URLs du Jour

2021-02-23

[Amazon Link]

  • Our Amazon Product du Jour is in honor of Obnoxious Amazon. Michael Brendan Dougherty:

    A great deal of life in a self-governing nation is well governed by conventions rather than law. Which is precisely what makes Amazon’s decision to no longer sell Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally: Answers for Our Transgender Moment so obnoxious.

    We trust publishing houses to decide what gets published, and to give those books their imprimatur and prestige. Those who pay close attention to these things know that Regnery is known for big best-selling conservative books. Or they know the prestige of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

    Booksellers choose what gets displayed and stocked in their stores. That’s an important role. But, aside from dedicated specialty stores, all of the larger and general-audience booksellers will sell you any book that they can reasonably obtain, even if it is not regularly stocked on their shelves. They will sell you Nazi propaganda books. Or Calvinist theology. Or instructional books on making firearms at home. They don’t typically inquire why you want the books you want.

    My respect for Amazon just went down a couple of notches.

    Not that this makes any sense whatsoever. You can get (as I type) Mein Kampf at Amazon. You can get The Communist Manifesto at Amazon. But not When Harry Became Sally? That's (somehow) something people need to be prevented from buying?

    As I find myself saying a lot these days: what am I missing here?


  • The First Amendment prevents Congress from decreeing that news channels they dislike be removed from cable. But (as I've noticed before) some Congressional Democrats would like to pressure private companies into doing just that. Robby Soave at Reason has the story. Lawmakers to Cable Providers: Why Are You Letting News Channels Say These Things?.

    Today two Democratic members of Congress sent letters to the presidents of Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Dish, and other cable and satellite companies implying that they should either stop carrying Fox News, One America News Network, and Newsmax or pressure them to change their coverage. According to the lawmakers, these conservative channels are responsible for promoting misinformation and political violence.

    "To our knowledge, the cable, satellite, and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets to American viewers have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets," wrote Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California.

    Eshoo and McNerney should (1) peruse the oath of office they took a few weeks back to support the Constitution; then (2) resign in shame.


  • John McWhorter writes more on the Elect. Like many people (me included) Professor McWhorter has noticed the important thing about Wokism: it's a religion.

    It must be clear that I do not mean religion as a comparison. I genuinely mean that we are witnessing the birth of a new religion, just as Romans witnessed the birth of Christianity.

    I found his section on evangelicism very telling:

    “Why don’t they allow people to have different opinions?”

    “How dare they call me a racist and then tell me I’m a racist for denying it!”

    You’re missing the point. The Elect can seem truly baffling – until we see that they are a religion. Specifically, an evangelical one.

    To wit: do we wonder why the fundamentalist Christian does not see their beliefs as just one of many valid opinions? They see themselves as bearers of a Good News which, if all people would simply open up and see it, would create a perfect world. That most of the world does not fall in with them is something they learn to bear with toleration, with a hope that in the future things will turn their way. We see a certain coherence in Christians who see the rest of us as “heathen.” We may disagree, but can easily imagine someone under the impression that their worldview – if it includes unreachable belief in things we never see or feel which they insist are real nevertheless -- is Truth while ours is an error. Christianity (or another Abrahamic religion) is something we often grow up around, or at least know of, from an early age. It feels normal. Because it is.

    I keep going back to that letter sent out from UNH Lecturers United, which pictured their job as "fostering belief" in the tenets of "Anti-Racism". Which they saw as unassailable Truth, with any dissenters similar to flat-earthers. McWhorter has their number pretty well.


  • Kevin D. Williamson notes and wonders: Mystery Economy Succeeding and Struggling. What's Next?.

    Some of it is bewildering. I recently went car shopping, and, like any middle-aged Texan with reasonably good credit and a rich fantasy life based on immoderate boyhood viewings of Red Dawn, I took a look at some wonderful customized trucks, mostly from the Rocky Ridge gang. I had no real intention of buying any such thing (the roads are paved where I live — badly paved, nonetheless paved) but I was almost offended at the prices. Cool fender flares or no, there’s no way I’m paying a hundred grand (in the imaginary world in which I’m in the market for a $100,000 car) for a jacked-up Ram pickup. But they don’t need to sell one to me: They can’t keep them on the lot. High-end Jeeps, Toyota trucks, Range Rovers, Corvettes, the Mercedes S-Class, and other rolling emblems of mid-American ostentation are going as fast as they can unload them.

    New-car prices are strong because of production interruptions that have taken the slack out of the inventory, but business is booming in everything from flower shops to bicycle builders to guitar luthiers. Some luxury-goods sellers have been hit by the lack of tourists visiting their boutiques on vacation, but even unwieldy global conglomerates such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton are holding up pretty well — the firm just announced that it has acquired a 50-percent stake in Jay-Z’s Armand de Brignac line of Champagne in a deal said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The wine shops are doing an astonishing trade in $750 bottles of Chateau Margaux, and if you want to buy a new Rolls-Royce or Lamborghini, you’ll be lucky to take delivery sometime toward the end of 2022 — and they’ll act like they’re doing you a favor. Even for a fun-loving capitalist running dog such as myself, this looks like madness.

    But even with all that bananas spending going on, the savings rate is soaring.

    Aren’t we supposed to be in some kind of national crisis?

    Like me, KDW is no economist, but he sees plenty of reasons to be worried about what's coming up in a few months or years.


  • And, my friends, We Need To Have A National Conversation About Offensive Muppets. And Kylee Zempel is the person to lead that conversation:

    “The Muppets” was anything but diverse, inclusive, and inspirational.

    Take Kermit the Frog, for starters. The straight male protagonist’s prejudice shows every time he opens his little amphibian mouth. Kermit’s statement in his hit “The Rainbow Connections,” that rainbows are “only illusions,” is clearly a direct attack on the LGBT community. According to an unnamed source, Kermit’s lyrics are actually a frogwhistle to Pepe and his ilk to literally erase trans people.

    And how about his constant gripes about his skin color? “It’s not that easy bein’ green”? Kermit’s attempts to brand himself as a frog of color is offensive to the BIPOC community.

    Kylee notes that the Swedish Chef's speech patterns are pretty clearly Norwegian. What else is he trying to hide?


Last Modified 2021-02-24 5:23 PM EDT