Saturday, April 30, 2016

Peer-Reviewed: Real Abstracts of Academic Bullshit

Cruz's Father Wants Theocracy In The U.S.

   He also says that God told Heidi that Ted should run. Oh and:
That Rafael Cruz should cast his son's presidential campaign as a divinely inspired endeavor is not surprising. For years, he has been a freelancing evangelical who has promoted an extremely fundamentalist version of Christianity and decried those, including other Christians, who do not share his religious views. He has called for fundamentalist Christians to gain control of most aspects of American society, and he has issued a series of controversial statements blasting President Barack Obama, gay rights activists, and other spiritual enemies. As Mother Jones first reported, he called Obama an "outright Marxist" who "seeks to destroy all concept of God" and urged Americans to send him "back to Kenya."
   That piece is worth a read. It's pretty alarming. I expect there must be some exaggeration in there...but even if there's a lot, Cruz Sr. is still loony as hell.
   As Corn notes, the father doesn't necessarily speak for the son... But someone should obviously ask him about his degree of agreement with pops. 

No Trump

The Great Man has decided not to come here after all. Ah well...

A Tale Of Two Pepper-Sprayings

   So I heard about this crap and decided to Google it. Two events:
1. Anti-Trump protester pepper-sprays a mother and her two daughters (eight and eleven).
2. Pro-Trump dude (not a protester per se) pepper-sprays a teenage girl...after she punched him. She later accused him of groping her first.
   The former act is obviously more outrageous...but it's being swamped by the latter in the news. So...any hypotheses about why that is? Anybody?  Anybody?
   Could it be the groping charge? Because you know that's false, right? I hope you don't have any doubt that that's just made up. I could be true...but it isn't. Or so I'd be willing to bet. False charges and other similar hoaxes are known tactics of the far left.
   So here's probably what happened: verbal altercation, anti-Trump protester punches Trump dude, someone pepper-sprays her. Meh. I'm not actually too upset by that...
   (...except insofar as I've wondered whether we'd eventually see a general lowering of the threshold for the use of nonlethal weapons...that's cause for concern... Though pepper-spraying someone is probably safer than punching them, actually.)
   Anyway...I'd certainly have thought that the unprovoked pepper-spraying of two little girls would capture more column-inches than the other case, which is plausibly characterized as self-defense. Just one case. But it's seemed to me that there's a general media bias against Trump and his bunch.
   Is this the place where I'm obligated to say, yet again, that I loathe Trumpo? Maybe I should just make that the blog header...

Actual Published "Scholarship": Pilates is Racist


Honestly, the stupid really is off the scale here. We make fun of this crap on the right--e.g. as it appears in creation "science"--but those people typically need dedicated journals to get published. The Journal of Dance Research may be laugh-inducing....but I'll bet it counts as a legitimate journal for...y' or whatever... And this is a fact about contemporary academia: there are all sorts of fields in which you can get published for producing sophomoric, free-associative. political bullshit masquerading as long as it's left-friendly. (Whiteness bad...gender...heteronormative...colonialism...privilege...take the buzzwords, mix and match, conclude oppression...voila! "Research"!)
(On the bright side, "phallogocentric" seems to have inexplicably fallen out of favor...)

(via /r/socialjusticeinaction)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Trump Targets Bernie Supporters

Well this is getting interesting

Protesters Again Try to Disrupt Trump Rally in CA

   As for the question who's currently worse, Trumpo the Clown or the anti-Trump left?...  Well...the anti-Trump left seems to be routinely trying to disrupt Trump rallies and prevent him from speaking...not to mention destroying public property and attacking people... Both parties are extreme assholes as far as I'm concerned... But the forces of trumpery aren't trying to deny anyone their First Amendment rights in a widespread and systematic way. And that makes the anti-Trump left the bigger assholes at the moment.
   Am I missing something here?
   The lefties haven't brought out their giant puppets though... So I guess they're not at LEFTCON 1 / IMF-levels of frothiness yet... So I guess that's something.

FIRE: DOJ: Title IX Requires Violating First Amendment


After proclaiming itself to be a “blueprint” for all schools, the Departments’ May 9, 2013, letter to the University of Montana states that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’” including “verbal conduct” (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an “objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation.” If the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished. 
In an April 22, 2016 findings letter concluding its investigation into the University of New Mexico’s policies and practices regarding sex discrimination, the Department of Justice doubled down on the unconstitutional blueprint language. DOJ flatly declared in that letter that “[u]nwelcome conduct of a sexual nature”—including “verbal conduct”—is sexual harassment “regardless of whether it causes a hostile environment or is quid pro quo." 
The blueprint requires university staff to relay all sexual harassment complaints to a Title IX Coordinator, who must keep records of the complaints indefinitely, even if the alleged speech is obviously protected by the First Amendment. Further, every case must be investigated by the school. In some circumstances, universities may even punish a student before he or she is found guilty of any offense.
Holy. crap.

California Anti-Trump Rally Turns Violent

   One thing the Trump candidacy has done: it's helped expose certain types of crazy on both ends of the spectrum. The left seems to be more prone to revealing its extremism like so. It looks like Trump is going to win the nomination. It's a safe bet that the crazy left will engage in even more ostentatious displays after that happens. From an abstract perspective, this should teach us more about the lefty fringe. But from a more practical's just going to push more people to back Trump. Trump's supporters also include people willing to use violence, as we've perhaps it will all balance out on the practical side...but my prediction is that the anti-Trump hysteria will be the more flamboyantly repulsive. Trump's supporters have been willing to throw punches (including sucker punches, the wimps)...but so far mostly when their rallies have been infiltrated and disrupted. The anti-Trump protesters have been willing to march to Trump rallies, prevent supporters from attending those rallies, infiltrate with carefully coordinated plans to prevent the rally from proceeding...and now, we see a bit of property-destruction and, apparently, violence. And that's independent of the efforts on campuses to prevent Trump supporters from expressing their support.
   I've not been too worried about Trumpo because I haven't thought he could win...but there are few things that repulse middle America like the full-bore crazy of the lefty fringe in full-on look-at-me protest that were to get bad enough...well...I'm not sure how to finish this sentence...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cruz: Alliance? What Alliance?

