Friday Links

We’ve heard all about Facebook envy. It seems that Instagram envy is even worse:

The stage-managing impulse seems particularly strong among young parents, who appear to conjure the spirit of Norman Rockwell every time they whip out their iPhones to snap a shot of their adorable, smiling children.

The Denver Post covers the “world’s first day of legal recreational marijuana sales”:marijuana-stores-open-colorado

While marijuana sales remain illegal under federal law, no place in the world — not even Amsterdam — has gone as far as Colorado to legalize and regulate sales of marijuana. The law allows state residents to buy up to an ounce of marijuana and out-of-state residents a quarter-ounce.

Later this year, Washington state will launch a marijuana industry similar to Colorado’s. The U.S. Department of Justice has decided not to block legalization in either state, so long as the states implement strict regulations on the stores.

In a statement Wednesday, Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said federal authorities “will be monitoring Colorado’s efforts to regulate marijuana closely.”

David Brooks used his NYT column to explain why he quit smoking marijuana so many years ago:

Smoking was fun, for a bit, but it was kind of repetitive…We graduated to more satisfying pleasures. The deeper sources of happiness usually involve a state of going somewhere, becoming better at something, learning more about something, overcoming difficulty and experiencing a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

George Mason law professor Ilya Somin has caused quite a stir. Here’s something he wrote a while back that stuck with me:

I don’t believe that citizens have a duty to vote. Staying home on election day isn’t morally wrong. But if you do choose to go to the polls, you have a moral obligation to your fellow citizens to exercise the power of the ballot responsibly. And that means trying to become a better-informed voter and making a real effort to evaluate the information you learn in an unbiased way.

John Cassidy discusses the “progressive dilemma” in the wake of Mayor de Blasio’s inauguration:

No matter how he fares, though, the harsh fact is that New York will almost certainly continue to get more unequal—a fact that, in some ways, reflects its success. During the past thirty years or so, the city has emerged as one of the great global hubs of money and information, with its only real rivals being London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. In that time, it’s also turned into a virtual petri dish for rising inequality, with globalization, financialization, and the rapid growth of the online economy all contributing to an unprecedented concentration of wealth and income at the top.

Mayor de Blasio’s use of the A Tale of Two Cities analogy draws the ire of Reid Cherlin:

It would strain credibility to liken the One Percent—a term he used in his remarks—to the abusive French aristocracy, just as it would strain credibility to liken a tax increase to guillotinings in the public square. The problem is that the fixation on A Tale of Two Cities suggests both. If progressives think that’s the wrong analogy, then they should pick a different book.

Great piece in The Atlantic arguing that the election of Mayor de Blasio is a signal that the Democratic Party has become the Party of John Edwards:

In Barack Obama’s 2004 convention speech, he spoke famously about overcoming America’s cultural and ideological divide: “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America” … It was Edwards who depicted an America divided by class, with “two different economies … one for people who are set for life … and then one for most Americans, people who live paycheck to paycheck.

Then a piece in The American Prospect arguing that President Obama (and the Clintons) not only lost the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, but was just flat-out wrong about the feasibility of overcoming the ideological divide:

One trend I do think will shape people’s lives this year and in years to come is the increasing divergence between the places where lots of Democrats live and the places where lots of Republicans live. Yes, it sounds trite and overdone to talk about Two Americas, but it is true, and it’s becoming more true all the time. And one question I’m curious about is whether we’ll see an increase in people picking up and moving to places where public policy either accords better with their values or offers them important benefits they need to live their lives (or both).

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