URLs du Jour

2020-06-30

[Amazon Link]

Late start today, sorry.

  • Mark J. Perry wishes Thomas Sowell a happy 90th birthday (today!) with a collection of quotes and videos. Here's the Good Doctor on the D-word:

    If there is any place in the Guinness Book of World Records for words repeated the most often, over the most years, without one speck of evidence, “diversity” should be a prime candidate. Is diversity our strength? Or anybody’s strength, anywhere in the world? Does Japan’s homogeneous population cause the Japanese to suffer? Have the Balkans been blessed by their heterogeneity — or does the very word “Balkanization” remind us of centuries of strife, bloodshed and unspeakable atrocities, extending into our own times? Has Europe become a safer place after importing vast numbers of people from the Middle East, with cultures hostile to the fundamental values of Western civilization?

    “When in Rome do as the Romans do” was once a common saying. Today, after generations in the West have been indoctrinated with the rhetoric of multiculturalism, the borders of Western nations on both sides of the Atlantic have been thrown open to people who think it is their prerogative to come as refugees and tell the Romans what to do — and to assault those who don’t knuckle under to foreign religious standards.

    It has not been our diversity, but our ability to overcome the problems inherent in diversity, and to act together as Americans, that has been our strength.

    Our Amazon Product du Jour is his latest book, out this month. You know what to do.


  • A useful (NRPLUS, sorry) article from Itxu Díaz: Leftist Insults: How to Survive Them without Losing Your Sense of Humor

    To be a conservative is to wake up every morning to a new insult. It makes life more fun. I never know exactly what I am until I open up Twitter every morning. I can be a reactionary vermin, an ignorant caveman, an ultra-Catholic primate, or a neoliberal scorpion. It’s fascinating how far the language reaches on the left when it comes to labeling the Right. Today we conservatives are racist for not wanting to kneel before anything but God, just as yesterday we were fascists for defending law and order, the only way to guarantee freedom — incidentally, one of many words that has gone from being associated with the Left in the 1970s to being the provenance of the Right in our day. Today, Snow White is “sexist,” Gone with the Wind is “racist,” Scrooge McDuck is “ultraliberal,” and Tarzan . . . Oh my God! It’s all happening at once!

    The other day, without going any further, a guy told me with contempt that Benedict XVI was “an ultra-Catholic.” Apparently, he meant it as an insult. I shrugged my shoulders, guessing that part of the Left must really expect the pope of the Catholic Church to be “moderately Catholic.” Perhaps they are right. At least if we consider that Marx, for example, was a bit ultra-Marxist.

    I'm obscure enough so nobody bothers to insult me any more. (But back in USENET days, whoa boy.)

    Unless you count insulting my intelligence. Geez, that's hard to avoid.


  • At Reason, John McWhorter notes the new religion: Kneeling in the Church of Social Justice

    Over the past several years, a social justice philosophy has arisen that is less a political program than a religion in all but name. Where Christianity calls for people to display their moral worth through faith in Jesus, modern Third-Wave Antiracism (henceforth TWA) calls for people to display their moral worth through opposition to racism. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, this vision has increasingly been expressed through procedures, routines, and phraseology directly patterned on Abrahamic religion.

    America certainly has work to do on race. For one, while racism does not explain why cops kill more black than white people—poverty makes all people more likely to be killed by the cops, hundreds of poor whites are killed annually, but more black people are poor—they harass and abuse black people more than white people, and the real-life impact of this is in its way just as pernicious as the disparity in killings would be. If the tension between black people and the cops were resolved, America's race problem would quickly begin dissolving faster than it ever has. But making this happen will require work, as will ending the war on drugs, improving educational opportunities for all disadvantaged black children, and other efforts such as steering more black teenagers to vocational programs training them for solid careers without four years of college. 

    That would be real. It would also be hard work. Isn't it so much easier to demand (for example) demand that Robert Millkan's name be expunged from Caltech?


  • At the Dispatch, Avi Woolf has suggestions: How Conservatives Should Respond to the Great Awokening. Continuing with the McWhorter theme:

    Reason and logic don’t drive this movement, so it cannot be reasoned with. Rather, as professor Alan Jacobs describes, it is the visceral, instinctive aversion to certain kinds of identifiable secularized “sin” and “impurity.” Adherents demand safety not only for their physical well-being but also their psychological health, and one might even say their spiritual health. 

    No one who knows anything about this kind of popular religious thinking—personally or indirectly—can dismiss the power and the danger of this kind of cultural crusading.

     As I noted in an essay years ago, culture wars may sometimes end in Congress or the Supreme Court, but they don’t start there and are certainly not won or lost there. This is why fulsome anger at the Republican Party establishment, however justified on the merits, is misplaced. Every Republican leader and figure could condemn this movement in tones that would make Sohrab Ahmari blush, and it would make little to no difference on elite opinion. The Democratic Party might be able to do more, but it has no political incentive to do so, as most of its members are on board to one degree or another.

    Click through for Avi's ideas. Might work.


  • Power Line offers the Orwellian Phrase of the Day:

    My nomination for the most Orwellian phrase of the moment is, “We need to have a conversation about X [race, class, gender, policing, inequality—fill in the blank].” What “we need a conversation” means in practice is, “You shut up and agree with the left.”

    I said something similar yesterday. PL also provides this ill-fated (and now deleted) tweet from the great minds of State College, PA:

    [PSU]

    If I were a "conservative student", I'm not sure I'd be reassured. I think I'd lean more toward feeling that I was being condescended to.

    And what about the broad categories not specifically mentioned? Christians? Dudes? Communists? Native Americans? Disabled? Do they feel left out? Erased?

    And what about the libertarians? Dear God, will someone please think about the libertarians?

    Well, the upshot was about what you'd expect: people were really pissed about that third item. And, as noted, the tweet was yanked. And I would guess that some people were made to apologize abjectly, and sent to the re-education camps over in Altoona.


  • In our "Why Are People Thinking This Stupid Idea Is Even A Possibility" Department, Steve Moore and Kevin Roberts write at the Federalist: No, Congress Shouldn't Add A State Bailout To Americans' Coronavirus Tab

    Writing for FiveThirtyEight.com, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux has a dire warning for Congress if it fails to bail out the states. “Without a lifeline from the federal government,” she writes, “states would have no choice but to start slashing budgets and raising taxes.”

    Meanwhile, governors like Gavin Newsom of California are threatening to shut down first responders, hospitals, and police services if they don’t get a big check from Washington. This is called hostage-taking, and Republicans in Congress would be foolish to pay the ransom.

    Behind this reasonable-sounding statement is a slew of flawed presumptions. One is that the federal government has some large pot of money to give to states. The federal government can only give states money by taking it from their residents in the first place. Moreover, Uncle Sam is already on tap to borrow at least $4 trillion — so it is in even worse fiscal shape than the states.

    On Wikipedia's List of U.S. states and territories by median household income, California is ranked number 7. It's demanding that (mostly) states further down the list send it money, via Uncle Stupid as a middleman.

    Sorry. I meant "middleperson".


Last Modified 2020-07-01 5:26 AM EDT