URLs du Jour


  • Eye Candy du Jour via the Babylon Bee on Twitter.

    I'm not in that flock. But it's still funny.

  • At AIER, Richard Ebeling engages in truth in labeling: Stakeholder Fascism Means More Loss of Liberty.

    A strong wave of anti-free market thinking and policy proposals are currently dominating the debates over the role of government in society. From calls for greater emphasis on income equality, to “saving” the planet from global warming, and on to demands for increased attention to claimed gender and racial “social injustice” inside and outside the marketplace, the presumptions are that personal and economic freedom cannot be trusted to find solutions to these problems, and that politically collectivist methods must be applied to find answers and bring about the desired outcomes through increased government intrusive “activism.”

    A popular and continuing target is the world of business and corporate decision-making. Private enterprise needs to be reined in, it is asserted, due to the narrow and misplaced presumption that earning profits is the business be all and end all. Corporations and other business entities must take on a wider and greater “social” responsibility in designing and directing their activities with the financial and other resources at their disposal.

    Long, but worthwhile. Executive summary: "stakeholder capitalism" is the latest effort to enact statist wishlists (usually lefty, but sometimes righty) while hiding behind a feelgood label.

  • Jonah Goldberg describes the latest Durantyism: the NYT discredits itself by rewriting the facts of the 1619 Project.

    By now, you’ve probably heard of the 1619 Project. It ­began as a special issue of the Times’ Sunday magazine to mark the 400th anniversary of African slaves being brought to the Jamestown colonies. But it’s become a multiplatform, multimedia moveable feast with saturation coverage and promotion. Oprah Winfrey is going to ­develop it for film and television. It’s being incorporated into curricula from grade schools to universities through the Pulitzer Center. Not surprisingly, it won a Pulitzer Prize (the center and the prize are unrelated). Or rather, the lead author and ­director of the project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, won in the commentary category.

    It was a huge cultural event for journalism and a huge journalistic event in the culture. Critics and fans alike agree that it was agenda-setting in unprecedented ways.

    Which is why it is so odd that Hannah-Jones and the Times are quietly taking back the project’s most controversial claim: that 1619, not 1776, was America’s “true founding.”

    When Jonah says "it is so odd", I think he means "it's completely understandable and even predictable".

  • Which brings me to this, an article retrieved via the Google LFOD News Alert, from Mike Boone in the Canadian County Weekly News. In the world of Trump, it’s not easy being a lefty. Aw!

    Is 7 a.m. too early to be talking politics in public? Not in my neck of the suburban woods. Taking QuaQua, my miniature poodle, for her first stroll of the day, I met Betty, who was walking Kobe, her small pooch. (Local dog people operate on a first-name-only basis. And dog names, of course.)

    First topic of conversation, by the dawn’s early light: Donald Trump, of course. Betty was dismayed by two recent phone conversations she’d had with female friends in the U.S.

    One was with a resident of New Hampshire. Not surprisingly in the state where “Live Free or Die” is the motto on licence plates, Betty’s friend is a Trump loyalist. This is was just after Trump’s visit to Kenosha, Wis., and Betty’s friend said she didn’t believe anything in the “left-wing media,” i.e. The New York Times, The Washington Post or CNN.

    So first: this insufferably smug Canadian dimwit is unaware that New Hampshire voted (albeit narrowly) for Hillary over Trump back in 2016. But nope; to Mike, the LFOD motto obviously equates to Trumpish stupidity. Facts don't matter when you're operating off your narrative.

    Second: "QuaQua" is a stupid name for a dog. Or any other sentient creature.

    Third: given the previous item, it would seem that a healthy skepticism is the proper attitude toward the New York Times, etc., so I'm kind of sympathetic to Betty's "friend".

    Finally: gotta wonder how long such a friendship is going to last if Betty's friend sees this third-hand (but so convenient) retelling of their phone conversation used as an example of what a knuckle-dragging idjit she is?

  • At EconLib, David Henderson notes A Key Characteristic of a Banana Republic. (Adding to this list at Money Illusion by Scott Sumner.)

    Does the government prevent people from practicing their occupation and shut down huge parts of the economy based on the idea, not that people are sick and might spread their sickness to others, but that people might be sick, even though most of them aren’t, and might spread their sickness to others? And relatedly, does it threaten people who could easily prove themselves not to be sick with fines and/or jail sentences for not complying?

    Also, related, does the government keep changing its rationale for the shutdowns.

    And (I'd add): do most of the people see nothing wrong with that? In fact, do they save their greatest contempt and ridicule for the people who refuse to meekly go along?

  • Well, fortunately, there are people like Katherine Mangu-Ward, in her lead editorial for the new issue of Reason: Why Can’t They Both Lose?.

    Every presidential election of my lifetime so far has been "the most important election of my lifetime." If you squint, that might even be true this time around. The executive grows more powerful with each passing term, and there's no denying that 2020 has asked a lot of the occupant of the Oval Office. But it doesn't follow logically that, because an election is important, you must hold your nose and go out of your way to vote for the candidate you merely hate the least.

    Replacing your toilet is an important choice, and you'd be absolutely furious if your plumber told you that, despite the existence of numerous makes and models, due to the way the toilet selection system works you must pick right now between one that leaks and another that has a broken seat. The more fundamental something is, the angrier and more vocal you should be at being asked to choose between bad options. You do not have a moral obligation to talk yourself into the idea that a damp bathroom floor is OK, no matter what people are saying in your social media feeds or on your family phone calls.

    KMW is on a very short list of people I assume will Get It Right, All The Time.

  • OK, so back to LFOD country. It's (honest) from Wine Enthusiast: Passion and Old World Techniques Drive ‘Exponential’ Growth of New Hampshire Wine Scene.

    With meandering mountain walks, attractive autumn foliage and bucolic getaways a-plenty, New Hampshire is often most associated with simple, rustic New England charm. But you can’t expect a place with a motto like “Live Free or Die” to be easily defined. Just take a look at its complex wine scene.

    Yeah! Take that, Candians! LFOD means (among other things) that we can exponentially grow our wine output!

    At least for a while.

Last Modified 2020-09-29 4:32 PM EDT