URLs du Jour


  • Our tweet du jour from ousted NYT staffer Bari Weiss, who comments concisely (four words!) on Oscar's new qualification criteria for Best Picture:

    I believe there's some discussion on her feed about which past pictures would be disqualified under the new standards. Casablanca, probably? Gone With the Wind, definitely not!

  • Kevin D. Williamson enjoys the irony of class warriors going to bat for a real protected class: Nancy Pelosi & Chuck Schumer Demand Tax Cuts for their Rich Friends.

    In a very amusing New York Times column by two Brookings nerds, Richard V. Reeves and Christopher Pulliam, the question is raised:

    The election is a referendum not only on the moral failings of President Trump, Democrats argue, but on the economic fissures of the new economy. It is a fight, Mr. Biden says, on behalf of “the young people who have known only an America of rising inequity and shrinking opportunity.”

    Why on earth, then, are Democrats fighting — and fighting hard — for a $137 billion tax cut for the richest Americans? Mr. Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer don’t agree on everything, but on this specific issue they speak with one voice: the $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local tax (better known as the SALT deduction) must go.

    Limiting the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) amounted to a big tax increase on rich progressives in high-tax jurisdictions such as New York City and San Francisco, the political homes of Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, respectively. For years, this provided the limousine-liberal set with a much-needed economic palliative against the pain of living under the rapacious and incompetent governments of New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc. It was a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too arrangement: The grubby little miscreants in Sacramento and Albany were happy with the jack, and the high-income constituents they milk like a particularly docile if snappily dressed herd of dairy cattle hardly felt any pain thanks to the federal tax analgesic.

    I assume the $10K deduction limit hits some New Hampshire folks too, but I haven't heard a lot of complaints about it.

  • Ronald Bailey has some good news at Reason: Steven Pinker Survives Attempted Cancellation. A group of linguists "published an open letter calling for the Linguistics Society of America (LSA) to revoke the organization's distinguished fellow status from linguist and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker." From Bailey's interview with Pinker:

    Q: This LSA letter is an astonishing document. 

    A: I think it's part of a larger mindset that does not see the world as having complex problems that we fail to understand and ought to try to understand better to diagnose and treat, but rather as a kind of warfare between powerful elites and oppressed masses. In the classic Marxist analysis, these would be economic classes, but they've been transformed to racial and sexual classes.

    In this mindset, analysis, debate, evidence are just tools—propaganda exercised by those in power. What has to happen is not a deeper understanding of social problems, but a wresting of power from elites and redistributing it to the disenfranchised.

    Q: You've said the letter wasn't specifically about you, but it was quite targeted. 

    A: It was quite targeted, but it's part of a larger movement seeking monsters to destroy. That is, to look for prominent people and do "offense archeology," which is to troll through tweets and statements seeking to find evidence, however tortured, that there's some kind of prejudice behind them.

    Pinker's books are always must-reads for me.

  • And finally, Cafe Hayek's proprietor shares a letter he wrote to Reason about the "will-to-power" conservatives we blogged about previously. I just want to snip out his quote of H. L. Mencken.

    But the right to freedom obviously involves the right to be foolish. If what I say must be passed on for its sagacity by censors, however wise and prudent, then I have no free speech. And if what I may believe – about gall-stones, the Constitution, castor-oil, or God – is conditioned by law, then I am not a free man.

    I plan on exercising my right to be foolish as heavily in the future as I have in the past.

Last Modified 2020-09-10 3:50 AM EDT