URLs du Jour

2017-10-30

Proverbs 19:12 sycophantically describes the moodiness of kings:

12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.

I would have improved the parallelism with "the purring of a kitten" instead of "dew on the grass". But I guess that's why God didn't hire me to write the Bible.


■ The campus activists/wannabe Torquemadas at AllEyesOnUNH posted their Halloween costume no-nos:

Amusingly, they're getting some flak in the comments due to (a) the political incorrectness of "gypsy" and (b) a discussion about whether dressing in "drag" has anything to do with being transgender.

Me, I'm wondering how someone could come up with a costume that would violate as many of those rules as possible. Liberace in a hijab?

I already linked to this Reason article by Lenore Skenazy and Jonathan Haidt yesterday, but let me quote from it again:

At Yale in 2015, after 13 college administrators signed a letter outlining appropriate vs. inappropriate costume choices for students, the childhood development expert and campus lecturer Erika Christakis suggested that it would be better to allow kids to think for themselves. After all, Halloween is supposed to be about pushing boundaries. "Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little obnoxious…or, yes, offensive?" she wrote. "Have we lost faith in young people's capacity—your capacity—to ignore or reject things that trouble you?"

Apparently, yes. Angry students mobbed her husband, the professor Nicholas Christakis, surrounding him in the courtyard of the residential college where he served as master. They screamed obscenities and demanded he apologize for believing, along with his wife, that college students are in fact capable of handling offensive costumes on Halloween. "Be quiet!" a student shouted at him at one point. "As master, it is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students!" She did not take kindly to his response that, to the contrary, he sees it as his job to create a space where students can grow intellectually.

As it turns out, Halloween is the perfect Petri dish for observing what we have done to childhood. We didn't think anything was safe enough for young people. And now we are witnessing the results.

Two years later, we'll see if the UNH petri dish works out any different than Yale's.


■ Tyler Cowen does some history in the wake of the Russian purchase of Facebook ads: That was then, this is now, Soviet-Russian media subsidies edition

This is the week of hearings on Facebook ads, as well as Twitter and Google promotion of pro-Putin or sometimes pro-Trump or disruptive ideas.  So far we know that Russia-linked ads on Facebook cost about $100,000, a laughably low number.  Maybe there is much more hidden, but so far I don’t see it.

$100,000 is exactly the amount the Comintern gave in the 1920s to organize a campaign against John L. Lewis leading the mine union.  No, I am not adjusting for inflation, so in real terms the sum in the 20s was much higher.  The Comintern also gave at least $35,000 to start the Daily Worker, again that is a nominal figure from the 1920s.  The American Communist Party received subsidies too.  Many other communist subsidies, media and otherwise, remain hidden or at least uncertain.

Since I am (on occasion) a Commie-hater, I welcome any and all new assistants to the cause of finding Russians under our beds.


■ Andrew Klavan writes on The Trouble With Maggie Haberman. Given the subject matter—Haberman is senior White House correspondent for the New York Times—I'm surprised his article isn't book-length, but:

Maggie Haberman is shocked — shocked — to find that Hillary Clinton's people are dishonest. Some of you may remember Hillary Clinton. This is the woman who lied about her husband's infidelity, her trip to Bosnia, the cause of the Benghazi massacre, her illegal emails and just about everything else she's ever talked about. But when the Clinton people told Haberman that they had nothing to do with the now-infamous Steele dossier filled with dubious Russian dirt on Donald Trump, Maggie apparently bought it hook, line and sinker. "Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year," she complained on Twitter. Shocked.

Don't worry, Mr. Klavan. Pretty soon Maggie will snap back to her usual attitude of Progressive gullibility.


■ And George Washington’s Church Is Going to Rip Out His Memorial. Really:

The Virginia church that George Washington attended for two decades plans to tear out a memorial to the nation’s first president because the plaque could make some worshipers feel “unsafe or unwelcome.”

I can't help but think they just made a lot more of their parishioners feel unwelcome by this action, but we'll see.


Last Modified 2017-10-30 12:23 PM EST