Friday, May 31, 2013

NBA Enforces Anti-Flopping Rule

Surprisingly, Battier not involved...

If only they'd enforce this rule in college...  Be fun to watch coach Kay and our friends the Fainting Blue Goats lose a couple of illicit possessions per game...

Also: the technical against Hansbrough was B.S. Next time, he should probably just deck Andersen's punk ass.

In El Salvador, Your Fetus's Life Is Much, Much More Valuable Than Yours

So it looked like a 22-year-old was going to be, in effect, killed by the state so that a fetus without a brain could...well...die anyway...

But it looks like they figured out a way around this madness--she can have a "premature C-section."

This person, "Beatriz," is already fighting Lupus... That the state would, in effect, kill her because of some superstitious reverence for fetuses...  My God... Unmitigated madness...

Do High Debt Levels Cause Slow Growth?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Female Breadwinners --> The End Of Western Civilization


Erick Erickson is just not a smart person. (Though it's kinda tough to pick one dude out of this clustercopulation.)

(They do seem to slide into stuff about the destruction of families, which is a serious problem... But that's not what they really seem to be up in arms about.)

Bye Bye Crazy Eyes

So everybody knows by now that Michelle Bachman won't stand for re-election.

This no doubt comes as another blow to the Daily Show writers, who have been struggling since the election. And just by regression to the mean, whoever replaces her will probably reduce Republican crazy by a bit. (Though, of course, the mean there is nothing to crow about these days...)

I reckon this means that she knows that the investigations will turn something up...  But I also reckon she'll end up making six figures at Fox nevertheless.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

L'Hote Contra Zach Beauchamp on the Richwine Affair

This is a much, much better piece than the Beauchamp piece. And, as it turns out, Beauchamp's glosses on the IQ research are misleading in several ways, as I was inclined to think.

I actually think this piece is a little too kind to Beauchamp IMO--I don't think the point about the nature of race is very good, to be honest. Race can be a vague and non-biological category and still be a category that social scientists can avail themselves of. But I'm not going to push that point.

(via Sullivan)

Dang This Cake Looks Good...

...but no cake for you if you've got the gay.

(via someplace, but I can't remember where)

Zach Beauchamp's Hatched Job on Richwine


Not going to mess with this in depth, but a few quick thoughts, with something more later:

1. The intellectually cowardly part of me wishes this issue would die, since anyone who speaks out on behalf of the un-PC side of this debate gets thought a racist.

2. Which is also part of what keeps me commenting on it, since that's bullshit.

3. I thank the gods that my dissertation was not subjected to the kind of scrutiny that Richwine's has been subjected to. (And my dissertation was regarded as very notably above-average in quality. But if you had shopped it around to a bunch of experts (other than those on my committee) who were extremely hostile to the conclusion, against the backdrop of a discussion of my possible racism and so forth...I'll tell you right now that it would have been shredded.)

4. I don't know anything about Richwine. My own objections in this vicinity concern groupthink, Lysenkoism, and the erroneous belief that liberalism requires an anti-scientific faith in total equality of abilities.

5. The piece is filled with bad reasoning and appeals to empirical evidence that I'm pretty sure are partial and misleading, e.g. the bit about the twins study...but to be sure I'll have to root around a bit. That stuff isn't fresh in my head.

6. The following chilling paragraph sums up the Beauchamp piece pretty well:
It is the case that, on some tests of intelligence, there are demonstrated gaps between different groups of Americans, particularly ones identified as “black” and “white.” As we’ve seen, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests these broad groups have little do with “race” simpliciter and much more to do with the environments people of certain races find themselves in. These findings underscore that careful scholarship on the sources of this gap, like Richard Nisbett’s or Christopher Jencks’, is legitimate academic inquiry and should be vigorously protected as such.
But this field is no place for dilettantes. The costs of being wrong are too high, the fearful forces fueled too powerful for race and IQ research to be judged like normal work. There needs to be a premium on conceptual precision and empirical accuracy over and above standard operating procedure, even (or perhaps especially) at a place as esteemed as Harvard. Anyone who wants to work in this area should be set to a higher standard, asked to explain what “race” means and whether it really what matters when we talk about IQ. It’s a bar Jason Richwine’s simplistic research never would have cleared.
Sometimes, “good enough” isn’t good enough.

although we have to be careful to protect the research of people whose conclusions we like, your research needs to be flawless if its conclusion is politically incorrect. The normal standards of scientific inquiry do not apply here. It's ok to talk about IQ if your conclusion is pleasing; if not, you need to explain why we should even be talking about IQ at all. Ditto race. We know what the right conclusion is here, and your argument is sound only if it supports that conclusion. Deviate from the politically palatable conclusion at your peril.

This kind of thing is deplorable.

I'm as unhappy about the possibility that there are racial IQ differences as anyone. But for Chrissake, you can't let your unhappiness about a possibility drive you to this kind of thing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Samesies

Probably safe again now, though...

(Somewhat NSFW.)

(via Reddit)

The Justin Bieber of Terrorists

People are nutty. Tweenage girls, doubly so.

Behold, terrorist fandom.

In the cosmic scheme of human crazy, I guess this really isn't all that notable...but there's just something so very creepy about it...

Jessica Love On The Burden Of Being A Non-English-Speaking Scientist


Meh. I'm not sure what to make of this. It kind of sounds like much ado about little... But we can at least say: other things being equal, you're lucky to be a native English speaker if you want to do science. (Of course and unfortunately, the ubiquitous term "privilege" creeps into the essay at the end, in its accustomed role: facilitating a bit of self-flagellation). It's a little weird to rend one's garments over the fact that non-native speakers who move to the U.S. have an extra cognitive burden to bear...  I mean, I wish I could snap my fingers and give them all perfect facility with the language...but they did know what they'd be getting into when they made the move...  That more and more science even overseas is (allegedly) done in English is a different matter...though I'm not sure what to make of it.

