Saturday, December 03, 2016


In all honesty, I'm hoping beyond hope that a fucking meteorite hits that motherfucker in the head before 1/20/17 fuck you motherfucker

Dana Milbank On PC As Straw Man

Although this does hint that PC isn't a problem, Milbank doesn't actually say that, and nothing he says comes close to entailing it.
It's absolutely true that some on the right use the term indiscriminately, to bash anything to their left.
And that's wrong and bad. It's bad inter alia because it strengthens PC by suggesting that mere liberalism is PC, thus helping recruit liberals to the PC cause.

Well I'm The King Of Boggle...

PC Denialism: Amanda Taub's Seminal Work

   I kinda think that this is the locus classicus of PC denialism.

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Belle Waring Fails To Respond To Jonathan Chait

Wow this is just awful.
I spend too much time on shit like that as it is, so I'm not going to spend it on this in particular.
There's nothing new there, and it's all been refuted before.

[Here's a more interesting issue:
I used to think that Crooked Timber was pretty good.
Has it always been this bad? Or did I used to be stupid?]

Brendan O'Neill: Fake News And Post-Truth: The Handmaidens Of Western Relativism

I'd have said 'offspring'...but whatever.
I don't necessarily agree with this, but I do think there are interesting points in it.

Vox: Organizations Tell Writers to Always I.D. the Alt-Right As Racist

   Is this ok? Or creepy? Is it true? Hell, I still don't know what the alt-right is... If it were just Vox saying this stuff, I'd doubt it...but if the AP, the NYT, and the Washington Post (which may not have such guidelines, but it's made its position on the alt-right pretty clear) all agree...I guess I'm inclined to think that where there's smoke there's fire...
   My first introduction to the alt-right was guys like Milo, who are all about poking left-wing pieties and yanking people's at first I concluded that this was just another case of lefties calling everybody to their right racist...but there do seem to be real racists in the mix...I just don't know enough to conclude for myself that racism is definitive of alt-right-ness. But since I haven't done the work of really trying to figure it all out, I expect that I'd better defer to the judgement of the AP et al.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Rener and Ryron Gracie: Awesome Kimura Counter Counter

Very cool.
Haven't tried it out yet myself though.

World War Trump: Trump Might Start WW III Before He's Even In Office

A god. damned. buffoon.

Trump Has Already Started Screwing Up Our Foreign Policy

Jeez what an embarrassment.
Oh and also: dangerous...I mean...there's that part too...

(Though, sidebar: is Farage actually anti-immigrant? Or is this akin to one of those intentional conflations of 'anti-immigrant' with 'anti-illegal-immigrant'? I don't know anything about Farage.)

Danger Zones contra "safe Spaces"

   I've been meaning to post on my fascinating idea that those of us derisive of "safe spaces" should start characterizing our offices and other parts of campus as "danger zones"--that is places where "dangerous" ideas and conversations are welcome. Yancy's recent characterization of himself as "dangerous" makes me think that the sane campus center really ought to seize on something like that idea and that locution before the far campus left co-opts it.

George Yancy And the "Professor Watchlist"

   Ok so there's this "watch list" thing. I said this, and I guess it's still about what I think. I haven't looked at it and don't know much about it...but I don't like it. I'm actually going to check it out after I write this...but there's some value in doing some thinking whilst (been looking for a chance to deploy a good 'whilst' for awhile now) behind a veil of ignorance. This is not the sort of thing I'd be crazy worried about...and, as I wrote, if the list is accurate, then, by a familiar PC argument, PCs shouldn't complain about it. If they care about consistency. Which...most don't... But still!
   Anyway, then there's this by George Yancy, who I've talked about here before (George Yancy Gives You The Gift Of You Being Racist). I started off prepared to be sympathetic. By the time Yancy is done comparing himself to Socrates and indicating that his classes are a parade of not-very plausible far-ish left orthodoxies...jeez...I've got to say...way less sympathetic here. (There's also a completely unmotivated gesture at Newspeak, which we, here at the institute, frown upon. There's nothing about Newspeak in anything substantive that Yancy writes.)

   One way people get polarized, according to me, goes like this: we aggregate opinion on the other side in such a way that we end up attributing to everybody over there all the worst ideas. This comes into play most notably when we gleefully go for consistency ad hominems. HA HA! BUT YOU GUYS THINK THAT P AND NOW YOU SAY THAT NOT-P! Which, in practice, often turns out to mean: somebody over on your side thinks that p, and you think that not-p.
   So that's bad.
   Buuuut.... Imma gonna do it anyway.
   Such points sometimes aren't valueless... Anyway: the PC left on campus is famed for shouting down dissent and demanding conformity to their newly-minted orthodoxies. Consider Jordan Peterson who has ignited a firestorm by simply refusing to use the language in non-standard and poorly-justified ways. (I don't completely agree with all of Peterson's arguments, and I'm somewhat less certain about singular uses of 'they'--but I'm disinclined to nitpick when he's right about so much and besieged by people who are crazy about almost everything.) Even small deviations from PC demands can land you in hot water with a left that is powerful on campus, on-line, and in many disciplines. The PC left is fine with this. In fact, they think it's good. In fact, they make it clear that, were they unchecked by liberal policies, their wrath would have far more dire consequences. Against that backdrop, a website that keeps track of (let's suppose) only the most egregious excesses of left-wing professors...doesn't seem all that bad. Does it? But maybe it's just the backdrop talking.
   As I wrote before, I'm not so sure that it's all that bad that there should be a list of professors who exhibit actual, excessive bias in the classroom. Students are, to some extent, a captive audience. We retrograde folk think that they have an obligation to approximate objectivity. Scholars on Yancy's side of things often don't. Objectivity, as they sometimes put it, is your liberal hang-up, bub. Knowing what I know about people and their crap, I'll bet that this list won't be particularly good...OTOH, a truly accurate list of biased profs...uh...wouldn't that actually be a good thing? Theoretically?
   Anyway, by the time Yancy is done talking about his views, I'm thinking: if an undergraduate asked me about taking one of Yancy's classes, and I had to answer, I wouldn't be able to recommend it. Sounds like a load of standard-issue PC/neo-pomo confusions to me. You got all the credits in the world, and you have some interest in hearing the take of someone whose views are skewed way, way in that direction? Then by all means, knock yourself out. You have three or six or twenty precious credits and you want to hear the best which has been thought and said? Well, I'd not recommend spending them on such classes. Others will disagree.
   Finally, and again: the PC left is very fond of what I called the freedom from criticism argument. That is, they commonly say: we're not against free expression (note: that is false.) But you can't expect to be exempt from criticism for your views. (Note: no one does expect to be. What they expect is not to be accused of bigotry for non-bigoted positions. They also expect to not be shouted down for expressing reasonable views. But anyway.) So this argument seems applicable here. Yancy is free to teach what he wants. But he can't expect to be free from criticism for it--or to be free from being classified as biased. Especially if he actually is. Which it sounds as if he might well be.
   In the end, I suppose that this will largely come down to how reasonable and accurate the list is. Honestly, I'm not at all sure how to answer these questions in general / in abstraction from facts about its accuracy.

[Also: what's the real harm of showing up on this list? I see that profs are already clamoring to get on it. They seem insulted that they aren't already. Being "persecuted" for your leftism is basically the dream of many an academician. I used to have a conservative Christian student who kept trying to get the department to sponsor a mock trial in which philosophers tried to convict Jesus (played by him, natch') of perjury. I pointed out to him that (a) he was getting the burden of proof wrong, and (b) we were never going to stop laughing that idea out of the room... But anyway...the glee with which he contemplated that idea reminds me a bit of what's going on with profs eagerly looking to get on this list.]

Trump Surrogate Hughes: "There's No Such Thing...Anymore, As Facts"

You in the reality-based community will probably find it shocking for an actual grow-up human person to say:
And so Mr. Trump's tweet, amongst a certain crowd—a large part of the population—are truth. When he says that millions of people illegally voted, he has some—amongst him and his supporters, and people believe they have facts to back that up. Those that do not like Mr. Trump, they say that those are lies and that there are no facts to back it up.
But...uh...well...I think that's shocking...but...huh?
   Maybe the Trump camp is trying find some common ground with the pomo/PCs...

