URLs du Jour

2021-03-05

A prescient Calvin and Hobbes:

[Math is Religion]

Now I'm not saying that the present-day gripers about "racism" in math education are about as hilariously ridiculous as Calvin, but… wait a minute, I guess I am saying exactly that.

  • James Lindsay wrote A Letter Supporting a Bill to Ban Critical Race Theory. And guess what? It's about my fair state:

    The state of New Hampshire is trying to advance a bill in its state house of representatives (HB544) that mirrors the executive order President Trump issued “against Critical Race Theory,” which is to say against the divisive (and racist/neoracist) tenets at the heart of Critical Race Theory and so-called “diversity” training sessions based upon it. After testifying in support of the bill in a legislative committee meeting on February 18 (in which sitting state representative Kris Schultz slandered me), I have followed up with the legislative committee this week by sending the following letter urging positive endorsement and support for the bill as it hopefully makes its way to the New Hampshire House floor. Because I think it might be instructive for other people to see what I wrote, the letter I sent is reproduced below (correcting a typo or two from the original). I encourage other people to follow suit in their own states, urging similar legislation or executive action and then showing up to testify and sending letters of support and encouragement.

    It's true about the slander: Kristen Schultz did indeed try to fling the "white supremacist" slur at Lindsay. Lindsay points out the Catch-22 of Critical Race Theory: one of its fundamental tenets is that anyone who criticizes it must be a white supremacist.

    I looked at James Lindsay's book (written with Helen Pluckrose) here.


  • Inu Manak and Scott Lincicome are lonely voices crying for a bit more trade sanity: National Security Should No Longer Be a Defense for Protectionism.

    While President Trump is no longer in office, his trade policy legacy lingers in Washington. His tariffs’ continued presence has not only been a disappointment to our allies who thought that a change in administration would usher in a new, less zero-sum view of trade, but also a continuous economic burden on the American people, who are still struggling amidst a global pandemic. Indeed, as we noted here a few weeks ago, Trump’s steel tariffs are threatening the nascent U.S. manufacturing recovery.

    Though Trump imposed and championed the tariffs, responsibility also falls on the U.S. laws that let him get away with it. The biggest offender in this regard is Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which authorizes the president to take actions, such as imposing tariffs, against imports deemed to be a threat to “national security.” In 2017, the Trump administration imposed 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum—mostly on our closest trading partners. The results were disastrous—higher prices, job losses, and rampant cronyism.

    Yet they sadly remain in place today, continuing to do the voodoo that tariffs do so well.

    In good news for high-income drunkards, however, the US has suspended tariffs on single malt Scotch whisky.


  • Jim Geraghty asks an important question: Why Is the CDC Delaying Its Vaccine Guidelines?. Quoting a news story:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not be releasing its guidance for vaccinated Americans on Thursday as originally planned, according to two senior administration officials with knowledge of the situation.

    After a series of meetings and calls with senior officials on the White House’s Covid-19 task force and the Department of Health and Human Services over the last two days, the CDC was told to “hold off on releasing” the recommendations, one of those sources said. The reason is still unclear but one senior administration official said the guidelines were still being finalized . . .

    There is no evidence to suggest that the Biden White House is trying to suppress the CDC guidelines or override the judgement of CDC scientists.

    Geraghty's comment:

    Okay, we’ll take them on their word on that. But does it seem a little ridiculous for the CDC to not have guidelines for vaccinated Americans, eleven weeks into vaccinations? More than 80 million shots have been jabbed into arms, 8 percent of U.S. adults have both shots, and another 8 percent have one shot. We’re finally averaging more than 2 million shots per day. A lot of people out there really want to know how much they can go back to normal, fellas!

    Well, I'm not taking "their word on that". President Wheezy blasted Texas Gov. Abbott for his "Neanderthal" elimination of mask mandates just the other day. I strongly suspect (without evidence, although I bet this was carefully designed to not leave evidence) that the White House "senior officials" want to suppress any CDC science that might be used to support the relaxation of mandates.


  • Eric Peterson restates the basics: Government, Not Big Tech, Is the Biggest Threat to Free Speech. ("Although big tech is certainly trying to compete in that area.")

    The most recent threat to free speech to emerge from Congress is H.R. 1, a colossal 900-page bill. It passed in a 220-210 vote on Wednesday, with one Democrat joining all Republicans to vote against. The legislation tackles a host of questions involving campaign finance, political speech, and online speech, and its effects would all but silence citizens' abilities to speak about and criticize politicians and their policies. In fact, the 40 pages of the bill borrowed from the "Honest Ads Act" would censor more online political speech than anything those working in Big Tech have dreamed up.

    Among the host of new requirements contained in the legislation is government-compelled speech on paid political content or content created by paid employees. Essentially, traditional online ads, or even memes, would require lengthy text disclosing what organization created the ad. These disclosures would have to include the sponsor's name and give a means for the viewer to find the sponsor's street address, telephone number, and website URL, and say that the ad is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

    Of course my own CongressCritter, being a Democrat, voted for this monstrosity.


  • And finally, Ryan Cleckner provides the Top 9 Reasons Democrats’ Latest Gun Control Bill Is A Terrible Idea. Here's number one: "Demands For New Gun Control Are An Admission That Gun Control Doesn’t Work".

    Background checks are used to ensure that a potential firearm possessor is not one of a class of “prohibited persons” who are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. This class includes felons, fugitives, those subject to certain restraining orders, those convicted of crimes of domestic violence, and more.

    This means current gun control laws already make it illegal for these people to possess a firearm. Requiring more background checks is an admission that the current law prohibiting these people from possessing firearms is not enough to prevent their possession. This is true for all gun-control laws, because if we know one thing about criminals, it’s this: they do not care if they break the law.

    If the current proposal passes, it will only be a matter of time before:

    "Hey, people are still getting shot! Your bill didn't work!"

    "No, it's working. Things would have been worse without it."

    "How do you know that?"

    "It's common sense! But obviously, we need more laws!"


Last Modified 2021-06-22 7:31 AM EST