Newsflash: TikTok is Actually Good For Something

Via Ann Althouse.

@willrubio Replying to @LilyRubio Reginald Remembers Driving in YOUR car! #tracychapman #fastcar #music ♬ original sound - Will Rubio

I laughed. Unmute and do likewise. I really liked the Tracy Chapman song. I haven't heard the Luke Combs version.

Also of note:

  • Kurt Eichenwald proposes an answer to the question I've been asking for years. And that question is: "What the hell is wrong with this guy?"

    In case the embed isn't working well to show Trump's post:

    The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country. It is a slow, steady progression, with CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction. Open Borders, Rigged Elections, and Grossly Unfair Courtroom Decisions are DESTROYING AMERICA. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE, A FAILING NATION! MAGA2024

    "Malignant narcissism and sociopathy" is a pretty good summary.

  • I demand "Viking Alerts" for missing Norwegian-Americans.

    "What time is it, Jeff Maurer?"

    "Paul, The Advent of “Feather Alerts” is a Great Time to Reflect on How Racist Antiracism Has Gotten."

    California got roasted on social media this week as news of their new “Ebony Alert” system circulated. You see: Ebony Alerts are Amber Alerts, but for Black kids. If you’re thinking “weren’t Black kids covered by Amber Alerts?” the answer is “yes, obviously”. And it gets dumber: California also has a system for finding missing indigenous people called “Feather Alerts”. Please note: “Feather Alert” is California’s terminology, not mine; I would be banished to Antarctica if I proposed that any system for indigenous people be called "Feather Alert”. So, now that “antiracist” thinking has caused California to embrace separate but equal institutions with racist-depending-on-who-says-it names, it seems like a good time to examine how fundamentally racist so-called antiracism has become.

    First, the facts: California has Ebony Alerts and Feather Alerts. These are modeled on the Amber Alert system, which, of course, is the thing that makes everyone’s phone explode at the same time during a meeting. Everyone then wonders for a moment if a nuclear strike is incoming, but once they check their phone, they realize that it’s an Amber Alert and they should dole out brutal vigilante justice to anyone in a white Toyota Camry.

    Amber Alerts are for people under 18. People 65 and over have “Silver Alerts”, so-called because “silver” is the polite word we use to make grey hair seem like an achievement that old people have unlocked. California also has “Yellow Alerts” — stay calm — which are for hit-and-run suspects…why, who did you think they would be for? There are also Blue Alerts for attacks on law enforcement officers, and you can see where this is going: Activists have decided that there needs to be a thing for every color. California can never let anything be; every good idea must be extrapolated past the point of insanity by California’s Nonprofit Industrial Complex, which is basically a jobs program for the dimwit children of millionaires.

    I basically live as far from California as it is possible for an American to live, without living in Maine. And the state still manages to creep me out.

  • It's probably not what it sounds like. The College Fix reports: After 10 students enroll in new UMD racism minor, university plans to offer it indefinitely.

    The University of Maryland has 10 students currently minoring in its new anti-Black racism program after officials announced its creation early last year.

    Now Maryland’s flagship public university, which has an undergraduate enrollment of 30,000 students, plans to continue offering the minor indefinitely.

    “I can share with you that there are 10 students participating in the minor in Anti-Black Racism,” UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences communications Director Linda Ours told The College Fix via email.

    No, it's probably not a how-to. But still:

    The minor’s mandatory “capstone course” is titled “Applied Anti-Black Racism,” which is designed to “apply knowledge rooted in Anti-Black Racism to a real-world problem or issue within your chosen discipline or planned career path” according to its description.

    Yes, it's indoctrination. Yes, it's probably a full-employment program for grifting professors. Nothing new there. But nobody seems to have thought about the minor's name very hard; it sounds like a training program for Klan members. "Gee, how can I apply my knowledge, rooted in Anti-Black Racism, today?"

  • Good advice. Martin Gurri has it, in City Journal: Prologue to an Ideology of Freedom.

