URLs du Jour

2019-01-03

[Amazon Link]

  • Jacob Sullum makes a lot of sense at Reason: Trump's Right About ‘Ridiculous’ Misuse of U.S. Troops. Among his telling points:

    It's ridiculous that the United States has 26,000 military personnel in South Korea 65 years after the Korean War, 54,000 in Japan 73 years after World War II, and 64,000 in a dozen European countries 27 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    These countries are perfectly capable of defending themselves. South Korea's economy is around 50 times as big as North Korea's, while Japan and Germany have the world's third and fourth highest GDPs, respectively.

    Now if Trump would only make analogous decisions about trade and drug prohibition and…


  • As previously mentioned, I got a dog. And (you may have noticed) I'm interested in politics. So I'm a sucker for Jonah Goldberg's column at NR: Dogs Have Their Day in Our Politicized Society.

    Dogs — and animals generally — are among the few things that bridge the partisan divide. Tragedies are a partisan affair. If someone dies in a hurricane or shooting, there’s a mad rush to score political points. Last week, a lovely young woman, Bre Payton, died from a sudden illness, and a bunch of ghouls mocked or celebrated her demise because she was a conservative.

    Even babies can be controversial, since babies can touch various nerves, from abortion politics to the apparent scourge of “misgendering” newborns.

    But dogs are largely immune to political ugliness. The angriest complaints I get about my dog tweets — from people on both the left and the right — are that I’m wasting apparently scarce resources on dogs when I could be expressing my anger about whatever outrage the complainers demand I be outraged about.

    I can't imagine complaining to Jonah about anything, other than perhaps not being prolific enough.


  • Another sensible person, David Harsanyi, writes at the Federalist about Mitt Romney's recent (and much-discussed) WaPo op-ed: Romney Wasn't Wrong To Criticize Trump, He's Just Wrong About Why.

    Now, Romney’s central grievances about Trump’s character are fair enough. But for some of us, the beatification of the presidency—always a problem, but a particularly unhealthy one since 2008—is off-putting, as well.

    “To a great degree,” Romney writes, “a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow ‘our better angels.’” Personal morality matters because it reflects the temperament and choices of the people running government. The president isn’t our Pope, however. And political “unity” has always been a vacuous and destructive concept. Elected officials don’t define our national, much less personal, character. And if you’re searching for enlightenment in politics, you should probably find a better religion.

    David's solid point: try not to let criticizing Trump's character make you buy into left-wing criticism of his policies.


  • Or you could subscribe to the Babylon Bee's take Follower Of Joseph Smith Urges Nation To Reject Morally Flawed Leaders.

    Mitt Romney, incoming senator for Utah and follower of Joseph Smith, lectured the nation in an op-ed Tuesday on the need to reject morally flawed leaders.

    The man who has devoted his life to the teachings of a con artist encouraged the nation to examine its leaders to see whether they are worthy of our devotion and respect.

    "A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect," wrote the man who follows Joseph Smith, a false prophet, notorious polygamist, and scam artist. He pointed out that the president hasn't shown himself to be honest or forthcoming in his dealings with opponents and other countries, while Joseph Smith's own prophecies failed to come true over and over again, and while the Mormon Church continues to deceive its members by covering up its past.

    That's … pretty hard-hitting.


  • Perhaps you remember the founding of "603 and Me" last year?

    Yeah, me neither. But AP reports that 603 and Me Celebrates Significant Milestones. That would be their first anniversary. Their proclaimed goal is "to let others outside of our state recognize that New Hampshire is a terrific place to enjoy life throughout one’s career, both living and working in a pleasant environment."

    Ah, but why are we seeing this news?

    Going forward, 603 and Me will also work with local legislators to have the State adopt the slogan, “New Hampshire – America’s Best-Kept Secret”. In doing so, 603 and Me aims to not replace the State’s popular “Live Free or Die” motto, but instead highlighting to others that New Hampshire is the place to be.

    Yeah, that's what we need, a slogan.


  • At Forbes, Michael del Castillo looks at Bitcoin’s Last Gunslinger. That would be Erik Voorhees, who has managed to avoid jail. It's an interesting story, and…

    To more seriously pursue his ever-strengthening beliefs that government—and banking—power should be limited, Voorhees picked up stakes and moved to New Hampshire, the Live Free or Die state. There he worked with the Free State Project, a long-term effort to build a society with as little government meddling as possible, and met Keith Ammon, a rising local politician. In May 2011 Ammon introduced Voorhees to bitcoin, which unlike the pine cones of his youth was limited in supply and unlike the U.S. dollar was not minted by a government.

    I don't know if Erik still lives in New Hampshire, but good luck to him wherever he is.


Last Modified 2019-01-03 12:34 PM EST