Soooooo.....  What's going on?

Boehner on Cruz: "I've Never Worked With A More Miserable Sonofabitch In My Life"

ho lee crap:
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told an audience at Stanford on Wednesday night, according to the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

What Is It With Beyonce Worship?

I don't get it. Neither does Drum.
One of the things I noticed when I used to frequent Metafilter--as it started becoming Tumblr for grownups and every thread that had anything to do with anything social/political began spiraling into uber-PC lunacy--was the shrill insistence among the social justice crowd that Beyonce Knowles is a genius. A GENIUS. I'm not a fan, so the worship was puzzling. But what was really puzzling was the crazed fervor with which they demanded that the alleged genius of a very poppy pop star be acknowledged. Maybe it's just that everything that is not forbidden is mandatory to those people...who knows? But this thing about Chris Hayes is in a similar vein. But Twitter in and of itself is already a bizarre thing. So I guess we shouldn't be too surprised about it being weird.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Does Race Matter In Police Shootings?

Maybe...and maybe not in the way we think...
Not just a single experiment, either...though the three studies in question are all by the same group, so that matter.
These results will be damned interesting/surprising if they hold up.

Behold, The Campus Left On Free Speech

FSM preserve us
CHS and Milo, tirelessly defending the true and the good...

Catfishing the Banner-Chasers

   The release of the amended NOA--in which men's basketball is never named--was sweet.
But this...this was perhaps even sweeter.
   GDTBATH...bad day to be an ABCer...
   The AFAM scandal is gut-wrenching if you're a Tar Heel... But four years, rabid State and Duke fans--backed by the N&O and CNN--have been spinning everything wildly to try to convince the world that the Dean Dome must be razed and the earth salted. I'm happy to see that their vindictive hopes raised so high and then dashed so mercilessly. This was something that was done to men's hoops, not done by men's hoops. Nyang'oro and Crowder were wrong, wrong, wrong to do what they did... But what they did was run shitty classes--classes that were available to all students. Shitty classes are available at every university. (Some more than others...) These were extreme examples of shitty classes, but the difference is one mostly of degree. If you want to hear my screed about the prevalence of shitty classes, I'll be happy to emit it. But it's a different topic. It's a much bigger problem than the UNC AFAM scandal..
   (Well...women's hoops is s special case...that all looks awful, and I'm not sure how that is all going to shake out. Women's hoops is probably toast, frankly...)
   Nobody in men's hoops, nor in football, knew what was going on in AFAM. There's a firewall between academics and athletics, and for good reasons. It's athletics' job to take what academics gives them without question. This is an academic scandal, SACS has already spoken, and has already hit Carolina hard. Men's hoops is an irresistible target to other fans...but that's sports hate that's mutated into actual hate talking. In fact, this just isn't a story about Carolina basketball.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Drum: Are Liberals Too Smug? No, They're Too Condescending

He's right, as usual.

Trumpo The Clown, Inda House


Mayhap I shall endeavor to catch a glimpse of the Great Man

Annual "White Privilege" Conference TOTES TOO WHITE AND PRIVILEGED SHITLORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111one

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL really, actually, honestly, literally cannot make this up

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Charles Koch: Hillary Preferable to a Republican?

Strange days indeed

Friedersdorf: The Tools Of Campus Activists Are Being Turned Against Them

The PCs ultimate trump card (usually used against even the most civil disagreement) is "I'm afraid." The UC-Davis administration is now turning faux expressions of fear against the activists themselves. Everybody sucks in this story, as it turns out...

David Brin: Climate Deniers and Climate Skeptics

This seems right

Obama: Movements Like BLM "Can't Just Keep On Yelling"

When some activists at that meeting said they felt that their voices were not being heard, Mr. Obama replied, “You are sitting in the Oval Office, talking to the president of the United States.”
That guy is preternaturally reasonable.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lionel Shriver: Gender--Good For Nothing

Friday, April 22, 2016

Why Am I Currently More Focused On The Kooky Left Than The Kooky Right?

