their constitutional liberty should be met with the utmost resistance. But that’s not the contemporary legal controversy. Current legal battles revolve around the state’s effort to force private and public entities to recognize and accommodate transgender identities. The justification for this coercive effort is often the state’s alleged interest in preventing so-called “dignitary” harm. Thus, men are granted rights to enter a woman’s restroom, even when gender-neutral options are available. Thus, private citizens are forced to use false pronouns. Girls are forced to allow a boy to stay in their room on an overnight school trip, or they’re forced to compete against boys in athletic competition.

    David notes that the question (on this and other matters) can be boiled down to: Are we allowed to tell the truth? Well, we can try.


  • At Reason, Veronique de Rugy writes on The Tyranny of the Administrative State.

    The tyranny of the administrative state is real and hard to tame. Americans would be horrified if they knew how much power thousands of unelected bureaucrats employed by federal agencies wield. These members of the "government within the government," as The New York Times' John Tierney describes them, produce one freedom-restricting, economy-hindering rule after another without much oversight. These rules take many forms, and few even realize they're in the making—until, that is, they hit you square in the face.

    Yeah. I was present at the announcement of one of those made-up rules, the allegedly-Title-IX-based "Dear Colleague" demands on sexual assault on college campuses. Which turned out to be awful.


  • At Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux takes off on a Bryan Caplan quote, urging us to invoke "Put your money where your mouth is" as a bullshit detector. Comments Don:

    Whenever you hear a politician – or a professor, or a preacher, or a pundit, or anyone – assert that there is some ‘imperfection’ or ‘failure’ in reality that government should forthwith ‘correct’ or ‘fix’ with some combination of force and other-people’s money, beware. Before you take such a person seriously, first ask why he or she isn’t personally seizing the opportunity to profit from the imperfection that he or she so confidently insists exists. It’s possible that, should you ask this question, you’ll arrive at an acceptable answer depending upon the particulars of the circumstances. If so, give the person who issues such a declaration more attention.

    I promise to try to look for more opportunities to put this plan in action.


  • WalletHub has updated its Most Fun States to Visit in America data. To get a hint on what they consider "fun": California, New York, and Nevada are the top three states.

    Where's New Hampshire, you ask? It's number 40. Outrageous!

    New England is not much fun at all. Connecticut is #38; Maine is #39; Vermont is #45; Rhode Island is #47. Our only salvation is Massachusetts, and it's pretty mediocre: #21.

    I blame the Puritans. I guess.