URLs du Jour

2018-05-20

[Amazon Link]

  • I'm afraid Proverbs 12:2 is yet another one of those good people rule/bad people drool bromides from the Proverbs Fortune Cookie factory:

    2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
        but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.

    To quote Hemingway one more time: "Isn't it pretty to think so?"


  • Andrew C. McCarthy analyzes a claim about the 2016 election, peddled by Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself), that "Government investigators were savagely public about Clinton’s trifling missteps while keeping mum about the Manchurian candidate’s treasonous conspiracy with Putin." In Politicized Justice, Desperate Times Call for Disparate Measures.

    As we contended in rebuttal on Thursday, the Times’ facts are selective and its narrative theme of disparate treatment is hogwash: Clinton’s bid was saved, not destroyed, by Obama’s law-enforcement agencies, which tanked a criminal case on which she should have been indicted. And the hush-hush approach taken to the counterintelligence case against Donald Trump was not intended to protect the Republican candidate; it was intended to protect the Obama administration from the specter of a Watergate-level scandal had its spying on the opposition party’s presidential campaign been revealed.

    McCarthy is righteously pissed at this narrative, and it shows. The "disparate" treatment was exemplified, for example, by the mother-may-I approach to getting evidence in the Clinton case, versus (say) the predawn no-knock raid on Paul Manafort's house.


  • At Reason, Nick Gillespie asks: What Can Be Done To Stop School Shootings Without Shredding the Constitution? Long and reflective, here's the bottom line:

    A good starting point for famously Vulcan-like libertarians would be to openly acknowledge the pain of survivors and the unspeakable horrors that unfold in locations such as Santa Fe and Parkland. It also makes sense to foreground what is surely common ground with the vast majority of Americans, even "gun-grabbers," which is that we all want a more-peaceful, less-violent America. From there, it is essential to provide arguments and insights that will alleviate rather than inflame concerns about safety, rates of violence, and how guns are used. Conservatives and groups like the NRA are fond of blaming broadly defined "mental illness" for gun violence, along with video games, drug-taking, and Democratic rule in cities such as Chicago. Libertarians should combat those weak arguments and discuss how policies such as the war on drugs intensify and concentrate gun violence in urban communities while also explaining how school, social-service, and law-enforcement authorities routinely shirk their responsibilities to identify and contain true threats (this is perhaps the biggest policy takeaway from Parkland). Reflexively reaching for often-thin arguments simply based on originalism, the Founders' intent, or contempt for any form of gun control isn't going to help very much. "Coming up with something" doesn't need to mean introducing a whole new set of gun laws. It can also mean having meaningful, informed, empathetic conversations with people on the other side of a particularly controversial and fraught issue.

    Not for the first time, I'll note that progressives aren't usually interested in "meaningful, informed, empathetic conversations". They're in favor of getting to the bottom line, which involves pushing people around who haven't done anything wrong.


  • Our Google LFOD alert sends to the Harvard Business School newspaper (the "Harbus") and its incisive report: 3rd Annual Comedy Night Highlights Student Standup Talent.

    The audience remained buoyant throughout the 90-minute show, hosted by New Section D’s Dilan Gomih, and was not disappointed as comics recounted their recruiting travails, lamented interactions with strangers, and dove into life at HBS. New Section E’s Ninad Kulkarni drew laughs as he shared his difficulty discussing sex with his imperious mother, and New Section F president Spencer Fertig brought the house down with his tales of awful aviation consumer experiences. Even the author managed to get few lines in, dropping jokes about his commuter student life that he could then shamelessly quote in his show review.

    “My wife and I live an hour away, because when I got in here we decided we prefer grocery shopping in New Hampshire,” he said. “Live Free or Die, motherf****r.”

    Hilarious? Maybe you had to be there. But that would be an interesting tweak to our state motto.


  • Also down in Massachusetts, the Greenfield Recorder reports: Warrior Writers group creates cathartic experience for veterans.

    The first poem came to him mid-brush stroke, as he painted a house in Worcester five years ago.

    “I was in a dark place in my life when I fell into (writing). It was an accident. I was up on this ladder and I was literally attacked by a poem. I had to write it down,” remembered Eric Wasileski, 46, of Shelburne, while sitting among fellow military veterans at a weekly luncheon hosted by the Greenfield Elks Lodge.

    That was two years after he’d graduated from a master’s program at Andover Newton Theological School, more than a decade since the Iraq War started, and 15 years since he left the Navy.

    The poem, called “Live Free (or die),” which eventually became a book in 2014, contrasts President George Bush’s May 1, 2003 victory announcement in the Iraq War to the subsequent crumbling of New Hampshire’s “Old Man on the Mountain” a few days later. It was the first Wasileski ever wrote.

    Eric's book ($15) is our Amazon Product du Jour. In what is either (a) an enticement for you to buy the book or (b) a blatant violation of copyright, here's his "Live Free (or die)":

    In New Hampshire there was once a sign 
    That God made people 
    Granite chiseled into the side of Cannon 
    Mountain bore the resemblance of a Man in profile 
    The Old Man of the Mountains 
    Magnificent and majestic he stood the long watch 
    
    Live Free or Die is the motto of the land 
    and stands as a marker and guidepost 
    To inspire, both ourselves and our progeny 
    to live a life worth living 
    of bettering ourselves 
    and pursuing happiness 
    as is our unalienable right 
    
    Yet on that May afternoon, back in '03 
    the day after our President announced 
    "mission accomplished" in Iraq 
    The Old Man, knowing it is better to live free or die 
    heard this great lie 
    that our nation was telling 
    And did the only thing he could 
    as one who has granite integrity 
    He died 
        

    Ah. Eric really dislikes Dubya. To be fair, however, "mission accomplished" is one of those things "everybody knows" Bush said, but actually didn't. But, you know, poetic license.