URLs du Jour

2021-04-21

  • Eye Candy du Jour from Michael Ramirez

    [Raaacist, I say!]

    … which brings us to …


  • Stupid Politicians. But I Repeat Myself. JVW guest-posts at Patterico: Stupid Washington Politicians Can’t Stop Themselves from Commenting on the Chauvin Trial. And it's not just Maxine Waters, but Wheezy himself:

    Having seen the brouhaha from Congresswoman Waters’ comments, it would seem that any half-sentient federally elected office-holder would steer way clear of commenting on this case until after a verdict is rendered. So it should come as no surprise that President Joe Biden failed to keep his mouth shut and earlier today weighed in on the matter as only his disorganized and frail mind could manage. Being his usual too-cute-by-half self, the President rendered a verdict without letting us know his ruling, declaring “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view.”

    Even granting that the President’s addled mind might not quite recall from moment to moment whether the prosecution or defense should carry the day and precisely upon what charge, it’s impossible to believe that this Administration isn’t staffed almost uniformly by people who believe that Derek Chauvin is guilty of one or more crimes, and I would venture to guess that a significant number of them believe him guilty of murder. Jen Psaki, who when not being mostly frivolous is a notorious fibber and dissembler from way back, predictably denied that what her boss was doing could be construed as rendering a verdict on a trial before the jury has their say. As Philip Klein points out, Ms. Psaki has been very busy in recent days convincing the White House Press Corps, who have thus far followed this Administration with a sense of bemused forbearance for incompetence and a willingness to allow the Biden team to set the bar for accomplishment extraordinarily low, that President Biden didn’t really say what everyone heard him say.

    We're currently watching Anderson Cooper guest-host Jeopardy! We've seen Katie Couric. Upcoming: more Democrat flacks, like George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts. (But also, fingers crossed, Mayim Bialik!)

    I assume most of these folks will return to their usual jobs of sycophancy.


  • OK, One More Bit of Eye Candy. Click to embiggen, if necessary, GeekPress's Calebresi's Fable.

    [Calebresi's Fable]

    A point I've been hammering here of late, but not so well. But that brings us to…


  • GeekPress's retelling of Calebresi's Fable was inspired by a David Leonhardt column in the NYT (which also described it). Which inspired Kylee Zempel at the Federalist to respond wisely: Americans Are Irrationally Afraid Of COVID Because Elites Demonize Risk.

    Leonhardt concludes in the Times that we accept the cost of automobile fatalities because it has always been an aspect of our lives. A world without cars and thus the risks they carry is a world we really just can’t imagine for ourselves. Our comfortability with vehicles, Leonhardt says, is an example of human irrationality when calculating risks. While people tend to focus on minuscule risks such as airplane crashes or shark attacks, we gloss over much riskier activities such as driving.

    “One way for a risk to become salient is for it to be new,” Leonhardt says, likening the salient risk of Calabresi’s fable to COVID-19. “That’s a core idea behind Calabresi’s fable. He asks students to consider whether they would accept the cost of vehicle travel if it did not already exist. That they say no underscores the very different ways we treat new risks and enduring ones.”

    Kylee says nay: we as Americans have become "orders of magnitude more risk-averse than our predecessors." And a lot of that risk-aversion is due to fear-mongering by news outlets, like, well, the New York Times. Click over for her take.

    Probably we'll need to make changes to the National Anthem: "O'er the land of the free controlled, and the home of the brave fearful?"


  • The Neanderthal Dog Didn't Bark. Jacob Sullum on The COVID-19 Disaster That Did Not Happen in Texas.

    When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, lifted his statewide face mask mandate and his limits on business occupancy in early March, Democrats warned that he was inviting a public health disaster. Yet a month and a half later, newly identified coronavirus cases in Texas have fallen by more than 50 percent, and daily deaths have dropped even more.

    Meanwhile, states with stricter COVID-19 regulations have seen spikes in daily new cases. This is not the pattern you would expect to see if government-imposed restrictions played a crucial role in curtailing the pandemic, as advocates of those policies assume.

    Abbott's critics did not mince words. President Joe Biden said the governor's decision reflected "Neanderthal thinking." Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, said it was "extraordinarily dangerous" and "will kill Texans."

    … but it didn't. Treating Texans as rational adults works better than treating Michiganders as irresponsible children.


  • Betteridge's Law Of Headlines May Not Apply! Jeffrey A. Singler wonders Are Prohibitionists About to Revisit the Law of Unintended Consequences--This Time With Tobacco?.

    The Wall Street Journal reports this afternoon that the Biden administration is considering ordering cigarette makers to lower nicotine to non‐addictive levels in tobacco cigarettes. It is also considering banning menthol cigarettes, which are popular among young people and are particularly popular with African American smokers. What could possibly go wrong?

    First, there is reason to fear that cigarette smokers will increase the number of cigarettes they consume to compensate for the decrease in the desired effects of nicotine. Cutting the nicotine yield might have the unintended consequence of smokers taking more puffs, inhaling more deeply, and holding the smoke in longer. While nicotine is addictive, the tars in tobacco smoke are what do all of the damage to health. Reducing nicotine content might paradoxically make smoking more dangerous.

    I've never smoked anything, 'cause it's yucky. But bureaucrats gotta bureaucrat. See item above about treating adults like irresponsible children.


Last Modified 2021-04-22 7:23 AM EST