URLs du Jour

2019-10-23

[Amazon Link]

  • I don't go to Breitbart no more, but the good folks at Granite Grok pointed to an incident at the University Near Here, reported at Breitbart and (as near as I can tell) nowhere else: 'I Hope You Die:' University of New Hampshire Students Destroy Turning Point USA Display.

    Students at the University of New Hampshire were caught on video tearing down Turning Point USA posters on Sunday and Monday. A leftist student said “I hate you and I hope you die” to one of the members of the school’s TPUSA group after being approached about tearing down the displays.

    I'm pretty sure that's not allowed in the Student Code of Conduct. One would hope the University officials in charge of enforcement will grow a spine and follow through.


  • At National Review, Yuval Levin notes Congressional Attention Deficit Disorder, coincidentally about… What Deficit?.

    […] the emphasis on impeachment does exacerbate one particular problem that will demand to be noticed: The twelve appropriations bills that compose the federal budget all expire on November 21, one month from now, which could be near the heart of the Democrats’ impeachment schedule. Congress needs to pass spending legislation by then or else face a shutdown.

    There is no prospect of the regular appropriations process functioning to achieve that goal. Over the summer, Congress and the president did agree on the overall discretionary spending levels for the year, but at this point the Senate has not passed even one appropriations bill, while the House has passed most of the needed bills but in versions that couldn’t hope to survive in the Senate.

    Well, it's not as if anyone on Capitol Hill is that interested in doing anything that might actually make the country's fiscal situation slightly more sane. Better to work on that partisan warfare. We don't get enough of that.


  • John Tamny is even-handed in his criticism: Elizabeth Warren Is Impressively Wrong About Taxes. So Are Her Critics.. Making a subtle point:

    More than either side would like to admit, a tax increase on the other guy is a tax on everyone. Congress doesn’t tax away our dollars earned to stare lovingly at the money; rather it taxes away the money because it means extra control for the political class over the economy. That’s a tax on all of us, and it’s a cruel one. If a lot of central planning hurts, so does a little. Get it? Even crueler to the middle class is when taxes are foisted on the rich. We know why this is, and the Times tells us why: the rich account for nearly all of the investment in the United States. Tax them, as Warren desires, and opportunity shrinks. Contrary to what’s suggested at the Journal, any tax on anyone, the rich most of all, is a tax on the middle class.

    More than either side would like to admit, a tax increase on the other guy is a tax on everyone. Congress doesn’t tax away our dollars earned to stare lovingly at the money; rather it taxes away the money because it means extra control for the political class over the economy. That’s a tax on all of us, and it’s a cruel one. If a lot of central planning hurts, so does a little. Get it? Even crueler to the middle class is when taxes are foisted on the rich. We know why this is, and the Times tells us why: the rich account for nearly all of the investment in the United States. Tax them, as Warren desires, and opportunity shrinks. Contrary to what’s suggested at the Journal, any tax on anyone, the rich most of all, is a tax on the middle class.

    I've said it more than once: politicians like Elizabeth Warren know in their bones that there's not a single dollar in private hands that they could not spend more wisely.


  • The 21st century Emerald City never fails to impress. Robby Soave at Reason: Seattle Public Schools Will Start Teaching That Math Is Oppressive.

    Math is a deeply frustrating subject for many elementary and high school students. But Seattle public schools are gearing up to accuse math of a litany of more serious crimes: imperialism, dehumanization, and oppression of marginalized persons.

    The district has proposed a new social justice-infused curriculum that would focus on "power and oppression" and "history of resistance and liberation" within the field of mathematics. The curriculum isn't mandatory, but provides a resource for teachers who want to introduce ethnic studies into the classroom vis a vis math.

    Robby is a bend-over-backward-to-be-fair kind of guy, so he dismisses criticism from the American Conservative as "hyperbolic". But he admits the actual proposal "seems fairly terrible." For example:

    The guidance also includes some extremely political, simplistic talking points that might be popular among activist academics but are in reality somewhat dubious. This is verbatim from the proposal: Students will be able to "identify the inherent inequities of the standardized testing system used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color," "explain how math has been used to exploit natural resources," and "explain how math dictates economic oppression." Each of these statements are debatable, but they are not being presented as such. It would be one thing to hold a class discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of standardized testing, but what's happening here is that students are being trained to reject standardized testing due to its "inherent inequity," which is asserted as some kind of proven fact.

    It's not as if government schools are great at teaching math in the first place. And it's not fun. To "educators" of a certain bent, it's more fun to do this instead.


  • Veronique de Rugy counts 'em up at AIER: Five Wrong Claims about Trade. Made by guess who? Let's skip down to number five:

    During his campaign, Mr. Trump said that he would wipe away the trade deficit. Aside from the fact that this is a foolish goal, his trade disputes have achieved quite the opposite. As my colleague Daniel Griswold documents, “During President Obama’s second term in office, from 2013 through 2016, the monthly trade deficit in goods and services averaged $40.7 billion; under President Trump the monthly deficit has averaged $50.1 billion.”

    A reduction in the bilateral trade deficit is a meaningless measure of success because when one deficit goes down, many others go up. Case in point: The deficit with China is going down, but it has been more than offset by rising bilateral deficits elsewhere, including with Vietnam and Mexico. Imports from China are also down 12 percent, but exports to China are down 19 percent. So even by the president’s own mercantilist standard, he is failing.

    The bottom line is that pretty much everything Mr. Trump has promised on the trade front by imposing tariffs hasn’t panned out, even if the president persists in saying the opposite.

    Trump can't admit he was wrong, I get that. But I'm sure he could claim victory, remove his stupid tariffs, and get a net win that way. His sheeplike followers would buy it.


  • And it's that time of year for the Tax Foundation to issue its 2020 State Business Tax Climate Index.

    The 10 best states in this year’s Index are:

    1. Wyoming
    2. South Dakota
    3. Alaska
    4. Florida
    5. Montana
    6. New Hampshire
    7. Nevada
    8. Oregon
    9. Utah
    10. Indiana

    Yay! We're number six! No other New England state comes close: ME is #33, MA is #36, VT is #44, CT is #47, RI is #39.


  • Noah Shepardson asks the important question in Reason: Is Sam Adams’ New 28 Percent ABV Beer Legal in Your State?. The beer is "Utopias", and it's a very fancy brewing process, comes in a very fancy bottle, and … oops, here's why it doesn't matter whether it's legal in my state:

    In addition to carrying the astronomical price tag of $210 dollars per 25.4-ounce bottle,[…]

    Yeah. But for the record: no it's not legal to sell in NH. Another outrage in what's supposed to be the Live Free or Die state.