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The N&O Gets Even More Desperate And Even More Sleazy

   Dan Kane and the N&O have dedicated themselves to harming Carolina and Carolina athletics especially. As it's become clearer and clearer that the "paper class" scandal really was centered on two people in the AFAM department and not MBB or football, Kane and the N&O have become downright desperate. Their sleazy, dishonest hit piece on Eric Hoots today was a new low even by their denigrated standards. By all accounts Hoots is a great guy, and no one with more than an ounce of brains and honesty is going to buy this latest and lowest effort by the Nuisance Observer.
   Give it up, Kane.
   You've lost.
   Oh and: your team sucks.

Maureen Sullivan: Are There Really More Hate Crimes At Schools Following Donald Trump's Election?

   Sullivan's guess, like mine, is: probably not.
   She notes, as I have, that a whole lot of these stories sound alike: roving bands of generic, unidentifiable white males pushing down non-white women...with no witnesses. And the alleged victims seem to rarely contact the police. Also, I'd add: there's seldom any actual physical harm involved.
   Also: there are several verifiable incidents of violence against Trump supporters since he election. There are witnesses, and there's actual, physical harm.
   And remember: the left has an extensive history of perpetrating "hate-crime" hoaxes.
   Of course I'm not saying that there are no such incidents...but I'd bet money that there's no "hate-crime"-wave.

PC Denialism: Moira Weigel Explains That PC Is Totally Made Up By Trump And All In Your Head And Stuff

