URLs du Jour

2021-07-03

  • I See Double Standards. As illustrated by Michael Ramirez:

    [Financial Follies]

    Mr. Ramirez provides fun details. If you're looking askance at that gadget over by the window: yes, I think it's something called a "fax machine". For more on that, see Why Your Doctor's Office Still Depends on a Fax Machine from Lloyd Minor, Dean of the Stanford Med School.


  • Not That Stealthy. Peter Suderman relates The Stealthy Economic Radicalism of Biden’s Boring Presidency.

    In the half a year that Joe Biden has been president, it has become something approaching conventional wisdom that he is a boring politician, running a boring presidency that is focused on enacting boring policies. Even his most entrenched political opposition cannot seem to find much to engage or enrage.

    A recent Atlantic article on the downturn in conservative publishing, for example, noted that it has been hard for right of center authors and editors to turn Biden into the sort of villain who moves books, and that his "relative dullness is his superpower." Similarly, a report in Axios this week declared that the "boring news cycle" had led to a downturn for partisan media. Opposition outlets usually see a boost when a new president from the opposing party settles in the White House; this time, that hadn't happened. "While the Biden administration has seen plenty of debate over policy," the Axios report said, "economics and a crisis at the border, personality-based controversy has largely been absent."

    Peter (I call him Peter) goes on to point out Biden's actual proposals would be a significant, permanent increase in the power, size, and scope of government over the lives of citizens. That should be a big deal. That it's not is largely an indictment of (1) the current GOP, which went into thrall with Trump, and (2) the liberal media, which is mostly interested what kind of ice cream President Wheezy is eating.

    Great reporting, CBS News!


  • He Should Tell Different Stories That Can't Possibly Be True. But CNN seems to have woken up a bit, at least enough to point out that Biden should probably stop telling this story about Amtrak that can't possibly be true.

    Did Biden say that Amtrak was a shining success and a glorious part of America's transportation future? That would be a howler. But no. Instead (as reported by John Sexton at Hot Air):

    President Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia at the end of April as part of a celebration of Amtrak’s 50th anniversary. During the speech he told a particular story about something that had happened to him during his years as vice president. The story involved an Amtrak conductor named Angelo Negri who had become Biden’s friend over the years. Negri allegedly came up to Biden one day as he was getting on the train to tell him that he had done the math and concluded Biden had traveled 1.5 million miles on Amtrak over the years, even more miles than he’d traveled by air.

    But when a few news outlets including Fox News and the Daily Mail looked into it, there were significant problems with the story. The most glaring was that the conductor who had supposedly grabbed Biden’s arm to tell him about the milestone had retired decades earlier. In fact, that particular conductor died a full year before Biden hit the milestone mentioned in the story.

    It could be (as Sexton says) (I call him Sexton) that this "might suggest Biden’s memory isn’t what it used to be." But Biden has had a long history of just making stuff up. So it could be that, or a combination of dishonesty and cognitive decline.


  • His Weakest Could Still Be Pretty Good. [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] Charles Murray has a new book out, and the Kindle version (link, ahem, at your right) is a mere $9.99. And I plan to read it. But John McWhorter explains Why Charles Murray's New Book is His Weakest.

    I come not to bury Charles Murray, but not to praise him, either.

    He has a new book out, Facing Reality. It’s a doozy.

    His books have a way of being doozies, going up against ideas sacred to the American intelligentsia on race as well as class.

    He is also one of America’s most brilliant thinkers.

    To many familiar with Murray’s work, I have already revealed myself as a “racist” in engaging his work at all, and/or not calling him one.

    However, Murray’s work is too carefully reasoned and too deeply founded on scholarly sources to be dismissed as “racist,” except by people whose definition of “racist” is “That which people of the black American race don’t like for any reason.”

    Rather: I salute Murray’s brilliance while being disturbed by many of his arguments. What many will call racism is what I call being able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Professor McWhorter (I call him Professor McWhorter) lays out Murray's fact-based clear-eyed presentation about American racial disparities. And faults him for (it seems) weaseling out in his conclusions and recommendations.


  • Charlie Cooke is an Atheist, But… he apparently has had a come-to-Jesus moment, at least temporarily: Thank the Lord for Air-Conditioning .

    Both Canada and the United States are suffering through a heat wave. Thus far, the BBC reports, more than 65 people have died in British Columbia, while, in the United States, there have been “at least a dozen deaths in Washington and Oregon.” The technical causes of these deaths are multifarious, and yet one variable stands out: A disproportionate number of the deceased did not have access to air-conditioning.

    It is fashionable around this time of year for click-hungry outlets to run pieces condemning A/C. Sometimes, the argument is that air-conditioning is unnecessary. Sometimes, the argument is that air-conditioning is making us weak. Occasionally, the argument is that air-conditioning is sexist. Always, the arguments are silly. Far from being a problem, air-conditioning is a top-five-of-all-time invention. Even better: It saves lives.

    I note that Charlie (I call him Charlie) doesn't actually thank the Lord for AC in the article text. In fairness, he might have not written the headline. We not-so-religious folks can thank Willis Carrier.