    The world today presents a picture of uncommon chaos. The complexities of modern society require a class of specially trained persons to manage them, yet public trust in our elites and the institutions they inhabit has plummeted. Every description of reality is now a battleground, including the opinions of scientists. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt likens the moment to a new Tower of Babel: an incomprehensible noise. The causes are global and structural, with radical changes in the information environment playing a decisive role. While the pettiness and corruption of incumbent elites are evident, simply replacing them won’t fix things.

    Inevitably, chaos has triggered a reaction—an impulse to reimpose some sort of order. Governments, legislatures, bureaucrats, regulators—all have lost the taste for debate or compromise and have fallen in love with mandates. Elites have sought to replace the old-fashioned democratic process, muddled by design, with what they call “our democracy,” which expects, by right of superior virtue, the triumph of “our” moral and political judgments. Those opposed to “our democracy” lie beyond the pale—deemed insurgents, racists, homophobes, Islamophobes, climate deniers, vaccine skeptics, Russia lovers—a long and lengthening list of those who don’t deserve a hearing. Accordingly, government censorship and media silence have worked to lock these deplorables inside an information ghetto. The public must, at all costs, be tamed.

    I get it. I'd throw in the "globalists" and "neoliberals". Also pictured as working against "democracy."

    Anyway, Gurri's remedies sound pretty good. Just one more paragraph:

    An ideology of freedom compelling to the twenty-first century, I’ve suggested, must possess certain components: a relentless emphasis on individual rights; an understanding of those rights in light of American history; models of behavior that foster civility and integrity; and a well-adapted engagement with the digital. How would these proposals deal with our current political spectrum? Clearly, structures of control like censorship and group status need to go. We must join battle against progressive enforcers of identity, a reactionary establishment, and the Democratic Party as an institution (though not a majority of the persons who identify as Democrats). But where does this leave us?

    Sign me up.

  • With nothing better to do… Randal O'Toole examines how the employees of the "Federal Railroad Administration" have been spending their work hours: Dreaming Up Amtrak Schemes.

    Ever been in Billings, Montana and wanted to go to El Paso? Or have you been in New York and wanted to spend 36 hours traveling to Dallas? How about going from Minneapolis to Denver via Pierre, South Dakota? Or Detroit to New Orleans? These are just some of the 15 new long-distance trains that the Federal Railroad Administration has tentatively proposed to add to Amtrak’s network.

    The (linked) FRA study was done in response to legislation:

    The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 requires the FRA to conduct a study to evaluate the restoration of daily intercity rail passenger service along —

    • any Amtrak Long-Distance routes that were discontinued; and
    • any Amtrak Long-Distance routes that occur on a nondaily basis.
    • FRA may also evaluate potential new Amtrak Long-Distance routes, including with specific attention provided to routes in service as of April 1971 but not continued by Amtrak.

    … so maybe don't blame the FRA bureaucrats too much. They had to do it. President Dotard loves his choo-choos, and we have to humor him.

    O'Toole drops some reality-based truth bombs:

    If your gut reaction is that most if not all of the proposed passenger trains are impractical, you would be right. The United States is not Europe, with lots of closely spaced major metropolises. Passenger trains don’t even work that well in Europe, carrying only about 6 percent of passenger travel (see page 100). The airlines carry more and air travel is growing much faster despite gigantic subsidies to passenger trains from the governments of most major European countries.

    Currently, Amtrak carries less than one-tenth of one percent of U.S. passenger travel. The FRA proposal would double the number of long-distance routes, but since long-distance trains carry less than a third of Amtrak’s passenger-miles, doubling those trains won’t come close to doubling rail travel.

    There are two good reasons why airlines carry well over 100 times as many passenger-miles per year as Amtrak: planes are faster and they are less expensive because they don’t require costly infrastructure every foot of the way between any two cities. Air fares in 2022 averaged 20.1¢ per passenger-mile while Amtrak collected fares averaging 36¢ per passenger-mile in its FY 2022.

    I stopped at three paragraphs but you don't have to; click over and Read The Whole Thing.

Last Modified 2024-02-21 7:10 AM EDT