URLs du Jour

2018-06-03

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 12:14

    14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
        and the work of their hands brings them reward.

    For the nth time, we observe that the Proverbialist had this obsession about lips. Perverse? No comment. But Pun Salad seconds the verse's advocacy of manual labor. (Includes typing in front of a computer screen, right? Right?)

    But speaking of fruity lips, our Amazon product du jour is Blistex Fruit Smoothies, three packages of three tubes each, for the low, low price of $13.99.


  • A Slashdot story today showcases the moral posturings of our fearless (GNU) project leader: Richard Stallman Asks: Should Big Tech Be Taxed For Hurting Society? He is quoted:

    By arguing about whether to divide up the power that this data gives to businesses, or to regulate the use of it (perhaps nationalizing it), they miss the point that both alternatives destroy our privacy and give the state a perfect basis for repression.

    The danger is to collect that data at all.

    More generally, I think the idea of taxing companies for the magnitude of harm that they do (regardless of whether they broke any rules to do it) is a good one.

    Heh. It's pretty clear, Slashdot Headline Writer, that Stallman isn't "asking". His mind is made up. His positions are predetermined by his moralistic ideology and wacky values, both of which are several sigma removed from those of the mean American citizen.

    That's not to say they're wrong, of course, but this is a democracy: we get the government, and hence the privacy regulations, we deserve.

    But to me, the elephant in the room (i.e., Stallman's brain) is that by far the largest destroyer of our privacy is the Internal Revenue Service, which demands to know (roughly) every detail about our financial dealings with the rest of the world and is remarkably sloppy about keeping things secret.

    Now Stallman wants to toss them even more power. Truly a willful blind eye there.


  • What's so rare as a day in June? A day in June that Pun Salad links to Maureen Dowd: Obama – Just Too Good for Us. Showing that MoDo can be perceptive about her own side, at least when those perceptions are safely out of date:

    Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, Rhodes writes in his new book, “The World as It Is,” Obama asked his aides, “What if we were wrong?”

    But in his next breath, the president made it clear that what he meant was: What if we were wrong in being so right? What if we were too good for these people?

    “Maybe we pushed too far,” the president continued. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”

    Relevant question for Barack: did they fall, or did you push them?


  • People are beginning to notice flaws in the ever-evolving narrative of the Russiagate investigation. Specifically: if the genesis of the investigation was "concern" that Trump campaign hirelings and hangers-on were canoodling with the Russkies, why didn't the Obama Administration let Trump know about the potential serious problem? Scott Johnson at Power Line notes the answer from then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: Clapper: Not His Job.

    Clapper responds with a variation of Freddie Prinze’s Chico and the Man catchphrase that it wasn’t his job. Clapper just reported “to policymakers to make decisions about who do we talk to about it, what do we do about it. The role of the intelligence community is just to glean the information.”

    OK, fine. The only policymaker "above" Clapper in the hierarchy was (tada) President Obama. Did Clapper tell him about the issue? (As they used to say back in the day: What did the President know, and when did he know it?


  • Kevin D. Williamson reports on A Hoover Restoration: specifically, Margaret Hoover is bringing back Firing Line to PBS, previously hosted by William F. Buckley, Jr., for 33 years. Kevin reminisces:

    In the second half of the 20th century, television was almost precisely the opposite of what it is today: The entertainment programming was almost uniformly mindless — BonanzaBewitchedGomer Pyle USMC— but there was an audience for high-quality public-affairs programming. (Not a huge audience.) Now, we have excellent television dramas and endless first-rate documentaries . . . and Sean Hannity, who combines the subtlety of Father Coughlin with the wit and originality of late-period Three’s Company. And that daft malignancy is Solon compared to the social-media gang and the cable-news B-list. Relaunching Firing Line in this environment is bold.

    Well, first: I admit I only watched a few episodes of Buckley's Firing Line. Mea culpa. (I hope WFB would appreciate the Latin.)

    But as near as I can tell, the first episode will be showing up here in the hills later this month. I'll tell TiVo to grab it for me.


  • At Hot Air, John Sexton notes: Inspector General’s Report Isn’t Out Yet, But The Washington Post Is Already Worried Republicans Will Seize On It.

    Whenever some news that is harmful to Democrats becomes a story, someone in the media will publish it under a version of this headline: “Republicans Seize on…”

    For instance, outspoken members of the Democratic party have been pushing Trump’s impeachment for a year. Last month the NY Times published a story headlined, “Republicans Seize on Impeachment for Edge in 2018 Midterms.” There is some news here but the headline could easily have been “Democratic push for impeachment could backfire this fall” but the bad news for Dems gets refocused into a “Republicans Seize…” story instead.

    Those nasty Republicans, always seizing! Also pouncing!


  • It's a day with a "y" in it, so I bet Michael Ramirez has something pithy to communicate cartoonwise: