URLs du Jour


  • At National Review, Jim Geraghty has a good quote from Frederick deBoer on that Harpers letter and the dishonest criticisms it drew.

    Think for a minute and consider: what does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left? There is literally no specific instance discussed in that open letter, no real-world incident about which there might be specific and tangible controversy. So how can someone object to an endorsement of free speech and open debate without being opposed to those things in and of themselves? You can’t. And people are objecting to it because social justice politics are plainly opposed to free speech. That is the most obvious political fact imaginable today. Of course Yelling Woke Twitter hates free speech! Of course social justice liberals would prevent expression they disagree with if they could! How could any honest person observe our political discourse for any length of time and come to any other conclusion?

    Can we just proceed by acknowledging what literally everyone quietly knows, which is that the dominant majority of progressive people simply don’t believe in the value of free speech anymore? Please. Let’s grow up and speak plainly, please. Let’s just grow up.

    That's a bit of Mr. deBoer's entire article. Which I would ordinarily just link to, but Geraghty's worth reading on his other topics too.

    The Amazon page for an upcoming book by by Mr. deBoer calls him a "leftist firebrand". But he seems honest, which seems to be an ever-shrinking brand these days.

  • More on the backlash against one of the Harpers letter signers from Jerry Coyne: The Purity Posse pursues Pinker.

    The Woke are after Pinker again, and if he’s called a racist and misogynist, as he is in this latest attempt to demonize him, then nobody is safe. After all, Pinker is a liberal Democrat who’s donated a lot of dosh to the Democratic Party, and relentlessly preaches a message of moral, material, and “well-being” progress that’s been attained through reason and adherence to Enlightenment values. But that sermon alone is enough to render him an Unperson, for the Woke prize narrative and “lived experience” over data, denigrate reason, and absolutely despise the Enlightenment.

    The link to the document in question, “Open Letter to the Linguistic Society of America,”  was tweeted yesterday by Pinker’s fellow linguist John McWhorter, who clearly dislikes the letter. And, indeed, the letter is worthy of Stalinism in its distortion of the facts in trying to damage the career of an opponent. At least they don’t call for Pinker to be shot in the cellars of the Lubyanka!

    Coyne does a point-by-point rebuttal of that letter. Really, the only interesting thing to discuss is whether today's "Purity Posse" is more Stalinist or Maoist?

    Also on that topic: Jonathan Turley.

  • Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek had a Bonus Quotation of the Day... from Deirdre McCloskey:

    And the tale of expert social engineering is unbelievable, really. It cannot answer the simplest folk skepticism: If You’re So Smart, what ain’t you rich?

    Something to keep in mind when (for example) Joe Biden, who has never run anything even as complicated as a McDonalds, promises to transform the nation.

  • At Politico, Rich Lowry offers his lonely, but correct, opinion: Mark Zuckerberg is Right.

    Mark Zuckerberg clearly hasn’t gotten the memo.

    The founder of Facebook persists in defending free expression, even though free speech has fallen decidedly out of fashion.

    His reward for adhering to what once would have been a commonsensical, if not banal, view of the value of the free exchange of ideas is to get vilified for running a hate-speech machine and to get boycotted by major American companies.

    As a mild Facebook user, I'm amazed how Zuck is unable to resist flinging that McCloskey taunt at his critics: "If You’re So Smart, what ain’t you rich?".

    Or: "Set up your own site, genius."

  • And a bit of New Hampshire pride quoted by Inside Sources: New Hampshire Taxpayers Get Best Deal in U.S..

    That’s according to a new study released by WalletHub ranking states on whether their taxpayers “get the most or least bang for their buck.” Their analysts break down government services into five categories: education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure & pollution.

    Their findings: Nowhere else in the country will taxpayers get more for their money than the Granite State. They also found the percentage of the state’s residents in poverty is the lowest in the nation.

    “New Hampshire has the best taxpayer ROI because its residents pay the second-lowest taxes per capita, and benefit from quality government services,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told NHJournal. “More specifically, the state’s school system is among the best, and there is a low share of idle youth — just 8 percent.”

    They hate us 'cause they ain't us. Which brings us to …

  • … a slagging in the Financial Times, which set off the Google LFOD News Alert: Americans want to be free to be stupid. The writer, Elizabeth Cobbs, is billed as a "history professor at Texas A&M University and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution." She's down on Americans generally, but those in one state specifically:

    Stiff-necked resistance to authority is not limited to western or southern states. New Hampshire, one of the original 13 colonies, remains the epitome of what Turner called Americans’ “antipathy to control”. The state motto, “Live Free or Die”, helps explain why it is the only US state without an adult seatbelt law and one of only three that do not require motorcyclists to wear helmets.

    Et Tu, Hoover Institution?

    Anyway, Elizabeth remains befuddled by even the suggestion that the NH motto implies that the state shouldn't be making risk decisions for adults. Nope, she goes immediately for "stupid".

    That link, by the way, goes to a description of the Randolph accident from last year, which killed seven motocyclists. Even after Googling, I haven't seen any authoritative source claiming whether or not any of the dead or injured were wearing helmets. Given the horrific details, I suspect helmets might not have made much difference one way or the other.

Last Modified 2020-07-11 3:35 AM EDT