Plus Ça Change, Plus C'est La Même Chose

A 30-year-ago cartoon from the Reason archives:

[Call me Bro, OK?]

Also of note:

  • Stop me before I experience an unequal outcome! She's famed for her incoherent word salads, but she seened pretty straightforward in Ben Wilson's summary: Kamala Harris Says Government Must Enforce ‘Equal Outcomes’. From the Free Beacon:

    Vice President Kamala Harris spent Thursday afternoon lecturing college students about how the government must ensure "equal outcomes."

    "If we want equal outcomes, we need to take into account not everybody starts out on the same base, and we have to make adjustments," Harris told a crowd at Hampton University in Virginia on her month-long college tour called "Fight for Our Freedoms."

    She told students that "if we want fair outcomes, we must understand what are disparities, and then accommodate and adjust for those disparities if we want equal outcomes."

    Just kidding! It turns out the official transcript is pretty jumbled in the Kamala tradition:

    There’s an attack right now on diversity, equity, and inclusion … where supposed, so-called extreme leaders are suggesting it’s a bad thing to care about and pay attention to inequities, to say DEI is a bad thing, when in fact, if we want fair outcomes, we must understand what are disparities and then accommodate and adjust for those disparities if we want equal outcomes.

    So, environmental justice raises those points, right? Equitable outcomes. Are — is everyone coming out the same way? Well, if they don’t s- — look, if you don’t start on the same base — everybody can have an equal amount — you’re still not going to end up on the same base, right?

    If we want equal outcomes, we need to take into account not everybody starts out on the same base. And we have to make adjustments.

    She really overworks that baseball metaphor. People don't start out on the same base, but they must all end up on the same base.

  • Stop me before I lie again! Just kidding. Nobody's gonna stop him. Jeff Jacoby: As the deficit soars, Biden boasts that he has cut the deficit. After listing a few presidential whoppers…

    But worse still is a particular fiscal boast of Biden's that is so deceitful it has been repeatedly discredited by fact-checkers. All to no avail: Biden insists on trotting it out again and again, as he did in a speech on Labor Day.

    "In my first two years, all this stuff — guess what?" the president said in Philadelphia during an appearance before the local Sheet Metal Workers union. "I cut the deficit $1.7 trillion. Here's the bottom line: My economic plan is working. It's reducing the deficit."

    Biden has made that claim in scores of speeches, many of which are posted on the White House website. According to an online database of his public remarks, he has recited that statistic 44 times this year alone.

    But, to use a Bidenesque phrase, here's the thing: He hasn't cut the deficit by a penny.

    Our perennial reminder: Biden just signs the spending bills. The ones Congress plops on his desk.

    And who elected those bozos (and bozettes)? Oh, right.

  • Stop me before I take this low-wage job again! Kevin D. Williamson notes how workers ‘Dispossessed of Their Pathetic Livelihoods’ by automation (and AI) … actually wind up better off.

    Josh Hawley is a familiar type: the prep-school/Ivy League toff who grew up wealthy and has, for obviously self-interested reasons, appointed himself tribune of the plebs, champion of the working class, and zealous defender of literal McJobs—in this case, jobs working the drive-through window at fast-food restaurants.

    I suppose that young Josh Hawley might have learned something about the drive-through window at the bank of which his father was the president, but here is the voice of experience from an actual graduate of Burger King University and a veteran of the drive-through window at University Avenue and Loop 289 in Lubbock, Texas: 

    Don’t save these jobs.

    Really. Don’t.


    Hawley is joined by Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (now there’s a brace of them) in pushing a destructive, anti-market, anti-innovation, AI-regulation model that would base decisions in part on “effects on employment.” That sounds anodyne enough, but, in hearings with Microsoft President Brad Smith, Hawley made clear that he intends to see this construed in something very close to a literally Luddite fashion—he doesn’t want to see automation replace a single job, including (this was his example, and he dwelled on it) jobs running the drive-through windows at fast-food restaurants.

    KDW's headline quote is from this book which relates how (literal) cotton pickers in the South were replaced by one guy driving "International Harvester’s Model H-10-H"

    Did I say "one guy"? You can see a picture of the H-10-H here, and I'm pretty sure that's a lady in the driver's seat.

  • Stop me before I blindly trust scientists again! Jon Miltimore relates Carl Sagan's Final Warning on the Importance of Scientific Skepticism.

    The University of Chicago-trained astrophysicist pointed out that science is not simply “a body of knowledge, it's a way of thinking," one based on skepticism and questioning. It was imperative, he said, not just that people be educated in the sciences and grounded in healthy skepticism, but that people be allowed to question and challenge those in authority.

    "If we are not able to ask skeptical questions to interrogate those who tell us something is true to be skeptical of those in authority, then we're up for grabs for the next charlatan—political or religious—who comes ambling along.

    …It's a thing that Jefferson lay great stress on. It wasn't enough, he said, to enshrine some rights in the Constitution and the Bill or Rights, the people had to be educated and they have to practice their skepticism and their education. Otherwise, we don't run the government, the government runs us."

    Sagan’s warning was eerily prophetic. For the last three-plus years, we’ve witnessed a troubling rise of authoritarianism masquerading as science, which has resulted in a collapse in trust of public health.

    This collapse has been part of a broader and more partisan shift in Americans who say they have “a high degree of confidence in the scientific community.” Democrats, who had long had less confidence in the scientific community, are now far less skeptical. Republicans, who historically had much higher levels of trust in the scientific community, have experienced a collapse in trust in the scientific community.

    Miltimore draws a distinction that sloppy people tend to ignore: there's a difference between being "anti-science" (bad idea) and distrusting the "scientific community" (increasingly a good idea).

  • Stop me before I speak freely again! Scott Johnson uses that old Ring Lardner quip: Shut up, he explained. And, as a bonus, Mel Brooks.

    The Biden administration has deputized Krazee-Eyez Killa Jack Smith to put President Trump away some time before the 2024 presidential election. The train keeps a rollin’, banana republic style.

    Last week Smith filed a motion in his District of Columbia 2020 election case against Trump. Smith’s motion is supported by a 19-page memorandum that is posted online here. Jonathan Turley criticizes Smith’s motion in “Gagging Donald Trump: Why Smith’s ‘Narrowly Tailored Motion’ is Neither Narrow Nor Wise.”

    Section I.B. of Smith’s memorandum is headed “Since the Indictment, the Defendant Has Deployed Misleading and Inflammatory Statements About this Case to Undermine Confidence in the Justice System and Prejudice the Jury Pool.” The whole thing reminds me of Governor Le Petomane’s outburst in Blazing Saddles: “We’ve gotta protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen.” It’s actually worse than that, but that’s the idea. Appearances must be preserved.

    I didn't get a "harumph" out of that guy.

Last Modified 2024-01-28 3:04 PM EDT