URLs du Jour

2019-06-08

[Amazon Link]

  • At NR, Kevin D. Williamson looks at YouTube vs. Steven Crowder: Conservative Comedian's Suppression Hurts Democratic Discourse. Skipping to the bottom line:

    While I myself am a free-speech absolutist and do not support the censorship engaged in by many European governments (and some governments elsewhere), one can understand, even if one does not condone, outlawing national-socialist political parties in Germany in the 1940s. The possibility of a revanchist Nazi movement coming to power was not unthinkable at the time. But the American context is rather different. Steven Crowder’s mocking Carlos Maza as a “lisping queer” is ugly and stupid. It is not violence, near to violence, or even rhetorically violent. And the protestations of Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow technology titans notwithstanding, suppressing that kind of speech has nothing to do with “public safety.” It has to do with Carlos Maza’s stated desire to “humiliate” and, if possible, to silence those who see the world in a different way. That Google and Twitter and Facebook and other companies choose to make themselves a party to that is shameful, and a disservice to democratic discourse.

    The winking complicity of Big Tech with the leftist mobs will not end well for anyone.


  • Another data point on the same theme: At AEI, Timothy P. Carney confirms Betteridge's Law of Headlines: Does an illiberal Left call for an illiberal Right?. ("No.") He's great on the symptoms:

    Just a few years ago, as the Left moved from “let us live our lives how we want” to “you must live as we say,” it began to cloak its own intolerance in rhetoric about bigotry. They suddenly asserted or pretended that everyone who opposed gay marriage was a bigot. They stated that bigotry has no rights, and therefore it was fine to force all dissenters out of business as bakers or wedding photographers.

    Then it went further: The Democrats joined with the very biggest companies to declare it unacceptable for states to even allow individual small businessmen the freedom of conscience. Not only was traditional Christian (and Muslim) teaching on sexuality deplorable, but even mere tolerance of it was bigotry.

    Bottom line: Tim thinks the right answer is to "smash what’s big, whether it be government or business." Presumably using antitrust law. For the business part, anyway. I'm not for that, but it's on my lengthening list of "Things I Wouldn't Get Overly Upset About."


  • Chris Edwards updates the data, and finds the Postal Service [still] in Crisis.

    Mail volumes are falling and the U.S. Postal Service is losing billions of dollars a year while accumulating large liabilities.

    The USPS has partly offset declining mail revenues with growth in package revenues. But the company’s finances look pretty bleak overall.

    Note that there's an environmental problem:

    Marketing mail has become by far the largest type of mail by volume. Thus we have a vast fleet of trucks driving around the country, burning gas and creating pollution, and the main thing being delivered is junk mail.

    I can confirm that on most days, it's most efficient to stop at the paper recycling bin immediately after picking up the mail.


  • Drew Cline, writing at the Josiah Bartlett Center, notes New Hampshire lawmakers' Orwellian efforts to paint a smiley face on their efforts to kill prosperity: Legislators vote to raise business taxes, not 'repeal future tax cuts'.

    The Senate this week joined the House passing tax increases on New Hampshire businesses. Some reports give the impression that the House and Senate budgets would not raise taxes, but would repeal future tax cuts. Here we explain why that is not correct and the budgets raise business taxes, including the rates that businesses will pay this year.

    Under current law, the business profits tax rate is 7.7 percent and the business enterprise tax rate is 0.6 percent for “taxable periods” that end “on or after December 31, 2019.”

    Both the House and Senate budgets would repeal those rates and replace them with rates of 7.9 percent and 0.675 percent, respectively.

    Here's hoping Governor Sununu has a lot of ink in his veto pen.


  • At the Library of Economics and Liberty, Bryan Caplan has a post to which those of us who are Getting Up There might want to pay attention: The Backwards Induction of Aging.

    If you’re lucky, you’ll be old one day.  Your mental faculties will deteriorate, especially your memory and your ability to adapt to new conditions.  Your personality, however, is likely to stay about the same.  Which raises a serious question: What will life be like for someone who has (a) poor memory, (b) low flexibility, and (c) your personality?

    Before sorrow overwhelms you, remember: You’ll probably have younger people around to help you.  Which raises a more specific question: How will younger people treat someone who has (a) poor memory, (b) low flexibility, and (c) your personality?

    Bryan's good advice: make appropriate course changes in your personality before it's too late. (Which raises the question: what if it's already too late? Hm.)