Tuesday, September 27, 2016

John Warner Endorses Clinton

   This will carry weight in the OD.
   I respect the hell out of Warner. Never forget: he's the man who kept Ollie North out of the Senate.

Words Some People Apparently Use With A Straight Face, Episode I: "Fat-Shaming"

Vox.

Still counts though.

538: Clinton Won The Debate, Likely To Gain 2-4 Points In Polls

Moskos: Spin This: The Biggest Murder Increase In 45 Years

Not. good.
   Also not good: it seems fairly clear that the left is doing it's thing and trying to spin, spin, spin this away. Well, it's the right's thing, too, of course. But I've so given up on those guys that I barely even get mad at em anymore. 
   Google 'Ferguson effect.' It's depressing as hell. Liberal source: no. Conservative source: yes. Liberal source: no. Conservative source: maybe. Liberal source: hell no. Conservative source: obviously. Liberal source: hell no you racist...and so on...  

Clinton Wins Debate 1

Looks like
   I guess HRC ought to just keep on keepin' on for debate 2. But I'd really like to see her fill in the gaps in the moderation by, say, pointing out that Trump doesn't have any substantive things to say about policy because he doesn't know anything at all about it. She should point out early on that he just repeats a handful of platitudes over and over. Maybe pick out a couple of them to explain in some detail--e.g. why manufacturing jobs aren't going to be coming back (though that's a dangerous one). The stuff ("renegotiate trade deals!") sounds ok if you're given to magical thinking, I suppose. So you've got to point out why it's a fantasy (when it is). Go one level down into the policy debate, and Trump's lost. Ridicule his scattered repetition of platitudes and you could, I think, make him look even worse.
   Trump's got some winning points, too, if he could just make them. This whuppin' might actually get him to commit a few of them to memory. Emphasizing the rise in violent crime (plausibly due to BLM and the Ferguson effect), law and order, etc. is probably a winner for him. I'm not sure how Dems can deal with those points. I suppose denial and "racism!" are their winning strategies, rhetorically speaking, there. And Trump's record on race doesn't exactly put him in a position to speak hard truths on the topic.
   This whole thing just makes me reflect on my basic view that it's basically always a contest between celebrities. Trump's just an extreme example. Celebrity is what gets people elected and puts them in a position to run for President. Hilary's basically a political celebrity. But she's a celebrity who at least cares about and learns about and knows about public and foreign policy. Trump, on the other hand...what a damn mess that guy is.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Trump Did Say That Global Warming Is A Chinese Hoax

Vox

Debate 1

   Trumpo didn't drop a deuce on-camera...so far as I could tell anyway...  So does that count as a great victory for him?
   Hillary is just pretty awful at this, seems to me. Imagine The Big Dog or Obama in there instead...not...y'know...first-debate-against-Mittens Obama...but, say, proceed, Governor Obama...  Anyway, could normal people tell that Trump was basically incoherent? I can't tell what normal people can tell anymore.
   So HRC was, of course, a lot better...if you think knowledge of policy and an ability to string together chains of coherent thoughts is important...but Trump did not literally crap his pants...so...tie? Or what?

Clemson Bans Harambe Memes Because Rape Culture

They're not even trying to make sense anymore.
How can a state school get away with this?

Leiter On A Dust-Up At The Society For Analytical Feminism: "Not Really A Philosophy Conference"

   Well, here ya go.
   Leiter is going to get shredded for this comment, though if the facts are as they now seem, then the main thrust of his point is near the target. In philosophy, as in academia generally, feminism gets strong presumption--any criticism is characterized as bigoted and impermissible. I expect that Leiter has jumped the gun a bit, which is fatal given the current rules of the game. I'm going to wait until more facts are in before saying anything more than that. That alone should tell you something about the current climate.
   [Incidentally, one of the updates includes an email from someone who, apparently with a straight face, uses the "word" 'misogynoir'...  I'm not even making that up.]

Current 538 Chances of Winning: HRC 51.8, Trump 48.2

(There's no permalink, so why link?)
I'm not disappointed, I'm just angry

Friday, September 23, 2016

Redemption Theory

I love this kinda stuff.

