URLs du Jour

2022-06-28

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  • Mostly abuses, but what are you gonna do? Kevin D. Williamson writes on The Uses and Abuses of ‘Democracy’.

    Thanks to five decades’ worth of work by legal reformers and pro-life activists, the Supreme Court has taken the purportedly radical step of deciding that, henceforth, abortion laws will be made by lawmakers in their legislatures, rather than by judges in their chambers. That return to democracy has, of course, been lamented as announcing a “crisis of our democracy” as well as heralding our “declining democracy,” according to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That assault on democracy — a very, very weird “assault on democracy” that consists of asking the people to vote on a contested political issue through their elected representatives — makes of these United States a “cautionary tale,” according to the “analysts” over at the Washington Post, the sometimes daft pages of which offer a helpful reminder that the first word in analyst is anal.

    What does it actually mean, this “democracy” of which we perpetually speak?

    For progressives, “democracy” is a very plastic word that means, “what we call it when we get what we want.” Examples: The Supreme Court overrules state abortion laws on an obviously pretextual and obviously specious constitutional claim and overrules the democratic outcome in favor of the private judgment of a half-dozen unaccountable law professors? That’s democracy! At least according to Democrats. But when the Supreme Court later corrects itself and returns the question to the democratic institutions — to the people and their state legislatures? That, in case you hadn’t noticed, is the end of democracy as we know it. What about using employment as an instrument of social coercion to silence people with unpopular political opinions? Workplace democracy, of course. What if a business owner decides that he doesn’t want to perform some service that is at odds with his views? The end of democracy, my God! If a Republican insists a presidential election was stolen and that the president is illegitimate, that is an obvious assault on democracy, and probably treason. If Democrats insists a presidential election was stolen and the president is illegitimate? That’s democracy in action, and dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

    Funny thing, this “democracy.” Funny and kind of stupid.

    I'm not sure where the paywall kicks in on these NRPlus articles, but (as always) I encourage you to throw some money at NR if you haven't already done so.


  • Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before. Jacob Becker notes a recent bad idea rising from the grave: Déjà Vu for Title IX.

    Last Thursday marked the 50th Anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, known simply as Title IX. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon, these 37 words ushered in a new era in higher education: 

    No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. 

    President Biden’s Department of Education commemorated the 50th anniversary by publishing a 701-page notice of proposed rulemaking that  aims to supplant Trump’s Title IX regulations. The proposal has several notable provisions, for example, further solidification of the Biden administration’s interpretation that Title IX bars discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, and gender identity, although it punts on the question of trans genderathletes [sic] in college sports for the time being. 

    Is that 701 pages / 37 words ratio some kind of record?

    Becker's article is a relatively straightforward history of Title IX becoming "a political ping-pong ball batted around by successive administrations." For a more alarming take…


  • Take it away, Emily Yoffe. At Bari Weiss's substack, she heralds the coming MiniLuv: Biden's Sex Police.

    One frustrated Title IX coordinator told me she sometimes thought of her job as running “The Break Up Office.” She said many young people lacked the skills to navigate relationships themselves, and often didn’t want to. Why should they? Instead of focusing on punishing students who commit truly bad acts and aiding their victims, campus administrators transmitted the message that recasting any sexual experience as malign, and then reporting it to school authorities, is an act of bravery.

    Young men suspended or expelled began filing civil suits against their schools for unfair treatment. These Title IX cases became a new legal specialty—to date, around 675 such suits have been filed in federal and state courts, says KC Johnson. Of those that have worked their way through the system, judges have issued hundreds of rulings deploring the star chambers and kangaroo courts to which these male students were subjected. One U.S. District court judge wrote that an accused student’s treatment was “closer to Salem 1692 than Boston, 2015.” An appellate court found that the treatment of an accused student at Purdue was “fundamentally unfair” and that “a hearing must be a real one, not a sham or pretense.” 

    But no matter what the new regulations demand, it is likely that at the end of the Biden administration, the president will have to concede that he failed to make a dent in accusations of sexual misconduct on campus. This won’t be because campus administrators are indifferent to mass criminal activity by male students. It will be, in large part, because of the bureaucratic expansion the Obama administration instigated. They helped establish an industry of Title IX officials, investigators, lawyers, and consultants. 

    A further fun fact:

    Title IX campus officials are often highly-paid people with exceptional power. Harvard boasts more than 50 Title IX coordinators, more than 80 percent of them women. These careers depend on a steady stream of complaints. Too many people have too much invested in making campus sexual politics a problem that can’t be solved.

    We've gotta protect our phony baloney jobs!


  • Another reason I'm glad I dropped my local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat. Because it's in the Gannett/USA Today stable. David Mastio reveals that the horseshit/horse ratio there is pretty high: USA Today demoted me for a tweet — because its woke newsrooms are out of touch with readers.

    I know something about Gannett’s evolution since I was USA Today’s deputy editorial page editor until August, when I was demoted after I tweeted, “People who are pregnant are also women.”

    That idea was forbidden because a “news reporter” covering diversity, equity and inclusion wrote a story detailing how transgender men can get pregnant. I compounded my sin against this new orthodoxy by calling the idea that men can get pregnant an “opinion.” 

    If I wanted to keep any job at USA Today, my bosses informed me, I needed to delete these offensive tweets because they were causing pain to the LGBTQ activists and journalists on our staff.

    A telling accusation:

    Gannett’s problem isn’t the failure of its opinion sections to “evolve.” It’s that readers don’t care for what they’ve evolved into.

    That's a reference to Gannett’s decision to "radically shrink and reimagine" its newspapers' editorial sections. I don't know where Foster's was in that process, but last I checked: (1) its editorial section was awful; (2) so was everything else.