How Kafkaesque

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on November 27, 2013

The following is an excerpt from’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.


Jean-Paul Sartre, left, and French film director Jean-Luc Godard in Paris, 1971.

How Kafkaesque
“The FBI’s Files on Camus and Sartre Confirm the Utter Meaninglessness of It All”–headline,, Nov. 25

Other Than That, the U.N. Report Was Accurate 
“The news spread like wildfire after the World Health Organization reported that about half of new H.I.V. cases in Greece were ‘self-inflicted’ as a way to get state benefit payments. Social media erupted on Monday. There were headlines everywhere from The Daily Mail to the Drudge Report to Al Jazeera. The conservative American commentator Rush Limbaugh weighed in, saying the story shows ‘what the welfare state does to people.’ But on Tuesday morning, the World Health Organization and the group that produced the report conceded that the H.I.V. claim was not true. ‘There is no evidence of people in Greece or anywhere else in Europe deliberately infecting themselves,’ said Martin Donoghoe, a spokesman for the health organization. So what happened? It was an editing error, the group said. It apologized.”–New York Times website, Nov. 26

And They, Too, Can Grow Up to Be President 
“Many kids at all grade levels are Bubble-Wrapped in a culture that praises effort nearly as much as it does accomplishment.”–Frank Bruni, New York Times, Nov. 24

From One Triumph to Another
“NYT: Obama’s Iran Deal ‘Welcome Change of Subject’ From ObamaCare”–headline,, Nov. 25

San Francisco Shakedown 
Willie Brown, the former California Assembly speaker and mayor of San Francisco, now writes a column for the local newspaper, the Chronicle. He’s used it to declare “war” on productive citizens of the city he once led:

Every day in every way, from rising rents to rising prices at restaurants to its private buses, the tech world is becoming an object of scorn. It’s only a matter of time before the techies’ youthful lustre fades, and they’re seen as just another extension of Wall Street.

And when that happens, tenant advocates, community activists, labor unions and Occupy types are going to start asking why we’re giving away the city to all these white-male-dominated businesses that don’t even hire locals.

At which point, the politicians will do what they always do – count votes. And by my last count, for all of their hype and money, tech types were still a decidedly small part of the vote. If they even vote at all.

Brown counsels appeasement: The “techies” “need to start helping in Hunters Point and in Chinatown. Most of all, they need to start hiring locals. Otherwise, the next time it comes to a tax measure or a vote at the Planning Commission, they could find themselves getting skinned.”

Then again, they could always vote with their feet and move to Texas.

For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”