URLs du Jour

2019-04-29

[Amazon Link]

  • At NR, the correct-as-usual Kevin D. Williamson says Impeaching Donald Trump Would Be a Redundant Judgment.

    The Mueller investigation was supposed to be a legal process concerned with crimes. Investigators identified no crimes to charge, and so it has, naturally, become something else: no longer a theory about a criminal conspiracy — only an irritable mood.

    An ordeal that had been conducted under the procedures of law in accordance with legal criteria is now an ordeal that is being conducted under the procedures of politics in accordance with political criteria — or, if you prefer, with moral criteria related to Donald Trump’s character. For those who want to see President Trump impeached and who think of impeachment as a fundamentally political process in spite of its mock-trial aspect, that’s just fine. They’ll take their pound of flesh, however it is had.

    The problem with this point of view is that the question of Donald Trump’s personal fitness for office already has been adjudicated as a political matter: That is what happened in the 2016 presidential election. Many critics, myself included, argued that Trump was unfit for the office, both morally and intellectually. We made our arguments, the voters consulted their own consciences, and, weighing these things however it is that voters weigh them, chose Trump. There wasn’t some occult intermediary step in there. That’s how things go in politics: The people behave just as if they had minds of their own! And, sometimes, they get to have their own way.

    Executive summary: There is literally nothing we know in late April 2019 about Trump that people paying attention didn't know in November 2016.


  • Thomas Lifson shares the old news: Universities now requiring loyalty oaths taken to ‘diversity’.

    I am so old that I can remember when Democrats and the progressive Left regarded forcing college faculty to sign loyalty oaths as abhorrent. Of course, that was when Communist infiltration of colleges, the media, and government bureaucracy was both genuine and a real threat. President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9835 requiring federal employees to sign a loyalty oath and the state of California passed a law, the “Levering Act,” requiring the same of state employees.

    The University of California has published a loving, celebratory  timeline describing the reaction among faculty and the ultimate repeal of the loyalty oath.  Loyalty oaths were very, very bad, back then.

    But loyalty oaths are back again, and this time, according to the progressive deep thinkers, they are good. Because it is not loyalty to the United States, but rather loyalty to the ideology of “diversity” that is being demanded. […]

    It's a religion, and one must display his or her pious obeisance!

    [ObPersonalExperience: back in 2014, I was "encouraged" (but not required) as a University Near Here employee-identifying-as-male to sign an online pledge about violence against women. Didn't care for that either.]


  • At the Daily Wire, Ian Haworth touches on a topic that we've discussed before: The Weaponization Of Phobias.

    Like so many other elements of our culture and language, the radical Left have hijacked and redefined the word “phobia.” Phobias are a form of anxiety disorder, defined by a strong and irrational fear of something that poses little or no danger in reality. Some examples of well-known phobias are the irrational fear of spiders (arachnophobia), confined spaces (claustrophobia), or heights (acrophobia).

    The radical Left have intentionally stretched this objective definition to apply to any dissenting opinion which relates to a minority group. The terms “transphobia,” “homophobia,” and “Islamophobia” appear often in political debate. While it is clearly true that some viewpoints may be motivated by fear or hatred, the radical Left ignore all content or context and apply the suffix “phobia” to all opposing viewpoints, rejecting any such opinion as “hateful.”

    Bing! It's especially ironic, since lefty gospel demands that mental disorders be treated with compassion, not opprobrium. And yet, they gleefully ignore that when they treat some "phobias" with scorn.

    But I'm not sure this means more than: leftists don't think very hard about their terminology and consistency.


  • [Amazon Link]
    Randy Barnett reviews the Cass Sunstein book On Freedom (a print-Reason article now available on their website to non-subscribers): The Problem With Nudging People to Happiness.

    Sunstein is a progressive liberal. He genuinely cares about individual freedom. But like all progressives, he thinks "we" can do better than merely protecting the rights of individuals and letting the spontaneous order of human actions develop from there. The best and the brightest should intervene to improve outcomes.

    Sunstein's distinctive contribution concerns the nature of that intervention. Most progressives, like Hobbes, believe that freedom must be constrained by force to "make the world a better place." Indeed, many seem to believe that anything that is not prohibited by the state should be mandated. Sunstein, instead, has long favored "nudging" over jailing and fining. On Freedom is an accessible introduction to how he approaches social problems—and a constructive challenge for libertarians.

    I probably won't get around to Sunstein's book, even though it's short. I'm way behind on my "serious" reading.


  • I know I should, and I usually do, treat all humans with respect and dignity. And Maine politics are not in my wheelhouse. And yet, I devoutly hope to see a debate involving Bre Kidman, against either her Democrat or Republican opponents. Because: 'Queer Feminist Mermaid' Surfaces to Challenge Susan Collins.

    Sensing the lack of a Democratic candidate willing to challenge Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine), a "queer feminist mermaid" named Bre Kidman—politically mobilized by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight—has filed to enter the race.

    Mx. Kidman [that's their preferred honorific] [and they prefer "they/their" pronouns] has a website.

    I'm a millennial. I've never run for office. I hate wearing blazers. I drive a dented 10-year-old subcompact with a missing hubcap. I'm a pierced, tattooed, rainbow-haired plus-sized burlesque performer who buys most of their fast fashion wardrobe on clearance. I put the "Q+" in "LGBTQ+." I live in an 830-square-foot house recently described as "probably not intended for year-round occupancy." I had a medical marijuana card when I needed it.  I have been naked on the internet. I won't hide who I was before I started running to represent Mainers. I am not slick or polished, but I am smart and passionate.

    I'm sold. I want the Susan/Bre debate!


  • I've been desperate to avoid spoilers for the new Avengers movie, seeing it tomorrow night. But I think this is OK, from Michael Ramirez: Endgame.


Last Modified 2019-04-30 5:42 AM EDT