URLs du Jour

2019-03-07

[Amazon Link]

I need a browser extension that will automatically block any page that contains the string "Game of Thrones". I mean, really.

  • At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson writes on Louis Farrakhan Anti-Semitism and the Democratic Party. It's pretty sad stuff. But:

    “Oh, that’s not anti-Semitism!” their apologists will say. “That’s anti-Zionism.”

    Farrakhan has used the same line of defense. But it doesn’t wash. The viciousness and slander of the Democrats’ attacks on Israel are unique; give them a Cuban police state or a Venezuelan dictatorship and they’re kittens, but give them a polity full of Jews and they’re jackals. The double standards and unreasoning hatred of the progressive view of Israel simply does not have an equivalent associated with a non-Jewish state. Even their anti-Americanism is not quite as poisonous.

    Latest word seems to be that Nancy Pelosi can't even manage to bring an anodyne anti-Semitism resolution up for a vote, due to dissent in the ranks.


  • The headline on Peter Suderman's Reason article made me think: "Ew. Worst horror movie title ever.": The Rise of the Low-Tax Socialists.

    Aside from Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, most of today's prominent Democrats are not, strictly speaking, socialists. But they have been influenced by its proponents and its ideas. And in response, they have adopted a partial form of democratic socialism that promotes all sorts of new spending, but not the broad middle class taxes that typically go along with it. These Democrats represent a peculiar, American strain of pop democratic socialism—call it low-tax socialism. It's easy enough to understand the political incentives, but in some ways, it's even less sensible than the real thing.

    Consider how taxation works in the nordic countries that many American socialists describe as their models. Yes, taxes are high on the rich. But as the Tax Foundation noted during Sanders' last presidential campaign, they are also high on the middle class. The 70 percent top marginal tax rate floated by Ocasio-Cortez would apply to income earned over $10 million, affecting only about 16,000 Americans each year. In countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, marginal tax rates of near 60 percent hit earners deep into the middle class. Denmark's 60 percent marginal rate applies to income over 1.2 times the national average, which in the U.S. would hit earners making just $60,000 a year—not exactly millionaires and billionaires. These countries also typically rely on value-added taxes that are inherently regressive, placing a bigger burden on the poor and middle class than on the rich.

    Largely, "prominent Democrats" aren't making serious policy proposals; they're just saying things they think will get votes.


  • We linked to a Cato article yesterday that pointed out problems with Trump's executive order on campus free speech. In the interest of equal time, here's Frederick M. Hess at AEI: Why Trump is justified in suggesting an executive order on campus free speech.

    […] there’s another, useful way to think about all this. If Washington plans to spend $40 million in taxpayer funds to develop new airport security technology for the TSA, contractors wishing to bid on the project are asked to offer certain assurances—including various commitments intended to safeguard the quality of their work. Such requirements are rarely seen as controversial. More typically, they’re held up as a hallmark of responsible government.

    Well, it turns out that U.S. taxpayers spend about $40 billion—not million—a year on research at American colleges and universities. These dollars are spent by the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation, and a host of other agencies. These funds are not being used to underwrite tuition or teaching; Washington is engaging universities as subcontractors in order to conduct selected research. From the beginning, such taxpayer-funded research has presumed that recipients would abide by the tenets of responsible science—including the assurance that the research will be guided by an inviolable commitment to free inquiry.

    After decades of college obfuscation on race-based admission standards, I can't wait for decades more obfuscation on their free speech supression rules.


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rang for a Manchester Ink Link think piece from Jordan Estrada: Regulators win, hunters lose in NH turkey hunting debate.

    In approximately 44 states across the nation, hunters can report harvested game online or over the phone. This year, NH had a chance to join those ranks with the introduction of HB322 – a bill that would create an online check system for reporting wild turkey harvests. But on February 14, the NH general court voted 227-150 to kill the bill, consigning NH to a group of about six states that still require hunters to physically transport harvested game to in-person check stations.

    Sheesh! Well, those turkeys that occasionally wander through my yard are safe again this spring. Who needs the hassle of trucking a dead bird to Madbury. (The nearest check station to Pun Salad Manor.)

    So, who decided to deny NH hunters access to the easy reporting system hunters in 44 other states enjoy? When the votes were counted on HB322, it was 92% of democrats who voted against this bill, while almost every Republican voted for it. This is troubling, because turkey hunting should not be a partisan issue in a pro-hunting, outdoor-enthused state like NH. NH hunters deserve an answer from the NH lawmakers who opposed this bill en masse. Do our NH representatives know something about hunting the rest of the nation doesn’t? Or are NH Democrats pursuing a regulation-heavy approach that would be sharply out of place in the individualistic, liberty-minded culture of the “live free or die” state?

    Unsurprisingly, NH Democrats never saw a regulation they didn't like.

    Unless it's abortion regulation. In NH, wild turkeys are probably better protected than not-quite-born babies.