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Gus Van Horn blog

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Gus Van Horn blog last won the day on March 1

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  1. Rich Lowry ably dissects the latest blatantly dishonest left-wing attack on Ron DeSantis, a 60 Minutes hit piece about his plan to work with the state's most popular grocery chain to help distribute Covid vaccines. We do need someone who fights back, but we don't need another strongman. The media won't help us know the difference, because they'll label either as "combative." (Image by Hermes Rivera, via Unsplash, license.) Florida turned to the widely popular Publix chain because, as Florida's emergency management director (a Democrat) explained, other pharmacies weren't ready to start dis
  2. In a recent episode of his show, Yaron Brook commented on an Ezra Klein piece, titled, "Why California Is Making Progressive Democrats Squirm." Brook's consideration of the problem highlighted by the subtitle is worthwhile. The subtitle? "If liberal policies cannot work here, why should the country believe it can work anywhere else?" I finally got around the reading the piece myself a day or so ago, and I see another, related problem, this one highlighted by the fact that Klein nowhere questions his own political views. This is the same problem we see nationwide, particularly in the states
  3. Four Things Since my daughter doodles and draws a lot, I have to watch out for random artwork whenever I declutter the living room. Here's something of hers I found a couple of days ago. 1. I had finally gotten around to putting together my daughter's new bicycle. It did not have training wheels and I figured I'd be spending time teaching her how to ride it. Pumpkin hopped on and started riding it around in short order. She'd already picked it up while playing with friends down the street. 2. Back at Christmas, our son got a magic set and would perform tricks for us from time to time. Al
  4. A recent article by Michael Fumento contains a nearly perfect specimen from the wild of an asinine anti-mask argument I keep hearing made mainly by conservatives: Still, it is important that people are so cowed that they believe they should lie to anonymous pollsters and engage in virtue signaling (whether at Tom Cruise decibel level or lower) and theater. And we know that even now the media and public health community are actually ramping up their efforts, insisting on first two masks and then three masks, then four layers of masks. Which would mean that if both the sender and receiver follo
  5. How can I say 'I don't know' with confidence? Alison Green fields this common workplace question at Inc, and two things about her answer stand out to me. First, here's the essential part of her answer, which is spot-on: Image by Product School, via Pexels, license. In any job, there will be times when you don't know something. Acknowledging that -- and saying you'll find out and circle back, when that's possible -- is far, far better than trying to bluff your way through or risking giving inaccurate information. In fact, one of the things that people who are great at their work and widely
  6. At RealClear Markets, John Tamny makes a clear case that all the "stimulus" packages passed by the federal government basically enabled governors such as Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, and Mario Cuomo to lock their states down indefinitely, by apparently sparing them from the financial consequences of doing so: If this is all you think of when you hear the word looting, you aren't paying enough attention. (Image by Gabe Pierce, via Unsplash, license.) [T]t began in the spring of 2020 when President Trump signed a $2.9 trillion emergency spending bill meant to cushion the blow of massive j
  7. "'Something made by an artist' is not a definition of art. A beard and a vacant stare are not the defining characteristics of an artist." -- Ayn Rand *** The above quote immediately came to my mind when I encountered the following headline from the New York Post: "Couple Accidentally Paints Over $500,000 Artwork." Obviously, the couple couldn't tell whatever the hell they'd painted over was "art" or the couple had good reason to believe that there was an open invitation to join the fun. Indeed, one look at the exhibit (at beginning of clip below) indicates that either explanation or both
  8. Notable Commentary "Sometimes the government can best help save lives (and livelihoods) by getting out of the way." -- Paul Hsieh, in "The Case for Relaxing Regulations During a Pandemic" (Forbes) "[W]hen the 'youf' (as they refer to themselves online) realized that establishment conservatives and libertarians lacked the vocabulary, principles, power, and courage to defend them from their Maoist persecutors, they went underground to places like 4chan, 8chan, and various other online discussion boards, where they found a Samizdat community of the oppressed." -- C. Bradley Thompson, in "The
  9. Over at his Study Hacks blog, Cal Newport introduces the idea of the reverse meeting as a means of countering the proliferation of meetings many remote workers have experienced during the pandemic -- meetings that, as the meme says, could have been emails. The idea basically boils down to adapting the academic practice of holding office hours as a means of taking care of small issues that do not really require full-blown meetings to resolve. Incidentally, Newport champions this same tactic as a part of a larger strategy that would also obviate the need for much work-related email and eliminat
  10. Over at The American Spectator is commentary on how Florida is doing relative to other states in the pandemic. As a Floridian, I would have to say that it is pretty accurate regarding things "on the ground" as they like to say: Image by Denys Kostyuchenko, via Unsplash, license. Recently I did something in a medium-sized Central Florida city that remains illegal in the cultural meccas of Los Angeles and New York City. I attended a concert by a Bee Gees tribute band, albeit with a somewhat masked-up audience and socially distanced seating. If it had been up to the "follow-the-science" types
  11. I wasn't expecting to write about the waning impact of the pandemic on our social lives two days in a row, but here we are: NBC's Maggie Mulqueen, who strikes me as well-meaning, but extroverted, writes about those whom she believes aren't exactly looking forward to the resumption of more typical societal routines: Image by R.R. Abrot, via Unsplash, license. Nudging reluctant people who've grown accustomed to, and even prefer, living in quarantine [sic] back into society requires understanding. Respecting a wide array of lifestyles is one way to show our support. Simple changes such as ask
  12. With the end of the pandemic in sight, I've been running across a new theme in the press, of which the latest example appears in USA Today under the title, "Why Going to Church During Holy Week (And Beyond) Is Good for Your Mental Health." Spoiler alert: Nowhere in the article will you get the answer to that question. The closest it comes is to list a few benefits or alleged benefits that people get from being part of a religious congregation: Many perks accompany engaging with members of a congregation. They include better support systems, personal encouragement, group prayer, access to fin
  13. Four Things From My Watch list One of my Pinboard bookmark tags is watch, for things I might want to keep in mind as possibly useful or keeping tabs on (sorry!) or worth revisiting for some reason. Here are four. 1. Ever since I had to spend time finding a web browser to suit my needs, I've kept an antenna up for replacements in the event something even better turns up or development on mine stops or takes a stupid turn. One browser in the former category is the Nyxt browser. Its FAQ explains:Nyxt is a keyboard-oriented, infinitely extensible web browser designed for power users. Conceptu
  14. I have recently come across commentary about artificial intelligence from three very different sources. Of the three, the first one, chronologically, offers us the following still-valid summary. Mathematician Richard Hamming, lecturing at Naval Postgraduate School noted: [T]ake artificial intelligence. The predictions made by almost all the experts 10, 20, 30 years ago have not been realized.This he said in 1995. Perhaps some of the predictions he was thinking of have come to pass by now, but Hamming's point was that attempting to predict the future state of one's field can be extremely diffi
  15. Writing for Breitbart, John Nolte discusses one of many climate alarmist predictions that ... failed to materialize: "[M]ost of the beaches on the East Coast of the United States would be gone in 25 years," the fake New York Times told the world 25 years ago, all the way back in 1995. Fact check: It's 2021 and America's East Coast beaches are doing just fine!Fair enough. We now know of many highly publicized predictions of environmental catastrophe that any thoughtful person could question. And it's not too hard to find evidence that individuals with an agenda will stoop quite low to put wor
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