Bill Maher Has Quite the Message for Social Justice Warriors

HBO’s Bill Maher has become the voice of reason amongst those on the left. He frequently says what most Americans are thinking: that the Democratic Party and progressives have taken things too far.

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The moderate Democrat warned Americans of one overarching reality: everyone is online and everyone faces the threat of being canceled for something they said in the past.

“If you think it’s just for celebrities, no. In an era where everyone is online, everyone is a public figure,” Maher explained.

He used the example of a Hispanic electric worker in San Diego. The man was fired because someone reported him for holding up a “white supremacy” symbol outside of his truck. According to Maher, he was doing something as simple as “flicking a booger.”

“Is this really who we want to become, a society of phony, clenched a**hole avatars, walking on eggshells, always looking over your shoulder without getting ratted out for something that has nothing to do with your character or morals?” Maher asked rhetorically. “Think of everything you’ve ever texted, emailed, searched for, tweeted, blogged, or said in passing.”

Source: Bill Maher has Quite the Message for Social Justice Warriors

Why did the US Postal Service’s performance decline last year?

Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hauled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy before it and spent the better part of five and a half hours denouncing him. In part, majority Democrats were politicking — they rehashed their calumny that DeJoy was a Trumpy mephistopheles who plotted to steal the election by delaying mail-in ballots.

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As the figure above shows, on-time delivery slid modestly in July and August and then cratered in late November and December.

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In his written testimony, DeJoy pointed to various factors that drove down USPS delivery performance: “Throughout the peak season, the Postal Service faced multiple challenges, including significant employee shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple winter storms in the Northeast, capacity issues with airlifts and trucking, and a historic high level of mail and package volumes.”

Under questioning, the Postmaster General cited a factor given too little attention: The USPS was overwhelmed by a surfeit of parcels.

The USPS was built to carry paper mail, not boxes. The giant machines used to sort letter mail and postcards cannot be used to sort parcels. A USPS 18-wheel truck, DeJoy said, can carry 500,000 pieces of paper mail but only about 5,000 boxes.

Source: Why did the US Postal Service’s performance decline last year?

CPAC Is Considering Legal Options After Hyatt Breathes New Life Into Nazi Conspiracy Theory

The American Conservative Union (ACU), the organization behind the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), is “seriously considering all options,” ACU President Matt Schlapp told PJ Media on Monday after ACU’s general counsel sent a letter to Hyatt protesting the company’s decision to breathe new life into a conspiracy theory regarding the CPAC stage.

Leftist detractors strained to find a Nazi symbol related to CPAC, and they seized on the shape of the main stage. Leftists claimed that the stage was an inverted Odal rune, a symbol some Neo-Nazi groups use.

The suggestion was absurd, of course. American Conservative Union (ACU) Chair Matt Slapp denounced the “stage design conspiracies” as “outrageous and slanderous.” CPAC supports the Jewish State of Israel, hosted multiple Jewish prayer services and a Shabbat dinner, and denounces the anti-Semitism of Democrats who spread a modern blood libel against Israel. Even the left-leaning Snopes fact-checked the insinuation that CPAC designed the stage to look like a Nazi symbol and found it “unproven.”

Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) had the perfect response. “The left is desperate to draw attention from their elevation of antisemites in Congress… so they claim a stage design is antisemitic,” he said on Twitter. “The Left traffics in ‘dog whistles’ so incredibly sensitive that only leftists can hear them, as compared to the supposed targets, who only see a stage.”

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According to ACU, Hyatt worked with the conservative group to organize the event, and Hyatt had “approved and worked collaboratively to build this stage.” ACU’s general counsel, David Safavian, sent a scathing letter to Hyatt Executive Chairman Thomas Pritzker on Monday. While the letter did not make any explicit legal threats, ACU’s claims suggest the organization might sue Hyatt for defamation.

“Hyatt made a decision to issue additional statements late last night after the conference ended that disparaged and defamed us. These statements appear to validate demonstrably false and malicious claims,” Safavian wrote. “When we learned of the orchestrated assault on us, we immediately contacted your senior management to set the record straight. Together, we quickly responded to these slanderous accusations.”

“Your hotel’s senior management was on notice and acknowledged that these claims were false and agreed to share any statement before its release,” the ACU lawyer added. He said the organization was “shocked” that Hyatt issued additional statements after the conference, statements he said were “irresponsible, untrue, and contribute to a climate of division and hatred.”

“For months we have collaborated with your team on logistics, including sharing, reviewing, and approving the stage design that was created by one of our subcontractors. The fact that no one on the Hyatt staff ever raised concerns during the process shows the ridiculous nature of your statements,” Safavian added.

