URLs du Jour

2020-05-15

[Amazon Link]

  • Once again, our Amazon Product du Jour is a book from which Don Boudreaux extracted his Quotation of the Day...

    The need to do something tends to trump the need to understand what needs to be done.

    Don calls this quote "simply too relevant" and I concur. Heartily.


  • For example, it's exemplified in this article from Michael Graham at NH Journal: NH House Dems Demand Mandatory Mask Order for Granite State.

    On Thursday, 178 House Democrats wrote to Gov. Chris Sununu urging him to impose a Massachusetts-style mandatory mask order for New Hampshire.

    “Many states across the U.S., including border states Maine and Massachusetts, have established mandatory mask-wearing orders in conjunction with the calculated reopening of their businesses. These orders, which only apply when someone is unable to socially distance in public, are necessary to protect the public and give people confidence that they can go out safely, without increased risk of infection,” House Democrats wrote.

    I'm just fascinated by the continuing Democrat love for the word "mandatory". If the state could just push people around a little bit more—make them behave!—then we would certainly usher in the utopian future.

    So if your state reps are New Hampshire Democrats, you can check to see if they're mandate-lovers. Out of my four reps, three signed on: Gerri Cannon, Wendy Chase, Cecilia Rich. I don't see the fourth, Catt Sandler, on the list.


  • At American Consequences, P. J. O'Rourke has Deep Thoughts About the Coronavirus Pandemic. Sample:

    Anthony Fauci thinks I should obey the government guidelines. He seems to be the smartest person in the room, at least as far as rooms at the White House are concerned. Also, he’s got this accent… I mean, not to stereotype Brooklyn Italians or anything because Fauci is a brilliant scientist and all that, but… He does have the kind of accent that makes you think that if you don’t go along with his social-distancing demands, you’ll wind up with a horse head in your bed sheets.

    Plus, there’s my wife to be considered. She just got out of self-quarantine, which she put herself into for my sake because what our teenage kids call COVID-19 (when they think Dad can’t hear them) is a “Boomer Remover.”

    Yes, I couldn't help but chuckle at that. I'll run it by my kids to see if they laugh. If they do, out of the will!


  • Some more amusing news comes to us via Eric Boehm at Reason: Mission Creep and Wasteful Spending Left the CDC Unprepared for an Actual Public Health Crisis.

    Over the past three decades, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has seen its taxpayer-funded budget doubled. Then doubled again. Then doubled again. And then nearly doubled once more.

    But spending nearly 14 times as much as we did in 1987 on the agency whose mission statement says it "saves lives and protects people from health threats" did not, apparently, help the CDC combat the emergence of the biggest disease threat America has faced in a century. In fact, a new report argues, inflating the CDC's budget may have weakened the agency's ability to handle its core responsibility by giving rise to mission creep and bureaucratic malaise.

    That report is summarized here, with a link to the whole thing.

    The CDC is only one example of the Great Spending Fallacy, that throwing money into a government agency will result in proportionate good effects out the other end.


  • And finally, Michael Barone asks the musical question: Who Sent COVID-19 Positive Patients Into Nursing Homes? Start with what we know:

    […] COVID-19 tends to kill people age 70 and above, especially those with comorbidities.

    Yet, despite that being apparent early on, America's governors have done a poor job of protecting those most at risk -- residents of nursing homes with physical frailties and, often, cognitive impairment.

    The result: One-third of reported coronavirus deaths in the United States, according to New York Times reporting, are of nursing home residents or workers. Nursing homes accounted for a majority of deaths in heavily hit states like New Jersey (52%), Massachusetts (59%), Pennsylvania (66%) and Connecticut (55%), and for 80% of the deaths in otherwise lightly hit Minnesota.

    And according to InDepthNH, New Hampshire is right up there too, with more than three-quarters of Covid-19 deaths associated with long-term care facilities.