URLs du Jour


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Proverbs 24:3-4 is sweetly inspiring:

3 By wisdom a house is built,
    and through understanding it is established;
4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with rare and beautiful treasures.

It's interesting that the ancient Proverbialist found "wisdom", "understanding", and "knowledge" to be three separate qualities. No quibbles here.

■ A couple of people disrupted a "Shakespeare in the Park" presentation of "Julius Caesar", in which the stabbee JC was made to resemble Donald Trump. In how many ways was that wrong? Andrew Klavan knows: The Attack on 'Julius Caesar' Was Wrong in Every Way. Key paragraph:

Putting on a tasteless and ugly version of Shakespeare is not an injustice, not an outrage, not an act of war. It is speech — the very stuff we right wingers are fighting to keep free. This is more than a mere matter of law. The First Amendment, which protects us from anti-speech legislation, is not worth the crinkly brown paper it's written on if the values of free speech are not upheld in our hearts and minds.

Andrew's right. If libertarians/conservatives want to be better than their opponents… then they have to be better than their opponents. If you (1) agree, and (2) you want to get somewhat depressed, read the comments (536 as I type).

■ Paul A. Offit writing in the Daily Beast reminds us of How Rachel Carson Cost Millions of People Their Lives. You probably know this already, but it was not due to her somnolent science writing, but her strident crusade against DDT.

Since the mid 1970s, when DDT was eliminated from global eradication efforts, tens of millions of people have died from malaria unnecessarily: most have been children less than five years old. While it was reasonable to have banned DDT for agricultural use, it was unreasonable to have eliminated it from public health use.

Pseudo-scientific advocacy kills. Good to remember.

■ Joel Kotkin asks (and answers) the question in the Orange County Register: Is America now second-rate? Spoiler:

America is likely to remain the dominant country in the world — economically, culturally and technologically — for decades to come. Unlike Germany, China, Japan or Russia, its population will not be shrinking in 2050, and it enjoys both advanced technology and vast resources. Trump may damage our image in the world, but even his clumsiness will not be sufficient to undermine our continuing pre-eminence.

I'm a little more pessimistic, primarily because we can't seem to muster the will to get our fiscal house in order.

@kevinNR recounts Planned Parenthood’s Century of Brutality (from the print magazine). You might know the genesis of Planned Parenthood's genesis in the Progressive movement, but the details are chilling.

[T]he word “planned” in “Planned Parenthood” can be understood to function as it does in the other great progressive dream of the time: “planned economy.”

As Kevin shows, the eugenicist memes live on today.

■ At Cato, Jeffrey Miron has a headline that basically sums up how I feel about pols these days: “Everyone is Terrible”. But (specifically), he notes the terrible bipartisanship displayed in the push for new Federal drug legislation.

Much discussion assumes liberals are more libertarian-leaning on drug policy than conservatives. This is partly right; liberals are more likely to favor marijuana legalization, for example.

But many liberals endorse marijuana legalization because they view marijuana as relatively benign, not because of a principled stance for freedom or a consistent understanding that prohibition of any substance almost certainly causes more harm than good. Thus politicians across the spectrum are indeed “terrible” on drug policy.

Drugs are not "benign". But drug prohibition is worse.

Last Modified 2019-11-11 7:56 AM EST