URLs du Jour


■ I have to say Proverbs 25:18 is not one of the Proverbialist's best efforts:

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
    is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.

Yeah, it's like this thing … or that thing … or this other thing…

Worse, it's not as if this wasn't already covered earlier in the Bible.

Anyway, don't do that. I'm looking at you, Comey.

■ I am Facebook friends with people who like to post political stuff, and one pronounced herself "very excited" about this: Caroline Kennedy Just Announced Her Plan To FIGHT Donald Trump And It’s Brilliant.

Well, no. You can click over if you want, it's to a site called "Proud Democrats", which (despite its name) seems to be a one-man operation run by a guy named "Mike Stone". That's the byline on everything, anyway.

And (it turns out) just about everything in that headline is wrong. There's a link to this NYPost story that doesn't have an "announcement" from Sweet Caroline, but instead quotes "Kennedy insiders", "a source", and "another close source", and… well, you get the idea.

But her plan, whether she announced it or not, well, that's brilliant, right? Again, no. The "plan" is to (a) write a memoir; (b) maybe run for the Senate, or maybe something else, in New York. (The "sources declined to reveal Kennedy’s precise political plans".)

The "Proud Democrats" transform this anonymous and vague yarn into a certainty: "Kennedy is planning to run for the U.S. senate in 2018. Bold in original. They're so excited!

But there's nothing in there about FIGHTING Donald Trump. And her alleged candidacy would presumably involve replacing current NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, another Democrat.

And my reaction remains the same as the one I quoted from Sean Higgins back in 2008, when Caroline flamed out in her effort to be appointed to the same Senate seat: the one Hillary was vacating to be Obama's Secretary of State:

Dear 'Boomers,

What the hell is it with you and the Kennedy clan? Why do you adore that family so? You have a devotion to them normally only seen in teenage girls for the boy band of the moment. For the love of God, why?

■ Although the people at Reason are enthusiastic about it, pilot Philip Greenspun is less so: King Donald’s Privatized Air Traffic Control System.

[…] It can cost the U.S. 5-10X as much to do anything involving the government, whether run by the government itself or run by a crony (“privatized”), compared to what other countries spend (see New Yorker, for example). We would be bankrupt if we tried to operate a huge subway system that runs every minute like they do in Moscow, for example. We spend 4X as much, as a percentage of GDP, as Singapore on health care. Any argument of the form “people in Country X can do Y” is irrelevant, in my opinion, unless the plan is to import people from Country X to run Y here in the U.S.

Phil argues for trying things out in Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico first, "giving those three disconnected airspaces to different organizations." Interesting.

■ The WSJ reports what University employees suspected already: Many Colleges Fail to Improve Critical-Thinking Skills.

Freshmen and seniors at about 200 colleges across the U.S. take a little-known test every year to measure how much better they get at learning to think. The results are discouraging.

At more than half of schools, at least a third of seniors were unable to make a cohesive argument, assess the quality of evidence in a document or interpret data in a table, The Wall Street Journal found after reviewing the latest results from dozens of public colleges and universities that gave the exam between 2013 and 2016.

But, for Granite Staters, guess what? The school that did the best job of improving thinking skills was (ta-da!) Plymouth State. Woo!