URLs du Jour


  • I, for one, am glad I am not an Ohio GOP Senate candidate. Because it's getting kind of PG-13 in the Buckeye State, according to Allahpundit. Ohio GOP Senate candidate: My male competitors are overcompensating for their tiny weiners [sic]. At issue:

    Allahpundit analyzes the state of play for the May 3 primary. Yes, it's that far away, and things are already getting that nasty.

    He also explains his unconventional spelling of "wiener".

  • And it's not just Ohio. George F. Will checks out South Carolina, and proclaims: Behold the Republican somersaults for Trump.

    The House of Savoy on the Italian Peninsula was a dynasty so fickle across the centuries that critics said it never finished a war on the side on which it started, unless the war lasted long enough for Savoy to change sides twice. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) fascinates not because she is the House of Savoy in human form, although she is, but because she exemplifies a phenomenon that has rarely been less rare — consistently inconstant politicians.

    Mace became a congresswoman on Jan. 3, 2021, three days before President Donald Trump incited the assault on the Capitol. On Jan. 7, she said, Trump’s “entire legacy was wiped out yesterday” when he, as she later said, “put all of our lives at risk.” Asked in the days after the attack if she thought he had a future in the Republican Party, she said: “I do not.” He noticed.

    She trod a sinuous path back toward obeisance, but Trump, unmollified, this month endorsed Mace’s Republican primary opponent. The next day, Mace stood in front of Manhattan’s Trump Tower and made a 104-second video. It was a grovel akin to Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV standing barefoot in the snow for three days outside the castle of Pope Gregory VII, hoping to have his excommunication reversed. (It was, but Gregory, who had a Savoyesque knack for changing his mind, later excommunicated Henry again.) In her video, Mace says she was one of Trump’s earliest supporters, worked for him in seven states in 2016 and thinks he made America, freedom and democracy “stronger all around the world.”

    When reading a GFW column, you can learn a lot of history and politics. I was pretty ignorant about the House of Savoy, but after following that link, I, uh, … well, if I ever go on Jeopardy!, and they have a clue about it, there's a slightly better chance I could ring in.

    As a RINO, I'll be voting the GOP ballot in the New Hampshire primary election (September 13). Keeping my options open, but a candidate paying blind obeisance to Trump would probably be a deal-killer for me. And in November I'll probably wind up voting for whatever wacko the Libertarian Party nominates.

  • Let's get it out of the way: 90% of politicians are literally Hitler.

    Just kidding. But it's (apparently) Wall Street Journal-worthy news when someone says that in some specific situations. On page A6 of yesterday's paper: Musk Tweet Compared Justin Trudeau, Hitler.

    Elon Musk tweeted and later deleted a meme comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler.

    The Tesla Inc. chief executive’s tweet came in response to a CoinDesk article about the Canadian government sanctioning dozens of cryptocurrency wallets tied to funding trucker protests in the country.

    Mr. Musk, the world’s richest person, tweeted a meme of the Nazi leader with text that said, “Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau. I had a budget.”

    Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment. A representative for Mr. Trudeau didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    Responding to the since-deleted tweet, the American Jewish Committee condemned Mr. Musk and demanded an apology. “He must stop this unacceptable behavior,” the group said in a statement. “Musk may believe posting a meme comparing Justin Trudeau to a genocidal dictator who exterminated millions is an appropriate way to criticize policies he disagrees with. It is not. It never is. Musk must apologize and find other ways to voice his displeasure.”

    I don't want to make a huge deal about this; after all, much higher up on the page (with a color photo) is a more riveting story: "Sweet Success: Stolen Pickle Mascot Found". (If you must, here.)

    But come on. Down here in America, we've been living with pols telling us that Donald Trump was literally Hitler for years. Anyone remember this?

    Sarah Silverman has never been known as a tame comedian, but she pushed the envelope big-time on Thursday's episode of "Conan," when she came out dressed up as Adolf Hitler – mini-mustache, swastika armband, the works.

    The purpose of this cringe-worthy costume was so "Hitler" could respond to the ongoing comparisons between Donald Trump and the Nazi dictator -- Louis C.K. being one of the most vocal proponents of that idea. For his part, Trump has called the comparisons "ridiculous."

    To its credit, the American Jewish Committee is pretty even handed in its condemnation of "X is Hitler" arguments. (Also "X is Stalin" arguments.) But (let's face it) it's an irresistible tactic for the lazy arguer.

