URLs du Jour

2021-12-07

  • Too soon? Well, it's been 80 years. Mr. Ramirez makes an apt comparison.

    [Accounting Tricks]


  • Today's argument for cutting the Defense budget. John Lucas of the Federalist looks at a recent article from "researchers affiliated with the Army Cyber Institute at West Point." And they argue: To Combat 'Disinformation,' Gov't Should Control Speech. That article is written “is written in response to the Capitol insurrection.”

    The Cyber Center authors’ thesis is that the “insurrection” at the Capitol building on Jan. 6 was a mortal danger to the country that was caused by disinformation, namely the idea that the 2020 presidential election was rigged or stolen. The “insurrection” spawned by this alleged disinformation then becomes the justification for the authors’ proposed government censorship (although they eschew the term) of free speech.

    The article suffers from a number of flaws. One of the most notable – and dangerous – is that the authors wade deeper into the political wars by advocating more government control over speech that they regard as outside the mainstream or, as they put it, contrary to a desired “shared reality.”

    Lucas goes on to note that "insurrection" is an actual crime, with a legal definition. And nobody involved in the January 6 has been charged with that.

    Jack Reacher would not have made this mistake.


  • Looking at our feudalist future… is Joel Kotkin at Quillette, asking the musical question: Work or Welfare?

    Throughout history, work has been the common lot of humanity—at least, outside of the idle rich and those who could not find any. It was celebrated by the Calvinist capitalists described in Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism as a means for people to achieve their “own salvation.” Labor for its own sake was embraced by the Marxist canon as well—work, wrote Friedrich Engels, “is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labor created man himself.”

    Yet today’s baffling shortage of workers in high-income countries may presage something different: a post-work society, in which only a select few labor. For most, economic maintenance would come from some form of universal basic income (UBI). This notion has been tried as part of the COVID-19 relief program and in President Biden’s proposed Build Back Better initiative, which allows benefits for those who could join the workforce but don’t care to.

    I don't think a future where large numbers of citizens live idly on the dole would be stable or pleasant. Hope we don't have to find out.


  • I knew that. At the American Council on Science and Health, Josh Bloom has lost patience with those who mislabel: It's the Fentanyl Epidemic, Stupid.

    It's time to update our language, something that is routinely done to ensure accuracy and minimize antiquated, bigoted, and offensive terms. Think about some of the changes we've seen in the past few decades. You don't need me to tell you that terms for people of different races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations have changed. And it's not just that. There are no longer stewardesses, only flight attendants. Go into CVS and ask where the rubbers are. Note the look that the pharmacist will give you. Try referring to someone with a learning disability as "retarded" or an unmarried woman as a "spinster." See how well that is received.

    Likewise, it is time to stop calling the overdose deaths of 100,000 people an opioid crisis. The term is outdated and inaccurate. And, in my opinion, it is being intentionally misused by various groups and individuals (you know who they are) to push their own agendas and perhaps to benefit financially. What's the harm in using an inaccurate name? Plenty. More on that later.

    This language obfuscation only helps those looking for a payday from "Big Pharma".


  • But there's amusement available in the news. Found by Kyle Smith (NRplus, sorry). Jussie Smollett: Funniest Trial Ever.

    Spare a thought for Jussie Smollett’s lawyers. Think of them being much like infantrymen who walk through fire on the way to glory, except they’ve been slogging through a mire of bulls*** on their way to absurdity. While wearing flip-flops. Their field commander is an insistently moronic fraud. The Iwo Jima flag they struggle to raise is the reputation of a dim actor who thought he would raise his profile by telling the world that he was attacked by the world’s least likely lynch mob — a duo of black MAGA-heads who just happened to have bleach and a noose on them in case Jussie Smollett should walk by. At two o’clock in the morning. On an exceptionally cold Chicago night. Then walked away after 30 seconds without robbing their victim or doing him more than superficial harm.

    The man Dave Chappelle dubbed Juicy Smollé may not have been much of an entertainer when that was his profession — admit it, you’d never heard of him before January 29, 2019, and that’s part of the reason he needed Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Buff to stage a fake beating. (Get a gander at these guys, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo: If they were inclined to beat you up, your injuries would be something other than scratches. Smollett’s face would have looked like Cubist portraiture if they had really attacked him. Ten seconds of actual punching and they’d have Picasso’d this guy.) Yet Smollett should be dubbed American Reality Entertainer of the Year for the hilarity he has brought us all in Chicago for the last week as he has steered his lawyers to argue outright fiction.

    Kyle goes on to note a valuable lesson: how gullible people (Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Donald Trump) can be when you yell “racism.”


  • Next up on ABC's Wide World of Sports. The WSJ had a great story about snow sports in an unexpected place: Hawaii Blizzard Means Volcano Skiing—and It’s as Tricky as It Sounds. The Big Island got lots of snow on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. But:

    Hawaiian skiing isn’t for the faint of heart, though. Sharp lava rock abounds beneath layers of snow that some skiers find surprisingly thin because of the wind and sun, resulting in numerous injuries.

    I confess that it hurt just to read that.