URLs du Jour


Sigh. And then they came for my Eskimo Pie. What's next, my Igloo Cooler?

  • I know it's juvenile pedantry, but whenever I hear on the news that some business has "lost" umpty-million dollars, I think (and sometimes say) "Well, maybe it fell behind the sofa. Check there."

    So I was very amused by the story in yesterday's WSJ, headlined "Billions Go Missing at Fintech Firm".

    Shares in troubled payments company Wirecard AG crashed Thursday after auditors said they couldn’t locate €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) of the company’s cash.

    "Yes, I did check my other pants! Not there either!"

    Unfortunately, it appears that they didn't really "lose" $2.1 billion. They simply lied about having it in the first place.

  • And you may have heard: Vatican calls on Catholics to divest from fossil fuels

    The Vatican on Thursday urged Catholics to divest from fossil fuels, a call made in church documents warning against the dangers of climate change.

    The 225-page encyclical, which is sent to all bishops within the church, also encouraged divesting from arms and monitoring sectors like mining to ensure they are not damaging the environment.

    Of course, when a Good Catholic sells his 100 shares of ExxonMobil, it simply gets transferred to someone else. Presumably some heathen. Net effect on "Climate change": zero.

    But you know what would impress me? If the Pope demanded that his worldwide flock stop using fossil fuels. No driving those nasty gas-powered cars! No flying anywhere!

    And if any of your electricity comes from natural gas or coal? Well just turn off the lights. And your TV. And your fridge. And… Clean clothes? For that, I'm afraid you'll have to go down to the river and beat them against the rocks.

    And stop buying stuff that might have been brought to market by fossil fuels! Like everything in your local supermarket. Once something's been touched by the hand of Satanic Exxon it's forever damned!

  • Our state got a mention in the Daily Signal, thanks to the condescending attitude of …

    High school-educated, working-class parents aren’t capable of overseeing their own child’s education, a state lawmaker said last week.

    New Hampshire state Sen. Jeanne Dietsch, D-Peterborough, made the comment at a committee hearing last Tuesday while promoting a bill that would stop the state Board of Education from creating a new way of allocating high school graduation credits.

    “This idea of parental choice, that’s great if the parent is well-educated. There are some families that’s perfect for. But to make it available to everyone? No. I think you’re asking for a huge amount of trouble,” Dietsch said.

    Is it possible that parents might make poor choices for their kids' education? Sure.

    But that's not the way to bet.

    Take it away, Jonah Goldberg:

    It’s almost obligatory to mention the Phil Gramm story here. Roughly, it goes like this: Phil Gramm was talking to a group of voters. He was asked what his educational policies were. He replied, “My educational policies are based on the fact that I care more about my children than you do.”

    A woman interrupted and said something like, “No, you don’t. I love your kids too.”

    Gramm replied, “Okay: What are their names?”

    I'll also point out what should be obvious: when the State presumes that parents don't make good educational choices for their kids, it encourages parents to not make good educational choices for their kids.

    Or, more generally: when the State treats adults as irresponsible children, you get a lot of adults acting as irresponsible children.

  • At Reason, Nick Gillespie notes the latest from the folks who once claimed to be "reality-based": Oakland ‘Nooses’ Turn Out To Be Exercise Swings; Mayor Wants To Investigate Them As a Hate Crime Anyway

    The Associated Press reports that the city's (white) mayor, Libby Schaaf, has opened a hate-crime investigation after five ropes hanging from trees in a city park were discovered. Schaaf and other officials say that the ropes seem to symbolize nooses, and she told the press that the police must "start with the assumption that these are hate crimes."

    But she knows that the ropes, sometimes described as straps or swings, were not intended to be nooses, because the (black) man who hung them has made that clear:

    Victor Sengbe, who is black, told KGO-TV that the ropes were part of a rigging that he and his friends used as part of a larger swing system. He also shared video of the swing in use.

    "Out of the dozen and hundreds and thousands of people that walked by, no one has thought that it looked anywhere close to a noose. Folks have used it for exercise. It was really a fun addition to the park that we tried to create," Sengbe said.

    "It's unfortunate that a genuine gesture of just wanting to have a good time got misinterpreted into something so heinous," he told the station.

    Schaaf is undeterred by such an explanation:

    "Intentions don't matter when it comes to terrorizing the public," Schaaf said. "It is incumbent on all of us to know the actual history of racial violence, of terrorism, that a noose represents and that we as a city must remove these terrorizing symbols from the public view."

    When will our ongoing moral panic end? Because it's stopped being funny.

  • And the University Near Here has issued its latest statement in support of its Official Racial Ideology: Black Lives Matter. Our Action Plan. President James "Don't Call Me Jimmy" Dean held forth:

    Dear Wildcat Community –

    This past Sunday, I attended the student-organized Black Lives Matter rally on T-Hall lawn. I listened to seven brave and eloquent students share their stories and experiences at UNH and beyond. It was clear that we have a lot of work to do to address systemic racism in a way that facilitates their sense of belonging and well-being. While we have made some progress, there is still more work to be done.

    Racism is a systemic and longstanding problem across America and in our institutions of higher education. While the killing of black citizens represents the worst outcome of racism, it also influences the everyday experience of our fellow citizens and neighbors in a profound and troubling way—as the student speakers made clear on Sunday. People across the country, around the world and here in New Hampshire are mobilizing and coming together in hopes that this can finally change. We are presented with a moment in our country’s history to create structural and institutional change. All institutions, especially anchor public institutions like UNH, have to be part of this change. We need to determine, methodically and efficiently, what are the most important steps we can take to be part of the solution. The President’s Leadership Council (PLC) will collectively be responsible for determining what actions we need to take and to oversee their implementation. We will ensure that there are both men and women of color on the PLC.

    Part one of Jimmy's two-step "plan" is "listen and learn". He links to a list of "Racial Justice Resources". Which is uniformly woke. You won't see any Thomas Sowell books in there.

    Woe betide any University student, facule, or employee who expresses dissent, or fails to adequately genuflect.

  • At National Review, Dan McLaughlin has a long and insightful essay: The Perils of Data-Driven Politics. NRPLUS, sorry, but it's one of those articles that you might want to shell out for. Sample:

    1. “Competence, Not Ideology”: The Mirage of Politics Driven by Data
    The first reason why voters are, and should be, skeptical of data-driven politicians and political arguments is that there is a very long history of people in politics — especially politicians of a statist bent and center-left or left ideology — masquerading their ideological commitments under the neutral banner of data. The pervasive habit of using data as a drunk uses a lamppost — for support, rather than illumination — calls to mind Mark Twain’s epigram:

    Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    If we’re honest with ourselves, we know that most people do not use data at all objectively. Arguments about data are often just arguments about ideology dressed up with numbers. Almost nobody who supports or opposes legal abortion or same-sex marriage is likely to be persuaded to a different view by any amount of data; those issues are almost universally viewed as matters of principle. Junk data that feels right, such as oft-debunked gender/pay statistics, can prove unkillable. Ironically, most political-science studies of voter behavior confirm this: “The data” literally show that the data don’t matter all that much.

    That's reason number one out of fifteen. All good.