URLs du Jour

2021-03-24

[Amazon Link]

  • So it's Wednesday, which must mean… it's time for us to link to Kevin D. Williamson's The Tuesday column. His headline is How Federalism Thwarts Dystopia, which is good and true, but let's skip down a bit for our excerpt:

    All systems based on definite rules can be manipulated, and all political systems include rules that are arbitrary. But our arbitrary rules serve a necessary purpose — or two: The first is giving people the means to put up roadblocks in front of nonsense, and the second is providing a means of escape when those roadblocks fail. If you would like to know more about the practical realities of living in a society with no means of internal exit, some of your immigrant neighbors might be able to fill you in.

    The worst effects of leftish/progressive government in these United States can still be avoided by moving to a state with different practices. And people unhappy with the Republican dominance of Texas or Utah can always move to a Democrat-dominated state — there is more room in those states every day. The power of exit puts real pressure on dopes and miscreants and charlatans and fools such as Andrew Cuomo and, you know, every single sad-faced clown holding office in the extra-long stretch-limo clown car that is California. When the people pack up and go, so does the tax base, and politics is no fun at all without easy access to other people’s money, and lots of it.

    Progressives prefer a world in which you cannot leave California even if you leave California, in which the Golden State really is a Hotel California from which you can check out but never escape. There’s a reason Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a confiscatory tax on the assets of Americans who renounce their citizenship and move to another country.

    KDW also has a pointer to a fun site, "Redraw the States", which asks the musical question "How few counties can you move to make Donald Trump win the 2020 election?" Spoiler: not very many.


  • He'll Fit Right In With the Biden Appointees With Troubling Views On the Rest of the Constitution. Matt Taibbi looks at A Biden Appointee's Troubling Views On The First Amendment. Specifically, Tim Wu.

    Wu’s appointment may presage tougher enforcement of tech firms. However, he has other passions that got less ink. Specifically, Wu — who introduced the concept of “net neutrality” and once explained it to Stephen Colbert on a roller coaster — is among the intellectual leaders of a growing movement in Democratic circles to scale back the First Amendment. He wrote an influential September, 2017 article called “Is the First Amendment Obsolete?” that argues traditional speech freedoms need to be rethought in the Internet/Trump era. He outlined the same ideas in a 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival speech:

    [Video at link]

    Listening to Wu, who has not responded to requests for an interview, is confusing. He calls himself a “devotee” of the great Louis Brandeis, speaking with reverence about his ideas and those of other famed judicial speech champions like Learned Hand and Oliver Wendell Holmes. In the Aspen speech above, he went so far as to say about First Amendment protections that “these old opinions are so great, it’s like watching The Godfather, you can’t imagine anything could be better.”

    If you hear a “but…” coming in his rhetoric, you guessed right.

    There's always a "but" with these guys.


  • Someone Hurt My Feelings! That's a thing you can get in trouble for at Duke, as reported at the College Fix: Duke launches investigation after George Floyd’s toxicology report posted on bulletin board.

    Duke University has launched an investigation after a student found a copy of George Floyd’s toxicology report posted on a bulletin board commemorating Black History Month.

    “A printout of George Floyd’s toxicology report was hung beside a photo of his face on a Black History Month-themed bulletin board on the third floor of Brown dorm” on March 20, the student newspaper The Chronicle said.

    “A printout of George Floyd’s toxicology report was hung beside a photo of his face on a Black History Month-themed bulletin board on the third floor of Brown dorm” on March 20, the student newspaper The Chronicle said.

    The link goes to the student newspaper, which conveniently labels the toxicology report "racist". (They may be referring to the semi-literate added commentary, but who knows.)

    The report is easy enough to find. Although it's much easier to find sites that say: "pay no attention to all the fentanyl".


  • "A New Religion that Harms Black People in Countless Ways". John McWhorter posts more from his new book The Elect.

    One response to a book like this might be to own that Electism is a religion. You might consider it a better one than, say, believing that God’s son died for our sins and was reborn, waiting to envelope you in his eternal grace if you believe in him. This new religion is about countering racism. Who could be against that?

    But we must ask whether the Elect approach actually shows signs of making any difference in the lives of black people, other than making educated white people infantilize them. While purportedly “dismantling racist structures,” the Elect religion is actually harming the people living in those structures. It is a terrifyingly damaging business.

    It's hard to imagine otherwise.


  • Welcome to Joe Biden Government. Elizabeth Nolan Brown's news roundup for Reason is headlined Most Americans Have Not Put on Pandemic Weight, Actually. Good news, but we'll skip down (again) for our excerpt:

    The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is about to get even worse. "Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will unveil the largest rollback of consumer mail services in a generation as part of his 10-year plan for the U.S. Postal Service" The Washington Post reports. The plan is to further cut post office hours, raise postage prices, and allow longer delivery times for first class mail.

    "Does it make a difference if it's an extra day to get a letter?" DeJoy asked the House Oversight and Reform Committee in February. "Because something has to change. We cannot keep doing the same thing we're doing."

    Battered by people turning to USPS alternatives, DeJoy somehow expects that making government mail service even worse will solve the Postal Service's problems. It's… a take, but probably not a good one.

    The WSJ also had a reported-with-a-straight-face story on this today. Even Mrs. Salad was taken aback. "They want to raise prices and promise worse service?"

    Yes, honey, that's about the size of it.

    One can only hope that this will push Congress into throwing up its hands and start looking at privatization schemes.