URLs du Jour

2021-02-09

  • Another leftist who's getting disgusted with the Church of Woke is Glenn Greenwald, and he lets fly on his Substack: The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows.

    A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

    I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.

    Greenwald's current target is NYT tech reporter Taylor Lorenz, who spied on an ostensibly private Internet chat, and falsely accused Marc Andreessen of using the "r-word" ("retarded"). And it gets worse from there.

    The "Reasons You Can't Trust the New York Times" Department is getting overflowed.


  • John McWhorter writes at Persuasion on The Neoracists. It's an excerpt from his new book, which is not yet available at Amazon, why not?

    It's about "Third Wave Antiracism" which "teaches that racism is baked into the structure of society, so whites’ “complicity” in living within it constitutes racism itself, while for black people, grappling with the racism surrounding them is the totality of experience and must condition exquisite sensitivity toward them, including a suspension of standards of achievement and conduct." And contains the following tenets:

    1. When black people say you have insulted them, apologize with profound sincerity and guilt. But don’t put black people in a position where you expect them to forgive you. They have dealt with too much to be expected to.

    2. Black people are a conglomeration of disparate individuals. “Black culture” is code for “pathological, primitive ghetto people.” But don’t expect black people to assimilate to “white” social norms because black people have a culture of their own.

    3. Silence about racism is violence. But elevate the voices of the oppressed over your own.

    4. You must strive eternally to understand the experiences of black people. But you can never understand what it is to be black, and if you think you do you’re a racist.

    5. Show interest in multiculturalism. But do not culturally appropriate. What is not your culture is not for you, and you may not try it or do it. But—if you aren’t nevertheless interested in it, you are a racist.

    6. Support black people in creating their own spaces and stay out of them. But seek to have black friends. If you don’t have any, you’re a racist. And if you claim any, they’d better be good friends—in their private spaces, you aren’t allowed in.

    7. When whites move away from black neighborhoods, it’s white flight. But when whites move into black neighborhoods, it’s gentrification, even when they pay black residents generously for their houses.

    8. If you’re white and only date white people, you’re a racist. But if you’re white and date a black person you are, if only deep down, exotifying an “other.”

    9. Black people cannot be held accountable for everything every black person does. But all whites must acknowledge their personal complicity in the perfidy throughout history of “whiteness.”

    10. Black students must be admitted to schools via adjusted grade and test score standards to ensure a representative number of them and foster a diversity of views in classrooms. But it is racist to assume a black student was admitted to a school via racial preferences, and racist to expect them to represent the “diverse” view in classroom discussions.

    This is in stark (and very welcome) contrast to the Official Encyclicals recently issued from the Portsmouth Public Library and UNH Lecturers United.


  • Robby Soave highlights the unsurprising defense of an incompetent hack: San Francisco School Board President Says Critics of School Renaming Are Undermining Anti-Racist Work. I'm not sure if she said "How dare you!", but it's strongly implied…

    In Following the Equator, an 1897 book of social commentary, Mark Twain wrote: "In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards."

    He certainly could have been talking about San Francisco's current school board, which is now lashing out at critics of its idiosyncratic push to purge the schools of historical names deemed problematic: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dianne Feinstein, and 40 others. (Indeed, if there were any public schools in San Francisco named for Twain, the renaming committee might very well have jettisoned the acclaimed American author—an ardent champion of anti-slavery and anti-imperialist causes—because characters in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are historically accurate and use the N-word in a pejorative way.)

    Robby also mentions the SF board's vice-principal, who's quoted as saying that "merit" (i.e., trying to measure scholastic achievement) is a "racist system".


  • Well, let's turn to less loaded subjects. Randal O'Toole looks at the Biden Administration's promised goals to make the US A Global Leader in Obsolete Technology.

    Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg wants to make the United States the “global leader” in high-speed rail. That’s like wanting to be the world leader in electric typewriters, rotary telephones, or steam locomotives, all technologies that were once revolutionary but are functionally obsolete today. High-speed trains, in particular, were rendered obsolete in 1958, when Boeing introduced the 707 jetliner, which was twice as fast as the fastest trains today.

    Aside from speed, what makes high-speed rail obsolete is its high cost. Unlike airlines, which don’t require much infrastructure other than landing fields, high-speed trains require huge amounts of infrastructure that must be built and maintained to extremely precise standards. That’s why airfares averaged just 14 cents per passenger-mile in 2019, whereas fares on Amtrak’s high-speed Acela averaged more than 90 cents per passenger-mile.

    Wheezy Joe dearly loves the choo-choos, though. And he loves wasting taxpayer money. The combination will probably be as irresistible as trying to stop the Downeaster with a tractor-trailer.


  • But in our "What Could Possibly Go Wrong" Department, the Washington Examiner reports: Biden pick for unemployment program lost $600M to Nigerian scammers.

    President Biden faces growing questions about the appointment of a Democratic donor to oversee billions of dollars in unemployment benefits despite her role at a state agency that lost hundreds of millions in coronavirus relief funds to Nigerian scammers.

    Suzi LeVine departed Washington state’s Employment Security Department last month, leaving behind a trail of audits and questions about how $600 million of unemployment funds could be siphoned off by cybercriminals.

    Suzi will fit right in.


Last Modified 2021-02-14 4:42 AM EST