So I was tussling with Darius Jedburg and Anonymous on this thread the other day over one instance of this issue. With respect to Trump and dust-ups over Trump chalkings on campus, why am I more focused on the lunacy of the anti-Trump anti-chalkers than on Trump himself? Perfectly reasonable question...but...seriously...when facing these two nutty things, I don't think I have an obligation to apportion my outrage very carefully...
    Look. Trump isn't going to win. He just isn't. As I've made clear, I consider it humiliating that he's even being considered in any serious way...and that he's leading the GOP race...well...I have no words...  It's an insult to the very idea of America, as I've said more than once. He's a buffoon. He's basically the shamwow guy, but with less gravitas. He's a moron who thinks he's an ubermensch because he was born rich. Anyway. I don't have to go on. (Also, I generally refuse to ante up with my liberal credentials...not that that's what DJ and A were asking for...)
   But Trump doesn't really interest me anymore. What is there to say about him? He's a buffoon.  What's the point of pilling on when he's ridiculed mercilessly from every quarter? Even conservatives hate him. Even Fox News is openly hostile to him. To be honest, despite my contempt for the guy, I've begun to think that he's being treated unfairly. Comparisons to Hitler????  Come. On.
   But that's a different issue. The real point is: he doesn't interest me. Not right now anyway.
   Take opposition to Trump, however, as it has manifested itself on campus. Here we have a viable candidate for U.S. President. Students at Emory and elsewhere are claiming that ordinary expressions of political support like chalking sidewalks should be banned when they express support for this candidate. Here's an obviously false, obviously crazy, obviously anti-liberal view that is being taken seriously on university campuses, and that is a part of a bigger, crazier movement to push obviously nutty anti-liberal policies as part of a kind of general push by significant sectors of academia to advocated and advance anti-liberal politics and policies backed by an obviously nutty, outlandish, antirealist penumbra of pseudophilosophical nonsense. These are universities for the love of God. And they're being treated as a political salient from which an extremist view that could never flourish in the open in the U.S. can exert undue influence. Oh and: largely by brainwashing students, many of whom are barely out of high school.
   So...yeah...I'm more interested in the latter...
   Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm crazy. You be the judge.
   Here's a rule of thumb I might suggest: if Smith is a major candidate for President, then support for him is covered by your right to free expression. Smith might be an asshole. In fact, for many values of 'Smith', he will be an asshole...  If you want nice, go be a Green or a "progressive" whateverTF that is...
   Also: the crazy right is dying IMO, and I think the battles of the future will be with the crazy left. The right is openly derided on campuses and in much of the media, whereas when the left says "jump," universities and the media basically just see where I'm going with that...
   So anyway, there's a wee window into the tortured chaos that passes for my thinking on some of this.

Rocky Mount Fire Up to 8k Acres

The 'Burg was smoky from it the other day.

Universities Sweep The 2016 TJ Center Muzzle Awards

Will this is depressing...
,,,but not surprising to anyone who's been paying attention.
I vaguely remember someone saying to me in graduate school that universities were on a trajectory to becoming some of the places in the country least conducive/amenable to the free exchange of ideas. Can't remember who said it, but I remember thinking it was cracked. I was wrong.

Incidentally, you can contribute to the Thomas Jefferson Center For the Protection of Free Expression here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apparently We're Winning the Fight over Garland..."Big Time"...

   I basically just figured we were going to lose. Which is too bad, because I'm currently inclined to be fairly happy about Garland as a nominee. But perhaps my pessimism will turn out to be unwarranted.
   Also: my guess is that if Trump wins, he'll nominate Judge Judy, and if Cruz wins he'll nominate the corpse of Antonin Scalia--possibly resurrected from the dead with dark magicks...possibly not...

Rubio To Endorse Trump

Better Trumpo than Damien...I guess.

RIP Prince

I don't want to contribute to over-blowing celebrity deaths and all that...but damn...

NYC: Up To $250,000 Fine For Failing To Use A Person's Preferred Name, Pronoun or Title

Utter lunacy
Snopes on the law...or guidelines on enforcing a law, whatever that means...  Scary in part because Snopes spins its conclusion so shamelessly in the PC direction. The claim Snopes was asked to evaluate is true: you can be fined for failing to accord with people's preferences with respect to the pronouns you use to refer to them. They spun it into a mostly true by pretending they'd been asked whether one could be so fined for doing so accidentally. I don't want to sound like any more of a kook than I already do...but this kind of spin is pervasive when it comes to such issues. Soft-pedal the obviously crazy things on the leftier side of things, exaggerate the mistakes and craziness on the rightier side of's difficult for me to believe that that sort of thing doesn't add up... At any rate: the claim in question is true. Period.
   As the law is written, you can be fined a quarter of a million dollars if you refuse to use a made-up, non-English "pronoun" like 'zir' when someone prefers it. In some places it is suggested that it is use of non-preferred terms that is punishable. In others, it is failure to use terms you've been told someone wants you to use.
   So...according to this law, someone can insist that you call them Zargon the Magnificent, XIIIth Emperor of Reality, and you can be fined a quarter of a million dollars for failing to comply. They can make up fake pronouns on the spot, or use some canned nonsense like 'hir'; whatever the case, if you're told what they want you to say, you must comply.
   The law doesn't even get the sex/gender distinction right...but it tells you that you must speak as the looniest member of the gender studies department wants you to speak. It claims that sex is partially a matter of "gender expression," which is wildly false.
   This is utter madness. The fact that something like this could be anywhere in the vicinity of a law is nearly unbelievable. I really don't have the words to express how insane this is. How could something so firmly based in incoherent radical-left crackpottery make it into law?

Professor Reluctant To Write Recommendation For Pro-Gun Student

link many professors out there are so intolerant of any deviation from their own political positions that they are unwilling to write recommendations for students who so deviate? Well, at least one of them thinks it is a tough enough call that they're willing to publish a piece in the Chronicle discussing their anguish. Well...moderate discomfort. Gosh...I just don't feel literally 100% comfortable with my irrational totalitarian intolerance of those who disagree with me, nor with my misuse of my position of authority to punish such disagreement. What do you think guise?
   It's good news that the author wrote under a pseudonym. That indicates that this is over the line even by the standards of academia. And the comments are scathing. So that's something.
   This could just be one case...but I very much doubt it. Even a passing familiarity with current events in the academy should make one suspect that the author isn't a radical outlier. Especially given that, I'm inclined to think that our contempt for the author ought to be tempered by our appreciation for their bringing this attitude out into the relative open.

