URLs du Jour


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  • At NR, Kevin D. Williamson writes on Twitter Magic. (An "NRPLUS Member Article, I still don't know what that means as far as visibility.) The issue is Twitter's decision to make so-called "deadnaming", calling trans people by the old names they've forsaken, an offense which can get your account suspended or yanked. Bottom line:

    This is only secondarily a political question. At its roots this is an issue of superstition, an irrational — antirational — belief that words and things as intrinsically linked in a mystical way, and that the right incantation at the right time can create — or undo — reality itself. It is necessary to understand that the dynamic here is not that of a political disagreement. Trying to respond to this fanaticism as though one were moderating the terms of a political debate is to miss the point. This isn’t the authoritarianism of a Stalin or a Pinochet, but the authoritarianism of a Calvin or a Luther, laundered through the oddball sexual obsessions of our time.

    And why the authoritarianism?

    It takes a very tall and sturdy wall to protect a house of cards.

    Apparently, a subset of self-described feminists are upset when guys decide are actually female. (We've previously mentioned Meghan Murphy, who got Twitter-suspended for her heretical tweets.) Nobody much cares about the gals who decide they're dudes.

  • At Reason, Baylen Linnekin informs us that Maine’s Food Sovereignty Law Is a Hit.

    One year after Maine's groundbreaking food sovereignty law took effect, the capital city of Augusta has become the latest municipality to set food freedom in stone.

    Maine's first-in-the-nation food sovereignty law, An Act To Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, allows local governments in the state to pass ordinances that exempt many direct-to-consumer food sales within city limits from burdensome state licensing and inspection requirements.

    I'm ignorant about what the relevant law is in New Hampshire. I do see a number of direct-to-consumer farmstands, including one in my own town selling (eek!) raw milk. So it may be that we just bypassed the regulatory nonsense that Maine is trying to undo.

  • Scott Morefield of the Daily Caller asks the musical questions: What Is ‘Ballot Harvesting,’ And How Did California Dems Use It To Nuke The GOP?. The symptoms are ominous:

    As the polls closed on election day last month, six California Republican House candidates, including Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Steve Knight, and Mimi Walters, were ahead in their respective races. However, as the absentee and provisional ballots rolled in over the intervening weeks, all six lost to their Democratic opponents.

    At issue is the recently-legalized practice of allowing anyone to collect "vote by mail" ballots and submit them for counting, without a lot of checking for fraud. Orange County had a quarter-million such ballots, and it's pretty clear the Democrats out-maneuvered the Republicans on that score.

    Democrats keep claiming that there's "no evidence" of widespread voting fraud; they conveniently ignore the fact that the system is set up so that voting fraud is undetectable.

  • Philosopher Michael Huemer has started a blog titled Fake Nous (heh), and I've added it to my blogroll. Sample post, where Michael admits that he's Tired of arguing. Specifically, with "Christian proselytizers, subjectivists, Randian objectivists, Marxists, positivists, other victims of scientism." A couple of his reasons:

    1. I’m not going to learn anything. I know these ideologies. It is highly unlikely that the next Marxist I meet is going to say something importantly different from all the other Marxists. If they do, it’s still highly unlikely that I’m going to find it interesting or illuminating. I’ll probably just find it confused or irrational. Unless they’re an established scholar, there’s a pretty good chance that I will actually know more than they do about their own ideology, and I’ll have to teach them what ridiculous thing they’re supposed to say at a given point in the conversation.
    2. They’re not going to learn anything either. I have a fair chance of being able to tell, say, the positivist subjectivist something relevant that they don’t yet know. But it is extremely unlikely that they’re going to use it to improve their belief system. They’ll just try to make up an excuse for disregarding it.
    3. I find it tedious to struggle with people to convince them to open their mind.

    I occasionally get into it with some of my lefty Facebook friends. Maybe my unacknowledged motives for doing so are ignoble? I'll try to check that next time.

  • I am not sure whether the Intersectionality Score Calculator is a joke or not.

    You may have heard of intersectionality - "the theory that the overlap of various social identities, such as race, gender, and sexuality, contributes to the systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual" - but don't know how to compare your level of oppression with others. Now, you can!

    Just move the sliders—there are 13 of them: White/Person of Color, Straight/Gay, Male/Female, etc. And you get a score at the end.

    I got a 5% ("You are more privileged than 94% of others!") Take that, haters!