URLs du Jour

2018-08-18

[Amazon Link]

  • A double dose of oral reference in Proverbs 10:31:

    31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
        but a perverse tongue will be silenced.

    I have a vision: off in some dingy, depressing cubicle farm, some zealous social media censor has this Proverb embroidered and hung up over her monitor where she can glance at it every so often. She is murmuring to herself: And I get to do the silencing!


  • Up at Granite Grok, Skip looks at a candidate hoping to replace my CongressCritter/Toothache: Maura Sullivan gets dumped by a fellow Marine: “dainty holding an AR-15”

    Democrat candidate for Congress in NH CD-1 Maura Sullivan is lying by omission, IMHO, by making it sound like she was in the thick of things in Fallujah – in the Infantry and using “US Marines” as a buttress from being confronted on it.   Michael Graham from NH Journal goes on Cam & Co to talk about how this Democrat candidate for Congress (and carpetbagger bringing in YUGE amounts of out of state $$$ in doing so) Maura Sullivan is trying conflate the most popular civilian rifle platform with an actual military firearm – KNOWING the difference between the two is vast. Once again, a gun grabber is campaigning on taking away, we who are law-abiding citizens, our legally purchased firearms.

    Maura has (last I checked) a vast funding advantage (nearly all from outside NH contributors) over her primary opponents. She's doubtlessly spent some of that on focus-grouping her message, so I guess this sells with Democrats.

    But just from observing yard signs and LTEs in my local paper, she's got zero grassroots support.

    I was particularly grated by a line in her earlier TV ad, titled "America" (available from WMUR):

    “I didn’t fight in Iraq to let the gun lobby flood our streets with weapons like those I used in the Marines,” Sullivan says, looking directly into the camera.

    It's really amazing how much bullshit you can pack into fewer than two dozen words. Demagoguery, fearmongering, wrapping herself in her wartime service, …

    But just one thing: how much "fighting" did Maura do in Iraq anyway? Skip points out (via the DOD) that she was a logistics/operations officer; that's an important job, no doubt, and (yes) "thank you for your service". But it ain't combat. So when she says she "used" weapons in the Marines, fine, but outside of training and practice?

    Frankly, I doubt it.

    As I said in a comment at Granite Grok: if Maura were a Republican, the media "fact checkers" would be all over this.


  • At the Federalist, Doug Wead seems to have his ducks in a row when he accuses the Googlers: These Screenshots Show How Google Shadowbans Conservative And Pro-Trump Content.

    Almost a year ago, an employee noticed a YouTube video at the top of a “Doug Wead” search and wondered how it got there. It wasn’t related to the date, the view count, or anything else that they could determine. But since it was there, at Google’s omniscient discretion, we decided to do something we had never done before: buy an ad to promote it. That’s when our troubles began.

    Within days, Google blocked my ad and informed my team that we had violated their policies. I called Google. The problem, they explained, was that the video had hate speech.

    It was a Fox Business News video with Trish Regan interviewing me about the Russian collusion investigation. The Google employee could not find the exact offending words, but referred me to various other supervisors up the ladder.

    And things got more opaque from there. I blame our fantasy censor (see Proverbial item above).


  • But it's not just Google! And the targets are not just people appearing on the Fox Business News & Hate Speech Channel. Also at the Federalist: Facebook Gives No Explanation For Censoring Conservative Educational Site PragerU (Bre Payton):

    Facebook appears to be censoring a conservative nonprofit organization by making sure that none of the educational site’s 3 million followers get to see their posts.

    PragerU said internal analytic shows none of their followers saw at least nine posts on their Facebook page — starting Thursday evening, exactly zero of their 3 million followers had seen any of these posts.

    “Our last 9 posts have been completely censored reaching 0 of our 3 million followers,” PragerU’s Will Witt said in a statement. “At least two of our video posts were deleted last night for ‘hate speech’ including a post of our recent video with The Conservative Millennial, Make Men Masculine Again.”

    But … "never mind". The Daily Caller now reports: Facebook Apologizes To PragerU, Restores Banned Videos.

    Facebook on Friday issued an apology to PragerU for “mistakenly” removing several videos and limiting the reach of others.