Tubman Replaces Jackson On the Twenty

   Well, she moves him to the back of the bill, anyway...
   Big improvement, rather obviously. Tubman was a badass. Also, not responsible for any genocidal far as we know...
   Also, they didn't ditch Hamilton! That was always a bad idea. Sadly, I'm led to understand that Hamilton may have been saved because he became trendy somehow?? Because of a Broadway musical or something?  Can that possibly be right??? How do I miss these things?
   Anyway, three cheers for the new twenty.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Timbuktu Librarian Saves Ancient Manuscripts From Al Qaeda

Drum: Why Do We Put Up With Saudi Arabia?

Maybe We Don't Have Much Of A Choice
   I have long thought we should cut those bastards loose...but, like Drum, I realize I'm not privy to all the info, and I don't have to balance considerations nor look for another ally in the ME...
   Unlike Drum, I'm less willing to reject the idea of Iran as an alternative. Yes, yes, they're a major sponsor of terrorism...and there's that whole nukes thing...but, hey, nobody's perfect amirite? I don't have very good reasons for this. I'm mostly just carrying around a lot of guilt because we are the ones that fucked them over remember that????
   Well...we and the Brits, anyway... Iran was a reasonably good, modern place on a reasonably good trajectory (or so the common account of the history goes) before we, y'know, murdered Mossaddegh and inflicted the Shah and his psychotic police state on them so we could have their oil...which of course then led to the revolution which imposed a Medieval theocracy on them... Oh, right then there was that little thing where we--by which I mean the Reagan administration--sold weapons to Saddam Hussein so he could launch his lunatic human wave attacks against them... And all that's not to even mention the Vincennes shooting down flight 655...that was a whole other thing... So...I don't think I'm going way out on a limb here to say that we owe them. Iran's a problem, but that's largely our damn fault.
   And I'm always surprised when I meet Iranians who don't hate us. WTF? We hate them. Imagine what we'd be like if they had done to us 1/100th of what we've done to them. I mean...supplying Iraqi insurgents with IEDs is no trivial matter...but it's pretty minor in comparative terms in the larger scheme of things.
   So...for these not-terribly-good reasons, and not really being able to understand what's going on in Iran politically now...I've long thought we ought to apologize our asses off and make a big push to normalize relations with them. Might weaken the hardliners even maybe?
   Actually, I have no idea what I'm talking about on the latter points. But I have great confidence in the proposition: we screwed the Iranian people hard, and we owe them.

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's National Velociraptor Awareness Day

In fact...April national velociraptor awareness month.
The National Society for Velociraptor Attack Prevention is on the case.

NYT: "Transgender Law Makes North Carolina Pioneer In Bigotry"

   Uh...well...not really...
   Or, rather: it's less clear than the NYT makes it out to be. Many liberals have accepted the PC left's strange theory of "transgenderism"...and of course everything is easy and obvious and the left is always right and if you dissent you are a bigot...and all that...
   But it just ain't so. 
   First, public restrooms and locker rooms are segregated by sex, not by gender. They have never been segregated by gender. Men are adult male persons (as the OED makes clear), and women are adult female persons. Kids old enough to do so on their own use the same one they'll use when they're adults. Gender has nothing to do with it. If restrooms were segregated by gender, then all masculine folks--including masculine women--would use one, and all feminine folks--including feminine men--would use the other. But that's not the way it is.
   Second, the sex/gender distinction really is useful. It's useful despite the fact that extreme feminists and gender studies types are always shrieking about it. It's useful, and it captures an important and real difference. So it's too bad that (a) everybody completely ignores it, including the Times--and/or they just get it flat-out wrong, and (b) contemporary gender studies types have destroyed the concept gender so that now it is utterly incoherent and useless. (Short version of the actual distinction: sex: male/female. Gender: masculine/feminine.) 
   Third, the relevant part of the NC law just says that everybody has to follow the same rules about public restrooms: males in one, females in the other. That, in and of itself, is in no way some act of nuclear bigotry. "Gender identity" is a largely incoherent concept that's been cranked up specifically to get conclusions that the PC left wants in cases like this. It's not a real thing, and outrage that some people refuse to substitute "gender identity" for sex in such matters is just idiotic. It shows how far down the rabbit hole the Times has gone.
   Now...there are complications. If a male dresses and acts like females normally do, he might have trouble using the men's bathroom. Even well-meaning guys in there taking a whiz might be freaked out. And, of course, some guys are assholes. So there's that too. My own current view is that the least-disruptive policy is probably just: let people use the other sex's restroom if they can get away with it without causing a riot. It's not really a huge deal, and it beats the other three most salient alternatives:
(a) Giving up on sex-segregated restrooms completely (theoretically elegant, but actually nutty).
(b) Building a third restroom everywhere (too expensive)
(c) Going full SJW and declaring that men become women by wearing women's clothes and/or thinking of themselves as women, and/or having largely cosmetic medical treatments to simulate a sex change (since we can't, currently, actually change someone's sex.)
   So, the NC law might not be the world's best law. And if it was passed out of spite and/or assholishness...then its spiteful and/or assholish. But it is just nuts to pretend that it's off-the-scale prejudice simply to insist that everyone follow the same rules. Men who live as women are not women, and women who live as men are not men. And the law says that they have to follow the same rules everyone else does. And the NC law can be seen as simply recognizing what most of us agree with: we'd rather that strangers of the other sex not come into our public restrooms even if they make an effort to try to look like They belong there. Hell, I'm not all that wild about peeing in front of other dudes, actually. I'm used to it...but it's not like I like it. And I don't care all that much that sex-segregated restrooms are difficult to defend sub specie aeternitatis... That's the system, it's a good one for us, and it's understandable that some people don't want to change it simply because some other people are very insistent about a cluster of false and silly theories.  
   And none of this necessarily has anything to do with fearing violence against women. (Though that the PCs wouldn't fear this is weird, because they won't shut up about it in any other context...but their fear drops to zero here when it's eleven everywhere else...) The main issue is one of psychological comfort. And that's a perfectly reasonable consideration to bring to bear.
  But, be all that as it may, I am currently thinking that it might be best to just turn a blind eye to occasional violations of the restroom segregation rules.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Anti-Trump Hysteria At Universities

No. Forget it.
I have nothing to say about this bullshit.

