URLs du Jour

2019-06-18

[Amazon Link]

Woo, thanks to whoever bought our Amazon Product du Jour (Leick Recliner Wedge End Table, Medium Oak) via Pun Salad! It about paid our hosting invoice for the month!

  • I've been reading the Daily Wire for a while, but this (from Ryan Saavedra) is fake news: Biden Suggests Starting ‘Physical Revolution’ To Deal With Republicans.

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden appeared to suggest using violence against Republicans on Monday in response to a question about how he as president would deal with opposition to his agenda in the Senate from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    Biden, currently the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, made the remarks at the Moral Action Congress of the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C.

    MSNBC's Joy Reid asked Biden: "How would you get past either a majority Republican Senate in which Mitch McConnell was determined to kill all of these ideas or even a Mitch McConnell in the minority who repeated the consistent filibustering when you were vice president and anything that came from the Obama-Biden administration Mitch McConnell considered dead on arrival?"

    "Joy, I know you're one of the ones who thinks it's naive to think we have to work together," Biden responded. "The fact of the matter is if we can't get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive."

    "There are certain things where it just takes a brass knuckle fight," Biden continued, later adding: "Let’s start a real physical revolution if you’re talking about it."

    I looked at the video, and I think it's pretty clear from the context that he's arguing against those pushing for "physical revolution." Now, true enough, his comments are typical stream-of-unconsciousness semi-coherent Biden-babble. And the video provided by the Daily Wire snips some stuff out. But here's the C-SPAN transcript:

    The fact of the matter is we cannot get a consensus and nothing happens but the abuse of power by the executive, number one. There are certain things that take a brass knuckle fight. When they say we are not going to support you, we do what i did last time. I campaigned in 22 states. not blue states. not blue areas. And guess what? Remember when I said we are going to win back the house and win over 40 votes? We got ready votes back. We beat back Republicans with mainstream Democrats. You have to go out and beat these folks. If they don't agree with you, by making your case. That's what presidents are supposed to do, persuade the public. Last point i will make. The Affordable Care Act. Everything that landed on Obama's desk was a locust at the time. He had no time to explain it. Once it started taking off, we got calls from all of those boys saying I'm for health care, I don't want to take away pre-existing conditions, et cetera. You go out and you beat them. You make a case. You make an explicit case, just like we did for the House. I think we can do the same thing for the Senate. You have to make it clear to Republicans that on some things there is a rationale for compromise. For example, when we did the recovery act. 89 billion dollars, done without any waste or fraud, 2% waste, fraud, abuse. What happened? We didn't have the votes initially. I went out and changed three republican votes. It doesn't mean you can do it all the time, but it kept us from going into a new depression. If you start off with the notion that there is nothing you can do, why don't you go home? Let's start a real physical revolution if you are talking about it. We have to change what we are doing in our system because we talk about we the people who hold these truths self-evident. We have not lived up to that standard, but we have never fully abandoned it. The moment we abandon it, we lose everything we stand for nationally and internationally in terms of the power of persuasion. The reason we are economically secure is not because we have the largest military in the world, but because we not only lead by military power but because of the power of our example and you can change people to do things the right way.

    Now, that's about 85% pure bullshit, but it's pretty clear he's arguing for the "power of persuasion", the "brass knuckle fight" is a clunky metaphor, and the "real physical revolution" tactic is for people who've given up hope on persuasion.

    I've left a comment at the Daily Wire, but it's one of over 450, so I'm not hopeful that it will stop this particular bit of (mis|mal)interpretation.

    And none of this should be construed to mean that I think that Biden isn't an unprincipled weasel. He is.


  • At the Federalist, Adam Mill notes the standards of Ellen L. Weintraub, head of the Federal Election Commission: Clinton Can Get Info From Foreigners, But How Dare Trump Think About It. Ms. Weintraub alleged: "It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election." This obviously in response to President Trump admitting to being open to getting dirt on his opponent from … anywhere, really.

    Now there's the double standard at work. Ms. Weintraub once worked at Perkins Cole, the law firm Hillary's campaign hired to get dirt on Trump from (yes) foreign nationals.

