URLs du Jour

2020-09-08

As a reformed physics major, I really liked this beauty from Michael Ramirez.

[Kaboom]

Mr. Ramirez's visualization based on science journalism. But neat nevertheless.

  • At Reason, Matt Welch details The Media’s Nervous Breakdown Over Race.

    If you were alive and on social media in early June, you were almost certainly swamped by scores of media and cultural organizations putting out statements, Instagram posts, and self-critical columns expressing solidarity in the fight against systemic prejudice.

    "We recognize that there is much work to be done, and we are committed to engaging in this work to eradicate institutional racism," announced the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. "I have tried to diversify our newsroom over the past 7 years, but I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH," confessed the editor in chief of Variety. The women's lifestyle publication Refinery29, like many websites, changed its homepage color to black instead of its usual peppy pink.

    Within days, the heads of all those institutions were out of a job.

    I have to think this sort of thing will sputter into self-contradicting irrationality sometime soon. But not before many careers are ended.


  • John Murawski writes at RealClearInvestigations on The Deeply Pessimistic Intellectual Roots of Black Lives Matter, the '1619 Project' and Much Else in Woke America. It's all about "Critical Race Theory", a theory so idiotic…, well, let's quote Orwell: "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool."

    The theory is

    […] a movement born in law schools in the 1970s, influenced by Marxists, French post-modernists, the Black Power cause, radical feminists and other disaffected leftist scholars. It quickly spread to throughout the humanities and social sciences, shaping a generation of students who now hold positions of influence in academia, public school systems, corporate HR departments, publishing, the media, and, of course, Black Lives Matter -- the latter prominent in current street protests against police abuses and racism.

    Initially dismissed as an academic sideshow, critical race theory’s assumptions and precepts are now espoused as self-evident, often without awareness that this uprising has a name, a history, a literature and ambitions to advance ever-new theories of discrimination and demands for reparations. The vocabulary and concepts of the theory have been disseminated through corporate diversity workshops, social media and mass media, higher education and secondary education, best-selling books and local church discussion groups. Even the conservative Southern Baptist Convention declared last year that evangelical theologians rely on critical race theory to understand American social dynamics.

    As usual, I'll point out that Critical Race Theory has become the Official Theology of the University Near Here.


  • NH Journal's Michael Graham notes how a onetime New Hampshire Governor's passing was handled by the local TV station: 'Conservative but Still Friendly' Coverage of Merrill's Death Raises Questions About WMUR's Objectivity.

    WMUR’s Sunday morning coverage of the passing of Gov. Steve Merrill contained this jarring note:

    “Despite his conservative leadership, Merrill was friendly and had a sense of humor.”

    “Despite?” What’s the connection between Merrill’s conservatism and the fact that he was known as both a compassionate and funny person, many Granite State Republicans asked. To some, it was yet another sign of WMUR’s coverage drifting toward the left.

    We usually watch as much of WMUR's 5pm news show as we can stand, and the drift is pretty obvious, mainly in the disparate coverage of Trump and Biden. They seem to like Governor Sununu, though.


  • I've been seeing an upswing in appearances of that good old Russian word nomenklatura, probably because of stories like this: San Francisco gym owners livid after discovering gyms in government buildings have been opened for months.

    Gyms within government buildings in San Francisco have been open for months, despite privately owned establishments being ordered to close due to the coronavirus.

    “It’s shocking, it’s infuriating,” Daniele Rabkin, of Crossfit Golden Gate, told a local NBC station. “Even though they’re getting exposed, there are no repercussions, no ramifications? It’s shocking.”

    Shocking? Or just what we little folk should suspect?


  • Isaac Stone Fish at the WaPo claims Mulan is a scandal. And it's hard to disagree. Disney hopped right into bed with the Chinese dictatorship.

    The most devastating part of “Mulan,” Disney’s much-anticipated live-action remake of the 1998 animated film, isn’t the story. It’s the credits. The film retells the ancient Chinese tale of Hua Mulan, a filial daughter who dresses as a man to join the army, honor her father and save the emperor. While the film engenders pride for China, it does so with a subtle touch: Besides a few mentions of defending the Silk Road, a favorite trading route of Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, little links it to the modern-day country. The New York Times called it “lightly funny and a little sad, filled with ravishing landscapes.”

    But there’s a dark side to those landscapes. Disney filmed “Mulan” in regions across China (among other locations). In the credits, Disney offers a special thanks to more than a dozen Chinese institutions that helped with the film. These include four Chinese Communist Party propaganda departments in the region of Xinjiang as well as the Public Security Bureau of the city of Turpan in the same region — organizations that are facilitating crimes against humanity. It’s sufficiently astonishing that it bears repeating: Disney has thanked four propaganda departments and a public security bureau in Xinjiang, a region in northwest China that is the site of one of the world’s worst human rights abuses happening today.

    Fish deems Mulan to be Disney's "most problematic" movie since Song of the South. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!