Monday, July 16, 2018

Are Democrats Dumping Moderates?

To some extent.
As you may recall, democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time...
Also, kids are stupid.
Somebody needs to try to talk some sense into these goddamn Democrats before they shoot themselves in the ass yet again.

Help us, Obamawan-Kenobi...you're our only hope...

"I Think That This Is The Summit That Putin Was Waiting For His Entire Life"

So saith Alina Polyakova, Brookings Russia expert:
“Just meeting with Putin by the U.S. president is not an issue. All U.S. presidents have met with the Russian president,” Polyakova said. “The problem here is that this administration has done this in reverse: Usually there’s a long period of process, of prep work and negotiations. ... The meeting between the leaders happens last to affirm the negotiating process.”
...
“So I could see—I’m not saying I’m subscribing to this view—from Trump’s perspective, that this is an important relationship that has gone a little bit off the rails ... and that he needs to fix it,” Polyakova said. “And, of course, every single U.S. president has come into office thinking he could fix it because of his charisma and persona, and it was his the last guy who got it wrong, and in that way Trump is not that different from Obama, or even Bush.”

Winner-Take-All Voting Sucks

An amusing explanation by CGP Grey.

Steve Schmidt: Why I Quit The Vile Republican Party

Schmidt quitting doesn't mean that much to me, since he's a hired gun like Carville or Matalin. It means a lot more that George F. Will quit, IMO.
   But, anyway, since I think Trump isn't as bad as he's represented on the left, it's important to take such equally alarming representations from the right very seriously.
   I actually find the question "how bad is Trump...really?" pretty damn interesting, and not just for practical reasons. Seems to me to be an interesting epistemic question. My own answer is something like: he's f*cking AWFUL...what kind of f*cking question is that? But...he's somewhere between about 30% and 80% as awful as e.g. the mainstream media represents him as being. But make no mistake about it...30% as bad would be very, very bad...

The Left And "Identity"

So 'identity' actually means: who you are.
   But on the left it means some intersection of:
(a) Who you say you are
and
(b) How you show up in a worldview that basically sees only race, "gender," and sexual orientation (and maybe some other stuff like sex...though that is suspiciously real and biological, so...)
   So it's not just what race / "gender" / etc. are you?
   Bah! Have I mentioned I'm against them???? I'M AGAINST THEM!!!!! OPPOSED! DO NOT LIKE!!!!11111

PC PE

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME...uhhhh...social justice gym?
   Totalitarians gonna totalize, I reckon...don't want any aspect of life to remain unsaturated by leftist rightthink...

Trump Sides With Putin Against U.S. Intelligence

12 Russian Agents Indicted In Mueller Investigation

I've got nothing to say about this--just felt like posting it.
   I still doubt that Trump colluded...but I guess the main question right now is whether he'll admit what's what and authorize some kind of punitive action. His beliefs, words and actions aren't constrained overmuch by the pressure of facts...so he may very well just continue to assert that this is all nothing and ignore it. Facts are stubborn things...but some people are stubborner.

(Not terribly important comment in the cosmic scheme of things: the NYT is, as you can see in the story, still trying to claim that Trump "publicly encouraged Russia to hack Mrs. Clinton's emails," and that he "invited" and "urged" them to do so. Which is bullshit. It was a jokey comment made in the course of excoriating Clinton for being (allegedly) careless with (allegedly) classified emails. More like "well, if they were hacking her, I hope they found those emails she says she lost..." Though, admittedly, his delivery isn't as obviously jokey as some of the jokey comments that the press pretends are serious.
Again: if Trump's so awful, why make shit up about him?
My view: he is awful; awful enough that I feel no need to make shit up.
Also, though: Presidential candidates should not make jokes like that. C'mon. It was no Reaganesque "we start bombing in five minutes"...but it was ill-advised.)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

George Will: "Trump Says Mueller's Appointment Was Unconstitutional; Was He right?"

Very interesting.
But I'm still trying to resist the urge to actually dive into all this stuff. So this is, undoubtedly, common knowledge to many.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

California Outlaws Gay Conversion Therapy

I don't care much about this one way or another--I think sexual preference is largely fixed fairly early on, but malleable to some extent that varies from person to person. I think we'd all be better off if people generally felt freer to be who they are more-or-less naturally. But I also understand people who prefer to have more average/normal sexual preferences, and I don't think it's my business to tell them they can't try to accomplish that if they want to. Though, again, personally, I'd say: try to be happy with who you are. I'm told that "gay conversion therapy" doesn't work--which wouldn't surprise me.
   But question: are all treatments that don't work outlawed in California? How about woo-woo "New Age" crystal-rubbing? Past-life regression? Homeopathy? Acupuncture? Ordinary old faith healing / prayer? Any of the zillion other magical pseudocures? Are they all at least banned for minors?
   Or is this being treated as a special case because it's something that the left hates?

Carlos Lozada: "Can Truth Survive This President? An Honest Investigation."

I think this is pretty good.
Obviously I've been making a bunch of similar noises for a long time, though, so I'm not exactly neutral.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Daniella Greenbaum: "The Social Justice Mob Is A Danger To Society"

Yep.
Fight them at every opportunity.

