URLs du Jour


Happy June, everyone! Gotta be better than May, right?

Our eye candy du jour is provided by Mark J. Perry of AEI, and it's kind of grim, sorry, but as visualizations go, it seems to be topnotch: Selected global causes of deaths vs. COVID-19 in 2020.

  • Viking Pundit made the mistake of watching TV yesterday, and provides us with Things I learned on the Sunday morning shows.

    1. The actions of a handful of looters should not be used to paint a broad brush to condemn the legitimate protesters who are angry over the George Floyd tragedy.
    2. The actions of a single cop in Minneapolis indicates systematic failure of the entire American police force and it must undergo sweeping institutional reform.

    I've learned a couple related things:

    1. We should obey the edicts of various government officials on mask-wearing, social distancing, and business restrictions.
    2. We should ignore curfews imposed by government officials in order to riot, loot, and burn "protest".

    The state turned from "Benevolent and Wise Protector of Public Health" into "Fascistic Oppressor of the Downtrodden" just like that.

  • At National Review, Kyle Smith provides advice that should be unnecessary: Don't Excuse, Defend, or Encourage Rioters.

    Why do they keep doing it? Decade after decade, generation after generation, progressives keep making the same, elemental mistake: They downplay, excuse, and in extreme cases even encourage urban rioters.

    We’ve been down this road before, and it’s a straight stretch of highway with no twists whatsoever. It would take a moral moron to get lost on it, and yet somehow progressives keep managing to do so. This isn’t hard. The people of Minneapolis are right to be angry about the savage death of George Floyd, but rioting will not bring him back or honor his memory, and the riots will make everything even worse. The Democrats and the media should be shouting as loudly as they can: Stop what you’re doing, you’re hurting your cause.

    Also condoning the riots as "rebellion" is fat filmmaker Michael Moore. Which brings us to:

  • Matt Taibbi is a dedicated lefty, but he's principled enough to notice that we're turning into a very bad movie, titled Planet of the Censoring Humans. His Exhibit A is what happened to fellow-lefty Michael Moore's recent documentary, directed by Jeff Gibbs.

    Moore and Gibbs challenged the idea that both the planet and humankind’s current patterns of industrial production can be saved through the magic bullet of “renewable energy.” The film shows lurid examples of various deceptions, like the oft-used trick of replacing coal plants with new natural gas plants, which are then called “clean” or “green,” or the hideous trend of describing the burning of trees as a “renewable” energy source.

    Environmentalists denounced the film as riddled with “lies” and “misinformation,” claiming among other things that Moore used old data to discredit green technology. A campaign to remove the film from circulation immediately took shape.

    It's amusing (in a grim way) to see environmentalists finally notice that Moore's documentary style is propagandistic and totally unfair to its targets. I've been saying that for decades.

    But (of course) censorship is a really bad response, and that's only Taibbi's first example of that. His bottom line: "[T]hese new suppression tactics are infinitely more dangerous than one movie ever could be, and progressives seem to have lost the ability to care."

    I would disagree that progressives ever consistently cared about censorship as long as it was directed against targets they despised. Read some history, Matt.

  • Also being pilloried by progressives is Mark Zuckerberg. (Example) Why? Well, because (according to Alexandra DeSanctis at National Review): Mark Zuckerberg Says Social Media Isn’t the ‘Arbiter of Truth’.

    “I don’t think Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with CNBC. “I think that’s kind of a dangerous line to get to in terms of deciding what is true and what isn’t.”

    His comments came on the heels of the recent back-and-forth between Donald Trump and Twitter, after the social-media platform began appending fact-check–style disclaimers to some of the president’s tweets, and Trump shot back with an executive order taking ineffectual aim at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Twitter’s move to censure the president was a response to pressure from progressives incensed by Trump’s repeated tweets pushing conspiracy theories alleging that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was involved in a murder and coverup.

    Alexandra provides an example of an incensed progressive:

    Massachusetts senator and failed presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, was even harsher, sounding more than a bit like Trump in her zeal: “Zuckerberg went on Fox News—a hate-for-profit machine that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracy theorists—to talk about how social media platforms should essentially allow politicians to lie without consequences. This is eroding our democracy.”

    Like Woodrow Wilson, Elizabeth Warren wants to "make the world safe for democracy". By destroying freedom of speech.

  • And these things seem to run in the same way, don't they? At the Federalist, Tristan Justice notes: Instagram Blocks GOP Senator's Children's Book From Being Promoted.

    Instagram is blocking a new children’s book from Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn and her daughter, Mary Morgan Ketchel, from being promoted on the platform citing the potential that it might “influence the outcome of an election.”

    The book titled, “Camilla Can Vote: Celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote,” is about a little girl’s trip to a museum where she is transported back to 1920 when Tennessee became the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment passing women’s suffrage. The project came to be Ketchel said, because she wanted to connect little girls to history to celebrate the upcoming centennial of women’s right to vote, highlighting Tennessee’s role in the process along the way.

    Facebook owns Instagram. I guess they didn't get Zuck's memo about his devotion to free expression.