URLs du Jour

2017-02-21

Proverb du Jour is 29:18:

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction.

Well, there's your problem, people: no revelation. Fortunately, I got yer revelation (with wisdom instruction at no extra charge) right here:

  • I haven't been very complimentary to the Trump Administration, but College Fix tells me that he could be on the verge of doing something insanely great: "Law professor who slammed kangaroo courts could lead Trump’s education civil rights office". The slamming law prof is Gail Heriot. She is quoted from a letter she co-wrote in 2015 arguing against increased funding for the department she's under consideration for heading, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR):

    Though OCR may claim to be under-funded, its resources are stretched thin largely because it has so often chosen to address violations it has made up out of thin air. Increasing OCR’s budget would in effect reward the agency for frequently over-stepping the law. It also would provide OCR with additional resources to undertake more ill-considered initiatives for which it lacks authority.

    This is like a breath of fresh air.

    Pun Salad noted Prof Heriot once before when she proposed that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigate anti-female bias in college admissions. Yes, that's a thing. (The whole sordid story at Inside Higher Ed.)

  • By the way: the etymology of the term "kangaroo court" is (apparently) ambiguous. It could mean a proceeding where the court "jumps over" evidence favorable to a defendant. Or it could mean that the judge in charge of the proceedings is "in the pocket" of someone.

  • David French is a friend to Free Speech, even when … "Free Speech Has a Milo Problem"

    The law is largely solid. Government entities that censor or silence citizens on the basis of their political, cultural, or religious viewpoint almost always lose in court. With some exceptions, the First Amendment remains robust. Yet the culture of free speech is eroding away, rapidly.

    Milo Yiannopoulos is held up, by some, as a fearless warrior in the anti-PC struggle for free expression. Unfortunately, he's a twerp whose only talent is self-promotion and "outrageous" behavior.

    Let’s put this plainly: If Milo’s the poster boy for free speech, then free speech will lose. He’s the perfect foil for social-justice warriors, a living symbol of everything they fight against. His very existence and prominence feed the deception that modern political correctness is the firewall against the worst forms of bigotry.

    But Milo's recently-revealed comments on pederasty might cause his shooting star to fizzle, and free speech advocates might find more worthy heroes to champion.

  • Another bit of good news, as reported at American Thinker: "FEC commissioner who fought to regulate political speech on internet [sic] resigns". That would be Ann Ravel.

    In 2014, Ravel called for "a reexamination of the commission's approach to the internet and other emerging technologies." This was widely interpreted to mean she wanted the FEC to redefine what constitutes political speech on the internet to allow the FEC to regulate it. Blogs and news sites that specifically advocated for a federal candidate would be treated as adjuncts to that campaign and subject to FEC donation limits.

    When her proposal was met with (understandable) outrage, she was quick to play the gender card, claiming to have been "vilified" and characterizing it as "a barrage of really angry, threatening, misogynist responses to me about it."

  • With Major League Baseball coming up, I bet you're wondering "what's Jose Canseco up to these days?" Well, he's a sharp-eyed menace detector, is what: "Jose Canseco Issues Stern Warning Over the Rise of Robots". Sample:

    Of course, he's a Jose-come-lately on this issue. As Sam Waterston pointed out about robots back in 1995: "When they grab you with those metal claws, you can't break free.. because they're made of metal, and robots are strong."

    And, speaking of 1995, there's Bill "Windows 95" Gates who's now arguing for robots to pay taxes. This is, of course, dangerous. Because then "no taxation without representation" would be an effective slogan for the Robot Uprising.

  • Huzzah! Heat Street has discovered the "World’s Dumbest Job: Mall of America ‘Writer-in-Residence’"

    The job market is tight, we know. Luckily, the Mall of America has announced the best writing gig ever: spend 4 days trapped in the country’s largest mall, writing “on-the-fly” impressions about the place and the people.

    I tried to leave a comment there, but failed. I recommended that MofA really should go Full Harlan Ellison with the idea.

  • Bad news for Wisconsinites who want to try the recent WSJ recipe for Champ (Scallion Mashed Potatoes), which recommends "6 tablespoons salted butter, preferably Irish". Because when it comes to butter in the Badger State, no Irish need apply.

    Ornua North America sells Kerrygold Irish butter in all 50 states. Whoops, make that 49. Wisconsin state officials recently reminded distributors that no butter can be sold in the state unless it has been certified by an official panel of experts. Kerrygold, which is imported, hasn't been certified, so anyone selling it faces a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail.

    The linked article wonders whether Wisconsin is "shielding shoppers from inferior butter or fending off foreign competitors from Wisconsin's dairy industry." I am willing to bet on that issue. Any takers?