This seems pretty erroneous to me, however:
Another quirk to master: arguments themselves are constructed differently in English than in other languages. “In Spanish, it is much more typical to talk around the topic and only get to the point by the end of the text, whereas in English there is a bigger pressure to put the topic right up front and then make the arguments after the fact,” says Kanayet. S notes something similar: “English writing is extremely deductive—you put the topic sentence at the beginning and your supporting evidence follows. … In East Asia the order is opposite. You need to read the whole thing” before the thesis is revealed.
But English isn't particularly "deductive"...there simply isn't all that much explicit deduction in English. And conclusions can appear anywhere in an English text. The beginning and the end are the two most common places, but many argumentative paragraphs have the conclusion in the middle. And I frankly find it hard to believe that it's that different in other languages. If in Spanish it's more common to beat around the bush, then, well, Spanish speakers aren't really constructing their arguments differently so much as they are mixing non-argumentative stuff in their arguments. Which is not actually much different than what most English speakers do... Also, it's pretty easy to move your conclusion around. You can typically move it from the end to the beginning without a whole lot of futzing around. So that paragraph seems really, really wrong.

(Note how the conclusion of the previous paragraph comes at the end? See?)

I think what these folks really mean to say is that scientific writing is different than ordinary writing. But it's different for everybody. It's different than most written English, too. Don't get me wrong--if I've got to produce a scientific report in English, I'd much rather start out as an English-speaker and only have to learn the conventions of scientific prose, which are pretty easy to master...  That's going to be about an order of magnitude easier than it would be to first learn English and then learn the conventions of scientific prose. But anyway, that's a different point. Without a doubt if tomorrow I have to start producing all my papers in German then ich bin verschraubt...or something like that...

But, anyway, as someone who has spent much of the last ten years trying to teach undergraduates--mostly native English speakers) to produce (fairly low-octane) arguments, I can tell you that this problem isn't just a problem for non-native speakers...not by a long shot...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Glenn Greenwald Is An Idiot

It's not like everything he says is 100% wrong..oh no. Rather, he nips and tucks and spins and shades and selectively ignores until...voila!'s always America's (or the West's) fault.

I'm not going to go through this piece of crap in detail, though. Nope. Not wasting the time. Somebody on the internet is wrong...but I'm trying to waste less time on such things...

More Mind-and-Cosmos Bashing

Michael Chorost in the Chronicle.

Summary: Nagel isn't crazy--his views aren't that different from those of some biologists. Yet he's being vilified by many philosophers and biologists? Why? Because the book is bad. Why? Because its claims are too cautious and fallibilistic, and Nagel, as he admits, has only an amateur's knowledge of evolutionary biology.


First: yes, he's being vilified. The philosophical criticisms are pretty lame. But I, too, have only an amateur's knowledge of evolutionary biology. So I can't speak to the biological points. But the way Nagel is being treated on the philosophy side does not redound to the credit of our so-called profession.

Second: I don't think that most of the biological views cited by the author are really all that close to the kind of view Nagel is discussing...but here things become complicated. We're not entirely clear what we're talking about when we talk about teleology.

Third, GOD DAMMIT. The studiously cautious nature of Nagel's claims are one of the great strengths of the book. It's really nauseating to read things like:
And Nagel is diffident about his ideas. Take this sentence, which packs four negatives into 25 words: "I am not confident that this Aristotelian idea of teleology without intention makes sense, but I do not at the moment see why it doesn't." Mind and Cosmos is full of such negatively phrased assertions. If you're going to make a controversial claim, it helps to do so positively. It also helps to enlist distinguished allies. Nagel has done nothing of the sort. Which is strange, because he has plenty of allies to choose from.
First, confidence of the kind in question is bullshit. Yes, you might convince more people, but you'd be doing so on non-rational grounds. Not that I even think that Chorost is right here. If Nagel had pretended to be confident, he'd have been criticized for hubris and dogmatism. Chorost complains that Nagel seems unconvinced by his own ideas... But, more importantly:


He IS unconvinced by his own ideas, as well he ought to be.

His point is really something like:

Many biologists and philosophers treat the idea of teleology as insane and conclusively discredited; however, from the perspective of the well-educated amateur, that isn't obviously true.

This is a very, very modest point, and I think Nagel is right about it.

I've tried asking biologists about this sort of thing before--raising the issue in the humblest and most fallibilistic way I knew how--and they've often treated me as if I were some kind of feeb or creationist.

Nagel might be wrong on the substance, but he's right to raise the question. Teleology is not a crazy idea. So far as I can tell, it's out of fashion, and on the ropes, but not ruled out on evidential grounds. Maybe it's already been refuted, but if so, then not by the evidence I've seen. But I, like Nagel, am an interested amateur, and I may just be ignorant. Maybe it will be refuted some day; that won't surprise me a lot. But you don't have to be a feeb or a creationist to raise the question...

To me, it seems as if we've got a theory that works very well, and it's non-teleological. It's a great theory, and there's a lot to be said for it. As it has more and more successes, biologists become more and more convinced of it. Irrational, religiously-motivated opposition also makes biologists very, very cranky, and more than a little dogmatic about it. So, though a rational and well-intentioned amateur might be excused for pointing out that, to one in his position, reasonable doubts remain...well, biologists are used to dealing with irrational people on this score, and are not exactly on their best behavior. Nagel bending over backwards to be kind to Behe and company didn't help anything...

Bob Dole: GOP Should Be "Closed for Repairs"


Too bad the public doesn't pay enough attention to politics to know what's really going on.

There's probably little that can be done to inform and awaken the snoozing masses with respect to this issue...but a large number of respected Republicans speaking up like this might actually do the trick.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wendy Kaminer: How the ACLU Lost Its Bearings

Worth a read, says me.

Know Your Conspiracy: Agenda 21

Obama and the U.N. to abolish the suburbs...

Leaving Afghan Women To Their Fate


No surprises here. But also nothing that I can write about in anything resembling a civil tone.

One way to do something is to donate to RAWA.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Majority Will Face Severe, Self-Inflicted Water Shortages Within 2 Generations


This makes me crazy.

1. We have to start taking overpopulation seriously.

2. There are very simple, non-onerous steps you can take to reduce water consumption. For example, don't leave the water running all the time, e.g. when shaving or doing dishes. Occasionally take "Navy showers," that is, wet yourself down, turn the water off, soap up, turn the water on, rinse off. Not every shower needs to be long and luxurious. And have a reasonable yard. You don't have to have a thick pelt of perfectly-uniform grass. Of course, most water goes to agricultural 1...

DOJ Institutes Indiscriminate Sexual Harassment Law For Schools and Universities

This is utter insanity.

