URLs du Jour

2018-11-26

[Amazon Link]

  • Twitter seems to be going on a suspension rampage. Here's a report from the Daily Wire's Frank Camp: Progressive Feminist Suspended From Twitter After Criticizing The Transgender Movement.

    Meghan Murphy, founder of the Feminist Current website and podcast, has been suspended from Twitter.

    Murphy, a self-described socialist and radical feminist, has been an outspoken critic of the transgender activist movement, claiming that it has an outsized sociopolitical influence, especially in her native Canada.

    Another recent target (noted by Robby Soave at Reason): Twitter Permanently Banned Conservative Pundit Jesse Kelly.

    Jesse Kelly, a conservative writer, radio host, and failed Republican political candidate is no longer welcome on Twitter: The social media site permanently banned him on Sunday, for reasons unknown.

    Robby notes that Kelly's banning was apparently in violation of Twitter's announced policies.

    I note that Instapundit deactivated his Twitter account last night in response.

    I'd do the same, except nobody would care.


  • Kyle Smith writes (in an "NRPLUS Member Article", I don't know what that means for you) about a recent documentary: Google, Facebook, and the ‘Creepy Line’.

    On Google, I just typed in “top races Republican,” and the word “races” got a squiggly underline suggesting I had misspelled the word. Beneath it ran Google’s helpful correction: “top racist Republican.” With “top races Democrat,” no such veering into the gutter. No squiggly line. The word “racist” did not insinuate itself into my field of vision. Oh, and before I completed the phrase, with just “top races Democra,” two lines below ran the following little hint: “best Democratic races to donate to.” Huh? Who said anything about donating? I’ve never donated to a political candidate in my life, and if I did, I wouldn’t donate to Democrats. Again, no parallel on the Republican side. No steering me to fundraisers.

    The documentary The Creepy Line takes its name from a shockingly unguarded remark by the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. He is smiling and relaxed in a conference as he explains that Google has (had?) a nickname for excessive invasiveness. “Google policy on a lot of these things,” Schmidt says, “is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

    I think some of this has since been "fixed" thanks to the negative publicity. But, yeah, don't trust those guys.


  • [Amazon Link]
    Arthur C. Brooks writes at AEI on a depressing topic: How loneliness is tearing America apart. It discusses Senator Ben Sasse's new book Them. (Link at your right.)

    America is suffering an epidemic of loneliness.

    According to a recent large-scale survey from the health care provider Cigna, most Americans suffer from strong feelings of loneliness and a lack of significance in their relationships. Nearly half say they sometimes or always feel alone or “left out.” Thirteen percent of Americans say that zero people know them well. The survey, which charts social isolation using a common measure known as the U.C.L.A. Loneliness Scale, shows that loneliness is worse in each successive generation.

    Some people don't deal with social isolation well, falling into self-destructive behaviors. Or, worse, other-destructive behaviors.

    What to do? Sorry, I got nothin'.


  • George F. Will writes on a Supreme Court case that has a chance to strike a blow against asset forfeiture abuse. Which is good because, as George notes: Lucrative law enforcement will become lawless.

    Tyson Timbs made a mistake, but not one as important as Indiana’s Supreme Court made in allowing to stand the punishment the state inflicted on him. He was a drug addict — first with opioids prescribed for a work-related injury, then heroin — when his father died. He blew the $73,000 insurance payout on drugs and a $41,558 Land Rover, which he drove when selling $225 worth of drugs — two grams of heroin — to undercover police officers. Timbs’ vehicle was seized and kept, which amounted to a fine more than 184 times larger than the sum involved in his offense. Come Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning whether this violated the Eighth Amendment, which says: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

    We'll see how that works out. Mr. Timbs is being helped out in his suit by the Institute for Justice, and they have more information (from last June) here.


  • Power Line asks the musical question: When Did NASA Go to Pot?. Looking at a recent Gizmodo discussion on Mars, the deep thoughts of Chanda Prescod-Weinstein ("postdoctoral Research Associate in theoretical physics at the University of Washington, Seattle") are presented:

    I’m trying to think carefully about what our relationship to Mars should be, and whether we can avoid reproducing deeply entrenched colonial behaviors as we seek to better understand our Solar System. This includes thinking about why our language for developing understandings of environments that are new to us tends to still be colonial: “colonizing Mars” and “exploring” and “developing,” for example. These are deeply fraught terms that have traditionally referred to problematic behaviors by imperialists with those that we would call “indigenous” and “people of color” often on the receiving end of violent activities. . .

    Decolonization in the Martian context requires asking questions about who is entitled to what land. Can we be trusted to be in balance with Mars if we refuse to be in balance with Earth? Can we be trusted to be equitable in our dealings with each other in a Martian context if the U.S. and Canadian governments continue to attack indigenous sovereignty, violate indigenous lands, and engage in genocidal activities against indigenous people?

    I think the answer is no. I think we need to clean up our mess before we start making a new mess somewhere else.

    There's a website: Decolonizing Mars, apparently established in support of an "Unconference" on the topic. It's not clear what involvement NASA had with the gabfest, but it's an interesting data point


  • And We Were Amused by this Meme.