Federal regs II: State Dept’s new regs would transform the Internet beyond recognition

Keep the Internet free.

dont-mess-with-internet-404Rusty Weiss called to our attention Monday morning an update to “arms trafficking” regulations posted to the Federal Register last week by the State Department.  The National Rifle Association has sounded the alarm, having recognized quickly how these new regs would effectively shut down the exchange of information among gun enthusiasts on the web.

But the chokehold effect would be felt in other quarters as well.  This move by the State Department is an absolutely terrible idea across the board.  Even if it dealt with international trade in pork bellies or chicken parts, rather than arms, it should still be opposed strenuously on principle.

Its effect will be to make a tremendous chunk of what people talk about on the web every day subject to prior restraint, by, of all agencies, the State Department – or, potentially, other federal agencies, depending on topic. Continue reading “Federal regs II: State Dept’s new regs would transform the Internet beyond recognition”

Bruce/‘Caitlyn’ Jenner and the collapse of the Western mind

Know thyself.

Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker." (Image via bigthink.com)
Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (Image via bigthink.com)

There is no way to write comprehensively about a subject this big in one post, and I won’t try here.  I want to just highlight a few points that have struck me forcefully this week, as the spectacle of media fawning over Jenner – whom I will call XY Jenner – unfolds before us.

The first and most basic point is that we have a body of empirical knowledge that tells us XY Jenner is a human male, and that he cannot be made female.  If one day we will have the ability to manipulate DNA in such a way that that is possible, we don’t have it today.

The concepts of “gender,” and nature-vs.-nurture, are meaningful ones.  But the evidence of our eyes, and the sum total of our shared knowledge, tell us that male (XY) and female (XX) correlate powerfully with “man” and “woman,” to such a pervasive extent that there is no value for our lives in tossing that assumption aside. Continue reading “Bruce/‘Caitlyn’ Jenner and the collapse of the Western mind”

Shell, with unexpected Arctic drilling approval, looks like Obama’s kind of oil company

Backscratch-fest?

Shell-leased rig Noble Discoverer in the Chukchi Sea. (Image: Royal Dutch Shell via LAT)
Shell-leased rig Noble Discoverer in the Chukchi Sea. (Image: Royal Dutch Shell via LAT)

As noted earlier today, the Obama administration on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell “conditional approval” to drill an Arctic oil lease off the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea – a move that has environmental groups in a tizzy.

Shell actually gave up on its hopes of drilling in the Arctic a little over a year ago after a setback in federal court, and at the time, environmental groups and the media were satisfied that the situation made sense, given the administration’s well-known posture on environmental issues and energy.

The mainstream media have been silent this week on why the Obama administration, with its pattern of uniform and ruthless hostility to the fossil fuels industry, has given this approval.  Even the New York Times, which is usually able to mouth a narrative planted by administration officials, has offered no explanation. Continue reading “Shell, with unexpected Arctic drilling approval, looks like Obama’s kind of oil company”

Dumbing debate down on the Mohammed cartoon contest and Jade Helm 15

Dumb and dumber.

Pamela-GellerThe ticket price for joining the mainstream debates on many topics these days seems to be ritual ad hominem attacks.  Besides being unhelpful, this is evidence of profound societal illness.

The phenomenon isn’t confined to the left.  We see it more and more frequently from the right-that-ought-to-know-better – or, perhaps, the right-that-ought-to-have-more-backbone.  I wrote about one major instance of it last year during the crisis at the Bundy ranch, when conservative pundits whom we have counted on to bring logic and intellectual courage to public issues suffered “CLIF”:  complete loss of intellectual function.  They went from being able to talk about things like government limits and property rights to being unable to do anything except rail against Cliven Bundy. Continue reading “Dumbing debate down on the Mohammed cartoon contest and Jade Helm 15”

A world without a hegemon

Interesting times.

flag tatters 2New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!