Personally, I've seen rules and laws like this deployed against legitimate sexual harassers at universities exactly zero times, whereas I've seen them used for leverage against innocent people man times. I've never seen any one actually convicted, but I've seen threats of them used to cow political opposition, punish thoughtcrime and settle personal grudges. There are, of course, limits to the evidential weight of personal experience with respect to such issues...but that's mine.

These laws are irrational, unjust and dangerous. I don't know anyone--anyone--who thinks that sexual harassment is permissible nor should be treated lightly. But it is the height of insanity to make the criterion for guilt in any matter that someone, somewhere, reasonable or not feels uncomfortable. Universities are full of unreasonable people--some simply unreasonable by nature, some goaded to unreasonable reactions on the basis of crackpot theories. Subjective discomfort (or the pretense thereof) simply cannot be taken this seriously.

I've seen a perfectly innocent person taken to a department chair over one, single perfectly innocuous off-handed, humorous comment, made in public, in which the sexual content was virtually nil. We're not talking a pattern of abuse, we're not talking anything crude or "offensive," we're not talking anything that any reasonable person could ever honestly find harassing. And yet this person was called on the carpet and threatened with action.

My own words an actions are always scrupulous beyond scrupulous in this respect, and even I was obliquely threatened with action in grad school because I disagreed philosophically with extremist feminists in the department. Yep: philosophical disagreement over philosophical issues in a philosophy department were deemed by some as ground for "hostile environment sexual harassment." In case you somehow have any doubts about the utter insanity of this, remember: my disagreements were from the perspective of liberal feminism against radical feminism. But even that was said to be "denigrating women's research projects" (to use their exact phrase).

Make no mistake about it--laws like this are insane, illiberal, unjust and antithetical to the ideals of free thought and free expression. They are antithetical to the ideals of the U.S., and antithetical to the ideals of the university in particular.

(via the Post and God help us George F. Will)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Obamacare Premiums Lower Than Predicted in California

Skeleton Lake: 300-600 People Killed By Hail, 850 B.C.


(h/t S. rex)

SJWs Yapping At Dawkins's Heels


I'm not what you'd call a Dawkins fan, but he's a veritable paragon of reason compared to the shrilltastic "SJW" crowd...

Consider, e.g.:

Yeah, he's all crazy like that...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Little Bullshit from Oklahomans

I don't watch cable news, which is uniformly shitty.

So I'm sure I just have an unrepresentative sample...but damn, I've seen a couple of CNN interviews with OK tornado survivors who were just straight-up people of good sense who refused to play the CNN drama game.

Here's my current hero, Rebecca Vitsmun, refusing to bobblehead to Blitzer's weird theistic prompts. On top of that, instead of getting annoyed, she goes out of her way to bail him out and extend a hand to theists.

Nice job, Rebecca!

Flashy Visual Aids = Bullshit

Link to Drum's summary.

Oh, the bullshit I've seen people get away with because they were good speakers, or because they used flashy visual aids...

I actually think that cartoons, diagrams, and written versions of central claims can help the audience a lot, and I use them. But I just don't like PowerPoint. My current compromise is to hand-write and hand-draw overheads. It takes a lot more time to do this, and that helps kill the urge to overdo it, to have too many slides and too much on the page. And since I print (I stopped even trying to do the cursive thing a long, long time ago...) and can only draw stick figures, there's no danger of dazzling anybody with fancy graphics.

Beyond The Pale: Tales From The White Privilege Conference

One long facepalm.

I've always thought that it was kind of funny that the favored insults of the two ends of the internet political spectrum actually fit so well. To web liberals, the wacky right is the fever swamp. To the right, the wacky left are barking moonbats.

This story is about a conference for barking moonbats.

It's an embarrassment to liberalism that people like this get a free pass. Conservatives half this loony would be absolutely savaged by the kinds of folks I normally find myself agreeing with. But for these people to get their due measure of ridicule, we've got to look to the damn Weekly Standard.

Saints preserve us.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Administration Completes Counterterrorism Playbook

Theo Pinson To Carolina


Roy's got a monster 2014 class so far--Joel Barry, Justin Jackson, and now Pinson. And we're said to be in the lead for Rashad Vaughn (though I'm not sure how the Pinson decision might affect that).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Beware of Chemtrails...


Marcotte Criticizes the Center for Inquiry

I know I never agree with Amanda Marcotte, but, so far as I can tell, she is mistaken again here.

I read the transcript of Ronald Lindsay's offending address, and I don't see anything wrong with it. Contra Marcotte, I certainly find nothing condescending about it.

But feminism of a certain fairly common type does not tolerate criticism, so I can't say that the dust-up surprises me.

The offending 'graphs:

This brings me to the concept of privilege, a concept much in use these days. Let me emphasize at the outset that I think it’s a concept that has some validity and utility; it’s also a concept that can be misused, misused as a way to try to silence critics. In what way does it have validity? I think there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there are socially embedded advantages that men have over women, in a very general sense. These advantages manifest in various ways, such as the persistent pay gap between men and women. Also, I’m not a believer in a priori arguments, but I will say that given the thousands of years that women were subordinated to men, it would be absolutely amazing if in the space of several decades all the social advantages that men had were promptly and completely eradicated. Legislation can be very effective for securing rights, but changing deeply engrained patterns of behavior can take some time.

That said, I am concerned the concept of privilege may be misapplied in some instances. First, some people think it has dispositive explanatory power in all situations, so, if for example, in a particular situation there are fewer women than men in a given managerial position, and intentional discrimination is ruled out, well, then privilege must be at work. But that’s not true; there may be other explanations. The concept of privilege can do some explanatory work at a general level, but in particular, individualized situations, other factors may be more significant. To bring this point home let’s consider an example of another broad generalization which is unquestionably true, namely that people with college degrees earn more over their lifetime than those who have only high school diplomas. As I said, as a general matter, this is unquestionably true as statistics have shown this to be the case. Nonetheless in any particular case, when comparing two individuals, one with a high school degree and one with a college degree, the generalization may not hold.
But it’s the second misapplication of the concept of privilege that troubles me most. I’m talking about the situation where the concept of privilege is used to try to silence others, as a justification for saying, “shut up and listen.” Shut up, because you’re a man and you cannot possibly know what it’s like to experience x, y, and z, and anything you say is bound to be mistaken in some way, but, of course, you’re too blinded by your privilege even to realize that.
This approach doesn’t work.  It certainly doesn’t work for me. It’s the approach that the dogmatist who wants to silence critics has always taken because it beats having to engage someone in a reasoned argument. It’s the approach that’s been taken by many religions. It’s the approach taken by ideologies such as Marxism. You pull your dogma off the shelf, take out the relevant category or classification, fit it snugly over the person you want to categorize, dismiss, and silence and ... poof, you’re done. End of discussion. You’re a heretic spreading the lies of Satan, and anything you say is wrong. You’re a member of the bourgeoisie, defending your ownership of the means of production, and everything you say is just a lie to justify your power. You’re a man; you have nothing to contribute to a discussion of how to achieve equality for women.
Now don’t get me wrong. I think the concept of privilege is useful; in fact it is too useful to have it ossified and turned into a dogma. 
 Lindsay is wrong here: the neveau lefty/Tumbleresque concept of privilege is deeply confused. It's a mess. As we've discussed before, the problems described as problems of privilege aren't problems of privilege at all. They are problems of discrimination. The old, standard, common-sense, liberal concept is better than the neveau lefty concept, yet again. The problem is not, for example, that cops treat white people with more respect than they deserve; the problem is that they often treat non-whites with less respect than they deserve. A problem of unearned privilege can be solved by taking away the privilege. But that's not true of the problems that the trendy left has begun describing as problems of privilege. We do not solve, say, voter discrimination problems by making it harder for whites to vote...

Anyway, though Lindsay is pretty clearly wrong on that point, he still doesn't live up to Marcottian standards of wrongness. It seems that he was wrong to point out that accusations of privilege are commonly used to dogmatically squash dissent. Which they are. Marcotte, however, didn't like his examples. They abound on the interwebs, though...they really aren't hard to find... Marcotte admits that "privilege" gets used that way, but denies that it is so used by "anyone with...real power in the world." Egad. Where to begin?...

Oh, hell, better to end it here. I've wasted too much time on this already...

Evidence of a Multiverse????

link (via Reddit)

There's an ambiguity in 'universe' and 'multiverse,' though.

Something causally connected to our "universe" wouldn't count as another universe on the most common conceptions of these things in philosophy. The info in the link would actually make me think: oh, the universe may be bigger than we thought it was, not multiverse!

Did De Facto Slavery Exist Long After the Civil War?

Jesus Christ.

Just part of the story:
In the first years after the Civil War, even as former slaves optimistically swarmed into new schools and lined up at courthouses at every whisper of a hope of economic independence, the Southern states began enacting an array of interlocking laws that would make all African Americans criminals, regardless of their conduct, and thereby making it legal to force them into chain gangs, labor camps, and other forms of involuntarily servitude. By the end of 1865, every Southern state except Arkansas and Tennessee had passed laws outlawing vagrancy and defining it so vaguely that virtually any freed slave not under the protection of a white man could be arrested for the crime. An 1865 Mississippi statute required black workers to enter into labor contracts with white farmers by January 1 of every year or risk arrest. Four other states legislated that African Americans could not legally be hired for work without a discharge paper from their previous employer—effectively preventing them from leaving the plantation of the white man they worked for.

Was Reid Right About Romney's Taxes?

Why It's Painful to Talk to Liberals About Race: Balloon Juice/IQ Edition


First: you can't have a serious conversation about anything if you are using the phrase 'social construction.' That is not a serious concept for use in serious conversations. If you find yourself having the urge to think or speak of things being "socially constructed," let me recommend Hacking's The Social Construction of What?
(Which is, IMO, a bit too kind to the locution...)

It's really unfortunate that this ridiculous term has taken root. It is so unclear that it barely means anything, it is ambiguous in pretty much exactly the way that it needs to not be ambiguous, and, it puts almost any conversation it appears in into a tailspin.

Do you mean to say that something is just a fiction? Then say that. Do you mean that something is a social institution ungrounded in anything natural? Then say that. Do you mean that the thing in question is something we built? Then say that. Do you mean that the relevant category is vague? Then bloody say that. But, for God's sake, don't use the ridiculous term "social construct" or it's cognates, I beseech thee...

Second: The left (including, sadly, liberals in this case) are often desperate to deny the reality of race. This is a favorite tactic of the left (including liberals): if you don't like something--e.g. if you find it oppressive--claim that it isn't real. (Better yet, claim that it's a "social construct"...then you've said something unclear enough that you may or may not be saying that it's unreal...but you can move your position around depending on what's convenient...) Race, however, does not seem to be a fiction. It may not be a terribly clear or important category, it may actually be a category we could easily do without, it's clearly vague as hell...but it doesn't seem to be a fiction. Biologists, however, tend to say that it's not an important biological category. So it's not a fiction, but it doesn't seem to be that important. But I'm inclined to want the category to go away, too, so I I might very well be cheating on that one...

Third: A category doesn't have to be fictive (nor "socially constructed") in order to be morally irrelevant. Liberals (broadly construed) are committed to the position that categories like race and sex are not morally significant. Only a few pretty far on the intellectual left claim that sex is unreal (or "socially constructed"), but that doesn't mean that males and females are morally unequal. The attempt to make every morally/politically troublesome category fictional betrays a loss of faith in the proposition that people can be different in prominent ways, yet morally equal.

Fourth: The persistent racial IQ gap is disappointing, but it does not seem to be made up. Nobody likes this. (Well, some people do, but they are assholes.) But this does not mean that you get to lash out at people who are willing to try to discuss it dispassionately. I want it to go away, and I think that it's still reasonable to think that it might. But if it doesn't, it doesn't mean that much. Say Asians turn out to be more intelligent than everybody else. Ok. Fine. So what? Higher IQ does not mean greater moral worth. We already know that people are unequal with respect to all sorts of abilities. Moral and political equality are not grounded in equality with respect to abilities and talents.

Finally, and more specifically: if you are going to accuse somebody of being a racist, as Tim F. seems to do here, you'd better not be making a bunch of stupid mistakes. Sullivan is no racist (nor "racialist"--a handy term if you want to accuse someone of racism without doing so in a completely honest fashion...). He may be wrong, but he's on firmer ground than Mr. F.

