URLs du Jour

2022-05-13

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  • Something to remember when Jimmy Wales asks you for money. Alexander Riley (professor of sociology at Bucknell) has an issue: On Cultural Marxism, the Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory? Woke Deception at Wikipedia. It's probably the worst example of WikiBias I've seen (albeit I'm not working hard at looking).

    Here’s an interesting discovery that I made the other day about this Wokeist effort to deny the existence of cultural Marxism. Plug the term into Wikipedia and wait to see what happens.

    What happens is that you get redirected to “Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory,” which is described as a “far-right antisemitic conspiracy theory.” The reader is told that this dangerous myth alleges, falsely of course, that there are ongoing efforts by Marxian and Marxian-influenced academics and other cultural producers in the West to subvert Western civilization and culture. All this is a figment of the lurid imaginations of right-wing partisans, according to Wikipedia, as there are certainly no such people doing any such things.

    I try very hard not to be infuriated these days, but… the Wikipedia article is unimaginably dishonest.

    OK, we know that anyone who disagrees with wokeism is automatically lumped into the "far-right" pigeonhole. (There are apparently no "near-right" people.)

    But if you disagree with a movement that happened to have a preponderance of Jewish advocates: Aha! You're obviously antisemitic! No evidence needed! Case closed!

    And if you (further, and accurately) note that the movement's advocates talk to each other, cite each other, and even self-classify themselves as a Marxist "school": Aha! You believe in a conspiracy theory!

    As the woke say, this conflicts with my lived experience.

    Riley goes on to research the main source the Wikipedia article uses to support its claims:

    Joan Braune apparently teaches in the “School of Leadership Studies” at Gonzaga University and works in the field of “Critical Hate Studies.” Braune has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Kentucky, her webpage at Gonzaga informs us.

    More importantly, her webpage and the Wikipedia article notes both inform us, she has written a good deal on Erich Fromm, one of the prominent figures in the cultural Marxist Frankfurt School. This group were among the thinkers widely read and cited by the folks I knew on the far Left back in my grad school days, the people who openly admitted their influence by those they called cultural Marxists and their desire to see American society revolutionized. Braune unselfconsciously avows that she “works in Frankfurt School Critical Theory.”

    So the person Wikipedia cites to back up the claim that cultural Marxism does not exist as a real phenomenon has written on one of the primary figures in cultural Marxism, as a partisan to his political cause. And she straightforwardly admits she is a “critical theorist” in the Frankfurt School tradition.

    At the "far-right antisemitic" National Review, George Leef points to the Riley article and advises:

    Don’t trust Wikipedia on any politically sensitive subject.

    They're pretty good on physics, though. But how long can that last?


  • Don't let the screen door hit ya… Kyle Smith bids an unfond farewell: Goodbye Jen Psaki — no one condescends quite like you.

    So long Jen Psaki! As White House press secretary, you were indeed very informative: every day you provided an example of how today’s Democratic Party turns normie soccer moms from Greenwich into reality-denying attack machines sputtering insults and cheering on lawbreakers because they can’t face up to the unpopularity of the far-left agenda.

    As blathering Joe Biden retreated into the background and suggested to the world that America was in the hands of a man who should be shuffling around Sunset Acres in a bathrobe, Psaki became the face of an administration that is determined to head into the midterms like Thelma and Louise. “We’ll show those bastards! Let’s drive off a cliff!” is the animating principle of the Democratic Party. Do polls say that American voters think the Democrats are doing everything wrong? Then “Pedal to the metal, Louise!”

    Kyle also makes a pretty good observation:

    In the Sorkin-fantasy West Wing, all you have to do to win is talk fast while striding down corridors, call the Republicans evil and issue stalwart defenses of progressivism so moving that people break down and cry at the awesomeness of it all. In the real West Wing, every day you get another smack in the face from reality.

    I chuckled here because the most recent episode of "Mr. Mayor" made fun of this exact same "West Wing" trope. (Admittedly, it's kind of well-known.)

    And, not that it matters, I'm sad that Mr. Mayor was just cancelled.


  • I've been framed! And you can be framed too! Dominic Pino recommends a Good Way to Frame Inflation Debate, based on a tweet…

    Refreshingly non-partisan and bullshit-free, as Pino says:

    It helps because it grounds the debate in actual economic phenomena that we can observe. He does a good job of presenting the strongest arguments on both sides in a way that isn’t Republican vs. Democrat. Inflation and monetary policy in general aren’t partisan issues in the way that abortion, guns, or taxes are. Plenty of Democrats and Republicans have opinions about monetary policy, of course, but there isn’t really a clear Democratic or Republican position on those questions.

    Pino admits there's no "obviously correct" macroeconomic theory that can definitively predict what will happen; it's just people weighting evidence and theories differently.


  • As you might expect from Reason: There Is a Reason Why Roe v. Wade's Defenders Focus on Its Results Rather Than Its Logic.

    Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a pro-choice Democrat, says she was "devastated" by the draft majority opinion in which Justice Samuel Alito explains why he believes the Supreme Court cannot let Roe v. Wade stand. "It was shocking to see, laid out in cold legalese, the blatant ideological reasoning gutting the constitutional right to abortion," Whitmer writes in The New York Times.

    The implication is that Alito, because he opposes abortion, was determined to overturn the 1973 decision establishing that right, regardless of the legal contortions it required. But as Alito emphasizes, Roe has faced withering criticism, including damning appraisals by pro-choice legal scholars, for half a century. Roe's supporters tend to ignore that fact, instead emphasizing the practical impact of freeing states to set their own abortion policies. While Whitmer accuses Alito of motivated reasoning, that charge better fits Roe author Harry Blackmun and the decision's contemporary defenders.

    Reason has been pretty even-keeled on the recent debate over baby-killing. Comment on that from Ms. Ham, in response to a Reason detractor:


  • Fox28 Spokane on the LFOD watch. Another state comparison from the left coast: States with the Most Competitive Real Estate Markets in 2021. And we show up pretty well:

    3. New Hampshire

    Competitive Market Score: 94.2 out of 100
    Percent of homes sold above list price: 60%
    Average share of homes per month sold within 2 weeks of listing date: 50%
    Average months of supply in 2021: 1.71

    Third in the nationwide rankings for having one of the most competitive real estate markets over this past year, prospective buyers in the Granite State have faced a market that’s 32 percent more competitive than average in 2021. New Hampshire’s state motto may be to live free or die, but the cost of a new home there is anything but; with over 60 percent of new properties being sold above list price, real estate in New Hampshire is in demand with the price tag to prove it.

    Congrats to Fox28 Spokane for shoehorning our state motto into an unlikely context.