URLs du Jour

2019-07-01

[Amazon Link]

  • At Hot Air, Allahpundit contributes to our "The Emperor Has No Clothes" department. Where the Emperor in this case is Our Watchdog Press: Ten years after he became VP, news outlets decide Biden's track record on busing is noteworthy.

    I think the most charitable explanation for this oversight is simple laziness. They didn’t give Biden the kid-gloves treatment in 2008 because they were in the tank and determined not to make trouble for a historic Democratic nominee, one might say. They gave him the kid-gloves treatment because they don’t do much investigating themselves, even of their own archives. Even this year, it may be the case that most of the media reports about Biden’s history with busing have been spoonfed to them by rival campaigns like Sanders’s or Harris’s. The reason Uncle Joe didn’t get dinged for this a decade ago might be as simple as the RNC’s oppo team having either dropped the ball or concluded that there was little to be gained by feeding the press stories about Biden’s opposition to busing (a position overwhelmingly shared by Republicans). But again: If you prefer this theory, you’re stuck believing that the press is uninterested in doing the basics of its own job, even when there are potentially high-stakes consequences in a national election.

    Apparently it's heretical to point out that busing was a classic social engineering "Do Something" policy, ineffective and expensive, diverting resources that could have been used to actually, you know, improve education for kids. It seems to have almost been designed to increase racial animosity.

    But all Senator Kamala has to do is say "That little girl was me" and everyone swoons. If you're a swooner, you might want to check out our Amazon Product du Jour.


  • Kevin D. Williamson, writing at National Review, notes a case of corporate cooperation with evil: Nike and the Disciplinary Corporation.

    Nike, the athletic shoe giant, has pulled a product off the shelves in response to a storm of social-media protest. The product was a sneaker collaboration with sportswear brand Undercover, whose principal designer, Jun Takahashi, published these unspeakable words on Twitter: “No extradition. Go Hong Kong!”

    Nike says it made the decision “based on feedback from Chinese consumers.” Just so.

    The context is this: Hong Kong, a free, liberal, democratic, self-governing city was handed over to the powers that be in Beijing — a clutch of corrupt, brutal, dishonest, organ-harvesting, gulag-operating murderers — as part of an agreement with the United Kingdom, who once had sovereignty over Hong Kong as a colonial power. Beijing wants Hong Kong to be more like the rest of China, and the people of Hong Kong do not. They recently took to the streets to force the reversal of a decision that would have subjected Hong Kong residents to extradition to the so-called People’s Republic of China for certain crimes rather than be tried in Hong Kong under Hong Kong law. Because the junta in Beijing has no compunction about drumming up charges for political purposes, this would have represented a noose around the neck of every dissident in Hong Kong. Jun Takahashi tweeted his support for liberal democrats against mass-murdering national socialists.

    And guess which side Nike came down on? The answer will… well, probably not shock you. Nike is fine with lionizing the American "dissident" Colin Kapernick, but when it comes to risking its Red China market? Welcome to the Memory Hole, Jun Takahashi!

    I'd boycott, but… well, I've never bought anything with a Nike swoosh in my entire life so far. Because I object to being a walking billboard for a corporate brand unless I'm getting paid for it.


  • I noticed a link to this New York Times article over at Hot Air: Everyone Wants a Rescue Dog. Not Everyone Can Have One. Which contains this little factoid:

    In May, 26 dogs died from excessive heat in a vehicle owned by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals while being shipped from Mississippi to Wisconsin.

    Oopsie.

    That said: when I was looking for a dog, I was surprised at all the rescues available to be shipped up from down South. And when conversing with fellow dog owners at the park, I was doubly surprised at how many of them got their pups that way.


  • Our LFOD News Alert was triggered by an article in SC Magazine, a cybersecurity publication : Cellebrite claims it can crack any iPhone or Android.

    Israeli data extraction firm Cellebrite announced the ability to break into any iPhone or Android device for law enforcement agencies near the same time Trump administration officials weighed the pros and cons of banning encryption law enforcement can’t break.

    Whoa. Banning encryption? We're thinking about doing that again?

    SCMagazine found some talking heads to point out the obvious:

    SecurityFirst Chief Marketing Officer Dan Tuchler said there’s a fine line between positions on this issue with no grey area. 

    “An authoritarian government will always seek to exert control by monitoring its citizens, using the reasoning that safety of citizens is more important than any erosion of their rights,” Tuchler said. 

    “The United States has a long history of mottoes such as “Live Free or Die” emphasizing the common conviction that the balance should always lean towards freedom of speech,” he said. “We don’t like it when suspected terrorists have the ability to communicate on encrypted channels, but we need to catch them a different way, so that we can protect one of our most important fundamental rights.”

    OK, I'm working on visualizing the "fine line with no grey area"… got it.

    The last time around, it became obvious that Our Federal Government was essentially trying to ban math. Or, more precisely, ban the software implementation of crypto algorithms.

    Eventually, it was decided that was not only offensive to liberty, but also ineffective and even counterproductive. What's different this time?


  • And LFOD appeared in (of all places) the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette: 'BAD LAW' censors Iowans' personalized license plates. The jackbooted thugs at the Iowa DOT have a little long list.

    The state government wants you to be able to express yourself, as long as you’re not too expressive.

    Thousands of Iowans have custom license plates, offering seven characters to send a personal message to anyone who drives behind you. The vast majority of requests are granted, but the state also maintains a long list of denied entries.

    Which you can view/search here. LFOD-relevance is established using the example with which we're very familiar:

    In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of a family that had covered up the “Live Free or Die” motto on their New Hampshire license plates.

    “The First Amendment protects the right of individuals to hold a point of view different from the majority and to refuse to foster, in the way New Hampshire commands, an idea they find morally objectionable,” Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote in the majority opinion.

    So the state cannot compel you to promote its own messages on your personal property, but the related question — whether, and to what extent, the state can censor your personalized license plate — is less clear. Federal courts have variously sided with and against states that block potentially offensive license plate requests, and the Supreme Court has not taken such a case.

    Yeah, but… no, it's not at all the same thing. But that's OK. A good roundup of the current legal state of affairs is here, from Los Angeles magazine: A USC Professor Is Suing the DMV for Rejecting His Vanity Plate. Pun Salad hero Eugene Volokh is extensively quoted.

    Also cited: the 2014 case of New Hampshire's own David Montenegro ("who two years ago legally changed his name to 'human'"): Court rules state violated free speech in 'COPSLIE' license plate case

    You can check the legality/availability of your desired NH vanity plate here. As expected, "LFOD" is unavailable.

    But you know what is available (at least as I type)? "IMVAIN". Which might be a little too self-referential, but…