URLs du Jour

2017-02-03

I blogged a verse from Proverbs a few days ago. Just ten verses up from that:

Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
    will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

They should slip that into a fortune cookie the next time the White House orders Chinese take-out.

  • So, I clicked over from Dave Barry's blog, because I am a sucker for All Things Omaha: "Omaha man helps rescue squirrel with head stuck in cereal bowl". Aw. Cute story! And then at the end, the squirrel rescuer is quoted:

    "The last two weeks haven't been the best for a lot of people," he said. "Even if this is the smallest thing I can do to make things better, maybe it will brighten up someone else's day a little bit."

    Last two weeks? What is he talking about? Oh, right.

    If you're keeping track, this is chapter 2,143 in the continuing series: "Let's Tediously Inject Politics Into Everything".

  • You may have heard about rioters at UC-Berkeley successfully shutting down a scheduled talk by Milo Yiannopoulos. At Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Jason Brennan provides a primer:

    There are certain strands of critical theory and postmodernist thought which hold that all speech is an exercise of power. On this view, to talk is to coerce. On this view, too [sic] argue for or defend social injustice, or even to discuss such ideas in the classroom, is a form of violence.

    This hard-left ideology is promulgated mostly in humanities departments of universities, and naturally excuses actual violence in response to any speech sufficiently offensive to the listener. It's self-defense!

    It's not exactly new; it's practically Marcuse 101. But we may be in for a rough ride.

  • President Trump has expressed his displeasure with Berkeley's handling of the incident, and threatened to yank Federal funds from the institution! Aieeee! But also:

    At Cato, Walter Olson has a more sober, serious look at the issue "Trump, UC Berkeley, and the Federal Funding Whip"

    A President may not find it simple or straightforward to use direct executive orders to cut off funds to universities that tolerate disruption of speech or exclude speakers based on the content of their speech. (That’s this morning’s Presidential tweet story, if you slept in.) But the power that the Department of Education and allied agencies have gathered to themselves over university life has steadily mounted, often against feeble resistance from the universities themselves, as in the Title IX instance. That gives an administration plenty of handles to make its will known, a process previewed in October, as to Trump, by Chronicle of Higher Education correspondent Steve Kolowich, who also spoke to me for the story. He quotes Alexander Holt, an education-policy analyst at New America, saying: “I could see a Trump administration going crazy on these ‘Dear Colleague’ letters.”

    Mr. Holt could well have cut off those last five words.

  • The nomination of Neil Gorsuch led to a small flood of Fake News. For instance (as noted by Patterico):

    Alana Goodman at the Daily Mail had a Big Scoop today: Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee founded a club in high school called “Fascism Forever!”

    Yeah, no. Of course not. But that "story" was picked up and echoed by credulous twits everywhere. For example, Jefferson Morley at Salon, a story uncorrected as I type.

  • And the sharp-eyed Patterico also notes: "OOPS! NBC News Breathlessly Attributes to Neil Gorsuch Opinions Written by Someone Else". Did you know that Gorsuch "opposed military recruiting on campus precisely because it discriminated against gays and lesbians?" Again: Yeah, no.

    To their (slight) credit, NBC has fixed the piece. But let's invoke the old Mark Twain quote (which he never actually said): "A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots."

    (Twain was supposed to have said that in 1919. That was nine years after his unexaggerated death. But, in any case, long before the Internet made the quote even more accurate.)