URLs du Jour


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  • Proverbs 10:24 alleges that in the contest between the wicked and the righteous, … yeah, there's actually no contest:

    24 What the wicked dread will overtake them;
        what the righteous desire will be granted.

    If the Bible were an investment company, however, these sorts of claims would get an immediate sanction by the SEC.

  • Kevin D. Williamson observes at NR: ‘Socialist’ Is the New ‘Libertarian’. First, some general observations on how language is used to cheat in the war of ideas:

    A large part of our political discourse consists of arguing about the meanings of words: Republicans should support the Affordable Care Act, Vox-style lefties argued, because Obamacare is a “conservative” program. (The three most important words in political economy are: “Compared to what?”) “Racist” and “sexist” mean whatever the Left needs them to mean at any given moment, as do “extremist,” “radical,” “risky,”and “reckless.” (The Trump administration has some ideas about fuel-economy standards; what are the odds the New York Times editorial section, that inexhaustible font of clichés, will denounce them as a “reckless scheme”? Approximately 100 percent.) Republican thought leaders, in between the ads for gold coins and doggie vitamins, denounce as “socialist” everything from Hillary Rodham Clinton to the USDA to preschool programs.

    But cut them some slack: The Democrats don’t do much better on “socialist,” the magic word of the moment. Senator Bernie Sanders sometimes calls himself a socialist, and every now and again he hits on a genuinely socialist theme, but his particular blend of yahooistical union-hall nationalism, nostalgic corporatism, and central planning went by a different name back in the 1930s. Most of the young Democrats calling themselves “socialists” do not talk very much about socialist ideas at all, instead being smitten with Northern European welfare states such as Sweden and Denmark, which do things differently than we do here in the United States but which are not socialist in any meaningful sense of that word. Ironically, the rhetorical project of conflating the welfare state with socialism seems to have been as successful on the left as on the right.

    "Yahooistical". I have to steal that word someday. RTWT for Kevin's take on "libertarian". He's a lot more sympathetic toward today's young "socialists" than I am, but that's because he's a nicer person.

  • I liked Bret Stephens a lot when I read him in the WSJ, don't read him that much any more since he moved to the NYT. But the Federalist's Sean Davis notes that he may have developed the asymmetrical attitudes prevalent among his co-workers: New York Times Columnist Can’t Figure Out If Racist Tweets Are A Fireable Offense Or Not.

    New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, an outspoken NeverTrump activist, effusively praised ABC when it fired Roseanne Barr for a single tweet, but when it comes to a mountain of racist tweets over nine years, he says his new colleague Sarah Jeong deserves a whole lot of grace and a second chance. What could possibly explain this blatant double standard?

    Does Sean find the explanation he seeks? As always, RTWT, but (spoiler) there's not much to support a charitable interpretation of Stephens' "rhetorical acrobatics".

  • Via Viking Pundit, our Tweet du Jour:

  • And we hot-embedded this xkcd cartoon a couple days ago:


    I thought it was good. Security expert Bruce Schneier deemed it "funny and true". But then I read the comments to Schneier's one-liner and… it turns out there's valid criticism, for example by (another) security expert Robert Graham: That XKCD on voting machine software is wrong. His conclusion:

    The humor of this comic rests on smug superiority. But it's wrong. It's applying a standard (preventing accidents) against a completely different problem (stopping attackers) -- software voting machines are actually better against accidents than the paper machines they replace. It's ignoring the problems, which are often more system and hardware design than software. It ignores the solution, which isn't to fix software bugs, but to provide an independent, auditable paper trail.

    Oooh, ouch. But a very defensible point.

Last Modified 2018-12-27 7:47 AM EDT