URLs du Jour

2019-07-13

[Amazon Link]

  • At Cato, John Samples reacts to the news that Facebook is going to "remove misinformation about the Census from its platform." Au contraire, John says: We Need More Speech about the Census. There are good reasons (for example) for censoring lies about the availability of polling places on Election Day. And there's nothing problematic about the usual imminent incitement to violence exception.

    But there’s an important difference between the two harms, violence and false beliefs about elections. I cannot avoid being punched in the nose as a result of incitement. I can avoid false beliefs by modest research regarding facts. Here’s a (hardly obscure) place to start. Our freedom of speech does require that citizens take some responsibility for their beliefs and the reasons for them. Facebook should not protect us from our sloth.

    Emphasis added. As in so many other areas, once you assume that the mass of citizenry need to be treated like children, it rapidly turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.


  • Jonah Goldberg's "G-File" seems to be e-mail only, at least for now. You can sign up for it at Reagan35x.com. Let me share this quote from his latest, where he discusses President Trump's remarks at his recent social media summit.

    “And we don’t want to stifle anything, we certainly don’t want to stifle free speech. But that’s no longer free speech…See I don’t think that the mainstream media is free speech either, because it’s so crooked, it’s so dishonest…So to me, free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it…But that’s not free speech.”

    As Thomas Jefferson said, “huh?”

    Trump took an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" slightly over 900 days ago, and he still remains woefully, and willfully, ignorant about what's in it.

    Note that (1) our Amazon Product du Jour quotes "Thomas Jefferson" (2) saying something he never actually said. Yet (3) Amazon is free to sell it anyway.

    For now.


  • Mark J. Perry presents the latest version of his Chart of the day.... or century?.

    [chart of the day, or century]

    Excercise for the reader: which items have politicians long promised to make more "affordable"?


  • A funny/sad article in Tablet from Nancy Rommelmann on Portlandization: It Can Happen to a Place Near You. We're talking Oregon, not Maine. A telling anecdote:

    I have a friend, let’s call her Karen. Karen bootstrapped several Portland businesses, including a coffee shop. She walks in one day and the barista, who is trans, says she had a man come in earlier wearing a MAGA cap and is she obliged to serve people like him? Karen asks, did he say something to you? No, says the barista, but he’s a white supremacist. Karen tells her, first, you don’t know that, and second, you cannot discriminate based on the way someone is dressed. And that, Karen thinks, is that, but no, the barista relays the story to another barista we will call Jen, who goes onto Facebook and posts, “My boss Karen is a Nazi.” Karen learns of this while she is on vacation. She calls her manager and tells her to get Jen into the office. Jen may intuit as much, as when the manager says she needs to speak with her, Jen gets on the floor behind the espresso bar and curls into a fetal position. And you might think, if anyone should maybe not be in customer service, it’s Jen, but no, people prove sympathetic to her and the other barista’s fears and start an online inquisition and can Karen prove she is not a Nazi? And should she not be more concerned with the safety of her employees than some random Republican wanting a cup of coffee?

    Nancy is moving from Portland to New York.


  • Drew Cline writes at the Josiah Bartlett Center on The scalping of Gordon MacDonald and the demise of an honorable culture. He is referring to the New Hampshire Executive Council rejecting Governor Sununu's nomination of Gordon MacDonald to be chief justice of the state Supreme Court. (The 2018 election gave Democrats a 3-2 majority on the Council, and coincidentally…)

    In 2017, MacDonald sailed through his Attorney General confirmation. “He’s someone I’ve met through (legal) practice, WMUR-TV reported a member of the Executive Council as saying. “I’ve generally thought him to be a sophisticated, thoughtful lawyer, which is what I want in an attorney general. He’s never been known to have any ethical issues.”

    This week, a councilor condemned MacDonald as having been associated with politicians who have “shockingly extreme views.”

    Both comments were uttered by the same councilor, Concord Democrat Andru Volinsky.

    Thus Volinsky, a convention delegate for Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who would abolish all private health insurance, labeled as a radical extremist a convention delegate for… Marco Rubio.

    I have, for a few years, considered myself literally a Republican In Name Only, because I enjoy voting in the primary.

    But, geez, even though I can't cheer very hard for Republicans, it's things like this that make me wish that Democrats would lose. Every one of them.