URLs du Jour

2020-07-28

Ladies and gentlemen, the song stylings of Remy: NoMargaritasville.

On a related note, you might want to check out the WebMD page Am I a High-Functioning Alcoholic? Know the Signs.

Unfortunately, Sign One is:

Say you have a problem or joke about alcoholism

So no jokes about the other signs, friend. You don't have a "sense of humor"; you have a serious problem.

  • Unfortunately, National Review doesn't seem to be in the habit of bringing their magazine articles out from behind their paywall. So I don't know if you can read this article from Kevin D. Williamson either now or in the eventual future. But you should: ‘Hate’ & America's Political Chaos.

    I  live in a neighborhood full of very nice high-income white progressives, which means that I get to take in a great deal of literal virtue-signaling when I go for a walk. It is, as the yard signs inform us pedestrians, “No Place for Hate.”

    Perhaps you have seen the signs in your own neighborhood: “In this house, we believe: Black Lives Matter, No Human Is Illegal, Love Is Love, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Science Is Real, Water Is Life, Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat To Justice Everywhere.” We have one of those signs every eleven houses or so in my neighborhood. “Love is love” — impossible to argue with that kind of cutting-edge thinking. (The Williamsons do not display any sign, but, if we did, it would read: “No Trespassing.”) Another sign features a red interdictory circle over the familiar tangerine-toned countenance of President Donald Trump and the slogan: “No Hate.”

    “Hate” is a word that, like “inappropriate” and “empathy,” has been worn out utterly. It is like the steps on one of those ancient temples in Italy that, having been ground down by so many tourists climbing up, can no longer be used to ascend. “Hate” has become just another pile of evocative but structurally useless semantic rubble.

    Well, I shouldn't copy the whole thing, but if you can't read it online, try to find a hard copy.

    Those yard signs aren't just virtue signalling; they're virtue sirens. Look how good we are! How better than our signless neighbors.

    As a steadfast technically-still-a-Lutheran, I suggest Matthew 6:1-4.


  • I missed blogging John McWhorter's excellent Reason essay on the 1619 Project from back in January, but its relevance has ratcheted up since then: The 1619 Project Depicts an America Tainted by Original Sin. Problems?

    For one, note the suspension of disbelief we are expected to maintain. Supposedly the Founding Fathers were trying to protect slavery, despite never actually making such a goal clear for the historical record, and at a time when there would have been no shame in doing so. What are the chances that this supposed revelation would have slept undiscovered until now, when for almost 50 years, humanities academics of all colors have been committed to their socks to unearthing racism in the American fabric? Can we really believe that a group of journalists writing for the Times has unboxed such a key historical revelation from reading around, that no one else of any color has chosen to trumpet in the mainstream media for decades?

    Hogwash, clearly. And yet it will be considered the height of insolence to address the decisive historical observations of historians like Wilentz. Here and only here, serious academic chops don't matter. We are to think of a broader goal—endlessly and liturgically attesting to the racism that black people have suffered from—as licensing a fantastical way of thinking. People like Wilentz will be classified as nattering nuisances who just don't "get it," callously prizing the literal over what is "deeper," as if they were requiring that someone today walk on water before subscribing to Christianity. That is, people who insist on the truth will be classified as blasphemers.

    At the University Near Here, the 1619 Project (its podcast version) is recommended as one of its Racial Justice Resources; the NYT's 1619 website is pushed by the business school's "Community, Diversity and Inclusion Resources" page. Exercise for the reader: try to find any dissent from the Offical Line.


  • So coming up this week is some political theater between successful businessmen vs. a bunch of politicians who have never run anything except their mouths. (I'd like to credit that line to its originator, but Google is failing me.) Anyway, Mr. Amazon will be one of the victims, and Jessica Melugin takes to the CEI pages to preview: Congress is Dragging Jeff Bezos to the Hill to Explain a Routine Business Strategy.

    Alongside his fellow Big Tech CEOs, Jeff Bezos will appear before the House Judiciary Committee next Monday to testify about Amazon Marketplace’s business practices with its third-party sellers. The occasion will make for entertaining political theater, but the expected line of inquiry is mostly without merit.

    Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Tim Cook of Apple have all testified before Congress many times, but this will mark the first time that Bezos will appear before the legislative body. In February, House antitrust subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline of Rhode Island told CNBC, “As I think about this marketplace, it’s pretty clear to me that it’s not functioning properly, that there’s not robust competition there.” More specifically, the committee is interested in allegations that the online retail giant uses data about its third-party sellers to compete against them with its own in-house brand.

    Ms. Melugin notes that it's a sure bet that your local big-box store or supermarket chain does exactly the same thing in deciding which "house" brands to develop and stock in competition with Heinz, Del Monte, Colgate-Palmolive, …


Last Modified 2020-07-28 3:04 PM EST