URLs du Jour

2018-07-24

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 10:6 returns to the Proverbialist's favorite orifice:

    6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
        but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.

    I hate it when anything overwhelms my mouth. Let alone violence.


  • Veronique "Intrepid" de Rugy writes, at Reason, on a continuing bad idea, of which the latest example is: States Bid to Lure in Amazon.

    If you've been to the movies recently and stayed until the very end of the massive list of names that follows the film, you may have noticed the startling number of tax credits and other subsidies being doled out to producers by states and cities. The new Avengers movie received somewhere around $30 million in credits from Georgia. Captain America received some $20 million to shoot in California.

    Such gifts are unbecoming, considering each of these films grossed hundreds of millions in profits within the first few weeks of its release. But nothing beats the forehead-smacking stupidity of the governments currently throwing billions of dollars in corporate welfare at the richest man in the world.

    That would be Jeff Bezos. I'm a fan, and I can't get too mad at him for playing the corporate welfare game; it's a component of the water in which all us fish are currently swimming.

    But we'd all be better off if states adopted the suggestion floated later in the article: a compact between states to "mutually disarm in the subsidy war."


  • At National Review, J. J. McCullough explains: The Medium Is Not the Message. Specifically, the social medium.

    An old truism holds that to find out who rules you, “look for who you’re not allowed to criticize.” In a democratic society, however, I’d suggest a more accurate measure would be: Look for the person or thing that gets praised the least. One of the defining qualities of a free people, after all, is deep aversion to appearing on the side of power. Even the original quotation obviously exists to instigate criticism where a lack of it is presently perceived.

    By this standard, social media is clearly our collective tyrant. We all understand ourselves to be ruled by it, and endless columns are churned out decrying this grim reality. Writers are ostentatiously quitting Twitter left and right — most recently the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman — or simply writing long essays about the neurotic hell it has made their lives.

    I would imagine that people with a high public profile endure a lot of monkey poo-flinging. And (surprise) those are the folks whose complaints about poo-flinging get the widest audience.

    But plenty of people—the vast silent majority—use social media to keep interacting with real friends and family. And put up with the occasional stupid/clickbait ad. No big deal for them, and they must wonder what all the fuss is about.


  • At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff chronicles the latest example of Our under-incarceration problem, Atlanta edition.

    When he was 14 years-old, Jayden Myrick was arrested for armed robbery. He agreed in a plea deal to a 15 year sentence. The final seven years were to be served in adult prison.

    But after just two-and-half years in juvenile detention, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Doris Downs set Myrick free. She put him on probation and placed him in a special program whose director claimed could keep tabs on Myrick and reform him.

    Now, Myrick, age 17, is accused of shooting and killing a 34 year-old Washington, D.C. man during the course of another armed robbery, as the man was waiting for an Uber ride after leaving a wedding reception in Atlanta. Christian Broder is survived by his wife and a 9-month-old daughter. He would be alive today if Judge Downs hadn’t stupidly subscribed to the tenets of those pushing sentencing reform.

    Judge Downs is in thrall to a "rehabilitation" orthodoxy for convicted criminals. If some innocent people have to die as a result, so be it.


  • At American Consequences, P.J. O’Rourke has guidance for Reading The Wealth of Nations All The Way Through. Yes, he's done it. There are downsides:

    […] Smith often goes off on quirky tangents. For example, in Book One of Wealth, he tries to explain how we determine value and price. He says, “If among a nation of hunters, for example, it usually costs twice the labor to kill a beaver which it does to kill a deer, one beaver should naturally exchange for or be worth two deer.”

    And I’m going, wait a minute. Can killing a beaver, even in supposition, really be twice as hard as killing a deer? Deer can run like hell. We know where the beaver lives. It built the beaver dam. We’ve got the beaver’s home address. Even if it does take twice as long to kill a beaver – wading around in the beaver pond smacking at Bucky’s head with the flat side of a canoe paddle – who wants a beaver? It’s not like a nation of hunters is wearing a lot of beaver skin top hats. And after a long day of hunting, take your pick – juicy venison tenderloin or beaver stew?

    I haven't read Wealth of Nations, but I've read P.J.'s own On the Wealth of Nations, a booklength treatment of the same subject.

    Fun fact. The last paragraph of my post:

    If I had to pick a flaw in the book, it's that a few of P. J.'s witticisms are very timely. Will a crack about Britney Spears make any sense to most readers in 2017? (I hope not.)

    I think I was over-optimistic there.


  • And the Babylon Bee reports: US Government Agrees To Adopt More Of Libertarians’ Ideas If They’d Just Shut Up About It Already.

    The U.S. government announced Monday it will be adopting more libertarian policies going forward, including lower taxes, greater support for civil liberties, and a drastically decentralized federal government, “if all the libertarians will agree to just shut up and stop complaining for like one freaking second.”

     The announcement was issued in the form of a joint statement by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government, and is contingent upon libertarians “chilling out a bit” and immediately ceasing from posting memes stating “Taxation is Theft” and “End the Fed” every single second they’re on the internet.

    Who knew it would be so easy?