URLs du Jour


■ Proverbs is very rough on fools, mockers, liars, and gossips. And let us not forget slackers. Proverbs 18:9 lets loose:

9 One who is slack in his work
    is brother to one who destroys.

Back to work, lazybones. The Proverbialist is on the side of Management, Owners, and other Fat Cats.

■ A traditional joy of the Christmas season comes around once more: Dave Barry’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide! A sample, if you haven't clicked over already:

There are many things wrong with today’s young people. They pay extra for jeans that look like they have been attacked by rabid moths. They stick metal things through their noses. They constantly take pictures of themselves. They call people “salty.” They live with their parents until age 37. The list of their flaws is endless. But without question one of the worst things about young people is their hideous taste in music, what with their “rap” tunes and their “hard metal.”

If you have a musically misguided young person on your holiday list, we have the perfect gift for him or her: The Barry Manilow Coloring Book. We got it from the official website of Barry Manilow, and it is everything you’d hope it would be, assuming you’d hope it would be a book of photographs of Barry Manilow that have been converted to faded line art so you can sort of color them in.

Imagine the look on some lucky young person’s face when he or she unwraps this item, along with a pack of crayons (not included) and you say, quote: “If you think this Barry Manilow coloring book is exciting, just wait until you hear his music!” Then you turn on your stereo system (not included) and the room fills with the scintillating sounds of “Copacabana” or one of the many other Barry Manilow hits from the past two centuries. Pretty soon that young person will develop an appreciation for good music. Either that, or that young person will move out of your house. Either way is good.

Should you need a link to the Official Website of Barry Manilow, it's at the link, pervert.

I don't want to overstate things, but everything that has gone wrong in the USA since 2005 is due to Dave's retirement from writing his regular humor column.

■ At Reason, Ronald Bailey asks the question: How Concerned Should You Be About Species Extinction? And the answer may be: not very. He quotes from a WaPo op-ed from George Washington University biologist R. Alexander Pyron:

Developed human societies can exist and function in harmony with diverse natural communities, even if those communities are less diverse than they were before humanity. For instance, there is almost no original forest in the eastern United States. Nearly every square inch was clear-cut for timber by the turn of the 20th century. The verdant wilderness we see now in the Catskills, Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains has all grown back in the past 100 years or so, with very few extinctions or permanent losses of biodiversity (14 total east of the Mississippi River, counting species recorded in history that are now apparently extinct), even as the population of our country has quadrupled. Japan is one of the most densely populated and densely forested nations in the world. A model like that can serve a large portion of the planet, while letting humanity grow and shape its own future.

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and Doomsayers gotta doomsay.

Up here in New Hampshire, it's a very common sight walking in the woods: rock walls snaking through the trees, built back when the forest was a farm.

■ It's a recycled G-File from @JonahNRO this week, but it's a goodie, especially for being written in the "back parking lot of a random Ramada in Williamsburg, Va." When We Say ‘Conservative,’ We Mean… Especially on Thanksgiving weekend, I appreciated this:

Gratitude captures so much of what conservatism is about because it highlights the philosophical difference between (American) conservatism and its foes on the left (and some of its friends among the libertarian camp). The yardstick against which human progress is measured shouldn’t be the sentiments and yearnings that define some unattainable utopian future, but the knowable and real facts of our common past.


Gratitude is just one facet of love, which is why conservatism is so inextricably bound up in patriotism. To be patriotic, one must love one’s country for what it is, not what it can be if only the right people are put in charge and allowed to “fundamentally transform” it. We love people for what they are, not what they could be. If you think you love someone or something not for what it is but solely for what it could be, that’s not love, it’s lust.

Jonah Goldberg is one of the reasons I don't consider my political philosophy to be full-fledged libertarianism, but rather a quantum superposition of libertarianism and conservatism. You, and I, never know where we're gonna come down on an issue until my wave function collapses.

■ Paul Mirengoff of Power Line demurs from the self-backpatting WaPo motto "Democracy Dies in Darkness". In fact, he contends, Darkness lives at the Washington Post.

Janell Ross covers “race” for the Washington Post. Judging by this article, she does so stupidly and less than honestly.

Ross is also a left-wing activist. This would not distinguish her from many of her Post colleagues except for the fact that she recently sat on a panel at a secret meeting of Democrats during which she offered strategic advice.

As Instapundit says (a lot): "Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and their omertàs all make sense."

■ It's the 75th anniversary of a wonderful movie, and the WSJ celebrates it with [possibly paywalled]: We’ll Always Have ‘Casablanca’. Surprisingly, the filming was not smooth:

On screen, the warm translucent sensuality of Ingrid Bergman perfectly complemented the dark, brusque Bogart—but off-screen they didn’t click. Unhappy in a foundering marriage, he kept to himself during filming and drank heavily. A veteran film crook, he was uncomfortable in love scenes: “I don’t do it very well.”

“I kissed him but I never knew him,” Bergman said. She thought her film-husband Paul Henreid a prima donna. During filming she was eagerly looking beyond, to a role in an ambitious—and now forgotten—film of Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” with Gary Cooper, who at 6 feet 3 inches tall would give her a co-star to look up to. She was noticeably taller than Bogart, an awkward disparity disguised by shoe lifts and camera angles. They never worked together again.

The writer, Robert Garnett, assures us that the movie's "plot groans with inconsistencies and absurdities." That may be true. Oh, heck, I assume it's true. But great movies make you believe.