It's For Your Own Good, Dammit!

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Matt Taibbi deemed a comment from "Joe" to be the weekly "Nailed It" winner. Which seems unfair, since it's nearly entirely a quote from C. S. Lewis. Here is an expanded version:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

On a (very) related note, David R. Henderson quotes a Hill article ("Biden faces menthol ban lawsuit after missing deadline"), and so will I:

The White House has missed its deadline to publish a rule banning menthol cigarettes, raising ire among public health advocates that the policy will be indefinitely delayed by election year politics.

In an effort to force the administration to act, three anti-tobacco public health groups on Tuesday sued the Food and Drug Administration and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Because of Defendants’ inaction, tobacco companies have continued to use menthol cigarettes to target youth, women, and the Black community — all to the detriment of public health,” the groups said in their complaint, which was filed in the Northern District of California.

So, they're waiting until after the election to deprive people of their smokes of choice? Not exactly deserving of a Profiles in Courage chapter, is it?

Also of note:

  • Who had this on their Biden impeachment bingo card? In a print-Reason article, Fiona Harrigan wonders: Are U.S. Strikes on Pro-Hamas Houthis in Yemen Constitutional?

    Since January, the United States and its allies have been conducting strikes against the Houthis, a Yemen-based Islamist militant organization that has been attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea. These attacks, the Houthis claim, are a gesture of support for Hamas in its war against Israel. There have been no American casualties so far, but the attacks have caused major disruptions for one of the world's most important shipping routes.

    "These attacks have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation," President Joe Biden declared in a January 11 statement. "I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary."

    Biden notified Congress of the strikes beforehand, but he didn't ask for authorization as Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution mandates. By ignoring this procedural requirement in the name of a broadly defined national interest, the president risks engaging the U.S. in a slow-burning, long-lasting conflict with little accountability and the looming possibility of escalation.

    If you can't read it today, I think it will escape the paywall this coming Monday, April 8.

  • But it's not as if things done with Congressional approval are good, either. The WSJ editorialists examine Intel and Industrial Policy in Action.

    Shares of Intel Corp. hit the skids Wednesday after it reported growing losses on its semiconductor foundry business. Politicians of both parties tout the U.S. chip maker as a national champion, but these days it looks more like an emblem of dubious government industrial policy.

    Investors are getting their first close look at Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger’s ambitions to compete with TSMC and Samsung in chip manufacturing. They apparently didn’t like what they see. The Silicon Valley giant disclosed in a securities filing that it lost $7 billion on its foundry unit last year on $18.9 billion in sales, following roughly $5 billion in losses in each of the prior two years.

    I'm no corporation-basher, but this is odious:

    It’s a shame to see Intel, a legendary U.S. company, being captured by government like this. All told, Intel could pocket some $50 billion in federal subsidies. Yet Mr. Gelsinger wants more. American chip manufacturing “doesn’t get fixed in one three- to five-year program,” the CEO said last month. “I do think we’ll need at least a CHIPS 2 to finish that job.”

    Intel turned into a corporate welfare queen pretty fast, didn't it?

  • Even the National Organization for Women thought this might be an absurdly bad look for them. "Eliza Mondegreen" reports at Unherd:

    On 31 March — the new Transgender Day of Visibility — the National Organization for Women (NOW) tweeted, “Repeat after us: Weaponizing womenhood [sic] against other women is white supremacist patriarchy at work. Making people believe there isn’t enough space for trans women in sports is white supremacist patriarchy at work.”

    Don't bother clicking on that "tweeted" link, NOW apparently deleted that tweet. Amusing!

    But also amusing on that topic is Jeff Maurer, looking at one of the co-conspirators among the white male supremacist patriarchy schemers and her demand that the coppers come get her: The JK Rowling/Scottish Hate Crimes Law Kerfuffle, But With Jokes.

    JK Rowling is the author of stories about a little demon boy who has the magical power to keep Warner Brothers Pictures afloat via endless sequels and spinoffs. Long an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, in recent years, Rowling has criticized the encroachment of trans women into certain women-only spaces. Basically, she has spent her 50s the way most people do: Fighting with strangers online. She just happens to have 14 million followers and has had more influence on Gen Y than their parents and ABC’s Friday night lineup combined.

    Scotland is the country from Trainspotting. It is sort of Britain’s Maine, in that it’s way the fuck up there, cold, and they speak a language that sounds a bit like English but isn’t. They recently passed a law targeting hate speech that supporters tout as a powerful weapon against verbal abuse and also a minor little law that will hardly ever be used so everyone just chillax. It went into effect this week, and it’s already caused more Scottish uproar than a controversial late penalty in a match between Kilmarnock FC and St. Cowldenrock Strathclyde-McRenfnrenrewfrickshire.

    Rowling used her prominence to force the Scottish government to interpret the law. In an April 1 post on X — dead name “Twitter” — Rowling referred to 10 trans women as “men”. They were not ten randomly chosen trans women: The people Rowling highlighted had either committed a heinous crime, taken a role reserved for a woman, or been resoundingly shitty in some way. The first person highlighted by Rowling was activist Beth Douglas (below), who might not be the best mouthpiece for a law that outlaws “threatening or abusive behaviour”:

    Good for Rowling, good for Maurer, and good for NOW for its transitory self-beclowning.

  • Hot or not? I read all the way through this NYPost article: Joy Behar offers bizarre take on 'SNL' 'hot women' controversy, claims 'model-level' like Gisele Bündchen 'not funny'. Allegedly, the 81-year-old claimed:

    “I’m not saying that every single woman who has been a cast member on ‘SNL’ is ugly,” she said. “It’s just that none of them have ever been, like, hot.”

    I'm not that much younger than Ms. Behar, but, even among the current cast:

    Ego Nwodim is hot.

    Heidi Gardner is hot.

    Two Chloes, Fineman and Troast, also seem pretty hot.

    OK, Punkie Johnson, Sarah Sherman, and Molly Kearney are arguably non-hot. But they are funny.

    And (let us not forget), the past cast has included Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Maya Rudolph, Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong, Nasim Pedrad, …

    And Tina Fey. Her hotness rivals that of a thousand suns.

Last Modified 2024-04-06 5:28 AM EDT