URLs du Jour

2022-06-05

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  • See also: dependency. Kevin D. Williamson notes a common denominator: Infantilization.

    I know this is an old and familiar observation, but it is worth reminding ourselves: There is a theme that runs through a great deal of progressive thinking, from gun control to student-loan giveaways to speech codes and safe spaces and the universal basic income, and that theme is — infantilization. The Left wants a government that will treat you like a child, keep dangerous things out of your hands, put the other kids in time-out if they step out of line, and give you an allowance.

    The worst development on the right in recent years is the embrace of infantilization by political entrepreneurs who want Americans to think of themselves as victims — victims who need protecting by the same big nanny state progressives want. Same statism, different slogans.

    Also an old and familiar observation: the corollary to infantilization is dependency. Progressives seem to want to make citizens ever more dependent on government for goods and services large and small. Think 'The Life of Julia' on steroids.

    I made this a comment at NR, and a reply pointed out that KDW wrote a small book titled The Dependency Agenda back in 2012. Abashed, I ordered the paperback.


  • They go together like chicken and waffles. Jacob Sullum analyzes President Wheezy's Thursday night Jeopardy!-preempting speech: Biden's Gun Control Push Combines Slipperiness With Self-Righteous Certitude.

    President Joe Biden says he wants Democrats and Republicans to join together in responding to mass shootings like the recent attacks in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa. Yet the speech he delivered last night was suffused with the off-putting, aggressive self-righteousness that Democrats routinely display when they push new restrictions on firearms. Again and again, Biden implied that anyone who questions or resists the policy solutions he favors is complicit in the murder of innocents. As he frames the issue, there is no room for honest disagreement about the merits of those proposals, which are self-evidently the right thing to do.

    That attitude is not exactly conducive to building the bipartisan consensus that Biden claims he wants. Nor is Biden's egregiously misleading deployment of the facts that he says demonstrate the urgency and effectiveness of the laws he supports. Biden does not want a rational, empirically informed debate about the costs and benefits of those laws. He prefers emotion to logic, and he demands that everyone else—including the Republicans he accuses of callous indifference to mass murder—do the same.

    I hope that's not a winning rhetorical strategy.


  • ESG: worse than CRT, DGB, or DEI? Arnold Kling writes regular "Keeping up with the FITs" posts on his Substack. A FIT is his TLA for his "Fantasy Intellectual Team", a game involving picking writers "who model high-quality discourse."

    Nobody has picked Pun Salad for their FIT.

    Anyhow, from the latest, about investing according to "Environmental, Social and Governance" principles:

    Noah Smith writes,

    ESG seems like the investor class trying to reshape our society to fit its own vision of what that society should look like. The more things get included in the list of ESG considerations, and the more that affects corporate behavior, the more investors’ social preferences become reflected in our day-to-day social relations. And remember, most of the stocks in the U.S. are owned by rich people. That instinctively feels like a vision of dystopian capitalism.

    Dystopian indeed. I keep saying that profit-seeking businesses are accountable to customers. ESG says to take that away and instead make corporations operate more like non-profits, accountable to their rich patrons. See how that works out.

    Relevant recent WSJ articles:

    The last time I checked my portfolio, I seem to be ESG-light. (But it's complicated. There might be some ESG-blessed stocks in there.)


  • A modest proposal. And it's from Andrew C. McCarthy: If Only We Could Turn Hillary Loose on the FBI.

    ‘Whither John Durham?” That is now the pressing question for every Russiagate watcher. Admittedly, the crowd of Russiagate watchers has grown smaller since Tuesday, when a Democrat-heavy jury in Washington, D.C., acquitted Michael Sussmann, the heavyweight Democratic lawyer, of Special Counsel Durham’s charge that Sussmann had lied to the FBI.

    The answer, if we are to learn the central lesson of the Sussmann case, is simple: Indict Hillary Clinton.

    But . . . for what?

    I’ll resist the urge to say, “There’s always something,” which would be more a commentary on the career of the former secretary of state (and cattle-futures trader, travel-office-staff director, grand-jury amnesiac, “bimbo eruptions” scourge, pardons coordinator, voice of calm, suspender of disbelief, Russian “reset” visionary, Benghazi bungler, Muslim-movie maven, charity entrepreneur, and homebrew-server savant) than a real answer.

    ACM speculates, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that an indicted Hill would "Shine the light on the government’s complicity in Russiagate, instead of portraying the government as the witless victim of the Clinton campaign."


  • 'Til NASA takes the Saturn V away. WIRED gets a lot of grief here for being woke-devoted. But they still occasionally get their geek on, and their "review" of a very limited series of 50-year-old vehicles is a hoot: NASA 1972 Moon Buggy Review: Fun, Fun, Fun.

    The frenetic pace of gear releases means it is inevitable that WIRED cannot get to all of them in a timely fashion. But if they are important, rest assured, we will catch up eventually. Yes, some may take a little longer to materialize than others, however, at 50 years late, this review is, I admit, pushing loyal readers’ patience. Yet, as this is an appraisal of such an iconic EV, none other than NASA’s Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV (more popularly known as the moon buggy), I hope you’ll forgive the tardiness.

    The astronomical delay is simply due to the fact that Charles Duke, one of only six humans ever to ride in the LRV on the lunar surface, is an understandably hard man to pin down. WIRED has finally fortunate enough to catch up with the 86-year-old former astronaut and Lunar Module pilot to get a full debrief on how this unique electric ride performed on the Apollo 16 mission in April 1972.

    […]

    “It bounced a lot more than I expected,” Charles Duke says. “It was real springy. ”

    As for the official 8 mph maximum speed, it seems Duke tested this to the limit. “It felt a lot faster than that,” he says. “The speedometer had a hard stop at 17 kilometer per hour (10.5 mph). But a lot of times coming down a mountain we were pegged out, so I don't know how fast we were going. But it was at least 17. And as it was bouncing down hills, you never felt like it was going to roll.”

    And all for $38 million in 1970s money. (More like $262.8 million today.) For which, the article observes, you could buy 6,655 Tesla Model 3s.