URLs du Jour

2019-04-15

[Amazon Link]

  • At NR, George Will writes on the Democratic Party 2020 Presidential Candidates: Foolishness Sweepstakes. A couple examples:

    Competition in the Democrats’ frivolity sweepstakes is intense. Beto O’Rourke contemplates amending the Constitution “to show that corporations are not people.” Conceivably, he has not thought through why corporate personhood has been in Anglo-American law for centuries: For-profit and nonprofit (including almost all progressive advocacy groups) corporations are accorded rights as “artificial persons” (William Blackstone’s phrase) to enable them to have lives, identities, and missions that span generations and produce a robust civil society of freely cooperating citizens.

    Donald Trump must secretly admire Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren’s thoroughly Trumpian proposal — made where pandering is perfected: Iowa — to ban foreigners from buying U.S. farmland. Lest diabolical foreigners take our loam home? No, Warren says foreigners threaten “food security,” hence “national security,” too. Warren and Trump — he who sees a national-security threat from imported Audis — are together at last.

    Hey, I'm old enough to remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Japanese bought Rockefeller Center. Surely a harbinger of imminent Japanese dominion! But a few years later, they defaulted on the mortgage.


  • At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff reports that Ken Starr shielded Hillary Clinton in report on Vince Foster’s death.

    Ken Starr’s investigation confirmed that Foster’s death was a suicide and that the suicide was due to depression. However, Starr also came to believe, based on the FBI’s work, that the event that triggered the suicide was Hillary Clinton going full Amy Klobuchar on him. Specifically, in front of White House staff, she raked Foster over the coals for incompetence, reportedly telling him he would always be a little hick town lawyer who was obviously not ready for the big time. I discussed this charming matter in a 2016 post.

    Starr, though, did not include Hillary’s mistreatment of Foster in his report on Foster’s death. Starr’s explanation? According to this report, Starr says he “did not want to inflict further pain” on Hillary.

    Something that voters might have found illuminating … oh, say, anytime in the past two decades, but especially in 2016. Yet our watchdog press is only selectively curious.


  • Megan McArdle notes that AOC wants to fund federal literacy programs. But they’re failing for a reason..

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is outraged. That isn’t news, of course. But the targets of the Democratic representative from New York do change, and on Thursday, it was Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, of whom she tweeted:

    “Only *one-third* of American children in elementary & middle school can read at grade-level. One third. Yet Betsey DeVos is trying to cut *every* Federal literacy program in the country.”

    Ooh, that does sound outrageous, doesn’t it? But Betsy (not Betsey) DeVos offered a reasonable-sounding explanation for her slash-and-burn approach to federal literacy programs: She says they don’t work.

    Her claim could, of course, be false. But Ocasio-Cortez’s own tweet inadvertently offered compelling empirical support for DeVos’s position. After all, if only a third of American children can read at grade level, the literacy programs aren’t working very well. We should certainly hope that there is some better method out there. And a good way to fund it might be to divert money from the current lackluster programs.

    For AOC, and folks like her, the only possible explanation for an $X million Federal program not working is that it wasn't given $2X million instead.


  • I thought the black hole picture was pretty neat. But Jazz Shaw at Hot Air notes the ensuing non-science discussion: So now we're trolling the black hole picture lady?. The lady is "Dr. Katherine “Katie” Bouman, one of the imaging scientists involved in processing the massive mountains of data that went into creating the image."

    Woman in STEM! Role model! Immediately, some (including, of course, AOC) made it seem like she did it on her own.

    This was greeted by (understandable, but also obnoxious) trolling, belittling her contributions to the overall project. (Note that Dr. Bouman herself never exaggerated her role in the imaging.)

    Jazz comments:

    So in the end, Dr. Katie Bouman was a valuable, contributing member of a 200 person team that developed the black hole photo. And after posting one innocent photo of herself enjoying the team’s moment in the sun she was turned into a feminist hero and then a glory-grabbing monster, all in the space of a few hours. Is anyone really surprised? That’s life on social media in 2019.

    "Indeed."


  • And the Google LFOD alert rang for a conservative rant by Vivek Saxena at Business and Politics Review about an incident at the local Center of the Universe, Epping NH: Girl gets pseudo apology for being ordered to remove Trump hat, shirt on America Pride Day. Is it enough?. The goons came for…

    Vivek gathers some truly hateful tweets about Ciretta. But also some support:

    Thanks, Randy. Except it's "fair and square".


  • And Farouk Martins Aresa mentions LFOD in (I am not kidding) the Nigerian Voice: Government Of The Privileged Rigged For The Privileged Ignored Poverty.

    Social safety nets were needed to avoid revolts within live free or die states and cushion the hungry workforce. Yet, corruption is in every political system. Check, balance and in China’s case dire consequences up to and including death might have brought down poverty drastically. Unfortunately, in Africa where corruption is shielded by the cry of due process, rule of law and democracy; tolerance emboldened and increased poverty with unplanned population growth.

    Yeah, I have no idea.


  • But Pravda on the Merrimack notes New releases by N.H. writers. And this one looks pretty good:

    [Amazon Link]

    Amanda Marin’s book, North to Nara, is the first in a planned series set in a dystopian future where Suffers bear troubles of others for the good of the Nation. It was released by Inkspell Publishing on March 20.

    When the leading character, Neve Hall is assigned a new Sufferer, Micah Ward, she begins to uncover secrets and will have to choose between love or loyalty to the Nation.

    Marin includes tributes to her home of New Hampshire in the novel.

    “I always love coming across nods to New Hampshire in books or movies – even after living here for more than 30 years,” Marin said in a statement.

    There is a scene set in the state with references to the White Mountains and local granite. The characters come across an old sign with the current state motto and ponder what it means to truly “live free or die.”

    North to Nara is a mere $2.99 (Kindle) at Amazon, so click away.