URLs du Jour

2020-06-05

[Amazon Link]

  • There's no baseball, but censorship season is in full swing! Reports the Federalist: Amazon Bans Coronavirus Skeptic's Book But Still Sells Books By Hitler, The Unabomber.

    Et tu, Amazon?

    Amazon first refused to publish a book skeptical of the mainstream narrative on the novel Wuhan coronavirus while still continuing to promote works by anarchists and Adolf Hitler.

    Alex Berenson, a former reporter at the New York Times who has written extensively debunking fearmongering claims related to the lockdowns wrote on Twitter Thursday that the tech giant to benefit the most from pandemic stay-home orders is refused to sell his latest book.

    Good news: Amazon eventually relented, after Elon Musk called for breaking up the company. I have no idea whether that was causal.

    I also have no idea whether Alex Berenson is full of crap, or not. He's semi-famous for writing an anti-pot book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence. Which Amazon had no problem with selling.

    Amazon has every right to decide what they want to sell, or not sell. And they have every right to make those decisions as transparent or opaque as they want. But, as a loyal customer since 1995, I'd hope they'd keep themselves as an open marketplace of ideas, no matter how loony or evil those ideas are.


  • John Hirschauer offers some welcome contrast to the prevailing rhetoric: Police Shooting “Epidemic” of Unarmed Black Men Is Fiction.

    It is true that there are injustices in the United States. It is true that there is tension and distrust between the police and racial minorities, and that this has terrible human costs, George Floyd’s death prominent among them. But the rioters and looters and their apologists are advancing a more specific claim still: that Floyd’s death is not just an individual tragedy worthy of particular outrage, but part of an epidemic of lethal violence perpetrated against unarmed black men by police officers. That such tragedies happen with startling frequency. That black men cannot leave the house without getting shot by racist cops. “It’s important to be here today because we’re dying,” one protester told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s an epidemic.”

    This is not supported by the data. Last year, according to the Washington Post’s database of police-involved shootings, nine unarmed black people were shot and killed by the police, compared to 19 unarmed white people. Assuming that the use of lethal force was unjustified in each of those nine cases — not always a safe assumption — the resulting deaths are no less tragic for being so statistically improbable. We rightly fear the specter of Islamic terror, even as it has claimed relatively few domestic victims in the post-9/11 epoch. But this problem — the use of lethal force by police against unarmed black suspects — is not nearly of the scope that the rioters and their enablers would have us believe.

    All the leftist lip service to "science" and "truth" goes out the window when it comes to American racial issues.


  • George F. Will has a demand: Trump must be removed. So must his congressional enablers. And his opening paragraphs are scathing:

    This unraveling presidency began with the Crybaby-in-Chief banging his spoon on his highchair tray to protest a photograph — a photograph — showing that his inauguration crowd the day before had been smaller than the one four years previous. Since then, this weak person’s idea of a strong person, this chest-pounding advertisement of his own gnawing insecurities, this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron.

    Presidents, exploiting modern communications technologies and abetted today by journalists preening as the “resistance” — like members of the French Resistance 1940-1944, minus the bravery — can set the tone of American society, which is regrettably soft wax on which presidents leave their marks. The president’s provocations — his coarsening of public discourse that lowers the threshold for acting out by people as mentally crippled as he — do not excuse the violent few. They must be punished. He must be removed.

    Resorting to an overused cliché: Tell us what you really think, George.

    My current operating theory:

    In 2016, anyone paying attention knew that Trump was awful.

    But enough people were tired enough of Democrat awfulness that they were willing to vote for a different kind of awful.

    So I would imagine that this year "enough people" will embrace Biden, even though his awfulness is manifest.

    He's a different kind of awful.


  • With the trillions of dollars flying out of Washington, to be supplied by future taxpayers, it's pretty easy to swipe a mere $150 billion. Mark J. Perry writes about it in the Washington Examiner: Electric vehicle advocates want to exploit pandemic to swindle $150B from taxpayers

    As industries grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the new normal it brings, and a slow-but-steady reopening of business, there is no shortage of proposals in Washington for how the federal government can provide assistance to businesses and industries most harmed. Some of these proposals are smart and may be necessary in the weeks and months ahead. Others appear opportunistic and more intended to advance a special-interest agenda than solve a problem.

    A proposal put forth by the Transportation Electrification Partnership (a collection of foreign automakers and Tesla, utilities, electric vehicle proponents, and even the California Air Resources Board, brought together by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator) has all the makings of one such opportunistic, rent-seeking proposal. The group recently wrote to Congress, urging lawmakers to use the pandemic as a platform to transition the transportation sector to electric vehicles.

    Mark is measured, as befits an AEI scholar. But saying this "appears opportunistic" is like saying that a scammer taking advantage of the pandemic to bilk gullible old people "appears opportunistic".


  • And finally, our Google LFOD News Alert rang for an LTE to the (Tacoma Washington) News Tribune from one David Hopkins:

    At some point the US is going to start brandishing its “Live Free or Die” perk.

    Women’s marchers were “brave.” Antifa were “defiant.” But lockdown protesters, who go to these rallies knowing they may catch their own death, are labeled as:

    • “Idiots” for wanting to get on with the duty of living.
    • “Fools” for putting their principles before their own lives.
    • “Irresponsible” for knowing that, bug or no bug, people aren’t meant to live in cages, gilded as they may be, pets to a governing body that demands they come out when its says come out and play when it says play and be kept dependent on its “charity” to survive.

    We know who is at most risk. We can protect them while my generation and the generations not at risk below me fight this bug in defense of the elderly, the weak and the young.

    If all I need to do to preserve what generations before me did is to get on with my life, then yup, forward I will go.

    It may kill me, but at this stage in the crisis, I’d rather be alive than survive.

    Bless you, Mr. Hopkins. It gladdens me in these trying times to know that there are still small pockets of liberty-minded folks, even in Washington state.