URLs du Jour

2021-03-21

Our Eye Candy du Jour from Reason TV: Libertarian PBS.

If you're like me, your reaction was: "Ha. I wish."

  • Because P.J. O'Rourke is Always Right About Everything. At American Consequences, he considers The Price of Freedom: What COVID Has Cost Us. Well, mostly it's about the Freedom House rankings, and it's pretty interesting.

    Subjectively, the enterprise favors the small, tidy, homogeneous, socially conformist freedom of the Scandinavian type. Only Norway, Sweden, and Finland score 100. (Don’t worry, the guy in the Viking hat seated in Mike Pence’s chair during the invasion of the Capitol Building wasn’t a real Viking.)

    The enterprise does not favor the kind of rancorous, raucous “Hold my beer an’ watch this!” freedom that America has.

    The U.S., although rated “Free” – damn right! – receives a Freedom in the World total score of just 83. That’s the same score as Romania.

    I visited Romania back when I was on the Freedom House Board of Trustees. I interviewed the Minister of the Interior and asked him, “What is the most serious problem you face in Romania?” He thought for a minute and said, “Packs of wild dogs.” (And, let me tell you – getting back to my hotel from the Ministry of the Interior in Bucharest after dark – he wasn’t kidding.) Romania, indeed!

    Even though we (and Peej) might quibble with Freedom House, their algorithm is rigorous and objective enough to allow him to pull out some useful and insightful comparisons.


  • What Can UNH Learn From Boise State? The College Fix has some good news (for once) from out west. University abruptly suspends diversity classes: ‘students have been humiliated and degraded’.

    Amid rumors of a video that shows a student being targeted during a diversity lesson at Boise State University, administrators have abruptly suspended all of the school’s general education classes called “University Foundations 200: Foundations of Ethics and Diversity.”

    “We have been made aware of a series of concerns, culminating in allegations that a student or students have been humiliated and degraded in class on our campus for their beliefs and values,” states a March 16 memo from President Marlene Tromp to the campus community.

    “This is never acceptable; it is not what Boise State stands for; and we will not tolerate this behavior,” Tromp stated. “…Given the weight of cumulative concerns, we have determined that, effective immediately, we must suspend UF 200.”

    Whoa!

    It's not too much of a stretch to note that only a couple months ago "UNH Lecturers United" were more or less demanding permission from the UNH Administration to humiliate and degrade their students for their beliefs and values. Or, to use their language: to "actively oppose any political position structured around inequality."

    Any political position.


  • He Has Yet to Advocate Throwing Babies Off Buildings For Luck. Kylee Zempel notes the wacky beliefs of a CNN talking head: 5 Times Don Lemon Preached Garbage Theology From The TV Pulpit. My favorite:

    “If you are a person of faith in this country … a good way of starting is to present the true identity of Jesus and that is as a black or a brown person,” Lemon told the women of “The View” this week. “I think we should start with a true depiction of what Jesus looked like, and put that in your home — either a black Jesus or a brown Jesus, because we know Jesus looked more like a Muslim or someone who was dark rather than someone who was a blond-looking carpenter.”

    As was tirelessly drilled into me in two years of Saturday confirmation classes: Jesus was Jewish. And we didn't have a single picture of a blond Jesus.


  • "Shut Up", They Explained. Charles C.W. Cooke writes (NRPLUS article) on The Hand-Wringing Media Freak-Out over Substack.

    The first rule of Monopoly Club is that nobody else is allowed to be in Monopoly Club.

    How else to understand the growing resistance to Substack — an online service that permits writers to bypass the traditional media and distribute newsletters and articles directly to subscribers — than as white-hot antipathy toward an upstart rival? Over the last few weeks, the eyes of the establishment have been focused on the platform and its renegade users, and, boy, have those eyes found it wanting. Summing up the opprobrium, Dr. Sarah Roberts of UCLA described Substack as “a dangerous threat to traditional news media,” “a threat to journalism,” and “incredibly dangerous and damaging to the fourth estate (journalism),” which she suggested is “one of the few failsafes against anti-democratic maneuvers.” “Please,” Roberts demanded, “do not write for or pay for Substack. I have to say it. I believe it’s dangerous.”

    And why is it dangerous? That depends. In Brian Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter, CNN’s Kerry Flynn proposed recently that Substack is a problem because it provides a living for figures who “attack journalists, or stoke fears about transgender people,” and do so without the type of editorial oversight she’d prefer. In an article from last year, the Columbia Journalism Review complained that Substack’s users are too white, male, and conservative to need such an outlet, because they have already “been well-served by existing media power structure.” And, in a piece published on Substack itself, the baseball writer Craig Calcaterra groused that some of the site’s other users — but not him, of course — are “engaged in some pretty objectionable discourse.”

    Why, I'm old enough to remember when this sort of thing was dismissed as a "guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing what he thinks."

    For the record, I usually do this in my basement.


  • Karma's a Bitch, Man. Jordan Davidson reports: After Mocking Trump’s Walk, Biden Just Got Owned By A Set Of Stairs.

    President Joe Biden fell three times climbing up the stairs into Air Force One on Friday morning.

    Biden, the oldest president of the United States at 78 years old, stood up from the multiple stumbles after a few seconds on the ground to offer a salute in front of television cameras at the top of the staircase as he prepared to fly to Atlanta to discuss the recent shooting that left eight dead.

    Davidson recalls the wall-to-wall media coverage of Trump's unsteadiness last June at West Point. And it wasn't only the media jackals that went after him:

    As someone of hip-breaking age myself, I can totally relate to all this.


Last Modified 2021-03-22 5:22 AM EST