Though, really finally: Sullivan's move here is also confused, I think. Races are kinds like: Asian, black, white and so on. It's all terribly unclear. Jewish? Is that a race? Who knows. But if whatever phenomena we're interested in do not track those categories, we can't hypothesize new categories that they do track and just call those 'race'. That really would be evidence that race is a fiction--not that we need a new, more scientifically-respectable conception of race.

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Ex-Girlfriend" Target Bleeds When You Shoot It


I'm going to go with "not cool" here...and "creepy"...

I get the idea--it's a well-known joke template: I hate my ex-wife/gf (or, for that matter: ex-husband/bf...) I really really hate her.

Yeah, o.k., I get that. Honestly, I've never hated any of my ex-gfs. I don't have the best sense in the world, but I have always steered clear of relationships with people I might end up hating. I don't look upon all my exes with unalloyed fondness, and I've deeply regretted certain interactions, but I've never hated anybody I was significantly involved with in that way. But still: I get it. I've known plenty of people, male and female, who were entirely justified in hating some of their exes.

And I don't buy this:
The more you shoot the iconization of the woman you hate (a 'slut' with her large breasts bulging out of her tanktop) the more she bleeds and her body, once sexy, becomes mangled.  It is a startling reminder of the normalization of violence against women in America, and the latest in delegitimization of the pro-gun lobby's claims that firearms are an equalizer for women.

Er, the manikin is a slut? Wha...? That's, to say the least. And it’s pretty speculative. Not only is this not a “startling reminder” of the “normalization” of violence against women, but it really doesn’t have anything we know of to actually do with real violence against non-plastic women. In fact, my guess is that the people making this, and most of the people shooting at this, aren’t taking this what you'd call seriously. You might accuse them of cluelessness, but it’s not transparently obvious that they can be accused of much else. (Though see below.)

And, of course, this in no way offers even the slightest refutation (or “delegitimization”) of the claim (not made only by the “pro-gun lobby," you’ll note) that firearms are an equalizer for women. They obviously can be, and there is absolutely nothing that could even conceivably be done with a manikin that could refute that. Do guns, in fact and on average, have that effect? My guess is in the negative, and I'd be willing to put some money on that…but the question can’t be answered without looking at the numbers. Uncharitable interpretations of people shooting at manikins simply isn’t going to do anything like the trick there.

All that having been said...

I think we could safely go with “uncool” here. And creepy. Very creepy. Violence against women remains a big problem. (Violence against men is a bigger problem in many ways…but if you bring up that point in a context like this, people freak out. So let’s ignore it… Even if it’s not the only problem, nor the worst problem, it’s a huge problem.) And making a bleeding dummy specifically to look female in order to take out your anger on it--anger about a real-life female…that’s creepy, dude. Really, really creepy.

Look, the left—though usually the lefter-than-Alternet left—likes to make up screwy theories, and loves to criticize (stupid buzzword “trigger warning”!!!111) “problematic” actions in terms of those screwy theories. First and foremost, that stuff’s bullshit. And Bullshit is bad. But—and this is, by far, the less important criticism—promulgating bullshit reasons “delegitimizes” (cough) good points. This freaking shoot-your-ex-girlfriend manikin is, to use the technical phrase, f*cked up. You might, say, fantasize about blowing up your ex’s house. A bit much, I’d say, but I can understand it. But taking out your actual firearm, and shooting a dummy that’s made to look realistic, and ostentatiously female, and made to bleed when you shoot it… Listen, man, if that sounds like a good time to you, it’s probably time to sit down and have a long talk with yourself about reasonable and unreasonable degrees of anger. Even if she done you really, really wrong, graphic fantasies--with bleeding props--about doing violence to her just aren't right--even if they do not make you in any way more disposed toward actual violence.

But, again: this is supposed to be a joke--it's a creepy joke, but it's simply not meant to be taken seriously. And that cannot be ignored.

Anyway, that's the way it seems to me after what is probably insufficient thought.

But sometimes you really need to just stick with moral categories like creepy instead of making up bogus nonsense like "normalizes violence against women." "Creepy" may not have the doomy, serious ring you'd like it to have, but it has the virtue of being accurate in cases like this... 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Republicans Lied About Benghazi Emails

Jesus, these people....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

RadFem 101: What Happens When Feminism Becomes a Cult

Here's one of the loonier web pages you'll ever read.

Hint: if you find yourself seriously using terms like "patriarchy," "mansplaining," and "PIV-centric," it's time to step away from the vat of Kool-Aid... And that's not even to address the substance of the thing (where we find nuggest of wisdom like: "Under patriarchy, being male is the only thing one needs to gain access to the good things in life"...which, if true, would be still more evidence that we do not live in a patriarchy...)

I stopped categorizing myself as a feminists basically for two reasons. (a) I kept running into people like this, and (b) the liberal feminists I knew were not willing to call them on their nonsense. Though, being explicitly told by several feminists that men, liberals and analytic philosophers cannot be feminists also played some role...

I still think that the goals of egalitarian feminism are important and significantly unmet...but there's no way that I can be associated with a political position that happily embraces radicals of this stripe. Other liberals have a higher loony lefty tolerance than I have, but they shouldn't. These people are every bit as at odds with our principles and goals are conservatives.

(via /r/tumblerinaction)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Greenwald: U.S. Worse Than USSR and Maoist China?

He's rather a nut, but surely he can't really believe that.

Sullivan points out the obvious.

More Noonerpalooza: Crazy Cat Lady Goes to Harvard

What do you think that a study group run by Peggy Noonan would be like?

Yep. It's like that.

Stevens: Rationale for Bush v. Gore Was "Unacceptable"


Well, that makes two members of the courts, O'Connor and Stevens, who have admitted that.

Nooners On The Gipper

Wow. I thought she was in love with him, but:

"The battle for the mind of Ronald Reagan was like the trench warfare of WWI: never have so many fought so hard for such barren terrain."

Surprisingly, er, trenchant comment...

NYT: The GOP Scandal Machine

Currently, my view is that this is pretty much exactly right.

The AP telephone records craziness is real cause for concern about the administration. The IRS/Tea Party business doesn't have anything to do with the president, and Benghazi gate is pure D political theater.

Nooners Freaks Out

Looks like she's losing that last wee bit of a grip on reality.

Sullivan responds.

