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Some Non-Covid Links

John McWhorter writes wisely about the pretenses and dangers of the hyperwoke. (HT Arnold Kling) A slice:

Ibram Kendi is someone who, in the role of social scientist, proposes a “Department of Antiracism,” in neglect of a little something called the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Kendi’s insight on education, untethered to any engagement with pedagogical or psychometric theory, is that we should evaluate students on the basis of their “desire to know” rather than anything they actually do. This is a person whose most ready counsel to the public about interracial adoption is that white adopters might still be racists even if they don’t think they are.

Kendi is a professor who, in the guise of being trained in intellectual inquiry, bristles at real questions. He dismisses them as either racism or as frustrated responses to envy, as if he bears not proposal but truth. His ideas are couched in simple oppositions mired somewhere between catechism and fable, of a sort alien to what intellectual engagement in the modern world consists of, utterly foreign to exchange among conference academics or even Zooming literati. And on that, let us remember that he is also someone who, into the twenty-first century, was walking around thinking of whites as “devils” à la Minister Farrakhan.

Here’s the rub: The people who sit drinking all of this in and calling it deep wouldn’t let it pass for a minute if he were white.

There is, in short, a degree of bigotry in how this man is received by people of power and influence.

Matt Welch reports on the latest eruption of self-destruction at the New York Times.

Here’s Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady on Pres. Biden’s troubling agenda for Latin America. A slice:

When developed countries support equality before the law and property rights in poor countries, the left labels them imperialists. But use U.S. taxpayers’ resources to promote the termination of unborn life in poor countries, and progressives call it “health” spending. A similar language game is played when international socialists organize political factions under the banner of “democracy” to consolidate power.

Abortion and democratic socialism are two causes the Biden administration plans to champion in the Northern Triangle of Central America—Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Sovereignty, respect for local cultural norms, and the economic aspirations of millions of have-nots have never been high ideals in Washington. But now the condescending ideologues are resupplied. The problem is likely to get worse

My colleague Dan Klein writes on David Hume writing on the ancients.

Joakim Book writes insightfully about that hip word and concept “sustainability.” A slice:

Human beings are the organism that has been the most successful at removing nature’s obstacles from our path, and protecting ourselves from its damaging forces. Even though there are six billion more of us today than in 1900, fewer people die at the hand of nature’s powers. That’s us impacting the environment and it is cause for celebration. Impact away!

James Pethokoukis talks with GMU Law professor Joshua Wright about antitrust – and about the dangers of weaponizing it.

Scott Lincicome writes about anti-dumping, deindustrialization, and China. Here’s Scott’s opening paragraph:

Whether it’s due to the “China Shock” or “deindustrialization,” a common refrain from those seeking to support American manufacturers and workers via U.S. trade restrictions and subsidies is that these groups have been the helpless victims of “unfettered trade” and “free‐​market fundamentalism.” As I’ve explained in a series of recent papers, however, this narrative ignores (among other things) the panoply of U.S. laws that already exist to boost the manufacturing sector — laws that, despite their frequent and continued use, just haven’t worked very well in terms of increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs (and, in fact, have likely harmed the U.S. economy, domestic manufacturers, and blue‐​collar workers).

Nick Gillespie reprises an interview that he did in 2011 with my late, great colleague Walter Williams. A slice:

Q: How did you help build George Mason’s economics department into a hotbed of research from a libertarian perspective?

A: When James Buchanan won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986, we had 26 faculty members. When I became department chairman [in 1995], we had 18. There was considerable hostility toward our department. I tried to work with the administration to rehire those people, and I had a lot of difficulty, so I just said, “Well, the only way I’m going to improve the department is try to privatize the department and go out and raise money to hire people and subsidize hiring people.” A lot of it was from the result of the generosity of supporters like the Lilly Endowment and the [John M.] Olin Foundation.