URLs du Jour

2021-03-18

[Amazon Link]

  • Your Tiny House Big Dreams Are No Match For… New Hampshire town officials. Christian Britschgi has the story: New Hampshire Towns Turn Out Tiny-Home Dwellers.

    For 12 years, the 25 residents of a "tiny house" community known as Walden EcoVillage managed to live in peace with both nature and local zoning officials in the town of Peterborough, New Hampshire.

    That peace ended on December 15, when the city ordered the eviction of all the community's residents, whose diminutive dwellings, many of which were less than 400 square feet, offered an inexpensive but technically illegal housing option. An application from the village's owner to add more units to the property had alerted planning officials to the fact that its cottages and casitas were not permitted as full-time residences. A site visit also discovered a host of building code violations, including supposedly dangerous wiring.

    Does LFOD make an ironic appearance? You bet it does:

    Tiny houses offer an attractive, affordable option for many residents of the "Live Free or Die" state by cutting down on the floor space and frills that make standard homes so expensive. But that economizing often does not sit well with local zoning boards, which commonly require that rental properties come with costly amenities. For too many tiny-house residents, the regulatory pursuit of quality housing means they end up with no housing.

    Folks interested in the issue might want to check out Granite Geek: When is a tiny house not a tiny house? When it's a cottage home!


  • I Think It Has Something To Do With Shamelessness. Glenn Greenwald wonders How Do Big Media Outlets So Often "Independently Confirm" Each Other's Falsehoods?. He reviews the dreadful history of the MSM's credulousness belief in the "Russiagate" narrative and their corrupt concept of "independent" verification. The latest example, of course, is the WaPo alleging made-up quotes to then-President Trump in his call to a Georgia election investigator. RTWT, and be prepared to be disgusted all over again. GG's bottom line:

    But all of this highlights the real crisis in journalism, the reason public faith and trust in media institutions is in free fall. With liberal media outlets deliberately embracing a profit model of speaking overwhelmingly to partisan Democrats who use them as their primary source of news, there is zero cost to publishing false claims about people and groups hated by that liberal audience.

    That audience does not care if these media outlets publish false stories as long as it is done for the Greater Good of harming their political enemies, and this ethos has contaminated newsrooms as well. Given human fallibility, reporting errors are normal and inevitable, but when they are all geared toward advancing one political agenda or faction and undermining the other, they cease to be errors and become a deliberate strategy or, at best, systemic recklessness.

    But whatever else is true, it is vital to understand what news outlets mean when they claim they have “independently verified” the uncorroborated reports of other similar outlets. It means nothing of consequence. In many if not most cases — enough to make this formulation totally unreliable — it signifies nothing more than their willingness to serve as stenographers for the same anonymous political operatives who fed their competitors similar propaganda.

    Advice to MSM consumers: you need to stock up on grains of salt.


  • Who's Next? Ryan T. Anderson himself writes in the WSJ, probably paywalled: Amazon Won’t Let You Read My Book. Asking an innocent question: "Can we talk about [transgender issues] in the U.S.?"

    Not if Jeff Bezos ’ companies get their way. The Washington Post has allowed its writers to spread falsehoods about me and my work, and Amazon is using its outsize market power to prevent readers from accessing one side of this debate.

    Three years ago the Post ran a hit piece titled “ Ryan Anderson’s book calling transgender people mentally ill is creating an uproar.” The second sentence read: “In the 264-page book, ‘When Harry Became Sally,’ Anderson makes an inflammatory claim—that transgender people are mentally ill.”

    My book made no such claim. I contacted the Post asking them to quote a single sentence from the book supporting their contention that I had called transgender people mentally ill. They couldn’t, because it doesn’t exist. Within a day, the newspaper had entirely rewritten the story, removing the falsehoods and changing the headline.

    I'd like Amazon to reveal what other books it has removed from its shelves. Apparently they've decided not to yank The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell.


  • From Our "Unintentionally Amusing" Department: The Hill quotes CNN's Don Lemon. Who has apparently started moonlighting as a theologian:

    Um. Take it away, David Harsanyi:

    But God is the Judge . . .” Psalm 75:7

    For God Himself is judge. . . .” Psalm 50:6

    For the Lord is our judge . . .” Isaiah 33:22

    “The Lord arises to contend, And stands to judge the people . . .” Isaiah 3:13

    . . . and to God, the Judge of all . . .” Hebrews 12:23

    And a heck of a lot more.

    Lemon is more or less making up his own religion to justify his own behavior. Which is fine, this is America.


  • I Bet Some College Profs Are Assigning This As Homework. From the College Fix: Claiming MSU sits on ‘stolen land,’ student leaders pass resolution to rename Morrill building.

    The student government at Michigan State University recently passed a resolution to rename the college’s Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, citing the belief that the university sits on “stolen land.”

    Morrill, an abolitionist who represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate, was the author of the 1862 Land-Grant College Act, which donated federal lands to many different states for the purpose of creating agricultural and mechanical arts colleges, one of which was MSU.

    The article notes that lots of schools have something or other named after Justin Morrill. Including (you guessed it) the University Near Here. (In fact, Mrs. Salad's office was there back in the day.)


  • So I wondered if there was a move to rename Morrill Hall. I didn't find any indication of that, but I did happen across the Faculty Senate Minutes for their February 8 meeting. Gadzooks, amuse yourself as needed. But here's the bit I found interesting:

    A COLA senator asked about the recent decision to close the Confucius Institute.

    What?

    This has been, as near as I can tell, completely unreported. I've been kind of following the issue since 2014, when I noticed that both National Review and the Nation managed to agree on something: Confucius Institutes are a lousy match for American universities.

    I've asked the NH Journal folks if they'd be interested in giving this move more publicity.

The Blue Gardenia

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

A free-to-me Amazon Prime streamer from 1953. I was expecting something a bit grim (IMDB genres: "Crime, Drama, Film Noir", directed by Fritz Lang) but it starts out almost as a screwball comedy: three young ladies sharing an LA apartment in 1953. Norah (Anne Baxter) is a phone operator awaiting her boyfriend's return from dodging Commie bullets in Korea. Her roomies are Sally (Jeff Donnell), a ditz who loves reading lurid crime novels by "Mickey Mallet"; and Crystal (Ann Sothern), kind of a slut, who gives out their phone number indiscriminately. For example, to Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr!) a painter who's kind of a cad and a Lothario. Wisecracks are exchanged.

One fateful night, Norah celebrates her birthday by getting dolled up and setting her candlelit dining table for two. A picture of her absent boyfriend props up his latest correspondence, and she eagerly opens it… to find a Dear Jane letter! ("Dear Baby, Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You.")

Despondent, she's easy pickings for Harry, who calls for Crystal. They meet at (finally!) The Blue Gardenia a swanky Polynesian club. (How swanky? Nat King Cole is the piano player/singer.) Norah consumes way too many Polynesian Pearl Divers with Harry's encouragement. Then it's off to his swinging bachelor pad, where he… well, you can guess. Norah resists, everything gets hazy, and the next morning, Harry's dead on the floor.

I think I've just described about half the movie. It takes its sweet time getting there. It falls to newspaper reporter Casey Mayo (Richard Conte) to track down Norah and get to the bottom of what really happened.

So eventually there's some seamy behavior and tricky cinematography. And George Reeves shows up as a detective with a pencil-thin mustache. Nearly worth the price of admission right there.