When a group of people thinks that every Democratic president deserves impeachment simply for being Democratic...well, imagine what they'll think when something genuinely goes wrong... Nooners and company were already in freak-out mode before any of this stuff happened, and were already trying to figure out some way to make Benghazi into a "scandal"...  Jesus, imagine the joy in crazyville when news of the IRS and AP stuff broke...

I'm eager to get the straight dope on the IRS business and the AP business...  But Nooners and the rest of the fever swamp loonies have been shrieking non-stop about Obama's fictive awfulness for five years now. Having cried "wolf" since before the election of 2008, do they really think anyone is going to give their words any weight?

Well, sadly, some people might...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mike Kryzyzewski Is Paid $10 Millon Per Year

Posted without comment.

Occasional Book Reviews: Zombiepalooza


Right, remember how I used to say that World War Z was the only zombie novel that was not too terrible to read? Well, in the last six months or so, as I've mentioned, I've run into four downright readable zombie novels/series.

First there was D. J. Molles's The Remaining series. Not too shabby for zombie novels, despite the facts that (a) the protagonist is as serious Mary Jane, and (b) the books have a kind of anti-intellectual/anti-academic/anti-UNC sub-theme. Military: good. Academicians: bad. Still, it's set in North Carolina, and that's pretty fun. I read the first two of these and got halfway through the third before I decided to move on.

Then there was Keith C. Blackmore's Mountain Man, which IMHO is a bit better than The Remaining. I got through either one or two of these, though I'm not sure which...  One thing I hate about the Kindle is that books are no longer individuated as clearly as they used to be, and often I don't even know the name of the author or the title of the book I'm reading...  Anyway, we're still not exactly talking The Sound and the Fury here...but readable and zombie-filled. Or perhaps I should say: zombie-infested...

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I read John L. Campbell's Omega Days--which I thought was the best (non-WWZ) one yet. Omega Days is not just readable, it's actually got some characters you care about, and a few surprising plot turns. Not too shabby, according to me.

And I just finished Brian J. Jarrett's Into the Badlands, which is, I'd say, at least the equal of Omega Days. Some pretty good characters, and some good zombie atmospherics. Possibly the best of the bunch.

I've piddled around with a zombie novel for years now, and I really need to finish it or forget it. The zombie craze has come and gone in the time I've spent messing with it, and I'm getting scooped on ideas right and left... And there are only so many zombie-related ideas laying around waiting to be thought of...

But, until I put out what will undoubtedly be the great American zombie novel, I say check out the above. According to me, they're pretty good reads if you're looking for something light and fun.

Fabricated Benghazi E-mails


The Weakly Standard...that can't surprise anybody...but et tu, ABC...?

"Cultural Appropriation": Yet Another Confused Idea From the Lefty-Left

So, in case you hadn't heard, if you use anything from another culture, you are guilty of "cultural appropriation." Oh, and that's bad. Bad, bad, bad.'s a little's clearly and always horribly bad according to the Tumblr crazies...but, then, if you're male or white or western or educated or well-to-do, or your gender matches your sex, then you're evil anyway according to those I'm not sure whether it's worth worrying about any of the finer points about your evilness...

Unfortunately--and as I predicted--some of the "SJW" nuttiness is starting to seep into more mainstream parts of the web. Here, for example.

Ok, ok...I know it's just Jezebel...  I'm not saying this stuff has infected the Washington Post or anything...

A better title for this piece would be: "A Completely Unnecessary and Really Pretty Dopey Primer on Cultural Appropriation." Let's look at the definition of the sin proffered there, huh?:
"Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else's culture without permission."
Well, just no.

You just don't need permission to "take" (i.e. employ or enjoy) something from another culture.

Are you Mongolian? Do you like basketball? Then good on you. Do you need my permission to, say, wear, a Carolina basketball jersey, or to play basketball? No, you do not. Are you Japanese? Do you think bluegrass rules? You damn straight it does...  Do you need permission from some American to listen to it or play it? Of course not. Are you from, say, Ghana? Would you like to read some C. S. Peirce? Do you need to ask an American philosopher's permission? What an absurd suggestion. Who put that kind of nonsense in your head? Read away, my friend. It belongs to humanity. Nobody gets to tell you what you can and can't read. I mean, look, it's not like folks in the Appalachians and Ozarks expect folks in the rest of the U.S. to ask permission to listen to bluegrass...but if we're going to go down that batshit crazy road, we might as well force cultures to ask permission from sub-cultures...

Anyway: in general, there is simply nothing wrong with reading books from other cultures, reading and speaking other languages, studying other histories, enjoying the artworks of other cultures, enjoying jokes from other cultures, nor any other similar thing you can think of. I love the bagpipes, for example, and if you think I'm going to stop listening to bagpipe music because I haven't gotten written consent from the Scots, you've got another thing coming, McBub. Similarly Judo, as another example.

The very idea of "cultural appropriation" as some kind of moral crime is flat-out idiotic.

Which isn't to say that anything goes. One can be disrespectful toward a culture... I reckon, to refer back to the Jezebel piece, that one might possibly make a plausible case that "Navajo panties" are not the 100% most awesome idea that anybody ever had... It is, I'd say, possible to treat a culture disrespectfully--and it's reasonable to suggest that that's bad. Of course the "SJW" and left-left types who made up the fictive sin of "cultural appropriation" drip with contempt for Western culture...but let that pass for now... I do suspect that cultures have something like a kind of weak moral standing, and that it's probably bad to disrespect them when they deserve respect. (Not every aspect of every culture deserves respect, of course. Slavery didn't; female genital mutilation doesn't.) And Americans may very well have special obligations to American Indian cultures...what with our having tried to destroy them and all...  But to note that cultures often deserve respect--which seems true--is a far cry from asserting that "cultural appropriation" in the intended sense is always bad--which is false.

In their never-ending quest to feel more and more superior to more and more people, the far left continues to conceive of new putative sins... But, as usual, even a wee bit of thought shows that the alleged crime of "cultural appropriation" is nonsense.

What is Sexism? What is Racism?

Sexism is, roughly, prejudice or discrimination based on sex.

Sexism is not "prejudice + power."

Similarly, racism is, roughly, prejudice or discrimination based on race; it is not "prejudice + power."

