• One small bit of good news: A federal judge has permanently enjoined the Biden Administration’s attempted lawless revocation of oil and gas leasing on some federal lands:
U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump nominee, ruled late Thursday that the federal government may not stop issuing leases on federal lands and waters in accordance with the pause Biden ordered during his first week in office. Doughty’s order said federal law requires the Interior Department to carry out lease sales, citing the Mineral Leasing Act, which requires the department to hold sales “where eligible lands are available” and to do so “at least quarterly.”
This will likely not be the end of the matter, however. There will be appeals by both sides on narrow legal grounds, as the complete story reports.
• John wrote last week about the leftist renaming mania in Minnesota, and just as President Trump predicted in Charlottesville back in 2017, there are fresh demands that Thomas Jefferson’s memory be expunged from the university he founded. The the UVA student newspaper, the Cavalier Daily:
Moreover, we reject how the University’s physical environment — one that glorifies racists, slaveholders and eugenicists with statues and buildings named in their honor — upholds an enduring culture of white supremacy. There is a reason why Charlottesville’s local Klu Klux Klan Chapter hosted its inauguration ceremony at Jefferson’s Monticello tomb. There is a reason why white supremacists gathered with torches around Jefferson’s statue on the north side of the Rotunda. There is a reason why they felt comfortable marching through Grounds. Our physical environment — from statues to building names to Jefferson’s overwhelming presence — exalts people who held the same beliefs as the repugnant white supremacists in attendance at the “Unite the Right” rally. These buildings must be renamed and memorials removed.
The best response would be to recommend that the student editors at the Cavalier Daily transfer to colleges that offend them less. Like Oberlin.
• To paraphrase Cato the Elder, Twitter delenda est. As careful connoisseurs of The Week in Pictures know, I like to post parody versions of the “trolley car thought experiment” that is wildly popular in college courses that purport to teach about moral and ethics, which posits a train bearing down on five people tied up on the tracks, but with the option for a bystander to pull a lever and divert the train toward a single person on an adjoining track, thereby saving a net four lives. I’ve always taken this kindergarten utilitarian thought experiment as a sign of how superficial and unserious moral education has become.
Some other time maybe I’ll explain why, but for now I want to note that evolutionary biologist Colin Wright, who appears on Twitter as SwipeWright, had his Twitter account suspended because he posted this variation (which I happily reposted immediately to help trigger the Streisand Effect):
Here’s what happened to Wright yesterday, however:
It seems Twitter relented, and removed its fatwa against Wright’s post, but the censorious impulse is evident enough, which is why Twitter delenda est.
Meanwhile, copy that trolley meme and spread it widely yourself.