URLs du Jour

2021-07-01

  • Michael Ramirez provides our Eye Candy du Jour. (Click here for the news if you're one of the sane folks who's opted out of following outrages du jour.)

    [Gratitude]

    I'm uncomfortable telling people how to behave. Still, Gwen Berry lives in a country where she can (apparently) make a more than decent living by throwing heavy objects long distances to no apparent purpose. You'd think a little gratitude would be in order.


  • Massachusetts Wants Its Cut. Reason intern Ella Lubell makes her first appearance at Pun Salad with a sad story: Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case Challenging Massachusetts’ Income Tax on Telecommuters Who Don’t Live or Work in Massachusetts.

    Income tax for those living in one state and working in another has always been a tangled mess, with rules differing from state to state. The confusion has been compounded during the pandemic, with the rise of teleworkers who live and work out of state.

    States have the ability to tax income that was earned by working in the state and income that was earned by residents of the state. This means that if someone works in New York and lives in Vermont, then New York can tax it because it was earned by working in New York, and Vermont can tax it because it was earned by a resident of Vermont. Fortunately, like most states, Vermont offers a refund of the amount one pays in New York income tax, so the income would not be taxed twice.

    But these refund schemes vary from state to state, creating a complicated web that can make filing as an out-of-state worker a headache.

    Ella does a good job going through the legal arguments.

    I still have unpleasant memories of doing Pun Son's taxes for the year he worked at Fogarty's Restaurant, just over the Salmon Falls River in South Berwick, Maine. Within easy walking distance of Pun Salad Manor.

    But just because he walked over that bridge, Maine demanded its share of his earnings.

    Why? Because it was "legal".

    Never mind that it otherwise felt like an organized crime shakedown. "This is my neighborhood. You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak a little."

    That whole "taxation without representation" thing? Ha. They think that's a great idea!


  • "Suggest"? How About "Indicate"? The NYPost is too moderate in its language: Biden's About-Faces on Infrastructure Deal Suggest His Words are Meaningless.

    A weekend of whiplash in Washington prompts the question: Is President Joe Biden a bad-faith negotiator or just completely confused?

    Biden celebrated Thursday outside the White House alongside 10 Republican and Democratic senators, announcing they’d reached a deal to spend $1.2 trillion on infrastructure over eight years.

    It was half the $2.3 trillion the prez had proposed but still included “the largest investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak,” Biden noted, along with $7.5 billion for electric-vehicle charging stations and $7.5 billion for electric buses. The lion’s share was to go for traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges — which is what most Americans want.

    Progressives fumed that Biden had struck a compromise that could actually pass, since it shelved his original plan’s huge tax hikes, $400 billion for home health workers and $174 billion for electric vehicles.

    So the compromiser caved: Just two hours after the celebration, he said he’d veto the infrastructure bill unless a $4 trillion social spending and tax hike bill also passed. “If they don’t come, I’m not signing it. Real simple,” he declared.

    And then a few days later he said … something different. Or not. I don't think you can make me care.


  • Not Looking a Day Over 95. At Cato, David Boaz "celebrates" a birthday: The Chinese Communist Party at 100.

    The Chinese Communist Party is going all‐​out to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding on July 1. Movies, music, theater, elaborate wedding ceremonies. Fireworks, of course. And, in keeping with the party’s roots, repression. As the New York Times reports, nothing is being left to chance:

    The Ministry of Civil Affairs is leading a nationwide crackdown against “illegal” nonprofit organizations, including religious and social groups, as part of efforts to ensure a “good environment” for the centenary.

    Officials have also warned of consequences for those who “distort” party history or “defame” Communist heroes ahead of the centenary. The Cyberspace Administration of China, which regulates the internet, recently unveiled a website and hotline for citizens to report “historical nihilists” and encouraging the public to help root out those who “deny the excellence of advanced socialist culture.”…

    The campaign against such dissent reflects concerns among China’s top leaders that the party must do more to strengthen public loyalty and fortify its control of society.

    Mr. Xi has long warned that Communist rule could disintegrate if the party does not assert control across society, including the private sector, schools and the news media. Party organs at the national and local levels are hosting study sessions on party history for cadres. Chinese military officials say they are using the centenary to “forge absolute loyalty” to the party and Mr. Xi.

    Apparently, after 70 years of absolute rule, independent thought has not been completely snuffed out.

    David is optimistic that the CCP's continuing war against its people will eventually seal its doom. Hope he's right.


  • For One Thing, They Aren't As Good At It As Charles Boyer. Max Eden says Gaslighting Parents on Critical Race Theory Needs to Stop.

    Proponents of critical race theory are resorting to semantic gaslighting to defend a dogma that most Americans instinctively abhor.

    Some pundits claim that critical race theory is exclusively a school of thought taught in legal academia. On her MSNBC show, Joy Reid claimed that “law school is really the only place it is taught. NBC has looked into everywhere.” Former Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway tweeted: “I don’t think critical legal studies should be taught in elementary schools, and I am ready to die on that hill[.]”

    Some journalists, informed by other “experts,” contend that critical race theory is synonymous with “talking about racism.” NPR defined critical race theory as “teaching about the effects of racism.” The New York Times called it “classroom discussion of race, racism.” NBC News labeled it the “academic study of racism’s pervasive impact.” 

    These definitions are, of course, mutually exclusive. But they both serve to paint parents into a corner. If critical race theory is defined just as talking about racism, then parental objections to it must be rooted in racism. If critical race theory is defined just as a thesis discussed in law schools, then parental objections to it must be rooted in ignorance.

    Quibbling about labels is a good indication that you've already lost the debate. Who'll be the first to claim: "True 'Critical Race Theory' has never been tried!"