Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: February 21, 2012

Seriously stupid: Political correctness out of control

I’m sure you’ve seen this by now, but ESPN fired a couple of folks for using an old, old, old saying in a perfectly appropriate way because they, apparently, aren’t familiar with the difference in use and misinterpreted a word for a racial slur.

The PC police, apparently just as ignorant, called for the heads of two members of ESPN when they used the phrase “chink in the armor” to describe Jeremy Lin’s on court vulnerabilities (turnovers as it happens).  But, but, but, Jeremy is of Chinese descent, so “chink” is therefor a “racial slur”.


Pure and total outraged ignorance.  Those who’ve pushed this ought to be ashamed of themselves.  HuffPo, naturally, is at the forefront of the stupidity:

And, now, we may have found our most offensive headline from a mainstream media outlet.

Several hours after the Knicks’ Lin-spired winning streak was snapped by the New Orleans Hornets, ESPN ran the headline "Chink In The Armor" to accompany the game story on mobile devices. ESPN’s choice of words was extremely insensitive and offensive considering Lin’s Asian-American heritage. According to Brian Floyd at SB Nation, the headline appeared on the Scorecenter app. The offensive headline was quickly noticed, screen grabs, Twit pics and Instagrams were shared and it began circulating widely on Twitter.

The use of the word "chink" is especially galling as Lin has revealed that this racial slur was used to taunt him during his college playing career at Harvard. After a brief run, the headline was changed to "All Good Things.."

Being so ignorant of the proper use of the word “chink” in this context is even MORE galling.

Professor Jacobson educates the dummies:

Chink in the armor” is a non-racial idiom, not a single word, denoting:

A vulnerable area, as in Putting things off to the last minute is the chink in Pat’s armor and is bound to get her in trouble one day . This term relies on chink in the sense of “a crack or gap,” a meaning dating from about 1400 and used figuratively since the mid-1600s.

The term “chink in the armor” is used frequently in sports analogies, as this 2005-2010 Google search indicates.

“Chink” standing alone also is a slang pejorative for someone of Chinese or more generally of Asian descent.

In discussing Jeremy Lin’s playing vulnerabilities, an on-air ESPN announcer used the phrase “chink in armor” and it was repeated in an ESPN web headline early the next morning.

Absurd, disturbing, ignorant.

A virtual trifecta brought to you by oversensitive and ignorant popinjays who cost two people their jobs because they were too stupid to understand the proper use of a word.  And ESPN, you’re no better.


Twitter: @McQandO

Economic Statistics for 21 Feb 12

This is a fairly thin week for economic data, and today only has one statistics release of any interest.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from 0.17 last month, to 0.22 this month. The 3 month moving average was up sharply, though, to 0.14 from last month’s -0.19. Production, consumption, and housing remain a drag on the economy, however.

Dale Franks
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A mandate is a mandate is a mandate

And a free people shouldn’t have a government that mandates much of anything. 

By mandate, in this sense, I mean requiring the mandatory purchase or provision of anything as dictated and then enforced by government.  Such as contraception.  Or health insurance.

Many people want to make this contraception controversy about religious freedom.  I understand the argument, but in reality it is about basic freedom.  Free people don’t do government mandates.  It is because free people don’t see mandating much of anything as a function of government.

As to how screwy this contraception mandate is, let’s go with the religious argument and use a mandated product that we know would definitely be prohibited by a religion but, for whatever reason, the government feels a need to mandate its use (yeah, it’s a sarcastic example that uses absurdity to demonstrate the absurdity of the contraception mandate).  Provided by Instapundit:

It’s as if we passed a law requiring mosques to sell bacon and then, when people objected, responded by saying ‘What’s wrong with bacon? You’re trying to ban bacon!!!!’”

Or as QandO commenter Harun posed in a better hypothetical:

Mandate firearms for all houses for public safety. No exception for Quakers. Oh, OK, we won’t make the Quakers pay for the guns, just have the homeowner’s insurance provide them for free.

We know how Muslims would react to example one (and, of course the administration would never try something that would offend Muslims) and we certainly know how the left would react to the second mandate if, for instance, a Republican administration issued such a mandate.  Both would create a firestorm of protest and call each mandate “unconstitutional” and “government overreach”.  Since it is just a bunch of “fundy”, mouth-breathing Christians, meh.

Given the examples, though, I assume we can dispense with all the posturing that mandates by government, in general (or in principle) are something acceptable to either side?  They’re not.  Except, of course, if each side has a favorite agenda item they’d like to see accomplished.  Then, mandates are fine, huh?

What we need is a government mandate! We need to mandate that all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be “flex-fuel vehicles” – that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (the so-called E85 blend), or even a coal-derived methanol/gas mixture. This mandate would cost a fraction of the new fuel economy standard with the added benefit of saving barrels more oil.

Author of that quote?  Rick Santorum. 

I agree with the no mandate principle.  Mandating citizens buy much of anything is not the function of government in a free society.

So, why do both sides continue to try to use them?  And why does each claim the other side is the only side to believe  them to be a function of government?

Especially the smaller, less intrusive and less costly government side?

Freedom’s hard.  And messy.  Totalitarianism is so much neater and besides, our elites know so much better than we what is good for us.


Twitter: @McQandO