Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cruising the Web

George Leef reflects on liberals used to care a whole lot more about free speech and freedom of association. Now...not so much.

Timothy P. Carney writes on the same theme at how eager some colleges and other organizations are to shut down speech with which they disagree.

Veronique de Rugy analyzes how all the dire predictions by Keynesians that the sequester last year would cost around anywhere from 700,000 to over two million jobs just never came to pass.

Remembering the worst journalism of 2014.

Heather MacDonald refutes the big lie of how white cops are targeting black young men.
The mayor’s irresponsible rhetoric was a violation of his role as the city’s leader and as its main exponent of the law. If he really believes that his son faces a significant risk from the police, he is ignorant of the realities of crime and policing in the city he was elected to lead. There is no New York City institution more dedicated to the proposition that “black lives matter” than the New York Police Department; thousands of black men are alive today who would have been killed years ago had data-driven policing not brought down the homicide levels of the early 1990s. The Garner death was a tragic aberration in a record of unparalleled restraint. The NYPD fatally shot eight individuals last year, six of them black, all posing a risk to the police, compared with scores of blacks killed by black civilians. But facts do not matter when crusading to bring justice to a city beset by “centuries of racism.”

Jonah Goldberg says what I've been thinking. As conservatives, we've objected when the left seeks to blame conservatives when some crazy guy goes on a shooting spree as many liberals sought to do after the shooter in Tucson that killed six people and so badly injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords or when Bill Clinton blamed Rush Limbaugh for Timothy McVeigh's bombing in Oklahoma City. There was no direct connection between conservatives and those murders. And when there is a guy who shot two policemen in NYC, he is the man who is guilty. We should certainly note the climate of violence encouraged against policemen by so many protesters, but ultimately the murderer is the one to blame. Goldberg notes the double standard we're seeing now compared to Tuscon or Oklahoma City.
Now we have two New York City policemen dead. The killer's postings on social media make it abundantly clear he was motivated in part by the intense furor over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. One of Sharpton's “Million Marchers” mobs even chanted, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!”

Going by the standards liberals established, Sharpton clearly has blood on his hands (for this cop-slaying and other hate crimes from his earliest days as a race hustler). And the blame hardly ends there if you go by the rules that were applied to Palin and others.

But here's the problem: Those rules stink.

Sharpton is a special case; he should have been pelted from the public stage decades ago. But it would be ridiculous to believe that De Blasio or Holder — or Obama — wanted this tragedy.

Double standards are seductive. If you've been demonized unfairly, it is only human to turn the tables at the first opportunity. Giving in to that temptation, however, leads to madness. Conservatives should take the high road — and liberals should join them — the next time a madman gives them an opportunity to take the low road.
We should certainly criticize the climate of encouraging violence against policemen and how vilely De Blasio accused the police of deliberately racist actions against blacks, but we shouldn't blame politicians for one murderer's actions.

We certainly don't need the federal government giving a million and a half in federal grants to a NY legal aid group that has put out a rap video calling for revenge against policemen.

It's not been a good few weeks for the liberal narrative of how the world works.

China has contracted with Nicaragua to build a new canal to siphon traffic and money away from the Panama Canal. Will environmentalists get as excited about the environmental impact of this project as well as how it displace the people who live in the area as they do about actions that the US has taken?
The proposed canal is set to intersect Lake Nicaragua, known locally as Lake Cocibolca, sending cargo ships and tankers straight through the largest source of freshwater in Central America. Further, the canal is expected to displace tens of thousands of mostly rural and indigenous landholders and would likely devastate over 400,000 acres of rainforests and wetlands, which scientists say are critical to local and regional biodiversity conservation efforts.

According to Ohio State University doctoral candidate Chris Hartmann writing for Foreign Policy in Focus, “Farmers and residents near the lake are concerned that the proposed canal will disrupt subsistence agricultural practices, further pollute the lake, and decrease water for personal consumption and irrigation. Both farmers and residents worry they will be evicted from their lands, and many will refuse to leave willingly.”

Some politicos try to figure out if Santa Claus is a Republican or Democrat. Who says he's even American?

Jeb Bush is quite wily in releasing the emails he wrote as governor online. They would have come out anyway as journalists have obtained copies of some of his emails. He did more than any politician I've ever heard of in office in his communications with ordinary citizens. Unless there is some smoking gun in there, it will put attention on his time as governor and his openness with Florida's citizens. And we can anticipate lots of stories focusing on his time as governor as reporters comb through the website he's planning to establish. And if he does get the nomination, the contrast with the Clintons will be quite stark.