URLs du Jour


  • It's way past time for America's pastime to get even more woke. Thanks to the Daily Wire I can share the next step: PETA Calls On MLB To Replace ‘Bullpen’ With ‘Arm Barn’

    While we're at it, what about Fenway's Green Monster? Isn't that a little hurtful? A little judgy? Maybe that big wall is just misunderstood! You'd feel a little monstrous too if Ted Williams kept hitting baseballs off you.

  • Can't he just go away? So yesterday the WSJ printed an LTE from someone of whom you might have heard: President Trump Responds on Pennsylvania’s 2020 Election.

    Today, the editorialists rebutted: The Facts on Trump’s Fraud Letter.

    Here's a claim by Trump:

    • 25,000 ballots were requested from nursing homes at the exact same time.

    As they say: big if true. But it's not, as the editorialists detail:

    Mr. Trump says that “25,000 ballots were requested from nursing homes at the exact same time.” His citation for this—no kidding—is a Nov. 9 cable-TV hit by Sen. Lindsey Graham. Mr. Trump is alleging 25,000 fake votes in Pennsylvania, based on a stray remark by someone from South Carolina. Breaking news: A politician on TV repeated a rumor. We emailed to follow up, and Mr. Graham’s office tells us this was “an allegation, one of many others,” but it now “can be laid to rest.”

    Other examples at the links. Trump is an ongoing delusional embarrassment to Republicans and (more generally) Americans.

  • It's about time we got around to plugging Kevin D. Williamson's "The Tuesday" column, now that it's Friday. He writes on Our Narcissistic Politics. (It's appropriate, therefore, that the article's picture features Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking to the press.) After a longish quote from Freud:

    Narcissism — by which I do not mean a specific psychiatric diagnosis but the bundle of attitudes and behaviors to which the diagnosis refers, the common moral failings that are magically transmuted into a medical condition — is a basic ingredient in democracy. You can’t make a democracy without narcissism for the same reason you can’t make banana pudding without bananas — it’s not the only ingredient, but it’s the ingredient that makes the thing exactly what it is. Freud’s detection of a father’s own dormant ambitions and latent desires in his hope for his children is confirmed by commonplace (though by no means universal) experience: If you have in your circle of friends a former quarterback whose life peaked on the varsity football team with a teenage son who also plays football, then you have seen this at work. (My Manhattan readers may think of stage mothers, with “mothers” in that expression having embraced members of both sexes long before it was fashionable to do so.) That is a situation which has only two possible outcomes, neither of them desirable: failure and disappointment or success and envy.

    A politics of narcissism is a politics of envy. Narcissism and envy are not the same thing, but each is mixed up in the other. But the Freudian point absolutely stands here: When such specimens as Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lament “inequality” and spend their days dreaming up ways to make the wealthy less wealthy, they do not really do so on behalf of the class of people who work as waitresses at Denny’s or stock Walmart warehouses — they do so on behalf of the class of people who make comfortable six-figure salaries teaching at Harvard or park their Teslas in front of the Whole Foods while on one of those endless errands of “public service.” As Megan McArdle once put it, in Washington, “very rich” means “just above the level a top-notch journalist in a two-earner couple could be expected to pull down.” Barack Obama, one in a long line of Rolex-wearing class warriors, once promised not to raise taxes on people making $200,000 a year or less. Joe Biden, his senescent epigone (and another Rolex aficionado), has raised that to $400,000 a year — times are very good, indeed, for the power-adjacent class.

    KDW describes this as "infantilization", which I get. But I think a better term is "thuggery." No pretense: "You got it. I want it. And I've got the guns. So gimme."

  • It was down in ol' New Hampshire, 'bout 1400 miles from Texarkana, in them old cotton fields back home. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein made the College Fix news: U. New Hampshire physics prof gives talk on the ‘Plantation Politics in STEM’.

    A black woman who has “engaged in activism for equality in science and in Black feminist scientific research throughout her career,” Prescod-Weinstein claims white supremacy is “embedded in scientific practice.” She scoffs at many university diversity efforts, calling them “cheap substitutes” for actually doing something concrete.

    “The problem with diversity and inclusion discourse is that it asks us to live in a box where people are still getting killed,” Prescod-Weinstein said. “Talking about diversity and inclusion will not prevent another Tamir Rice from being murdered in the park. It will not prevent another Aiyana Stanley-Jones from being murdered on her couch.”

    I have no idea if CPW would be at UNH in the absence of "diversity efforts".

    [Tamir Rice was killed in 2014, Aiyana Stanley-Jones in 2010. No doubt: sad and tragic. Meanwhile over last weekend three people were killed and 26 wounded in Chicago.]

  • Maybe we should stop calling them "schools". Arnold Kling looks at the dismal results reported in the latest "National Assessment of Educational Progress" report from the Department of Education. And they may have to change the name of that report, because there's no progress. In fact, the phrase "unprecedented declines in both reading and math" is used. And this was pre-pandemic.


    The fact that the United States has much higher health care spending than other countries but no higher life expectancy is frequently talked about in left-wing circles. But the fact that the more we spend on K-12 education the less we get in terms of better test scores is never mentioned. Conventional wisdom is that we need to spend less on (private-sector providers of) health care and more on (government-run) schools. Even the Niskanen Center paper on “cost-disease socialism,” while it has an entire 5-page section decrying the bloated expense of higher education, only mentions K-12 education in a couple of relatively innocuous paragraphs.

    Perhaps the strongest indictment of K-12 education is the movement to get rid of SAT scores as a requirement for college applications. Would this idea have gotten anywhere if test scores for minorities were improving rather than getting worse?

    Maybe we should also change the name of the Department of "Education"?

  • Ask your doctor if Joe Bob Briggs is right for you. He watches a lot of TV, and is really pretty on target about a subset of ads: Gimme Some Meds, Doc . . . I Saw This Commercial . . .

    Along about 1 a.m. people start showing up on my tv with incurable, often life-threatening, ailments—frightening medical conditions that I usually haven’t even heard of—confiding in me with “end of my rope” stories while beautiful soft-focus camerawork illustrates their predicament in generic kitchens, offices, schools and public parks, followed by someone telling them about Humira, or Rybelsus, or Dupixent, or Skyrizi, or Ozempic, or Trulicity, after which they “talk to my doctor” and end up kayaking with their grandchildren at sunset and playing the bongos on the beach.

    There’s a lot of kayaking in these commercials. I don’t know why they all go kayaking, but apparently any powerful pharmaceutical has the side effect of compulsive kayak rental.

    A typical 60 seconds goes like this:

    “It was tough living with Double-Intractable Reverse Non-Symptomatic Catatonia. Some days it seemed like it wasn’t worth going to the office, even with partial symptom relief from Cludenza and Generic Mephistola.”

    Joe Bob experiences these at 1AM, but I tend to see them during Jeopardy! if I'm watching it live. No surprise: It was reported back in 2011 that Jeopardy! viewers' median age was 65.