URLs du Jour

2021-07-10

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

  • Attention Must Be Paid. George F. Will has been a baseball fan for approximately 517 years, so when he says The time has come to save baseball by changing the rules he probably has a point.

    He claims that, thanks to technology and analysis, the pendulum has swung to far in favor of the defense. He has stats in favor. So:

    Requiring four infielders to be on the infield dirt — or, even bolder, requiring two infielders to be on the dirt on each side of second base — as the pitch is thrown, would reduce reliance on home runs, which are four seconds of action, followed by a leisurely 360-foot trot. A 20-second pitch clock might reduce velocity by reducing pitchers’ between-pitches recovery time. And by quickening baseball’s tempo, the clock might prevent batters from wandering away from the batter’s box and ruminating between pitches. Stolen bases might increase if pitchers had to step off the rubber before throwing to first base. After a walk and then a steal, one single would produce a score.

    I think a pitch clock would be a great idea. And if a batter isn't in the batter's box, tough for him. He shoulda planned his day better.

    Also, I'm tired of seeing balls and strikes called incorrectly. Bring on the robot umps!


  • It Doesn't Just Starve the Citizenry! Kevin D. Williamson chronicles the latest: Socialism in Action.

    If you happened to be sailing on the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week, you could have witnessed a dramatic example of genuine socialism in action — and it looked a bit like Sauron.

    The “eye of fire” — a conflagration on the surface of the water of the Gulf of Mexico — was the work of Pemex, the state-owned oil company operated by the Mexican government. It was caused by a massive gas leak that apparently was set afire by lightning.

    The Gulf of Mexico hasn’t seen that much socialism in action since the Mariel boatlift.

    When our progressive friends talk about “socialism,” they inevitably point to some rich capitalist European country with a larger welfare state and higher taxes than ours, but actual socialism — central planning, government control of the commanding heights of the economy, state-run enterprises — looks a lot more like Pemex.

    As Lily Tomlin, in her Ernestine incarnation, used to say back when Ma Bell was a government-protected monopoly: "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company."


  • [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] Some Men See Things As They Are, and Say Why. I Dream Of Things That Never Were, and Say Why Not. Arnold Kling has a modest proposal: Doing Away with College.

    Higher education has turned into a self-licking ice cream cone, meaning an institution that has lost its sense of purpose and instead is focused on self-perpetuation. For many reasons, we need to do away with college as we know it.

    Broadly speaking, we need to replace two aspects of college. One is the process of obtaining knowledge and demonstrating what one has obtained. The other is the rest of the college experience—its extracurricular aspects.

    I once read a book titled School's Out by Lewis J. Perelman (Amazon link at right) that made similar points. It was published about 30 years ago, so this isn't a new idea. Perelman approached it slightly differently: getting rid of degree requirements for jobs. That's only made a lot more sense since then.


  • Can't We Just Give Him Crayons and a Coloring Book Instead? Elizabeth Nolan Brown summarizes recent news, including: Joe Biden’s Executive Order on ‘Promoting Competition’ Covers Everything From Farmers Markets to Net Neutrality.

    Biden attempts to substitute presidential power for the legislative process again. A new White House antitrust order exemplifies one of the worst presidential trends: a proclivity for unilateral executive action, even when Congress is on the cusp of considering the same thing.

    Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have been considering a slew of changes to American antitrust policy. There are a lot of reasons to be wary of these measures, but at least—should they pass—they'll have been the subject of deliberation and voting by elected officials. In contrast, President Joe Biden's new "Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy" simply tells federal agencies to make a slew of changes in line with the president's values.

    The good news is that—like so many of former President Donald Trump's executive orders—Biden is wading into territory he doesn't actually have the power to control and, therefore, much of his executive bloviating is technically toothless. There's a lot of the word encourages thrown about. The bad news is that presidential encouragement to federal agencies still has a way of becoming bureaucratic policy.

    One of the directives…

    Directs USDA to develop a plan to increase opportunities for farmers to access markets and receive a fair return, including supporting alternative food distribution systems like farmers markets and developing standards and labels so that consumers can choose to buy products that treat farmers fairly.

    How about just letting farmers and consumers find each other without the USDA getting involved?


  • I Walk the Line. Fellow New Hampshire blogger Tom Bowler at Libertarian Leanings points out a thoughtful Thread on Twitter about the 2020 election. When Democrats are incredulous that many people think that Trump was cheated out of a win, it's not that farfetched.

    I think I've had discussions w/enough Boomer-tier Trump supporters who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent to extract a general theory about their perspective. It is also the perspective of most of the people at the Capitol on 1/6, and probably even Trump himself. 1/x

    Most believe some or all of the theories involving midnight ballots, voting machines, etc, but what you find when you talk to them is that, while they'll defend those positions w/info they got from Hannity or Breitbart or whatever, they're not particularly attached to them. 2/x

    Here are the facts - actual, confirmed facts - that shape their perspective: 1) The FBI/etc spied on the 2016 Trump campaign using evidence manufactured by the Clinton campaign. We now know that all involved knew it was fake from Day 1 (see: Brennan's July 2016 memo, etc). 3/x

    These are Tea Party people. The types who give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday and have Founding Fathers memes in their bios. The intel community spying on a presidential campaign using fake evidence (incl forged documents) is a big deal to them. 4/x

    Everyone involved lied about their involvement as long as they could. We only learned the DNC paid for the manufactured evidence because of a court order. Comey denied on TV knowing the DNC paid for it, when we have emails from a year earlier proving that he knew. 5/x

    I was unimpressed with the Hannity/Breitbart bloviations, but you can believe that and also believe that the "deep state" was subverting Trump for his entire term.


Last Modified 2021-07-11 3:55 AM EDT