URLs du Jour

2020-12-18

[Amazon Link]

  • I'm kind of late linking to this, but just in case you haven't seen it: Kyle Smith at National Review declares Jill Biden’s Doctorate Is Garbage Because Her Dissertation Is Garbage. Pun Salad Fact Check: True.

    You can tell someone is smarting from an inferiority complex when he insists on being addressed as “Dr.” on the basis of holding an academic doctorate rather than being a physician. Ph.D. holders who have genuine accomplishments don’t make you call them “Doctor,” which is why you never hear about “Dr. Paul Krugman” and “Dr. George Will.” None of the professors I knew at Yale, even the ones who were eminent in their fields, insisted on the title, and I think most of them would have scoffed if someone had addressed them as “Dr.” The only reason you ever hear the phrase “Dr. Henry Kissinger” is that Kissy grew up in title-mad, airs-and-graces Germany, where people are awed rather than dismissive even if you insist on a triple-serving title (“Herr Professor Doktor”).

    Insisting on being called “Doctor” when you don’t heal people is, among most holders of doctorates, seen as a gauche, silly, cringey ego trip. Consider “Dr.” Jill Biden, who doesn’t even hold a Ph.D. but rather a lesser Ed.D., something of a joke in the academic world. President-elect Joe Biden once explained that his wife sought the degree purely for status reasons: “She said, ‘I was so sick of the mail coming to Sen. and Mrs. Biden. I wanted to get mail addressed to Dr. and Sen. Biden.’ That’s the real reason she got her doctorate,” Joe Biden has said.

    And our Amazon Product du Jour will help you appreciate the currently incarcerated Dr. William Henry Cosby, Ed D. Whose dissertation at UMass-Amherst was titled "AN INTEGRATION OF THE VISUAL MEDIA VIA "FAT ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS" INTO THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM AS A TEACHING AID AND VEHICLE TO ACHIEVE INCREASED LEARNING."


  • Just another minor outrage from a pol elected by the State Across The River, as related by the WSJ: Angus King’s Gambit.

    Democrats have pushed to expand government entitlements and business mandates during the pandemic. Now Maine Sen. Angus King wants Netflix and other streaming services to provide complimentary entertainment to help Americans social distance over the holidays.

    “At this time, we must find ways to incentivize people to follow guidance from the CDC, their employer, local public health officials, or school leaders,” Mr. King wrote in a letter this week to Netflix, Amazon, Disney and WarnerMedia. Americans left to their own devices will “carry on their typical holiday traditions instead of remaining safely at home.”

    Like many pols, Senator Angus is quick with ideas on how other people should run their lives and businesses. Because the Federal Government is obviously a role model for efficient provision of goods and services.


  • For example, Senator Angus probably sees nothing he could fix at NASA. You might feel different after reading this Ars Technica article: The Orion spacecraft is now 15 years old and has flown into space just once.

    The December dawn felt hopeful as we stood outside, watching NASA's Orion spacecraft streak into the Florida sky. We could imagine that America was taking its first tentative step into the future of human exploration of the cosmos.

    "This is the beginning of the Mars era," the space agency's administrator at the time, former NASA astronaut Charlie Bolden, said shortly after the December 2014 launch. And in the moment, who could argue? Here was a spacecraft capable of flying to the Moon and back, acing its first test in space.

    Six years later, some of the shine is gone. Years of waiting for an encore to that flight have worn away much of the enthusiasm that followed this Exploration Flight Test-1 mission. We were supposed to have seen an encore flight of Orion two years ago and a mission carrying astronauts around the Moon next year. Instead, Orion is unlikely to fly into space again before 2022, at the earliest.

    And as for the first time astronauts will climb on board Orion—who can say? The launch keeps slipping to the right.

    Orion and the "Space Launch System" are boondoggles, kept afloat by powerful CongressCritters.


  • We've previously noticed that fear is an ineffective long-term method for getting people to protect themselves against Covid. At the Dispatch, Robert Tracinski describes another counterproductive strategy: Calling People 'Selfish' Is Undermining Our Pandemic Response.

    You’ve probably heard this dozens of times since the pandemic began, and I guarantee you will hear it dozens more times before we stumble across to the other side: how “selfish” it is to ignore pandemic precautions.

    Whether it’s a large family gathering, or crowding into bars, or talking loudly on a phone on the subway without wearing a mask, this behavior will be denounced as a “pandemic of selfishness.” Don’t you know that there is no “I” in “mask”?

    But this casually pejorative use of “selfish” is undermining our response to the pandemic and to a great many other things. This reckless use of language has a real and significant cost. If you tell people that refusing to take the pandemic seriously is something that promotes their own personal well-being, the problem is that they just might believe you.

    "Selfishness" is pretty much the only sin progressives believe in any more. So when bad things happen, that must be due to selfishness.


  • I'm a longtime Thomas Sowell fanboy and love the Babylon Bee, so I was a sucker for this story: Thomas Sowell Slams Santa Claus For Plan To Flood Market With Free Toys.

    The famed conservative economist and free-market advocate Dr. Thomas Sowell took a lot of flak this week by distancing himself from the economic practices of one “Santa Claus”. Sowell pointed out that a sudden flood of free toys will devalue the toys already on the market, causing rapid inflation of the value of things like Nerf guns, Barbie dolls, and toy choo-choo trains.

    Bah, humbug.


Last Modified 2020-12-19 5:15 AM EST