    (I confess that I may have been lazy in the past.)

  • As if "democratic" theft would have been better. For more on the kind of thing that led Elon to make his inapt comparison, click over to read J.D. Tuccille at Reason: Canada’s Panicked Government Engages in Undemocratic Theft

    Emergency powers, threats to freeze the finances of peaceful protesters, and smearing critics as terrorists—it has to be China, right? But no, it's our neighbor to the north, under a leader with a bad case of China-envy. For all the world to see, a panicky Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is throwing a tantrum over protests against restrictive pandemic policy that warns us how quickly an established democracy can lose its mind. It's an advertisement for the value of cryptocurrency and other means of escaping the reach of the financial police state.

    Part of Canada's problem is that the country has rarely seen large numbers of people take to the streets in opposition to government actions. As a consequence, officials and some members of the public are wigging out over what would cause people elsewhere to shrug.

    "By the standards of mass protests around the world, the 'Freedom Convoy' snarling Downtown Ottawa ranks as a nuisance," The New York Times editorial board pointed out last week. "The number of protesters, about 8,000 at their peak, is modest; there have been no serious injuries or altercations, the truckers stopped blaring their horns after residents got a temporary court injunction against them."

    What we need here is…

  • Good advice. Of course, it's from Kevin D. Williamson: Put Down the Torch. Pick Up a Book.

    On the subject of burning witches, C. S. Lewis shared an interesting observation. The problem with the anti-witch campaigns of yore was that the witch-hunters were wrong on the facts, not that they were wrong as a moral matter. If there had been people among us possessing occult powers that they used to kill their neighbors or to make them sick, causing the cows to go dry or the crops to fail, then it obviously would be the right thing to treat them as the very worst kind of criminals — as murderers, which is what they would be. The problem is that witches aren’t real — a matter of fact, not a matter of moral judgment.

    One of the most important arguments for freedom of mind — the freedom that comprehends freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of inquiry, freedom of religion, etc. — is that the thought police are very likely to be wrong about things. Whether they are acting in the context of a free society or an unfree one, people who wield political power tend to reflect very strongly the prejudices of their time, their nation, their race, their class, their sex, their religion, their political party, etc. And we do not have to speculate about how things work out when new ideas — or new facts — encounter a political force invested with the power to suppress them: We have many examples in the historical record. Galileo was right and the Inquisition was wrong, but the Inquisition had the power to prohibit Galileo’s books, which might never have seen the light of day if not for the efforts of the heroes who smuggled his manuscripts out of Italy so that they could be published in Amsterdam.

    NRPLUS, sorry. It's very good. You should subscribe.

  • Meanwhile, Twitter has succumbed to the torch-bearers. Sahil Handa and Seth Moskowitz point out Twitter's Flawed Justification for Censorship

    In the past few months, Spotify, Substack, and Reddit have all resisted calls to censor content on their platforms. Joe Rogan is still on Spotify despite demands to punish him for spreading COVID misinformation; Substack reaffirmed its commitment to journalistic freedom after pressure to ban contentious authors; and Reddit held firm against calls to centralize content moderation of its community forums. In our era of censoriousness, when the values of free speech and open discourse are under constant pressure, these developments are worth celebrating.

    But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. While some tech platforms are standing up for free expression, others are restricting it. Chief among the restrictors is Twitter. And while only about a quarter of Americans use the platform, dismissing it as a niche corner of the internet would be a mistake. Twitter is where breaking news spreads fastest and where much of the news cycle is made. If you doubt the platform’s influence on our public discourse, just consider the number of news cycles that were dominated by Donald Trump's tweets—at least until he was booted from the platform.

    All this is to say that Twitter plays a special role in public discourse, and this influence makes its efforts to restrict speech all the more concerning. Twitter’s poor form on this issue—banning accounts, removing tweets—has been pointed out repeatedly, and the company has deflected with a set of justifications. We think it is worth addressing these justifications one by one, detailing the flaws and potential for abuse in each of them.

    Those "justifications" seem pretty iffy. And in practice, they (in some combination) worked to suspend the account of Defiant L’s for a while, whose schtick is to juxtapose (unsuspended) tweets by others. Sample:

    If you're on Twitter, Defiant L’s is a pretty good follow.

Last Modified 2022-02-19 11:28 AM EDT