URLs du Jour


Our good old (very old) Secretary of State provides our Eye Candy du Jour:

That's my sample ballot for next month's primary. As previously explained, I am a RINO, since it's more fun to vote in their primaries.

You'll note that "Nobody" is a choice for Governor. That's an actual person, but I bet he gets a lot of votes from people who think he's an option instead. (As near as I can tell, Nobody's sole campaign issue is pot legalization.)

I have a lot of decisions to make in the coming four weeks. The only person I'm definitely not voting for is Bolduc, who came out in April in favor of a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

In short: he's in favor of increasing government power to regulate political speech.


  • Deirdre McCloskey writes at the Bridge (from the Mercatus Center) on The Great Enrichment.

    The Great Recession of 2008, and now the Greater Recession, might distract you from the vastly bigger story of our times: the Great Enrichment, from 1800 to the present. But as we try to restart the economy battered by governmental failures, we need to keep in mind, and keep, what has been gained.

    As more than one historian has pointed out, poor people in the United States and other developed countries live better than 18th-century European monarchs. Today, supermarkets and other stores are stocked with an ever-growing variety of goods, lifespans have been extended by decades, and (in the past 40 years alone) billions of people have been lifted from poverty. These are just some of the amazing achievements that have come about as the result of the Great Enrichment, a flowering of opportunity and economic growth unparalleled in human history.

    But this enriched modern economy is not a product of state planning or coercion. Instead, it came about as the result of the happy chances of a change in political and social rhetoric in northwestern Europe from 1517 to 1789. People—regular people, the hobbits of the Shire and not the almighty warriors from afar—began to perceive themselves in a new and dignified light. Perhaps most crucially, they came to feel their artisanal and commercial undertakings to be more appreciated socially. They were permitted to “have a go,” as the British say, and proceeded then to innovate on a massive scale.

    If you haven't read McCloskey on the Great Enrichment, this is a fine intro.

    If you have read McCloskey on the Great Enrichment, it's a fine reminder to keep the faith.

    (I shouldn't say "faith". As someone once said: "I don't have faith in the market. I have facts." But "keep the facts" sounds a little weird.)

  • Don Boudreaux provides a good rebuttal to a Progressive mantra: On “You Didn’t Build That”.

    During a July 13th, 2012, campaign stop in Roanoke, Virginia, President Barack Obama (in)famously dispensed this tidy bit of information to successful businesspeople: “You didn’t build that.” Immediately, the president was misinterpreted. He was mistakenly said by many to have accused hard-working restaurateurs, intrepid founders of construction companies, and risk-taking financiers of Apple and other profitable corporations of not really building their enterprises. Yet what Mr. Obama in fact said is that successful business people could not possibly have become successful without the help of many others – including especially, in Mr. Obama’s mind, government officials.

    Mr. Obama is correct that no person’s success in a market economy is literally “self-made.” (The first person I encountered – it was decades ago – who explicitly identified the silliness of the “self-made man” myth is Thomas Sowell.) Mr. Obama is correct also that every business in America relies upon roads and bridges constructed by government, as well as upon other government projects such as state-supplied education and research funding. But from this rather mundane reality Progressives such as Mr. Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) draw two mistaken implications.

    If I may summarize:

    1. Progressives never seem to wonder "compared to what?" Look at a government-built Interstate or airport, and ask yourself: "OK, but what wasn't built because government decided to do this instead?"
    2. Progressives seem to forget that "we" did, in fact, "build that". The people involved were paid. The goods and services involved were purchased. The airports and Interstates were not free gifts from the state, which has no resources other than what it forcibly extracts from the citizenry.

  • Jerry Coyne looks with some exasperation at the demise of a word: Real estate goes woke with elimination of term “master bedroom”.

    But will all usages of the term “master,” including ones that have no connection to slavery like the above, be fair game? What about MasterCard? What about a “master” in martial arts or a “Grand Master” in chess? And so on. I do, however, take issue with the use of “master/slave” referring to a device or process that controls other devices or processes: here the referent is clear—and obnoxious.

    Jerry also briefly discusses the term "walk-up", as in "walk-up apartment". Which is ableist! Yet, some are replacing the term with "non-elevator".

    And don't get me started on “His and Hers” bathrooms.

  • Wired has some bad news for folks designing this fall's schooling: Hybrid Schooling May Be the Most Dangerous Option of All.

    “The hybrid model is probably among the worst that we could be putting forward if our goal is to stop the virus getting into schools,” says William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “I don’t see how, in the end, this helps teachers,” says Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “I don’t fully get the hybrid model.”

    I don't know if that's the least-bad option. (Nobody's taking my idea very seriously: abolish mandatory attendance.) It won't be the first time Your Government has adopted a policy without thinking it through.

  • And Maureen Callahan explores Peddling the idea that 'all white people are racist' for profit. Why didn't I think of that?

    The wholesale intellectual fraud that is “white fragility” has so infested our culture that Oprah Winfrey, the world’s first female black billionaire, is criticizing America as hopelessly and intractably racist.

    For this we can thank the white liberal academic Robin DiAngelo, whose book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” — first published in 2018 by a small press — has become a textbook of liberal orthodoxy and a totem of radical chic.

    DiAngelo’s thesis: All white Americans are racist. All white Americans are a product of white supremacy and are actively or unwittingly complicit in maintaining this power structure. If you say you are not racist, that is only proof that you are racist. If you believe you are not racist, same thing. Black people exist in America only to be oppressed by whites. In DiAngelo’s worldview, any progress black Americans have made is because white Americans have allowed such growth as pacifiers.

    And Robin's book (I continue to point out) remains one of the recommendations on UNH's Official List of Racial Justice Resources.

Last Modified 2024-06-01 5:30 PM EDT