Never B♯. Never B♭. Always B♮.

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When the article's author is Kevin D. Williamson, and the article's headline is Five Words of Wisdom … attention must be paid.

If you have ever spent any time around one of the more demonstrative forms of Christianity, you may have noticed that it is very, very rare for someone to walk up the aisle and tearfully prostrate himself before the altar because his life is going so well. It’s the desperate times of life that more reliably bring us to our knees (or all the way down). Because politics has to a shocking extent supplanted the role of religion in American life—including in many institutions that think of themselves as Christian churches—one can see the same phenomenon at work in the political realm. Ecstatic politics requires a crisis; gratitude is not a powerful enough emotion—what is required is terror, or at least its 2 percent, half-caff version, anxiety

That is why we are engaged in all this preposterous talk about how poorly the U.S. economy is doing when the opposite is the case: The U.S. economy is a remarkable, stupendous, world-beating success story. We should take a second to appreciate that fact and how it came to be.

Now those five words of wisdom show up eventually, but no spoilers here. (Warning: one of them is unsuitable for … oh, heck, I've been hearing it in Season 3 Picard episodes, so who knows where it's unsuitable? Sunday Mass, maybe?)

And I'm not sure how likely it is that the USA will follow those words.

And today's headline is words of wisdom from Bobbi Jeanine, Lily Tomlin's Vegas airport lounge singer. (It's better with her organ accompaniment.)

Briefly noted:

  • Noah Rothman looks at one recent attempt to avoid taking KDW's words of wisdom: Mortgage Subsidizing: Democrats’ Atrocious Attack on Personal Responsibility. After a brief history lesson about the 2009 Obama mortgage bailouts…

    Once again, the administration is prepared to “subsidize the losers’ mortgages,” so to speak, and not in any effort to save the economy or help Americans avoid destitution. The Biden administration’s only goal is to purchase the loyalty of prospective homebuyers who are locked out of the property market by high real-estate prices and rising interest rates — rising interest rates necessitated, in part, by the administration’s reckless spending. And Americans who did everything right are going to suffer, perversely enough, because they did everything right.

    The administration is set to enforce a new rule that will compel potential homebuyers who spent their lives paying their bills on time and building good credit scores to pay more for their mortgages. Why? To subsidize the loans assumed by higher-risk borrowers. Beginning May 1, prospective homeowners with a credit rating of 680 or more “will pay, for example, about $40 per month more on a home loan of $400,000,” the Washington Times reported this week. “Homebuyers who make down payments of 15% to 20% will get socked with the largest fees.”

    Need more words of wisdom? We've used these before: "Look Around the Poker Table; If You Can’t See the Sucker, You’re It."

  • David Harsanyi takes a look at a different Atrocious Attack: Bill Lee's Red Flag Proposal Is An Unconstitutional Travesty.

    Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is asking lawmakers to support “new legislation that would temporarily block someone who is deemed a threat to themselves or to others from having guns,” writes Axios.

    That’s one way of putting it.

    Another, more precise, way would be to say Lee supports a law that forces people accused of a precrime to sit down with state-appointed psychiatrists and lawyers and prove their innocence before the government decides if they can keep their guns. If that person says the wrong things, cops can show up at his home, search it, demand the accused hand over his property — not just any property, but property explicitly protected by the Constitution — without offering any evidence that he’s committed, or ever planned to commit, a crime.

    It's a "do something" response to last month's horrific Nashville murders. But, Harsanyi notes, "as far as we know, nothing in Lee’s proposal would have stopped that shooter."

  • George Will considers recent legal doings: Fox News behaved egregiously, but the settlement was good for the law.

    Before Fox News’s agreeing to pay Dominion $787.5 million, the voting machine company had received redundant, well-publicized vindications of its probity: Fox News never ventured onto the thin ice of arguing that it ever had even a smidgen of evidence to support what was said by the Dominion detractors — Trump lawyers and a pillow-hawking acolyte — to whom Fox News gave abundant airtime. (My Pillow’s Mike Lindell to Tucker Carlson, Jan. 26, 2021: “I have the evidence … I dare Dominion to sue me because then it will get out faster … they don’t want to talk about it.” Carlson: “No they don’t.”)

    Certain local websites should be happy that they're too low-profile for Dominion Voting Systems to go after them in court.

  • I don't often quote Letters to the Editors, but John Gimmy of Chesapeake City, MD seems to have war-gamed a likely scenario for Social Security "reform":

    Does anyone really believe that in 10 years Congress will stand by and do nothing when Social Security benefits are set to be cut by 23%? (“The Biden-Trump Plan to Cut Social Security” by David McIntosh, op-ed, April 14). Of course not. Congress will legislate a fix. But what kind of fix?

    If you follow the debate, Republicans favor structural changes such as raising the retirement age and tweaking benefit formulas, while Democrats favor raising taxes. But structural changes need time to have a meaningful effect on the program’s finances. So, if we delay for 10 years, structural changes will no longer be able to fix the immediate problem and Congress will be forced to enact sizable tax increases. The Democrats seem to have realized that all they need to do is stall, and in the end they get what they want. Why can’t Republicans see this?

    Answer to John's final question: I believe it has something to do with being the stupid party.

  • PC mag's Neil J. Rubenking provides a Warning: Don't Let Google Manage Your Passwords.

    Password management programs have been around since the '90s, and the major browsers added password management as a built-in feature in the early 2000s. Ever since then, we at PCMag have advised getting your passwords out of insecure browser storage and into a proper, well-protected password manager. Back then, we could point to password managers that would extract passwords from your browser, delete them from the browser, and turn off further browser-based password capture. That sure doesn’t sound safe!

    Thankfully, browsers have made progress and no longer leave your passwords quite so open to external manipulation. If you want to switch to a dedicated password manager, for instance, you’ll probably have to actively export passwords from the browser and import them into your new product.

    But have browsers made enough progress than we can recommend storing your passwords in them? Specifically, should you use Google Password Manager, which is conveniently built right into Chrome? According to experts, the answer remains a resounding no.

    And it just so happens that the "experts" Rubenking is relying on are "from several well-known commercial password manager companies".

    Hm. See the article comments. Some of them are pretty insightful about the ethics issues here.

    For the record, I use the Chrome browser, and I use its Password Manager. But only for sites I consider to be low-impact: no banks, credit card companies, or the tax people, for example.

    For those critical-to-high impact sites, I store passwords in GPG-encrypted files on a virtual Linux guest on my Windows desktop. This is, I think, pretty secure. I might get around to posting the gory details in the geekery section someday.

Last Modified 2024-01-13 12:59 PM EDT