URLs du Jour


Proverbs 25:3 gets pretty mystical on us:

3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
     so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

They're special people. Unsearchable hearts, and (as we saw yesterday ) they're able to uncover what God Himself conceals.

Today's Getty image: the wrong way to search a king's heart.

■ At NR, Ian Tuttle notes the phony labelling involved in "Net Neutrality": The FCC’s ‘Open Internet Rules’ Make the Internet Less Open. A good history of the controversy. Bottom line:

Last week, the FCC voted (2–1, along party lines) to begin a review of the 2015 regulations, launching the process by which the current rules could be overturned. Predictions of apocalypse have ensued: Democratic senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii accused Republicans of trying to “end the Internet.” In reality, it is more nearly the opposite. The “Open Internet” regulations promulgated in 2015 threaten to turn the Internet into one more fiefdom of the federal government, and thereby to strangle the impulse toward innovation and improvement. A smarter regulatory framework would make the government a partner to a dynamic, competitive Internet, not an enemy.

A preferable course of action would be to abolish the FCC, but I'll take second-best.

■ Steve Chapman at Reason dissects Trump's Half-Baked Budget.

Donald Trump's first budget proposal is a brazen mix of ideology and dishonesty, seasoned with irresponsibility and pulled out of the oven as soon as it was half-baked. Those qualities make it surprisingly similar to the budgets of Barack Obama and George W. Bush—and largely in accord with public desires. Its defects are neither new nor accidental.

Those defects are: an unwillingness to get Social Security and Medicare under control and an expanded defense budget.

■ Betsy Newmark is a conscientious daily blogger (as I'm trying to be), and her "Crusing the Web" posts are approximately the same as my "URLs du Jour" posts: she excerpts and comments on stuff she finds interesting. One recent example looks (sadly) at documents obtained by BuzzFeed from the Princeton U. admissions process. You might be surprised/dismayed to the extent that admissions personnel are obsessed with race/ethnicity. Betsy comments:

We already knew that admissions committees search for qualified racial minorities. Now we see that they especially want minorities who are themselves focused on their own race. They don't just want a Native American; they want someone who pumps up his race on the application. A mixed-race Hispanic student who is high-performing is not enough. The applicants also need to make sure to write an application about his or her race. And Asian Americans are just out of luck; it's not enough to be high-achieving and involved in community service. That's to be expected. There is something quite despicable about this attitude that students should be so focused on race that they insert racial comments into their applications. I would have thought that students who are focused on academic success and community service without regard to race, theirs or others, would be wonderful students that any university would want. But that's not enough for Princeton. They want young people who are full of racial concerns. We're never going to get to the post-racial society we were told would happen with Obama's election if universities penalize young people who aren't obsessed with race. Once this story gets out, students will know how they have to slant their admissions essays. Expect future applicants to be writing about their racial consciousness whether or not they have such thoughts.

Why, it's almost as if today's progressives don't want a "post-racial society".

■ I know you (like me) occasionally wonder if you could buy Megan McArdle something that would impress her. She drops a hint here on what not to do: A $2,000 Dishwasher Will Never Impress Me.

Partly that’s because I have a somewhat eccentric perspective on kitchen renovation: Unlike most people, I really don’t care if my appliances match, and I won’t spend extra for upscale unless I can see a clear utilitarian benefit. (Impressing visitors doesn't count as a utilitarian benefit.) The wall ovens, if we get them, will be the proletarian Samsung, not highbrow Wolf or Miele. The dishwasher that could get me to spend $2,000 would have to not only clean my plates, but also collect them from the dinner table, and stack them neatly in the cabinets when it was done.

OK, so maybe a nice melon baller instead.