“Moreover, your statements falsely conceal your oversight role. In fact, the Hyatt Hotel, with our organization and subcontractors, approved and worked collaboratively to build this stage. Only after a coordinated far-left assault to destroy our conference arose did you succumb to lies and compound them with your own,” the ACU lawyer argued.

 

Source: CPAC Is Considering Legal Options After Hyatt Breathes New Life Into Nazi Conspiracy Theory

A Serious Argument Contains Serious Argumentation

(Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to a college student who tells me that she was “shocked,” when while doing research for a debate on welfare policy, she encountered my blog posts on minimum wages.

Ms. L___:

Thanks for your e-mail.

You allege that my and other “neoliberals’” opposition to minimum wages “shows” our racism. You reach this conclusion by asserting that, because blacks generally are paid less than whites, “raising the minimum wage to $15 will raise more black than white incomes.” Therefore, you reason, opposition to raising the minimum wage must be rooted in racism.

Are you aware that most research on the effects of minimum-wage hikes shows that, while some workers do get higher hourly pay, some other workers lose employment? Pushing up employers’ costs of labor makes labor less desirable to employ. And so especially if you’re correct that “America as a nation is inherently racist,” then do you not worry that blacks will bear a disproportionately large share of these job losses? Might it then be said that support for minimum-wage hikes is evidence of racism?

I happen now to be re-reading a book that I recommend to you; it’s my late colleague Walter Williams’s 2011 volume, Race & Economics. In this book Walter presents ample documentation of the racist consequences of minimum wages, as well as of other smiley-face-wearing government interventions, such as statutes mandating equal-pay-for-equal-work. Walter shows also that blacks would now bear a disproportionate share of the unemployment caused by minimum wages even in the absence today of racism.

Ms. L___, you might in good faith disagree with the arguments, and question the data, that are presented in Walter’s book, in the paper linked above (and in those linked below), and in the mountains of other research that reveal minimum wages to be an enemy of blacks and other minorities. I would welcome your reaction to this research after you study some of it.

But even if you have no wish to communicate further with me about minimum wages, it’s in your own interest to carefully study this research. If you’re genuinely convinced that minimum wages are “one of society’s best antipoverty and pro-equity tools,” then you owe it to the groups whose welfare you champion to make yourself as informed as possible in order to be as effective as possible an advocate for minimum wages. You’ll want to know your opponents’ strongest arguments so that you’ll be prepared to counter these with your strongest arguments.

To learn your opponents’ strongest arguments against minimum wages, consult the works of scholars such as – to name only a few – Walter WilliamsThomas SowellDavid Neumark and William WascherJeffrey ClemensJonathan Meer, and Richard Burkhauser.

You’ll greatly improve your prospects of swaying people to support minimum wages if, rather than accusing opponents of minimum wages of racism, you instead address the best arguments offered by these people and then do your best to explain why they are mistaken. If you’re correct about minimum wages, you should have no trouble doing so.

Source: A Serious Argument Contains Serious Argumentation

A City Prepares for a Trial

(John Hinderaker) Derek Chauvin goes on trial for murder in the death of George Floyd on March 8. His trial has been separated from that of the other three officers who have been charged; theirs will begin in August. Chauvin is the principal defendant.

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I believe it was the day after Floyd’s death when Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey publicly questioned the fact that the four police officers were still free men. Why weren’t they already in jail? And Governor Walz has publicly pronounced the officers guilty of “murder.” Meanwhile, though, it has come out that Floyd’s blood contained two or three times a lethal dose of fentanyl. He also showed the classic symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, complaining repeatedly of an inability to breathe and foaming at the mouth. His autopsy revealed that his lungs were heavier than normal, reflecting the accumulation of fluid that occurs with a fentanyl overdose. So it is far from clear that Derek Chauvin murdered anyone, or indeed that the four police officers had anything to do with Floyd’s death, which apparently, based on the evidence now available, was caused by a drug overdose.

But it is much too late for the authorities to acknowledge that their case against Chauvin et al. is far from airtight. They are committed. What we don’t know is whether an impartial jury can be empaneled, and whether any jury will have the courage to return a verdict of not guilty. Everyone in Minneapolis knows that the authorities were not able to defend even the Third Precinct Station House, which was taken over and burned by rioters. Nor were they able to defend a two-mile stretch of Lake Street, or other areas in Minneapolis and St. Paul that were destroyed by mobs. What juror will be willing to count on the authorities to protect his own house from being burned down, if he fails to return the verdict that is demanded by the mob?

Source: A City Prepares for a Trial

More on Officer Sicknick’s death

[NOTE: Please see my previous posts on this subject.]

