URLs du Jour


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  • But it's Doing Something™! Kevin D. Williamson writes on The Gun-Control Delusion.

    The Democrats dream of banning particular kinds of firearms, from the descendants of Eugene Stoner’s AR-15 to the common 9mm handgun.

    This is not going to happen.

    The question has, in fact, already been litigated all the way to the Supreme Court, which in its Heller decision considered the issue of firearms that “are commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes today” and held that any “categorical ban of such weapons violates the Second Amendment.” The AR-style modern sporting rifle and the 9mm handgun are two of the firearms most “commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes today,” and a ban on either weapon would be unconstitutional.

    Note to politicians: if you want to repeal the Second Amendment, that's what you should argue for.

    One more interesting point from KDW:

    President Biden fixates on the 9mm handgun, and he also says that all you need to defend yourself and your family is a shotgun. A shotgun is very effective for that purpose, because a single shot from a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with 00 (“double aught”) buckshot inflicts damage equivalent to being shot nine times with a 9mm handgun. President Biden’s position is, in short, “You shouldn’t have that dangerous weapon, because it is dangerous, and instead, you should have this much more dangerous weapon.” It is incoherent, but Joe Biden has always been incoherent — this is not exclusively an effect of his senescence.

    There's even a Wikipedia page on Biden's preferred dangerous weapon: Buy a Shotgun. And (of course):

  • You've been disinformed, in other words. Katherine Mangu-Ward continues her streak of monthly brilliance in the pages of the latest issue of Reason: You're Wrong About Disinformation.

    Humans get stuff wrong. We do it all the time. We're biased and blind and overconfident. We're bad at paying attention and terrible at remembering. We're prone to constructing self-serving narratives after the fact; worse, we often convince ourselves they are true. We're slightly better at identifying these distortions in others than we are in our own thinking, but not by much. And we tend to attribute others' mistakes to malice, even as we attribute our own to well-intentioned error.

    All of this makes the very concept of misinformation—and its more sinister cousin, disinformation—slippery at best. Spend 10 minutes listening to any think tank panel or cable news segment about the scourge, and it will quickly become clear that many people simply use the terms to mean "information, whether true or false, that I would rather people not possess or share." This is not a good working definition, and certainly not one on which any kind of state action should be based.

    Bottom line: a politician or government employee bloviating about "[dm]isinformation" is almost certainly not to be trusted with power.

  • A modest proposal. And it's from Elliot S. Gershon, professor of psychiatry and human genetics at the University of Chicago: Let Everyone Freely Choose Their Gender and Race. His bottom line:

    One way out of our current identity conflicts is to permit individuals to freely choose their own racial and gender identities and at the same time to forbid any societal rewards or penalties based on these identities. Chief Justice John Roberts famously opined in the 2007 Parents Involved in Community Schools (PICS) case, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” This does not fit the current sociopolitical milieu, but it would avoid the unwarranted beneficiaries and casualties of this milieu. Pursuing race- and gender-blindness under the law is preferable to enforced alternatives that have consistently failed for more than a century.

    Via Jerry Coyne's blog, who notes that "Gershon, who is Jewish, says he does not consider himself to be white, though he doesn’t specify which race he identifies as belonging to."

  • She's no Saint Paul. The WSJ editorialists note a slow-motion train wreck: A Reading From Kamala Harris to the Corinthians.

    First nationalize student loans claiming this will save money for taxpayers. Next let students pile up debt at for-profit colleges. Then prosecute those colleges for fraud and put them out of business. Then forgive all the debt and stick taxpayers with the bill.

    That’s essentially the political parable of Corinthian Colleges, as told by Kamala Harris. The Vice President ambushed Corinthian while she was California Attorney General. She began investigating the for-profit in 2013 for allegedly misrepresenting job-placement rates, but she struggled to support her claims. The Education Department rode to her rescue by making exhaustive document demands.

    Obama Administration officials then complained the college wasn’t producing documents fast enough, and the Education Department cut off federal student aid. This drove Corinthian into bankruptcy and stranded tens of thousands of Corinthian students.

    That first bit about nationalizing student loans is particularly infuriating:

    In 2010, President Obama effectively nationalized student lending by cutting banks — which had been offering government-backed loans to students — out of the equation and having the government make the loans itself.

    "By cutting out the middleman, we'll save the American taxpayers $68 billion in the coming years," Obama said when he signed this change into law. "That's real money."

    As a result, federal student loan debt shot up from $154.9 billion in 2009 to $1.1 trillion by the end of 2017.

    That's from an Investor's Business Daily 2018 editorial. Now, of course, it's worse, about $1.75 trillion. To quote Obama, "that's real money."