URLs du Jour

2019-09-23

Mr. Ramirez does it again: Area 51 invasion.

[Area 51 Invasion]

If necessary, this Commie Radio article will fill you in on the subject. And now on to our normally scheduled program:

  • Dost thou need yet another reminder to not trust mainstream media? Charles C. W. Cooke provides one at National Review: Colt AR-15 Production: ABC Bends the Truth to Fit the Narrative.

    This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not:

    Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass shootings in which suspects used the weapon.

    … leaving the strong implication of cause and effect. But way down in the article:

    The company did not mention mass shootings in its statement about stopping production and instead blamed the indefinite pause in making the weapon on a “significant excess manufacturing capacity.”

    Charles comments:

    The phrasing in the above paragraph is remarkable. The reason that the company “did not mention mass shootings” is because mass shootings have nothing to do with its decision. And Colt didn’t “blame” its decision on anything, because its decision isn’t a problem for which “blame” needs to be assigned. As Colt has made clear, it believes that “there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future,” and so it is temporarily shifting its production priorities in order to focus on the military side of its business. That’s it. That’s the whole story.

    Charles notes that the Associated Press managed to handle the story without pushing the gun-grabber narrative.


  • At Reason, Robby Soave has an observation and a suggestion: Josh Hawley Says Libertarians Who Defend Tech Are Enamored with Power. He Should Look in the Mirror..

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) had an eventful Thursday, meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for a "frank conversation."

    "[I] challenged him to do two things to show FB is serious about bias, privacy & competition," wrote Hawley on Twitter. "1) Sell WhatsApp & Instagram 2) Submit to independent, third-party audit on censorship. He said no to both."

    Well, that escalated quickly.

    It is discouraging that an ostensible conservative would make it his personal crusade to destroy the Big Tech boogeyman by ceaselessly threatening government intervention. But this is the path Hawley has chosen. Oddly, he thinks libertarians should be applauding him for it.

    That is odd. But what's not odd at all is yet another politician attempting to run a business. It's as if they believe they've done such a good job at making the government work well, they're entitled to dust off their hands, congratulate themselves on their excellent work, and graciously extend their genius to the private sector.


  • At Issues & Insights, Henry I. Miller and Andrew I. Fillat poke a few holes in the "renewable energy" balloon: The Rush To Renewable Energy Defies Science, Economics, And Common Sense. (What, that's all?)

    Here's four points out of many, these concentrating on not-particularly-glamorous battery tech:

    • No step-function improvement in batteries has been attained in spite of 25-plus years of huge investment, including that from dozens of innovative startup companies. Counting on a breakthrough at this point is probably wishful thinking.
    • To store the energy equivalent of a single barrel of oil, which can be stored in a $20 container at minimal cost, requires $200,000 and 10 tons of Tesla batteries.
    • Tesla’s “Gigafactory” produces only enough batteries in an entire year to store three minutes of U.S. power demand. That is not enough to handle a cloudy or calm day for the renewables, let alone provide the needed two months of backup. Proper backup would require the equivalent of almost 30,000 production-years of similar factories.
    • A single car requires 1,000 pounds of batteries. This, in turn, requires mining, moving, and processing some 500,000 pounds of raw materials. So, imagine scaling that up to provide batteries for a public utility the size of ConEd or Pacific Gas & Electric.

    There's a lot of Nerd Harder fallacy involved in renewables. Unfortunately, the authors succumb to this too: "The long-term solution, we believe, is nuclear fusion."

    How? Well, we'll get the nerds to nerd harder on that front.


  • Ashe Schow, writing at the Daily Wire lists helpfully: 5 Signs You’re In The Midst Of A Moral Panic.

    Moral panics, or instances of mass hysteria, have occurred throughout history. Two of the most notorious are the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and '90s. The panics almost exclusively involve women and children and fears for their safety, especially from sexual abuse.

    We are in the midst of another such panic, but despite the similarities to past episodes, we are still unable to recognize it as such. The current panic has been playing out in the military and on college campuses for nearly a decade, but with the advent of the #MeToo movement, the mass hysteria is creeping into our regular legal system as well. The following are five of the biggest signs that we are experiencing another bout of mass hysteria, this time over sexual assault and harassment.

    I'll summarize:

    1. Due Process Goes Out The Window
    2. “Believe The Victim”
    3. Misleading And Faulty Statistics
    4. Evidence, Schmevidence
    5. Pseudo-Scientific Theories About Memory Reign Supreme

    Apply/adjust as needed to panics about guns, drugs, climate change, …


  • And this is just insanely great: The Weight performed by Robbie Robertson (in Los Angeles), Ringo Starr (in an undisclosed location), and a worldwide ensemble of musicians (located all over):

    "The Weight" is turning 50. I didn't like it much back then, but I've seen the light since.

    The video is in support of Playing for Change, "a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music." Are they tediously political? Not that I could detect.