URLs du Jour

2019-08-19

[Amazon Link]

  • Arnold Kling has Pushback against race-mindedness. He excerpts a couple WSJ columns, but I like his subsequent insight:

    I find it striking to contemplate how much easier race relations seem to be in the blue-collar sectors of America. There certainly was a time when many whites did not want to work next to blacks in factories, retail stores, or construction sites. But today racially-mixed work forces seem to operate in those industries with little apparent discord.

    Instead, the need for diversity and inclusion programs seems to be concentrated in academia, with some spillover into journalism and other fields that attract recent graduates in humanities and social sciences. Fifty years ago, one would not have predicted that academia would be the industry where race relations would require the most attention.

    Academia is probably the place where claiming to be a member of an offical oppressed victim class will provide one with the most benefit. Right, Liz?


  • Speaking of Liz, and also Kamala, Paul Mirengoff of Power Line comments: Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren lie about the Michael Brown case. The details are well known, but I'm in agreement with Paul's conclusion:

    One last point. It’s one thing to make false statements about, say, taxes or crowd size. It’s another falsely to accuse someone of murder and to use the false accusation to peddle the notion that policing in America systematically puts innocent black lives in jeopardy.

    Such a claim is divisive and incendiary — far more so than anything President Trump has said about race.

    Harris has stated that “we need a president who doesn’t fan the flames of race and division.” But with her false claim about the Brown shooting — a claim so at odds with the facts that the Washington Post awarded it four Pinocchios — Harris is doing just that. So is Warren.

    One of these two candidates may be our next president. Neither should relish having to govern in a racial environment as toxic as the one they are promoting through false statements like the one about Michael Brown’s case. Americans should fear being governed in that environment.

    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”


  • So the leader in the funniest-name category, John Hickenlooper, dropped out of the presidential race last week. It's up to you now, Mayor Buttigieg! Could I maybe ask for a Buttigieg/Hickenlooper ticket?

    Sigh. All right, enough with the third-grade giggles. I apologize.

    At the Federalist, Tristan Justice (whoa, cool name!) waves bye-bye:

    Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper officially ended his presidential campaign Thursday, possibly pivoting to a run for U.S. Senate against one of the nation’s most vulnerable Republican incumbents, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

    That's the first paragraph. Tristan saves the punchline for the last paragraph:

    Hickenlooper said earlier this year he is not “cut out to be a senator.”

    Senator Gardner, there's your TV ad for next fall right there, if you want to use it.


  • Don Boudreaux opens our eyes to an everyday minor miracle: I, Asparagus.

    This morning in the Whole Foods Market at Fair Lakes (in northern Virginia) I noticed that asparagus are selling for $3.99 per pound – asparagus grown in Peru!

    What a spectacular world! A production or nonsupervisory worker in the United States today who is paid the average wage for such workers must spend a mere 17 percent of one-hour’s wage to purchase a pound of fresh asparagus grown on another continent.

    Further observation: that's at upscale Whole Foods. So that $3.99 almost certainly is after a hefty markup.

    Even further observation: I don't much care for asparagus, but the market provides it nonetheless.


  • As a good baby boomer, I'm getting inundated with 50-years reunions, anniversaries, reminisces, etc. For example, 'twas 50 years ago that the Beatles came out with the only album of theirs I currently listen to, "Abbey Road". Mark Steyn concentrates on George Harrison's song, "Something." And I guarantee that you'll learn "something" you didn't know about it. (See what I did there?)

    The tune was so good that Harrison initially assumed it must be something he'd heard before, somewhere or other, and put it aside. (He would have been better advised to do that a few years later with "My Sweet Lord", which was to prove a rather expensive mistake.) He wrote it on a piano at the Abbey Road studios while Paul McCartney was in the adjoining studio laying down overdubs for the White Album, so there was a lot of music around the building and one can understand his momentary fear that "Something" might have been something else. It took him a few months to accept the melody was actually his, and a few more to work out the middle-eight in contrasting key. Although not exactly conventional in one important respect, it was an AABA song, with what Harrison's biographer Simon Leng calls "harmonic interest" throughout "almost every line".

    Mark drops approximately 149 names of other musicians throughout the essay. I don't know how he has all this insight/data/gossip on hand, but there you go.