   This, by Moira Weigel, is pretty terrible.
   It's that time of the semester, and I don't have a lot of time to spend on this, but...the bottom-line: Weigel is either massively and systematically mistaken, or she is being intentionally dishonest, or some combination of the two.
   The relevant fact of the matter is:  political correctness is a real phenomenon.
   There is simply no seriously disputing this. Weigel's piece is just the latest in a long line of efforts by the left (see elsewhere hereabouts...I'm too lazy to link to it) to straightforwardly deny the facts. But saying so doesn't make it so, pomo-y gibberish notwithstanding. Weigel's piece is full of fallacies and outright falsehoods. I'm inclined to say that the very fact that the left is so desperate to deny the existence of PC should tell us something...but such protest-too-much arguments are notoriously shady and ripe for ( I trying to have my cake and eat it too, here? Suggesting that criticism but explicitly disavowing it? I hope not... I don't mean to be...or do I?)
   But look: in a way, articles like this are good news. Here is a major, empirical claim by the PC left: PC does not exist. This is not some abstruse Foucauldian mumbo-jumbo, nor some pseudophilosophical sophistry that might, with sufficient deviousness, be defended until everyone loses interest...this is a straightforward empirical claim. And it is (relatively) straightforwardly refuted by the facts. Definitional niggling to the side, it is extremely easy to show that PC denialism is false. There are whole websites devoted to chronicling the antics of the kooky campus left. Here's one. Here's another. This is just a fast refutation: those sites are fairly low-grade, they get things wrong a fair bit, they spin, they covertly stump for Trump and so on. But they're far from valueless. FIRE's a much more serious place/organizatoin, and one dedicated to defending against just one particular type of craziness (right and left). If even half--even 1/3--of the widely-available reports of PC lunacy were true, we'd still have a very significant problem. But even without any effort at seriously gather evidence, here's something that's perfectly clear:
   The proposition that PC is not a real phenomenon is an empirical one
   It is provably false
   It's also somewhat interesting, I suppose, that the assertion that PC is not a real phenomenon can itself plausibly be construed as a PC claim...but there's probably not a lot of reason to make too much of that.
   Weigel does get a fair bit of the straight history of political correctness right, to her credit--that is, of course, if you ignore the blatantly polemical parts of her account.
   There's really nothing new in the piece, so I won't bother to refute it in detail, but here's a depressingly representative paragraph. The author is writing of stuff by e.g. Chait and Haidt and Lukianoff:
These pieces committed many of the same fallacies that their predecessors from the 1990s had. They cherry-picked anecdotes and caricatured the subjects of their criticism. They complained that other people were creating and enforcing speech codes, while at the same time attempting to enforce their own speech codes. Their writers designated themselves the arbiters of what conversations or political demands deserved to be taken seriously, and which did not. They contradicted themselves in the same way: their authors continually complained, in highly visible publications, that they were being silenced.
   This is a stew of falsehoods and fallacies. Chait et al. don't "cherry-pick" anecdotes: they point to real incidents which, though often notable, are also representative of the broader phenomenon. Admittedly, when we're discussing phenomena of this kind at an informal level, we tend to focus on extreme examples--but this is standard practice and nothing peculiar to Chait and Haidt.  At any rate, at some point "cherry-picking" becomes just giving examples. And that's what critics of PC typically aim to do. But reasonable people might disagree on this point.
   But then we get:
They complained that other people were creating and enforcing speech codes, while at the same time attempting to enforce their own speech codes. 
That's some fairly high-grade intellectual dishonesty. First, the PCs did and do actually advocate for actual codes restricting expression, and they have been notably successful in getting them adopted. To the best of my knowledge, no prominent critic of PC has ever advocated for anti-PC speech codes. Chait, Lukianoff and Haidt certainly have not. To criticize policies limiting expression is not yourself to advocating a policy limiting expression. As sophistry goes, that bit above isn't even good sophistry.
   Furthermore, even if true, it would still be a fallacious tu quoque. Even if anti-PCs had advocated speech codes, that would not show that PCs had not advocated speech codes. Speech codes are wrong, and whoever advocates them is in the wrong. PCs undeniably advocated them--as even Weigel does not directly deny. Her only defense is the other side does it too! Which is false...but, even if true, would only be of marginal relevance.
   Furthermore: here we have another empirical claim: critics of PC advocate anti-speech codes. This should be provable, if true... So perhaps Weigel might cough up the evidence?
  I wouldn't hold my breath for it.
  Ok, these crap arguments are not worth this much time, so I'll condense the rest. Here's the next bit of the paragraph above:
[The] writers designated themselves the arbiters of what conversations or political demands deserved to be taken seriously, and which did not.
   To criticize a position is not to "set yourself up as an arbiter of what should be taken seriously. An arbiter is someone who has the power to decide more-or-less by fiat. To offer arguments that some view is false is nothing of the kind. Everyone has a right to speak on a subject of this sort, and to point to relevant arguments. To offer your opinion--especially when it is well-informed--is not to claim the power to rule on the issue. It's to exercise your right to participate in a discussion. Weigel's point here is unadulterated casuistry.
   (It might also be worth noting, as a kind of sidebar, that the PCs do seek to set themselves up in such a role. That's not a tu quoque against Weigel, it's just a relevant aside.)
   Finally, another bit of nonsnse:
They contradicted themselves in the same way: their authors continually complained, in highly visible publications, that they were being silenced.
If this argument were valid, it would mean that any prominent complaint about being silenced would be self-refuting. This really is a shabby bit of dishonesty. There is nothing self-refuting about writing in the Washington Post that some opinions on campuses are being silenced. I can complain here about infringements of rights there without thereby disproving my own point. Furthermore, no one anywhere has ever argued that the PC suppression of opinion is absolute. To argue that dissent is being stifled or discouraged is not to argue that dissent is impossible. Two seconds of serious thought should make this clear. There is simply no inconsistency involved in saying that someone is impeding your freedom to say things.
   And this is just one paragraph of Weigel's piece--though, admittedly, one of the worse ones. (Am I cherry-picking??)
   Political correctness is a significant problem. It's significant problem even if Donald Trump says it is. Even a stopped clock... But here I'm interested in a more minimal point: PC exists. It is a real phenomenon. The evidence for this is widely-available and not seriously refutable. Weigel's piece is merely the latest failed effort in a long line of failed efforts by PCs and their allies to deny that the movement/problem even exists. However, Weigel's arguments are patent sophistry, and the reality of PC is an empirical, provable matter.

