And It's Too Big To Fit in an Overhead Bin


[Baggage] I recommend clicking over for a big version.

Briefly noted:

  • Bjørn "Don't forget to slash the o" Lomborg has the cover story in the latest National Review: Life after Climate Change.

    Speaking sweet reason in paragraph one:

    The global discussion about climate change has become quite hysterical. Some 60 percent of people living in the rich world think it is likely to bring an end to humanity. This is not only untrue; it is also harmful, because fear makes people embrace bad policies and ignore many other urgent challenges facing the world. Consider, for example, how the World Health Organization declared climate change the defining public-health issue of the 21st century in 2014, but perhaps should have been more focused on pandemics, like Covid. Or take the World Economic Forum participants who in January 2020 found the greatest policy risk of the next ten years to be climate-action failure — ignoring the rapid spread of Covid. Or consider how development institutions increasingly focus on helping poor countries with climate-change responses, often at the expense of other things those countries urgently need, such as growth and development, stronger health-care systems, better education, and a more plentiful energy supply.

    It's behind the NR paywall. I'd suggest subscribing.

  • Our continuing series on the linguistic front, with Jeff Jacoby weighing in: Woke is easy to define. It's harder to fight..

    SOME PROGRESSIVE commentators have put on a show lately of being baffled by what Republicans or conservatives mean when they use the term "woke" or "wokeness" to refer to left-wing identity politics.

    A momentary brain freeze by a young conservative writer who stumbled when she was asked on camera to define the term unleashed an avalanche of mockery on the left. "Conservatives have no clue what 'woke' means — and they don't care" was the headline over a lengthy attack piece in the San Francisco Chronicle. Time magazine assured its readers that when Republicans criticize something for being "woke," they are actually sounding a racial dog whistle. A writer for The Hill wagged a finger at the "the GOP's misguided 'woke police,'" who, he claimed, deride progressive efforts to "confront problems like racism, poverty, environmental ruin, and climate change." The Washington Post's Philip Bump declared disdainfully that "'woke' simply describes anything that is inherently alarming to the right."

    In truth, "woke" isn't hard to define at all. In its most focused sense, it is the belief that America's social and political institutions are engines of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of persecution and that virtually all invidious gaps or distinctions between groups can be explained by such oppression. More broadly, it is the illiberal insistence that group identity and grievances trump freedom of thought and honest debate. In the woke zeitgeist, anyone who prioritizes traditional liberal values, such as merit or colorblindness, over "equity" — i.e., proportionately equal outcomes for every group, regardless of credentials, experience, or performance — is part of the oppressive hierarchy that needs to be demolished.

    There, that wasn't too difficult, was it?

  • At the Josiah Bartlett Center, Drew Cline is ready to ride and spread the alarm to every Hillsborough village and town: The rich folks are coming! The rich folks are coming!.

    Last November, Massachusetts voters approved a so-called “millionaire’s tax.” It raises the state income tax from 5% to 9% for incomes of $1 million or more, an 80% tax increase.

    Four months later, the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants is sounding an alarm.

    After surveying 270 member CPAs, the society in March released a paper titled “Massachusetts is Losing Residents and it’s Getting Worse: Can Tax Policy Changes Mitigate Outmigration?”

    Drew suggests that New Hampshire (further) encourage Mass Millionaires to jump the border by speeding up the phase-out of the Interest & Dividends Tax. I'm in favor!

  • Baseball's back, baby! And, judged by the first three games, the Red Sox are returning to their decades-old strategy of explosive offense and iffy pitching.

    And at Reason, Matt Welch celebrates The Expensive Nostalgia of 'Field of Dreams'.

    Ask a full-grown man why he's choking back tears at the mere mention of the 1989 baseball fable Field of Dreams, and he is almost certain to cite the film's famous final scene, in which 33-year-old Kevin Costner, voice at once hopefully boyish and soggy with the emotionalism of looming middle age, says to an anachronistically clad young ballplayer, "Hey, Dad? You wanna have a catch?"

    While technically the answer to a series of supernatural riddles—at the movie's outset, Costner's character, Ray Kinsella, hears a disembodied voice in his Iowa cornfield repeating If you build it, he will come, after which he irrationally constructs a ballpark—the baseball-mediated reconciliation between the son and a younger version of his father resonates with anyone carrying unresolved conflict with a parent, or shame over youthful hotheadedness, or just bucolic memory of childhood sport. There's a good reason that Field of Dreams is the third-highest-grossing baseball movie of all time (adjusted for inflation), and there's a good reason it remains the go-to source at live games for inspirational audiovisual clips.

    But there is another, more insidious piece of symbolism in that very same scene. As the camera pans out from the father-son reunion and into the twilit summer sky, we see a line of cars snaking in from miles around, fulfilling a prophecy delivered minutes before by the novelist character played by James Earl Jones: "People will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up in your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. 'Of course, we won't mind if you look around,' you'll say. 'It's only $20 per person.' They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it."

    Matt's essay is a masterful analysis of baseball cinema, baby-boomer nostalgia, and (it's Reason) government subsidies to billionaires.

    In other news (by the way), Axios notes: the Boston Red Sox have the priciest games to attend in the league. Their estimate for "4 average-priced adult tickets, parking for 1 car, 2 hats, 2 beers, 4 sodas and 4 hot dogs" runs to $385.

    Might be fun to splurge, though. StubHub is offering one ticket on the Green Monster for $244 for tonight's game. I could take the bus down to South Station, catch the T to Fenway, forget the hot dogs and beer,…

Last Modified 2024-01-30 6:11 AM EDT