URLs du Jour

2021-11-05

  • Heh, indeed. Via Instapundit (and, arguably, a Pun):

    [Winsome, indeed]


  • Sweatshops where you least expect them. Michael Lind has a damning indictment of Academia: Why Ending Tenure Is Only a Start.

    The contemporary American university is an enormous Kafkaesque bureaucracy teetering on top of a small Dickensian sweatshop. If we don’t count the sports teams and the research institutes, the university consists of preindustrial artisans, the instructors, divided between a small and shrinking group of elite tenured artisans and a huge and growing number of impoverished apprentices with no hope of decent jobs—with all of the artisans, affluent and poor, crushed beneath the weight of thickening layers of middle managers.

    Apart from useful research, most of which could be done just as well in independent institutes, the product of all but the most prestigious American universities consists of diplomas which are rendered progressively more worthless each year thanks to credential inflation. According to the Federal Reserve of New York, the underemployment rate for recent college grads—that is, the percentage working in jobs that do not require a college diploma—was 40% at the end of March 2021. True, workers with college diplomas tend to make more than those without them—but at least some of the premium comes from Starbucks baristas with B.A.s pushing high school graduates into even worse jobs.

    It's pretty blistering. For additional information, see Bryan Caplan's The Case Against Education.


  • Can I just cast my 2024 vote for her now? Jimmy Quinn reports on my current presidential preference: Nikki Haley To Hit ‘Totally Un-American’ Talking Points On China & Capitalism.

    When former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley addresses the Heritage Foundation this morning to give the group’s annual Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture, she’s expected to deliver a full-throated defense of capitalism that mixes boilerplate conservative arguments with a salvo against “the silliest argument of all” — the idea that “capitalism is bad for America but good for Communist China.”

    Haley’s speech reprises the theme of a Wall Street Journal op-ed she authored in February, in which she wrote that the “hyphenated capitalist” solutions put forward by conservative critics of the free market “differ from socialism only in degree.”

    Nikki, you had me at "Margaret Thatcher".


  • Shut up, they (repeatedly) explained. Kevin D. Williamson realizes it, and so should you: Facebook's fight is really about silencing right-wing voices.

    The “Facebook Papers” campaign that currently is being fought on every front from The Associated Press to Congress is not just about online safety or social justice — it is about beating Facebook into submission before the next election in order to push the platform into behaving more like Twitter or YouTube, i.e., to take Facebook from a place that is mildly hostile to conservatives to one that is extremely hostile to conservatives.

    Facebook has a split personality. Right-leaning entertainers such as Dan Bongino may thrive on the platform, but when something comes along that actually threatens Democratic interests — say, a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s financial shenanigans — then Facebook goes to extraordinary lengths to quash that content.

    Facebook is especially sensitive around Election Day. And that is because the war on Facebook is a direct outgrowth of the angst and wailing and denial that followed Donald Trump’s electoral win in 2016 — an outcome that was blamed, preposterously, on your elderly aunt’s favorite social-media platform.

    Just checking my own data point… my beloved (and only surviving) Aunt Marilyn joined FB in June 2015. Made two posts on that day. And nothing since. Not sayin' Kevin's wrong, but maybe he's aiming his analysis at a younger demographic than mine.


  • The slowest moving emergency ever. The Babylon Bee is great, but 90% of their humor is in their headlines. And similarly with Jim Geraghty's NR Corner post: After Two Months of Waiting, Joe Biden's Emergency Vaccine Mandate Will Take Effect in Another Two Months. But I'll excerpt anyway:

    On September 9, President Biden announced a directive to the Labor Department to develop a temporary emergency rule for businesses with 100 or more employees that would require workers to be fully vaccinated or be tested at least once a week. Biden declared that, “We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”

    This morning, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that starting on January 4 — 60 days from today’s publication — new vaccination-or-test requirements for businesses with more than 100 workers will go into effect, as well as a vaccine mandate for health-care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid.

    OSHA is issuing the vaccine mandate under an “emergency temporary standard,” which means the regular public-comment period was skipped. Emergency temporary standards are applied when “workers are in grave danger due to exposure to toxic substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or to new hazards and that an emergency standard is needed to protect them.”

    Jim's not a lawyer—I don't think so anyway—so for an overview of the legal challenges the mandate is already facing, check out the Volokh Conspiracy, for example: Jonathan H. Adler's Could the OSHA Vaccine-or-Test ETS Fall Prey to the Congressional Review Act? (which has links to other posts covering lawsuits, etc.).

    Maybe they should have tried treating people as responsible adults instead, open to rational argument and persuasion. But that's not the first instinct of the statist.


  • Oops. Christian Britschgi seems more than a little outraged: The Defense Department Shrugs Off Drone Strike That Killed 7 Children as 'Honest Mistake' (To quote someone else: "Wait a minute. That's not better. That's worse!")

    Pentagon investigators have rendered their judgment on a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed 10 people, including an aid worker and seven children: It was a regrettable goof that violated no law.

    The August strike came a few days after a suicide bombing conducted by ISIS-K, the Afghanistan branch of the terrorist group ISIS. The attack killed 13 U.S. servicemembers and 170 Afghan civilians. Military leaders initially claimed that the strike took out ISIS personnel who were preparing another bombing.

    I realize the counterargument: in a hot war zone, erring on the side of caution for preventative strikes can get American soldiers killed. I don't know what the answer is to that.