URLs du Jour

2018-06-09

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 12:20 is another … one of those:

    20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
        but those who promote peace have joy.

    We can confidently assert the contrapositive to that last bit: joyless people do not promote peace. No matter how loudly they insist otherwise.

    As far as deceit goes: as Orwell noted (see our Amazon Product du Jour), it's gone universal since the days of Ancient Israel. (Klingons too?)


  • Maybe you've been asking yourself: Do I get to rewrite the Constitution because I dislike Trump? If so, you'll want to check out David Harsanyi's latest column: You Don’t Get to Rewrite the Constitution Because You Dislike Trump.

    If your contention is that President Donald Trump has the propensity to sound like a bully and an authoritarian, I’m with you. If you’re arguing that Trump’s rhetoric is sometimes coarse and unpresidential, I can’t disagree. I’m often turned off by the aesthetic and tonal quality of his presidency. And, yes, Trump has an unhealthy tendency to push theories that exaggerate and embellish small truths to galvanize his fans for political gain. Those are all legitimate political concerns.

    Yet the ubiquitous claim that Trump acts in a way that uniquely undermines the rule of law is, to this point, simply untrue.

    It would be nice if we had a principled opposition to Trump. There are a few of them. But they're consistently drowned out by the folks who seem determined to prove they're just as divorced from truth and reality as Trump is.


  • Reason's Ron Bailey writes on the latest possible weapon against atmospheric CO2: Sucking Carbon Dioxide from the Air to Produce Gasoline?

    Recycling the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by turning it back into fuel would help slow the process of global warming. An earlier estimate calculated that direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide would be prohibitively expensive at least $600 per ton. But now Carbon Engineering, located in the British Columbia, has published a detailed engineering and cost analysis of its pilot DAC plant that suggests that its technology can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for $94 to $232 per ton.

    An intriguing effort to turn down the global thermostat. But I've made this point before: two people can fuss about where to set the thermostat. Can you imagine 8 billion people arguing about the same? Especially when we know how "arguments" on that scale are carried out?

    Headline from 2118: "Glaciating Scandanavian Countries Mount Airstrikes on Carbon-Recycling Plants".


  • Mark Jamison, at AEI, shakes his head in bafflement at what some otherwise sensible people are advocating: When did making customers happy become a reason for regulation or breakup? And there's some debunking:

    Before addressing the substance of the arguments, let’s clean up some facts. Google is chosen somewhere between 75 percent and 90 percent of the time worldwide by people using organic search. It doesn’t “drive” those searches. And this is only organic search — apps such as Yelp and Travelocity provide specialized search services. Facebook products are indeed popular, but the 95 percent figure is misleading: According to Pew Research, 35 percent of US teens say they use Snapchat more than any other social media, and 32 percent say they use YouTube more than any other. Facebook and Instagram together are most used by only 25 percent of US teens. So Facebook is, at best, number three in the market. And two companies with a 63 percent market share do not make a duopoly: To constitute a duopoly, they must have 100 percent of the market. Besides, it is unclear that online advertising is a market in the sense used in antitrust legislation.

    Only quibble with Jamison: we aren't really "customers" of Google/Facebook/etc. unless we're giving them money. Their actual customers are the ones paying them for our eyeballs.


  • The Google LFOD alert rang for a Laconia Daily Sun article: Region ready for Motorcycle Week.

    GILFORD — Cynthia Makris summed up the philosophy behind Laconia Motorcycle Week in a welcoming news conference at Gunstock Mountain Resort on Thursday.

    “When we say in Laconia, ‘We ride,’ we mean that from our ‘Live Free or Die’ Yankee attitude, our mutual love of the wind in our faces and the freedom of the open road. This is what has built the legacy of Laconia Motorcycle Week as the oldest rally in the world,” said Makris, whose family owns the Naswa Resort.

    It starts today, in its 95th year.


  • But LFOD also cropped up in a local news story from Seacoast Online: NH Diversity and Inclusion Council releases preliminary report. NH Governor Chris Sununu is quoted:

    “If we really want to be the Live Free or Die State, we must ensure that New Hampshire is a place where every person, regardless of their background, has an equal and full opportunity to pursue their dreams and to make a better life for themselves and their families,” Sununu said in a statement Thursday. “I would like to thank the members of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion for their preliminary report, and I look forward to seeing the results of their future work.”

    If you'd like to read the interim report, it's right here. It's saturated with the usual feelgood rhetoric wrapped around the iron fist of coercion. If I may characterize: We want all people to be treated with respect, except those who disagree with us. In which case, welcome to legal hell, bigot."

    One specific proposal is pretty innocuous: that NH should recognize "Juneteenth", the celebration of the 1865 abolition of slavery in… Texas. But 45 other states officially "recognize" Juneteenth, the council notes, so we should do that too.

    Fine. Another empty symbolic gesture to make people, theoretically, feel better? We can do that.


  • And a cartoon comment on Trump's I-can-pardon-myself stance from Michael Ramirez

    A Flash (sorry, but it's neat) discussion of the original from the Louvre.