URLs du Jour

2020-07-24

[Amazon Link]

  • Our Google News Alert LFOD item is up front today, and it's an editorial from The Sun, based in Old Blighty. And they … sound just like us: We're not against face masks but we need to know when we can chuck them away.

    The Sun is not against masks. Indeed we backed them months ago. It seemed obvious to us they must have some preventative effect.

    But that was with daily deaths at 1,000 and new infections at 5,000. Both have fallen by 90 per cent, yet NOW we are ordered to cover up in shops or be fined.

    We will not join the “live free or die” brigade who consider their refusal to wear one an act of Mandela-like civil rights heroism. It is a small, temporary price for the return of greater normality.

    But we do ask this of Boris Johnson: When can we chuck them away again? How low must infections and deaths fall?

    You need a firm exit plan, PM.

    It's nice to know folks in other countries are wondering about "temporary" regulations and expansions of state power that turn out to be not that temporary.

    But in the meantime, our Amazon product du jour is guaranteed to irk a large fraction of your neighbors. (Or maybe not, depending on where you live.)

    [Amazon Link]
    The masks feature an "optional carbon filter slot." But "(Carbon Filter Not Included)".

    Which raises a question: how long before authorities require carbon filters on your mandatory face masks?

    Which raises another question: how would they check for that?

    What can you get away with in mandatory mask zones, anyway? (For example, at right?)


  • At National Review Kevin D. Williamson discusses a problem and its cause: American Medical Community Credibility Problem: Self-Politicization Decreases Public Trust.

    Doctors: “The government needs extraordinary emergency powers to deal with public-health crises.”

    People: “Okay, so what about—”

    Doctors: “Also, we have to gut the Bill of Rights, because gun violence is a public-health crisis.”

    People: “. . .”

    Doctors: “Also, we need to forcibly sterilize poor people, because overpopulation is a public-health crisis.”

    There are a lot of people making a lot of bad decisions in regard to COVID-19. I wish they would make better decisions. But if some people do not seem to believe that they are getting a straight answer from the medical community about the pandemic, it may be because they remember not having got a straight answer from the medical community about gun rights, climate change, population control, abortion, and much else. If some people believe that the doctors and their organizations are playing politics with the pandemic, it may be because they remember the doctors and their organizations playing politics with a lot of other issues before.

    Short column, so KDW doesn't manage to mention the (um…) conflicting advice from public health experts who gave explicit thumbs up to mass racial protests, after emitting dire warnings for other crowd scenarios. After all, 'Racism Is A Pandemic Too'.


  • Veronique de Rugy looks at The Economics of Cancel Culture.

    A wave of hasty firings is sweeping across the country, driven by demands from what some call the "cancel culture." The New York Times editorial page editor James Bennett ran an op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) that displeased the paper's readers and some colleagues, so he lost his job. The chief curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Gary Garrels, lost his job, too, after he was accused of being a racist for saying he would still collect art from white men. But the list of those who lost their jobs is much longer, and the rationale is sometimes as stunningly weak as someone liking the wrong tweet.

    As a result, fear has gripped many workers: Any day, any worker can be fired for simply angering a Twitter mob. Meanwhile, employers are left wondering how they should react when one of their employees becomes a target.

    VdR's advice is pretty simple: don't act in haste, sleep on it, give passions time to cool.

    You know, exactly what people aren't doing.


  • At a site titled Liberty Unyielding, Hans Bader says 'Anti-racism' is racism in disguise.

    America’s colleges, media, and cultural institutions are being swept by the ideology of “anti-racism.” It openly advocates racial discrimination against white people, and promotes bigoted, lower expectations for black people.

    “Rationality” and “hard work” are vestiges of racism, declared the “anti-racism” web site of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. It claimed that virtues like “hard work,” “self-reliance,” being “polite,” and being on time are all a product of the “white dominant culture.” So, too, are normal grammar, the scientific method, and its emphasis on “objective, rational linear thinking,” according to a chart the Smithsonian posted.

    The ‘anti-racism’ sweeping institutions still ends up rendering black people as somehow different, other, unable to meet even basic standards,” notes Thomas Chatterton Williams, a black writer for the New York Times magazine and Harpers. He points to a recent set of “anti-racist” directives from the English Department at Rutgers University, which deemphasize grammar rules that conflict with black slang.

    As said before: we need a word to describe "prejudice against people because of their race". If the definition of "racism" is taken away to mean something else, what word will replace it?


  • Tom Maguire looks with dread on a letter signed by "a group of large investors", demanding that the Federal Reserve and the SEC “explicitly integrate climate change across your mandates.” Or, more precisely, use their regulatory power to force companies to bend the knee to the climate hysterics. In order to achieve goals that the legislative branch won't pass laws to do. Tom foresees death by regulation.

    The letter was signed by some of the largest pension funds in the country, including the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, which manages $246 billion; the New York City Comptroller’s Office, which oversees pension funds worth $206 billion; and the New York State Comptroller’s Office, which manages the state’s $211 billion retirement fund.

    Uh huh, NY and California? I don't think politics has anything ta all to do with this. Next week we can read virtually the same letter. Replace "climate change" with "social justice", change the risks to include protests, riots and consumer boycotts, et voila - we need more disclosure on what companies are doing to advance racial and gender equality.

    I'm kind of scared to look at whether anyone at my investment firm signed on. Hope not.