    “We mistakenly removed these videos and have restored them because they don’t break our standards,” Facebook wrote. “This will reverse any reduction in content distribution you’ve experienced. We’re very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened with your Page.”

    PragerU expresses well-justified skepticism. These "mistakes" only seem to happen in one direction. (Thanks, no doubt to … again, see the Proverb du jour.)


  • Do we have a theme? John Hinderaker at Power Line: How the Left is Outsourcing Censorship of the Internet

    Liberals control every newspaper in America, as far as I know, except the Manchester Union Leader. They control CBS, ABC, NBC and every cable network except Fox News. They control what is left of the news magazines, and pretty much every other magazine, too. Only talk radio and the pesky internet lie outside their grasp, so that is where they seek to impose censorship.

    But they have a problem: the First Amendment. The government can’t suppress conservative speech on the ground that it is “hate speech,” i.e., something that liberals don’t like. That was recently reaffirmed by a 9-0 decision of the Supreme Court.

    So liberals have outsourced censorship of the internet to the tech titans of Silicon Valley.

    It wasn't too long ago that I would have considered such talk to be unhinged paranoia. Not any more. I'm not just skeptical about the even-handedness of GoogleFacebookTwitter; I've gone to pretty much assuming they're looking to marginalize and suppress non-PC speech.


  • At Reason, Jesse Singal notes yet another common usage that will Pretty Soon Now be flagged: Is It Racist to Refer to Space 'Colonization'? He looks at a recent article at The Outline by one Caroline Haskins, titled "The racist language of space exploration". Which (Jesse hastens to say) is not without its interesting points. But:

    Instead of grappling with the political or policy or ideological ramifications of these questions, however, Haskins digs in on the question of how we talk about space. The subhed of Haskins' article claims that "the language of colonialism is infecting outer space, thanks to dominance by rich white businessmen and politicians." Jumping off from Trump's laughable recent comments about a "space force" and some followup comments by Pence, Haskins writes that "Trump is far from the first or only person to use the language of colonization to make a pro-space venture argument. Elon Musk famously describes his plans for a Martian settlement as a 'colony,' and a long lineage of space pundits, politicians, and thinkers invoke the history of colonizers and colonization in order to frame the future of humanity in space."

    OK, fine. Let's get this issue out of the way now, before Muskian forces colonize settle the Red Planet.


  • A new issue of American Consequences is available online, and David Boaz's article, How Government Saps Our Energy, is well worth your attention. On the Solyndra debacle:

    When President Obama took office, with the stock market crashing and unemployment rising, his first order of business was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which he called stimulus and Tea Partiers called “porkulus.” It was an $800 billion package of federal spending that was supposed to restart the economy and create jobs. Economist Steven Horwitz called it the Democrats’ Patriot Act, an opportunity to enact a whole variety of programs that they had wanted to pass for years but couldn’t get through Congress in the absence of a crisis.

    Clean energy was a big part of the stimulus bill – about $90 billion. A “ginormous” clean energy package, said journalist Michael Grunwald. And as Obama’s factory visit demonstrated, Solyndra was a crown jewel.

    But even massive subsidies couldn't pump any more hot air into a crashing lead balloon. ("Hey, pretty good metaphor there, right?" "You're doing this for free, aren't you.")


  • In case you didn't get enough rebuttal of Senator Lieawatha's daffy scheme yesterday, Walter Olson weighs in at Cato: Sen. Warren’s Confiscatory Corporate Governance Proposals.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has introduced legislation that would radically overhaul corporate governance in America, requiring that the largest (over $1 billion) companies obtain revocable charters from the federal government to do business, instituting rules reminiscent of German-style co-determination under which workers would be entitled to at least 40% representation on boards of directors, placing directors under a fiduciary obligation to serve “stakeholders” as opposed to owners as currently, prohibiting political expenditures by corporations unless approved by at least 75 percent of directors and shareholders, and restricting directors and officers from reselling incentive stock within five years.

    “Let’s be clear, none of these are new ideas,” writes leading corporate governance expert Stephen Bainbridge of UCLA. “They are either academic utopian schemes or failed European governance models. There are very good reasons none of these dusty relics of eons of progressive corporate thought have made it into law.” His series of posts picking it apart in detail begins here.

    I think unions should be required to get approval of 75% of their membership before making political contributions, don't you?