URLs du Jour


[pirate keyboard]

  • It's "Talk Like a Pirate Day, and your go-to guy is Dave Barry. I've resurrected a 2011 pic as our Eye Candy du Jour.

  • So Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away yesterday. My condolences to her friends, family, and fans. I'm not a fan, for reasons Viking Pundit points out. But apparently she was besties with Antonin Scalia, which cuts in her favor.

  • To more mundane matters, Zach Greenberg of the James G. Martin Center notes the latest battle in the War Against Certain Pixel Arrangements: Censoring a Thousand Words.

    At the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, where I work, we focus on defending student and faculty free speech rights and encouraging universities to uphold those rights, even when it is difficult and unpopular to do so. With increasing frequency, we see colleges and universities failing to adhere to their free speech obligations.

    For example, just this summer, FIRE criticized Fordham University for punishing a student over an Instagram photo memorializing the Tiananmen Square massacre which featured the student holding a firearm. For this display of political expression, Fordham found the student responsible for violating university policies on “threats/intimidation,” earning the student disciplinary probation and a ban from campus, campus athletics, and leadership roles in student organizations. Fordham also required the student to take bias training and write a letter of apology.

    Conspicuous advocacy of liberty is disallowed at Fordham. Make a note of that, college-bound kids.

  • Power Line has a question and a suggestion: Want Tax Cuts for the Rich? Vote for Biden. He's pledged to sign any legislation he gets to end the cap on the State And Local Tax (SALT) deduction. The New York Times (of all things) is quoted:

    The House of Representatives has already passed legislation removing the cap, allowing the amount of the deduction to rise. If the Senate turns blue in November, Democrats have promised to return to the issue. “I want to tell you this,” Senator Schumer said in July, “If I become majority leader, one of the first things I will do is we will eliminate” the SALT cap “forever.” It “will be dead, gone and buried.” . . .

    By pushing for repeal of the cap, Democrats are leaving themselves wide open to criticisms of hypocrisy and opportunism. As Senator Michael Bennet, one of the few Democrats opposed to removing the SALT cap, pointed out to his Senate colleagues in October 2019: “We can say we are for a progressive tax code and for fighting inequality, or we can support the SALT deduction. But it is really hard to do both.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also voted against repeal.

    The Tax Policy Center offers this picture of who used the SALT deduction and for how much:


    I am not an eat-the-rich class warrior, but I'm very much opposed to ordinary folks being asked to ameliorate the impact of high blue-state taxes.

  • At the WSJ, (Harvard Professor) Harvey C. Mansfield calls out The ‘Systemic Racism’ Dodge.

    Systemic racism, also known as institutional or structural racism, is a new phrase for a new situation. We live in a society where racism is not, and cannot be, openly professed. To do so not only is frowned upon but will get you into serious trouble, if not yet jail, in America. Yet even though this is impossible to miss and known to all, “systemic racism” supposedly persists. The phrase describes a society that is so little racist that no one can respectably advocate racism, yet so much racist that every part of it is soaked with racism. We live with the paradox of a racist society without racists.

    Systemic racism is unavowed and mostly unconscious, racist despite itself. Those who use the phrase, mostly whites, are consciously accusing their unconscious selves. To get a sense of what they mean, think of African-Americans as they are, freed of slavery and segregation but still somehow consigned to an inferior social position. Everywhere they look, they see black faces on show but white faces in charge. This is true even where they generally excel and surpass whites, as in sports and entertainment, and still more in business and academia, where they are fewer. White supremacy seems to be true in effect if not in intent. Look around and you will see it.

    Professor Mansfield notes the inherent dysfunctionality of the concept: "It tells blacks that they are quite OK, and that it is entirely up to whites to change their thinking and their behavior. This means that blacks must allow whites to hold their future for them."

  • On the same topic, Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review: Make Them Prove It.

    The “institutional racism” prattle would melt if it were ever subjected to the enlightened rationalism that is supposed to be the university’s reason for being. But that is Western culture, and out leaders don’t do Western culture anymore.

    What do they do? Marxism and voodoo, mainly. When you cannot cite hard evidence for the cosmic propositions you swear by, it can only be because we’re beset by “false consciousness” that prevents us from perceiving how whiteness and West-ness have corrupted us. All we can say for sure is what “disparate impact” theory tells us: We don’t have equality of outcomes, so that must mean we don’t have equality of opportunity, right? Because, you know, every one of us is a Mozart, an Einstein, a Jane Austen, a Bobby Fischer, or a LeBron just waiting to happen, if only there were a level playing field.


    Not to say we're without problems. But "systemic racism" inherently means that the "system" can't fix those problems. Thus a convenient excuse for inaction.