Lefter-than-liberal feminists have tried for years to change the definition of 'sexism' simply by insisting that their non-standard definition (prejudice + power) is correct. But it isn't. Every sensible person with an even passing familiarity with English, and who is not in the grip of a bad theory, knows what 'sexism' means. The term has an established use in the language. Dictionaries do sometimes go wrong, but in this case, you can look it up in the OED...

And exactly parallel points can be made about 'racism'.

Now, there is nothing preventing those on the lefter-than-liberal left from inventing new terms (an activity that they seem to relish) for these very different concepts:

Prejudice by a member of a more powerful group against a member of a less powerful group on the basis of sex


Prejudice by a member of a more powerful group against a member of a less powerful group on the basis of race.

Now, these aren't very interesting concepts from the perspective of traditional liberalism, which holds that, morally speaking and ignoring a few details, prejudice is prejudice. It's always morally bad. But, interesting or not, the farther left is free to make up new terms. But they will have to make up new ones; 'sexism' and 'racism' already have establshed meanings that are more general than the prejudice + power conceptions.

Of course prejudice by more-powerful people against less-powerful people can sometimes do more actual harm than prejudice by less-powerful people against more-powerful ones--but that's a different point entirely. At best it might indicate that it would be handy to have terms for the other concepts; but it can't do anything to change the established definitions. Racism by an average white person against an average non-white person in the U.S. might very well do more damage on average than racism by an average non-white person against an average white person. And sexism by an average male against an average female might very well do more harm on average than sexism by an average female against an average male. And the amount of harm done can be morally relevant. But racism is racism and sexism is sexism. Add a certain kind of power differential to the mix, and things can go from bad to worse...but racism and sexism don't go away absent a power differential.

The lefter line here is that prejudice in the absence of a power differential is just prejudice, but it isn't sexism or racism. Granted, the words could have been used that way, but they aren't. It simply isn't what they mean. The terms that we have with their established defnitions are perfectly handy, and it would be foolish to try to change their usage, since we'd then just have to immediately invent new terms to mean what the old terms already meant. If 'sexism' did mean prejudice based on sex, plus power, then we'd need to invent a new term that meant simply prejudice based on sex. It would obviously be foolish to both change the meaning of an old terms and invent a new term when we could skip the first step and just invent new terms (for prejudice + power). But, since we already have a term for sexism (it's 'sexism') and for racism (it's 'racism'), and since there doesn't seem to be any pressing need for terms that express the much less interesting and important concepts prejudice based on sex + power and prejudice based on race + power, there's no reason to change the linguistic status quo.

Now, one might ask why it is that elements of the lefter left have pushed so hard to revise the meanings of these terms. It's actually an interesting question, and I have a theory...  But I'll leave that for a different time and post.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The GOP's From Mars...Which May Be Where Benghazi Is Located...

They don't know where it is, but they know it's the worst scandal of all time...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wiggins to Kansas

Well, that sucks.

He was the puzzle-piece that would have made us one of the favorites next year. Without him, we're top-ten-ish, but no better. I expect we'll be good, and, as always, we'll be big fun to watch...but we're not going to be great.

Three years in a row without a top-ten recruit for the Heels...

Ah, well, at least he went to Kansas rather than Kentucky...

Drum: A Taxonomy of Scandals

or "scandals."

Impeachment Fever: Catch It!

George F. Will adds his voice to the chorus of crazy.

Remember: no Democratic president is legitimate. The GOP starts thinking impeachment as soon as a Democrat takes the Oath of Office...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Michelle Bachman Is Insane: 9/11 Prayer Day Edition

Among the many things that are insane about this, I'd especially like to point out what seems to be an attempt to categorize the Benghazi attack with 9/11.

(via Reddit)

Gill/New Statesman: Interweb Feminist Groupthink


That's going pretty easy on them, actually...

The new othodoxy there, as I've been informed in no uncertain terms by certain feminists online, is that no one should ever say anything to any woman about how to avoid rape.


An insane thing to say, of course, but I've encountered the point several times of late.

This is how such points evolve after the lunatics embrace them. We begin with a reasonable point, roughly: y'know, the most notable responsibility here lies with the rapist to not commit the crime.

But because there is so much social pressure to radicalize in certain sectors of feminism, soon reasonable points aren't good enough, and so they get pushed to their most radical extreme. And thus we go from, roughly: (a) in an ideal world, we wouldn't have to tell women how to avoid rape to (b) it is wrong in the actual world to inform women about how to avoid rape.

Among the many loathsome features of this nonsense is the associated willingness to sacrifice the lives of real people to a really stupid abstract point. (Which is not to say that I have any problem with people deciding to sacrifice their own lives for sensible abstract points...) Yes, it sucks (to say the least) that women need to know how to avoid rape, but giving them this information is in no way incompatible with trying to discourage people from raping. Telling people how to minimize the chance of rape no more condones rape than telling people how to avoid mugging or carjacking condones mugging or carjacking. This point is as simple as points get, and it's not exactly to the credit of the relevant feminists that it must be explained to them. Relatively more liberal and mainstream feminism needs to speak up against the irrational extremists in the movement--mostly because it's the right thing to do, but also because such people weaken feminism. I hesitate to mention this latter type of point since it's the only type of criticism one is allowed to make of feminism--you're allowed to suggest that something might weaken the movement, but not that it simply wrong and stupid. But the weaken-the-movement criticism is actually of secondary importance; the more important criticims is that the point is wrong/stupid.

In fact, the more willing feminism is to countenance such points, the more the movement will deserve to be weakened.

Internet Feminism and the "SJW"s

An imperfect but decent takedown, despite an unnecessarily crass simile to start things off, and though there's much more to say. (Also the point about sexism and sexual dimorphism is botched.) 

I, too, have noticed/mentioned the similarity between original sin and the treatment of "privilege" by internet F/SJWs.

The last round of serious crazy we got from the lefter-than-liberal left was the PC movement of the '90's. That was largely a campus phenomenon, whereas this latest round of crazy seems to be almost entirely an internet phenomenon. The PCs became a joke before mostly dying out...but they did leave us with certain harmful artifacts of their existence..  For example, the cultural tic of piously declaring anything that raises one's political hackles "offensive." The extreme internet feminists and SJWs are already jokes, but I doubt that they'll fade away immediately. We may have to put up with their nattering for a few more years...

