URLs du Jour

2018-07-22

[Amazon Link]

  • Solomon brings the truth in Proverbs 10:4:

    4 Lazy hands make for poverty,
        but diligent hands bring wealth.

    Point taken.

    Everything is relative, however. An Ancient Israeli "wealthy" person would be considered in abject poverty today.


  • Jonah Goldberg's most recent G-File is (roughly) on President Trump's recent loose-cannon comments on NATO. Excerpt:

    I’m worried that we are entering a very dangerous chapter in world history. The idea that international institutions, built on the blood-stained rubble of two world wars, must give way to some glorious new era of nationalism is inflaming the minds of people across the West. It’s a very weird epidemic of Year Zero thinking on a global level. As a Burkean, I’m open to reform: gradual, thoughtful, incremental reform that improves on what we have already built. But the recent blunderbuss rhetoric isn’t about that. It’s a nearest-weapon-to-hand defense of a president who doesn’t understand how NATO even works.

    It's rough when you have a President that, every so often, can't be bothered to appear sane, knowledgable, and honest.


  • Trump's bad enough. His opponents are aguably worse. At Reason, David Harsanyi has a suggestion for us: Get a Grip, America.

    This week, The Washington Post published an op-ed headlined "It's not wrong to compare Trump's America to the Holocaust." As with similar examples of this genre, it's a sickening display of moral relativism that belittles the suffering and murder of millions in the service of some shortsighted and crass partisan fearmongering.

    Elsewhere, Politico published an opinion piece headlined "Putin's Attack on the U.S. Is Our Pearl Harbor," which demeaned the sacrifice of American service members by likening a military attack on American soil that brought us into the bloodiest war mankind has ever experienced to phishing.

    On MSNBC, where illiterate histrionic analogies litter coverage every day, a contributor compared Donald Trump's meeting in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin to Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht, just to be safe.

    It's a little weird when, by all objective measures, the sanest political party in America is the Libertarian Party.


  • At PJ Media, John Ellis has news you can use. Specifically, 5 Modern Myths People Need to Stop Believing. Example:

    4. After Eating, You Have to Wait to Go Swimming

    People need to let go of this myth because there's no reason to continue torturing kids. And mothers have been torturing kids for generations because of the belief that after eating we have to wait at least 30 minutes before jumping back into the pool. However, as Duke Health says, "Apparently, mother does not know best when it comes to swimming after eating."

    The myth persists, though, because it is true that swimmers can suffer from a mild cramp after eating. Please note the emphasis on "mild." Because, as Medicine Net points out, "the fact is that an episode of drowning caused by swimming on a full stomach has never been documented."

    Ellis's myths are apolitical. For example, he doesn't tackle the myth of Scandinavian socialism.


  • American Consequences has its "Summer Reading" issue online. Editor P. J. O'Rourke essays on Knowing Write From Left. His contrarian take on a musty play:

    Literature hates capitalism. And the hating started while capitalism was still being invented – before “capitalist” was even a word – in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with its nasty portrayal of Shylock, the only worthwhile person in the play.

    All the other main characters are rich lay-abouts, except for the titular merchant, Antonio, and he’s a fool. He’s going to loan his profligate friend Bassanio 3,000 ducats (something like half-a-million dollars) so that Bassanio can afford to date Portia. Meanwhile, Antonio’s business affairs are a mess. He’s cash poor because all his capital is tied up in high-risk ventures. He’s counting on huge returns from emerging market trading ventures.

    Shylock, a keen-eyed financial analyst, sums up Antonio’s investment portfolio: “He hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies… a third at Mexico, a fourth for England.”

    Libya, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and… England? What, exactly, is this Merchant of Venice merchandizing? Looks to me like he’s trading in boat people, smuggled ivory, drugs, and… kippered herring?

    Peej has some alternate reading suggestions, a couple may surprise you! Eek!


  • A student, Ian Smith (but not that Ian Smith), writes sensibly in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: University of Minnesota pronoun policy should not be enacted. It's the (by now) standard: even though a student's birth certificate may say "Stephen", he has the right to be referred to as "Stephanie", use the girl's bathroom, and … oops, I'm probably in trouble for saying "he" back there, because "hir" preferred pronoun is "ze".

    Among the problems Ian perceives:

    • Administrators have full power to expel someone for not using pronouns.

    There is something wrong with a policy that kicks a student out of its school and essentially ruins their lives over their not uttering a one-syllable word. There is something morally in me that can’t quite support a policy that advocates for this. One may make the argument that “the university will only resort to that punishment in extreme cases.” But that’s not how policies work out in effect. When you give administrators wide breadth in disciplinary action, you must assume that they will use it. So be prepared for a student to be expelled for not speaking the exact words the university wants him or her to say.

    Aaaand … cue the lawsuits. Universities need to ask themselves: Is this really a hill they want to die on?

    So anyway, if you know any college students, you might want to invest in our Amazon Product du Jour. Which, outrageously, you can get in either "Men" or "Women" fit types. To the barricades, comrades!