URLs du Jour

2018-06-22

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  • Proverbs 11:5 is relentlessly optimistic about the struggle of Good vs. Bad. Basically, the Good have it in the bag:

    5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
        but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

    Stupid wicked people! Couldn't they see that coming?


  • At NRO, Victor Davis Hanson writes on some wicked people who should be brought down by their own wickedness, if Proverbs 11:5 has it right: Scandals Sanitized with Linguistic Trickery. VDH's bottom line:

    If the IG report on the Clinton email scandal is any guide to these upcoming investigations, expect widespread abuse of the English language to warp reality.

    The media is using the antiseptic “informant” in place of the cruder but more accurate “spy” or “mole.”

    The off-putting but accurate “wiretapping” has become the more professional “surveillance.”

    The sanitized “improper” always sounds cleaner than the more accurate “illegal.”

    In sum, “2016” could make a logical sequel to “1984.”

    To quote Ben Jonson: "Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune, whose words do jar; nor his reason in frame, whose sentence is preposterous; nor his elocution clear and perfect, whose utterance breaks itself into fragments and uncertainties."


  • So Bill Weld, once governor of Massachusetts, wants to be the Libertarian Party candidate for president in 2020. George F. Will asks the musical question: Can this libertarian restore conservatism?

    The former twice-elected Republican governor of Massachusetts has been visiting Libertarian Party state conventions and will be in New Orleans at the national convention June 30-July 3. There he will try to persuade the party, which sometimes is too interested in merely sending a message (liberty is good), to send into the autumn of 2020 a candidate representing what a broad swath of Americans say they favor: limited government, fiscal responsibility, free trade, the rule of law, entitlement realism and other artifacts from the Republican wreckage.

    I don't know if Weld can recover from his 2016 performance as the LP's VP candidate: because, as Aaron Blake of the WaPo noted back then: Libertarian Party VP nominee Bill Weld basically just endorsed Hillary Clinton.

    In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Weld, a former Republican, said he was "vouching" for Clinton and praised her effusively while arguing that the choice between the two major candidates is clear -- all while not really vouching for the top of his own ticket, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.

    Still, if the choices on the November 2020 ballot are (a) Weld; (b) Trump; (c) any Democrat; and (d) some Jill Steinish socialist… yeah, I'll vote for Weld.


  • An interesting decision from the Supremes, which has some NH online retailers moaning: South Dakota v. Wayfair: A Taxing Decision.

    Today, the Supreme Court handed the states a victory in their battle to collect taxes on online sales, but, in doing so, dealt a heavy loss to the national market, small businesses, and the people at large. South Dakota v. Wayfair’s focus was on whether to overturn Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which held that states could not impose tax collection obligations on businesses with no physical presence in the state. In a bizarrely split 5-4 decision–with Justice Kennedy writing the majority joined by Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito, and Gorsuch and Chief Justice Roberts writing the dissent joined by Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan–the Court held that states can charge sales taxes on completely out-of-state businesses.

    That is a bizarre split.

    Only bright spot is the possibility that the decision might wake up Congress to do its job and regulate interstate commerce.


  • And on the LFOD front, the Concord Monitor reports: N.H. Moose Plates are so popular they need another letter.

    The state’s Moose Plate program has proved so popular that it’s starting to take over the alphabet.

    When the first Conservation Number Plates were issued in December 2000, the letter “C” for “conservation” was part of each five-digit number combination. As “C” plates sold out, the letter “H,” for “heritage,” replaced the “C.”

    Now plates are starting to carry the letter “P,” for “preservation.”

    Moose Plates show a drawing of a moose designed by New Hampshire artist Jim Collins, as well as the state motto “Live Free or Die.” They cost an extra $30.

    LFOD is free, but the moose will cost you extra.