Robert Kagan: Is Trump Trying To Destroy NATO?

link
Not the Post's title...but that's the upshot. Or, rather: the upshot is: yes.
Also.

921 days, and counting.

U.S. Ranked As 10th Most Dangerous Country For Women By "Experts On Women's Issues"

When you unhitch your ideology from the facts, all things are possible.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Good News! We're Still In NATO!

link
I've lowered my expectations, and am happier for it.

Transgenderism, "Transwomen Are Women," And Meaning-Change Arguments

Had a beer with a colleague yesterday, and was vividly reminded of how dangerous the intellectual / philosophical side of the transgenderism debate is. Dude is very sharp and intellectually honest. He's not a philosopher de jure, but he is one de facto. He's got a skeptical (in the ordinary sense) turn of mind without being Dawkinsian or any such thing. I want to stress that he wasn't cheating--wasn't intentionally trying to obscure the issues, nor to motte-and-bailey, nor any such thing... And still, two or three moves into the argument, honest errors and confusions had become self-reinforcing and overlapping to such an extent that it was really hard even for me--and I'm pretty good at that aspect of things--to sort them out as fast as they were being produced.
   For example, just getting people to keep the following two propositions separate is a job of work:
[A] Some men are female
[B] It would be possible for the meaning of the word 'men' to change so as to make a sentence like 'some men are female' express a truth. 
Those are two very, very different claims, and you've got to keep them separate. [A] is false and [B] is true. And most importantly: the truth of [B] does not make [A] true. (This follows just from: [B] is true and [A] is false; but that's not the only way to see the point.)
   Progressives are arguing that "transwomen are women." Since "transwomen" are men/male, the claim is false. But if the descriptors confuse you, take a paradigm example. Jenner--a "transwoman"--is not a woman. "Transwomen" are not women: 'woman' means adult female person; Jenner is not female; ergo Jenner is not a woman. It's an extremely simple and straightforward point. Of course: if you'd like to pretend that Jenner is a woman, no one's stopping you. It might be polite in Jenner's presence, or it might make you feel good, or you might want to contribute to changing the meaning of 'woman', or whatever...but "transwomen" are not women. And that's, as they say, just a fact.
Read more »

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Drum: Republican Tax Cuts Since 2000 Are Responsible For Nearly The Entire Federal Deficit

Holy crap:
Just to make sure you get that: Republican tax cuts since 2000 are responsible for nearly the entire federal deficit. Repeal them all and the budget would be almost balanced.
I say again: holy crap.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

538 on Kavanaugh: Barely To The Left Of Thomas??

Big if true.

Balkin on Kavanaugh: Not Good

brutal
  I didn't mention all weird stuff about the executive before, but that's...a problem, I agree. And I lol'd at this line:
Common sense and the English language make clear that something called an “assault rifle” is not primarily a defensive weapon.
   Obviously Balkin means for this to be more on the quick take side of things than the careful analysis side. But: I really don't think it's much of a problem that strict constructionism and common sense often conflict. There's probably no realm of human endeavor in which there aren't contradictory plausible principles. And to say that, for example, one ought to be, in general, guided by common sense is not to say that common sense is inviolable. And linguistic arguments like the 'assault rifle' argument are pretty unreliable. (Still...makes ya think...)
   So I wasn't too impressed by this take--but it still goes in the information hopper.


(Progressive) Douchery Roundup

At Victory Girls, via Instapundit.
   PC fun police scold us all about Ant Man 2 because...pain should hurt? And so the movie is...uh...racist? IDK honestly. But the phrase "white science" is actually used unironically. Monster hunting is teh RAZIZT!!!111 and so Larry Correia is teh RAZIZT!!!111. Precognitive students hate Trump's SCOTUS nominee before there's a nominee (hint: heez teh RAZIZT!!!111). More progressive love for left-to-right political violence (because "MAGA" is the RAZIZT!!!111. Cap'n Kirk vs. the Beings From Planet POMO (guess what William Shatner is? Starts with an 'R'...ends with an 'IZT'...go ahead...guess!).
   I swear, kids. Liberalism didn't used to be a laughable variety of low-rent, pseudointellectual Stalinism. It really, really didn't.

It's Kavanaugh

The left is freaking out...but it's one long, continuous freak out anymore over there...punctuated by occasional bouts of abject hysteria...so...business as usual. No matter who Trump picked it'd be about the same. So: no real information to be gleaned from their reaction. They'll say any conservative nominee is against Roe, and they're saying that about Kavanaugh, even though he's on record as having said:
"If confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, I would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully. That would be binding precedent of the court. It's been decided by the Supreme Court." He added: "It’s been reaffirmed many times."
Yes, that certainly does sound like he's gunning for Roe alright... Jesus.
   Conservative reactions are mixed. Which is, to my way of thinking, good. If nobody's happy, I'm happy. Needless to say, the right is happier than the left. Given the current madness on the left, though, I'm ok with that, too. Since free speech is now...and I still don't really understand how this happened...a conservative cause, I guess I'm a conservative now...? WTH America; sometimes I just can't figure you out.
Read more »