Backlash Against AAUP Title IX Report

I haven't even had a chance to read the whole AAUP report yet, so I can't speak to this. The AAUP is on what's basically the right side of this, and the new group--"Faculty Against Rape" if you can believe that name--is generally on the wrong side of it...despite, y'know, the name...  But who knows? FAR is probably just more PC / SJW lunatic pseudo-scholars pursuing a far-left activist agenda...but maybe not...
But this paragraph hardly instills confidence:
“The overall impression given by the report is that the Department of Education’s Office [for] Civil Rights is ‘overreaching’ in its mandated mission of providing guidance to universities and ‘abusing’ Title IX; this, despite the fact that there is broad underreporting of campus sexual assault by universities,” the letter says. “While we would ordinarily join with the AAUP in resisting the corporatization of institutions of higher learning, we are deeply concerned that the AAUP’s analysis of this issue as it pertains to Title IX, by pitting student concerns for campus safety against faculty interests, reinforces the symptoms instead of addresses the problem.”
The OCR does seem to be overreaching, so it's hardly a criticism of the report to say that it suggests overreach. Furthermore, it isn't clear that there is a "broad" under-reporting of sexual assault by universities. More to the point, such alleged under-reporting is in no way inconsistent with the claim that OCR is over-reaching. And then there's the gratuitous "corporatization" bit...not to mention the fact that there does seem to be a certain tension between "concerns for campus safety" and faculty interests...when "safety" is interpreted as broadly as the PCs have interpreted it.

One unfortunate point of agreement between the AAUP and FAR:
Faculty Against Rape says it does support the report’s recommendation for more funding for programs and departments that “analyze how sex, gender, power and advantage operate,”
That, in fact, is approximately the last thing we need. Such programs are the swamps that are largely responsible for producing the confusions in question. There's already way too much of it in universities, and it's largely far-left political activism masquerading as scholarship. We'd be a lot better off with a lot less of that nonsense. I'd be willing to pay twice as much to have half as much of it, honestly. soon as the semester is over, I supposed I'd better get to reading the rest of the AAUP report, at least...

The Cruzpocalypse Draweth Nigh

Whelp, nice knowin' everbody

Ibram X. Kendi: More Insanity On Race From The Left

   How is it that people on the left get away with saying such patently stupid things about race? I mean, we know the right was hopeless for...seems like ever...on the topic. But has the left always been this delusional? Here are just two bits from the article:
Kendi, a historian at the University of Florida, proposes a standard. “My definition of a racist idea is a simple one: it is any concept that regards one racial group as inferior or superior to another racial group in any way.”
   Right then. So the proposition that blacks can stay out in the sun longer than whites without getting sunburned...racism! Believing that Jews have a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes...racism!!! In fact, we don't even know whether racism is false! We have to wait until the scientific data about comparative abilities is in. Here's hoping that the Koreans don't turn out to be better at Starcraft or something...because if they do, the Klan has been right all along...  
   I don't expect the activist/academic left to talk sense about race (or anything else) anymore. Here's how you know you're in the grip of a stupid theory: people randomly picked off the street are more likely to talk sense than you are. The activist/academic left is in the grip of a set of theories and sentiments that basically pushes them to converge on falsehoods and nonsense. It's like a kind of anti-science.
   Here's a news flash: people aren't perfectly equal with respect to their abilities. The sexes are not equal in ever way, and it is very, very unlikely that the races will turn out to be equal in every way. If that ridiculous definition of racism were true, it would force us to accept an analogous definition of sexism--and that would mean that sexism is not merely permissible, it's true and irrefutable. It's just a scientific fact. Men are better at lifting heavy things. Women are better at nursing babies. Sexism!!!! What utter bullshit. Ideas this ridiculous only survive in protected environments. Even a tiny bit of actual thought about this is enough to reveal that Kendi's definition isn't right and isn't anywhere close to being right. Here's another test: if you think Barack Obama is a racist, you need to go back and check your work.
   Defining racism is actually not a trivial task. You can say that it's the view that some races are morally inferior to others, i.e. of less moral worth. Or you can say that it's the view that some races deserve to be treated better or worse than others. You can also say that it's at least  in part an eagerness to believe in differential abilities...  But you can't say--not with a straight face, anyway--that if hard data ultimately indicates that Australian Aborigines are better than other races at Backgammon, then it's racist to believe it. It's not racist to believe any fact. Racism is more in the direction of spinning evidence in order to "confirm" prejudices--or ignoring evidence completely. How is it that people who seem to spend all their time thinking about this stuff seem to understand it so poorly? Well, again...bad theories and bad sentiments among activist/academicians is surely part of the story.
   Ok, just one more:
So, in a world where the Brown opinion is racist, what does it take to not be? “In order to be truly antiracists, we must also oppose all the sexism, homophobia, colorism, ethnocentrism, nativism, cultural prejudice, and class bias teeming and teaming with racism to harm many Black lives,” Kendi asserts, in a full-throated embrace of intersectionality. In other words, oppose everything, at all times, all at once. For instance, the author criticizes the reaction of female suffragists to the 15th Amendment’s enfranchisement of black men. “It stung leading suffragist Susan B. Anthony to think the Constitution had ‘recognized’ Black men ‘as the political superiors of all the noble women,’ ” Kendi writes.For instance, the author criticizes the reaction of female suffragists to the 15th Amendment’s enfranchisement of black men. “It stung leading suffragist Susan B. Anthony to think the Constitution had ‘recognized’ Black men ‘as the political superiors of all the noble women,’ ” Kendi writes.
   Oh god..."intersectionality"...a term that ranks up there with "problematic" and "cultural appropriation" on the annoying scale... But anyway...none of that paragraph is true, of course. You can be antiracist while still being sexist. And throwing in 'truly' before 'antiracist' doesn't change anything. If you can be against sexism while still being racist (which Kendi acknowledges, whether he's right about Anthony or not), then you can be against racism while still being sexist.  Kendi's claim is fashionable on the left, but it's false. It's good to be against racism (correctly defined) and good to be against sexism (correctly defined), and so even better to be agaisnt both--but not being both does not mean you are neither.
   And another thing...if Kendi's evidence for the claim that you can't be anti-racist without being against all prejudice is really that stuff about Anthony...egad...flaming non sequitur... First, Anthony was probably right to be angry (if she was) that black men seemed to be treated better than all women. If everybody should be treated equally, then unequal treatment is bad. Perhaps Anthony's annoyance (if any of this is even true...) was sub-optimal...but it's not clearly racist. But Kendi seems to think her alleged reaction was racist. However, even if it were, showing that one anti-sexist person was racist in no way shows that it is impossible to be anti-sexist without being anti-racist. I suspect the reviewer is botching Kendi's argument here...but the definition discussed above doesn't give me a lot of confidence about that...
   Anyway. Crap. Crap, crap, crap. The prevalence and popularity of this kind of stuff on the left makes me even more pessimistic about race than I used to be. We've got a problem, obviously...but I used to think that we at least had our heads on straight about what needed to be done. I worry more and more that we may be moving toward a situation such that we still have a problem...but the brain-scrambling theories and sentiments of the far left are going to rob us of our relatively clear-headedness about where we need to go. I usually fight hard to resist the urge to use "you're just making it worse" arguments. I resist it because it's the only argument the far left seems to acknowledge as weighty. Thus such arguments reinforce their view that they can be as idiotic as they want so long as their idiocy doesn't interfere with their goals. What they need to realize, however, is that the truth matters, and being nutty is bad in and of itself, regardless of any bad consequences it might have.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Occasional Book Recommendations: Linda Nagata, The Red

