URLs du Jour

2018-09-14

[Amazon Link]

  • "I'll take 'Very Bad Ideas' for $200, Alex." At NR, Kevin D. Williamson asks about "A Fairness Doctrine for the Internet?"

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions is convening a meeting of state attorneys general to consider whether Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social-media companies are “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas.” The honorable gentleman from Alabama should stick to his brief.

    Two quick questions asked and answered. One: Do these companies treat conservatives unfairly? Yes, they do. Two: Is that any business of the attorney general of the United States of America? No, it isn’t.

    RTWT (of course), but the bottom line is: it's "a job for persuaders, not prosecutors." That's you and me, people.

    No matter how much fun it would be to watch Internet honchos squirm and squeal under the boot of the government.

    But for those who prefer to wield the power of the state to compel fairness, there's our Amazon Product du Jour.


  • At Reason, Jacob Sullum reports the news: FDA Threatens to Ban E-Cigarettes If Teenagers Keep Using Them.

    Declaring that "youth use of e-cigarettes is reaching epidemic proportions," the Food and Drug Administration today threatened to remove vaping products from the market unless their manufacturers come up with satisfactory plans to prevent underage consumption. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb acknowledged that the demand conflicts with efforts to promote vaping as a harm-reducing alternative to smoking. "Inevitably what we are going to have to contemplate are actions that may narrow the off-ramp for adults who see e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to combustible tobacco in order to close the on-ramp for kids," he told reporters. "It's an unfortunate tradeoff."

    It's not just an "unfortunate" tradeoff, Jacob points out: it's also a "morally unacceptable and scientifically suspect" tradeoff. Is Gottlieb trying to out-nanny the Democrats? I'm pretty sure that's a game he can't win.


  • At the American Enterprise Institute, Mark J. Perry looks at some good news: Census data released today show continued gains for middle-class Americans and little evidence of rising income inequality. Good for statistics nerds. Here's a tweeted chart that ably debunks a lefty talking point:

    Of course, people will object that inequality increases happened more than 25 years ago. As far as the GINI index goes, that's arguably true.


  • One of the members of my fair state's University System is on the shitlist of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Specifically: FIRE calls on Plymouth State University to rescind faculty punishment over participation in criminal trial.

    This summer, PSU professor emeritus Michael Fischler and adjunct professor Nancy Strapko weighed in on the trial of former Exeter High School guidance counselor Kristie Torbick, who pled guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student. Fischler send a letter to the court asking for leniency, and Strapko served as a paid expert witness for Torbick.

    This did not sit well with PSU administrators, especially after the trial elicited widespread media coverage>. Due to the controversy surrounding the professors’ participation, PSU refused to rehire Strapko and required Fischler to complete Title IX training as a condition for teaching classes this fall.

    As FIRE notes, these actions are completely out of whack with both the First Amendment and the University System of New Hampshire's stated policy. It's almost as if the PSU admins want the school to embarrass itself.


  • Our Google LFOD alert rang for a news article written by, and about, folks far from New Hampshire. It's the Irish Times writing about Libyans trying to escape the hellhole their country has become: Live free or die trying on the sea’: Limbo in Libya for unregistered refugees.

    On Monday, hundreds of refugees and migrants in Tripoli’s Abu Salim detention centre felt a glimmer of hope.

    After months of waiting to be recognised and registered by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), staff had finally arrived, along with representatives of various other UN agencies, including the World Food Programme and the International Organisation for Migration, which helps migrants from countries deemed safe to return home to.

    “We hope, pray for us, to register,” one Eritrean messaged on WhatsApp, using a phone he has managed to keep hidden.

    Instead, the visiting officials proceeded to stand in front of the detainees and bicker among themselves as to which organisation had been delivering the most aid, according to several people who were there.

    Geez, ineffective bickering UN bureaucrats. Who'd of thunk?

    Libya has kind of dropped off our current-events radar. But this 2016 Foreign Policy article by Micah Zenko is a good overview of the inept, dishonest, and callous policy of the Obama Administration, driven especially by Hillary Clinton.


  • Oh, well, let's have some fun. Orbitz describes the Ultimate US Foodie Road Trip. And, since they offer embed code…



    Spoiler: For my fair state, they recommend the lobster roll at Sanders Fish Market in Portsmouth. (Consumer note: it's not a sitdown place; takeout only.)

    For Iowa, it's Taylor's Maid-Rite in Marshalltown. OK, now I'm hungry. Lobster rolls are fine, but … Google Maps says it's a twenty-hour drive. Hmmm.


Last Modified 2018-09-14 10:38 AM EDT