Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, January 27, 2017

Three Things

1. The following gem comes from my five-year-old daughter, with whom I had just started playing "space ship" on a rainy Sunday, after my wife was called in to the hospital to diagnose a tropical disease: "I am in charge of telling you what to do."

2. Fellow Linux users take heed: "Look before you paste from a website to terminal." To see what the careless do, dump the apparently simple command at the link into an editor and inspect the code, then dump it into a terminal.

3. I enjoyed reading how economist Tyler Cowen selects restaurants, for both the insights and the entertainment:

When you enter a restaurant, you don't want to see expressions of disgust on the diners' faces, but you do want to see a certain seriousness of purpose. Pull out a mirror and try eating some really good food. How much are you smiling? Not as much as you might think. A small aside: in many restaurants, it is a propitious omen when the diners are screaming at each other. It's a sign they are regular customers and feel at home. Many Chinese restaurants are full of screaming Chinese patrons. Don't ask me if they're fighting, I have no idea -- but it is a sign that I want to be there too.
Interestingly, Cowen puts in a good word for restaurants in suburban strip shopping centers. Happy hunting for me!

Weekend Reading

"I believe that Donald Trump is, indeed, in this for himself." -- Michael Hurd, in "Trump Is Genuine, Which Is Why He Won" at Newsmax

"[I]t's not the escape that matters; it's what you're escaping." -- Michael Hurd, in "Healthy Escapes? Not So Much" at The Delaware Wave

"Allow yourself to live in the moment, while still managing the course of your life so you can guiltlessly savor the pleasures along the way." -- Michael Hurd, in "Be Successful AND Enjoy Life" at The Delaware Coast Press

"[The (once reputable) Southern Poverty Law Center] seeks [with its Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists] to smear, and thus silence, much needed, reasonable critics of the Islamist movement, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, by putting them alongside bigots and racists." -- Elan Journo, in "What's Behind the Blacklisting of 'Anti-Muslim Extremists'" at The Times of Israel

An Oldie, but a Goodie

Harry Binswanger may have written "'Buy American' Is Un-American" in 1992, but the public and our elected officals need its message more than ever:
Giving preference to American-made products over German or Japanese products is the same injustice as giving preference to products made by whites over those made by blacks. Economic nationalism, like racism, means judging men and their products by the group from which they come, not by merit.


The patriotic advocates of buying American would be shocked to learn that the economic theory underlying their viewpoint is Marxism. In describing the influx of Japanese products and investment, they don't use the Marxist terminology of "imperialism" and "exploitation," but the basic idea is the same: capitalistic acts are destructive and free markets will impoverish you. It's the same anti-capitalist nonsense whether it is used by leftists to attack the United States for its commerce with Latin America or by supposed patriots to attack Japan for its commerce with the United States.
Protectionism is both immoral and impractical, and I am very concerned about the financial consequences of any protectionistic measures Trump manages to put in place. Regardless of how "genuine" he may be, someone who means well can wreak lots of havoc through ignorance.

-- CAV

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