URLs du Jour

2018-07-05

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 11:18 is another optimistic take on the benefits of being a good person. It pays off, baby!

    18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
        but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

    The Proverbialist apparently never heard of "Virtue is its own reward." Who said that, anyway? Ah, here it is: John Henry Newman (1801-1890), British clergyman, and all-around smart guy. (And, according to Wikipedia, only one miracle short of sainthood.)


  • At Reason, Jacob Sullum has a simple request: Another Justice Like Gorsuch, Please. Jacob rebuts recent criticism from "People for the American Way" (PFAW) that Gorsuch is "a narrow-minded elitist who consistently votes in favor of corporations and the powerful." Oh, yeah?

    PFAW is echoing the criticism of Democratic senators who worried, before Gorsuch was confirmed in April 2017, that he was not inclined to stand up for "the little guy." Gorsuch's record during a decade on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit belied that claim, and his 15 months on the Supreme Court provide further evidence that he is not shy about defending the principles that protect politically disfavored individuals from the whims of the powerful.

    In sharp contrast with the man who nominated him, Gorsuch worries about abuses of the government's power to take people's property "for public use." In June 2017, when the Court declined to hear a case that raised the question of whether a state can impose limits on the "just compensation" it owes for takings under the Fifth Amendment, Gorsuch, joined by Clarence Thomas, urged his colleagues to address that issue at the "next opportunity."

    Left-wing hyperventilating is one of their less attractive traits.


  • And one thing they hyperventilate about most is Roe v. Wade; for them, its legal authority is above the Constitution, its wisdom above Socrates, and its holy truth far above anything in the Bible!

    But, at the WaPo, Megan McArdle urges: Let Roe go. For one thing:

    The decision itself is a poorly reasoned mess. It failed to mount a convincing case that the Constitution contains language that can be read as guaranteeing a woman’s right to abort her pregnancy. Nor have the subsequent courts that amended and extended Roe managed to come up with a constitutional justification; it’s all “emanations and penumbras” and similarly float-y language that did little to convince opponents that Roe v. Wade was a good or necessary ruling. Even many liberal supporters of a constitutional right to abortion have voiced concerns about the way the Burger Court got us there; those critics include Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    Megan is a sensible woman, but we live in nonsensical times.


  • Ah, but the LFOD Google Alert Bell rang overtime recently. For example, at (of all places) the Omaha World-Herald and their movie critic Micah Mertes, who lists The 5 different kinds of patriotic movies. All of which are unabashed American propaganda. Dude, that's bold talk for a Cornhusker.

    Anyway, one of Micah's movie classifications is the "pop entertainment patriotic film".

    These movies are the most effective and insidious form of patriotic agitprop, merely by nature of how entertaining they are and how thoroughly the American exceptionalism is baked into every frame of the spectacle.

    The heroes overcome their obstacles not just because they are good but because they are American. Because Americans are the coolest, toughest, scrappiest, most ingenious, most practical, awesome, courageous, clear eyes, full heart, can't lose.

    Hackers want to destroy America? Not if John McClane has anything to say about it.

    And, yes, one of his examples is Live Free or Die Hard, a movie that did not even have one scene in New Hampshire. I felt like demanding my ticket money back!

    (Google sends me an LFOD alert for every mention of Live Free or Die Hard. Google's AI is not all its cracked up to be.)

    Anyway: Micah Mertes is deeply troubled and snide about any movie that might make you even slightly grateful to be an American.


  • OK, that's a take from deep-red Nebraska. Oddly enough, there's a counterpoint in deep-blue Illinois, John Kass writing in the Chicago Tribune: On Independence Day, thanking my family for coming to America.

    My people didn’t know about Independence Day when they came to this country.

    But on this Independence Day, I’ll lift a glass to them, my wife’s family from Sicily and my family from Greece.

    They risked their lives and everything they had for the one thing America offered:

    A chance to be an American.

    They didn’t come for a government safety net. They didn’t expect that, and it wasn’t offered. All they wanted was opportunity.

    When they left their poor villages, they didn’t know about the motto of New Hampshire, “Live Free or Die.” But that’s what they set out to do here in America: Live free or die.

    Pun Salad bestows an honorable LFOD mention award to John Kass.


  • Closer to home, Manchester's Nate Bernitz pens a Union Leader LTE, alleging something about Unconstitutional checkpoints.

    Recent immigration checkpoints along I-93 in New Hampshire, as well as along neighboring Maine’s I-95, are an affront to our Live Free or Die values as well as a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    Given my long history of watching movies with menacing foreigh-accented police state functionaries demanding "Your papers, please", I'm uncomfortable with this sort of thing too. But, as even Vox notes: the checkpoints are probably legal.


  • And NH Labor News ("Where Labor and Progressive Politics Intersect") approves: Woodburn Kicks Off Cannabis Legalization Petition.

    On July 1, Senator Jeff Woodburn is kicking off an online campaign for the “Live free or die” state to join Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts in legalizing marijuana. If re-elected, Woodburn plans to file legislation to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis in 2019.

    Whatever, dude.

    Senator Jeff is the current Democratic state senator from District 1, which is, like, the entire northern half of the state. He is also against mandatory motorcycle helmets, mandatory seat belt usage, bans on "assault weapons", broad-based taxes, … Not bad for a Democrat.