URLs du Jour

2021-08-14

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

  • As I was reminded by Marc Myers at the WSJ, today is the fiftieth anniversary of "Who's Next". The album that turned me into a lifelong Who fan.

    We'll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgement of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    Been thinking about that for quite awhile. And it seems to get only more relevant. The no frills CD is a mere $9.99 at Amazon, and it's our Product du Jour.


  • Capitalism, RIP. James Freeman notes Fear and Self-Loathing at American Express.

    This has been the year of woke and weak corporate CEOs trying to signal virtue by endorsing leftist politics and attacking Republicans. But now we have a bizarre case of a business attacking itself. The Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo writes this week in the New York Post about a lecture hosted by American Express . He reports that at the Amex corporate event a guest speaker argued that the system of capitalism was founded on racism and that “racist logics and forms of domination” have shaped Western society from the Industrial Revolution to the present. Mr. Rufo quotes the insufferable lecturer telling Amex employees, “You are complicit in giving privileges in one community against the other, under the pretext that we live in a meritocratic system where the market judges everyone the same.”

    Well, it’s true that the company’s advertisements have touted the privileges enjoyed by consumers who use its ubiquitous green cards. But the history of American Express is the story of a company that has thrived by offering its many services to a broader and broader clientele. The firm’s website says it has more than 100 million cards in use—accepted by millions of merchants. Sure, it has generally served a higher-income segment than Visa and Mastercard, but there are options for all kinds of consumers.

    Back in 2006 I was amused by a Salon article by Debra J. Dickerson, where she mused that Black History Month was coming up and "and no one's asked me yet to come and be black for them."

    Meant to be funny, I think.

    But today, I think it's more like "no one's asked me yet to come and accuse them of racism." That seems to be a thriving gig, and it's available twelve months out of the year.


  • Maybe you should just go to church instead. Sally Satel notes a disturbing trend: When Therapists Become Activists.

    Until roughly five years ago, people seeking mental health care could expect their therapists to keep politics out of the office. But as counselor education programs and professional organizations across the country embrace a radical social justice agenda, that bedrock principle of neutrality is crumbling. Mental health professionals—mainly counselors and therapists—are increasingly replacing evidence-driven therapeutics with ideologically motivated practice and activism. 

    The Graduate Counseling Program at the University of Vermont, for example, intends to “structurally align” itself with the Black Lives Matter movement and begin “the work of undoing systemic white supremacy.” After George Floyd’s death, the Johns Hopkins University Counseling Center advised would-be students to “consider us one of many resources in the difficult but necessary work of engaging with internalized bias, recognizing privilege, and aligning values of anti-racism and allyship with embodied and sustained practice.” 

    Nothing like that going on at the University Near Here, I'm sure. If it is, I'm sure they'd be more careful to keep it out of the public eye than were those hippies at UVM.


  • [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] "They all look alike," explained the booksellers. In the news, as presented by Caroline Downey at NR: American Booksellers Association Apologizes for Accidentally Promoting Candace Owens Book.

    In a statement published to the Shelf Awareness blog Monday, American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill apologized for an incident in which Candace Owens’s Blackout was accidentally featured in lieu of a social-justice-oriented book with the same title by Dhonielle Clayton and other authors.

    An employee subbing for the employee who is normally responsible for curating the best-seller list, Hill said, unknowingly selected the wrong cover image for the book. A second employee new to copyediting also failed to cross-check the photo and recognize the error before mailing the list out to members.

    Apologizing for the employees’ mishap, Hill wrote, “It was a terrible mistake with terrible racist implications. However, based on our investigation and the demonstrated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitment of these individuals, we have no reason to believe the action was malicious in intention.”

    A merry mixup indeed. I've stuck links to both books up there so you can tell if you're more perceptive than two American Booksellers Association employees. Stirring the pot, as might be expected, was Candace Owens. As reported at the Daily Wire: Candace Owens Rips American Booksellers Association For Calling Her Book ‘Racist’.

    The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens ripped into the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and its CEO Allison Hill after the ABA apologized for accidentally promoting Owens’ book while calling it “racist.”

    Owens hit back at the ABA, calling for an apology and accusing Hill and the group of “unspeakable, explicit racism” and slander for their characterization of Owen’s book, “Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation.”

    Well, actually, I think Ms. Hill was trying to own up to the charge that the ABA employees were racist for not being able to tell the difference between Candace Owens and Dhonielle Clayton. At least that's the more charitable interpretation.

    Fun fact: as I type, the Owens book (published in September of last year) is #7,720 in Amazon's Kindle Store. In contrast, the Clayton book (published in June) is #58,456 in the Kindle Store. Despite being an "Editors' pick" in the "Best Young Adult" category.


  • Alberta, Alberta, where you been so long? Colin McClelland of the Financial Post provides the amusement du jour: Joe Biden blasted by Alberta for demanding more OPEC oil after cancelling Keystone XL.

    Wounded after U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline that would have shipped Alberta crude to the United States, the province snapped at the White House’s call on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Wednesday to raise production faster than planned.

    “The Biden administration pleading with OPEC to increase oil production to rescue the United States from high fuel prices months after cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline smacks of hypocrisy,” Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in a statement Wednesday. “Keystone XL would have provided Americans with a stable source of energy from a trusted ally and friend.”

    Well, what do you expect from a demented old fool?