Did You Know that It's Legal For Illegal Immigrants to Illegally Vote In CA? Obama Told Them They Could

   A fair bit of the American right now simply does not care about facts and evidence.

OSU Knife Attacker Was Taking A Course On "Microaggressions"

   Ok, let's not jump to any causal conclusions.

Donald Trump, Embarrassment To The Nation: Pakistan Phone Call Edition

Well, if you voted for this guy because you hate America and seek to humiliate us in a way that will endure for the rest of all of our lifetimes...however long they might turn out to be...then...well...good job, I guess.

Carolina 67-Indiana 76

Good game, Hoosiers!
Carolina channelled the spirit of the '14-'15 team, failing to show up for the first half, and being unable to dig themselves out of that hole in the second. Hoosiers played well, and, of course, Assembly Hall is a tough venue.
Next up: Radford at the Dean Dome.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Biology Don't Real: No Such Thing As Sex Edition

Gender studies is largely gibberish.
There's an on-going bad rap against the humanities--they're often falsely said to be inherently BS. It isn't true...but for the past thirty years or so, many of the humanities (and the softer social sciences, and the inherently political pseudo-disciplines in between) have been bullshit. Part of the bad rap against them is undeserved...but part of it is absolutely deserved. Much of what goes on in the humanities right now is utter gibberish. Studying it probably actually makes you dumber. Majoring in women's / gender studies or similar fields is rather like majoring in Scientology. You will probably get cleverer at bamboozling people, and at throwing up sophistical smokescreens to obfuscate your crackpot'll probably get pretty good at honing your "intellectual" facade...but, in terms of reasoning and discerning the truth, you'd probably be better off studying nothing at all.

Props To Romney

Jesus Haploid Christ this cannot be easy for the guy.

Carolina v. Indiana

Gonna be a good game.
Go Tar Heels!

Ignatius: In Today's World, The Truth Is Losing

Same as it ever was?
   Not a new problem; an old problem in a new form.
   Here's my suggestion for a first step:
   The mainstream media should strive for objectivity again. It currently has a clear liberal bias. Not an overwhelming liberal bias--but a clear one. This exacerbates the echo-chamber problem: it helps constitute the liberal echo-chamber, and helps drive conservatives into their own. This is not a panacea, but it would help. Or, rather, if it wouldn't help, then I'm inclined to think we're doomed.
   The right is in bad shape epistemically. But so is the left. On the right, we have massive numbers of conservatives falling for the most obvious nonsense. Not even clever or sophisticated hoaxes--just outright, National-Enquirer-level absurdity. But roughly this phenomenon is hardly unknown on the left. Remember, to use what seems to me like the clearest case here: much of the left accepted, at the drop of a hat an on the basis of no good arguments, that a man could become a woman simply by feeling as if (or saying) he was one. And, in fact, that anyone even questioning this was a bigot.  I'm honestly not sure there's anything even vaguely comparable on the right.
   [Insert your own snappy ending here.]

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Yeah no they don't.
There's basically no chance this is true.

Chait: Trump's Kleptocracy

The GOP has already destroyed many of the norms that made American government work. Things have gone rapidly downhill, and Trump isn't even in office yet.

How Stable Are Democracies?

Maybe not very.

No Free Speech At Tufts

You really have to read this.
These people are nuts.

Mr. Brennan Has Made His Decision; Now Let Him Enforce It?

Trump seems...somewhat unfamiliar...with Texas v. Johnson.

