URLs du Jour


When you searc for "capitalism" on Getty Images, today's pic du jour is (at least as I type) their "most popular" embeddable image.

Someone with a sensitive seismograph should check J. Paul's gravesite to see if it can pick up indications of underground rotation.

Fun fact: JPG was probably at one time the richest person in the world. The family has gone downhill since then, crashing (as of a couple years back) to merely the 56th richest family in America, and that's spread out among 28 members.

  • At Quillette, Saul Zimet asks the burning (heh) question: Capitalism or the Climate? Interesting point:

    Almost everyone believes the Spaceship Earth misconception, even if they don’t have a name for it. I was a believer myself until I read The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch, physicist at the University of Oxford. Spaceship Earth is the notion of our planet as a lifegiving oasis in a mostly desolate universe. According to this notion, the Earth provides us all the resources necessary to sustain human life, and it is up to us to either live sustainably or destroy the cornucopian vessel upon which we depend.

    What is wrong with the Spaceship Earth concept? In short, Earth is mostly not capable of sustaining life. Roughly 99.9 percent of all species that have ever existed on Earth are now extinct, some due to mass extinction events and some in so-called “background extinctions.” So in reality, the Earth is almost entirely inhospitable. By contrast, an estimated 3.15 percent of US executions between 1890 and 2010 failed to kill their victims. A species on Earth has a better chance of becoming extinct than a person has of being put to death efficiently in an electric chair.

    A refreshingly contrarian take on the issue. I've put the Deutsch book on my "read if the libraries ever open up again" list.

  • At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson wonders (in an NRPLUS article, sorry): Where Does the Money Go? Where Should It?. Federal money, that is. Commenting on Gov. Cuomo's insistence that New York should get a lot because they are a "net donor" to the Federal Government:

    The largest per-capita net-recipient states at the moment are Democratic states: Virginia, Kentucky, and New Mexico. The biggest “donor” states are Democratic, too: Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. (NB: Estimates vary some from source to source, but New York is reliably pretty high on the purported net-payers’ list.) Some of those numbers are driven by entitlements and by the fact that the U.S. tax code is steeply progressive, i.e. by Democratic policies. And some of those numbers are driven by the fact that federal purchases, federal contracts, federal employees (hello, Virginia!), and federal lands are not evenly distributed throughout the country, which means that federal outlays do not land equally on every square inch of American territory — the federal government owns 85 percent of the land in Nevada but less than 1 percent of the land in New York State. There are a lot of financial firms in New York City and not very many Air Force bases, which affects the notional balance of payments.

    The same dynamic is a big part of why Democratic states such as Maryland and Hawaii are on the net-takers’ list while Republican states such as North Dakota are net payers. California, once a donor state, is at the moment a modest recipient state, to the tune of about $12 a year per capita.

    It's a silly argument. As I've said before, it's like: "Our taxpayers send a lot of money to the Feds, so the Feds should give some of that money back to the state government.

    As KDW points out, it's little wonder that high-income people are migrating out of NY.

  • Hey, kids! What time is it almost? According to Bonnie Kristian, writing in The Week: It's almost time for pandemic apologies.

    This need isn't isolated to any side of the debate. The case which got me thinking about it is Georgia's early re-opening, which began on April 24 and was met with widespread derision. I don't recall commenting on it, but I know I was skeptical. Here at The Week, my colleague Joel Mathis was more measured than most, observing that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) "does not know the level of danger he's exposing residents to by reopening businesses. Nobody does."

    Other responses weren't so circumspect. Stacey Abrams, Kemp's erstwhile Democratic rival, called the move "dangerously incompetent." A Vanity Fair story labeled Kemp the "front-runner for country's dumbest governor." Commentator Ron Fournier told his Twitter followers to "[m]ark this day. Because two and three weeks from now, the Georgia death toll is blood on [Kemp's] hands."

    Well, that turned out to be reality-challenged.

    Also with a functioning memory is William McGurn of the WSJ who has a different candidate due apologies that will make leftist heads explode: Jerry Falwell, Jr.. Article text may be paywalled, maybe you'll have better luck with the video:

  • Another fun fact about lockdown science: According to the New York Times, as cited by Jeffery A. Tucker in an AIER article, it was "kicked off by a high school research project pursued by the daughter of a scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories." The young lady was 14 at the time.

    In other words, it was a high-school science experiment that eventually became law of the land, and through a circuitous route propelled not by science but politics.

    The primary author of [the paper eventually published based on the science project] was Robert J. Glass, a complex-systems analyst with Sandia National Laboratories. He had no medical training, much less an expertise in immunology or epidemiology.

    Note once again: Mr. Tucker is not repeating conspiratorial garbage from right-wing wackos. He's mostly quoting the New York Freaking Times.

  • Speaking of that august publication, they also have a pretty amusing piece from Roger Cohen, brought to my attention via the Google LFOD news alert.

    Back in the other world, before all was stilled, a neighbor in Colorado would tell me it was time for liberals to “gun up.” The other side was armed, he argued, and would stop at nothing. What would we tell our grandchildren when Ivanka Trump took office as the 46th president of the United States in 2025 and term limits were abolished? That we tried words, all manner of them, he scoffed, but they had the rifles.

    I waved him away. American democracy was not Hungarian democracy, now dead. Its checks and balances were resilient. Too many guns are an American scourge. No, he insisted, you will see by June 2020. Civil war, or something like it, is coming. Gun up, dude, before it’s too late.

    My neighbor did not predict the uniforms of America’s warring factions. How masks would become normative in Democratic strongholds like Telluride or Ridgway but be scorned in Colorado Trump country as the giveaway dress of the liberal egghead terrorized by the virus. The responsible crowd, with face half-hidden, confronting the unmasked live-free-or-die crowd across the vastness and fracture of an unled country.

    Did I say "amusing"? I should have said "hilarious". Who exactly does Roger Cohen plan on shooting?