PC Freakout At KU

   Wow.
   This, at Kansas, is similar to the new footage of the Yale anti-Christakis freakout.
   If it weren't already clear, this footage would make it clear that PC is basically a kind of insanity. Again we see one party (in this case a group rather than one individual) patiently trying to reason with a group that is afflicted by a kind of artificial insanity. The one side is calm and reasonable, the other side is obnoxious and incoherent, has no respect for reason, for civility, or for the exchange of ideas. The PCs in the footage are just a mess. They shriek, they curse, they completely lose their shit. They mindlessly spout the same mindless "social justice" cant we hear spouted again and again from such folk. I'm not really one for making fun of the way people look...but I'm starting to wonder whether I should revise that position... The PC kids are just a mess...and that's about the nicest thing I can think of to say. If I walk around with a flower pot on my head, it's absurd to insist that people who make fun of me are bigots.
   Those who want to argue that political correctness doesn't exist, or that it's nothing more nor less than politeness/civility should have to watch this lunacy.

Criticizing Female Genital Mutilation Is Racist

   I give you "Knowledge is Made for Cutting: Genealogies of Race and Gender in Female Circumcision Discourse."
TW:
Circumcision discourse
Postcolonial
Discursive violence
Material violence
Female abjection
Pleasure of whiteness
Constructions
Racialized

(via NewRealPeerReview)


Lionel Shriver: Will The Left Survive The Millennials?

   Lionel Shriver, my new hero, gives PC both barrels.
   I, too, have wondered whether liberalism will survive. It survived PC the first time around...but diminished. In retrospect, I now suspect that may have been the turning point at which American liberalism began caring less about freedom and reason and more about being nice and not giving offence.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

6 Ways Your Social Justice Activism Might Be Ableist

   I'm confident you cisheteropatriarchal phallogocentric transdouchecanoes need to read this article because I have no doubt that your social justice activism is probably ableist as shit.
Hilarious words / phrases that are written with a straight face in this article:
Ableist (obvs)
Intersectionality
Heteronormative
Cispatriarchy
Transmisogyny
Dialects of privilege
And I am totally not kidding: ablesplaining



Today I Learned: There Was No Racism Until Obama Got Elected

The Daily Show Interviews Trump Supporters

   It's just like three people, undoubtedly selected for their irrationality...but damn...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wells-Fargo Used Employee Ethics Line To Identify And Fire Whistle-Blowers

Feminists Used Trump Jr.'s Skittles Meme in 2014; Ergo Trump Jr. "Ripped It Off" (But It Was Cool Before)

   Right, see, it was cool when feminists used it about men (warning: TownHall link...you. have. been. warned...)...but IT IS TOTALLY NOT COOL TO USE IT ABOUT SYRIAN REFUGEES.
  AND: Trump is evil because Trump Jr. "tweeted" (ugh...seriously?) it and white supremacists use it too which means he's like white supremacists and feminists use it too but it TOTALLY DOES NOT mean that he's like feminists in fact just the OPPOSITE and what he did was RIP IT OFF FROM THEM WHICH IS TYPICAL OF MEN AAAARGH 
   Ok, to be fair, the author of that one piece does kind of blur the point about whether or not the meme is bad. Also to be fair, some people objected to it when it was used about men but seem ok with it being used about refugees. 
   Double-standards: the heart and soul of our political discourse.
   Anyway, I'm inclined to count this as another lefty imaginary outrage. The recipe for that is, basically: begin with the assumption that everyone to the right of you is racist. Take something they say and, operating under that guiding assumption, cast about for some interpretation according to which it's TEH RACIST. (Note: employ denigrated/elevated standards according to which basically everything and everyone is racist.) Find an interpretation. Declare it racist. Declare the person who said it racist. Tweet it! Go have a gluten-free microbrew.

   Ok, what I might say about this nonsense if I could think clearly about it anymore would probably be something like: look man. This is a serious problem. This is about people's lives. About their lives being destroyed, in point of fact. And, of course, it's about terrorism--also serious. I take the point, but the candy thing doesn't really have the kind of prima facie gravitas that I'd prefer. It might be ok for John Q. Public to post on Facebook or whatever. But you're a candidate's son, and part of his campaign, so different, higher standards are applicable. Also, get off goddamn twitter it's a factory for stupid. It makes blogs look serious.