    But Adam Hill also quotes the heroic Eugene Volokh, no Trump fan:

    It would raise obvious First Amendment problems: First, noncitizens, and likely even non-permanent-residents, in the United States have broad First Amendment rights. See Bridges v. Wixon, 326 U.S. 135 (1945) (“freedom of speech and of press is accorded aliens residing in this country”); Underwager v. Channel 9 Australia, 69 F.3d 361 (9th Cir. 1995) (“We conclude that the speech protections of the First Amendment at a minimum apply to all persons legally within our borders,” including ones who are not permanent residents).

    Second, Americans have the right to receive information even from speakers who are entirely abroad. See Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965). Can Americans — whether political candidates or anyone else — really be barred from asking questions of foreigners, just because the answers might be especially important to voters?

    I'm pretty sure peoples' panties are in a bunch about this for entirely particular reasons: looking for something bad about Trump.


  • [Amazon Link]
    Reason writer Robby Soave has a new book out (Amazon link at right) and there was an excerpt in the current magazine, which is now on the web, and worth your while either as an introduction or brush-up on what those wacky college kids are smoking, ideology-wise: Intersectionality 101. Taking as a starting point the Women's March in DC back in 2017, and the displeasure it caused to many activists:

    Intersectionality is the operating system for the modern left. Understanding what it means and where it comes from is essential for comprehending the current state of activism on college campuses, at protests in major cities, and elsewhere.

    Put simply, the idea is that various kinds of oppression—racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, economic inequality, and others—are simultaneously distinct from each other and inherently linked. They are distinct in the sense that they stack: A black woman suffers from two kinds of oppression (racism and sexism), whereas a white woman suffers from just one (sexism). But they are also interrelated, in that they are all forms of oppression that should be opposed with equal fervor. For instance, a feminist who isn't sufficiently worked up about the rights of the gay community is at odds with the tenets of intersectionality. She is a feminist, but she is not an intersectional feminist.

    From my right-wing-geezer perspective: the only good thing about intersectionality is its inherent ability to repel reasonable people.


  • As another reminder, this one from Kevin D. Williamson at National Review: 'Brainwashing': A Literary and Cinematic Device, Not a Real Thing. But that's not all:

    There is no such thing as brainwashing. There is no such thing as a cult. At least not as those terms are commonly used. But there are many imaginary things that have played a large and important role in our culture and politics. There is no such thing as a “recovered memory,” but people have been put in prison on “recovered memory” evidence. There is no such thing as “multiple-personality disorder,” but many people believe there is, thanks to the popular film based on the 1973 book Sybil, written by the psychiatrist Cornelia B. Wilbur and journalist Flora Rheta Schreiber, much of which was fabricated. The term “multiple personality disorder” is no longer used, and there is no psychiatric consensus about whether the rebranded “disassociative identity disorder” exists. Some psychiatrists believe that it is therapeutically induced, and that some patients are especially susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. The problem with that theory is that hypnosis does not exist, either. There is no scientific evidence that a hypnotic state exists. To the extent that the word “hypnosis” refers to an actual phenomenon, it is simply role-playing.

    That is a lot of debunking. As always, click through for the whole thing, including the MSM buying into narratives that are unsupported by science.


  • And this was cool in a geeky sense, Chris Smith writing at BGR: Genius hid a Morse code message in song lyrics to prove Google was copying them.

    To catch Google, Genius watermarked lyrics with the help of apostrophes, alternating between straight and curly single-quote marks in exactly the same sequence for every song. When turned into dots and dashes, the apostrophes spell the words Red Handed, which is a smart trick.

    This via Language Log, which noted: "Hard-to-see Unicode variation in things like quote curlytude are the source of infinitely annoying text-processing bugs, so it's nice to see someone getting some use out of it."


  • And I'm not sure how I feel about this Tweet.

    But is the cousin mad? Sad? Or does she now realize that her celebrity obsession should be replaced by an honest appreciation for groundbreaking scientific advancement?


Last Modified 2019-06-19 5:37 AM EDT