URLs du Jour

2020-04-23

[Amazon Link]

  • Kevin D. Williamson has worthwhile Thoughts on Identity and Ability.

    “Beyond parody” is a tedious cliché, but I admit I would find it very difficult to parody this report from Slate on judicial appointments in Washington State.

    While the federal bench grows more homogeneous by the day, Democratic governors are diversifying their state judiciaries to an unprecedented degree. On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, elevated Grace Helen Whitener to the state Supreme Court. Whitener is a disabled black lesbian who immigrated from Trinidad. She joins Inslee’s two other appointees: Raquel Montoya-Lewis, a Jewish Native American who previously served on tribal courts, and Mary Yu, an Asian-American Latina lesbian who officiated the first same-sex marriages in the state.

    {…]

    Progressives have hated the idea of the United States as a metaphorical melting pot for a very long time. I was in high school, in an American-history class taught by a very left-wing teacher (we get those in Lubbock, Texas, too), the first time I heard about the “salad bowl” vs. the melting pot. You know this one: The melting pot implies that immigrants come to the United States and eventually lose their distinctiveness, becoming fully incorporated into the great American amalgam. The “salad bowl” model, on the other hand, insists that immigrants come and retain their distinctiveness — all in the same dish, but everything separate. Fondue vs. salad — that’s a pretty American way of looking at things.

    And fondue wins. Fondue always wins.

    If you want a metaphor that describes how a "Jewish Native American" can come to be, fondue does the trick.


  • Peter Suderman, from the latest print Reason on GOP Debt Hypocrisy.

    Republicans in Congress, on the whole, no longer care about debt or deficits—at least not in any substantive sense. That's a problem for a number of reasons, not least that it increases the risk of a debt crisis in the future.

    Those same Republicans spent the better part of Barack Obama's presidency complaining bitterly about the trillion-dollar budget gaps the country ran during his first term, and President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail to eliminate all federal debt. But since Trump's election, deficits have increased even faster than expected, and the total federal debt has risen accordingly. That, in turn, is likely to have long-term consequences for both the economy and for the broader politics of debt and deficits.

    And that was written before the pandemic.

    Most GOP pols have no principles other than maintaining their elective office.


  • Amusing news from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: Survey data suggests there is a Lake Wobegon effect among campus administrators.

    Two recent Inside Higher Ed surveys, one of college and university presidents and the other of student affairs officers, revealed:

    • 77% of college and university presidents rated race relations on their campus as “excellent” or “good,” but only 19% rated race relations on other campuses in the United States as “excellent” or “good.”
    • 54% of student affairs officers rated race relations on their campus as “excellent” or “good,” but only 15% rated race relations on other campuses in the United States as “excellent” or “good.”

    Well, of course. If things were bad at my school, it would mean I wasn't doing a very good job.


  • P. J. O'Rourke has suggestions for Killing time.

    We’re getting pretty tired of all the board games we’ve got in the house. But I’ve been working on ways to modify the rules to make the games… boring in a new and different way.

    Federal Reserve Monopoly – Use your photocopier to print as much Monopoly money as your supply of copy paper allows. Whenever a player lands on an “essential service” (railroad, utility, Community Chest, Free Parking, any property with a house on it, or a hotel not owned by Donald Trump), give him or her a billion dollars.

    Bernie Sanders Monopoly – All the properties are free. Income Tax is 100%. Luxury Tax is 200%. Whoever owns Boardwalk and Park Place has to give all his or her money to the owner of Baltic and Mediterranean and spend the rest of the game in jail.

    And more.


  • Rich Lowry has the latest garbage from the folks who keep telling us to trust them: Media Smear Michigan Lockdown Protesters with Confederate-Flag Canard.

    It feels like 2009 redux, with spontaneous anti-government protests, once again, getting smeared.

    Of course, the proximate cause of the protests this time is the coronavirus lockdowns rather than Obamacare, although the feel of the demonstrations — expressing populist anger at government overreach — is the same, and so is the reaction of the critics.

    The line of attack is the familiar one of using a few isolated idiots or kooks to tar the entire enterprise. To this end, if there’s one thing Democrats (and the media) want you to know about the anti-lockdown protest at the Michigan state capitol in Lansing last week, it’s that people were flying Confederate flags.

    “What happened yesterday was inexcusable,” Representative Debbie Dingell (D., Mich.) said. “People did not have masks. They didn’t have gloves. They did not distance themselves. They had Confederate flags, swastikas.”

    The media were only too happy to echo and amplify such charges. Only problem: the swastika was an (over the top) criticism of the dictates of Michigan's governor. And there were two, perhaps 3 Confederate flags amidst hundreds of plain old stars-n-stripes.

    But the Confederate flags are what help you with your narrative, so they become The Story.