Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trump's Hero Is...Trump?

Cannot parse.
   Imagine someone who, when it is time for them to do something, runs around half-performing a lot of actions, some of which are tenuously related to what he's supposed to do, some of which are almost entirely unrelated...and only occasionally, finally, sort of doing what's supposed to be done. 
   Yeah, that's how Trump would act if he acted like he talks.
   Though I'll give him the point that hero is a somewhat odd concept. In some moods I'm not sure how to answer that question.

Obama Commutes Sentence of Chelsea Manning

Jeez, can anyone just tell me whether this is the right thing to do or not? 
   It's embarrassing how bad my grasp is of the Manning and Snowden cases. You know how there are just some issues that slip through your fingers and you never quite make a sufficient effort to run them down? (Well...that's me for a lot of issues...but...anyway...) I wish someone would just tell me the answer here. Or at least point me to some of the better things to read. I'm generally sympathetic to whistle-blowers, but have never been inclined to put either Snowden or Manning into that category. My badly-justified conclusion in both cases has tended to be: pretty much guilty. Also, I've forgotten most of what I did once know about these cases.
   (I've also heard it suggested that there is another issue in play: that the government doesn't want to have to deal with the question of a "sex change" for Manning. That doesn't seem like a terribly difficult issue to me, but I'm obviously out of step with the current consensus of the left in this respect. Also, I can't imagine that such a consideration could trump considerations of justice.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trump vs. John Lewis

   I've got a kind of reverence for old-school civil rights veterans like Lewis, so I probably can't be objective about this. I don't always agree with him, but that's not of any importance to me. Trump, of course, is a contemptible idiot and ignoramus, a quasi-rapist, unfit for the office of the Presidency--in fact, seemingly unqualified for any important position. He has, so far as I can tell, never accomplished anything valuable. Lewis is his better. Trump seems to be utterly ignorant of their relative positions in the Great Chain of Being.
   But even all that aside, only a lackwit of monumental proportions would suggest that Lewis is "all talk, no action." That he is demonstrably not. That he is not is a matter of historical record. It's not that I find it insulting to Lewis; Trump is too far beneath Lewis for his opinion to matter. It's the loathsome ignorance and absurdity of the falsehood that repulses me. It's like watching someone scream vulgar obscenities; it's a revolting sight in and of itself. Trump, like the obscenity-screamer, is demeaning himself. Lewis is immune, above it. What appalls me is that such an ignominious buffoon is about to be President.

George Will Reflects On The Sokal Hoax

link
Will writes:
Twenty years on, one lesson of Sokal’s hoax is that many educators are uneducable. Another is that although wonderful sendups have been written about academia...it now might be beyond satire.
Not to put too fine a point on it, I'd say: the most important lesson is that a mishmash of stupid theories has taken over many of the humanities and some of the social sciences. As usual, the culture (only) seems to absorb the worst ideas produced by the humanities, and the aforementioned mishmash has, sadly, influenced middlebrow culture. Members of the chattering class tend to have humanities backgrounds, and like to seem familiar with what's fashionable in the academy, and so they tend to speak the mishmash. Worse, the bad theory is bound up inextricably with extremist left-wing identity politics. Worst of all, that theory is bound up with a catastrophically bad theory of reasoning. That theory is the kind of theory you might expect to be favored by interpretive, non-empirical disciplines: it basically holds that you grab whatever conclusion strikes your fancy, and then you free associate, riffing on trendy ideas, until you can pretend that you've offered an argument for the conclusion you wanted all along. And (see above) these conclusions are almost always of a kind favored by far-left identity politics.
   People have long thought that the humanities are full of shit. But, for the last thirty years of so, the humanities have been full of shit--or largely full of it, anyway. And unsurprisingly, it's affected our public discussions and decisions. The thing about all this is that it doesn't just yield one or two bad conclusions. When you have adopted a defective method of reasoning, the error spreads far and wide, permeating almost everything you think. And that's a very bad thing indeed.

