URLs du Jour

2021-09-21

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  • Obscure NH Blogger: I Don't Trust Top House Republicans on Anything. NH Journal has a sad story that's been making the rounds. Top NH House Finance Republican: I Don't Trust DHHS on COVID Vax

    Sparks flew at Friday’s meeting of the state’s Fiscal Committee when House Finance Chair Ken Weyler (R-Kingston) challenged Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette’s claim that 90 percent of people hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Shibinette responded by accusing the Republicans of spreading misinformation.

    Now Weyler tells NHJournal that, when it comes to data regarding the vaccine, hospitalizations, and outcomes, he doesn’t trust Shibinette and the Department of Health and Human Services.

    “Not when it comes to the shot,” Weyler said.

    The fight began when Weyler objected to Shibinette’s statement that more than 90 percent of the people hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

    The key bit that had my eyes rolling nearly clear out of my head:

    Asked for the source of his information, Weyler said he was getting it from talk radio shows and the internet.

    Specifically, an (unnamed) woman who called into an (unnamed) talk show claiming to be an "ER nurse" (at an unnamed hospital in an unnamed location).

    Sure, that's a lot more credible than the DHHS.

    I would wager that Ken Weyler judges a source's credibility by how closely it aligns with his already-settled position. There's a term for that.


  • I bet Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies. Alice Dreger (author of a book I enjoyed reading back in 2016) asks a plaintive question at Quillette: Can We Have Sex Back?

    Somewhere between Women’s Studies turning into Gender Studies and the university lawyers turning into risk managers, we seem to have lost the clitoris. As an historian, I consider this a rare case of history surprising us. Asked in 1970 to predict the likely trajectory of academic feminism from that moment forward, I doubt many would have expected that we would arrive at a place so devoid (or even ashamed) of open appreciation of female anatomy and physiology, and at a milieu so lacking in female sexual agency and pleasure.

    Yet academic feminism has largely been absorbed into Gender Studies, and now, anyone given to exuberant talk of feeling like a natural woman risks being maligned as at best a dinosaur—who still believes in sex?!—and at worst a TERF (a supposedly “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”). Nowadays, you can’t love your innate trinkets without oppressing someone with your damned uterine privilege.

    As a bonus, the article is illustrated with Modigliani's Reclining Nude. May be Safe For Work, since it's art.


  • What the heck happened to LFOD? Elizabeth Nolan Brown asks a relevant question: Why Is This Beer Banned in 15 States?

    A special edition Samuel Adams beer is helping to highlight silly state alcohol restrictions. Each fall, Samuel Adams puts out a new "Utopias" beer, with this year's set to be released on October 11. The 2021 Samuel Adams Utopias clocks in at 28 percent alcohol by volume (ABV)—making it illegal in 15 states.

    "If you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia, don't even look. Utopias is illegal in those states because of its high alcohol content," according to the Samuel Adams website.

    New Hampshire?! Outrageous! I was about ready to saddle up the Impreza for a trip to a freer state,

    Good news: "Utopias" is the "Official Beer of Inspiration4", the recent all-civilian orbital spaceflight. (The flight took along 70 pounds of hops, but I don't see any explicit promise those will be used to make Utopias.)

    Bad news: the suggested retail price for one (1) 25.4 ounce bottle is $240.

    Um. So I guess I'll stick with Octoberfest for now, Sam.


  • Blockbuster? Yeah, it's over there next to the Radio Shack. Andy Kessler takes a nostalgic trip back to 2002, and tells us What Super Bowls Teach Us About Capitalism

    On Feb. 3, 2002, Tom Brady appeared in his first Super Bowl—XXXVI, that is 36 for you non-Romans. The New England Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams. U2 played at halftime.

    U2 hasn’t put an album out since 2017, St. Louis no longer has a football team, and see if you can spot a trend from some of the companies that each paid $2.2 million to run 30-second Super Bowl ads in 2002: Blockbuster, Circuit City, AOL, CompUSA, HotJobs, RadioShack, Yahoo! and Gateway. Yes, they are the ghosts of Super Bowls past.

    Well, Yahoo! and AOL are still around, sort of.

    Andy makes the obvious point. You don't need antitrust to destroy big companies. Eventually, they'll commit suicide.


  • Champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Idea for a new reality show: Lifestyles of the Woke and Shiftless! Inspired by this Tad DeHaven article: Utopian Dreams and Subsidy Schemes

    Billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore recently laid out a vision for a new, built-from-scratch American city “that sets a global standard for urban living, expands human potential, and becomes a blueprint for future generations.” This city of Telosa — a name inspired by an ancient Greek word meaning “highest purpose” — would be founded on an economic model that Lore calls “equitism.” Under equitism, the city’s economy would purportedly be market-based, but the land would be owned by a community endowment that would use rising land values to finance “a much higher level” of social services.

    Alas:

    According to Lore, it will require an estimated $25 billion in funding to get the city started and $400 billion to complete it. That’s a lot of money, but regardless of whether the project is practical or not, a well-connected and wildly successful entrepreneur like Lore would seemingly be an ideal person to raise the funds from private investors and philanthropists. That’s why it’s particularly unfortunate that plans include the pursuit of “federal and state grants” and “subsidies for economic development.” Whereas private investors and philanthropists could choose to help finance Telosa’s creation, taxpayers would be forced to help finance it.

    Ah well. But do check out the Telosa website, because despite being on the grift, it's very cool.

    Too young to make the headline connection? Sorry. If you're interested, see Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.