Kevin Drum, Racism, "White Supremacy," and PC Hyperbole

   I complain about this periodically. It's dumb. But the PC left is addicted to hyperbole--often to the point of flaming falsehood. There's typically no reasoning with them, but it's good to register their errors--both because truth is important, and also so that reasonable people who are on the fence don't get sucked into their BS.
   Racism is not the same thing as white supremac...ism? (The folks in question would write 'white supremacy' there, but it obviously doesn't work out grammatically...) Anyway: being a racist isn't the same thing as being a white supremacist. Obviously. And the (as Drum correctly puts it) fad of misusing 'white supremacy' to mean racism is crap for a lot of obvious reasons. And, as Drum also notes, we get a kind of double escalation given the combination of:
(a) The left calls everybody and everything in sight 'racist'
(b) The left says 'white supremacy' instead of 'racism'
So now we get this this kind of outlandish nonsense such that if your grandma isn't to clear on this weeks trendiest jargon and maybe even--heaven forfend!--says 'colored person' instead of 'person of color'...well...she's not merely a racist, she's a white supremacist! Goddamn, grandma!
   This is basically a kind of case study in the fatuousness of the PC left. Sometimes people are just too far gone to reason with. I'm not saying that someone might not get sucked into this stuff because it's trendy on Tumblr, or because they heard it in their women's studies class, or whatever... People often just parrot the lingo and orthodoxy of their peer group. And someone might even be torn about it. But anyone who can look at this situation and not understand that there's a big problem here probably can't be reasoned with. They're probably just too far gone. If you don't at least smell a rat, and see that PC's got some 'splainin' to do... Well, I certainly can't do anything for you.
   Drum suggests that this misuse of the term got started with Ta-Nahisi Coates. If so, that would explain it. Not because Coates is prone to such errors, but because of the internet left's Ta-Nahisi Coates worship. I mean, I generally like the guy's stuff, but damn, I really don't get the adoration with which he is regarded by the leftosphere. (And his well-known piece on the "social construction" of race is all wrong...but that's another thing...)
   Anyway, much of PC confusion is based in terminological errors, but it's no secret that it's often hard to tell whether people are making terminological errors or factual ones. Perhaps PCs just can't resist terminological escalation: they've become so used to calling everybody else racist that they want a new drug--and 'white supremacist' is so much worse/better! Or maybe they really do believe that your grandma is in the there's that possibility... Usually people drawn to the PC left don't think clearly enough to draw such distinctions, though. It's common for people to fall into confusion in some indeterminate way--they're not exactly making this mistake, they're not exactly making that mistake...they're lost in a twilight zone in between. And the indeterminacy of their beliefs is one of the things that trips them up.
   But, anyway, it's good to see Drum saying something about this. I get the feeling that he's too reasonable not to be onto the looniness of the PC left...but he usually sticks to wonkier / policy-er issues. Smart man. But he could do a lot of good but speaking up on these points a little more often, sez me.

Trump Gets "Information" From Info Wars

On the bright side, maybe we could get an anti-UFO space force out of this.

Matt Taibbi: WaPo's Russian Propaganda Story Based On Bogus Sources

   The actual Rolling Stone headline is kinda hysterical...but it does sound like the Post screwed the pooch.
   Which is good news, of course.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Statement By The AAUP On "Sanctuary Campuses"

   I still say it's none of their business. I still say it's liberal co-opting of an organization that ought to be politically neutral...I'm still not happy about it...but I have to admit, the recommendations are perhaps more defensible than I'd expected:
While colleges and universities must obey the law, administrations must make all efforts to guarantee the privacy of immigrant students and pledge not to grant access to information that might reveal their immigration status unless so ordered by a court of law. Nor should colleges and universities gather information about the citizenship or immigration status of people who have interactions with the administration, including with campus police. College and university police should not themselves participate in any efforts to enforce immigration laws, which are under federal jurisdiction. Faculty members should join efforts to resist all attempts to intimidate or inappropriately investigate undocumented students or to deny them their full rights to due process and a fair hearing.
   Well, now that I paste it in, I guess it is pretty bad. 
   I don't see any justification for any of these asserted "musts." Even if immigration laws are a federal matter, is local law enforcement ever expected, with respect to any other crime, to ignore even blatant violations of the law? Or is immigration yet again being treated as a special case?
   I understand recommending that people not go out of their way to bust a law-abiding student who has lived his whole life here. But it makes no sense to me whatsoever to assert that it is never permissible for any university official to report even the most egregious violations of this particular type of law. 
   Again, I don't see how such a position is defensible except in light of a premise to the effect that immigration laws are inherently illegitimate. And that is an open borders position.
   Seems to me that universities ought to treat immigration law like they do any other law--whatever that might mean. Immigration law is not a special case in this respect. It's only the liberal bias of academia that can explain this special treatment.

