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  • As Jonah Goldberg reports in the recent G-File, when it comes to the Kavanaugh nomination, we're in The Moral-Panic Phase.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been getting so much grief from left and right for the alleged sin of “both sides-ism” over the last few years, but Thursday (yesterday for me) was both clarifying and cathartic. Oh, don’t get me wrong: It was horrible and possibly tragic for the Court and the country, but it was also oddly — and probably momentarily — liberating, at least for me.

    Because, finally, there was a left–right fight about which I am largely un-conflicted. This wasn’t a brouhaha about Trump or any of the usual stuff. The issue here was that the Democrats and their abettors in the media simply behaved atrociously.

    I'm in agreement. Jonah has many, many examples of the atrocious behavior, so if your blood pressure can stand it, click on over.

  • At Reason, Jacob Sullum can (fortunately) draw a larger lesson out of the morass: Brett Kavanaugh's Illegal Beer Consumption Highlights the Perversity of Drinking Ages.

    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh mentioned beer 28 times during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, inviting mockery and semiotic speculation. The reason the subject came up was pretty clear: Christine Blasey Ford, the California research psychologist who says he tried to rape her when they were both in high school, described him as very drunk at the time, and one possible explanation for his seeming sincerity in denying her charge (in addition to the possibility that he is innocent) is that he honestly does not recall the episode because alcohol clouded his memory.

    In response to repetitive questioning on the subject, Kavanaugh said no fewer than 10 times that he has never experienced alcohol-related memory gaps. But the discussion of Kavanaugh's drinking during high school and college ranged beyond that narrow issue, and his responses were by turns defiant, evasive, implausible, and misleading. The tenor of those exchanges was partly due to Kavanaugh's resentment of questions he deemed nosy and irrelevant. But it also reflected the clash between official expectations and the reality of adolescent drinking in America, a contradiction that he and his interlocutors seemed keen to ignore.

    I'm old enough to remember when people pointed out that if you were old enough to get drafted and shot at in Vietnam, just maybe you were old enough to be considered a legal adult for all other purposes: voting, buying sinful substances, etc.

    That was a simple rule. But along the line we got pushed into the idea that 18-21 was a phantom zone of "adult but not really"—we'll trust 'em to do this (e.g., vote) but not that (e.g., have a beer). An incoherent policy based on whim.

  • And finally, our Google LFOD alert rang loudly for the Daily Coffee News ("by Roast Magazine") which took A Look at the Square/SCA Independent Coffee Shop Data Report.

    The latte is the most popular coffee drink in the United States among indie shop consumers, with more than 67 million of them ordered at Square registers over the year, with an average price of $4.16. The cheapest average latte price was found in Idaho ($3.49), which is perhaps not coincidentally the nation’s third largest milk producer. The most expensive latte? You guessed it… North Dakota. An average latte in the Roughrider State will cost you $4.45.

    In 44 U.S. states, the latte is the most common drink. The outliers by drink type are: mocha (Alaska); tea (Hawaii and New Mexico); and a trio of old-school Northeastern states that appreciate the clarity, consistency and speed of a good old fashioned filter drip coffee (Maine, Connecticut and New Hampshire).

    Also, Americans are increasingly customizing their lattes, exceeding two add-ons per order on average. The most complicated drink orders are coming from tea-loving Hawaii, fancy-pants North Dakota and New Hampshire (Live Free or Die!).

    It's full of interesting factoids about what people are ordering. But I especially liked their implication that LFOD means "Live Free By Ordering A Complex Mix Of Ingredients In Your Latte Or Die". That's a new one.