URLs du Jour


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  • The first three words of the headline guarantee that what follows will be nonsense. And that headline is: Pete Buttigieg Thinks He Can Eliminate Traffic Deaths. It's from Dominic Pino:

    The Department of Transportation has unveiled a “zero-fatality road safety strategy.” According to transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, “We cannot tolerate the continuing crisis of roadway deaths in America. . . . These deaths are preventable, and that’s why we’re launching the National Roadway Safety Strategy today — a bold, comprehensive plan, with significant new funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

    Strictly speaking, Buttigieg is correct. All roadway deaths are preventable, but you don’t need a comprehensive strategy to eliminate them. Just put governors in the engine of every car that prevent the speed from exceeding five miles per hour. Economist Gordon Tullock facetiously suggested installing a spike in the center of every steering wheel as a way to solve reckless driving. If everyone knew they’d be impaled for braking too hard, everyone would drive very carefully, and deaths would plummet.

    Dominic doesn't mention my zero-fatality strategy, which is (1) ban motorcycles; (2) require drivers and passengers to wear motorcycle helmets and wearing several layers of bubble wrap (our Amazon Product du Jour).

    Utopian statists have no concept of trade-offs. Specifically: driving, like practically any activity, is risky. If anything, people in cars probably overestimate the risk. And yet they choose to drive.

    Buttigieg trying to impose his own risk preferences on others… well, it's kind of a thing these days, isn't it? Mayor Pete probably just figured he'd get in on the game.

  • At least so far. Dan Mitchell is deservedly Dunking on Oxfam: 2022’s Tweet of the Year

    The hack leftists at Oxfam have a new report with the laughable title of “Inequality Kills.” As part of the report, they grouse about “the recent 40-year period of neoliberalism” that supposedly helped only rich elitists.

    And here's his nominee for TotY:

    Need further details? Click away.

  • Nobody does anything about Rogaine ads contributing to the negative self-perception of us bald guys. Elizabeth Nolan Brown notes the latest front opened in the Obesity Wars: Instagram Bans Healthy Eating Ads for Promoting 'Negative Self-Perception'

    Social media companies pull ADHD ads by mental health startup Cerebral. The latest ad ban by Instagram and TikTok highlights the slippery slope of "misinformation" purges as well as the warped way some folks have come to view food and healthy eating in 2022.

    Instagram and TikTok are both pulling ads from the mental health company Cerebral for supposedly violating policies related to eating disorders and to misinformation.

    The ads suggested people with attention deficit problems may fall victim to impulse eating. They note a link between ADHD and obesity. And they suggest that getting ADHD treatment through Cerebral could help people to "stop overeating."

    Stephanie Chan, a spokesperson for Instagram parent company Meta, said the ads were pulled because the company doesn't allow "content that promotes misleading health claims" or attempts "to generate negative self-perception in order to promote health-related products. We remove ads that break these rules."

    But research has indeed linked ADHD to obesity, and ADHD forums often discuss impulsive or disordered eating habits among people with the disorder.

    TikTok too?

  • Explains a lot. Tim Carney looks at the controversy surrounding Ilya Shapiro who (everyone seems to agree) made a poorly worded tweet about Biden's pledge for his SCOTUS nominee that was an easy target for Woke Outrage: 'Who cares ... call them racists': Explaining the dishonest attacks on legal scholar Ilya Shapiro.

    A hundred different liberal tweeters will have a hundred different reasons for behaving the way they did, and I can’t read anyone’s mind. But we know for a fact that there is, on the Left, a common practice of baselessly accusing conservatives and libertarians for its political advantage.

    During the 2008 election cycle, liberal journalist Spencer Ackerman spelled out this tactic in an email to other liberal journalists. “Take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists,” wrote Ackerman. He was trying to devise a way to help distract from tough questions Barack Obama began facing about his extremist, anti-American, and racist pastor Jeremiah Wright. “Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.”

    Ackerman didn't suggest this because he thought the people in question were racists or because he wanted to battle racism. Rather, Ackerman explained his motivation for this tactic: “What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear.”

    Let me (once again) quote from the Underground Grammarian essay titled "The Answering of Kautski", which (in turn) quoted Lenin on dealing with his political opponent Karl Kautski:

    Why should we bother to reply to Kautski? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There's no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautski is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.

    Substitute appropriately for "Kautski" and "traitor to the working class" and voila

  • The evolution of clickbait ads. As revealed in LILEKS (James) Bleat for Friday last.

    It's been a while since we did some Internet Detritus. No, I don't know what that means. Perhaps "curious things, noted" as well as things that have irritated me to the point of irrational rage. But first: ha ha someone didn't proof the ad

    No further excerpt, just click over. I've been continually amazed at the otherwise respectable sites where I get subjected to ads saying…

    • "Beach Day Fails You Can't Unsee- Use Discretion"
    • "33 Funny Airport Photos That Will Make You Laugh"
    • "Leave Your Girlfriend Speechless" (useful when she threatens to tell your wife about your infidelity, I suppose)
    • "Look At These Absurd Teachers"
    • "4 Things You Can Spend Money On That Will Actually Make You Richer"
    • "25 Unhealthiest American Groceries (No One Expects No. 3)" (Spanish Inquisition Rice?)
    • "Toenail Fungus Gone if You Do This (Simple!)"
    • "If the Ringing in the Ears Get [sic] Worse at Night Do This Immediately" (turn off the alarm, I bet.)

    But I don't mind the "Children's books with values" ads. Best wishes on those.


Last Modified 2022-01-30 2:13 PM EDT

Spider-Man: No Way Home

[4.5 stars] [IMDB Link] [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

I went to see this in an actual physical theater with Pun Son. I had a great time.

Do I really need to provide a plot summary? Given that anyone interested has probably already seen it? And everyone else doesn't care? Well, I always do, so here 'tis;

At the close of the previous movie, the dying revenge of the villainous Mysterio was to provide J. Jonah Jameson (shown here as an Alex Jones-style babbler) with Spider-Man's secret identity, Peter Parker. A cliff-hanger indeed!

This (of course) proves problematic for Peter. (Tony Stark, being a gazillionaire, could get away with revealing his Iron Man identity; Peter doesn't have the finances to bring it off.) It's also tough on his pals, MJ and Ned. Specifically, all three fail to get into MIT, due to the controversy.

Like anyone wants to go to MIT. Shoulda tried Caltech.

Peter turns to his acquaintance from the Avengers movies, Doctor Strange. After some (pretty funny) back-and-forth, the Doc weaves a worldwide mass-amnesia spell. Which, thanks to Peter's meddling, goes very badly, opening up portals to alternate timelines. Which (in turn) summons all sorts of bad guys from those timelines. And if you're at all familiar with the Spiderverse, and look at the DVD box over there on the right (or if you've seen the trailer), you know one of them already.

Fortunately, it's not just the bad guys that show up. But not in time to save our hero from a certain amount of heartbreak.