URLs du Jour

2018-10-24

[Amazon Link]

  • If you're an American woman looking for a Halloween costume that won't get you accused of Cultural Appropriation, check out our Amazon Product du Jour!


  • On a related topic, at the Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin lays out Why Mandatory National Service is Both Unjust and Unconstitutional. (It is based on a presentation Ilya made to an event of the taxpayer-funded National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.) Taking the "unjust" part first:

    Mandatory national service is not just another policy proposal. It is an idea that undermines one of the fundamental principles of a free society: that people own themselves and their labor. We are not the property of the government, of a majority of the population, or of some employer. Mandatory national service is a frontal attack on that principle, because it is a form of forced labor - literally so. Millions of people would be forced to do jobs required by the government on pain of criminal punishment if they disobey. Under most proposals, they would have to perform this forced labor for months or even years on end.

    We rightly abhor the extensive use of forced labor by authoritarian regimes, such as those of the Nazis and the communists. The same principle applies to democratic governments. The fact that a violation of fundamental human rights may have the support of a majority of the population does not make it just. Wrong does not become right merely because a large number of people support it.

    Apparently mandatory national service is an idea whose heart nobody's managed to put a stake through yet. (See, for example, this USA Today story from last year.)

    Dude, it's the Statue of Liberty, not the Statue of Mandatory National Service.


  • At American Consequences, P. J. O'Rourke reveals Why Kids R Commies.

    What’s the matter with kids today?

    Nothing new. The brats, the squirts, the fuzz-faced mooncalves, the sap-green sweet young things, and the wet-behind-the-ears in general have always been “Punks for Progressives.”

    As soon as kids discover that the world isn’t nice, they want to make it nicer. And wouldn’t a world where everybody shares everything be nice? Aw… Kids are so tender-hearted.

    That's tender-hearted, with your money.


  • At NR, Kevin D. Williamson chronicles the latest exploits of The Witches of Bushwick.

    In Brooklyn, there is an occult bookshop called Catland Books. “Catland” is, one imagines, an apt description of the homes of the women who congregate there.

    The operators of the establishment have announced that they are planning to hold a special hex session this weekend to make Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh “suffer.” It is sure to be a popular event.

    Because progressives belong to the Party of Science, they may wish to visit some of their like-minded fellow partisans at Catland Books, where they can also take a few courses: Demonology 101, Plant Magik [sic] 101, or Potions & Tinctures 101, which all are on the current schedule. Everything seems to be 101 — that’s a lot of introductory classes, a lot of foreplay for a master’s course in horsesh**.

    Apparently the NR style guide disallows "horseshit". Why?

    Anyway, KDW calls this, accurately, "the 21st-century progressive version of a cross-burning". Fortunately, our local spook shop doesn't appear to be political at all.


  • You know, for a Harvard prof, Elizabeth Warren seems unconcerned about things like logical coherence. The Washington Free Beacon takes note of her recent claim: I Took DNA Test to Rebuild Public Trust in Government.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said during a debate with her Republican challenger on Sunday that she took a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry in order to rebuild public trust in government.

    Journalist Carrie Saldo, the debate moderator, asked Warren why she decided to release the results of her DNA test when she said months ago in an interview that the issue of her ancestry was "settled."

    "One of the things I see now is that confidence in government is at an all time low. I believe one way we try to rebuild confidence is through transparency," Warren said at her second debate in three days against Republican Geoff Diehl. "So I've really made an effort over the past several months."

    I feel much more confidence in government now that… no, wait, I don't.


  • On a somewhat related note, David Harsanyi makes an almost certainly futile effort to call people back from the rhetorical edge: 2018 Is The Most Important Election In The History Of Mankind (This Time We Really Mean It!).

    If you believe a midterm election in a time of relative peace and economic prosperity is the most important in history, or even the most important in your incredibly fortunate lifetime, you’re either oblivious to basic history or you don’t have a single non-partisan synapse firing in your skull. We might ask people to please stop being so melodramatic and conceited, but then, it’s 2018.

    “We have had many important elections, but never one so important as that now approaching,” a New York Times editorial claimed during the 1864 presidential race between Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan, which took place during the Civil War. As others have noted, this probably the last time that the words “most,” “important,” “election,” and “lifetime” should have been stuck together.

    As the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band observed: No Matter Who You Vote For The Government Always Gets In.


  • And (finally) our Google LFOD News Alert sounded for a recent state slogan change: Nebraska’s Hilarious New ‘Not For Everyone’ Slogan Is Brutally Honest.

    Self-awareness is a virtue. And in a country where James Franco is a working professor, and Oreos masquerade as poultry, a little candor is always a good thing. Fortunately, we can take cues from the state of Nebraska, which launched a new, delightfully deadpan slogan this week: “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”

    I lived in Nebraska for a good chunk of my formative years, love it dearly. But once you've been to the Henry Doorly Zoo, taken in a College World Series game, and … um … seen Chimney Rock, what's left? Just a good place to live.

    I pity John Ricks, the state’s tourism director, who's quoted in the article. LFOD shows up, finally:

    It’s no “Live free or die,” but it’ll do.