URLs du Jour

2018-07-12

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 11:25 is a sweet paean to altruism:

    25 A generous person will prosper;
        whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

    Ayn Rand might disagree, but that's OK.


  • At Cato, Terence Kealey has the musical question du jour: Why Does the Federal Government Issue Damaging Dietary Guidelines?

    It's a long, sad history of Your Federal Government bumbling and fumbling as it took over the role of Food Nanny. Key quote:

    In fact, the federal government may be institutionally incapable of providing wise dietary advice, as Thomas Jefferson warned us in his 1787 Notes on the State of Virginia: “Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.”

    The government is "supposed" to ensure the safety of our food. Except, as the news often informs us, they haven't managed to get that right yet. Maybe fire the nannies, in order to get a few more cops?


  • Lest you worry that the lefties are the only people looking to shut down expression they don't like on college campuses, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) will reassure you that it can be a bipartisan effort: Kansas officials demand University of Kansas remove American flag artwork.

    A controversy is brewing over a flag being flown at the University of Kansas as part of a nationwide public art series. The series, called “Pledges of Allegiance,” is a project of the New York-based arts nonprofit Creative Time, displaying a rotation of flags addressing a variety of themes and topics by artists from around the world. While the series consists of 16 artworks, the ire is focused on one in particular: “Untitled (Flag 2)” by artist Josephine Meckseper. Meckseper describes the work as “a collage of an American flag and one of my dripped paintings which resembles the contours of the United States.”

    Today, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach demanded KU remove the artwork.

    Ms. Meckseper's artwork isn't my cup of tea. In fact I find it talent-free. Other flags at the site linked above are of varying quality and stridency.

    The site's Project Support page lists a number of sponsors, at least a couple seemingly supported by New York taxpayers. Were I a New York taxpayer, I might be pretty steamed at that.

    But (unlike the grandstanding Kansas pols), I'm content to leave it there.


  • At NRO, Kevin D. Williamson has Ten Thoughts on Judicial Activism. Let's look at … number six!

    1. Which brings us to the question of what judicial activism actually is. Properly understood, the question of whether there should be a legal right to abortion is separate from the question of whether there actually is a legal right to abortion in the text of the Constitution. It is fanciful to believe that there was in fact a constitutional right to abortion lurking in the document for nearly 200 years, unnoticed by the men who wrote and ratified it, and then discovered by Justice Blackmun et al. Judicial activism is what happens when judges abuse the power entrusted to them, choosing to act as politicians making policy rather than as judges upholding the law even when they wish the law were other than what it is.

    It would be neat if Brett Kavanaugh were to lecture any querulous senators this way. But that's why it's gonna be Justice Kavanaugh and not Justice Williamson. senators.


  • Veronique de Rugy looks at the emperor and claims that he's got his free-trade garments on. Veronique says, nope, he's naked: On Trade, Trump Is Who He Claims to Be.

    Nothing in what the president has ever said suggests that he's anything but a diehard mercantilist. Yes, it's true that he complains loudly of the treatment of U.S. exporters abroad—treatment he no doubt wants to change. It's also true that he has endorsed dropping all tariffs around the world to zero.

    But even these seemingly free-trade stances stem from fundamentally protectionist beliefs: First, that if there were no tariffs, U.S. exports would rise dramatically and surpass imports, shrinking the dreaded trade deficit. And second, that exports are great and imports are bad. In other words, America wins with low imports and high exports.

    He is wrong on all counts. If the U.S. trade deficit were to ever disappear, America's economic health would take a turn for the worse. As long as the United States is growing and remains an attractive place to invest, we will continue to run a trade deficit with the rest of the world.

    Which brings us to…


  • Mark J. Perry identifies the latest casualty in Trump's War on Laundry.

    Hey, folks! Your tax cut was nice, wasn't it? Too bad that it got eaten up when you bought that washing machine.