URLs du Jour


Proverbs Chapter 29 continues to be a rich source of wisdom.

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
    when the wicked rule, the people groan.

Left as an exercise for the reader: what's the deal when some of the people are rejoicing, and some others are groaning? And some others, like me, doing both, depending? I might have to rethink that whole getting-wisdom-from-Proverbs thing.

  • Nebraska news via (once again) Dave Barry: "Nebraska flag flew upside down at Capitol for 10 days and 'nobody noticed'.

    I japed on Facebook that New Hampshire and Nebraska could swap state flags and pretty much nobody would notice:

    … but that's not quite fair; we're slightly more colorful.

    On the other hand, Nebraska shoehorned its state motto onto its flag. New Hampshire should do that, because our state motto is the best state motto.

    But the general point is: both flags are pretty easy to accidentally fly upside down, especially if the typical viewer is quite a long way away. Another approach is New Mexico's:

    There you go. Just try to fly that puppy upside down.

    Over to you, Dr. Cooper.

  • So the Super Bowl is tomorrow, and I'm kind of wishing for a "just show me the game" button on my remote. The Lady Gaga halftime show (talented as she is) promises to be tedious. (She promises a "unifying message", which nearly always has the subtext "on my terms".)

    In my dim memory, you could at least look forward to the commercials, which were often funny and clever. But this year? Well, there's an Audi commercial in support of "equal pay"; the heavy-handed symbolism of a kids' car race in which a plucky young heroine defeats the piggish boys, after which she and her dad triumphantly drive off in his Triumph Audi S8. At The Truth About Cars, Jack Baruth comments: "The Real Message Behind Audi’s Super Bowl Ad Isn’t Exactly An Uplifting One" You should really Read The Whole Thing: there's video, a scene-by-scene analysis, and an inescapable conclusion:

    At the end, what does this ad do? It just reinforces our natural biases. Poor is bad, rich is good, and most importantly, rich people deserve their fortune because they are inherently better than the rest of us. You might not like that message, but it’s been selling cars for a very long time. If Audi wanted to try some authentic activism, they might consider showing us an African-American man or woman who overcame a tough upbringing to become an actual customer, or perhaps a differently-abled person who’s achieved enough to buy himself an S8 as a reward for his hard work. But that’s not terribly aspirational, is it? Who wants to be those people? And, by the same token, who wouldn’t want to be that handsome father lifting his beautiful daughter out of someone else’s winning race car?

    Yes, fine. Just. Show. Me. The. Game.

  • Did the GOP just repeal the background check system or give guns to the mentally ill? At NR, Charles C. W. Cooke has the answer: "No, the GOP Did Not Just Repeal the Background Check System or Give Guns to the Mentally Ill". Charles reproduces various major media outlets' headline hyperventilation. But:

    [...] here’s the thing: None of them is true. Not at all. This was yet another sordid episode of The Press Is Having a Breakdown, coupled with a special installment of Celebrities Tweet Falsehoods Without Knowing It. Contrary to the AP’s suggestion, the background check system remains in place. Contrary to The Hill’s implication, the rule change in question did not repeal the limitations on the “severely mentally ill.” None of that happened.

    You might also want to follow up on this topic with Brian Doherty at Reason. His conclusion: "How a Never-Enforced Rule Being Voted Down by the House Got the World Fearing Gun Background Checks Were Dead and the Mentally Ill Could Buy Guns Willy-Nilly"

    Government sells itself, when questioned about its legitimacy, as necessary to keep us safe. It patently is unable to ever keep us safe from any given person meaning to do us harm in real time. When it pursues policies that disarm the innocent, especially the stigmatized innocent, with no reason to believe any larger good would arise from it, it's perfectly appropriate that Congress make the executive stop.

    Unfortunately, the media reaction to this story shows that too many Americans are ready to cheer the imposition of, and fear the removal of, policies that take away the core human right of self-defense for the most cliched or prejudiced reasons.

    You can't trust the media, Chapter MDCCXII.

  • This week, Jonah Goldberg's G-File contains:

    Anyway, what really gets my goat are coyotes. Which is why I have to keep buying new goats.

    There's a bunch of serious stuff too.