URLs du Jour

2021-06-22

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

  • It's Convenient to Pretend Otherwise. Charles C. W. Cooke assures us (as if we needed it) that The Backlash against Critical Race Theory Is Real.

    Returning once again to the shallow well from which she has pulled the majority of her journalistic water, The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer suggested last week that the escalating pushback against critical race theory “has all the red flags of an dark money astroturf campaign.” We are stuck, it seems, in Stage One of the Kübler-Ross Scale of Progressive Political Grief.

    If they wish to, figures such as Mayer can spend the next few years insisting that the resistance to critical race theory that we are seeing from parents across the country is little more than a mirage. Fingers firmly in ears, they can maintain that their detractors have invented the controversy from whole cloth, that an astroturfing effort by the Koch Brothers or the Manhattan Institute has tricked them, or that their objections ring hollow because they don’t know what critical race theory “actually” is. Sneering, scoffing, and laughing off the revolt, they can submit in anger that those complaining about the development are suffering from “white fragility” or are engaged in a “moral panic” or are just trying desperately to prevent their kids from learning about slavery and civil rights.

    Unfortunately, the dark money is passing me by. Although if a shadowy astroturf funder is out there, if you would buy a lot of high-priced stuff through my Amazon links, that would be great. How about a thousand of our Amazon Product du Jour?


  • Another Catch-22. Nathanael Blake has a different rebuttal to the CRT advocates who denigrate the resistance: Yes, Critical Race Critics Know What It is. Next, We Need to Replace It.

    Fighting woke radicalism can feel like punching a fog. Wokeness, for lack of a better term, is often vague and ill-defined, a jumble of ideology and activism that lacks a clear structure even as it conquers institutions and remakes society.

    But conservatives have found a vulnerable target in critical race theory, and we should keep hitting it, despite the complaints of our ideological adversaries. For example, in a Slate interview, “anti-racist” guru Ibram X. Kendi argues that conservatives are incorrectly and cynically “defining critical race theory at the same time they are attacking it.” MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid tweeted, “None of these people who have made attacking Critical Race Theory their life’s work HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT CRITICAL RACE THEORY IS!!!!”

    [<sarcasm>Geez, Joy-Ann. Using caps-lock is such a compelling argument.</sarcasm>]

    Their claim that we don’t understand critical race theory is, of course, false. Many critics of critical race theory are quite conversant in it—and it is amusing to watch the people who promoted the grossly inaccurate 1619 Project suddenly get huffy about scholarly precision and rectitude. Furthermore, although not all of the parents objecting to critical race theory in their children’s schooling know its academic ins and outs, they know enough to recognize it as poisonous.

    Here's the catch:

    1. We're told (by even the Smithsonian) that "objective, rational linear thinking" is a "white culture" thing.
    2. A "theory" that eschews "objective, rational linear thinking" is gonna be kind of difficult to nail down.

    So, tell you what, Joy-Ann: when you come up with a coherent definition of CRT, please run it by us.


  • [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] "It was a pleasure to burn." Bari Weiss hosts an article by Abigail Shrier at her substack: The Books are Already Burning.

    One hundred and forty-six people in Halifax, Nova Scotia wait on a list to borrow a library book. A question hangs over them: Will activists let them read it?

    The book is mine Irreversible Damage — and it is an investigation of a medical mystery: Why is the number of teenage girls requesting (and obtaining) gender reassignment skyrocketing in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia and Europe? In Great Britain, it’s up 4,400% over the last decade. 

    Though it shouldn’t be, this has become a highly controversial area of inquiry. The book is an exploration of why so many girls would, in such a short timeframe, decide they are transgender. And it raises questions about whether they’re getting appropriate medical treatment.

    The book is not about whether trans people exist. They do. And it is not about adults who elect to medically transition genders. As I have stated endlessly in public interviews and in Senate testimony, I fully support medical transition for mature adults and believe that transgender individuals should live openly without fear or stigma.

    Yet since publication, I have faced fierce opposition — not just to the ideas presented, challenged, or explored — but to the publication of the book itself. A top lawyer for the ACLU called for it to be banned. Powerful organizations like GLAAD have lobbied against it and pressured corporations — Target and Amazon among others — to remove Irreversible Damage from their virtual shelves. 

    As I type, Irreversible Damage remains at Amazon (link at right) with a "Best Seller" tag. And it's not on the shelves of Portsmouth Public Library, despite its best-selling status.


  • Note the Asterisk. Kevin D. Williamson's "The Tuesday" column is here! Read Bernie’s Lips: No New Taxes*.

    Here is one you may have not seen coming: One of the holdups on that ridiculous $1 trillion infrastructure package currently idling in Congress is the fact that — picture me double-checking my notes here — Republicans want to include a tax increase, while Joe Biden and — really! — Bernie Sanders oppose it.

    Strange days, indeed — most peculiar, mama!

    Republicans have put forward the possibility of indexing the gasoline tax to inflation. Currently, the federal gasoline tax is structured as a flat fee of $0.183 per gallon, a rate that has been preserved in amber since Ye Olden Days of 1993, when gasoline went for an average of $1.11 per gallon. Put another way, in 1993 the federal gasoline tax was about 16.5 percent, whereas today it is about 6 percent. Indexing the tax to inflation is one way to go about rationalizing it, but a far simpler thing would be to calculate the tax as a percentage, which would keep it stable in relative terms even as the price of gasoline goes up and down, as it so often does. We already do that with sales taxes of other kinds.

    Good discussion from KDW on gas tax econ. I agree with his summation: "But I must confess that the libertarian in me is enjoying the prospect of a $1 trillion slop-bucket being derailed by a 5-cent tax hike."