Trump, Skittles, White Supremacists, Guilt By Association

   And another thing:
   One overwrought criticism of Trump Jr.'s Skittles comment is that it's also used by white supremacists.
   sigh
   This is what we call guilt by association.
   There is nothing inherently racist about the Skittles analogy.
   It may be faulty on other grounds, of course.
   But the fact that it's been used by white supremacists doesn't constitute a valid objection to it.
   This is different than the "meme" (ugh) with Hillary and the money and the suggestion of a star of David. That one had stuff in it that had objective (though conventional) symbolic links to anti-Semitic crap. There's no such link with the Skittles.
   Nice move, "progressives"! Again making Trumpo and his clown show look good by comparison.

The Guardian: "Donald Trump Jr. Compares Refugees To Poisoned Skittles" (Or: Return of the Mexican Rapists Fallacy)

   Via /r/SocialJusticeInAction, where the poster, /u/rodmclaughlin makes the relevant point in the post title: actually, he compared refugees to skittles, and terrorists (or terrorist sympathizers) to a small minority of poisoned skittles.
   As I've said, I've got nothing against criticizing this analogy, of course. But this is the kind of anti-Trump bias that shows up over and over in the...ungh...am I actually about to say this? I guess I am...yaaaargh! MAINSTREAM MEDIA THERE I SAID IT
   Right.
   This is basically the same distortion that we see over and over and over again with respect to Trump's comment about crime among illegal immigrants. Trump said:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
This is reported over and over and over and over in (let's face it) liberal i.e. mainstream media as: (all) Mexicans are rapists. Of course, what he seems to actually have been asserting is: a higher-than average number of illegal immigrants (from Mexico) are rapists. That's a statement about illegal immigrants, not about Mexicans. And the distorted gloss is some combination of inaccuracy and distortion tantamount to a lie. This distortion of the skittles comment is of the same kind: someone in the Trump camp says a small percentage of F are G; this gets reported as: Trump camp says all F are G.
   The Guardian title is closer to being accurate / not as egregious a distortion...but it's in the same general direction. It's stated in such a way as to spin it in a bad (or, you might argue, worse) direction. And that's how most bias operates--not as outright fabrication, but as spin.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Trump Making Impressive Gains With Black Voters? (Liberal Journalists: That's, Like, DOUBLE RACISM!!!11)

   Looks like Trump's up from about 3% to around 20% with black voters. Can that be right??  Well, anyway, it just goes to show that he's like super duper racist:
Dara Lind, writing for Vox, argued that Trump’s minority outreach had nothing to do with reaching out to minorities, and that it was “probably too little too late.” 
The real reason for the outreach, Lind wrote, was that “wavering Republicans are still looking for a reason to vote Trump. And Trump’s show of racial unity is what they need to feel that, once again, Republicans have the high ground when it comes to race and identity.” 
Bob Cesca, writing for The Daily Banter, went even further, declaring confidently that "Trump's outreach to African-Americans is actually a dog-whistle to his white nationalist base."
   Not reaching out to minority voters is racist...but, if you're a Republican, reaching out to them is like double racist...  In fact, reading out to minorities is actually reaching out to white supremacists...see?????
   What's up with Trump support? Well, all kinds of things probably, and obviously not all of them good...but here's one of the things that's up: people are tired of this kind of idiotic liberal bullshit.  Stupidity + the method of free association + ceaseless, mindless charges of racism against everyone they disagree with...what's not to hate?
   Trump is a disaster of Biblical proportions...but I'll be damned if liberals don't make him look like a plausible alternative by comparison.

