URLs du Jour

2019-11-18

We open with Michael P. Ramirez's cartoon comment on the passing scene…

[Impeachment]

Yup. And now on with our clown show:

  • [Amazon Link]

    We'll steal Mark J. Perry's Quotation of the day on ‘social justice’…...

    The commitment to “social justice” has, in fact, become the chief outlet for moral emotion, the distinguishing attribute of the good man, and the recognized sign of the possession of a moral conscience….. But the near-universal acceptance of a belief does not prove that it is valid or even meaningful any more than the general belief in witches or ghosts proved the validity of those concepts. What we have to deal with in the case of “social justice” is simply a quasi-religious superstition of the kind which we should respectfully leave in peace so long as it merely makes those happy who hold it, but which we must fight when it becomes the pretext of coercing other men. And the prevailing belief in “social justice” is at its present probably the gravest threat to most other values of a free civilization.

    That's from Hayek's The Mirage of Social Justice, Amazon link at your right.


  • Kevin D. Williamson has some thoughts at National Review on Marco Rubio’s Half-Baked Political Philosophy.

    I am a great believer in Senator Marco Rubio, in his excellent intentions, and in the undoubtable ability of Senator Marco Rubio and his excellent intentions together to screw up anything they touch.

    Senator Rubio, writing in National Review, joins the ranks of those who propose to reinvent capitalism — “common-good capitalism,” he calls it. Senator Elizabeth Warren also proposes to reinvent capitalism and calls her version “accountable capitalism.” Dear old Bernie Sanders still proposes to overthrow capitalism and be done with it, bless his heart.

    Senator Rubio, working from remarks originally delivered in a speech at Catholic University, references a series of popes — Leo XIII, mostly, but also Benedict and Francis — to describe (whether the senator understands this or not) the familiar moral basis of fascist economic thinking, beginning from the premise that “workers and businesses are not competitors for their share of limited resources, but partners in an effort that strengthens the entire nation.” Under the careful tutelage of the state, of course. I write this as a fellow Catholic: God defend us from these backward, primitive-minded Catholic social reformers. Pope Francis would do mortal harm to the poor of this world if he had any real political power; blessedly, Providence has relieved him and us of that burden.

    Yes, he said "fascist".

    I just read an impressive article by Stephanie Slade on papal attitudes toward capitalism in the current (December 2019) issue of Reason; I will point it out when it becomes freely available on the web.


  • Thanksgiving is coming! Or are we coming to Thanksgiving? Everything's relative, I suppose.

    But I couldn't wait to let P. J. O'Rourke explain to us: Why I’m Thankful for Bad Politics. We'll skip right to the second thing for which he's thankful:

    A second thing to be thankful for is that bad politics are a healthy reminder that politics are bad. Actually, being a “good” politician specifically requires committing every single one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

    Pride is foremost, of course. What kind of too-big-for-your-britches swell-head grandstander has the sheer damn conceit to flash the brass and come right out and claim that he or she ought to be president of the United States? It’s a nearly impossible job, and anyone who doesn’t admit that is unqualified for the position. The only kind of people we should want to be president are the kind of people we’d have to drag, kicking and cursing, into the Oval Office. (Anybody know where Clint Eastwood hangs out?)

    Read on for Envy, Wrath, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, and Sloth.


  • At Reason, Matt Welch bemoans one of Beto's last rhetorical gambits before he gave up his presidential quest: Democrats Are Conjuring Up New ‘Rights’.

    "Living close to work shouldn't be a luxury for the rich," Democratic presidential candidate and former congressman Beto O'Rourke tweeted in September. "It's a right for everyone."

    In a video of a campaign stop embedded in the tweet, the perpetually earnest Texan elaborated on this new right.

    "Here's a tough thing to talk about, though we must," O'Rourke said. "Rich people are going to have to allow, or be forced to allow, lower-income people to live near them….We force lower-income, working Americans to drive one, two, three hours in either direction to get to their jobs, very often minimum wage jobs."

    There are a half-dozen fuzzy-to-erroneous ideas baked into that language—"we" don't "force" just about anyone to drive two-plus hours a day to and from work, for starters. But the underlying principle is worth pondering, particularly since you see it all over the left side of the political spectrum these days. O'Rourke is urgently demanding a federal role in life choices that are shaped by policies at the state and local level.

    Only a half-dozen? Well, maybe.

    Matt sketches the history of rights-invention. It's ironic (isn't it?) that while Democrats are coming up with ever more new "rights", they also continue advocating limits on actual rights of religion, speech, weaponry, property,…


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rang (indirectly) for this HKMarch tweet.

    As the French Wikipedia entry for "Vivre libre ou mourir" explains:

    C'est également la devise officielle de l'état américain du New Hampshire ("Live Free or Die"), adoptée par l'état en 1945.

    And it seems some Frenchies still know the words.