URLs du Jour

2019-10-28

Our leadoff today is from the Immortal Iowahawk, parodying yesterday's WaPo headline in a Tweet.

Man, he's good. Jeff Bezos should give Dave an insane amount of money to act as the WaPo sanity checker. Someone in charge of saying: "Naw, you better rethink that."

Well, good as that might be for the WaPo, it would be a lot less fun for the rest of us.


  • Bret Stephens writes at the NYT: Elizabeth Warren Wants to Lose Your Vote.

    A decade ago, it was conventional wisdom that the world would soon start running low on oil and that the United States would henceforth be at the mercy of the inexorable trend. Then the fracking revolution came about, and the U.S. resumed its long-lost place as the world’s No. 1 oil and natural gas producer.

    The result: lower oil prices for American consumers, less dependence on petrodespots, a dramatic shift from coal to natural gas for electricity generation (with concomitant benefits in carbon emissions), and hundreds of thousands of working-class jobs, including tens of thousands in swing states like Colorado and Pennsylvania.

    Elizabeth Warren wants to kill all this.

    Other bad-Liz ideas Bret discusses: tech regulation, and health care. And I'm pretty sure he ran out of room for others. Liz is the anti-Hayek. As Bret points out: "Those with plans for everything prove only that they can’t be trusted to plan for anything."

    I'd say "good job" in the comments, but there are 2133 of them as I type. Why does anyone bother adding comments?


  • The Verge notes an interesting statistic: Drivers killed the most pedestrians and bicyclists in almost 30 years.

    Nearly 36,600 people died on US roadways last year, a decrease of 2.4 percent from 2017, according to recently released figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4 percent, from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018. The NHTSA says it is the lowest fatality rate since 2014.

    That all sounds encouraging, but it’s really only good news for those of us driving or riding in cars. Everyone else, especially vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists, is being killed at an alarming rate. The number of pedestrians killed — 6,283, an increase of 3.4 percent from the previous year — was the highest such number since 1990.

    That's … impressive. But nobody seems to have proposed banning biking or walking. At least not yet.


  • The Bulwark started out as sort of a refuge for conservative never-Trumpers, which is fine, although it can get a little tedious. Their founder and editor-at-large, Charles Sykes, is off-target here in his discussion of Mark Zuckerberg's recent decision to err on the side of free speech: Mark Zuckerberg Won't Save Us .

    Mark Zuckerberg worries about the “erosion of truth.” He wants us to know that he worries about it “deeply,” because, as we know, he is a deep thinker.

    But he really doesn’t want to do anything about it.

    As he tried to explain to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) the other day: “Well Congresswoman, I think lying is bad and I think if you were to run an ad that had a lie, that would be bad. That’s different from it being — from it — in our position the right thing to do to prevent your constituents or people in an election from seeing that you have lied.”

    Sykes' bottom line: "Mark Zuckerberg won’t save us. But he’s wrong not to try."

    That is mealy-mouthed nonsense, Charlie. Zuck should be able to make his own calls about regulating the content seen on his site without getting his elbow jiggled by self-serving politicians or pundits.


  • And at Reason, Jacob Sullum writes on something other than drugs: A Survey Finds Speech Restrictions Are Pretty Popular. That’s Why We Need the First Amendment..

    The First Amendment is unpopular…which is why we need the First Amendment. A recent survey commissioned by the Campaign for Free Speech underlines that point, finding that most Americans support viewpoint-based censorship, suppression of "hurtful or offensive" speech "in universities or on social media," government "action against newspapers and TV stations" that print or air "biased, inflammatory, or false" content, and revising the First Amendment, which "goes too far in allowing hate speech," to "reflect the cultural norms of today."

    That last position was endorsed by just 51 percent of respondents, compared to 42 percent who disagreed and 7 percent who had no opinion. But 57 percent favored legal penalties for wayward news organizations, 61 percent supported censorship of "hurtful or offensive" speech in certain contexts, and 63 percent said the government should restrict the speech of racists, neo-Nazis, radical Islamists, Holocaust deniers, anti-vaccine activists, and/or climate change skeptics.

    What we need is… to lock Joe Biden up for invoking Obama's old pledge:

    "If you like your employer-based plan, you can keep it," Biden said July 15. "If you have private insurance, you can keep it."

    Maybe that would get the would-be speech regulators off their perch?


Last Modified 2019-10-28 1:49 PM EST