■ We interrupt our usual Getty/Flickr embed for Michael P. Ramirez on Veterans Day
None of this bogus "Veterans Day (Observed)" stuff for Pun Salad.
■ I want to like Proverbs 19:24, but …
24 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not even bring it back to his mouth!
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written about the
unfolding corruption of conservatism these last few years, but
the events of the last 24 hours have shocked me about how deep
the rot goes. Forget the people who refuse to even give the
heavily sourced and corroborated Washington Post
account a fair reading on the tired and predictable pretense
that inconvenient facts are simply proof of the conspiracy
against them. What galls and astounds me are the supposedly
conservative public figures arguing that even if it’s true that
Moore molested a 14-year-old girl, it doesn’t matter because,
well, because the Bible said it was okay or Democrats are
eeeeevil or it was a long time ago. At least Roy Moore admits
that the allegation is serious and has denied it.
Bless my heart, I assumed that people who are so much more sanctimonious and preachy than I am would be able to draw a line at plying 14-year-old girls with booze and molesting them, particularly when the guy they’re defending won’t even defend the behavior himself. You’d think this would be the Colonel Nicholson moment where, like Alec Guinness in Bridge on the River Kwai, they would mutter to themselves, “My God, what have I done?” and collapse to the ground.
But no. They’d rather be more pro-kid-touching than the alleged kid-toucher himself.
At least Colonel Nicholson (spoiler) managed to blow up the bridge and take out the train. That didn't stop Major Clipton from observing, semi-coherently, "Madness! Madness!" What can we say to top that?
■ Clyde Wayne Crews writes at CEI on The Significance of Sen. Al Franken's Call to Impose Net Neutrality on Google, Facebook and Amazon.
In a recent speech at an Open Markets Institute panel session called "Are Tech Giants Too Big For American Democracy?" Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) had a surprise for big tech.
Not only does the Senator want to preserve government oversight over information flows in the form of regulated "net neutrality" for Internet service providers (the rules that Federal Communications Commission under Ajit Pai wishes to roll back); Franken also wants to extend the neutrality concept to content companies.
As we observed yesterday: for regulation-lovers it's real easy for "more" to become "never enough". The Road to Serfdom is slippery, and once you're on it, brakes can be ineffective.
■ Speaking of the Road to Serfdom thing, over at Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux reacts to news that the US citrus industry is looking to undo a USDA rule that allows importing lemons from Argentina: Lemonessence.
Protectionists are masters at frightening economically uninformed
people with far-fetched hypotheticals. ‘What if all of our farmers
go bankrupt and we are then left at the mercy of our military
enemies to supply us with food? Do you want to risk that outcome?!’
– is the sort of absurd ‘argument’ that protectionists mistake for
serious argument. This sort of precautionary-principle argument is
prevalent when protectionists are trying to persuade people to allow
the government to restrict their – the people’s – access to goods
But the true essence of protectionism is captured nicely by this headline about Argentine lemon imports. No one with any sense can possibly interpret this demand by the U.S. citrus industry as reflecting anything other than an attempt to pick the pockets of consumers by denying to consumers access to imported lemons.
The masks keep slipping, but…
■ It's not just lemons, but also aluminum foil. Virginia Postrel makes the (obvious) point that Aluminum-Foil Duties Won't Make America Great.
Aluminum foil wraps burritos, physics equipment and the highlighted
tresses of hair-salon customers. It forms flexible ducts and lasagna
pans, lines cigarette packs and fast-food sandwich wrappers. It
hides between layers of film in flexible packaging. It protects
aspirin bottles from tampering, petri dishes from light and tractor
engines from overheating. It tops yogurt cups and peanut cans. It
backs blister packs of antihistamines, antacids and birth-control
pills. It goes into automotive parts and air-conditioning
U.S. manufacturers rely on aluminum foil. So do nail salons, building contractors and bakeries.
To the Trump administration, however, none of these businesses—or their employees—matter as much as a couple of domestic aluminum makers. Disregarding the ripple effects, the Commerce Department has said it will impose preliminary duties of 97 percent to 162 percent on the Chinese imports that supply much of the U.S. market with thin aluminum foil. That’s likely to have much more far-reaching effects on U.S. companies than the minor deals President Donald Trump announced on his trip to China.
So: get ready to pay more for nearly everything. Thanks to President Trump.
■ Like many, I am a Lee Child fan, and I was aware "Lee Child" is a pen name. This WSJ article has (among other things) a cute story of the name's origin: Lee Child Was Saved by the Beatles in Gray Britain. And I'll yank it from behind the WSJ paywall. The story involves his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Jane:
One night we went into the city by train to see a show. On our way
back, we had to sit in separate seats. The guy next to me heard my
accent and told me he owned a European car—Le Car by Renault. Except
he pronounced it “ Lee Car. ”
Later, I told Jane, and we began using it as an inside joke for everything—lee table, lee chair and so on.
When our daughter Ruth was born in 1980, we called her Lee Child. That seemed like a perfect pen name.
Someday, we'll probably read how Jane asked him to fetch sugar from a high shelf, and he replied "Sure, I'll be your Sugar Reacher."