URLs du Jour


  • Word to the wise.

    If only they'd had Twitter in 44BC.

  • One more for the "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means" Department. Kevin D. Williamson has a number of candidates, but number one is… 'Treason,' Again

    Antonin Scalia used to joke that he needed a rubber stamp reading: “Stupid But Constitutional.” Many commentators at the moment seem to need something similar reading: “Stupid, Gross, Objectionable, Immoral, and Contemptible, But Not Actually Treason.” Unfortunately, even Mitt Romney has fallen into the bad habit of calling that which he detests “treasonous” — he is right to detest it, but wrong to call it treason.

    I have covered some of this ground before. Whatever political disagreement you are calling “treason” — or “murder” or “genocide” — probably isn’t that.

    It's a word that got bandied about in our legislature a few days ago, but nobody accused them of being legal eagles.

  • But should the DOJ investigate Tulsi Gabbard for 'False Russian Propaganda'? I know you were wondering about that yourself, and Robby Soave has the answer for you: No, DOJ Shouldn't Investigate Tulsi Gabbard for 'False Russian Propaganda'

    The hosts of The View opened their show today with extended criticism of former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Fox News host Tucker Carlson for allegedly spreading "false Russian propaganda" relating to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. They also called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the pair.

    "They used to arrest people for doing stuff like this," lamented Whoopi Goldberg.

    Perhaps Goldberg was referring to U.S. government efforts to root out Russian spies who fed information to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It is a crime to share state secrets with hostile foreign governments. But that's not what Gabbard and Carlson are doing; it's not even close.

    I think people who falsely accuse others of treason should be locked up! But only because I want to see Whoopi Goldberg and Mitt Romney in the same jail cell, and have their conversation videoed for posterity.

  • It's a feedback loop, I think. Jayanta Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff of the Brownstone Institute get mostly right, though: Vaccine Fanaticism Fuels Vaccine Skepticism.

    The development of COVID-19 vaccines is said to be one of the few successes during a pandemic that saw major failures in public health strategy and treatments. While the vaccines can’t prevent transmission, they have likely reduced mortality. Before the pandemic, there was almost universal trust in vaccines, and vaccine skeptics were a small but vocal minority.

    With a life-saving vaccine during a major pandemic, one would expect more vaccine enthusiasm, but instead, it collapsed. What happened?

    Ironically, the problem is vaccine fanaticism, which has caused vaccine skepticism, with problematic consequences extending beyond COVID-19 to trust in other vaccines. Vaccine fanaticism comes in many forms.

    In their drive to increase uptake, the vaccine fanatics denied basic scientific facts, such as immunity provided by COVID recovery. This, despite numerous careful studies that showed that COVID-recovery provides better protection versus both infection and severe disease than the vaccine. Nevertheless, vaccine fanatics insisted that natural immunity shouldn’t “count” in the vaccine mandate schemes. By denying science, the vaccine fanatics created further public skepticism about the vaccines.

    One of the authors, Dr. Martin Kulldorff (of Harvard Medical School), was yanked from a CDC vaccine safety advisory committee after he publicly disagreed with one of the recommendations. Four days later, the CDC reversed that recommendation, but the lesson is clear: dissent from the Official Version is prohibited, even if it means you were correct, four days early.

  • Who's sorry now? A feelgood story from Kyle Smith: Woke Oscar Favorite Forced to Apologize for Unwoke Remark about Williams Sisters

    The runup to the Oscars is always filled with intrigue, as nominees try to cast themselves as victims or underdogs. For directing the woke Netflix Western The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion is the obvious choice to win Best Director this year (she would be only the second woman ever to take home the honor, plus the movie is about self-hating homophobia and so can hardly fail to win Best Picture) and got a major boost when her work was dissed by veteran cowboy actor Sam Elliott, who said her film was “a piece of sh**” and indicated he wasn’t fond of the movie’s “allusions to homosexuality.” Elliott looked like a bully (if not a homophobe), so things were looking brilliant for Campion.

    But at the Critics Choice Awards last night, Campion made an ill-advised swipe at tennis’s Williams Sisters, who were present because the film about their family, King Richard starring Will Smith, was nominated for several awards (and won Best Actor for its star). Accepting Best Director honors from the critics’ group (don’t blame me; I voted for Kenneth Branagh), Campion rather arrogantly said, “You know, Serena and Venus, you are such marvels. However, you do not play against the guys like I have to.”

    That sound you heard was probably me trying unsuccessfully to muffle my laughter.

    Those award divisions by sex are interesting. Oscar has "Best Actor" and "Best Actress", but (as Ms. Campion noted) not "Best Director" and "Best Directress". That's pretty inconsistent, but who knows what the Correct remedy is? Get rid of the Actor/Actress split? (Can't the ladies compete with the gentlemen on equal terms?) Or go with separate Director/Directress awards?

    And in the spirit of the times, shouldn't there be "Best" awards set aside for people of various colors/ethnicities/etc.?

    "And the award for 'Best Acting Performance by a Gay Asian Woman' goes to…"