Well, I’ve solved the annoying traffic problem on Ethics Alarms: I’m not checking the traffic any more. It doesn’t affect anything but my ego and enthusiasm. My ego is a lifetime problem, but my enthusiasm is important, and there’s no reason to deliberately upset myself. I kicked the traffic in the metaphorical solar plexus by being such a health-weenie the last couple of weeks, but I have to just focus on content, trying to maintain variety, and staying dedicated to the mission here. William Saroyan, with whom I have more in common than is good for me, liked to say that an artist has not lived in vain if one human being sings his song. I’ve always tried to act as if I believed him, and it’s high time that I really did.
1. President Biden and I agree on this, at least. The President put the kibosh on President Trump’s half-baked—maybe 25% baked—National Garden of America Heroes project. Good. I explained why this was bad history and a waste of time and money here.
In Trump’s defense, at least his worst ideas didn’t cost trillions of dollars…
2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Most media outlets are parroting this, from NASDAQ:
“Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has unexpectedly decreased in the month of May, according to preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday.The report showed the consumer sentiment index dropped to 82.8 in May from 88.3 in April. The decrease surprised economists, who had expected the index to rise to 90.4.”Consumer confidence in early May tumbled due to higher inflation–the highest expected year-ahead inflation rate as well as the highest long term inflation rate in the past decade,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.”
Unexpectedly? After the new administration has behaved as if the national debt was in Monopoly money,the Left slow-walking the opening up of the economy when it should never have been shut down, and the enthusiastic socialists who write the checks paying Americans not to work? Are economists that stupid, or do they just think the public is that stupid?
3. Left-leaning blogs are calling this “asinine” It’s not. It’s called “following the law.” In Mississippi, the Constitution needs 20% signatures from five congressional districts to get a voter initiative on the ballot, but the state only has had only four districts for 20 years. Thus the state Supreme Court struck down a medical marijuana initiative that voters approved last fall, because the initiative didn’t reach the ballot as the Constitution requires. The nation’s pot-lovers are blaming the Court, but it’s not up to courts to act according to what the laws should say. They are bound by what the laws are. This is emblematic of what progressives call “anti-democratic judges”—those who refuse to make up what is legal according to what they wish it was. The decision tells the legislature, “Do your damn job. Fix the Constitution,” and alerts the public to get rid of the slugs who refuse to do it.
4. Gun buy-back stunts are prime “Do something!” nonsense. The National Bureau of Economic Research just published a paper titled “Have US Gun Buyback Programs Misfired?” Authored by economists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, San Diego State University, and Montana State University, the study reviewed 339 buybacks across 277 cities, examining public records to determine the number of firearms sold in each. The data is clear: gun buybacks do nothing to reduce gun crime. “Using data from the National Incident Based Reporting System, we find no evidence that GBPs reduce gun crime,” the researchers said. “Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, we also find no evidence that GBPs reduce suicides or homicides where a firearm was involved.”
Yes, people turn in their old guns for money, and buy newer, better ones. Who would have thought it? The programs are expensive and useless, but the public loves them.
Come to think of it, maybe the economists in #2 are right about the public…
5. I love this kind of thing, and by love, I mean I hate it…A current University of Wisconsin campus policy states
“All members of the University have a responsibility to promote and a right to expect … an environment that is free of harassment and free of insulting and demeaning comments and epithets based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, socioeconomic status, family status, or political views; and consistent enforcement of federal, state, and university protections against discriminatory treatment yet is free from any official speech codes.”
My favorite example, which I have recalled before, was the statement read into the minutes by a group of competitors plotting to freeze out another competitor not invited to the meeting. It reaffirmed all attendees’ support and compliance with federal antitrust laws, which the purpose of the meeting was to violate. Thus we have a speech code that is more sinister than a speech code because it is completely subjective
The purpose of this example of speech suppression on campus is, or should be, self-evident: the university wants to stifle any criticism of “woke” politics, like, just to pick an example out of the blue, Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory.