URLs du Jour

2021-06-19

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  • Baloney Gets No Respect. P. J. O'Rourke is peeved with The Baloney American Jobs Plan.

    The Biden administration’s $6.25 trillion “American Jobs Plan” promises…

    Oh, what doesn’t it promise?

    … reliable transportation, safe water, affordable housing, healthy schools, clean electricity, broadband for all, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

    I may be slightly misquoting the last part. But not by much.

    This article would be much shorter if I made a list of what the American Jobs Plan is not vowing to accomplish. In fact, I might be able to write the piece in three words…

    Make pigs fly.

    No. Strike that. We’d have to put wings on a whole bunch of swine if all the pork that Biden proposes is going to get off the ground.

    Among all the luncheon meats, it seems only "baloney" is used scornfully. Must have gotten a bad rep in the past.


  • Invoking Plan B. Veronique de Rugy looks at a problematic strategy that more folks seem to be adopting: If You Can't Beat Them, Bully Them into Joining You.

    For several decades now, politicians around the world have tried to curtail tax competition to make it easier for them to increase the tax burdens on their citizens without them fleeing to other lower-tax jurisdictions. The best way to achieve their goal is to create a global high-tax cartel. If implemented, the recent G7 countries' agreement to impose minimum taxes on multinational companies would get them much closer to this shady objective.

    It's no mystery why politicians don't like tax competition. In a global economy like ours, individuals and businesses are better able to work and invest in nations with lower tax rates. The ability to shift residences and operations from country to country puts pressure on governments to keep taxes on income, investment, and wealth lower than politicians would like. Politicians in each country fear that raising taxes will prompt high-income earners and capital to move away.

    Veronique calls this by the correct name: a cartel. And notes that its actual purpose (never mind the lofty do-good rhetoric) is to redistribute money and power to states.


  • Because YouTube is Stupidly Censorious. Zach Weissmueller wonders: Why Did YouTube Remove This Reason Video?

    On Monday, YouTube sent Reason an automated takedown notification for a March 13, 2020, video titled "Biohackers Are on a Secret Hunt for the Coronavirus Vaccine." The message said our video violated the company's spam, deceptive practices, and scams policy.

    YouTube denied Reason's appeal, informing us that the video violates the company's "medical misinformation policy."

    Did this 16-month-old video really promote "medical misinformation"?

    Speaking as the journalist who produced it: absolutely not. While YouTube, as a private company, is within its rights to decide what to carry, the decision to remove this video illustrates a disturbing, censorial trend that has accelerated in the age of COVID.

    Yes, you read that correctly: after leaving the video alone for sixteen months, YouTube suddenly noticed its unacceptability.

    And they couldn't even provide consistent reasoning. In violation of "spam, deceptive practices, and scams" policy, or "medical misinformation" policy?

    Perhaps their takedown department is being run by Franz Kafka.


  • Doing a Point/Counterpoint. Providing the Point is Glenn Greenwald. He has Questions About the FBI's Role in 1/6 are Mocked Because the FBI Shapes Liberal Corporate Media.

    The axis of liberal media outlets and their allied activist groups CNN, NBC News, The Washington Post, Media Matters — are in an angry uproar over a recent report questioning the foreknowledge and involvement of the FBI in the January 6 Capitol riot. As soon as that new report was published on Monday, a consensus instantly emerged in these liberal media precincts that this is an unhinged, ignorant and insane conspiracy theory that deserves no consideration.

    The original report, published by Revolver News and then amplified by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, documented ample evidence of FBI infiltration of the three key groups at the center of the 1/6 investigation — the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the Three Percenters — and noted how many alleged riot leaders from these groups have not yet been indicted. While low-level protesters have been aggressively charged with major felonies and held without bail, many of the alleged plot leaders have thus far been shielded from charges.

    Interesting! And there's more. Glenn goes on to note that a lot of the "experts" called upon by the "axis of liberal media outlets" are truth-challenged ex-FBI apparatchiks.

    So there's that. But…


  • Here's the Counterpoint. And it's provided by Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review And his position is: The Capitol Riot Indictments Do Not Suggest an FBI Entrapment Scheme.

    I finally watched Tucker Carlson’s monologue from Tuesday night, which has understandably caused a stir.

    Tucker speculates that the January 6 Capitol tumult was more likely an FBI fabrication than a riot instigated by the Oath Keepers militia group and other Trump supporters. His theory relies heavily on a Revolver news report that is long on conspiracy theory and short on evidence. It is a shark-jump from Carlson’s run-of-the-mill populist fare: the notion that the government so routinely entraps essentially law-abiding people that high-profile crimes are as likely to be FBI inventions as real offenses.

    What a muddle. Both McCarthy and Greenwald have good reputations for reliability here. Perhaps you, the reader, might be able to piece together a coherent picture of reality drawing on both articles. I confess it's beyond my powers.