URLs du Jour


  • In our "Because of Course He Was" department, the Free Beacon reports: Arizona Librarian Fired for Push to Keep Politics Out of Libraries.

    In July, Arizona librarian Ron Kelley received an email from the American Library Association—the largest librarian association in the world—soliciting individuals to join the Black Lives Matter movement. Kelley, who had served in his position for nine years, replied to the list-serve with an email titled "Keep Politics Off This Discussion Group," in which he argued that libraries should remain neutral and apolitical. Following two complaints to the Flagstaff Library regarding his email, Kelley was fired from his job.

    Prior to Kelley's removal, the American Library Association released material instructing employees to embrace "critical librarianship," which asks libraries and librarians to analyze how they "consciously and unconsciously support systems of oppression." Its core tenet is that neutrality harms oppressed groups. As one Portland librarian put it in the American Libraries magazine, remaining neutral as a librarian "upholds inequality and represents indifference to the marginalization of members of our community."

    I have to say that the Portsmouth (NH) Public Library seems to do a decent job of purchasing books across the political spectrum. It's a good thing, too, because I have to shell out for my borrowing privileges; I'm not a Portsmouth taxpayer.

    However if they start blacklisting titles because of unwokeness, why, I'll…

  • Jonathan Turley notes the latest from our social media masters: Ron Paul Posts Criticism of Censorship on Social Media Shortly Before Facebook Blocks Him.

    We have been discussing the chilling crackdown on free speech that has been building for years in the United States. This effort has accelerated in the aftermath of the Capitol riot including the shutdown sites like Parler. Now former Texas congressman Ron Paul, 85, has been blocked from using his Facebook page for unspecified violations of “community standards.” Paul’s last posting was linked to an article on the “shocking” increase of censorship on social media. Facebook then proceeded to block him under the same undefined “community standards” policy.

    Even though I was never much of a Ron Paul fanboy, this is pretty rank.

    Even though I try to avoid going political on Facebook, I posted a link to Turley's article as a test. They don't seem to have nuked me yet. But the day is young.

  • Jacob Sullum doesn't like Trump, but he also doesn't like what the Democrats are saying: Prosecuting Trump for Incitement Would Set a Dangerous Precedent.

    When Simon & Schuster canceled publication of Josh Hawley's book The Tyranny of Big Tech, the Missouri senator called the decision "a direct assault on the First Amendment." For reasons the Yale-trained lawyer and former Supreme Court clerk should understand, that description was wildly wrong.

    By contrast, another reaction to last week's deadly assault on the Capitol—the suggestion that President Donald Trump should be not only impeached but criminally prosecuted for inciting a riot—poses a real threat to freedom of speech. Trump's opponents may regret establishing a precedent that speakers who neither practice nor preach violence can be held criminally responsible for the conduct of listeners inspired by their words.

    I'd only add the caveat that Trump's behavior could well be legal, but still fully impeachable. Something I learned from listening to Jonah Goldberg's podcast with Keith Whittington this morning. (I think Jacob knows this, because his language is careful.)

  • Kyle Smith at National Review notes a good reason to turn off your TV next Wednesday, and leave it off for four years or so: Networks Teaming Up to Air Biden Inauguration Infomercial

    Behold the hilarious enthusiasm among the nation’s biggest media outlets to hurl themselves at the feet of power and begin licking intently: Next Wednesday night, after the inauguration of Joe Biden, the three oldest television networks are planning to join forces to air the same heavily produced propaganda special “celebrating the inauguration,” as Variety puts it.

    “Celebrating”? Not “covering”? Not “reporting on”? Not “observing with due detachment and without partisan cheerleading”?

    Yep, celebrating. The film is a DNC production disguised as “news,” produced by the same team that created the DNC’s infomercials at the Democrats’ convention last summer. Observers expect there will be no difficulty finding “A-list talent” to participate in the ritual tongue bath. What’s unusual about this “special” is not that it will exist but that ABC, CBS, and NBC are planning to donate their airwaves for a period of 90 minutes to two hours in order to promote the Democratic Party with glamour and spectacle. In industry parlance, this is known as a “roadblock” strategy — the idea is that viewers are forced to watch the stuff if you turn on the TV. (True, if this is 1974, but at least most people have other options today.) Fox is not participating in the state-propaganda exercise.

    For those wondering if this can possibly be true: it sure seems that way. Here's this morning's story from Poltico. You'll be able to see the tongue bath on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC; Fox and Fox News are opting out.

  • At City Journal, William Voegeli writes About "Whataboutism" and Political Hypocrisy.

    Many things are complicated—but not everything. If you condemned the Antifa/Black Lives Matter violence that took place around the country in 2020, as all conservatives did, then you must condemn the Trumpist riot at the U.S. Capitol in 2021. Period.

    Suppose, however, you spent last summer applauding the riots, or dissembling about them, or dismissing them. In that case, to deplore last week’s violence credibly is not so simple. If you demand that your political adversaries adhere to a principle, but exempt people whose cause you endorse from having to comply, then that preference you enjoy boasting about is not really a principle. It is not a standard of conduct applicable to all, in other words, but just another rhetorical device used for political combat.

    If you’re Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for example, […]

    Yeah, you'll have to click over to find out what would happen if you were Nancy Pelosi. I know that's a frightening prospect. Go ahead, I dare ya.