URLs du Jour

2020-10-09

[Amazon Link]

  • At Quillette, Samuel Kronen writes on The Prescience of Shelby Steele. The leadoff quote provided from "Seven Days in Bensonhurst", a PBS documentary:

    I have long believed that race is a mask through which other human needs manifest themselves. I think we often make race an issue to avoid knowing other things about ourselves.

    Indeed. I think I've read one of Mr. Steele's books (The Content of Our Character) but it's been a while. Time to reread that and more.


  • David Harsanyi in National Review: Foreign Intervention in U.S. Elections: Peter Beinart Argues It May Be Necessary.

    Peter Beinart, the newly minted contributing New York Times columnist, recently argued in an op-ed at the paper that Israel should be dissolved, its inhabitants thrown to the mercy of terror organizations such as Hamas and the PLO. Apparently, he has something comparable in mind for the United States.

    Calling on the past examples of racist authoritarian Woodrow Wilson, the unapologetic Communist Paul Robeson, Malcom X, Black Panthers, and others, Beinart contends that Democrats might have to summon the U.N. Human Rights Council, a world body teeming with dictators and theocrats, to intervene in what he imagines is America’s “chronic racist disenfranchisement.” Alas, this is the kind of feverish wish-casting that passes for intellectual discourse these days.

    I seem to remember that Twenty-First Century American Progressives were ready to call in a nuke strike on Moscow because of a few thousand dollars worth of lame, but Kremlin-paid, Facebook ads. Times have changed.


  • At Reason, J.D. Tuccille has an infuriating article about another state, useless except as a bad example: Cuomo Clamps Down on New York Churches and Schools (Again).

    There comes a moment as you're listening to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rant when you realize it all seems so familiar. Oh, yeah, you thinkthis guy sounds like the dictator in the movie Bananas who ordered everybody to speak Swedish and wear their underwear over their clothes. Only Cuomo isn't intentionally a joke, and his commands have serious consequences.

    This week, Cuomo announced another closure of New York schools that have already left families floundering through the pandemic and threatened to shutter synagogues and churches if their congregations don't bend to his will.

    "I am not going to recommend or allow any New York City family to send their child to a school that I wouldn't send my child to. We're going to close the schools in those areas tomorrow," Cuomo announced on October 5, in a command that applied to private schools as well as public ones.

    Since places of worship have been resistant to restrictions on gatherings, the governor got specific about penalties. "I have to say to the Orthodox community tomorrow, if you're not willing to live with these rules, then I'm going to close the synagogues," he threatened.

    I've said this before but: I thought that whole "wall of separation of church and state" thing was supposed to work both ways. It's like Cuomo thinks there's an asterisk on the First Amendment's "prohibiting the free excercise thereof*" language, leading to the fine print: "* unless you piss off a Democrat".


  • We wrote yesterday about the Great Barrington Declaration, a plea kicked off by professors at Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford, since endorsed by 177,786 individuals (as I type) including 11,643 medical practitioners, and 5,765 medical and public health scientists. But you won't hear about it on Reddit, apparently. Ethan Yang at AIER: Reddit’s Censorship of The Great Barrington Declaration.

    The declaration appeared on the Reddit channels r/COVID-19 and r/Coronavirus, both large online communities with over 300,000 and 2.3 million members respectively. Shortly after both posts were removed by moderators.

    I've never been tempted by Reddit.


  • Veronique de Rugy, in her syndicated column, throws some cold water on the big spenders in Congress and the Trump Administration: $75 Billion in Band-Aids Won't Cure Ailing Airlines.

    Regal Cinemas announced recently that it will temporarily close all 536 of its U.S. locations as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and continues to keep customers away. This move will affect approximately 40,000 employees across the country. And yet, nobody in Congress is talking about a bailout for Regal.

    Now compare that with the airline industry.

    The airlines received a $50 billion bailout in April of this year, with $25 billion in subsidized loans and $25 billion meant to keep most of airline workers employed until the end of September. As predicted, since consumers weren't ready to fly yet, this taxpayer-funded Band-Aid only postponed the inevitable. American Airlines and United Airlines just furloughed 32,000 employees. Yet, in this case, most legislators — from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to a large number of Senate Republicans to President Donald Trump — want to bail out the industry.

    Veronique recommends bankruptcy. Good idea.