Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ideas, Good and Otherwise

Eight-two years ago today the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah voted to ratify the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Those votes satisfied the constitutional requirement to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment and put an end to Prohibition.

The repeal didn't actually take effect officially for another ten days, but Americans being Americans, we didn't wait for that formality. Nor should we do so now. The date worth celebrating is the date of repeal, after all.

For my own part, I plan to celebrate with a handful of close friends...

We go WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back together...

"You are NOT going to drink all of that in one day!"
Probably not...but it is tempting...

*If you're not Irish, read this.

Speaking of Galactically Stupid Ideas...

U.S. Headquarters for mindless progressive rhetoric

There is an entirely regrettable tendency on the part of most people to frame atrocities like the recent terrorist shooting in San Bernardino in such a way as to fit it into a political worldview. It might not be logical, or even decent, but most of us still do it anyway.

And sometimes, people use such events as an opportunity to advocate for ideas every bit as silly and pointless as Prohibition was.

Today The New York Times is running an editorial on the front page for the first time since 1920. Here is a brief list of historical events that did not warrant a front-page Times editorial: the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Great Depression, repeal of Prohibition, Pearl Harbor, The Holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, VE and VJ Days, the Korean War, Brown v. Board of Education, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK, Martin Luther King, and RFK assassinations, Apollo 11 putting men on the moon, Vietnam, Roe v. Wade, Watergate, Nixon's resignation, the Iranian hostage crisis, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 9/11 terror attacks, the election of America's first black president, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

What, then, did the editorial board at the Times think was important enough to warrant a front-page editorial for the first time in nearly 100 years?

That's right, sports fans, The New York Times' response to the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11 is...a front-page editorial calling for gun bans and confiscation. And not a very well-written one at that.

Never mind, of course, that gun crime has been trending steadily downwards for two decades, in spite of significant increases in gun ownership. Never mind that the sort of weapons the Times wants to ban are almost never used to commit crimes (0.025 percent of all homicides). Never mind that the "gun epidemic" narrative is completely invented.

Of course, calling for such "common sense" measures is just low-hanging fruit for progressives. It doesn't really even matter to them that the last such law accomplished precisely nothing (even according to its original advocates). They know that getting a piece of legislation like that enacted again would be...

"What's up?"

...the camel's nose. The know that what they really seek (a disarmed American populace) would spark a civil war if they attempted it directly, so they hope to accomplish that end piecemeal.

It will never work, and deep down the editorial board at the Times probably knows that. So grand gestures like their front-page editorial are just a form of virtue signaling, in the end. They're just posturing to impress their core readership, who will nod their heads in agreement as they read this drivel.

Thank God we are not governed by the editorial board of The New York Times, or by the folks who treat it as some sort of oracle of truth and righteousness. And take time to savor the irony of the Times coming out for such a dumb idea on the anniversary of the repeal of a similarly dumb idea.

"You spend a lot of time 'savoring irony,' do you know that?"
It's a pleasant

Election Returns

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read daily, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Like many traditional Christmas carols, "Angels We Have Heard On High" as we know it in America today is an amalgam of earlier versions, some of which are still preferred in other countries. The lyrics of the original French carol were translated into English in 1862 by Roman Catholic Bishop James Chadwick. The popular carol as we enjoy it nowadays set those English lyrics to the hymn tune "Gloria," written by the 20th century American organist Edward Shippen Barnes.

Today's send-off is a transcendent performance of the song by The Piano Guys, joined by singers Peter Hollens and David Archuleta, and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, from the group's 2013 Billboard No. 1 album A Family Christmas. There is also a special message from cellist Steven Sharp Nelson at the end that you shouldn't miss. Enjoy...

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