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Current Affairs

December 15, 2014

"LARRY SUMMERS: It Shouldn't Take This Long To Fix An Escalator"

Damn right.

But Larry is late to the party. See, for example, "D.C. Escalator Nightmare".

"How Hot Does It Have to Be to Break a Record?"

.01 degree F is not a big deal.

"Minneapolis Is Micromanaging the Food Supply"

What a surprise: "The city is finding out that more rules don't equal healthier eating."

But enacting rules and regulations are so much easier than trying to, you know, persuade people.

December 14, 2014

"It’s 1963 Again"

What do Liberals want? A huge part of it is in this short piece. They want--profoundly, desperately--for it to be 50 years ago. The Birmingham church bombing. The March on Washington. The 1964 Civil Rights Act. When they were young--so young--and so noble and fighting that really, really good fight. 

Go ahead and tell me again that conservatives are the ones who are living in the past.

"Finding Racism Where It Isn’t"

Holman Jenkins, Jr. details the government's attempt to find racial discrimination in the loan market. Well-done, but especially good is the final sentence:

Unfortunately, the truth may be that our government has simply fallen into the hands of liars and chiselers who have identified a shakedown that the current legal and political culture will let them get away with.

December 11, 2014

"Who Buys Music Anymore? A Statistical Inquiry"

It's mainly the olds who are still buying CDs.

December 10, 2014

"Liberalism Is a Hoax"

I've thought this for a long time. Still, it's nice to see some energetic support. Matthew Continetti:

Just-so stories, extravagant assertions, heated denunciations, empty gestures, moral posturing that increases in intensity the further removed it is from the truth: If the mainstream narration of our ethnic, social, and cultural life is susceptible to error, it is because liberalism is the prevailing disposition of our institutions of higher education, of our media, of our nonprofit and public sectors, and it is therefore cocooned from skepticism and incredulity and independent thought. Sometimes the truth punctures the bubble. And when that happens—and lately it seems to be happening with increasing frequency—liberalism itself goes on trial.

December 09, 2014

"How Washington made itself irrelevant"

By Bruce Katz, Vice-President of Brookings[!]:

Now that the midterms are behind us, let’s have an honest assessment of what’s really happening in our nation’s capital: The federal government’s power is diminishing. Washington is becoming less effective at addressing many of our nation’s problems and less consequential in bolstering the cities and regions that drive the economy.

"Welcome to the Failure Age!"

Question for discussion: does the writer of this New York Times article fully understand the implications of what he's written? Consider:

Over the last two decades, the destabilizing forces of computers and the Internet has spread to even the highest-paid professions. Corporations “were created to coordinate and organize communication among lots of different people,” says Chris Dixon, a partner at the venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “A lot of those organizations are being replaced by computer networks.” Dixon says that start-ups like Uber and Kickstarter are harbingers of a much larger shift, in which loose groupings of individuals will perform functions that were once the domain of larger corporations. “If you had to know one thing that will explain the next 20 years, that’s the key idea: We are moving toward a period of decentralization,” Dixon says.

So how will a huge, lethargic government centered in DC survive?

"The U-Va. Rape Case and Feminist Confusion"

Heather Wilhelm offers tough but apt criticism of some of UVa's students and faculty:

So it was odd to see how University of Virginia students, long trained in the feminist doctrine of “rape culture,” responded to this show of unadulterated evil. They organized—wait for it—a “Slut Walk.” In the face of Jackie’s story, students, as a freshman organizer named Maria Dehart told the U-Va. student paper, need to “fight against this victim-blaming, slut-shaming culture we have that sexualizes women, yet shames them for being sexual.”

Wait, what? Ms. Dehart has apparently not yet attended the freshman sociology seminar that will inform her that rape is usually about power and violence, not sex. We’ll leave that aside for now, however, because things get weirder. A later protest rally, organized by university faculty—and inspired, it must be remembered, by a supposed serious crime with a group of violent assailants apparently still on the loose, free to hurt other women—was officially titled (and again, please gird your loins) “Take Back the Party.”

“Take Back the Party”? What on earth does this even mean? Weren’t we talking about a reported gang rape? Rest assured, kids, the U-Va. faculty is no bunch of old, killjoy fuddy-duddies: “We are not here to shut down the party,” their public statement eagerly assures students. “We are here to support a SAFE social environment for women as well as men. This is a FACULTY action demanding an end to sexual assault at UVA." 

Note to the esteemed faculty at U-Va.: Writing things in ALL CAPS almost always makes you look a little CRAZY. Also, pushing that well-known fact aside, doesn’t this all seem terribly blasé? The way the faculty statement reads, you’d assume that gang rapes at fraternity events occur all the time—and if Jackie’s story is accurate, and gang rape is indeed a check-the-box fraternity pledge requirement, I guess that is indeed the case. Instead of “Taking Back the Party,” shouldn’t we be focusing on “Arresting the Rapists”? Anyone? Anyone? Jackie?

(This assumes, of course, that the story as reported is true.)

More of Ms. Wilhelm's fine work here.

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