URLs du Jour

2022-01-22

  • Because nothing says "anti-fascist" like shutting down a speaker with threats of violence. A lot of news from that college at the other side of the state. NHJournal told the story on Thursday night (January 20): Dartmouth Cancels Ngo Event in Face of Antifa Threats.

    Dartmouth College administrators canceled an on-campus appearance by conservative journalist Andy Ngo’s Thursday night after a deluge of online threats from Antifa members.

    Ngo, who has built a national reputation covering violent, far-Left protests often given little attention by the mainstream media, was set to appear at an event hosted by the Dartmouth College Republicans and the conservative activists of Turning Point USA.

    New Hampshire Journal was turned away at the door of Moore Hall by Dartmouth security on Thursday evening. The college security officer said the event was changed to be an online appearance, but he would not say why the change was made.

    And a followup yesterday: Free Speech Org to Investigate Dartmouth Cancellation of Ngo Appearance.

    The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) tells NHJournal it has launched an investigation into Dartmouth College’s decision to shut down an appearance by conservative journalist Andy Ngo in the face of threats of violence from Antifa.

    “Threats of violence are never an appropriate response to speech you oppose and must not dictate who may speak, or what may be said, on a college campus. Universities should not reward those who threaten violence by canceling controversial speakers,” said FIRE Program Officer Zach Greenberg.

    The ACLU of New Hampshire, however, is choosing to remain silent.

    Yeah. Looking at the ACLU-NH home page, it seems they're not much concerned with free expression any more. Unless you're a public school teacher lecturing your captive students about their oppressor status.

    Skip at Granite Grok made a disappointing trek up to Hanover to attend the event. Relevant articles there, in chronological order:

    It's not difficult to hold a Turning Point USA event at a University. The University Near Here managed to do it back in 2019; is UNH smarter than Dartmouth?


  • Send in the …. Ah, don't bother, they're here. The NR editors weigh in on The Democrats’ Election-Law Circus.

    The Democrats spent the past two weeks holding a circus. The theme of that circus was that American elections would be illegitimate and reimpose “Jim Crow 2.0” unless Congress passed a radical overhaul changing how elections have been held in this country since the Founding. People who ought to know better, including President Joe Biden and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, argued that American elections are a “rigged game” (Schumer’s term) or “easily could . . . be illegitimate” (Biden’s words) if their proposals did not pass Congress. The next day, after having had time to consider the uproar caused by the president’s remarks, House majority whip Jim Clyburn said he was “absolutely concerned” that without the passage of the proposals, the 2022 elections would not be legitimate. In other words, this was not a one-off statement by Biden during an extended press conference. Rather, there is a deliberate effort under way by Democrats to preemptively sow doubts about the legitimacy of midterm elections they are widely expected to lose.

    These rhetorical assaults on the legitimacy of American democracy are playing with fire. They are only words, but then, Donald Trump’s ongoing attacks on the 2020 election are now only words, too. Given the long history of street mobs and riots on the left, it is dangerous to encourage the belief that the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential elections, if conducted under state laws and in line with pre-pandemic American election procedures, represent an oppressive theft of democracy justifying radical action in response.

    Democrats deserve to lose big. Unfortunate that I can't say that Republicans deserve to win.


  • Could we have a 'Truth in Labeling' act for proposed legislation? Joe Lancaster takes a look at the latest statist stinkbomb: Bipartisan 'Innovation and Choice Online Act' Would Harm Innovation and Choice

    Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to consider the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA). The bill, sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa), seeks to criminalize "certain discriminatory conduct" by some online platforms. But in practice, the bill would harm consumers and make simple services more difficult to use.

    The AICOA would make it unlawful for any internet service to "materially restrict or impede the capacity of a business user to access or interoperate…in a manner that would materially harm competition" on the service. Under the legislation, not only would Google searches not automatically display Google Maps results, but iPhones could not come with Apple programs pre-installed. Amazon would not be able to offer free two-day Prime shipping, or even sell its popular, lower-cost AmazonBasics brand of consumer goods.

    The bill is unlikely to have the intended effects on innovation and choice, and is exceedingly likely to do the exact opposite. In a statement released this week, the center-left Progressive Policy Institute argued that the AICOA "could do irreparable harm to the services and products millions of Americans rely on every day." Further, the bill would lead to "reduced innovation" as companies are forced to "obtain regulatory pre-approval with every new product."

    It's truly horrible legislation that will make my online life worse. Yours too.