Trump Jr.'s Skittles Metaphor, Political Correctness, and Stupid Outrage

   Right.
   This is idiotic.
   The reaction, I mean--not Trump Jr.'s skittles metaphor.
   The overwrought bullshit in response to this is just nauseating. The dumbest responses include accusations of "dehumanization," apparently in response to the very idea of analogizing humans to non-human things. (The Skittles folks even seem to think it's necessary to point out that humans are not candy...) So...Juliet is the sun...ergo Shakespeare...oh, never damn mind. Stupid theories make for stupid people. Now the stupid rampages across the land...
   It's tedious to have to point out that, yes, Trump Jr.'s estimate of the proportion of terrorist sympathizers to normal people among Syrian refugees seems pretty off...  Jesus Christ, criticize that part, you twits. That criticism makes sense. But most of this faux-pious nonsense...is...uh...I don't know...what's a synonym for 'nonsense'?  It's been a long day...  All I can think of is 'horsefeathers'...that's really not going to cut it...
   This is some of the bullshit that's driving people Trumpward. Some fairly typical political bullshit is met with weepy, breathless, moronic accusations of bigotry. I mean...no surprise, right? That's basically the only argument the left uses anymore. Everything they disagree with is some kind of bigotry... All normal, rational people are sick to death of this drivel. The combination of stupidity, intellectual dishonesty / intentional obtuseness, virtue-signaling and...oh, hell, I'm not even going to try to list everything that's idiotic about this. It's a big tangle of crap.
   So that bowl's got maybe a couple-hundred Skittles in it. Are 1% of Syrian refugees terrorist sympathizers? I doubt it, but, honestly, I don't know. Find a good estimate, state the numbers, explain why Trump Jr. is wrong--like rational adults--and move on.
[Or, of course: find something else reasonable to criticize about it that I haven't thought of.]
   Jesus this crap.

The Case For Calm: Wang Via Drum

NBC: Clinton Regains Momentum?

link
I'll believe any poll that tells me that at this point.

Another Aspect of the Informal Alliance Between PC and Campus Administrators?

  I used to joke that there were only two crimes according to the paleo-PC of the '80s and '90s--rape and genocide. Everything they opposed was "a type" of one or the other. A degree requirement they didn't like? Curricular rape. Fail to have sufficiently "multicultural" offerings at the dining hall? Gusatory genocide. (Of course they've settled on basically the opposite of that now; Taco Tuesday is now more likely to be deemed "cultural appropriation.")
   Anyway, the neo-PCs tend to take a more direct and less-specific route, deeming speech they disagree with to be "a type of violence." They idea, never clearly stated, is roughly: liberals think that your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins...but not before. The PCs assert that words are fists, and that I'm...I don't know...punching you in the ear if I express proscribed ideas or utter proscribed words within earshot of you. Or where you might read it. Or hear tell of it. Well, actually you're not supposed to say naughty things at all, anywhere, ever. Something something contribute to an atmosphere something. So no only, say, are we not to express the idea that Caitlyn Jenner is not a woman in Jenner's presence--something that might perhaps be defended on the basis of politeness, despite its truth--but we're ever to say it ever, since it is--somehow--tantamount to an attack on Jenner and everything like Jenner. (This, you'll note was one of the sticking points between Christakis and the shrieking students at Yale--he was willing to apologize for every imagined possible slight in the universe, but not willing to say that his wife's expressing politically incorrect views about Halloween costumes (i.e. that students might be left to make their own decisions about them) constituted a violent attack.)
   So one important confusion at the heart of political correctness is the identification of disagreement with violence.
   One of the local Anonymi has pointed out that there's a kind of informal alliance between PC student protesters and administrators. PCs make their demands, and administrators have an incentive to accept them for various reasons: they're often demands to grow the administration (by adding deans or deanlets or deanlings of diversity or multiculturalism or rape culture or what have you) or to increase the power of the administration (by decreasing student freedom, e.g. freedom of speech), or implement policies that, in the current climate, might decrease the likelihood of bad press or even lawsuits.
   Here's Catherine Rampell on administrators using trumped-up concerns about violence to keep conservative speakers off campus. (Milo's a racist now, apparently...because the alt-right is racist...  It could be, but I'm skeptical... I trust Rampell, and I'm admittedly out of the loop on the alt-right...but charges of racism against the right are virtually automatic now...so...who knows?)
   So here's how it goes, according to me: PC radicals declare the expression of politically incorrect views to be a type of violence. They use this to justify their own violent actions against speakers to their right. Administrators know that you can't go wrong siding with the left, but that opposing them will bring a shitstorm. And they just want the problem to go away. So they announce that they can't guarantee safety at such events...and voila! no more problem!
   Any even vaguely objective person can see that this is all bullshit, and that the victim is freedom of thought and expression.  But that's where we are.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Colin Powell: The Last Reasonable Man?