Monday, January 16, 2017

White Nationalists Losing Faith In Trump?

I...
uh...
Good? I guess? Or...bad? I don't know.
Is this evidence that Trump is less bad than I thought? Or is the alt-right worse than I thought it was? (I'm back to being unsure who-all is calling themselves alt-right, actually... Does Milo categorize himself as alt-right? Or are they all Richard Spencer types?)
Anyway, that was fast. Also, it's difficult to believe that there's a group out there that Trump is not a big enough jackass for.

Carolina 85 - Syracuse 68...and Roy Hits #800!

Congrats to coach Williams. He's one of a kind.

Open Borders And The Decline And Fall Of America

And this is what an advocate of open borders thinks.

MLK Day

Warrants a bit of reflection, I say.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Trendy Rye Bread?: A Prediction

This is not of interest to me, except insofar as it is a wee opportunity to put the screws to one of my pet theories. I predict: If this rye thing turns into a full-blown fad, then we'll start seeing studies that conclude that rye is good for you. If this is because of lower gluten, it doesn't count as much, because that's already apparently known, and also stated in the article. Also isn't the gluten fad fading? Hmm...  Well...if there's a rye fad and it revives the gluten fad, then that would be confirmation, no?
   Anyway, this is stupid and boring but whatever.

Apparently Supporting FIRE Is Now Considered "A Troubling Signal" / "Red Flag" By Some On The Left

whelp, here we go.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Carolina 96 - FSU 83

Without Tony Bradley, against that monster front line, to boot!
Luke Maye, who gave up lots of height to the FSU front court: 15 rebounds.
Theo thows it down.
Nice work Heels!
Good game Seminoles!

Why People Hate Lefties Illustrated: Liberal Tears Episode

Friday, January 13, 2017

Did Comey Decide Who The Next President Would Be?

Kinda looks that way...though after the polling debacles, I'm more skeptical about such pronouncements.
   Regardless of the actual effects, I think it's fairly clear that Comey's decision to comment publicly was a terrible one. Risking having that kind of effect is what's wrong--even if you happen to get lucky and not have that effect, it's wrong to risk it. Sadly, in this case, it seems like we're going to suffer the consequences, too.

Judge Jose Cabranes: If Colleges Keep Killing Academic Freedom, Civilization Will Die, Too

This.
   We need to keep trying to get this point across.
   It's liberals who need to hear it--they're the ones who are seduced by the illiberal left, and who constitute its main source of influence. The illiberal/PC left probably isn't powerful enough to do the kind of damage it's doing on its own; if liberals stopped supporting/defending it, its power would be greatly diminished.
   OTOH, PC fades into liberalism...perhaps the middle-ground between the two is what "progressivism" is supposed to be. So the problem is, perhaps, not so much that good reason-and-freedom-loving liberals have just been fooled by the illiberal left... It is (I actually suspect) that a lot of liberals/progressives aren't really liberals--or not the freedom-and-reason-loving kind, if you prefer. They haven't been fooled...they actually agree that, e.g., disagreement with certain theories on the left is violence and is therefore impermissible. They, in general, care less about freedom of thought and expression and more about feelings of "offense."
   Cue articles in Salon and Slate arguing that PC doesn't exist/ is just good manners/ is what conservatives attack when they're mad because they can't drop n-bombs at well/ etc. etc...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Claim that Russia Compromised Donald Trump Corroborated By Eastern European Spy?

Transgender Madness Spreads: Economist Edition

If the Economist is infected by the madness, does any hope remain?
   I used to think that The Economist was at least immune from the most patently fallacious reasoning...but here they demonstrate that that's not the case. In this post, they even exhibit the liberal penchant for believing that only bald-faced bigotry can explain thinking that men should use the men's room and women should use the women's... The tall tale about "gender identity" and all the rest is so patently obvious that the only explanation for doubting it is: evil.