URLs du Jour

2022-02-23

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

  • Harsh but fair. Kyle Smith talks smack about the prez: No One Fears This Pathetic Old Geezer. Which would be fine, except about that whole Ukraine thing.

    Last June, ahead of a Russia–U.S. meeting, Time magazine conjured up a piece of embarrassing cover-art propaganda featuring Joe Biden’s aviator glasses reflecting Vladimir Putin. At last, a U.S. president had Putin in his sights! Finally we’d get back to putting Russia in its place.

    “How Biden Plans to Get Tough on Putin During Their Geneva Summit,” promised a breathless story by Brian Bennett. A senior administration official suggested Biden, despite the “chaos” that President Trump had supposedly unleashed in the world, would use a combination of unity talk — everyone in Europe was on the same page about Russia, supposedly — and thinly veiled threats about retaliatory cyberattacks to show Putin who’s boss. “The whole goal is to have [Putin] come away saying, ‘The Americans are onto us and have us encircled,’” the official told Bennett. The writer editorialized that, “Biden is qualified to lead the approach. He’s spent decades in debates on U.S.-Russian relations as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.” Whew, then.

    More at the link, mostly for NRPlus subscribers.


  • [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] Unfortunately, Jonah Goldberg already used "Liberal Fascism". But is it really that far off the mark? The WSJ editorialists on Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Tyranny.

    Modern liberals can hurtle from extravagant tolerance to suppression without batting an eye. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dramatizes the tendency.

    Mr. Trudeau’s new powers rely on defining the disruptive but peaceful truckers as a security threat akin to violent terrorists. His emergency law, a broad prohibition on public assemblies and even indirect support for them, ensnares tens of thousands of Canadians as “designated persons” whose assets must, per another of his new laws, be found and frozen by any financial institution, without due process or court supervision. There isn’t an appeals process in case of error, and so far 200 accounts are frozen.

    I get that the truckers and their trucks had to be removed. But it was a traffic problem, not a terrorism problem.


  • Follow the science! Eric Boehm reports the latest study that happens to fit my priors: Voting Out Incumbents Boosts Economic Growth, Decreases Corruption.

    Throwing the bums out is, for lack of a better word, good.

    "While other studies have focused on the benefits of democracy, which gives citizens the opportunity to remove incumbents from office, we focus on a different question: what happens when citizens seize this opportunity," write Benjamin Marx, Vincent Pons, and Vincent Rollet, in the National Bureau of Economic Research paper.  "Overall, we find that voting for change matters: electoral turnovers deliver improvements in country-level performance along many dimensions."

    Doesn't necessarily descend to the state level, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


  • True dat. I try not to post more than one link per day for any source, but Mr. Richard Wallace of Carlsbad, California is very pithy in his WSJ letter: Government Has No Shame.

    Regarding Daniel Henninger’s “The Super Bowl of Sin Taxes” (Wonder Land, Feb. 17): What is legalized is advertised. Billboards and TV commercials for the lottery, casinos and cannabis all promote self-destructive behavior. Governments shrink the odds of winning the lottery to increase the odds of a roll over with the gigantic buzz of a billion-dollar payout. The government has no shame. I work in financial services, where firms and professionals are fined and barred from the industry for actions not in the best interest of their clients. We should hold government to the same standard.

    Up here, the lottery folks have the worst advertisements. (In comparison, the state liquor stores are pretty quiet.) My modest proposal from a while back: if the odds against winning $X in a state-sponsored game of chance is N to one, then for every ad the state runs showing people gleefully winning $X, it must also run N ads showing people losing.