URLs du Jour

2018-05-12

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  • Another good/bad fortune cookie in Proverbs 13:19, but…

    19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
        but fools detest turning from evil.

    … as sometimes happens, I can't connect the two on any level. Instead, querulous queries pop into my head: Are all fools evil? What about an evil longing? Is its fulfillment sweet to the soul? Sometimes you wish the Proverbialist had been an Essayist instead, so he could explain this stuff at length.


  • Jonah Goldberg's G-File this week concerns Turning Windmills into Giants (for fun and profit).

    The great thing about fighting windmills on the assumption that they are actually evil giants is that you get to celebrate your courage without risking very much in the process.

    See: just about every story coming out of academia these days.


  • At the WaPo, Megan McArdle criticizes a new report from UC-Berkeley's "Commission on Free Speech". Megan asks: What is the greatest threat to free speech on campus?

    The report was commissioned after several violent protests reacting to pro-Trump rallies, a speech by conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos and a canceled speech from Ann Coulter. How to explain the violence that ripped apart the campus last year? “Ultra-conservative rhetoric, including white supremacist views and protest marches, legitimized by the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath,” the commission concludes, “encouraged far-right and alt-right activists to ‘spike the football’ at Berkeley. This provoked an at-times violent (and condemnable) response from the extreme left, tearing at the campus’s social fabric.”

    The Berkeley document does not condemn the violence, mind you; that is virtually the only direct mention of it. But apparently, antifa’s violence is now eligible for condemnation, if someone else had a mind to provide it.

    They have plenty of harsh words, however, for the conservatives who were targeted. “Many Commission members are skeptical of these speakers’ commitment to anything other than the pursuit of wealth and fame through the instigation of anger, fear, and vengefulness in their hard-right constituency.” Their invitations to speak represented “the assertion of individual rights at the expense of social responsibility by a handful of students.” As a result, the commission finds speech of this kind “hard to defend, especially in light of the acute distress it caused (and was intended to cause) to staff and students.”

    Yeah, they were asking for it, dressing all slutty and everything… Oh, wait, that's a different topic.

    Or is it?


  • The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes a problem just up I-95: By censoring art, University of Southern Maine misses an opportunity

    Last month, the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn campus removed three oil paintings from their Atrium Art Gallery by local painter Bruce Habowski, despite objections from the exhibition’s curator, after it was discovered that Habowski is a convicted sex offender.

    I'm not a fan of sex offenders per se, but c'mon. As the article notes, if we start taking down artwork from every morally questionable artist, we'll have a lot of museums with a lot of big empty walls.

    In other censorship news, the controversy over the "Cruel Adversity" mural at the Durham NH Post Office seems to have been resolved (for now) with the addition of a poster "adding context" to the picture referencing the 1694 Oyster River Massacre.


  • The Social Security Administration has crunched the numbers to tell us America's Top 10 Baby Names of 2017. "Liam" wins for boys, "Emma" for girls.

    Fun fact: "Caitlyn" has had a precipitous drop in popularity. After ranking as high as #115 back in 1998, it had faded to #599 in 2015. And then it disappeared from the top 1000 names for both 2016 and 2017.

    Gee, what happened in 2015 that might have caused that?


Last Modified 2018-05-13 4:21 AM EST