Saturday, December 31, 2016

Some Stuff (Nonsense Already Provided)

-- An intriguing article at The Economist examines the practice and power of silence in our daily lives. The sub-headline reads "Where, how and why to be quiet," and there is a nod to Mark Twain's advice about remaining silent so as to leave some question about one's own foolishness. It might seem churlish to note Twain picked up the idea from scripture (Proverbs 17:28) except that the notice is in a sentence about what Ignatius of Antioch told the early Christians at Ephesus. And a number of other answers to the where how and why to be quiet direction apply, of course. Such as, "When your name is John Kerry." Or, "When your name is Bill O'Reilly."

-- Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek offers a possible silver lining to the looming Trump presidency in a comment on a Kevin Williamson article from National Review. Williamson writes about the way modern government seems to have given our presidents more of the trappings of the kings and such we supposedly wanted no part of. Boudreaux suggests that someone as completely oafish, incompetent, narcissistic and immature as Trump will push us to pay more attention to the man behind the curtain than to the Great and Powerful Oz. Hmm, we may say. The presidency is obviously a hard job, but if that moron can win it then it can't be all that special. I'm skeptically hopeful. Demonstrated displays of petty incompetence haven't thrown people off their love for government so far, especially when they're playing the role of Paul and someone else is saddled with the part of Peter.

-- Charles over at Dustbury calls attention to an article that highlights how the Environmental Protection Agency may declare Fairbanks Alaska in serious noncompliance with clean air regulations, as a way of getting them to try to reduce their use of burned wood to heat their homes and such. Richer people have access to gas and oil heating systems, but poorer folks not so much, so they burn a lot of wood in order to not die. I've not been super-thrilled with Scott Pruitt as our State Attorney General, surely, and I think that the belief that he will "destroy" the EPA is some serious falling-sky alarmism. But on the other hand, maybe some destructin' is called for...

-- Our midnight stroke will flip our calendar page and make 2016 into 2017, and I certainly hope it is a good one for you. Blogger's stat platform gives at best a fuzzy picture of how many readers I have, so I have no idea how many of you there are, but if I have offered you either entertainment, sleep aid or removed the need for you to take fludrocortisone, then I am glad to have been of assistance and grateful for your time.

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