URLs du Jour

2019-08-13

[Amazon Link]

  • If I had to pick a favorite Democrat it would probably be Andrew Yang. Because (as noted by Christian Britschgi at Reason) Andrew Yang Hates Zoning Laws. After noting the hatred, Christian says:

    That is all pretty encouraging stuff to hear from a presidential candidate. It's part of a growing consensus among politicians at the federal level that state and local restrictions on development are driving up the costs of housing for everyone.

    Indeed, Yang's criticism of zoning is pretty close to what other Democratic primary candidates have said on the subject.

    Sens. Cory Booker (D–N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), and Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro have all targeted restrictive local land use regulations as a cause of high housing costs.

    Yang's plan differs from his primary opponents by offering almost no details on how he'd actually get rid of these rules. His website includes only a brief mention that he would "work with localities to relax zoning ordinances" and encourage new types of housing like micro-apartments and communal living arrangements.

    Oh well. And here's another thing: the United States Presidency has zero Constitutional power to do away with restrictive zoning; it's entirely a local matter. Geez, Andrew, maybe you should run for San Francisco City Council instead?

    And, since (see our Amazon Product du Jour) one of your slogans is "Math", could I see your work on how (or if) you plan on reducing the Federal deficit? I looked for it on your issues page. I found your proposal to get rid of the penny but not on how to get rid of the deficit.


  • Via Granite Grok, this Boston Globe article in which James Pindell profiles Seth Moulton, US CongressCritter from Massachusetts's 6th congressional district and currently—honest—a candidate for the presidency. Seth Moulton wants New Hampshire’s vote — and for the state to change its ways.

    Basically, Seth hates (1) our continued pot prohibition; (2) our state liquor stores on the Interstates; (3) our lack of broad-based sales and income taxes; (4) no mandates for motorcycle helmets or (5) seat belt use.

    But were I a laugh-out-loud type, I would have laughed out loud at this:

    The decades-long (and often fraught) project of expanding the number of lanes on Interstate 93 from the Massachusetts border to Manchester, Moulton said, “makes no sense” because it just feeds the congested traffic farther into Boston.

    Moulton said he would prefer high-speed rail, such as that being built in China, adding that transportation solutions “cannot be investing in 1950s infrastructure like you are doing in New Hampshire.”

    Yes. Why invest in 1950s infrastructure when you could be investing in 1850s infrastructure? (Also left as a comment at Granite Grok.)


  • At some point last week, Wheezy Joe Biden babbled on gun control: “It violates no one’s Second Amendment rights to say you can’t own certain weapons. You’re not allowed to own a bazooka; you can’t own a flamethrower.”

    At the Federalist, Rich Cromwell points out: Actually, Joe Biden, Flamethrowers Are Legal In All 50 States.

    […I]t’s totally legal to own flamethrowers in every state in the union, with only a license required in Maryland and a modified nozzle for California purchases. Elon Musk’s Boring Company even sold 20,000 of them back in 2018.

    The thing is, flamethrowers are not considered firearms and have legitimate uses, like clearing ice and snow, adding a bit of flair to live performances, attempting to catch nemeses, and stopping alien invasions. Also, they’re just awesome. So maybe it’s time for Biden to issue one of those corrections for which he’s becoming internet-famous.

    Or not. Back in April, Ben Shapiro noted Biden's invocation of the long-debunked myth that the term "rule of thumb" referred to the maximum size of a rod you could legally use to beat your wife.

    And he's been doing this for a long time. In fact, back in 2011, I attended his speech at UNH (introducing the notorious "Dear Colleague" letter) where he made the same claim.

    If you look up the term "invincible ignorance", there's an accompanying picture of Biden.


  • More on the previously discussed xdisciplinary “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum”. From Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon: California Introduces Radical Anti-Semitic High School Curriculum.

    The state of California has introduced "blatantly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel" lessons into its official high school curriculum, drawing outrage and concern in the state's Jewish and pro-Israel communities, according to multiple sources involved in the controversy.

    The California Department of Education is facing backlash after permitting a host of anti-Israel activists to build a statewide educational curriculum that demonizes the Jewish state and is said to be fostering hatred of Jewish and Israeli-American students, sources said.

    So it's not just anti-capitalist jargon-filled garbage. It's also anti-semitic jargon-filled garbage. (I noticed that their "Sample Course Modules" does mention anti-Semitism once, amidst countless invocation of anti-Arab/Palestinian/Muslim prejudice.)


  • James Lileks pays tribute to a midwest restaurant chain: Perkins may not be 'us,' but we are Perkins. The mother company is in financial woes, entering its second bankruptcy. Among the observations:

    The company’s actual name is Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc., because they also own another chain. If you’re curious: There was a real Marie Callender, who made pies. She lived in a California trailer park with her husband, Cal. (Yes, Cal Callender. You wonder if he considered selling pasta strainers that told you the date. It’s the Cal Callender Colander Calendar.)

    Also noted: the familial implications of Perkins' famous "Twinberry" syrup.