URLs du Jour


[Amazon Link]
(paid link)

Boy, I really got a lot of, um, unexpected results when I searched Amazon for "magic wand". I lead a sheltered life.

  • But Jim Geraghty makes a good point in his National Review newsletter. As opposed to what you might have thought from listening to Democrats all week: The Government Isn’t a Magic Wand.

    Every presidential challenger makes the job sound easier than it is. Harry Truman famously declared that Dwight Eisenhower had a naïve and unrealistic sense of how running the executive branch would work. “He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And nothing will happen. Poor Ike — it won’t be a bit like the Army . . . I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them. . . . That’s all the powers of the president amount to.”

    A well-run executive branch that minimizes mistakes would be an epic achievement, but very few people in politics ever want to level with the American people.

    We would like to have a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that could roll out tests that worked the first time. We would like a Food and Drug Administration that didn’t require the CDC to retest every positive coronavirus test run by a public-health lab to confirm its accuracy, slowing everything down when time is of the essence. If a team from the U.S. State Department visits a Chinese virology lab and writes a memo describing “a shortage of the highly trained technicians and investigators required to safely operate,” we would like that memo to not just sit in someone’s desk drawer for a year.

    We'd also like an Internal Revenue Service that wasn't weaponized against political opponents, but I'd bet we're not gonna get that either.

  • In the Pun Salad "It's His Money, But Are You Kidding?" Department, Robby Soave reports at Reason: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Donates $10 Million to Ibram X. Kendi, Who Wants To Make Racism Unconstitutional.

    In a 2019 piece for POLITICO magazine, Kendi proposed a constitutional amendment that would prohibit racism. Here is his idea in full:

    To fix the original sin of racism, Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals. The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with "racist ideas" and "public official" clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won't yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.

    Such an amendment would constitute a brazen assault on the principles of a free society. Kendi would like to empower a team of government bureaucrats who are beyond even the normal accountability of the political process. Their job would be to investigate both public and private racism, and "monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas." Kendi's promise that what constitutes a "racist idea" would be "clearly defined" is hardly reassuring: There's no way such a department could avoid becoming an Orwellian nightmare—indeed, the very program would necessitate the formation of a kind of speech police.

    Robby points out that this "would constitute a brazen assault on the principles of a free society."

    And (as I continue to point out): Kendi is one of the scholars whose work is Officially Recommended as a "Racial Justice" resource at the University Near Here.

  • Hey, kids, what time is it? Our Google LFOD News Alert takes us to the proposal of Erik Corbett in the Union Leader: It's time to abandon The Pledge.

    IT’S ABOUT THAT TIME in New Hampshire’s two-year election cycle for conservatives to sign a pledge to keep your property taxes high and put the burden of funding schools and local government almost solely on the backs of property owners.

    Since the early 1970s, when Meldrim Thompson finally won the race for governor after three failed attempts by promising to veto any broad-based tax, it has been taken as gospel that candidates for governor must take “The Pledge”.

    For background information, Mel Thomson was a Georgia lawyer and state’s-rights fanatic. Once he settled in New Hampshire and became governor, he advocated for arming the National Guard with nuclear weapons, added “Live Free or Die” to our license plates and imprisoned a citizen who covered the phrase because of religious objections, had Massachusetts tax agents who were recording Massachusetts license plates at New Hampshire Liquor Stores arrested and sent the New Hampshire Attorney General to Maine to defend a lobsterman who had pulled a gun on Maine game wardens. In some ways, he was Trump when Trump was developing bone spurs in order to avoid going to Vietnam.

    OK, I get it: Erik hates Mel with a passion. But you know what? Mel has been dead for 19 years, and hasn't been governor for forty-one years.

    And I'm not sure about his history: it says here that LFOD was legislated onto state license plates in 1971. Mel didn't become governor until 1973. A lot of sources claim Mel single-handedly decreed putting the motto onto license plates, but I'm pretty sure he couldn't have done that on his own.

    And about the Pledge: it will go away when people elect enough candidates who fail to take it. This isn't rocket science, it's democracy.

  • Tech Crunch looks at a controversial software company, whose CEO had the gall to invoke LFOD in an interview: Palantir moves its HQ from Palo Alto to Denver as plans to go public percolate.

    Palantir CEO Alex Karp announced plans to move the company’s headquarters away from California in an Axios interview back in May.

    “We haven’t picked a place yet, but it’s going to be closer to the East Coast than the West Coast,” Karp said, adding that Colorado would be his guess for where the headquarters would land.

    In the same interview, Karp railed against what he called Silicon Valley’s “monoculture,” a reference to left-leaning views that generally characterize both Bay Area culture and the company’s vocal critics.


    All Palantir employees not currently working with customers in the field are working from home with no set plan to return to the office at this time. Karp, a frequent critic of Silicon Valley’s regional myopia, currently runs the company from his home in the libertarian enclave of New Hampshire.

    “I’m pretty happy outside the monoculture in New Hampshire and I like living free here,” Karp told Axios, referencing the state’s motto “Live free or die.”

    The "libertarian enclave of New Hampshire". Dude, we haven't legalized pot yet.

Last Modified 2024-01-23 5:01 AM EDT