My end-of-the-week work chores are catching up with me, so today just a web recommendation. If you haven't found it yet, I highly recommend memeorandum.com, a site where I get a lot of the stuff I blog about. It's a great daily collection of what reporters, commentators and political junkies are writing about, both at news sites and on individual blogs and web sites. And below most articles are links to other people's reactions to it, so it's possible on the hottest topics of the day to read discussion from all across the political spectrum. As far as I've been able to tell, the site doesn't have a particular philosophical bent. It seems to aim to be just a collection point for whatever people are talking about at any given moment.A few of the things there today:
•Proof that the left is still losing its collective mind over Donald Trump. From The New York Times, an opinion pieice worries that Trump might be a threat to democracy. Yes, he is a budding dictator who is the first American politician with authoritarian tendencies to win the presidency?!? The price for sheer audacity, though, goes to Slate, where a writer says that "what gave us Donald Trump gave us Dylann Roof." Yes, he actually claims that the kind of racism motivating a mass-murderer also motivated the people who voted for Trump.
Trump wanted to "make America great again," where "America" was a metonym for a traditional, industrial, and white America, set against a rising tide of racial threats, from Hispanic immigrants and black protesters, to Muslim refugees and the specter of "radical Islamic terrorism." With this promise to restore the moral, cultural, and political dominance of that white America, Trump grabbed the reins of the Republican Party and never let go. Roof, in his own telling, wanted to awaken white America to the alleged threat of blacks and other nonwhites. "We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet," he wrote. "Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me." I alone can fix it.
Positively breathtaking.•A collection of reactions to that instantaneoulsy famous epic face-off between Tucker Carlson and a senior Newsweek writer.
•One more example of the nuttiness that is Whoopi Goldberg. On a recent episode of "The View," she said celebratiing Christmas and the decision to get an abortion are the same. I think. To tell you the truth, I'm not exaclty sure what she meant, but it ticked a lot of people off.
•Facebook's announcement of how it plans to combat "fake news." The main tactic seems to be letting readers tag the stories they think don't hold up. Isn't that sort of using the problem to fix the problem? And what are they going to do about the sources of most of the fake news, mainstream press organizations?
•And the best of the day, Megan McCardle's latest take on global warming. She doesn't take a position one way or the other but instead takes on the people on both sides of the debate who want the people on the other side to shut up.
That’s why we establish a very broad and neutral principle that you don’t go after anyone for what they believe, whether those ideas are right or wrong, whether they are held by a government employee or a corporation, and whether those who hold them are in power or out of it.
But when it comes to climate change, as with many other highly charged debates in our country, people are increasingly fond of issuing themselves special licenses to abandon those norms. Sure, in general they are in favor of free speech and open inquiry. But this issue, they say, is too important to allow the people who disagree with them to propagate their appalling misinformation.
This is, of course, exactly backward. Ideas that are unimportant, or that no one disagrees with, do not require protection from government interference.
As a writer, she specializes in economics (and she is very good at it), but she seems to understand freedom of expresssion and the First Amendment better than a lot of the so-called experts.