   I've had a lot of bad luck with science fiction of late. I've largely stopped even trying to read it. A lot of it is so badly-written that I can't get more than a few chapters in. And I don't have terribly high standards for such things. And, of course, there are lots of other ways for a book to fail. Military sci-fi is often particularly bad IMO, though it's a sub-genre that, in theory, at least, I really enjoy. John Birmingham's Weapons of Choice is just a blast, IMO, and the sequels are generally pretty good, too. And of course there's Starship Troopers...
   Anyway, I'm about 3/4 of the way through Linda Nagata's near-future military sci-fi novel The Red right now, and really, really enjoying it. The writing is actually...good. And there are actual characters. And actual ideas. Ideas about cool weapons-tech, and realio-trulio other ideas about...y'know...politics and human life and stuff...  It's actually like a real actual novel...but with badass exoskeleton combat. Weird...  I can't help but think that there must be a catch of some kind...
   Anyway. Linda Nagata. The Red. Philosoraptor say: check it out.

Carolina-Villanova: Adam Schein on the Officiating

Adam Schein on the officiating in the final.
   I don't really want to talk about it because there's basically no way to do so without seeming like I'm whining. Also, I'm not objective, of course. I've tried to just move on and not think about it.
   But, yes, the officiating was awful. People have to add the boilerplate: it didn't determine the outcome...'s just what you have to say. I'm not saying it did or it didn't...though even if you ignore every other bad call that night, it's a bit hard to ignore the play with 35 seconds left in which a Villanova player elbowed Hicks in the gut and traveled three times in three different ways with no call on any of them...then Hicks blocks his shot cleanly and gets called for the foul. An absolutely terrible series of calls that gave 'Nova the lead with very little time left. I think you have to admit at least that it might have affected the outcome...especially of a game determined in the last half-second. And if that were the only bad call to go against us, that'd be one thing...but...well...I'm just going to shut up now... Basketball is a difficult game to officiate.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Liberalism Continues to Lose Its Mind, ThinkProgress Is Full Of Shit, and John Kasich Meets Rape Crisis Hysteria

Liberals have not always been this stupid, have they?
There's no possible way I was just not noticing this stuff before...
This has to be new... There's just no way I was simply missing this stuff before...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Newspeak Watch: The University of Washington's "Q Center"


(h/t J. Carthensis)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

An Actually Funny Joke

Scientists recently did a study on the effects the right side and left side of a brain had on counting. They first took out the left half of a man's brain and asked him to count to 10.He says, "2, 4, 6, 8, 10".They put the left half back in and removed the right half, asking him to count to 10 again.He says "1, 3, 5, 7, 9".Finally they decided to just go for it and removed the whole brain. They again asked him to count to 10 one more time.He says, "Look. I'm great at counting to 10, ok? I love numbers and I have the best numbers. No one has better numbers than I do. My 4th grade math teacher - and let me tell you, she was the best and smartest math teacher in the country at the time - my 4th grade math teacher said to me that I am the best counter she's ever seen. The best. So if you want me to count to 10, let me tell you I can count to 10 alright. That's no problem. I will do it. I will. And I will do it better than any has ever done it before, ok?"
(via /r/jokes)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Vegan Sexuality: Deconstructing Heteronormative Buzzword Buzzword Jargon Jargon Bullshit Through "Meat-Free Sex"

