URLs du Jour

2019-09-17

[Amazon Link]

  • Jeff Jacoby gives thanks to Beto O'Rourke's gift to the GOP. Specifically, a year after claiming that his position on guns was "you own a gun, keep that gun, nobody wants to take it away from you" (while running against Ted Cruz in Texas):

    During the Democratic presidential candidates' debate last Thursday, O'Rourke dropped the pretense that he "jealously guard[s]" gun owners' Second Amendment rights. When ABC moderator David Muir asked him whether it's true that he would force owners of semiautomatic rifles — "You know that critics call this confiscation. Are you proposing taking away their guns?" — the former Texas congressman was bluntness itself:

    "Hell, yes!" he replied, as the audience of Democratic Party activists cheered. "We're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47."

    Within the hour, the O'Rourke campaign put out a fundraising tweet playing up his anti-gun stance. Under a picture of an AR-15, it proclaimed: "Beto has a ban for that." Forty-five minutes later, the campaign was marketing a new T-shirt. "HELL YES WE'RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR AR-15" it says in red, white, and blue letters. ($30; available in sizes from XS to 3XL).

    An unofficial version of the t-shirt is our Amazon Product du Jour. Wear it in safe spaces only, please.

    Jeff also links to the Washington Free Beacon video showing a host of Democratic politicians and media figures ("but I repeat myself") assuring that "nobody wants to take your guns away." Truly a herd of independent minds.


  • At the WaPo, Megan McArdle correctly tells us: A vaping ban would be hysteria masquerading as prudence.

    At this point, the best information suggests that a recent spate of deaths from a vaping-related lung disease — six at last report — had little or nothing to do with legal e-cigarettes. Rather, the deaths, and more than 300 confirmed cases of the disease in dozens of states, seem to be linked to illegal cartridges, mostly using marijuana derivatives that had been emulsified with vitamin E acetate, according to Food and Drug Administration investigators. The FDA has warned against using it for inhalation, and it isn’t used in legally manufactured e-cigarettes.

    Naturally, the government wants to ban legally manufactured e-cigarettes.

    It's stupid, bordering on insane. Also, unfortunately, typical.


  • At the Federalist, David Harsanyi: The Smearing Of Brett Kavanaugh Is An Attack On The Supreme Court.

    Sure, it’s about partisanship and peddling books and selling newspaper subscriptions, but in the end, Democrats’ smearing of Brett Kavanaugh is also about delegitimizing the Supreme Court—the only institution that will inhibit the progressive agenda no matter who wins elections.

    Conservatives justices aren’t merely wrong, they’re nefarious and racist and extremist, you see, so virtually anything Democrats do to try and stop them is now rationalized. In this world, the accused, rather than the accuser, bears the “burden of proof.” In this world hucksters like Michael Avenatti are turned into experts and major news outlets will eagerly repeat and spread slander as news.

    Hey, remember when Democrats deplored McCarthyite tactics? How old do you have to be to remember that?


  • Reason's Christian Britschgi contibutes to our "Of Course He Did" Department today: Bernie Sanders’ Housing Plan Calls for $2.5 Trillion in New Spending and Nationwide Rent Control.

    In a speech to trade union members in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, Sanders laid out his vision for tackling high housing costs, homelessness, and gentrification through a mix of nationwide rent control, increased federal spending on housing vouchers and public housing construction, and higher taxes on the wealthy.

    "I don't have to tell anyone in America that we have an affordable housing crisis in Nevada, in Vermont, and all over this country that must be addressed," Sanders said. "It is unacceptable to me that over 18 million families in America today are paying more than 50 percent of their limited incomes on housing."

    Don't bother checking your copy of the Constitution to try to find where your Federal Government is empowered to do any of that. It ain't there. And Bernie don't care.


  • At the Library of Economics and Liberty, Pierre Lemieux notes the weird and incoherent role of the kiddos in our political debates: Power to the Children and Hail to the State!.

    Specifically: think of Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old who we are supposed to take as a fountain of wisdom on climate change. Or David Hogg on guns.

    Then look at all the arguments that kids are "fragile snowflakes to be protected from alcohol, tobacco, vaping, ideas, and life in general."

    In fashionable political discourse, then, children are presented either as role models to justify future tyranny or as little parentless incompetents, depending on how exactly their exploitation is required to advance state power. Granted that some statocrats (politicians and bureaucrats) and public-health or environmental crusaders might be consumed by good intentions, but as German poet Johan Christian Hölderlin wrote (quoted in Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom),

    What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven.

    Mark J. Perry composed one of his famous Venn diagrams to illustrate:

    [Teenager Venn]