URLs du Jour

2019-02-12

[Amazon Link]

  • Jonah Goldberg's article in dead-trees National Review on the latest Moral Equivalent of War (MEOW) is out on the web (but I don't know if it's paywalled): Everyone a Conscript.

    ‘So, when we talk about existential threats — the last time we had a really major existential threat to this country was around World War II,” then-candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained at a town-hall meeting last fall, making her case for a “Green New Deal.” Referencing the way America mobilized for war against the Nazis, she granted that “none of these things are new ideas” and that World War II provides a “blueprint of doing this before.”

    Putting aside the temptation to dwell on the question of what a minor existential threat might look like as opposed to a “really major” one, we should find it a remarkable argument in several ways. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has been lionized and vilified as a socialist radical by the Left and the Right respectively (treatment she brilliantly encourages on social media and elsewhere), and yet by her own admission her ideas are not new. And she is right.

    Jonah does a deep dive into the history and implications of MEOW. And the lesson for sensible people should be: avoid at all costs.

    Today's Amazon Product du Jour: William James's MEOW essay, a mere 99¢ on Kindle. But read Jonah first, you might find 99¢ to be far more than the essay's worth.


  • Wired is still, occasionally, a good source for geeky journalism. But on the environmental front, the lunatics have taken over, so it's also a good source for ludicrous scare-mongering and hand-wringing. Latest example from a guy named Alex Baca, who purports to tell The Wretched, Climate-Killing Truth About American Sprawl. He is bemused both by (1) a new $40 Million, 470-car parking garage in Berkeley, CA; and (2) the previously mentioned "Green New Deal" from AOC and her socialist minions.

    But the Green New Deal has a big blind spot: It doesn’t address the places Americans live. And our physical geography—where we sleep, work, shop, worship, and send our kids to play, and how we move between those places—is more foundational to a green, fair future than just about anything else. The proposal encapsulates the liberal delusion on climate change: that technology and spending can spare us the hard work of reform.

    Yeah. For folks like Alex, the problem with the Green New Deal, is that it's insufficiently totalitarian. Sure, it's massively expensive, and technologically unrealistic. But it fails to deal with the problem of people living where they want, instead of where they should.


  • At Hot Air, Jazz Shaw summarizes a recent news story: New Hampshire pols "freaking out" over less relevance in primaries.

    It sounds like the movers and shakers in the Granite State have gotten themselves into a snit over next year’s primary calendar again. The Boston Globe was reporting this weekend that New Hampshire’s top political honchos are “freaking out” over all of the primary calendar changes and alternate voting schemes, seeing this as an erosion of their importance. Some fear that their state will now become a FINO… First in Name Only.

    Aieee!

    My favorite bit of NH Primary trivia: for all its faults, the GOP-side NH primary picked the eventual general election winner in 2016: Donald J. Trump. Unfortunately, that's the first time it had managed this feat (in a contested primary) since 1988. (George H.W. Bush)

    NH Democrats: even worse. The last Democrat to win a contested NH primary, and go on to win the election, was Jimmy Carter in 1976. That's ̆… um … quite a while ago. Since then, winning a contested NH Primary has been a don't-give-up-your-day-job omen for Democrats.


  • Writing in the New York Sun, Ira Stoll remembers to point out that Warren Forgets One Thing As She Announces.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren, announcing her campaign for president [in Lawrence, MA] over the weekend, used the word “rich” or a variation on it — “richer,” “richest” — at least nine times in a single 45-minute stump speech.

    The senator called President Trump “the product of a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else.”

    She said “America’s middle class has been deliberately hollowed out” by “the richest families in America.” Mrs. Warren said those richest families, “wanted to be even richer, and they didn’t care who got hurt.”

    Mrs. Warren spoke of “too little accountability for the rich, too little opportunity for everyone else.” She said “the rich and powerful use fear to divide us.”

    Holy cow… Yes, it's a bad thing to use "fear" to "divide us". But how about using conspiracy-theory scapegoating and envious resentment to divide us? Is that any better?


  • At Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux takes aim at Warren's Unwarranted Assertion.

    […] Sen. Warren is far off base when she asserts that America has a “rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else.”

    Let’s look at the data. The U.S. Census Bureau reports annually on the percentage American households earning different annual amounts of inflation-adjusted annual income – for example, households earning annually less than $15,000, households earning annually between $15,000 and $24,999, and so on up to households earning annually $200,000 or more.

    Comparing the figures for 2017 to those for 1980 – the year Ronald Reagan was first elected president – we find that in 2017 smaller percentages of American households earned lower- and middle-incomes than earned such incomes in 1980. But we find also that the percentages of American households earning high incomes in 2017 were much larger than in 1980.

    Demagogues like Warren have to shout loudly to distract you from plain facts.


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rang for David "Granite Geek" Brooks' article in the Concord Monitor: Critics warn right-to-repair bill could be disastrous.

    If you want to be terrified about living in your own house, may I suggest you attend a legislative hearing about right-to-repair laws.

    If the hearing goes as one did in Concord last week, you will learn from industry representatives that you can be killed or maimed by your smoke alarm (if it fails), your refrigerator (if food spoils because the door-was-left-open alarm doesn’t work), your washing machine (if the lid lock is disabled and you fall inside), your cooking range (if heating controls go awry) and almost anything with a lithium-ion battery.

    And this doesn’t include obviously deadly things like chainsaws and riding mowers.

    At issue is House Bill 462, which "requires manufacturers of digital electronic products to provide independent repair facilities with diagnostic and repair information for such products."

    But LFOD, David? Ah, here it is:

    (Incredibly, not a single proponent of the bill quoted the state motto. I thought citing “Live Free or Die” was a mandatory part of all New Hampshire rhetoric when even a whiff of personal choice was involved.)

    Ha. David thinks that the LFOD spirit weighs on the side of the bill's advocates. But what about the liberty of the manufacturers the bill would coerce? What about the liberty of consumers who might want a choice between independently-repairable products and (presumably cheaper) non-independently-repairable products?


Last Modified 2019-02-13 4:48 AM EDT