   Just for the record...I did absolutely not make up that last bit in quotes.
   It's even har...I...mean...difficult for me to believe I didn't make it up. Because...I'm fully capable of such a thing... But, as you can see, that bit is totally for real. If, indeed, that abstract is for real. Which I'm actually not too sure about...
(h/t J. Cartensis)

JMU Clears Male Student of (Obviously Bogus) Rape Charge; "Victim" Appeals; Accused Is Subjected To A Second Hearing With Virtually No Chance To Defend Himself; Found Guilty

This insanity has to stop.
   Yet another case of a female student "realizing" that she had not given consent long after the fact...and, in this case, after finding the guy with another girl.
   Utter madness.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bullshit Watch: Jennifer Cook: AI Reinforces A Toxic Desire For Passive, Easily-Dominated Women

   It's not merely that this is utter bullshit, as if that weren't enough.
This is the type of bullshit that has taken over much of the humanities and some of the social sciences. It's not merely that Cook is's that she's full of shit. It's that she's learned a method of reasoning that virtually guarantees that the only thing she can produce is bullshit. Being mistaken about this issue or that one is normally not such a big deal. Being mistaken about how you should reason about things in general...that is a big deal.
   As I've said before, this nonsense produces what are essentially free-associative prose poems (bad ones, too, aesthetically speaking...) that move inevitably, via utterly crackpot non sequiturs, to their pre-ordained politically correct conclusions. And, of course, fashionable and utterly idiotic terminology is scattered liberally throughout.
   But I'm not going to waste time on this crap.
   Though I think I really should point out just a couple of things. First, hammers are not particularly phallic. Second, (spoiler alert) the robot in Ex Machina kills its tormentor. Third, a lot of people, myself included, just find women's voices more pleasant. Fourth... oh, to hell with it. This stuff is just moronic. You've got to be an idiot to take such crap seriously. I'm done with this.

The Far Right And The Far Left Both Still Want to Control What's In Your Mind...And Your Pants

   Obviously cherry-picked research is obviously cherry-picked.
   I do think that we might ought to think a bit about the effects on kids of seeing extreme types of porn from the get-go. And there's nothing wrong with being reflective about such things in general. And it might even be good to have some scientific conclusions about such things...  But this screed is pretty obvious nonsense. I've read summaries of enough studies over the years to have a high degree of confidence that evidence here has been cherry-picked. And we know, in general, that we can't trust sociology and social psychology to be objective when their research intersects with politics.
   Both the far right and the far left have retreated on the porn issue for several years...but probably just because they were losing. I have no sense of what the right might do, but there's no doubt in my mind that the anti-sex fringe of feminism etc. will be back eventually. There's a strong drive on the left to be leftier-than-thou...and, of course, their bugbear is the dreaded straight(white) really can't be long before the forces of anti-eroticism return in a major way.
   The more pressing issue in my mind is why so much pr0n is so godawful terrible... Now there's an issue that really needs to be addressed...

[And: people on the left really do have to start worrying about the medicalization of everything. Almost anything really important will have some implications for public health. If "experts" get to wade in and effect policy on anything, then we really do get rule by bureaucrats (and pseudoscientists).]

Sunday, April 10, 2016

People Really Hate Ted Cruz

Almost everybody in American politics seems to be hated by somebody...but this sure does seem like an awful lot of hate coming from an awful lot of different places.

The *More Black Males In Prison, Therefore Injustice* Argument

   I've complained about this one for long time, but the stuff about Clinton and BLM gives me occasion to complain about it again:
   The fact that group A and group B are imprisoned at differential rates doesn't entail that this is because of (nor even primarily or largely because of) injustice/prejudice. 
   Males are imprisoned at much higher rates than females. In fact, the differential between males and females dwarfs the differential between blacks and whites. But this in no way proves that the judicial system is biased against males--and no one anywhere thinks it does. Because males commit more crimes than women do, and everyone knows that.
   And the fact of the matter is that black males commit crimes--including violent crimes--at a higher rate than white males. So a fair judicial system will imprison black males at a higher rate.
   Why do black males commit crimes at a higher rate than white males? Do they commit crimes at a rate commensurate with their rates of imprisonment? Is the judicial system systematically biased against blacks (or at least black males)? I don't know the answers to any of these questions, but I've read enough to know that it's complicated... And remember, my aim here is not to try to answer questions outside of my area of expertise.
   All I aim to do here is point out, yet again, that differences in incarceration rates alone do not prove bias. Now such differentials do, I think, give prima facie reason to worry that bias is afoot. But all that can do is point us in the direction of addressing more complicated questions. The fact that such a high percentage of black males is in prison is also prima facie reason to look hard at the system--but the percentage, startling as it is in and of itself, it doesn't mean much without knowledge of how many black males are committing what kinds of crimes and so on.
   By all means, be worried about all this. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that differential rates of imprisonment alone are proof of bias.

Drum: Black Incarceration Didn't "Explode" Under The 1994 Crime Bill

   I don't have much of a view of the 1994 crime bill. My attention was only re-directed to it because there are more bad arguments against it now than there normally are...and because Bill Clinton is getting heat because he had the temerity to respond to BLM protesters who were hassling him about it during a campaign event. At any rate Drum's chart shows that one of the claims being thrown around is apparently false.

