URLs du Jour


Mr. Ramirez comments on recent news:


Yup, you have to look hard, but he got the pig socks too. (Compare original here.)

  • I'm having trouble treating this article as anything other than good news. Victor Davis Hanson at the Daily Signal: Universities Sowing the Seeds of Their Own Obsolescence.

    The current chaos has posed existential questions of fairness and transparency that the university cannot answer because to do so would reveal utter hypocrisy.

    Instead, the university’s defense has been to virtue signal left-wing social activism to hide or protect its traditional self-interested mode of profitable business for everyone–staff, faculty, administration, contractors–except the students who borrow to pay for a lot of it.

    How strange that higher education’s monotonous embrace of virtue signaling, political proselytizing, and loud social justice activism is now sowing the seeds of its own obsolescence and replacement.

    Unfortunately (as VDH notes) our "higher education system" has produced "a generation that is poorly educated and yet petulant and self-assured without justification." Once they've knocked down the universities, how likely is it that they'll come up with anything better?

  • A (related) modest proposal from David Harsanyi at National Review: Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System.

    ‘Public' schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever.

    State-run schools have undercut two fundamental conditions of a healthy tolerant society. First, they’ve created millions of civic illiterates who are disconnected from long-held communal values and national identity. Second, they’ve exacerbated the very inequalities that trigger the tearing apart of fissures.

    If you’re interested in ferreting out “systemic racism,” go to a big-city public-school system. No institution has fought harder to preserve segregated communities than the average teachers’ union. And I don’t mean only in the schools.

    Congratulations to David on coming up with a solution more radical than mine. Which is: abolish mandatory attendance laws. Kind of the ultimate in "school choice".

    This might destroy some "public" schools, true. But I think it would have a disparate impact on those that only exist because kids are forced to attend.

  • At Reason, Veronique de Rugy asks the musical question: Has the U.S. Government Finally Spent Too Much?. A neat summary:

    Looking at the spending that had passed as of early May, Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute predicted that the budget deficit would be $4.28 trillion in 2020 and $2.19 trillion in 2021. This year's deficit is estimated at 19.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), nearly double the peak deficits during the Great Recession and second only to the deficits during World War II. Over 10 years, that spending is projected to add nearly $8 trillion to the national debt, pushing the debt held by the public to $41 trillion, or 128 percent of the annual GDP, within a decade. This debt-to-GDP ratio will exceed even that at the height of World War II. Moreover, the national debt came down after that war ended—but continued Social Security and Medicare shortfalls will keep the current debt rising indefinitely.

    You can find Brian Reidl's analysis here in Detroit.

  • You've heard a lot about the "right to privacy". For example, SCOTUS has decided it grants you the right to an abortion. But it doesn't give you the right to avoid giving government details of your financial transactions. Funny.

    Well, Jim Harper thinks a lot about it. And at AEI, he urges: Don’t ‘democratize’ privacy.

    In 1980, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development described the expansive course that the concept of privacy had taken up to that point. “Generally speaking, there has been a tendency to broaden the traditional concept of privacy (‘the right to be left alone’) and to identify a more complex synthesis of interests which can perhaps more correctly be termed privacy and individual liberties.” Today, there’s even more to privacy than that. It seems as if any maltreatment of people online can be described as a “privacy” concern. We might want to rein it in.

    There’s a touch of the Streisand Effect in the fact that I learned about a new, minor internet star — gas station girl? — through a Twitter thread lamenting her poor treatment. In a video making the rounds, a young woman is seen repeatedly moving her car among gas pumps, failing each time to orient her car so that her gas tank is next to the pump. (It’s step one in filling up your gas tank.)

    Jim links to his longer AEI report that makes a careful near-philosophical dissection of the concept of "privacy". You'll be forever wary of people using the term sloppily. (Which, compared to Jim Harper, is pretty much everyone.)

  • Blowing up over the past few days:

    1. a group letter signed by a lot of old-fashioned liberals in favor of free speech. Followed by
    2. Well, let Matt Welch tell you at Reason: Lefties Hate on Liberal Open Letter on Free Speech.

    "The letter…is about Open Debate only to the extent that people who make very healthy salaries arguing in public for a living seem to have a bizarre aversion to being argued against," spat Gawker alum Hamilton Nolan at In These Times (other choice Nolan adjectives included "pathetic," and "almost intolerably exasperating"). "We have entered a brave new world in which those waving the banner of 'Free Speech' accuse their opponents of being unable to take criticism while waging a histrionic campaign against anyone who dares to criticize them."

    It takes a certain willfulness to ignore the plain words of a statement that's all of three paragraphs long, but judging by the reactions on Twitter, Nolan's pampered-crybabies-whining-about-criticism take was as common as goose turds by a pond. Yes, there are people on the list who are probably agitated at having been the target of public shaming campaigns—the Linguistic Society of America went after Pinker just this month, and Lord knows Rowling has had quite the 2020 arguing with transgender rights activists.

    You'll miss free speech when it's gone.

  • And I suspect this is related news. It would explain a lot: Officials confirm rare case of brain-eating amoeba in Florida.

    The Florida Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that one person was infected by a brain-eating amoeba in the Tampa area, just before the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The unidentified individual contracted naegleria fowleri, which is a single-cell amoeba that can produce a rare but often fatal infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), according to the department. 

    Now they mean really rare. 145 "known infected individuals" since 1962.

    But only four of them survived.