URLs du Jour

2019-01-19

[Amazon Link]

  • At American Consequences, P.J. O'Rourke writes on Trade Routes.

    Trade itself may be a happy activity, but trade means transport, and transport means trade routes, and trade routes are where people are brought together… not always in a happy way.

    When we trace the globe’s ancient trade routes, it is unpleasant to see what contentious regions they traverse and what grievous political fault lines they follow. Even worse is to note that most of these antique grudges are still evident on modern maps.

    Check it out as Peej guides you "past the IEDs of Sinai terrorists, through the Gaza kill zone, past trigger-happy Israeli checkpoints, across the chaos of Lebanon, into Syria where ISIS is no less murderous just because it’s “almost defeated,” only to wind up in Baghdad."


  • At NR David French belabors what should be obvious, but isn't: Karen Pence & Christian Sexual Morality: Love Is Not Hate. It's those triggered by Mrs. Pence teaching at a school that has old-fashioned (i.e., what used to be "conventional") ideas about sex.

    […] When I see critics respond to a Christian by telling them that they’re a bigot because of their loving beliefs, they’re telling that Christian he’s a liar. They’re telling that Christian he’s insincere in the origin and purpose of his deepest convictions. Every Christian can and should be prepared for questions about his faith. In fact, it’s a biblical imperative that Christians “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

    The claim of bigotry, however, is wrong. When it is used to attempt to drive Christians out of the public square, to block them from public offices, or to shame them out of even their own ministries, it’s an instrument of injustice. It’s intolerance in the name of tolerance — and, yes, sometimes it’s even hate in the name of love.

    It's tempting to speculate that people who carelessly attribute bigotry to others are simply projecting: "You must hate me… because I hate you."

    I'm old enough to remember the good old Moral Majority. As our Amazon Product du Jour, its stridency hasn't gone away, it's just popped up on the other side.


  • Amelia Irvine writes at the Federalist: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Setting Women Back Light Years In Politics. Is this a case of using "light year" as a unit of time instead of distance? Who knows? The term doesn't appear in the article. Still:

    “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right,” Ocasio-Cortez told Cooper after he asked about her careless and incorrect analysis of the defense budget. In one sentence, Ocasio-Cortez portrayed herself as a woman who is ready to subordinate facts to her moral convictions, confirming achingly anti-female stereotypes. She may as well have driven erratically down the highway or failed to catch a gently thrown ball. Of course, she later admitted that being factually correct is “absolutely important.” She just doesn’t seem to care much about facts and numbers when she’s tweeting.

    Or, for that matter, when she’s speaking. In discussing with Cooper her proposal for a “Green New Deal,” which would use the full force of the government in an attempt to convert the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, she could not offer an actual answer for how such an enormous transformation would be possible. “It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now,” was all she could say.

    Said it before, but: I'm old enough to remember how the MSM treated the occasional verbal blunders of Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin. There's a real difference with AOC.


  • We looked at a debunking story the other day, but Slashdot finds a respectable Harvard astronomer who's willing to Go There: Have Aliens Found Us? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object 'Oumuamua.

    On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as "a red and extremely elongated asteroid." It was the first interstellar object to be detected within our solar system; the scientists named it 'Oumuamua, the Hawaiian word for a scout or messenger. The following October, Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard's astronomy department, co-wrote a paper (with a Harvard postdoctoral fellow, Shmuel Bialy) that examined 'Oumuamua's "peculiar acceleration" and suggested that the object "may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth's vicinity by an alien civilization." Loeb has long been interested in the search for extraterrestrial life, and he recently made further headlines by suggesting that we might communicate with the civilization that sent the probe.

    There are links in the article to an interview with Loeb in the New Yorker and Loeb's article about 'Oumuamua in Scientific American.

    I can't help but think if Heinlein were still alive we'd be firing up a torch ship to go out and catch up to the sumbitch.


  • Granite Grok's Steve MacDonald brings the good news to Granite State lovers of Asian cuisine and liberty: City of Keene Caves - "Pho Keene Great" Sign "Approved".

    Over at Free Keene (check out their modified banner it’s Free Keene Great) where we first picked up the story, things sound a bit more like what typically goes on in Keene. The city was stupid. It expected the restaurant to roll over. It didn’t. A court case based on the first amendment seemed likely if they kept pushing. So, Keene decided not to push their luck.

    "Depend upon it, sir, when a town knows it is to be the object of nationwide derision, it concentrates its mind wonderfully."


  • The student newspaper of the College Not Near Here covers another bit of legislation: NH Democrats introduce firearms ban in school zones.

    On Jan. 2, House Bill 101 — which would allow school districts to regulate firearms in school zones — was introduced by seven Democrats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

    Since 2011, the state of New Hampshire has had authority over the sale, ownership, use, possession and permitting of all firearms in the state. However, this new bill would redistribute some of that power to individual school districts and allow them to enforce gun-free zones.

    The leaders of both the College Republicans (anti) and the College Democrats (pro, of course) are quoted. The latter caused the LFOD news alert:

    “This bill comes at a pertinent time in the question of the tension between common sense gun regulation and personal gun ownership, especially in a state like New Hampshire where the culture is ‘Live Free or Die,’” [College Democrats president Gigi] Gunderson said. “We continue to support policies that make our schools and New Hampshire residents safer.”

    Gigi at least gets the four words of the state motto correct, although I suspect she'd prefer it to be "Live Safe and Obey".

    Obligatory reference: 97.8% of mass public shootings occur in gun-free zones. (Note: There is a lot of definitional quibbling involved here.)


  • And the Smoking Gun reports on local shenanigans: Live Free or Die Trying.

    While stopped at a red light Tuesday afternoon, a New Hampshire motorist was living his best life, smoking crack cocaine and being fellated by a woman in the passenger seat, police report.

    As Dave Barry would observe: soon we will have no rights left at all.