How Worried Should We Be About Trump?

I was talking to a colleague about this today.
I mean, what's the answer???
I oscillate between (a) Trump might actually destroy the world and (b) Ha ha! It'll probably be alright...right?
I think I've just knuckled under to the prevailing (b)-ish attitude.
Sure, he seems fully capable of bringing total disaster down upon us...but...y'know...I kinda feel like it won't happen...
But what the hell can we do? The recount is unlikely to help. The Electoral College is unlikely to bail us out. Impeachment seems like a real possibility...but that's unlikely to happen for awhile.

AAUP Endorses "Sanctuary Campuses"

Immigration is none of the AAUP's damn business.
   This is obviously a case of a bunch of liberals deciding to hijack an organization in order to advance their own political preferences. There is no link between the purpose of the AAUP and this cause. The AAUP should no more have a position on immigration enforcement than it should have one on infrastructure policy or the designated hitter rule. Is the AAUP going to start taking a position on interest rates now?
   As for the "hate crime" stuff--I expect that most of it is made up. (I also think "hate crime" is a stupid category, but I don't particularly feel like dying on that hill these days.) There's no doubt that a fair percentage of them are made up. And we know for a fact that a lot of them are so blown out of proportion that they might as well be made up (see e.g. PostItNoteGate...). Whatever residue of actual crimes--assault, harassment, etc.--is left over ought to be dealt with as any other such crimes are. I've got no tolerance for bullying, nor for general dickishness. But this political hysteria and hate-crime hoaxing has got to end. Academia's response to the election has been unconscionable. Nobody reviles that sonofabitch Trump more than I do. But academia isn't even trying to hide its leftist bias--and nuttiness--anymore.


This is so idiotic that I, personally, would be in favor of razing the whole place and salting the earth.

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Annual PC Movember Freakout

I think "Movember" is dumb.
It's not some big-ass deal or anything...  I just think it's kinda dopey, and the cult of beards is dopey.
But leave it to the PCs to deploy bullshit, moronic criticisms of it every year.
Not everything has to include women. It's permissible to have a jokey thing...something something men's health or whatever. It's ok to have it if it's not something something men's health or whatever. In fact, I think the men's health angle was tacked on as a defense against incoherent PC criticisms in the first place. And no, "transmen" are not men. Sorry! But it's a fact, and no amount of verbal legerdemain will change that. A lot of people are not things they'd like to be. That's life. I'm sorry if you want to be male but aren't, and I'm sorry if you want to grow a beard but can't. Lots of actual dudes can't grow beards. Honestly, it's not something to make big deal out of. Growing a beard is not some amazing experience. It's kinda just like waiting too long to get a haircut. But itchier.
Seriously, when did everybody get so dumb?

"Trump Is Making A Strong Case For A Recount Of His Own 2016 Convention Win"

No he isn't.
   He is, as usual, making no case at all. He's an idiot who just says words--whatever words come into his head. He is a child. He doesn't actually seem to even draw a very clear distinction between fact and fiction. He doesn't like the fact that he lost the popular vote, so he simply asserts the opposite: he actually won it! Many of his supporters are apparently just fine with this. Though honestly, few people are loony enough to just assert that night is day without some kind of cover story to bleed off some of the pressure from the cognitive dissonance. So Trumpo added the completely fabricated "massive voter fraud!!!!111" assertion to his previous completely fabricated assertion.
   Anyway, it's permissible to argue ad hominem here that either Trump is full of shit, or he is making a case for a's absolutely right. But that's a largely rhetorical point. In reality, there's no reason to fiddle around with the disjunction. He's making no case at all for a recount, much less a strong one. He's just completely full of shit about this, as per usual.

Walter Mebane: Anomalies In WI Vote, But No Conclusive Evidence of Fraud

Will need to re-read this with more caffeine in the system...but the upshot is clear enough.

Steve Bannon, Racist?

The only question is: did he actually say this stuff?

