URLs du Jour

2018-07-19

[Amazon Link]

  • We move (backward, don't ask) into a new Proverbial chapter today with Proverbs 10:1:

    1 A wise son brings joy to his father,
        but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

    Presumably it works the other way for daughters, so things even out between parents.

    (This is NIV, our default. A few PC translations substitute "child" for "son". I don't see any that substitute "parent" for "father" and "mother".)


  • Did slavery make America rich? If you've been wondering about that, wonder no further. Deirdre Nansen McCloskey answers at Reason: Slavery Did Not Make America Rich.

    In his second inaugural, Abraham Lincoln declared that "if God wills that [the Civil War] continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk…as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'"

    It is a noble sentiment. Yet the economic idea implied—that exploitation made us rich—is mistaken. Slavery made a few Southerners rich; a few Northerners, too. But it was ingenuity and innovation that enriched Americans generally, including at last the descendants of the slaves.

    Read on for Professor McCloskey's detailed refutation.


  • We seem to be on a transgender kick today. Jeff Jacoby reports on … what might make a pretty good movie: The transgender posse vs. Scarlett Johansson.

    Scarlett Johansson is no stranger to left-wing pressure. In 2014, protesters demanded that she sever her ties to an Israeli company, SodaStream. Last year a racial interest group condemned her for playing the character Motoko in "Ghost in the Shell," a Hollywood remake of a Japanese classic.

    The posse came after Johansson yet again last week. Her supposed sin this time: agreeing to star in the upcoming movie "Rub & Tug," which tells the story of Dante "Tex" Gill, a brothel owner in 1970s Pittsburgh who was born female but lived as a man. The casting of Johansson triggered a backlash from transgender actors, who not only argued that the role should go to someone who personally identifies as transgender, but claimed it would be unethical and hostile to do otherwise.

    Bottom line, Jacoby notes: ScarJo has pulled out, the movie may not be made now.


  • Bias is the water in which the mainstream media swim, and it often takes an outsider to notice. At NRO, Charles C. W. Cooke observes that, according to the MSM, Apparently, Only Conservatives Spend Money on Politics. Example NYT headline:

    I.R.S. Will No Longer Force Kochs and Other Groups to Disclose Donors

    The "other groups" include every group operating under the IRS's 501(c)(4) rules. But…

    The Times notes that “varied” groups will benefit from this change, which is true. But the “varied” groups given as examples are “arms of the AARP, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association and Americans for Prosperity, which is funded partly by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.” Gosh, what a range! They must have been plucked from the air . . .

    Just for the record, Ballotpedia lists the "ten most viewed 501(c)(4) organizations" on their site:

    You'll recognize some of them, of course. It's far from the one-sided lists ominously peddled by the Times and their ilk.


  • At the Weekly Standard, Kevin D. Williamson has a non-negotiable demand: Stop Calling It 'Treason'.

    President Trump, who has a little something of the later Roman emperors in him, is not engaged in making war on the United States, though it is galling to defend him from such charges given his own propensity for talking treason lightly.

    He is not engaged in treason or anything like treason. He is engaged in hypocrisy and moral illiteracy. He is a frank admirer of caudillos such as Vladimir Putin, because in his mind ruthlessness, grasping, and amorality are associated with effective leadership. Hence the praise for Kim Jong-un.

    Trump is a boob of a familiar sort: The guy sitting on the barstool (though Trump does not drink) saying, “I’m not saying I approve of Hitler, but he got things done.” The president finds much to admire in autocracies and police states, and in foreign affairs he makes that plain enough. The insistence that Putin must have kompromat or financial leverage over Trump is, in the absence of evidence, only a conspiracy theory, and no responsible person in public life should be trafficking in those—not even late-night comedians. Civilization went awry when we stopped socially classifying actors and related entertainers with prostitutes and tinkers, but even Stephen Colbert owes some public duty.

    The list of folks against whom treason charges were (legally) brought in the US is surprisingly short.

    Our Amazon Product du Jour is a fondly-remembered text from the previous outbreak of treason accusations.


  • I take Mental Floss quizzes every so often, and I got 96% on Is It in the USA? Not bad for a stay-at-home guy. How about you?


Last Modified 2018-07-19 11:11 AM EST