URLs du Jour


Michael Ramirez has a suggestion for one member of the outgoing administration:

[turn out the lights]

  • And at American Consequences, P. J. O'Rourke looks forward to Life After Covid.

    Returning to a world where a global plague isn’t killing people by the million, sickening millions more, and endangering practically everyone will be a great improvement on dying or having a ventilator thrust down one’s throat. But what will this post-COVID world be like?

    Some of the most common predictions are that work-from-home setups will replace the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of Dunder Mifflin in the reboot of The Office… in-person retail shopping is dead as disco… cities will de-gentrify because millennials are fleeing from their confinement in yoga-mat-sized apartments stinking of kombacha to the spacious fresh air of suburbia… and the size and scope of government will grow faster than you can say “$900 billion coronavirus stimulus plan.”

    The last prediction will certainly come true. Government loves an emergency. And in this current emergency, government discovered that it has all sorts of emergency powers that no one had ever thought of before. Government will be itching to exercise those powers again. Expect bars and restaurants to be closed and lockdowns to be ordered next time there’s an outbreak of toenail fungus. (Also, gatherings of more than 10 barefoot people will be banned.)

    I think he means "kombucha". A pleasure I've never experienced, and with any luck…

  • Maybe the last "Dr. Jill" post, but as long as Kyle Smith keeps at it, so can I. Here's an article on Contradictions and Conceptual Errors in Jill's thesis (NRPlus, sorry, but you should subscribe.)

    Jill Biden’s embarrassing 2006 dissertation, which I mocked here and extensively quoted here, is essentially a weakly argued 20,000-word op-ed that offers zero hard evidence for her policy proposals, which are that Delaware Tech (her employer at the time) should beef up its Wellness Center, add a student center, and offer lots of counseling and mentorship to students in order to increase retention rates, which she says were about two-thirds at her institution, about par for community colleges.

    Everything is based on anecdotes or soft data, such as the results of insipid surveys she sent out asking Delaware Tech students whether they agreed with her ideas. Surprise! Students would like a student center to be built. But so what? Wouldn’t students say yes to any proposed amenity? Students would likely say yes to a new screening room, tennis court, or fro-yo lounge, but that doesn’t mean these would be wise uses of the institution’s money. How much would a student center cost? Biden doesn’t say. Would the benefit be worth the cost? Biden is silent on the question. Even if a student center were worth the cost, would some other potential use of that money be even more worthwhile? The question never crosses Biden’s mind. Biden simply proceeds from the assumption that the world is a place of unlimited resources for things she wants. Whatever additional time, money, and effort are required will magically appear. This is not a scholarly approach.

    Kyle performs a valuable public service in exposing the lack of scholarship behind all those Ed doctorates. We should think up a different honorific for those folks. Instead of "Doctor", how about "Edder"?

  • It's been awhile since I read the American Spectator but this, from Melissa Mackenzie (current pubisher) is pretty good: Blue Dress Proof.

    For a damaging story about a Democrat to be true, DNA must be found on a blue dress. There must be Blue Dress Proof™.  It’s not enough to have a witness and a victim. It’s not enough to have a computer, a cache of validated emails, thousands of affadavits signed under the threat of perjury. There must be actual DNA, videotaped evidence. If the bad guy is a Democrat, there must be Blue Dress Proof.

    For a damaging story about a Republican to be true, nothing has to be true at all. Third-hand hearsay about hookers and pee, a smile on a face, or a sarcastic tweet or phrase taken out of context can make even the most absurd conclusion be portrayed as fact and conveyed as truth in perpetuity. If the bad guy is a Republican, no proof is needed.

    I was going to list some examples, but I'm sure you can come up with your own.

    Unfortunately, Melissa goes off the rails a bit about voter fraud. See Ramirez cartoon above, ignore and forgive.

  • Maybe I'm amazed by Tyler Cowen's post at Marginal Revolution: Paul McCartney as management study.

    Paul has been writing songs and performing since 1956, with no real breaks.  Perhaps he has written more hit songs than anyone else.  He brought the innovations of Cage and Stockhausen into popular music, despite having no musical education and growing up in the Liverpool dumps.  His second act, Wings, sold more records in its time than the Beatles did.  On a lark he decided to learn techno/EDM and put out five perfectly credible albums in that area.  He decided to learn how to compose classical music, and after some initial missteps his Ecce Cor Meum is perhaps the finest British choral work in a generation, worthy of say Britten or Nicholas Maw.  And that is from a guy who can’t really read music.  He has learned how to play most of the major musical instruments, typically well.  He can compose and play and perform in virtually every musical genre, including heavy metal, blues, music hall, show tunes, ballads, rockers, Latin music, pastiche, psychedelia, electronic music, Devo-style robot-pop, drone, lounge, reggae, and more and more and more.

    Hope I'm that good at age 78.