Trump Transition Clown Show

This is not going to be good.
It's not funny anymore.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Trump Claims Millions Voted Illegally--On No Evidence

   Even if they did, who'd they vote for? So far, if I'm not mistaken, most of the handful of people we have caught were voting for Trumpo, yes?
   So, though I am absolutely willing to spend some money on an things stand now, there's just no reason at all to think that there was some massive voter fraud...and it was in favor of Democrats.

BLM Mourns Castro

Obama And Trump Talking Regularly

   Obama's got to be like I come in during a disaster, and I'm gonna leave just as another disaster begins...
And, if Trump will listen to him, he's got to be thinking I so wanted to be done with this I'm the only thing standing between the nation and a complete train wreck...
   Anyway. Bad for Obama. But good for us.

Trudeaun't Get Me Started: Castro Tribute Edition

Jesus that guy.

U.S. Manufacturing Alive And Well--But Not Creating Jobs?

That's what this says anyway.

Soave: Trump Won Because Of A Backlash Against PC

I find this hypothesis attractive, of course.

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Alleged Trump-Inspired "Hate Crimes" Oddly Similar?

   I'm not convinced by this. For one thing, some of these things are not really all that much like the others. But there are certain somewhat suspicious similarities--relatively minor acts of violence, the perpetrators identifying themselves as pro-Trump, absence of witnesses... And they all sound a lot like past "hate-crime" hoaxes. (Sadly, the Fake Hate Crimes site has been crashed for like a week now.)

"PizzaGate" Combines Right-Wing Myth-Making And The Pedophilia-Obsession of Conspiracy Theorists

   If there's one thing contemporary conspiracy theorists love it's organized pedophilia. In the U.S. this manifested itself most notably during the Satanic Panic of the '80s and '90s. This obsession showed up in the UK recently in myths about "VIP pedophile rings"...basically the same thing we had, but with less Satan.
   Now it's showing up in this bit of pro-Trump/anti-Clinton fake news.
   A couple of years ago /r/worldnews went absolutely bugshit over the VIP pedophile rings nonsense. One very-highly-upvoted comment in one thread asserted that the CIA was kidnapping "tens of thousands" of children every year inside the U.S. and funneling them into sex slavery. That comment was followed by a giant sub-thread of sub-comments all saying things like "I can't believe this can happen here right under our noses!" I commented, in essence, that I couldn't believe it either...because there was no chance whatsoever that there was even the tiniest fragment of truth in it. I mean you should have seen the freak-out about that. Honestly, people go nuts about that stuff. They seem to completely lose whatever tenuous grasp of reality they had.

Russian Propaganda Effort Used Facebook Etc. To Spread Fake News To Help Trump / Punish Clinton

Read it.
   In short, we face a de facto alliance among Putin's Russia, American right-wing crazies, and the low-information voters that form a large part of the GOP base:
The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House.
McFaul said Russian propaganda typically is aimed at weakening opponents and critics. Trump’s victory, though reportedly celebrated by Putin and his allies in Moscow, may have been an unexpected benefit of an operation that already had fueled division in the United States. “They don’t try to win the argument,” said McFaul, now director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. “It’s to make everything seem relative. It’s kind of an appeal to cynicism.”
   Russian autocracy didn't just win a battle--it seems to have installed an incompetent, mentally unstable, criminal pro-Russian idiot as the President-elect of the United States. This really is an off-the-scale victory. Putin must feel roughly like bin Laden felt when we invaded Iraq--nobody really expects an operation like this to succeed so unequivocally.
   And I'd add: this was accomplished by leveraging the irrationality, and credulity/dogmatism that right-wing media has fostered in the GOP base for the past thirty years. And again I'm going to assert: it largely started with Rush (sounds like "Russia") Limbaugh. What you see on the right is a lot like what you see on the pomo/PC left, IMO: awful, destructive habits of mind that are more poisonous than any particular belief or conclusion. Firmly entrenched tendencies to accept bad forms of reasoning, which act as a steady source of more and more false beliefs. Teach a man a falsehood and he's dumb for a day; teach him how to reason badly and he's crap at thinking forever.