Tag

[2.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

I guess this is a subgenre now: comedies where there's a lot of frenetic action and the actors drop the f-bomb a lot. So we tried this one, and eh.

The premise is promising: the longest game of tag ever, slopping over into the adulthood of the players: Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Lil Rel Howery, Jake Johnson. And Jeremy Renner, who's a legendary ninja at the game, long resisting any efforts to make him "It".

Tagging along is a Wall Street Journal reporter who's heard about the game, and wants to write about it for the paper. And also a wife. And also an ex-girlfriend. And there's not a lot of reason to care about what happens. I mean, is there? You tell me. One of the guys smokes a lot of pot. Hilarious!

URLs du Jour

2020-04-15

  • Campus Reform shares the news out of that most confusingly-named school, Miami University in Ohio: University changes tone, shutters Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institute.

    Amid increased concerns over Chinese money in American universities, Miami University's decision was particularly sudden, citing funding concerns. With the exception of senior staff, most of the Institute’s staffers are paid by the Chinese government, according to the Miami Student.

    The article goes on to claim that China gutted its funding of Miami's institute by 80% between 2017 and 2018.


  • But that means it's time to check on the Confucius Institute at the University Near Here. As it turns out, it's still going strong, and Commie New Hampshire Public Radio reports: Despite Concerns, UNH Renews Contract With China-Backed Institute.

    In a statement, University officials write, "We are aware of concerns around the role the Chinese government plays in U.S.-based institutes and have implemented all recommendations made by the American Council on Education to ensure the Confucius Institute adheres to our core value of academic freedom and UNH maintains complete control."

    Professor Lawrence Reardon also says the school is not blind to the risks here:

    “I would be the first to be yelling and screaming. I’m a former military officer. I would be yelling and screaming and saying there is something wrong here. I’m not seeing it yet. I’ve asked students. They’re not seeing it. I’ve talked to faculty members, they’re not seeing it. But we will say something if we see something.”

    And so, at least for the next five years, the Chinese government will pay for these teachers to work at UNH, and the students there can take classes the school may not otherwise offer.

    UNH's site for its Confucius Institute is here.


  • Apparently there's been some Covid-related talk about President Trump and Captain Bligh of the Bounty. But also The Caine Mutiny. And Nick Gillespie claims at Reason: While Trump Rants, It’s Governors Who Have Gone Full Captain Queeg.

    So for all the attention that yesterday's presidential temper tantrum is getting, it's simply Trump being Trump. Perhaps more importantly, it directs attention away from the ways in which governors are themselves acting as petty tyrants, shutting down all sorts of basic economic activity for no good reasons at all. They are the ones who are most acting like Captain Queeg, the battle-fatigued commander in The Caine Mutiny whose erratic behavior and monomaniacal fixation on missing strawberries has become a shorthand for insane leadership that should be removed from power.

    Hence, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the subject of a recent glowing profile in Politico, has banned the sale of paint in the name of battling the coronavirus. Officials in the state have also banned the sale of vegetable seeds, as have leaders in Vermont. "At least 316 million people in at least 42 states, three counties, nine cities>, he District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are being urged to stay home," reported The New York Times a week ago, meaning that the vast majority of Americans are under various levels of government-mandated lockdowns. In Mississippi, this has even taken the form of fining churchgoers who attended services in their own cars. Pennsylvania's Gov. Tom Wolf decreed liquor was a "non-essential" product and shut down liquor stores (which are owned and operated by the state) before overseeing a failed attempt at online-only sales.

    Although our Guv, Chris Sununu, has received some intense criticism from my fellow rabid right-wingers and wacky libertarians, I'm pretty much a "it could be worse" kind of guy.


  • Writing at the Daily Signal, a trio of Heritage Foundation writers have a sensible suggestion: Lawmakers Need to Reform Postal Service, Not Provide Massive Bailout.

    Democrats and U.S. Postal Service officials are seeking a $75 billion bailout from taxpayers.

    While they seek to blame the COVID-19 pandemic, the facts are plain. Unsustainable wage and benefit costs, along with unaffordable and inefficient service requirements in light of reduced demand—not the new coronavirus—are the real reasons for the Postal Service’s financial troubles.

    In recent weeks, the Postal Service has seen a reduction in first-class mail revenue and an increase in operational costs. While it’s too soon to tell the full extent of the damage, any coronavirus-related net losses this year will likely pale in comparison to the operational losses the Postal Service has racked up over many years.  

    Of course, the Slashdot statists have deep concerns about this, asking: Would a Post Office Bankruptcy Kill E-Commerce?

    With the U.S. Postal Service slated to run out of money this summer, a congressional bailout has become embroiled in the usual, critical and unusual political fights. Every day letter carriers deliver some of our web orders, there are many other functions the post office performs including providing an address validation API that is the core of many shipping systems. Would the collapse of this service mean a major disruption of e-commerce? What other impacts to technology would we face with the collapse of this constitutionally guaranteed service (Article I, Section 8, Clause 7).

    Just a comment on that last bit: the Constitution doesn't "guarantee" Congress witll provide a postal service: it allows Congress to provide a postal service. (Or, more exactly, to "establish Post Offices").

    It doesn't have to do so. Any more than it's Constitutionally required to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal (Article I, Section 8, Clause 11)


  • And Power Line (among many others) pointed out: NY Times Changed Biden Sexual Assault Story at Request of Campaign. Based on an interview with New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet:

    The New York Times altered its story on what could be a significant campaign issue–an accusation of sexual assault against Joe Biden–based on a complaint by Biden’s campaign. And the paper’s head news guy sees nothing wrong with this.

    Yes, the NYT gives the Biden campaign veto power over its content.

    I don't want to hear any self-righteous puffery from the Times about its independence. Ever again.