URLs du Jour


Today's artwork is "American Woman Bathing her Children" according to Getty, a work depicting the customs and activities of foreigners after the forced opening of Japanese ports to American trade by Commodore Matthew Perry. The kid is doing a Biden to the dog.

  • At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson avers There Will Be No ‘Return to Normalcy’ .

    Some people have taken comfort in Joe Biden’s emerging undead administration, in which Biden, who will be 82 years old at the end of his term and was first elected to office half a century ago, has chosen to surround himself with such deathless hacks as John Kerry, who first ran for office in 1972, and Janet Yellen, who took her first job at the Federal Reserve in 1977. These personalities are intimately familiar, like a persistent infection.

    In truth, Biden might have done worse under the influence of today’s Democratic party: Janet Yellen may not be Milton Friedman, but she isn’t Bernie Sanders, either. Incoming National Economic Council director Brian Deese hasn’t been working at Marxists ’R’ Us since leaving the Obama administration — he’s been helping BlackRock profitably manage its $7.4 trillion in assets. We’ll even be treated to the return of Jen Psaki, the witless, feckless, gormless, and generally -less Pippi Longstocking of self-regarding Democratic hackery. Sure, it’ll be like giving the inmates from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest nuclear weapons and a navy, but that’s democracy for you. And they’d have to expend a great deal of energy to come off as weirder than Donald Trump, who has an imaginary friend for a PR man and a habit of citing a Twitter philosopher called “Cat Turd.”

    I'll look for a silver lining here: there will be plenty of stuff to blog about, snarkily.

  • Steven Hayward at Power Line approaches a thorny topic: Asking the Right Questions, Avoiding the “Wrong” Answers.

    Robert Putnam, the Harvard political scientist who became famous 20 years ago for his “bowling alone” hypothesis about the erosion of social capital in the U.S., is out with a new co-authored book (with Shaylyn Romney Garrett) on racial disparities, The Upswing. Although a liberal, Putnam has not shrunk in the past from reporting data findings uncongenial to liberals, such as his careful work concluding that “diversity” and high rates of immigration actually lead to the erosion of social trust.

    A long excerpt from the book appears today in the New York Times under the title “Why Did Racial Progress Stall?“, and it does not shrink from observing some uncongenial facts about racial progress (and the lack of it in recent decades):

    In terms of material well-being, Black Americans were moving toward parity with white Americans well before the victories of the civil rights era. What’s more, after the passage of civil rights legislation, those trends toward racial parity slowed, stopped and even reversed. . . In measure after measure, positive change for Black Americans was actually faster in the decades before the civil rights revolution than in the decades after.

    Putnam shies away, however, from the obvious explanation: the 60s/70s "Great Society" and associated policies actually disincentivized progress.

  • Brendan O'Neill at Spiked thinks We need to talk about Ellen Page. Why?

    So that’s it, is it? Ellen Page is no more? She’s been disappeared? She’s been shoved down the memory hole, left to stalk that netherworld of people whose names must never be uttered out loud, like Bruce Jenner, Frank Maloney, Voldemort? Ellen Page, the actress most famous for starring in irritant quirkhouse movie Juno, has now declared that she is Elliot Page and that she’s a he. And, boom, just like that, Ellen’s gone. She’s being erased from film history. People are getting into trouble even for saying the word ‘Ellen’. ‘Who?’, woke identitarians ask, as if they’ve all gone mad.

    We need to talk about this. Specifically we need to talk about Ellen Page. We need to talk about the fact that this woman – yes, woman – existed in public life and in the celluloid imagination for many years, and that can’t just be scrubbed from the record, Soviet-style. Yesterday, Ellen issued a statement saying she is now Elliot and her pronouns are he and they. That’s just bad grammar. Swiftly, slavishly even, the establishment media and the film world rushed to erase Ellen, the movie star of a decade’s standing. It’s like she never existed. From IMDb to Wikipedia, it’s all Elliot. ‘Elliot Page is a Canadian actor’, Wikipedia tells us. Where’s Ellen gone?

    Brendan's bottom line:

    The cult of transgenderism isn’t liberation. All it does is allow individuals to ‘liberate’ themselves from reality while heaping pressure on the rest of us to deny the truth, to silence our own knowledge, to lie to ourselves and to others. That is the opposite of freedom. Sorry, Ellen.

    I assume Brendan's on his way to the re-education camp as I type.

  • The NY Post editors note the inevitable asymmetry of "hate" calls: Facebook's 'anti-hate' algorithm assumes only some bigotry matters.

    Facebook is overhauling its algorithms for removing hate speech, The Washington Post reports, because policies it thought were race-blind were upsetting a lot of black users and employees.

    Specifically, it’s telling its robots to focus on “the worst of the worst,” according to internal documents the paper obtained: “slurs directed at Blacks, Muslims, people of more than one race, the LGBTQ community and Jews.”

    Bigotry against men, whites and Americans won’t be automatically flagged, as they’re “low sensitivity.”

    "Hate has no home here", unless you're hating the right people.

  • And Not the Bee is not a fan of USA Today: USA Today fAcT-cHeCkErS compare Trump shirts to Nazi symbols but say pic of Biden staffer with Commie symbol is "MiSSiNg CoNtExT". I'll just toss up the relevant tweet:

    Sheesh. USA Today fact checkers should be fired.