Forgive me, Gentle Reader; I haven’t the strength to think up a cleverer title today. Just read on.
1. Ownership of books is under threat.
People were concerned about major software vendors (especially Microsoft) going to a “rent” rather than “buy” model for important applications. But what about the next most important digital good we enjoy: reading material?
Maybe you’ve noticed how things keep disappearing—or stop working—when you “buy” them online from big platforms like Netflix and Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. You can watch their movies and use their software and read their books—but only until they decide to pull the plug. You don’t actually own these things—you can only rent them. But the titanic amount of cultural information available at any given moment makes it very easy to let that detail slide. We just move on to the next thing, and the next, without realizing that we don’t—and, increasingly, can’t—own our media for keeps….
Unfortunately, today’s mega-publishers and book distributors have glommed on to the notion of “expiring” media, and they would like to normalize that temporary, YouTube-style notion of a “library.” That’s why, last summer, four of the world’s largest publishers sued the Internet Archive over its National Emergency Library, a temporary program of the Internet Archive’s Open Library intended to make books available to the millions of students in quarantine during the pandemic. Even though the Internet Archive closed the National Emergency Library in response to the lawsuit, the publishers refused to stand down; what their lawsuit really seeks is the closing of the whole Open Library, and the destruction of its contents. (The suit is ongoing and is expected to resume later this year.) A close reading of the lawsuit indicates that what these publishers are looking to achieve is an end to the private ownership of books—not only for the Internet Archive but for everyone.
Now, The Nation is nobody’s prayer book, as we papists like to say. But the factual assertions in this article appear to be objectively correct. That worries me, as
I’m not just the president of Hair Club for Men I’m not just a writer but an avid reader, and a huge fraction of what I read today is in eBook form. Something to think about.
[Applause to Gerard Vanderleun for the link.]
2. Some very, very bad ideas appear immortal.
If this story is at all factual, quite a lot of people will be locking and loading very soon:
Before anyone cries conspiracy theory, this document is sourced from the CDC website.
The CDC has outlined a plan to segregate “at-risk” individuals from the general population and place them into internment camps.
Their document includes the elderly and immunocompromised.
But who wants to predict they’ll eventually add the unvaccinated to the list of “at-risk” individuals?
Labeled “green zones,” the CDC document states these internment camps will rip “at-risk” people from their families and relocate them to designated facilities.
A protocol of establishing concentration camps within our own communities in the United States.
Another conspiracy theory coming true before our eyes.
The Stew Peters Show had the report on Rumble.
Please read the whole thing. Then think “Bergen-Belsen.” Or “Buchenwald.” Or “Japanese relocation centers.” And pray.
3. The inflection point for Wokeism…
…could prove to be this matter of transgenderism:
Erick Erickson, a self-described conservative, was temporarily suspended for saying Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand trans weightlifter, is a man. She is transgender. In other words, she is a man who changed certain physical characteristics to look like a woman. Biologically, she still has the chromosomes she was born with — XY.
Erickson was repeating Allie Stuckley’s comments about that biological fact. Stuckley and Erickson are back on Twitter and Erickson is sticking by his biological statement of fact.
People are already upset about the censorious behavior of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and with good reason. But this business of transgenderism being treated as beyond criticism by a supposedly open forum could be the last straw.
I have two transwoman friends. I don’t give them a hard time about it, but the biological reality is what Erick Erickson has stated: they are men who have elected to present themselves to the world as female. Those around them accept their presentations and treat them as they would like to be treated. (For the record, so do I.) Whether we are enabling them is a moot point; we have decided to avert strife over the subject, as long as peace can be maintained.
But if such cases are tolerable – and my two friends are agreeable sorts in every important way, which to me is the sole criterion of importance – the suppression of dissenting views is not. Neither is transgender evangelism aimed at impressionable children, nor the use of corporate or political power to impose such notions willy-nilly. That line must be drawn and maintained. Any serious attempt to erase it would eventuate in social chaos even worse than what we already suffer.
4. Few things are as amusing as a panicky politician.
Cuomo has reportedly been working on brokering a deal with the Assembly to get out of the impeachment predicament.
In exchange for his promise not to run again in 2022, the Assembly would hold off from impeaching him, according to The City.
Heastie denied the notion at his Monday press conference, telling reporters, “I am not negotiating any deals.”
From Cuomo’s perspective, this would be the best compromise he could reach, and he would at least tie his father when it comes to the length of their tenures as governor.
For Cuomo’s accusers, such a deal would let the governor get off far too easy.
Debra Katz, an attorney representing the former Cuomo staffer Charlotte Bennett, has remained adamant that justice for her client involves the legislature holding Cuomo accountable.
“Further delay is an affront to the women who came forward and to survivors everywhere,” Katz wrote in a statement last week.
Cuomo has done enormous damage to New York residents. His removal from office should have occurred at least a year ago. But this is New York, the Vampire State, where the Left runs things as it pleases unless and until it’s caught buggering a corpse in Macy’s window at high noon on Christmas day – at which point the Left’s media handmaidens revive the old chorus: It’s just about sex, just about sex, just about sex…
5. “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”
While honoring the efforts and sacrifices of the people whose struggles culminated in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that ended school segregation in this country, New York University Professor Derrick Bell provocatively suggested last week that generations of black children might have been better off if the case had failed.
“From the standpoint of education, we would have been better served had the court in Brown rejected the petitioners’ arguments to overrule Plessy v. Ferguson,” Bell said, referring to the 1896 Supreme Court ruling that enforced a “separate but equal” standard for blacks and whites. While acknowledging the deep injustices done to black children in segregated schools, Bell argued the court should have determined to enforce the generally ignored “equal” part of the “separate but equal” doctrine.
Bell, a visiting law professor at New York University, lectured at the opening of a symposium April 15-16 to mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown decision. Presented by the Program in American Studies, the event included two discussion panels that considered some of the unrecognized catalysts and unintended consequences of the historic court case.
I never fail to get a chuckle out of black racialists’ cries of grievance. Even when they get what they wanted –all of it – they’re never satisfied. By now the reason should be quite plain:
But let’s imagine that we could get into a time machine. go back to the Brown decision, and somehow induce the Supreme Court to give professor Bell what he’s suggested. Fast forward to 2021. What do you suppose we would see? Genuine equality of educational achievement between white and black kids? Or perhaps a state of affairs comparable to today?
My guess is that black-run schools with all-black student bodies would produce black graduates with grades comparable to those of their white counterparts. However, while the grades would be comparable, the actual learning and achievements of the graduates would not. The business world, in which performance is ultimately all that matters, would soon discover that black graduates average less capable, less diligent, and more troublesome than whites with the same academic credentials. So the black racialists would still stridently demand legal accommodations for “their people.”
But at least a few more white kids would escape high school alive and unmarred.
That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. I have to get to work on Novel #18. No, I’m not going to tell you what it’s about just yet. Suffice it to say that it will involve, at the very minimum, a gallon of white, latex-based paint, a dozen oysters on the half-shell, and the Eiffel Tower or a facsimile thereof. As you can imagine, a great deal of work lies ahead.
But do have a nice day.
Your humble Curmudgeon Emeritus,