URLs du Jour


  • Your Birthing Person Is So Fat, She… Well, you can fill out the rest of that yourself. Jonah Goldberg writes his G-File about Birthing Person of All Silliness. If you don't get the reference, it was kicked off my Missouri Congresscritter Cori Bush:

    I'd guess the War on Opiates might have something to do with Cori's complaint. But "birthing people"? Jonah also posts a defensive tweet from NARAL which blesses the term because it's "inclusive". ("it's not just cis-gender women that can get pregnant and give birth.") Well…

    Birthing-person-of-pearl! (Or for those of a certain faith, Holy Birthing Person of God!) This is a seamless disco ball of absurdity, radiating inanity from every angle. If one of the core tenets of the new Great Awokening is that the term “mother” is divisive or bigoted, then the Great Awokening is doomed (and deservedly so). Don’t tell me conservatives are too obsessed with silly and divisive culture war “distractions,” if in the next breath you’re going to lecture me on the need to erase the term “mother” from the English language.

    One of the most interesting divides on the left is between socialists and critical race theorists. Some of the best pushback on the execrable 1619 Project came from socialists who think making race, as opposed to class, the focal point of the progressive project is counterproductive. It’s a fresh opening of a fascinating old divide that had once been central to the left when Marxism was taken more seriously by serious people. Anything that distracts from the class struggle is a gift to what Randi Weingarten calls the “ownership class.” This argument was applied to everything from Mickey Mouse to the welfare state to slavery reparations.

    My point isn’t that mom-erasure sets back the class struggle, my point is that mom-erasure sets back the transgender cause, and virtually every other left-wing cause as well. People aren’t going to stop calling their mothers “mother” or “mom” or anything of the sort. Kids aren’t going to fall off a swing at the playground and shout, “Birthing person! I have an ouchie!” (And before you accuse me of perpetuating gender stereotypes, if dad is at the playground, they’re not going to shout, “Non-birthing person! I have an ouchie!” either.) And it’s absurd to ask them to, not just because it’s wrong on the merits, but because it’s an utterly doomed project that will invite 100 times more backlash against their cause.

    I'm pretty OK with setting back virtually every left-wing cause, Jonah.

    The amusing thing is that "Progressives" really can't help themselves when it comes to their oddball, jargon-infused, obfuscatory, euphemized language. They can't make their case using normal English.

  • Commie Radio Delenda Est. Tim Graham notes a grim milestone. NPR at 50 Years: Still a Liberal Sandbox.

    National Public Radio is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week in a classic way: asking its fans for money. A fundraising email gushes, “From covering the Vietnam War in 1971 to the COVID-19 vaccination effort today, and everything in between, NPR has delivered fact-based news and trustworthy analysis to millions.”

    Some of that “fact-based news” included “founding mother” Nina Totenberg’s attempts to ruin Douglas Ginsburg’s Supreme Court nomination (successful) and then Clarence Thomas’ nomination (unsuccessful). Years later, she did a syrupy sister act with feminist Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, hosting RBG celebrations at awards shows and film festivals.

    NPR dismissed the pre-election story about Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop as an example of “pure distractions” and then had to issue a correction to a January puff piece that had insisted the laptop story was “discredited by U.S. intelligence and independent investigations by news organizations.”

    We should no more have "National Public Radio" than we should have "National Public Newspaper".

  • "National Public Science" Has Its Downside Too. Matthew Crawford describes How science has been corrupted.

    The pandemic has brought into relief a dissonance between our idealised image of science, on the one hand, and the work “science” is called upon to do in our society, on the other. I think the dissonance can be traced to this mismatch between science as an activity of the solitary mind, and the institutional reality of it. Big science is fundamentally social in its practice, and with this comes certain entailments.

    As a practical matter, “politicised science” is the only kind there is (or rather, the only kind you are likely to hear about). But it is precisely the apolitical image of science, as disinterested arbiter of reality, that makes it such a powerful instrument of politics. This contradiction is now out in the open. The “anti-science” tendencies of populism are in significant measure a response to the gap that has opened up between the practice of science and the ideal that underwrites its authority. As a way of generating knowledge, it is the pride of science to be falsifiable (unlike religion).

    Yet what sort of authority would it be that insists its own grasp of reality is merely provisional? Presumably, the whole point of authority is to explain reality and provide certainty in an uncertain world, for the sake of social coordination, even at the price of simplification. To serve the role assigned it, science must become something more like religion.

    The chorus of complaints about a declining “faith in science” states the problem almost too frankly. The most reprobate among us are climate sceptics, unless those be the Covid deniers, who are charged with not obeying the science. If all this has a medieval sound, it ought to give us pause.

    It's a subtle point, but (I think) correct. Those folks who include "Science is Real" on their virtue-signalling yard sign mottoes are really expressing faith-based belief. An actual science motto would be (at least) a few characters longer: "Science Is Falsifiable".

  • Why Do We Even Have A 'Department of Agriculture' Any More? Well, to shell out farm subsidies, of course. But Baylen Linnekin notes they are in a spot of legal trouble: Vegan Group Sues the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Promoting Dairy Products.

    A lawsuit filed last week in federal court by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and a trio of doctors affiliated with the group claims U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies urging Americans to double the average consumption of dairy products has everything to do with protecting and promoting dairy farmers and little or nothing to do with nutrition.

    The suit, filed against the USDA, centers largely on 2020 federal dietary guidelines that recommend Americans consume three servings of dairy every day. These latest dietary guidelines, which are updated every five years, were adopted by the heads of the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and were based on the work of an appointed dietary guidelines advisory committee. While the dietary guidelines don't impose any dietary requirements on individual Americans, they help determine which foods the government serves to prison inmates, members of the military, schoolchildren, and others.

    Lecturing Americans on what to eat is just another job Uncle Stupid doesn't do very well, and shouldn't be doing at all.

  • First Time Appearance At Pun Salad For The Phrase 'Crap Ton Of Money'. Fellow New Hampshire boy Sean Dempsey (how come I never heard of him before?) had a tweet memorialized at Power Line.

    But if you'd like the same idea with more words, here's Veronique de Rugy: The Costs of Our Debt.

    Most studies that estimate the economic effects find that for every 10 percentage point increase in the debt ratio, future economic growth is reduced by 0.2 percentage points. Before the Covid-19 pandemic our debt-to-GDP ratio was 78%, it is now 101%–this constitutes a loss in future economic growth of almost half a percentage point. While at 78% debt we may have grown at 2.5% on average for the years to come, we now may growth at only 2% thanks to our debt addiction. Compounded over the years, this fact means that the average American will be significantly worse over time. With our debt ratio expected to hit 200% in the long-run, the economic reality of Japanese-style stagnation is something we should be cognizant of in the debate surrounding our debt trajectory.

    Milton Friedman was correct: The true measure of government’s size is found in what it spends and not in what it takes in in taxes. Because borrowing allows politicians and citizen-taxpayers to push the bill for today’s spending onto future generations, borrowing encourages too much spending today—thus irresponsibly enlarging the size of government.

    For those of us who desire to keep government small, raising debt levels means a larger and larger increase in the size and scope of government. It also suggests a lack of accountability as well as a lack of transparency. For all these reasons we need to reform entitlement spending, put both large chunks of military and domestic spending on the chopping block, and start selling off federal assets. Better to do it now than during a fire sale later.

    Vero, you had me at "Milton Friedman was correct."