URLs du Jour

2018-11-12

[Amazon Link]

  • At NR, Kevin D. Williamson muses on the folks who have nothing better to do than … um … let's say "engage in group activism": The Lonely Mob.

    The age of easy and instantaneous connectivity, globalization, and related phenomena have created a new kind of “lonely crowd,” full of people who feel isolated, inadequate, insignificant — and resentful of being made to feel that way. There are many ways to assuage that loneliness, but many of them — family life, religion — have fallen out of fashion. Ordinary politics provides insufficient drama, as anybody who has observed the real business of government in action knows. Fantasy politics — I’m fighting the Nazis! — offers a lot more emotional oomph.

    It’s a sad spectacle. It’s also a dangerous one.

    I feel isolated, inadequate, and insignificant all the time, but I'm cool with it.


  • At Reason, Nick Gillespie has a good idea for Veterans Day (Observed): Instead of Making Today About Trump, Let's Remember the Dead of World War I.

    And take some time to read Rudyard Kipling's Epitaphs of the War, penned between 1914 and 1918. Kipling, who carries a whole hell of a lot of baggage of his own, was originally in favor of the war and helped his son get a commission despite eyesight so poor it was disqualifying. His son was killed, the body never recovered. Kipling wasn't a pacifist by any stretch and he didn't necessarily think World War I was avoidable so much as insanely and incompetently prosecuted. Whatever his thinking, he penned lines that still burn with anger and resentment, including these:

    If any question why we died,
    Tell them, because our fathers lied.

    Every leader should read Epitaphs before considering military action.

    … but they probably won't.


  • We've been pointing out a few articles pointing to the New Hampshire's GOP funding disadvantage in the last election. Jon DiPietro dissents at GraniteGrok: Money Is Not the Problem for NH GOP.

    Here is the key question as far as I’m concerned: Did Democrats persuade more people because they spent more money or did Democrats raise more money because they persuaded more people?

    I believe that blaming the spending gap is a dangerous misdiagnosis for Republicans. If the party believes that the answer is simply to figure out a way to raise more money, they will be treating the symptom instead of the disease.

    Jon's column argues, persuasively, that the NH GOP (and probably the GOP nationwide, I'd guess) has failed to adapt sufficiently to a heavily networked world.


  • At EconLog, Bryan Caplan urges us to resist The Siren of Democratic Fundamentalism.

    Almost all economists, regardless of ideology, would scoff at the following argument: “Market decisions are voluntary, so we should respect market outcomes.” But say, “Political decisions are democratic, so we should respect political outcomes,” and even economists salute.

    Every economics textbook explain how market outcomes can go wrong. Externalities. Monopoly. Asymmetric information. Irrationality. Democratic outcomes can easily go wrong for all the same reasons.

    Can, and do. (And I'd argue, far more likely to.)


  • At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff notes a problem at that college on the other side of the state: Another Dartmouth Disgrace. Specifically, David Horowitz was treated shabbily in an October appearance there; his open letter to Phil Hanlon, Dartmouth's prez:

    On October 23, I spoke at your college. I was invited by members of College Republicans and Students Supporting Israel. They probably wanted to hear what I had to say because I am one of the most prominent conservative intellectuals in America, having published over twenty books, three of which were New York Times best-sellers and one of which was nominated for a National Book Award.

    Despite my credentials, and even though these conservative students pay the same tuition – $75,000 per year – as your leftwing students, I was forced to raise the money to underwrite my visit and lecture. This was particularly galling to the Dartmouth conservatives who invited me, because the previous spring Dartmouth’s “Office of Pluralism and Leadership” sponsored a visit by notorious anti-Semite and terrorist supporter Linda Sarsour – who has no academic credentials to speak of – underwriting her expenses and paying her a reported $10,000 honorarium for her talk.

    Of course, a mob of "progressive" Dartmouth students invaded and disrupted the event; campus "security" officers did nothing. And the student newspaper joined in on the slagging.