Here’s a recent interview with Officer Sicknick’s mother. Note that it’s in the British paper The Daily Mail. It’s not unusual for British papers to cover events in the US more thoroughly than our own MSM, and to publish things the left wouldn’t be enthusiastic about here:

The mother of the US Capitol police officer who died following the riot on January 6 believes that her son succumbed to a fatal stroke – that he was not bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher as reported.

Yet more than one month after Officer Brian Sicknick’s death on January 7, she has admitted that they are still in the dark as to what exactly caused that catastrophic episode.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com Gladys Sicknick, 74, was unequivocal in her assertion that Officer Brian Sicknick was not struck on the head and that as far as the family knows her son had a fatal stroke.

She said, ‘He wasn’t hit on the head no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure.

‘We’d love to know what happened.’

Please let that sink in: apparently the family has not been told the results of any autopsy. Has there been an autopsy prior to Officer Sicknick’s cremation? I have never read anything that indicates an answer to that question.

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Please read the whole thing. You probably know most of it, because it’s been covered on this blog several times since January, but here’s an excerpt:

…January 8, Sicknick’s father, Charles, 81, told Reuters that on January 7, as they rushed from their homes in New Jersey to DC, the family were told that Sicknick had a blood clot on his brain and had suffered a stroke. He was being kept alive on a ventilator but was dead by the time they got there.

Yet these few publicly available facts were bulldozed over by political fervor and it was the unattributed account of a brutal attack, also reported by the Associated Press, that gained traction.

Less than 24 hours after his death, with no autopsy, no confirmation of any sign of blunt trauma, no investigation nor due process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the ‘perpetrators’ of Sicknick’s ‘attack’ to be brought to justice and vowed, ‘We will not forget.’

Despite the family’s earnest desire to the contrary, Sicknick’s death was politicized and seized on as an exemplar of all of the savagery of the pro-Trump mob’s assault on the temple of American democracy.

There’s a helpful timeline at the article, too.

Source: More on Officer Sicknick’s death

Some Covid Links

Phil Magness recalls Anthony Fauci’s reckless fear-mongering, nearly 40 years ago, on AIDS. A slice:

The damage was already done though, as the media went to work stoking alarm about AIDS transmission through simple routine contacts. Hundreds of newspapers disseminated the distressing theory from Fauci’s article. Writing a few weeks later, conservative columnist Pat Buchanan enlisted Fauci as the centerpiece of a rebuttal against Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, who told him “there is no evidence…that the general population is threatened by [AIDS].”

On July 14, both Buchanan’s column and its excerpt of Fauci’s article were entered into the congressional record along with moralizing commentary that assigned blame for the disease to homosexual establishments and gatherings. Unfounded fears of transmission risk through simple contact, and accompanying social ostracization of the disease’s victims, became one of the most notorious and harmful missteps of the entire AIDS crisis.

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And here’s David Harsanyi on Fauci.

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This story of American ineptitude in the face of a pandemic, popular among statists, pessimists, and left-wingers pining for federalized control over states, is a myth. The United States has performed just as well as most Western nations, where fatality rates are between 100 and 190 per 100,000, with variations most likely due to density, climate, inherent social behavior, or, one imagines, reasons yet to be figured out. This is true before we even begin taking into consideration the disparity in ways nations count fatalities, the meticulousness with which they count them, or the transparency with which they report them.

 

Source: Some Covid Links

Are lockdowns one of the most catastrophic policy errors of the century?

Dennis Prager has arguedyes“.

When respected scientific experts sitting on prestigious governmental advisory committees warned citizens early last year that the only way to protect themselves against Covid-19 was to shut down their businesses and stay at home until public health officials deemed it safe to come out again, most complied, even at great personal and economic cost.

The result has been one of the most far-reaching and unprecedented social experiments of modern times: the systematic and mandatory paralysis of a large swathe of normal social activity, including schooling, work, leisure, and mobility. If this giant experiment had been run on a one-off basis for a few weeks, the impact might have been moderate; but as it morphed into “rolling” lockdowns, the cure became far worse than the disease.

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The question is, what have been the fruits of this giant public policy experiment? Have lockdowns actually been vindicated by their net benefits?

In order to adequately address this question, we must be clear on one thing: the appropriate benchmark for assessing the merits of lockdown policies is not just their capacity to reduce Covid infections or deaths, but their capacity to advance the overall health and well-being of affected populations.

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The predictable harms of lockdowns, which will have to be carefully documented and tallied over the coming months and years, are extensive.

They include the worst global recession, according to World Bank analysts, since World War II, and dramatic increases in poverty and unemployment (currently at 25% in Ireland, including recipients of Covid payments according to the Central Office of Statistics), which are known to bring in their train declines in mental and physical health. This is also resulting in reduced public funding for healthcare due to a depressed economy; and an increase in social inequality, as day labourers and contract workers are uniquely vulnerable to the economic shock of lockdowns.

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