URLs du Jour


  • James P. Freeman, in his WSJ "Best of the Web" column wonders: Can We Find New Governors?.

    In the upside-down world of modern press coverage, politicians win praise for opportunity-crushing lockdowns while a new White House effort to encourage job seekers is attracting scorn across the media landscape.

    As for the lockdowners, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D., Calif.) has recently pivoted from praising protesters who were gathering in public and shouting near each other to blaming young people who gather for a “selfish mindset” that he ties to a recent increase in Covid cases.

    Of course young people have been sacrificing plenty lately due to the shutdowns which amount to a massive transfer of generational wealth. The cost is not just measured in the reduced employment and educational opportunities being imposed upon them—which will dent future earnings. There is also the massive debt they will be forced to carry as they attempt to build careers.

    A Journal editorial notes that “federal spending for the first nine months of fiscal 2020 hit a record $5.005 trillion. Congratulations to everyone, and especially young Americans. You’ll be paying for it the rest of your lives. The Congressional Budget Office fiscal report for June says outlays rose 49% in the first nine months, or $1.649 trillion more than a year earlier.”

    Do you think that, eventually, young people might actually become "woke" to how badly Uncle Stupid's profligate spending is putting them on the hook?

  • Well maybe not. Because they're too busy with stuff like making sure a mural at Vermont Law School gets painted over. Because it depicts some sort of pro-slavery Confederate white supremacist ideology? Well, no:

    Vermont Law School plans to paint over a mural in its student center that highlights Vermont’s role in the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement after members of the law school community objected to its depictions of African Americans and said it made some people uncomfortable.

    VLS President and Dean Thomas McHenry said in a schoolwide email this week that students and alumni had raised concerns about the mural in the Chase Community Center, which was painted by Vermont-based artist Sam Kerson in 1993 with the school’s blessing, even winning recognition from The Christian Science Monitor at the time.

    Eyeroll. Vermont gotta Vermont, I suppose. Still, 27 years is a little quick for a piece of art to go from "admirably progressive" to "unacceptably racist".

    Local note: the Durham NH Post Office has a mural that's been making people uncomfortable for years. I haven't noticed any recent outrage though, and I'm kind of surprised about that. Usually there's no place quicker to slip into trendy outrage than Durham.

  • Speaking of outrage, the Free Beacon reviews the customization options at the NBA online store.

    In keeping with league policy on political statements, the official online store of the NBA does not permit fans to order a custom jersey with the phrase "Free Hong Kong" printed on the back.

    "Free Hong Kong" is one of the many phrases banned under the NBA's new jersey policy, which allows players to display certain political messages such as "Black Lives Matter," but prohibits messages critical of the Chinese regime.

    Typing "Free Hong Kong" into the text box on the NBA store's custom jersey page returns the following message: "We are unable to customize this item with the text you have entered. Please try a different entry."

    As I type, this may have been rescinded. I was able to specify "FreeHongKong" on a Men's Boston Celtics Nike Black Swingman Custom Jersey. I didn't complete the $139.99 order, though. That's a little steep for a clothing item I would look even dumber than usual wearing.

  • Michael Graham's NH Journal takes note of a local signatory: UNH Prof Signs Anti-Free-Speech Letter Dismissing 'So-Called Cancel Culture'.

    The contentious fight over freedom of expression has come to the University of New Hampshire, where a progressive professor has signed onto a letter supporting the suppression of free speech and defending what’s commonly known as “cancel culture.”

    The prof is Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (pun-mentioned previously here, here, here, here, and here). I'll just snip out this bit from the illiberal letter:

    The signatories, many of them white, wealthy, and endowed with massive platforms, argue that they are afraid of being silenced, that so-called cancel culture is out of control, and that they fear for their jobs and free exchange of ideas, even as they speak from one of the most prestigious magazines in the country.

    Nearly every bit of that is a lie.

    But I like that "endowed with massive platforms" bit. When read aloud, certainly there should be a pregnant pause inserted between "massive" and "platforms".

    But here: read for yourself if you haven't already done so. You'll notice:

    • Nowhere do the signees say they are "afraid of being silenced".
    • Nor do they say "so-called cancel culture is out of control"; the word "cancel" does not appear in any form.
    • I don't see where they say they "fear for their jobs". (Although as you may have heard, one of the signers, Bari Weiss, did lose her job.)
    • Nor do they say they "fear" for the "free exchange of ideas"—they do claim, as a fact, that the "free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted."

    I've noticed that debating tactic quite a bit lately: claiming how your opponents are "afraid of X" or "fear Y". Essentially: those guys are a bunch of scaredy-cats, certainly neurotic, probably paranoid. It's a cheap way to avoid having to refute an actual argument.

  • Daniel Mitchell, as promised, discusses The State With the Greediest Politicians, Part II. Looking at the Tax Foundation report on sales tax rates, and includes this graphic:

    [Sales Tax Rates]

    The deeper purple, the more you want to avoid buying stuff.

    NH shows up with a 0.0% sales tax rate, fine, but deserves a lot of asterisks. The Rooms and Meals tax: state gets a 9% cut.

    And they don't have a sales tax line on the receipt when you buy booze from a NH State Liquor Store, but somehow a certain fraction of your dollars spent wind up in state coffers.

  • And Kevin D. Williamson is appropriately merciless and hilarious about Roger Stone.

    Roger Stone committed a raft of felonies in order to protect the political interests of Donald Trump, who has now commuted Stone’s sentence as a reward for Stone’s political loyalty. Stone’s misdeeds include collaborating with the Russian intelligence cutout known as “Guccifer 2.0,” though I am inclined to credit the defense he has offered there — that he is too stupid to understand that he was being manipulated by the GRU. The specific crimes of which he was convicted go straight to the question of trust: witness-tampering and perjury. As National Review’s editorial put it: “He was justly convicted of these charges and deserved to go to jail; in our system of justice, self-parody is no defense.”

    Trump’s self-serving commutation of Stone’s prison sentence is another chip off the U.S. government’s foundation of trust and legitimacy. No one can claim to be surprised by this behavior — this is exactly what any reasonable person would expect from Donald Trump and from his associates. It is what Bill Bennett would have expected if he had understood his own books or had not forgotten what they say. The heavy price we will pay for Trump’s presidency is not that we will feel bad as a people about his lack of virtue and have a good cry over it but that his lies and abuse will leave the government itself, along with the political system and our civic culture, degraded. It is not a baby step but a mighty stride down the road to the Venezuelafication of American politics, and if you don’t think we have our own Hugo Chávez out there ready to step forward and fill the trust gap with ideology and an enemies’ list, then you are not paying very close attention.

    I'm long past being disappointed in Trump. I'm still disappointed with American voters.

Last Modified 2024-02-02 4:54 AM EDT