Friday, April 08, 2016

American Idol Something Something Racist Something White Guy Something

Is...that show still on?
The real surprise here is that pre-teen girls would prefer a clean-cut guy with a guitar.
So weird
I racist or whatever

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

$550k Tax Dollars To Be Spent on University of Michigan Study of "Microaggressions"

Seriously, has everyone just gone crazy?

TOTES PROBLEMATISTICAL Mural In Old Cabell Hall Is Problematistical


Title IX violations: not even in art.

Marcus Paige's Final Shot in a Carolina Uniform

If things had gone the tiniest bit differently in that last 5 seconds, this would be considered the greatest shot in NCAA history.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

"North Carolina Showed Incredible Class After Monday's Brutal Loss"

Business Insider On Hart's Uncalled Foul On Jackson, End Of First Half of Carolina-Villanova

I'm really trying to resist the urge to complain more about the officiating, but even neutral parties from one end of the web to another are commenting on it.
   Of all the suspect and outright awful calls last night, here's the one that seemed most blatant to me, discussed at Business Insider oddly enough.
   Hart had already put Jackson in a blatant arm bar, tried to wrestle him to the ground, then, when he couldn't, flopped and looked at the ref in an over-the-top acting job aimed at convincing the ref that Jackson had thrown him to the floor. Then, right in front of the ref, he (Hart) walks up and starts shoving Jackson...and the ref starts giving Justin trouble about it! I've never seen anything like it, honestly...
   Then there was the blatant and uncalled foul at the end of the first half discussed in the article, leading to a 4-point swing in what turned out to be a 3-point game...
   Officiating is hard, and I expect it to be approximate...but it seemed unusually bad last night.

Three Plays That Will Haunt UNC

   Not going to complain about the officiating...well...not much...but even many neutral parties have admitted it was bad. Very, very bad.
   Here's a discussion of two of the worst calls--the blatant uncalled foul against Jackson at the end of the first half that turned a potential 9-point halftime lead into a 5 point lead (in an ultimately 3-point game), and the jaw-dropping play in the final 0:35, in which Booth (a) fouled Hicks with an elbow to the sternum (no call), (b) walked by sliding (no call), and (c) walked by changing his pivot foot (no call); Hicks then cleanly blocked Booth's which time there was (d) a foul call against Hicks. That one was hard to swallow with equanimity, ah tell you whut...
   And this doesn't even mention the arm bar by Hart against Jackson early in the game, and the attempt to make it look like a foul by Jackson...followed by a flop by Hart, who, having initiated and perpetrated it all, looked at the ref as if he'd just been the innocent victim... Hard to keep a good attitude about 'Nova after that bit of blatant bullshit...but...shit happens in basketball I guess.
   Ah, well.
   Go Tar Heels!  Hark the Sound!

Adam Kilgore on Marcus Paige

Hasn't really sunk in yet that I've seen Marcus, Brice, and Big Joel play their last game in Carolina blue.

Carolina 74-Villanova 77

   Good game and big props to 'Nova. They played a great game and that was a big shot to win it.

   A great game and a fantastic year by Roy and the boys--my favorite bunch Tar Heels ever. What an unbelievably fantastic bunch of kids. It almost would have been absurd for them to win it all on top of everything else...but if a few tiny things had gone just slightly differently...well, you see where I'm going with this.
   It was also great to see the Tar Heel alums in the stand...Jordan, Barnes, Rosenbluth, Vinsanity, Antawn, JMM, KM, DMFG...fifty-one in all behind the Carolina bench.
   Goddamn sports will break your heart. If the team was a bunch of guys we really didn't care about, that'd be one thing... But Roy almost always puts together these teams you can't help but love. And after all the turmoil and unfairness and press persecution of the last four years, and the disappointment of '12 and Kendall's broken wrist...everybody wanted this one even more than people usually want national titles. Disappointing, to say the least.
   Ok. I can't write about this now.
   Go Tar Heels!

Monday, April 04, 2016


My stomach is in knots

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Carolina 83-Syracuse 66

Props to Syracuse for a good season, a great tournament run and a hard-fought game.

Go you Tar Heels; beat 'Nova!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The "Social Construction" Fallacy: Wireless Philosophy's "Race and Racist Institutions"

   This video is actually pretty good in a couple of ways, including the initial thought-experiment...though that thought-experiment actually needs to be clarified a bit if it's going to elicit the preferred conclusion...
   Anyway, the historical stuff is fine...but the video does claim to have a kind of conclusion--specifically, it aims to resolve a certain alleged puzzle: if race isn't real, how can it have such pronounced effects? This isn't really a puzzle. First, races are real; so no problem. And incidentally: ideas can have profound effects on people even if their object is not real. It's a problem for people on the intellectual left, because they desperately want race to be unreal...but so many people on the intellectual left have built their entire careers on studying race that they don't want to be left, as it were, with nothing to talk and write about... That, in addition to the strong preference on the left for social explanations, has caused the them to be deeply and passionately invested in social constructionism. Rather than the obvious answer(s), the intellectual left prefers: race is not "biologically real," but it is socially constructed, therefore "socially real," therefore real, therefore it can have the consequences it has.  At any rate, though Mendieta deviates from orthodoxy (he says race isn't real), he still manages to slip in a flaming non sequitur just after the 6:00 mark that undermines his claim to resolve the alleged-but-fictional puzzle... I'll leave identification of it as an exercise for the reader/viewer...

Go Tar Heels

Beat Syracuse

That is all

Weary Professors Give Up, Concede Africa Is A Country

Looks like I'm a day late on this.

Friday, April 01, 2016

The Rise Of Partisanship In The U.S. House Of Representatives