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June 29, 2015

This is simply a gem

Kevin D. Williamson still, yet again:

You have to credit the Left: Its strategy is deft. If you can make enough noise that sounds approximately like a moral crisis, then you can in effect create a moral crisis. Never mind that the underlying argument — “Something bad has happened to somebody else, and so you must give us something we want!” — is entirely specious; it is effective. In the wake of the financial crisis, we got all manner of “reform,” from student-lending practices to the mandates of Elizabeth Warren’s new pet bureaucracy, involving things that had nothing at all to do with the financial crisis. Democrats argued that decency compelled us to pass a tax increase in the wake of the crisis, though tax rates had nothing to do with it. A crisis is a crisis is a crisis, and if a meteor hits Ypsilanti tomorrow you can be sure that Debbie Stabenow will be calling for a $15 national minimum wage because of the plight of meteor victims.

Related: "Massacres and Magical Thinking".

"What are some examples of public policy and laws that produced totally unexpected results?"

I imagine this Quora discussion will get very, very long.

"Univ. of WI Releases List of Microaggressions; Saying 'Everyone can Succeed' Now Racist"

Not a joke, (Follow the link in the piece.)

I recommend enjoying skeptical commentary--while you still can:

James Lileks:

For example: the only reason Apple pulled the Civil War apps from the store was fear of the internet - specifically, fear of the worst part of the internet, where lack of reason is balanced by an excess of enthusiasm. No rational person would complain that there were Civil War sims. No sensible person would believe that society would be improved by demanding their removal. No emotionally stable person could think that they were safer now because someone, somewhere, would not get updates to a game they purchased that allowed them to fight as the Union Army but contained the sight of the Confederate flag. Anyone who would believe these things is tethered to reality by a frayed strand of dental floss, and while they may live in a comfy bubble where everyone believes the same things and has at least two friends who are doing very important work in the field of instructional graffiti, most people are stable enough to resist the siren call of the Stars and Bars, even in the form of a picture on a phone.

Ed Driscoll: "The phrase 'trigger warning' is now a trigger." (Also no joke.)

Jonah Goldberg:

Taken seriously, this new standard of anti-divisiveness would require cramming so many things down the memory hole it would be the functional equivalent of shoving a whole Thanksgiving turkey, uncooked, into the garbage disposal. Everywhere one looks, there are divisive things. The gay pride rainbow flag? Shvvvuuumph! Down the memory hole! Nazi memorabilia (still widely available at Amazon and Ebay)? Thwwwwwwwwwooosshh! Down the memory hole! Communist flags? Muslim Crescents? Christian Crucifixes? Stars of David (never mind Israeli flags)? Get ready for a long, grinding, thwarararammmmmfitang as the disciples of blackwhite thinking — and those who fear them — squeeze the polarizing bric-a-brac into the wheezing pneumatic tubery.

"U.S. Can't Import the Scandinavian Model"

Megan McArdle discusses a paper by Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson, and Thierry Verdier.

I'd just add that at least up until recently we were also essentially paying for the defense of those happy, happy Scandanavians.

June 28, 2015

"The Seychelles – Gangsta’s Paradise"

Amazing. Or maybe not.

"Millionaires Who Are Frugal When They Don’t Have to Be"

Interesting. Especially this bit:

One of the big choices was what they spent money on. A common thread was frugality about cars. Not only did they buy modestly priced vehicles, they kept them for a long time.

June 27, 2015

"Alternate Ledes For This Story About Jessica Springsteen, Showjumper"

Ha ha.

"The 11 most game-changing aircraft of the 21st century"

The Stratolaunch is . . . something.

Related: "Here's the most expensive weapons system ever and all of its ammunition in one photo".

June 26, 2015

"No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time, for all time."

Last week was the 50th anniversary of the recording of "Like a Rolling Stone".

(And to think it ranks only second in number of times, of his songs, played by Dylan. Guess what's first.)

"Broadway Casts Stage Airport Sing-off"

People with delayed departures from LaGuardia get an unexpected performance.

Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.

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