  • The crony-capitalist Export-Import Bank is searching for more cronies. Veronique de Rugy looks at the latest antics of her bête noire: Ex-Im is Wasteful Enough Abroad

    For years now, the U.S. Export-Import Bank — an under-the-radar agency that provides subsidized loans to foreign firms willing to buy American products — has tried to remain relevant. After a semi-hiatus alongside criticism for functioning as the "Bank of Boeing," Ex-Im convinced the Trump and Biden administrations that it may be a tremendous weapon to fight Chinese influence. While it can do no such thing, Ex-Im is now moving on to something else: extending its domestic influence.

    Ex-Im's grandiose claims shouldn't distract us from its mediocrity. In 2019, Congress handed the agency a seven-year reauthorization and restored a quorum on its board of directors. This allowed Ex-Im to resume work on what it claimed was a $40-billion backlog of U.S. projects. The argument was that during the four prior years, when Ex-Im was mostly dormant, U.S. exporters lost billions of dollars because foreign clients couldn't access preferential loan rates and terms (all backed by American taxpayers). These exports, the tale continued, were ready to roll as soon as the agency was revived.

    Vero goes on to show that by Ex-Im's own numbers it's becoming increasingly unimportant and irrelevant to American companies' international trading. It's not successfully spurring competition with China. Its support for "small business" and "women- and minority-owned businesses" is actually fading.

    It would be nice to have Washington put it on a glide path to extinction (again).


  • Like Pearl Harbor, except with clown cars instead of Japanese Zeros. Jacob Sullum looks at the latest DOJ effort to inflate January 6: The Sedition Indictment Against 11 Oath Keepers Describes a Plot That Was Pitifully Inept and Ineffectual. After noting the relatively minor charges leveled against the vast majority of participants, he looks at the insidious plotting that went on:

    Exactly how prepared they actually were is open to question. Four days before the riot, the Oath Keepers were still trying to figure out what they would do if the bridges across the Potomac River were closed. When Kelly Meggs, head of the group's Florida chapter, posed the question in a Signal chat, the indictment says, "the North Carolina QRF team leader wrote, 'My sources DC working on procuring Boat transportation as we speak.'" Thomas Caldwell, a Virginia Oath Keeper, sent this message to "his contacts":

    Can't believe I just thought of this: how many people either in the militia or not
    (who are still supportive of our efforts to save the Republic) have a boat on a trailer that [could] handle a Potomac crossing? If we had someone standing by at a dock ramp (one near the Pentagon for sure) we could have our Quick Response Team with the heavy weapons standing by, quickly load them and ferry them across the river to our waiting arms.

    The indictment does not say what, if anything, came of that plan. In any event, the "QRF teams" remained at the Comfort Inn in Ballston. The Oath Keepers who went to the Capitol on January 6 evidently did not bring any firearms, although they did have "hard-knuckle tactical gloves, tactical vests, ballistic goggles, radios, chemical sprays, a paracord attachment, fatigues, goggles, scissors, a large stick," and a German Shepherd named Warrior.

    A large stick! Was it a sharp stick?


  • Blowing hot air into a leaky balloon. Glenn Greenwald notes the latest non-separation of powers: Congress's 1/6 Committee Claims Absolute Power as it Investigates Citizens With No Judicial Limits

    In its ongoing attempt to investigate and gather information about private U.S. citizens, the Congressional 1/6 Committee is claiming virtually absolute powers that not even the FBI or other law enforcement agencies enjoy. Indeed, lawyers for the committee have been explicitly arguing that nothing proscribes or limits their authority to obtain data regarding whichever citizens they target and, even more radically, that the checks imposed on the FBI (such as the requirement to obtain judicial authorization for secret subpoenas) do not apply to the committee.

    As we have previously reported and as civil liberties groups have warned, there are serious constitutional doubts about the existence of the committee itself. Under the Constitution and McCarthy-era Supreme Court cases interpreting it, the power to investigate crimes lies with the executive branch, supervised by the judiciary, and not with Congress. Congress does have the power to conduct investigations, but that power is limited to two narrow categories: 1) when doing so is designed to assist in its law-making duties (e.g., directing executives of oil companies to testify when considering new environmental laws) and 2) in order to exert oversight over the executive branch.

    Making a guest appearance in Greenwald's article: Loretta Lynch, most famous for her secret tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton when she was Attorney General, and her department was investigating Hillary's e-mail shenanigans.