URLs du Jour — 2014-05-12

Another backup-clearing post, but (I promise) all worth your while:

  • Megan McArdle has been Making Sense for quite awhile, and her BloombergView article, "Rape on Campus Belongs in the Courts" is no exception. She takes on the latest offensive White House Offensive designed to get colleges to Take Action Now against sexual assault. She quibbles with the inflated scare-mongering statistics used by the Administration; but the real problem is the venue in which serious accusations are to be handled:

    No one accused of a serious crime should have his fate in the hands of a single investigator with a mandate to err on the side of believing the people who are testifying against him. In fact, colleges shouldn’t be handling this sort of thing at all. If a college wouldn’t conduct a murder trial, it shouldn’t be conducting rape trials, either. We certainly shouldn’t press them to punish these crimes because we can’t get a conviction in a court of law, as it sometimes seems is happening.

    Indeed. It's not difficult to predict a few years' worth of due-process lawsuits which colleges will uniformly lose, before some sanity is restored. (But don't worry: we'll immediately move on to the next insanity.)

  • Post-9/11, progressives were pretty certain that the Bush Administration, empowered by the Patriot Act, was only minutes away from shredding the First Amendment, and a few more as well. (See Jonah Goldberg for some that-was-then history.)

    But, as the WSJ points out, there's an actual effort underway to undermine the First Amendment, and the lefties are pretty OK with it. Because it's about regulating "raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents" to candidates or used in "in support of, or in opposition to" their elections. It is being pushed by Senators Schumer from NY and Udall (MT, oops, NM). Proposed text is here. The WSJ comments:

    The real guarantee would be political advantage for all incumbents, since it's the sitting lawmakers who really benefit from any law limiting contributions to candidates or on their behalf. While Beltway boys like Messrs. Schumer and Udall have the name recognition to raise money in small increments, challengers often need the financial boost from a few individuals to get their message heard.

    There are 39 co-sponsors including (moan) New Hampshire's own Jeanne Shaheen.

  • Today's must-read from Kevin D. Williamson muses on his upcoming visit to the Connecticut DMV, and how it exemplifies the quality of services provided by the State, as opposed to those by private enterprise.

    If we could transport [19th Century left-wing anarchist] M. Proudhon or any of his contemporaries to the here and now, their eyes would not register any economic system with which they were familiar at the sight of the daily wonders we take for granted. They wouldn’t see capitalism they’d see magic. But the DMV, the USPS, the housing project, and the prison would all be familiar to their 19th-century eyes. Our choice is not really between neat ideological verities with their roots in Adam Smith or Karl Marx, but between the DMV and the Apple store. Each model has its downsides, to be sure, but it does not seem like a terribly difficult choice to me.

    It's not a new observation that we hold the State to much lower standards of performance, quality, and honesty than we do private enterprise; but Williamson has a knack for keeping that insight fresh.

  • Being a libertarian, I much appreciated the photo essay "33 First-World Anarchists Who Don’t Care About Your Rules" (It claims 1.3 million views, so I suppose there's a good chance you've seen it already.)

  • From Granite Grok, a helpful guide for distinguishing your labs.

  • And Ms Ellie Kemper informs us: "I Have No Plans To Stop Using ‘AHAHAHAHAHAHA’ Instead Of ‘lol’ Anytime Soon."

    A lot of people with whom I email have had enough of me. Their gripes are always the same: “You write back too quickly,” “You don’t give me enough time to respond,” “Your Build-a-Bear is 100% safe; this will be our final cease and desist letter.” But the complaint I get the most—the one that, if complaints were an Indian tribe, would be the friggin’ chief—is this: “It makes me anxious and upset to read your ‘AHAHAHAHA’s when you think something is funny. Why don’t you just use ‘lol’?”

    It's funny.

Last Modified 2014-08-06 9:06 AM EDT