URLs du Jour

2020-11-05

[Amazon Link]

  • I'm pretty sure Jesus had something to say about this too, but Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke have a go at it in Discourse magazine: The Immorality of Moral Showcasing.

    There is an even more fundamental problem with showcasing, though: it treats people as mere instruments in someone else’s quest for enhanced social status. Just because someone deserves to be blamed, that doesn’t mean others may blame him or her for just any reason so long as they don’t go too hard on the wrongdoer.

    Imagine you’re in a bad mood, and you’re just looking for an opportunity to lash out at someone. You go about your day just on the verge of an outburst, when luckily you see someone do something wrong, and you unleash your anger on that person. Even if your reaction isn’t disproportionate, it’s disrespectful to use people this way. And just like it’s wrong to use other people’s mistakes as a convenient opportunity to vent your spleen, it’s also wrong to use them as an opportunity to look good.

    Showcasers treat people as interchangeable punching bags in an attempt to craft their public image as moral paragons. But morality requires us to treat other people according to their worth as human beings, not as mere instruments. Showcasing fails to do so.

    Good points there. Maybe applicable to your blogger, I'm wary that looking over my archives could reveal such. I'll try to be careful in the future.


  • In her column, Veronique de Rugy wonders: Would Both Trump and Biden Bring More of the Same?. The election isn't quite decided as I type, so this is not yet out of date:

    Once again, Election Day in America has come and gone with some lingering questions as to when the results will be certified. In the run-up to the presidential contest, each side overflowed with hope about the many wonders its guy, once in power, might bring about. Unfortunately, for those of us who prefer smaller government — for those of us who value individual liberty as an end in itself — neither candidate really promised fiscal solvency or less government interference in our lives.

    Despite corporate tax reform, deregulatory efforts, some criminal justice reforms and an anti-socialist rhetoric, President Donald Trump has shown little interest in free market policies. His administration promised and failed to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and would have likely replaced it with what is best described as Obamacare Light. With the Republicans' support, Trump opened wide the spending spigot for the Pentagon and its defense contractors. Ditto for other kinds of spending, much of which was irresponsibly funded with debt.

    Click through for more. The good news: whoever loses, Vero will make you feel better about it. The bad news, though: one of them is going to win.


  • Our Amazon Product du Jour applies to me, I voted L where possible. Still, Philip Greenspun asks: should we Blame Libertarians for election confusion?.

    The NYT hates Libertarians so much that it takes at least three clicks to learn about any Libertarian votes. But if we click down into Wisconsin, which Biden-Harris leads by 1.1 percent, we learn that 1.2 percent of voters chose Ms. Jorgensen. Biden-Harris lead by 0.6 percent in Nevada, with 86 percent of the vote tallied. The Libertarian vote, 0.9 percent, is larger than the difference between mainstream candidates.

    Biden-Harris has a 0.2 percent lead in Michigan and 1.1 percent of voters there chose Libertarian. Trump is leading by 1.8 percent in Georgia, but it would be 3 percent if all of the Libertarians had voted for Trump rather than for Shutdown Joe. It’s a similar story in North Carolina. He Who Must Not Be Named leads 1.4 percent with 95 percent of the vote tallied, which is apparently not sufficient to predict the outcome. In NC, 0.9 percent voted Libertarian. If they’d voted against the promised bigger government of President Harris, the spread would be 2.3 percent.

    […]

    Readers: What do we think? Fair to call the Libertarians the spoilers of 2020? In a country where most voters want a bigger government, higher taxes, and more regulation, should the Libertarians recognize that by running their own candidates they are simply helping Democrats?

    My dim recollection is that this argument could have been even more applicable in 2016, where Johnson/Weld performed much more strongly than Jorgenson/Cohen. And I think I saw that the Libs drained voters about equally from both Reps and Dems. Can't find it now, though.


  • But Clayton Cramer also seems to blame Libertarians.

    Those who voted Libertarian instead of for Trump seem likely to have helped elect the most anti-Libertarian President in my lifetime, and the least mentally competent. I was expecting a Trump landslide, based on the enthusiasm gap, but lots of mail-in ballots probably reflect Democrats who do not normally get out much.

    Amusing pic at the link.


  • J.D. Tuccille tells the sad truth at Reason: Pandemic Rules Are Only for the Little People.

    The defining moment in the "rules for thee but not for me" ethos of the ruling class during the COVID-19 pandemic may have come when Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist behind Britain's lockdown policy, met with his married girlfriend in defiance of the restrictions he promoted. Eager to threaten the common people with penalties if they failed to socially distance, he saw no reason to inconvenience himself the same way—although at least he conceded that propriety required him to resign his government post when the trysts were discovered in May.

    "He has peculiarly breached his own guidelines, and for an intelligent man I find that very hard to believe," marveled Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a prominent member of the ruling Conservative Party. "It risks undermining the Government's lockdown message."

    It shouldn't be surprising that the "ruling class" see themselves almost by definition as superior to the "ruled class".