I know that’s a photo from last night’s Red Sox World Series victory, but thinking about this catch by Andrew Benintendi it has certainly brightened MY morning…
1 (Psst! Joe, you idiot: George Wallace was crippled for life by an attempted assassination.) Said Joe Biden at a political rally two days ago, “This president is more like George Wallace than George Washington!” Long before Trump came along, Joe told African Americans that Mitt Romney would but them back in chains. I know it’s unfair to focus on Simple Joe (or Hillary, or Maxine, or Elizabeth, or Nancy, or Keith…) to characterize Democrats, but according to polls, this guy is currently the party front-runner for the Presidential nomination. [Pointer: Ann Althouse, who rejoined, “Because he doesn’t own slaves?”] Joe really is a boob, but he makes for good parlor games. My favorite comments in the Althouse thread…
“He’s more like George Washington…they both got elected president.”
“Trump is more like Elizabeth Warren because they’re both not Indians.”
“Because he doesn’t own slaves?” No, because he worries about black unemployment. Washington never worried about that.
“Because Wallace was a Democrat, like Trump was his whole life until 15 minutes before he ran for president?”
2. Fake News. New York Times headline: “Pipe Bombs Sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and CNN Offices.”
How much more dishonest can a single headline be? There were no “pipe bombs,” but hoax bombs, and the hoax bomb sent to “CNN offices” was addressed to John Brennan. The headline deceitfully aims to suggest that the target was the news media.
3. I figured this out when I was 17 years old. A new book called The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing, by Merve Emre, (Doubleday, 336 pages, $27.95) explains that the iconic personality test is junk science. I first took the test in high school, when my parents paid a psychologist to advise me where to apply to college. He complained that the battery of tests I took had contradictory results. Yes, that would be because it was so obvious how to manipulate them, and also how insulting they were, since any fool could see the little pigeon holes the tests were trying to stuff you into. Essentially, the test was designed to create bias on the part of employers. Writes Reason,
“This book is a useful study of how a dubious idea can gain traction if it arrives at the right time.”
There’s another parlor game: which dubious ideas are gaining traction now, supported by junk science, junk research, or false assumptions?
4. Why we can’t trust the government to spend our money, Exhibit 687, 342,091 billion: The Air Force used about $300,000 of the Defense Department budget to buy custom coffee mugs over for the 60th Aerial Port Squadron at Travis Air Force base in California. The metal mugs have the ability to reheat beverages while air refueling tankers are in flight. The cost of a single mug has doubled from $693 in 2016 to $1,280 in 2018. Project On Government Oversight’s report said that the mugs’ intended purpose of aiding “the crew’s alertness by providing caffeine” could be similarly achieved “with a few cans of Red Bull.” Unfortunately, they also break easily.
5. Professor Turley’s round-up of attacks on individual rights (for our own good, of course.). Turley’s blog Res Ipsa Loquitur has a global bumper crop of disturbing but increasingly typical attacks from sensitive progressive bureaucrats, activists or government agencies against core individual liberties:
- City officials in Oak Park, Michigan banned clown costumes for Halloween to protect “people [with] phobias and anxiety about clowns.” The slippery slope from this well-intentioned idiocy to banning “hate speech,” offensive speech, or any speech anyone finds upsetting is more of a cliff than a slope. See suggested parlor game in #3.
- An Ontario, Canada school board wants to ban “To Kill A Mockingbird” because “the use of racist texts as entry points into discussions about racism is hardly for the benefit of black students who already experience racism.This should give us pause — who does the use of these texts centre? Who does it serve? Why do we continue to teach them?…The idea that banning books is about censorship and that censorship limits free speech is often decried as a poor reason to keep the novel on schools’ reading lists as its racist themes make it violent and oppressive for black students.”
- In France, legislation is nearing passage that would make mocking accents a crime.
- England, meanwhile, is considering a measure to put a maximum calorie count* on pizzas, ready meals and sandwiches to combat obesity. Of course, this is what nationalized health care inevitably must lead to: if I have to pay for your lousy eating habits, I want my government to protect me by telling you what you can eat.
Let’s have a poll!
*In the original post, I left out “maximum” which apparently confused everyone. I’m sorry.