Nikki Haley Should Watch This

(So Should You)

That's Pierre Poilievre, member of Canada's Conservative Party, and for the past year, the official "Leader of the Opposition". The interviewer is a guy named Don Urquhart.

And I have no idea what Pierre's other positions are, but this made me want to vote for him.

I also don't know how well it would work down here in the USA. But I say: her handlers should make sure Nikki Haley always has an apple handy to munch on while she's eviscerating a dumb interviewer.

Also of note:

  • I thought it was supposed to be Atlas shrugging. Brian Reidl is unpaywalled at the Dispatch and he bears bad news: Americans Shrug Off Historic Debt Surge.

    While much attention has been (justifiably) focused on the brutal attacks in Israel, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) quietly released some alarming numbers. The budget deficit for the 2023 fiscal year—which concluded September 30—topped a staggering $2 trillion. This not only doubled the 2022 budget deficit, it also became the largest single-year deficit increase in American history, outside of the temporary emergencies of both World Wars, the Great Recession, and the 2020 pandemic.

    In fact—outside of those aforementioned emergencies—this year’s budget deficit is the largest in American history, equaling 7.7 percent of GDP. Those earlier emergency-driven deficits could each be justified as an unavoidable yet temporary one-time cost that a growing economy could absorb gradually. By contrast, today’s structural deficits are substantially more perilous because they are projected to continue growing larger essentially forever. Simply put, never before has Washington run such large deficits during relative peace and prosperity.

    Read the whole thing and learn about impending fiscal doom.

    Also learn about the lassitude of the voting public.

    And also learn about the cowardice of Republicans.

    And the sheer irresponsibility of Democrats.

  • For the woke, even double standards were too constraining. Charles C. W. Cooke observes Progressives & Hamas: The Woke Code of Morality Was All Nonsense.

    For more than a decade now, our universities, our media, our HR departments, and our celebrities have terrorized us with a bunch of vicious dogmas that, it turns out, they never believed in for a moment. In the name of “diversity” and “inclusion” and “equity” and any other abstract concept that might plausibly be recruited to the obscurantists’ side, Americans were asked to subordinate their freedom, their conversations, and their consciences to the personal preferences of a handful of unelected arbiters of taste. And then, one terrible day in October, a real barbarity was staged, and, within a few hours of the rules being applied to its apologists, the whole enterprise was revealed to be a brittle sham. Who among us could have predicted that?

    Lest you worry, that isn’t a serious question. That the Sensitivity-Industrial Complex was nothing more than a front for the advancement of progressivism has been obvious to most thinking people for a long while. That the ruse would be rendered so obvious by a single international monstrosity, however, was not. I had assumed, given the amount of effort that had gone into its construction, that the architects and adherents of Woke America might at least pretend to live by their own entreaties for a while. I was wrong. Instead, they turned on a dime. One day, they were telling people who do not think that women have penises that there remained no place for them in polite society; the next, they were explaining how important it is that college students be able to celebrate genocide in public — and even be reimbursed for it. All of a sudden, it wasn’t so important to “speak out” as it had been before. Overnight, the claim that “all lives matter” became self-evident, instead of a slur. Without warning, the banishment of students who make rhetorical mistakes moved from mandatory to outré. The transformation was remarkable — and complete.

    That's my penultimate "gifted" link for this month. You're welcome.

  • [Amazon Link]
    (paid link)

    Unlike Ann Althouse, I'm choosing to disagree. But she says: I feel compelled to disagree.. And we are both at odds with Robert Sapolsky, who has an interview circling around his new book (AmazonLinkAtYourRight) in the NYT: Robert Sapolsky Doesn’t Believe in Free Will. (But Feel Free to Disagree.) Excerpt:

    To most people, free will means being in charge of our actions. What’s wrong with that outlook?

    It’s a completely useless definition. When most people think they’re discerning free will, what they mean is somebody intended to do what they did: Something has just happened; somebody pulled the trigger. They understood the consequences and knew that alternative behaviors were available.

    But that doesn’t remotely begin to touch it, because you’ve got to ask: Where did that intent come from? That’s what happened a minute before, in the years before, and everything in between.

    For that sort of free will to exist, it would have to function on a biological level completely independently of the history of that organism. You would be able to identify the neurons that caused a particular behavior, and it wouldn’t matter what any other neuron in the brain was doing, what the environment was, what the person’s hormone levels were, what culture they were brought up in. Show me that those neurons would do the exact same thing with all these other things changed, and you’ve proven free will to me.

    So, whether I wore a red or blue shirt today — are you saying I didn’t really choose that?

    Absolutely. It can play out in the seconds before. Studies show that if you’re sitting in a room with a terrible smell, people become more socially conservative. Some of that has to do with genetics: What’s the makeup of their olfactory receptors? With childhood: What conditioning did they have to particular smells? All of that affects the outcome.

    As always, I trot out Sean Carroll's observation on that shirt-choosing thought experiment: Try saying: "Well, I'll just stand here and let the atoms in my body do whatever they were deterministically going to do anyway."

    Wait as long as you need to before you're convinced that that the atoms in your body aren't gonna get that shirt-picking job done for you. Or go to work bare-chested. Your call.

  • I am gobsmacked. I previously recommended Ron Bailey's article from print Reason: Take Nutrition Studies With a Grain of Salt. If you prefer audio instead, it's now a Reason podcast.

    But I wasn't gobsmacked by that. Instead, this, from the linked page:

    This audio was generated using AI trained on the voice of Katherine Mangu-Ward.

    And, reader, it really does sound like her, without actually being her. Impressive!

    I don't know how long this has been going on. But any professional audio narrators out there might want to think about developing other skills.

Last Modified 2024-01-10 5:49 AM EDT