URLs du Jour

2020-02-15

[Amazon Link]

Just a brief geek note: the wizards branched Fedora 32 from the bleeding-edge Rawhide earlier this week. I upgraded my workstation (actually a VMWare guest under a Windows 10 host), with only a few hiccups.

The F32 beta-release date is still over a month away, so not recommended for … well, anyone really. I only do it to keep my geek life interesting.

Now on to our regular programming:

  • Jonah Goldberg's G-File this week considers The Mess the Democrats Are In. He touches on a topic that (among many others) griped me about the deluge of TV ads I didn't manage to TiVo-skip:

    When I hear politicians insist they can unify the country, I hear politicians promising one constituency that they can make another constituency shut up.

    In a proper democracy, the best you can hope for is consensus—temporary and partial consensus—on a specific issue at a specific time. Unity is about force—strength in numbers—consensus is about persuasion. It comes from the Latin for “agreement” and shares meaning with “consent.” Consent can be forced, but forced consensus is not admirable or desirable in a democracy. 

    But we live in an age where the constituencies politicians care about most are those that don’t want consensus. They want to make them shut up.  

    Jonah also basks in the delicious irony of Elizabeth Warren trying to rebrand herself as a "unity candidate" when it was only a few months ago she was chiding her debate opponents for "using Republican talking points".


  • Reason's Eric Boehm notes the occupational licensors are also at work in the Old Dominion: Virginia Is About To Require a Government License for ‘Art Therapy,’ Because Glue and Scissors Are ‘Potentially’ Dangerous.

    Based on a study that cites such potential dangers as the "sharp edges" on scissors and "toxic chemicals" in glue, state lawmakers in Virginia are on their way to approving a new licensing law to cover art therapists.

    There is no word on whether kindergartners will continue to be allowed to use these tools that, in the hands of unlicensed adults, apparently constitute a risk to public safety.

    The Virginia state Senate voted unanimously this week to approve the legislation, sending the bill to the state Assembly for further consideration. The bill would create a new license for art therapists, but it is largely silent on the requirements for obtaining such a license. Instead, the legislature intends to offload those details to a newly created board—a board that will be staffed primarily by practicing art therapists.

    Because who else? The yes-there-is-such-a-thing American Art Therapy Association gives the current rundown on the states where this abomination has been imposed. I regret to say that New Hampshire has a mild variety: we recognize "art therapists for purposes of state hiring and/or title protection".

    Iowa (for example) seems to be OK with the menace of art therapists roaming the cornfields without a shred of title protection or state hiring guidelines.


  • At National Review, David Harsanyi notes the Great Bernie Adjustment among the chatterers: Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins.

    Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race.

    Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will nominate an authoritarian leftist for president. A lot of this anxiety is, no doubt, driven by recent polls that find a majority of Americans are more open to voting for a non-binary Martian atheist than for a socialist.

    Others, however, have begun reinventing Sanders, who, they now contend, isn’t actually a socialist socialist, because he’ll never send you to die in an icy gulag and few of his policy ideas will ever come to fruition.

    Matt Fuller over at Huffington Post posits that moderates shouldn’t be too “scared” of a Sanders presidency “when all Republicans and most Democrats in Congress publicly oppose Medicare for All.” Really? The signature policy idea championed by a major party’s leading presidential contender is so unpopular that the majority of elected officials can’t publicly support it, and that should reassure moderates?

    “Vote Bernie: He’s got tremendously unpopular positions that will never pass!”

    In Bernie's favor is the irrefutable argument that he is not Donald Trump. But it seems even the never-Trumpers in the Lincoln Project are unpersuaded by that.


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rang for Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh in the Canada Free Press: Socialist Democrat Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Marching America Over Socialist Cliff.

    Now that a naked Marxist has won the New Hampshire Democrat primary, perhaps their 1945-adopted motto should no longer be “Live Free or Die,” but “Live Marxist or Die.”

    Ouch, Ileana, that hurts.

    Fun trivia: in 2016, Bernie got 152,193 votes in the New Hampshire Primary. This year, he only managed 76,352. So at least by that standard, we're moving away from Marxism. Can we keep our motto?

    LFOD invocation rating: H for Ileana having her Heart in the right place.


  • And the Boston Herald's Grace Curley opines amusingly that Democrats have a problem: You. Specifically, if "you" don't live in California or New York.

    When all else fails, progressives turn to identity politics. Sure, New Hampshire and Iowa are home to plenty of Democrats. But that is no longer enough.

    For the political party that includes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar, the real question has become … are the New Hampshire/ Iowa Democrats progressive enough?

    After all, who knows what kind of moderate Dems are lurking around in the dreadful Granite State. While Live Free or Die Dems might like Bernie’s pro-choice stance, could they be potentially scared off by his fondness for open borders and Medicare-for-all?

    Sure, some of those Democrats voted for Hillary. But is there even a slight chance that these working folks would have the audacity to think of their 401(k)s and vote in their own financial interest? That is a risk the liberals are no longer willing to take.

    LFOD invocation rating: P for Perfunctory.