URLs du Jour

2021-08-25

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  • In other news, water still wet. Charles C. W. Cooke observes that President Biden Is Still Making Things Worse in Afghanistan.

    From the moment the Afghanistan debacle began to dominate the news, President Biden has steadfastly refused to distinguish between those who are opposed to the Unites States withdrawing troops from the country per se, and those who believe that the White House has badly botched the withdrawal. “How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight?” he asked last week.

    This question is non-responsive to the charge at hand, which is why an American public that overwhelmingly thinks we should get out is punishing Biden in the polls nevertheless. Americans want to leave, it seems. But they don’t want to leave like this. And Biden, they believe, is firmly in charge of the this.

    Has the president grasped this yet?

    Spoiler: no, he has not grasped this yet.


  • Uncle Stupid is still probably killing people. "Consumer advocates" typically love government regulation. Elizabeth Nolan Brown lacks that infatuation, and so she's free to point out: Federal Regulations Keep COVID Patients in the Dark About Which Variant They Have.

    It should be relatively easy for coronavirus patients who want to know what variant of COVID-19 they've been infected with to obtain that information. After all, at least 50 public laboratories in the U.S. are capable of testing COVID-19 samples to detect virus variants. But onerous federal regulations keep this health information out of reach.

    "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS), which oversees the regulatory process for US labs, requires genome-sequencing tests to be federally approved before their results can be disclosed to doctors or patients," notes Insider. "These are the tests that pick up on variants, but right now, there's little incentive for the labs to do the work to validate those tests."

    That's because doing so is illegal without federal approval, and getting that approval is an involved, expensive, and uncertain procedure. It requires completing a validation process that would have to be newly undertaken for each new variant a lab wanted to test for.

    At the same time we're told to "trust science", government regulations are designed to disallow science from providing you useful information about your own health.

    It's a funny old world.


  • Ask for Demand to see the syllabus. Robert Pondiscio has a decent alternative to legislation that clever educrats might find easy to evade. Here's A commonsense alternative to critical race theory bans: Don’t change laws, change classroom practice. He provides a case study:

    Matthew Hawn, a high school contemporary issues teacher and baseball coach in Sullivan County, Tennessee, was dismissed from his school, ostensibly for assigning a politically charged essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates and a poem about white supremacy. The case made national news because it was widely assumed the teacher was the first casualty of a state CRT ban. But, in fact, Hawn was dismissed for violating Tennessee’s “Teacher Code of Ethics,” which requires teachers to provide students access to varying points of view on controversial topics — a requirement Hawn allegedly failed to follow.

    As it turns out, Hawn’s actions also violated a local-level rule: his school district’s “controversial issues” policy, which requires teachers to “ensure that differing sides of an issue are explored in order to help students develop their own critical faculties” when “the subject matter being taught involves conflicting opinions, theories, or schools of thought.” Had Hawn followed this policy, he likely never would have run afoul of the state code.

    This could perhaps be a productive approach for parents concerned about their kids getting indoctrination instead of education: find out if the school has a "controversial topics" policy? Does it have an ethical code for teachers that constrains their yammerings on contentious subjects? What syllabi are being used in the classroom?

    I keep coming back to that dreadful "UNH Lecturers United" open letter that, among its other sins, attempted to paint objections to such propaganda as the same as flat-earthism and creationism. There should be hard pushback on that point.


  • The victims were probably Republicans. On his way out the door, ex-Governor Cuomo managed to fling another turd at the country. Bob McManus on A Weatherman, his DA son and Cuomo's shameful pardon.

    Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo not only ditched his dog on his last day in office, he also gave New York a final thumb in the eye by cracking open the prison gates for one of the bloody-handed Brink’s murderers.

    Never heard of the Brink’s murderers? That’s understandable; it happened a long time ago — Oct. 21, 1981, to be exact — and, besides, the killers themselves are much better known among leftists as the fellas and gals who merely pulled off a suburban New York armored-car “robbery.”

    There was a lot of that going on back then — pampered students mouthing radical rhetoric and teaming up with common criminals for fun and profit — and it would almost have been comical had the consequences not been so far-reaching and so deadly.

    I cannot top Instapundit's comment:

    While yammering about a made-up “insurrection” at the Capitol, the Democrats are siding with the murderous violence of their own, genuine, insurrectionists. As usual.

    True dat.


  • I'll take "Your Job" for … a lot of money, Alex. I've been slogging through what seems like months of Jeopardy! guest hosts, and…

    Whoa, that's because it has been months of guest hosts.

    But that's not important right now. What's important is that, as Robby Soave describes at Reason, Cancel Culture Is Ruining Jeopardy!.

    Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was fond of saying he was not the star of television's foremost quiz program: That distinction belonged to the contestants. But following the beloved showman's death from cancer last year, a series of surprisingly divisive guest-host controversies are undermining Trebek's maxim.

    For the last several weeks, Jeopardy! has felt more like a reality TV contest with the permanent hosting gig as the ultimate prize. The show cycled through a seemingly unending list of guest hosts, each of whom were granted one or two weeks' worth of episodes to prove their bona fides. The quality of these would-be replacements varied wildly: Jeopardy! all-time champion Ken Jennings gave a competent performance; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was unexpectedly delightful; TV doctor (and charlatan) Mehmet Oz should not have been given the opportunity in the first place.

    Nobody mentions Buzzy Cohen, my own favorite among the guest hosts. A very minority opinion. As often happens with me.