URLs du Jour


  • You want snark? I got it right here. In my snarky Tweet du Jour replying to my state's junior senator:

    In Senator Maggie's modest defense, she was one of only six Democrat senators to vote to stop filibustering Ted Cruz's bill to impose sanctions on Russian pipeline company Nord Stream 2.

    But that wasn't enough; the remainder of the Democrats voted to use the "Jim Crow tactic" to thwart the bill.

  • A persistent irritant. Way back in my Usenet days, I wrote a post griping about the exact same thing Veronique de Rugy is griping about today: the overuse/abuse of the first-person plural in political debate. And she does not except herself!

    "The most dangerous pronoun discourse has nothing to do with gender identity. It's the undefined 'we' in public policy debates that's the problem." These are the words of Richard Morrison, a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Morrison identified "the fallacy of we," and I'm often guilty of committing it.

    I frequently say things like, "If we increase spending on this or that, it will cause some economic distortions." Who exactly is this "we"? Certainly not me or most of you. Politicians propose and vote for additional spending, and the president signs new spending bills into law.

    The problem also appears when I write things like "In 2021, we have increased the debt to $24 trillion." Yet, neither the borrowing nor the spending was done by you and me. It was done by some politicians in Congress, aided by the president, and with the assistance of some bureaucrats at the Department of the Treasury.

    Just pick up a newspaper or listen to politicians, or even to people like me, and you'll soon realize that this "we" is everywhere: "We must protect our children by keeping the schools closed (or open)!"; "We need (or don't need) a national industrial policy!"; "We must invest in infrastructure (or something else)!"

    I've been too sloppy about that too. At least I think I have; I'm too apprehensive to go back and check.

  • I'm from the government, and I'm stepping in to make this problem much worse. Kevin D. Williamson (NRPLUS) observes, correctly, that The New York Rent-Policy Debate Is Too Damn Stupid.

    There is almost no subject — not even Modern Monetary Theory! — that inspires toxic stupidity quite like the subject of rental properties.

    The New York Times has brought its subscribers a video (because some things are, in fact, too blisteringly stupid for print) about a so-called tenants’-rights bill under consideration in the state of New York, a daft little sliver of propaganda put together by Jeff Seal, “a comedian, visual journalist and member of the Lower Manhattan chapter of Democratic Socialists of America,” as the Times puts it. That description is just terrific — no Upper West Side socialists here, comrade, we only want to hear from the socialists in Tribeca and Greenwich Village! Socialist comedians must perforce work with some pretty edgy material: “A funny thing happened on the way to the gulag . . .”

    The bill would effectively impose rent control on all properties, capping rent increases at 3 percent per year or 150 percent of the increase in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is greater. It would forbid landlords from evicting tenants for most reasons other than nonpayment of rent, and would also forbid evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent in the case of a rent increase exceeding the cap. That is old-fashioned stupidity, of course, the defects of price controls being very understood in the economics literature.

    The new law also prevents owners from failing to renew leases for "reasons having to do with business". Like wanting to renovate and improve the property. Gee, can you foresee any problems there?

  • Calling people ignorant hicks is funny. Matt Taibbi notes the latest in that vein: Vaccine Aristocrats Strike Again

    Jimmy Kimmel Live, fast becoming Leonid Brezhnev’s never-realized dream of a Soviet Tonight Show, just put out a high-effort gag called “Anti-Vax Barbie.” It’s impressively on-message:

    [Taibbi's description of the bit elided. Assuming you've watched:]

    Mocking the hayseeds is always fun, but what a bonus, when you can jack off some of TV’s biggest advertisers at the same time!

    Kimmel’s riff came as Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik ran a piece entitled, “Mocking anti-vaxxers’ COVID deaths is ghoulish, yes — but may be necessary.” The priceless part about Hiltzik’s column: he makes a whole range of arguments about why mockery may be “necessary,” but never gets around to saying that laughing at dead anti-vaxxers is actually funny. These people have such shit instincts for humor, they can only embrace it as political necessity. They’re like Putinites who have to chant, “Remember the mammoths!” to get young people to have sex.

    It's a paid-subscriber-only post but there's a long segment before the paywall cuts in.

  • More on Reges. Previously discussed here. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes a welcome outbreak of common sense the same old crap on the Left Coast: University of Washington administrator doubles down on censorship and compelled speech in land acknowledgment debacle.

    Almost 48 hours after FIRE called out the University of Washington for its requirement that faculty syllabi include the university’s land acknowledgment on their syllabi or remain silent on this issue, the administrator who created the rule is already digging her institution a bigger First Amendment hole.

    In statements to media outlets, UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Director Magdalena Balazinska claims that a “syllabus for an intro to computer programming course” is “not the appropriate place or manner for a debate about land acknowledgements” or “to express personal views unrelated to the course[.]” If that’s so, why does she require faculty to choose between silence on this topic or the university’s equally-irrelevant land acknowledgment statement?

    According to Balazinska, the university’s land acknowledgment statement is allowed on course syllabi, even though it is purportedly a political issue irrelevant to course material, solely because the university’s administration agrees with it. Professors have a choice: Toe the party line or shut up. Got it.

    Another feel-good post. Specifically an "I feel good that I'm not a university instructor any more" post.

  • And a personal note. I have succumbed:

    Wordle 210 3/6

    I think I'm getting the hang of it!