Fight Big Cow!

Via Reason Roundup, a pretty funny advocacy ad, featuring the bewitching Aubrey Plaza:


Aubrey Plaza is the latest soldier in the ongoing labeling wars over alt milks. The actress stars in a new satirical ad campaign in which she encourages people to buy disgusting (fictional) "wood milk" instead of the standard dairy variety. At least, that is, until she tastes it.

"Is wood milk real? Absolutely not. Only real milk is real," she says.

The ad, funded by milk processors, is a clear swipe at milks made from almonds, soy, and oats. While funny, it's also part of a broader regulatory campaign by the dairy industry to prevent alternative milk makers from using the word milk on their packaging. The Food and Drug Administration issued new rules in February allowing these non-dairy milk producers to use the word milk while also encouraging them to include nutritional comparisons between their products and the dairy variety.

I suppose I have to come down on one side or another? Please imagine I have some boilerplate here about a politically powerful industry waging war against competitors by enlisting the iron fist of regulatory agencies.

Still: funny ad.

Briefly noted:

  • And it's gonna be awesome. Kevin D. Williamson is gloomy about the prospects of the citizens of the richest countries on earth freezing to death in the dark: Winter Is Coming.

    Europe dodged a bullet this past winter, as a combination of factors—unusually mild weather (thanks, global warming!), reasonably nimble policy realism, and shiploads of liquified natural gas from the United States—went a long way toward counteracting the effects of Vladimir Putin’s energy war on Ukraine’s allies in the European Union. Only a few months ago, European governments from France to Finland were warning their citizens about the possibility of rolling winter blackouts. In Germany—home to what is arguably the world’s most technologically advanced manufacturing economy—people worried about blackouts sent candle sales soaring, while public-broadcasting stations spent months warning their listeners against building makeshift ovens to heat their homes.

    The specter of the people of Germany—makers of Leica cameras and Siemens locomotives—shivering in the dark was scandalous even if averted. It was and is a scandal because the reliance of Germany on Russian gas exports was neither accidental nor inevitable. Neither was the vulnerability of the energy markets in much of the rest of Europe. The winter of 2022-23 has passed, but European energy vulnerability remains a problem, and it is a problem that was made not in Moscow but in Brussels and in European capitals from Amsterdam to Zagreb.

    KDW makes a point about the mindset of the folks in charge:

    As I observed at the U. N. climate conference in Glasgow, European policymakers and intellectual leaders are in thrall to a phenomenon that is somewhere between a fad and a religious revival—consulting spiritual gurus, conducting indigenous rituals, and speaking in reverential tones about “net zero.” This is not strictly related to the question of how serious a challenge you believe climate change to be: I myself believe that climate change is a serious threat, and, more consequentially, so do the people at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Net zero calls for a prelapsarian state in which “all GHG emissions”—that’s “greenhouse-gas” emissions—“released by human activities are counterbalanced by removing GHGs from the atmosphere,” as the World Resources Institute puts it. That net zero should be our shared goal is taken as something like an article of faith—but why? The IPCC estimates that a reduction in GHG emissions somewhere between 43 percent and 45 percent is needed to keep global warming to about 1.5°C, the stated goal of the Paris Agreement. That would be a very big deal, indeed, but nothing like what it would take to achieve net zero—and it is the absolutism and finality of that zero that demonstrates that you are dealing with ideology run amok or a quasi-mystical mania rather than responsible policymaking.

    Gimme that old-time religion. The one where you actually attend a church, instead of jetting into a "climate conference in Glasgow".

  • Mystery solved. Wilfred Reilly explores Why Woke Companies Deliberately Alienate Their Consumers. After noting the recent example of Anheuser-Busch wiping "$5-6 Billion" off its market capitalization…

    [Amazon Link]
    (paid link)

    As is so often the case, the great Thomas Sowell provides a murky path with some illumination. In an entertaining and now-classic book, The Vision of the Anointed, Sowell makes the point that many members of the Western ruling class — including professors, media figures, politicians, and senior business executives — no longer like or understand the people that they are expected to lead. Almost universally, such would-be lairds are upper-middle or upper class in background, from the two coasts or at least one of the megacities around the Great Lakes, educated at elite Ivy-on-down universities, and well-versed in trendy social theory (“My preferred pronouns are . . .”).

    Sowell claims, using a great deal of empirical data, that these folx tend to think of other Americans not as peers and countrymen so much as “the benighted” — and other more modern synonyms come easily to mind: “deplorables,” “bitter clingers” from “flyover land.” In Anointed/Benighted discourse, the goal of the Anointed isn’t an honest exchange of views so much as teaching the Benighted what the new truth is: changing and broadening their provincial little minds. It’s hard not to see a great deal of this dynamic specifically in the Dylan Mulvaney case — the executive responsible for that hire was the first female SVP ever to run the Bud Light brand, and she brutally condemned it as “fratty” and in need of some seasoning in a now-viral podcast interview.

    Sowell's book available at Amazon via link to your right.

  • Like "social" in "social justice"… the modifier "common good" in "common good capitalism" should be understood to mean "not really". Donald J. Boudreaux describes Some Factual and Economic Errors of “Common Good Capitalism”.

    If all that “common good capitalism” means is capitalism as understood and championed over the past 250 years by liberal scholars such as Adam Smith and Frédéric Bastiat through F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and, today, Thomas Sowell and Deirdre McCloskey, then giving it this new name serves no good purpose. This new appellation only confuses, as it suggests that (what I’ll call) “true capitalism” not only doesn’t promote the common good, but also is believed by its champions not to do so. Yet the scholars named here, along with other advocates of true capitalism (including me), do indeed believe that true capitalism promotes the common good. And to back our case, we’ve got lots of sound theory and solid evidence.

    Of course, “common good capitalism” does differ, categorically, from true capitalism. For starters — and the subject of this column — arguments for “common good capitalism” are chock-a-block both with factual errors and faulty economic reasoning of a sort not found in arguments for true capitalism. Second — and the subject of my next column — unlike true capitalism, “common good capitalism” is rooted in a rejection of liberalism. But true capitalism and liberalism are inseparable from each other. Capitalism can no more be divorced from liberalism than Judaism or Christianity can be divorced from belief in God, or than science can be divorced from an openness to the discovery of new knowledge.

    Professor Boudreaux details the "factual errors and faulty economic reasoning" in what follows. Convincingly.

  • It's a good gig. I'm pretty sure I've never, ever, watched Tucker Carlson. But Jeff Maurer notes an opportunity for aspiring actors: The Tucker Carlson Role Just Opened Up.

    Actor Winston Beefo has announced that he will no longer portray his beloved “Tucker Carlson” character, effective immediately. Beefo had portrayed Carlson across three decades, with the character evolving from a button-down conservative to a race-baiting populist in the mold of Archie Bunker. Fox News did not immediately announce plans to recast the role, though the blockbuster ratings for Perpetual Outrage Tonight with Tucker Carlson — consistently the highest-rated show on cable news — suggest that Fox will be hesitant to abandon the character.

    We need someone who can summon the spirit of Peter Finch playing Howard Beale on Network. A movie that's nearly half a century old, by the way.

Last Modified 2024-01-13 1:00 PM EDT