   Well, a pretty reasonable man, anyway.

Science Is Socially Constructed and Androcentric And Needs To Be Restructured So As To Be Politically / Feministically Correct

   This kind of nonsense is all over the weaker regions of the humanities and social sciences. It's invariably terrible.
   Also: "socially constructed" barely means anything at all.
   And I guess it goes without saying: we've moved from (1) science is objective, but women can't do it, to (2) science is objective and everybody can do it, and now to either (3a) science is not objective, it's inherently "gendered," ergo women can't do it, but that's good because it's bad or (3b) science is objective and that's bad because objectivity is "masculist" or "androcentric," and so women shouldn't do it but should, instead, go do some other, better thing instead. We made real progress, and now the loony left is trying to drag us to a place that's even worse than where we started. It'd be alarming if their arguments were any good, but they're always terrible. So it's just annoying.

Lionel Shriver Contra PC: Full Comments From The Brisbane Writer's Festival

   I keep expecting liberalism to reassert itself against the illiberal left...but maybe not. Maybe we're seeing the last days of intellectual freedom in the English-speaking world, and the center of intellectual gravity will move elsewhere. When PC ravaged universities in the late '80s and early '90s, academia seemed to recover pretty rapidly, shredding their speech codes and so forth...but much of the damage stuck. Twenty-or-so years later, there's been another outbreak, and it's an even more virulent strain, and the internet is a new vector. 
   Who knows? Hard to believe that a bunch of scrawny sophomores with an incoherent theory could bring down the intellectual tradition of the West... But, then, they have allies in the faculty--radical, passionate, ruthless allies... Also, as PC encroaches more and more on the sciences, there'll be more pushback. The humanities and social sciences are pretty flabby, hence malleable. Philosophy should be pushing back, but it isn't. Philosophers are cowardly, but I think that it's more consequential that so many of them are now careerists, and they fear what the discipline's vocal PC left will do to their careers. Well, that's really just a particularly cowardly kind of cowardice, when you think about it...
   Anyway, here's Lionel Shriver, and she's not having it:
In his 2009 novel Little Bee, Chris Cleave, who as it happens is participating in this festival, dared to write from the point of view of a 14-year-old Nigerian girl, though he is male, white, and British. I’ll remain neutral on whether he “got away with it” in literary terms, because I haven’t read the book yet. 
But in principle, I admire his courage – if only because he invited this kind of ethical forensics in a review out of San Francisco: “When a white male author writes as a young Nigerian girl, is it an act of empathy, or identity theft?” the reviewer asked. “When an author pretends to be someone he is not, he does it to tell a story outside of his own experiential range. But he has to in turn be careful that he is representing his characters, not using them for his plot.” 
Hold it. OK, he’s necessarily “representing” his characters, by portraying them on the page. But of course he’s using them for his plot! How could he not? They are his characters, to be manipulated at his whim, to fulfill whatever purpose he cares to put them to. 
This same reviewer recapitulated Cleave’s obligation “to show that he’s representing [the girl], rather than exploiting her.” Again, a false dichotomy. 
Of course he’s exploiting her. It’s his book, and he made her up. The character is his creature, to be exploited up a storm. Yet the reviewer chides that “special care should be taken with a story that’s not implicitly yours to tell” and worries that “Cleave pushes his own boundaries maybe further than they were meant to go.” 
What stories are “implicitly ours to tell,” and what boundaries around our own lives are we mandated to remain within? I would argue that any story you canmake yours is yours to tell, and trying to push the boundaries of the author’s personal experience is part of a fiction writer’s job.

...

Worse: the left’s embrace of gotcha hypersensitivity inevitably invites backlash. Donald Trump appeals to people who have had it up to their eyeballs with being told what they can and cannot say. Pushing back against a mainstream culture of speak-no-evil suppression, they lash out in defiance, and then what they say is pretty appalling.

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