URLs du Jour


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  • Proverbs 11:8 is another optimistic take on the benefits of good behavior:

    8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
        and it falls on the wicked instead.

    Darned if the first thing that sprung to my mind wasn't: Just like those old Road Runner cartoons! Inspiring our Amazon Product du Jour.

  • At NRO, Brian Reidl chronicles Sixty Hours of GOP Dysfunction on Spending.

    Here is the portrait of a dysfunctional party: On Tuesday, the House Republicans unveiled a budget that set a goal of spending cuts totaling $6,454 billion. On Wednesday, Senate Republicans defeated legislation to cut spending by $1 billion. On Thursday, House Republicans voted to renew $20 billion per year in farm subsidies.

    The 2018 GOP talks like Barry Goldwater and spends like Lyndon Johnson.

    Good luck in November, guys. You are essentially telling your supporters: "You f'd up. You trusted us."

  • On a cheerier note, Virginia Postrel dives into some fabricated (heh) history: Before Drug Prohibition, There Was the War on Calico.

    On a shopping trip to the butcher's, young Miss la Genne wore her new, form-fitting jacket, a stylish cotton print with large brown flowers and red stripes on a white background. It got her arrested.

    Another young woman stood in the door of her boss' wine shop sporting a similar jacket with red flowers. She too was arrested. So were Madame de Ville, the lady Coulange, and Madame Boite. Through the windows of their homes, law enforcement authorities spotted these unlucky women in clothing with red flowers printed on white. They were busted for possession.

    It was Paris in 1730, and the printed cotton fabrics known as toiles peintes or indiennes—in English, calicoes, chintzes, or muslins—had been illegal since 1686. It was an extreme version of trade protectionism, designed to shelter French textile producers from Indian cottons. Every few years the authorities would tweak the law, but the fashion refused to die.

    Sounds silly now. Hopefully it won't take centuries before people look at our current prohibitions and protections as equally silly.

  • Betsy [Newmark]'s Page seems to be written by a kindred spirit. Here she is on the current kerfuffle:

    There are some days, I just see what is trending on Twitter and immediately shut it down and go read a book. All this brouhaha over the restaurant in Lexington, Virginia that asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave which she and her party did. The server posted online about what had happened. Sanders later posted about this on Twitter and both sides assumed battle positions and went on the attack. People in the area went to stand outside the restaurant in this small town in western Virginia and shout at each other pro- and anti-Trump slogans. People went on their Yelp page to post positive and negative reviews of a restaurant that, undoubtedly, few had ever visited. Both sides accused each other of hypocrisy in comparison to their stance on the Colorado Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Republicans who had supported the right of a baker to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding now are angry at a restaurant manager declining to serve a member of the Trump administration. Those who supported government action against the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding now support the choice of a restaurant manager to refuse to serve someone she and her employees don't like.

    Is this what we really want in our society? I agree that the restaurant has the right to ask her to leave. She had the right to tweet about it. Other potential customers can decide if they want to patronize this restaurant or not. Apparently, a lot of people don't understand the difference between individuals making their own choices and government getting invovled to enforce a mandate and punish a business for not acting in a prescribed manner.

    Indeed. (I take exception, however, to her anti-Elon Musk tirade later in the post.)

  • Rest in peace, Donald Hall:

    Donald Hall, one of the last major American poets of his generation, died Saturday night at Eagle Pond Farm in Wilmot, where he hayed with his grandfather during boyhood summers and later cultivated a writer’s life. Hall was 89 years old and had been in declining health.

    He was a literary dynamo, writing poetry, memoir, criticism, magazine articles, plays, short stories and children’s books.

    “I worked on Christmas Day in order to be able to brag that I worked on Christmas Day,” he told one of his last interviewers. He wrote almost to the end of a career of more than 60 years.

    I wrote a small appreciation back in 2006 when he was named Poet Laureate.

  • The Google LFOD News Alert sounded for a Keene Sentinel LTE from one Sarah Wilton: Don't let corporations control our farms.

    Warning signal: the paper identifies Sarah Wilton living at 127 School Street in Keene, which is not a farm. So when she says "our farms", she's being less than truthful, maybe a little Stalinist. Anyway:

    The Live Free or Die state has avoided the corporatocracy’s (the establishment) attempt to destroy/monetize what’s left of the natural world, until now.

    Eye roll.

    According to the latest USDA data, 97% of US farms are family-owned. New Hampshire's percentage is … about the same as everyone else's.