URLs du Jour

2018-08-27

[Amazon Link]

  • At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson asks the musical question: Why Not Cynthia Nixon? (She's running for NY state governor against the incumbent Andrew Cuomo.)

    Nixon’s platform is, as one might expect, bonkers: a state-based single-payer health-care scheme; universal rent control; abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which she calls a “terrorist organization”; eliminating the use of conventional energy resources in everything from electricity generation to transportation and buildings. Etc.

    She’s a fairly typical celebrity dope, the kind who promises to base her policymaking decisions on fictitious Iroquois proverbs, who knowingly points out that it costs $118,000 a year to incarcerate a prisoner in New York City’s jails but only $21,000 to pay tuition for a full-time student at SUNY, as though the next-most-likely life option for the members of New York City’s criminal population were enrolling in pre-med classes at SUNY Plattsburgh or SUNY Farmingdale, both of which accept fewer than half of all applicants today.

    The fictitious Iroquois proverb is found at Nixon's website: “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”

    At the National Association of Scholars website, Peter Wood debunks. ("This wouldn’t be the first time that Native Americans have been credited with an aura of in-tune-with-nature virtuousness that actual Native American societies were entirely innocent of.")

    It did inspire the name of Vermont-based company now owned by corporate behemoth Unilever, however. Enrich their coffers by purchasing our Amazon Product du Jour, and, lo, you will feel virtuous, although probably not as virtuous as Cynthia Nixon.


  • I think it's ghoulish when gun-grabbers use shooting victims as bloody excuses to advocate for their issue. So I'd be hypocritical if I didn't agree with Nick Gillespie at the NYT when the same tactic is used on a different issue: Republicans Are Exploiting the Murder of Mollie Tibbetts.

    Where does the conservative commitment to limited government and individual freedom, always more rhetorical than real, finally go to die?

    One strong candidate is rural America, where Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa, was brutally murdered this summer at the hands, allegedly, of a Mexican immigrant who may be in the country illegally.

    The killing of Ms. Tibbetts, who went missing on July 18 but whose body was found only this week, is an unspeakable tragedy. Her killer should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Yet many conservatives who have long assailed the government as incompetent at best are now so blinded by xenophobic rage over her murder that they’ve turned into the thing they claim to despise: vociferous boosters of big government.

    The only slight difference is that legislation advocated by (some) Republicans might have caught the perp before he went all murdery. The gun-grabbers routinely advocate for restrictions that would not have prevented the grisly crimes they exploit.


  • Scientific American asks Do People Really Think Earth Might Be Flat?

    “Just 66 percent of millennials firmly believe that the Earth is round,” read the summary from the pollster YouGov. Kids today, right? But it’s not only curmudgeons eager to complain about the younger generation who ought to find the survey of interest. For despite the recent prominence of flat-earthery among musicians and athletes, YouGov’s survey seems to have been the first systematic attempt to assess the American population’s views on the shape of the Earth.

    My first reaction: there exists a fraction of people who give intentionally stupid answers to the stupid questions pollsters ask. I'm not sure why this explanation isn't given more credence.

    My second reaction: And yet some people think democracy is a sacred ideal.

    But then I read the actual question asked in the poll:

    “I have always believed the world is round.”

    Ah.

    You know what? I have not always believed the world is round. I hate to be a stickler for accurate language, but from ages zero to (I'm guessing) four or so, I had no beliefs on that issue whatsoever.

    So I'd have to answer "no" to the question, when phrased that way.

    Also I'd quibble: surely the world's roundness is a matter of fact, not belief.

    I don't see the need for the extra verbiage. If you're truly interested in what a person thinks about our planet's shape, here's the question to ask:

    The world is round.
    True, at least approximately
    False
    I don't know

    I don't know why they don't ask me to write these things for them.


  • Our Google LFOD News Alert rang for a Christina Comben article at a website called "NullTX". ("NullTX's mission is to be the #1 information source when it comes to solving your cryptocurrency problems.") It is a profile of Joël Valenzuela, who "closed his bank account in 2016 and has lived off cryptocurrency ever since." Hardcore! Who Says Man Shall Not Live by Cryptocurrency Alone? And guess where he lives?

    Valenzuela’s story isn’t conventional. Growing up in Mexico in the 1990s, he saw the effects of currency devaluation firsthand. “I was always aware that currency inflation hurts people. When people work all their lives for it and the value diminishes, it’s devastating.” So he set about finding out how to make a more stable currency and moved to New Hampshire in 2013.

    Non-conventional people tend to attract other non-conventional people, and New Hampshire is home to the Free State Project. In fact, “Live Free or Die” isn’t just a bumper sticker. It’s the motto of the state of New Hampshire and you’ll find it on all car license plates here.

    Good for Joël. Read the article for how he navigates a world that believes in fiat currency.


Last Modified 2018-08-27 12:05 PM EST