URLs du Jour

2019-06-24

[Amazon Link]

Apparently volume 4 of the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series, titled Love Free or Die, is unavailable at Amazon. So we skip forward to volume 5 for our Product du Jour. There's one more, released earlier this year, so drop back tomorrow.

Or you could hone your Google skills and look it up yourself if you can't wait. Your call, because LFOD.

  • Baylen Linnekin provides solid dietary advice at Reason: Don’t Let Food Nationalism Spoil Your Meal.

    Earlier this month, Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, slammed what he dubbed "the 'political use' of food safety concerns and country of origin labeling" by nationalist and right-wing politicians in the European Union.

    While I believe that many food safety regulations work only to stifle competition and protect large, incumbent food producers, reasonable people can and do differ when it comes to determining the proper scope of food safety regulations. I've also heard palatable arguments in favor of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, even if I disagree with those arguments.

    Baylen notes the scare tactics used to discourage, or prohibit, citizens of Country X from consuming food sourced in Country Y (or produced by immigrants from Country Y), for varying values of X and Y.

    One of Baylen's links is worth checking out on its own: an article in the Conversation, A backlash against 'mixed' foods led to the demise of a classic American dish, by Helen Zoe Veit. And you won't believe what that classic American dish was!

    Sorry, too clickbaity. It's pudding.


  • Jeff Jacoby notes a worrisome campaign trend: Would-be presidents can't wait to rule by fiat.

    'After four years of Donald Trump," declared Senator Amy Klobuchar in a statement on Tuesday, "a new president can't wait for a bunch of congressional hearings to act." To that end, the Minnesota Democrat, who hopes to become the new president in January 2021, issued a 16-page list of all the "concrete steps she will take in her first 100 days" if she is elected to the White House.

    Some of Klobuchar's promises are wholly conventional ("Visit our troops") or matters of routine management ("Reduce State Department vacancies"). A few are about as noteworthy as calling water wet ("Fill judicial vacancies").

    Many, however, would represent real shifts in US policy. Klobuchar's pledges include the immediate importation of prescription drugs, a boost in the hourly minimum wage for federal contractors to $15, an end to the trade embargo on Cuba, the addition of transgender identity as a protected civil rights category, and a return to the Iran nuclear deal. Those aren't modest adjustments; they would significantly change the way the federal government currently operates. Obviously that's Klobuchar's objective — and for many voters, the undoing of President Trump's work can't begin soon enough.

    Jeff notes that Klobuchar is far from the only wannabe decree-issuer. And ("as you know", he said condescendingly) rule by Presidential fiat has been on the bipartisan increase over the past decades.

    Aided by political tribalism: when our guy does it, it's great. When their guy does it, it's tyrannical.


  • Chuck DeVore helpfully provides charts and numbers at Forbes to show that Low-Tax States Are Adding Jobs 80% Faster Than High-Tax States Due To Trump's Tax Cut & SALT Cap.

    Prior to the tax reform’s enactment, annualized private sector job growth was 1.9% in the low-tax states from January 2016 to December 2017 compared to 1.4% in the high-tax states, giving the low-tax jurisdictions a comparatively modest advantage of 35% more rapid job growth over the 23-month period.

    Now, 17 months of federal jobs data suggest that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has increased the competitive advantage of 27 low-tax states where the average SALT deduction was under $10,000 in 2016 as compared to 23 high-tax taxes with average SALT deductions greater than $10,000. Private sector job growth is now running 80% faster in the low-tax states, 2% annualized compared to 1.1%, up from just a 35% advantage in the prior 23 months.

    Democrats never tire of characterizing Trump's tax cut as a "giveaway to the rich". So the amusing part of all this is that Democrat governors, like Andrew Cuomo, demanding that the $10,000 cap be repealed. Which would disproportionately benefit… yup, the rich.


  • Who is Bernie Sanders? According to George Will: Bernie Sanders is FDR’s unimaginative echo.

    That the Democrats’ two evenings of dueling oratory snippets next week are called “debates” validates Finley Peter Dunne’s prediction that “when we Americans are through with the English language, it will look as if it had been run over by a musical comedy.” Already a linguistic casualty of the campaign is the noun “socialism.” So, quickly, before Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign sinks, like darling Clementine, beneath the foaming brine, consider his struggle to convince Americans that socialism deserves to be the wave of their future.

    One European explanation of America’s puzzling (to many European intellectuals) resistance to socialism was given in 1906 by the German economist Werner Sombart: “All socialist utopias came to nothing on roast beef and apple pie.” Recently, however, Sanders delivered a Washington speech explaining, in effect, that socialism is as American as a piece of frozen apple pie with a slice of processed cheese. Doing so, however, he demonstrated that “socialism” is a classification that no longer classifies.

    Yeah, noticed that myself. Also in danger of being a classification that no longer classifies: "capitalist". As in, when Elizabeth Warren says she is a “capitalist to my bones.”


  • And the Google LFOD alert rang for a Keene Sentinel editorial: Choosing to die: Maine's new law raises a topic the Granite State ought to be discussing.

    Does the libertarian ethos of New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” include the right to choose the time and manner of one’s own death?

    Lawmakers have historically put off having to answer that question, but the time may be coming when they will have to take a stand on the issue of physician-assisted suicide.

    Why must there be a legislated bias for physician assisted suicide? It would seem that this could be a new separate profession, to avoid difficulties with that whole Hippocratic Oath thing. Call them "Grim Reapers". It's a career path for people … who like to kill other people. And Reapers wouldn't need to undergo all that rigorous, expensive training doctors get in not killing people.

    At last glance, New Hampshire's suicide rate was well above the national average, so we seem to be doing OK on the offing-ourselves front without further assistance, ThankYouVeryMuch.