American liberals, used to fighting only against the right, tend to be hesitant to criticize the illiberal left. Perhaps extremist feminism and "SJW" craziness will help them get over that lamentable tendency. I'm particularly disappointed that liberal feminists don't speak up against the illiberal leftist feminists. It's largely that failure that motivated me to stop classifying myself as a feminist. Well, that's pretty much what got so many college students, including college women, to stop doing so. So I'm hardly alone there.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Benghazi: GOPers Suggest Impeachment (For The 15th Time)

As we know, no Democratic president is a legitimate president. GOP policy, since Clinton's first term, has been to look for some angle from which to push for impeachment of any Democratic president. 

And, suffering from chronic butthurt since November 2008, the GOP is furious that the Obama administration has generated no genuine scandals. Which, of course, has not prevented them from suggesting impeachment fifteen times.

Can't find any evidence of Presidential wrongdoing in SolyndraFastAndFuriousBenghazi? Oh, hell, start talking impeachment anyway. I mean, as Republicans have informed us, Benghazi is worse than Watergate plus Iran Contra times ten...

But, heck, at least they now seem to be admitting that Watergate and Iran Contra are bad...though they still have a wee problem with their degree of severity...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Faux News Too Lefty For Tea Party; Protests Ensue

link  (via Reddit)

Uh-oh...a schism seems to have developed among the denizens of the fever swamps...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Multiculti U.


Heather MacDonald is a fellow at the Manhattan consider the source...

But I generally agree with most of what she writes. I don't see any reason to throw elbows at affirmative action in this piece (even though I myself am conflicted about it (as I believe everyone should be...))...I think that's just a distraction from a piece largely composed of sound points.

Even my extraordinarily mainstream and, much as I distrust anyone who uses the word...bourgeois university is filled with emails and notices and workshops and announcements and retreats and offices and fliers and administrators and classes and whatnot devoted to "diversity." Honestly, I can hardly stand to hear about it anymore. After years of propaganda, I now basically switch off or walk away as soon as the diversity and multiculturalism sermons start to play. Not because I'm against those things, but, rather, because I'm against propaganda, brainwashing and sermonizing.

At any rate, as MacDonald notes, universities could save a lot of money if they cut out some of the extravagant diversity-oriented bells and whistles. They're politically-motivated extravagances, especially at colleges, the most liberal places on Earth.

The Flat Earth Society Exists. Or Does It?

Or seems to...

Of course there are other possibilities. The Flat Earth Society might be a hoax, perpetrated by the scientific community. In fact, the letters appearing as they do on this web page might merely be the result of screen distortion. The letters might not actually be shaped as they appear to be at all. The "Flat Earth Society" web-page might really just contain a recipe for chili.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Benghazi Non-Scandal: Where We Are

Sullivan summarizes.

Cheney: "On Our Watch We Were Always Ready On 9/11"


For people who cannot stop talking about 9/11, they pretty consistently forget when it happened.

And remember: Bush kept us safe...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since '93; Public Unaware

From Pew.


Sunday, May 05, 2013

How Should You Treat Wasp- and Bee-Persons When You Encounter Them In Your House?

The Vegan Feminist explains it all for you.

You're welcome.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Yglesias: Living in a 401(k) World

It sucks.

(via Sully)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

CourseSmart: Is Big Brother Watching You Read?

You've probably heard about the dust-up over CourseSmart, Pearson's software that tracks whether/how students are reading the e-textbook for a course.

It's finals week, and time is limited, but here are a few thoughts for your consideration:

1. Claims about Big Brother are misplaced, aren't they? 
This isnt the government watching your private reading habits. This is a college course that students take voluntarily. If you don't want the professor to know whether you're reading the book, then don't take the course. If you don't want to read the book then don't take the course. It is permissible to make reasonable, relevant demands on people when they voluntarily engage in activities. The government can conduct a background check on you if you want to take a job at the CIA; that does not raise Big Brotherish concerns. And if you're in my class and I see you furtively stuffing a piece of paper up your sleeve during an exam, I can demand to see what's on it--something that would be entirely out of line were I to do it to a random person on the street. I can force you to stop talking aloud if I'm lecturing, or force you to leave the room. This doesn't raise concerns about a police state. So, I'd say: enough with the Big Brother business here.

2. Concerning claims that students shouldn't be forced to read the textbook so long as they are performing well on assignments.
I firmly believe that if students can do well on the assignments, then they should get good grades. I don't give busy work, I don't take attendance, and if students can do well without coming to class or doing the reading, then more power to them. (Er, they never can...but I'm not against it in principle...) I do agree that professors who are giving students grades merely to force them to jump through hoops are probably teaching shit classes. (Look, the dude in the story is running a management class. IMO that's not a real college class anyway... But I quasi-digress...)

However: students who come to class unprepared ruin classes. Unprepared/disengaged students are like control rods in a nuclear reactor--inert material that prevents the rest of the class from achieving critical mass.  My policy is: students can skip class as much as they like, but can’t come to class unprepared. This is a fair policy, and a good one, but to enforce it I have to at least occasionally give quizzes—and quizzes about the reading waste everybody’s time. Honestly, if CourseSmart gives me a good way to keep unprepared students out of the classroom, I’ll use it. In fact, I’ll use the hell out of it…

So, my conclusion as of now:
There are no legitimate privacy concerns here
The thing sounds useful at least in principle.

I haven't used it, but I imagine the text offerings are pretty I probably won't actually be able to use it.

But I probably would if I could get the texts I want on it.

Death to Revenge Pornographers

A lawsuit over "revenge porn."

It's amazing to me what assholes some people are. Who would do this kind of thing? You've got to be an asshole deep down in your soul to do this. Yeah, yeah, it's not murder or anything. But it's just so deeply and irredeemably spiteful. There's no excuse for it. No. Excuse.

And, hell, I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with dirty pictures.

I hope that the dude who did this gets sued to death.

Oh and also: if you view that stuff, then you're an asshole too. There's not enough consensual pr0n on the web for you? Really? Twelve gajillion pix not enough?

Man, there are some messed-up dudes out there.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Sandra Day O'Connor: Bush v. Gore Possibly a Mistake

Gee, ya think?

(Actually, I should throttle back on the snark here. Admitting error is hard even when nothing is at stake. Admitting that you made the biggest legal error of the last half-century or so cannot be easy.)