URLs du Jour

2018-07-03

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 11:16 sounds like it could be the basis for a good blues song:

    16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
        but ruthless men gain only wealth.

    This goes double if the kindhearted woman is named Ruth.

    But… only wealth? A lot of guys will take that deal.


  • At NRO, Robert Stein has A Modest Proposal for ‘Draining the Swamp’. Robert details, convincingly, how elected officials gallop to the watering trough once out of office.

    So here’s my suggestion: Once someone is elected to federal office — the House, Senate, or White House — they will get that office’s pay for life, guaranteed, plus inflation, no matter how soon they retire or how long they linger in office. However, all other income (except for withdrawals from previously accumulated retirement funds and Social Security) will be taxed at 100 percent.

    No speech fees, no lobbying, no consulting, no corporate boards, no book deals, no film deals, no university positions. No other jobs, either. Basically, no nothing. Unless, of course, you just want to work as a labor of love, in which case be my guest.

    I probably wouldn't go for that in practice—Stein admits he might not either—because, hey, it's a free country. But I'll admit that the "high eight figures" deal that Netflix gave the Obamas seems like little more than (as Robert puts it) a "postdated bribe".


  • At the Daily Signal, David Harsany espies The Next Phase of Our National Moral Panic:

    It looks as if the next phase of our ginned-up national moral panic will feature the public shunning and harassment of people we disagree with. And in a free country, even the pretend oppressed can kick imaginary Nazis out of their establishments, as we saw when the co-owner of The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, booted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders from her restaurant.

    Certainly, politicos don’t deserve safe spaces from peaceful protest or confrontation. You want to make their lives miserable, humiliate them, and show everyone how principled and right-thinking you are? By all means, stop them from having those chimichangas. That’ll teach ’em.

    But don’t fool yourself into self-idealization. You’re no budding Martin Luther King. No matter what you think of President Donald Trump, you’re still an insufferable jerk. You’re just a member of a blindered tribalist mob, imbued with a false sense of certitude that allows you to justify incivility. That is to say, you’re like a Twitter troll made real.

    To repeat a Tyler Cowen quote from yesterday: "There is no better venue for politeness than commerce." Especially commerce conducted in public before witnesses.


  • Hey, it's almost the Fourth! Time to get prepared. Ira Stoll, at Reason, describes How the Declaration of Independence Explains Political News in 2018.

    The founders of the United States of America didn't just declare independence from Great Britain. They wrote a statement explaining their reasoning. Two-hundred-and-forty-two years later, we're navigating some of the same issues.

    President Trump's immigration crackdown? The Declaration of Independence complained that King George III "has endeavoured (sic) to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither."

    President Trump's tariff threats and the risks they may pose to international trade? The Declaration of Independence had faulted George III "for cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world."

    President Trump's encouraging Justice Anthony Kennedy to resign so Trump could reshape the Supreme Court? The Declaration criticized George III for having "made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices."

    OK, that last one was kind of a stretch, Ira.


  • Charles C. W. Cooke has our Tweet du Jour:

    I've quoted Jonah Goldberg on this before: we "like our Constitution like our beef jerky — cold, dead, tough to chew through."


  • And you'll want to take Mark J. Perry's Carpe Diem quiz on the Declaration of Independence. I got 11 out of 14, thanks to some semi-educated lucky guesses. See how you do.