URLs du Jour

2021-05-18

  • Be Disgusted Or Amused, Your Call. Our Eye Candy du Jour is an image from Dan Mitchell, one of the five in Statism in Five (More) Images.

    [Government Warning]

    Original seems to be from Liberty Maniacs, a place you can buy stuff. Click the image to buy the poster (12x18 or 24x36, frame option available). Or a sticker. Or a T-shirt. I do not get a cut.

    Back in 2012, I composed my own GOVERNMENT WARNING, based on the mandated one I (probably too often) see on adult beverage containers:

    (1) Government has been shown to be a significant risk to your life, liberty, property, and privacy. (2) Over-reliance on government has been determined to reduce your self-worth and self-responsibility. (3) Expecting equitable, wise, or effective behavior from government has a high probability of leading to disappointment or even depression. (4) Government can, and does, get away with doing stuff that would land you in jail. (5) Over-exposure to government employees can result in a significant loss of intelligence and can cause irrational behavior.

    Not as good as the Maniacs', but I still like it.


  • Speaking Of Warnings… Chris Edwards at Cato has a thought I've had myself about Taxes and Fair Shares.

    President Joe Biden said that the richest Americans should “start paying their fair share” of taxes and that his proposed tax increases would ensure that the “wealthiest 1% … just pay their fair share.”

    Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to make “changes to our rigged tax code so that the wealthy pay their fair share.”

    Senator Bernie Sanders wants to make sure that the “wealthiest people … begin to pay their fair share of taxes.”

    All those quotes from the past few weeks. Edwards looks at the most recent CBO data:

    The share of federal taxes paid by the top 1 percent increased from 14.1 percent in 1979 to 25.3 percent in 2017. The share paid by the overall top quintile (the 1 percent group plus the 81st to 99th percentile group) increased from 55.1 percent in 1979 to 69.2 percent in 2017. The share paid by the other four‐fifths of households has fallen substantially.

    He wonders:

    For reporters, an obvious follow‐up question when politicians say that high earners are not paying their fair share is: “How high do the top shares need to rise before they are fair?”

    I've never seen a reporter ask that question. I'd like to.

    For that matter, whenever a politician tweets something like this:

    … Twitter should automatically append a fact check: "Senator Shaheen has never specified what she would consider a 'fair share'. She has never demonstrated that she knows what the 'wealthy' currently pay in Federal taxes. Also, her use of 'contribute' falsely implies a voluntary action. She relies on your ignorance and your susceptibility to vague nice-sounding slogans."


  • Fact Check: True. David Harsanyi probably isn't gonna get an AP gig anytime soon: Associated Press, Hamas Propagandists.

    As more than 1,500 Hamas rockets were flying toward Israeli cities with the express purpose of murdering civilians, CNN could spare only around four minutes — in total — to cover the topic during an entire week of prime time. Typically, it’s only when the Jewish state begins defending itself that the story gets any real traction.

    And, needless to say, the focus got intense after Israel destroyed a twelve-story high-rise building in Gaza that housed foreign press outlets, including the Associated Press. Israel claims that al-Jalaa Tower was home to Hamas military-intelligence assets. It called ahead to warn those inside, so, fortunately, no journalist was killed.

    AP CEO Gary Pruitt said that his organization “had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building,” adding, “This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.”

    This is nonsense. Pruitt knowingly puts journalists at risk every day he sends them to places such as Gaza, where the ruling regime wages war behind civilians it uses as shields. But how did Pruitt “actively” check? Did he ask Hamas? Did he call the landlord? Did he ring everyone’s bell? And how could we trust that a media outlet that is unable to track down a single Hamas militant shooting Qassam rockets — from dense civilian areas right near its offices — would be able to figure out who was in their building, anyway?

    Hm. Probably wouldn't bother applying at CNN either, David.

    The story goes on to describe AP's history of failing to report Hamas activity, sometimes literally occurring under their reporters' noses.


  • And In Our "Least Surprising News Du Jour" Department… Robby Soave at Reason: Some Officials Want To Keep Mandating Masks, Despite the CDC Guidance.

    For the duration of the pandemic, Team Blue has obeyed a simple refrain—one reinforced ad nauseam by Democratic politicians, the mainstream media, and the country's technocratic elite: Follow the Science and Listen to the Experts.

    In liberal enclaves like Manhattan and D.C., compliance with the extremely risk-averse recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been nearly universal. Out of an abundance of caution, and in deference to people like White House coronavirus advisor Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, many left-leaning people have worn masks, even while alone outdoors.

    But last week, the CDC abruptly reversed course. While Walensky had up until recently warned of "impending doom" if people did not continue to practice aggressive masking and social distancing, the government's new position is that the vaccinated can go back to normal. People who are fully vaccinated do not need to worry about getting sick, and are extremely unlikely to contract COVID-19 and spread it to someone else. For them, the pandemic is over.

    Going to Hannaford and Portsmouth Public Library today, where (apparently) masking is still required. Sigh. I'm not sure I need anything at Walmart, but I'll probably go in there too, just so I can not wear a mask.


Last Modified 2021-05-18 9:05 AM EST