Monday, October 31, 2016

Was A Mysterious Trump Server Communicating With Russia?

Obscure Horror Movie Recommendation: I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In the House

   This one is not from me, but from Johnny Quest. She will watch just about any horror movie, especially when Halloween rolls around. So sometimes she does find genuine undiscovered gems. I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but she says it's a good one, and the fragments I saw were pretty cool looking. Creepy and "atmospheric," as they say.

Drum: Tightening, Schmightening

FiveThirtyEight: Trump Up To 25% Chance Of Winning

   The good news: only a 25% chance...
   The bad news: ...of a reductio ad absurdum of America.

Trigger Treat

Laura Southern goes there.
Too far?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

F-35 vs. Su-35

War Is Boring does an over-the-counter simulation.

The Existing Border Barrier Between the U.S. and Mexico is Nearly 600 Miles long

   So...does this mean that we're already an evil "nation of walls" and all that hoo-ha?
   We've also got plenty of walls at airports and seaports stopping people from coming in until they go through the proper channels. Trump's apparently wrong (surprise!) about the value of a wall across the entire southern border...but there's nothing intrinsically anti-American about the idea, despite liberal whinging about it. It's purely a matter of cost-effectiveness.

The Su-35: 40 Years on, has the Eagle Met Its Match?

Daggum thrust vectoring...hard to daggum beat at low speeds.

Jew-S-A! Jew-S-A!

He seems nice.

Erika Christakis On Her Yale Halloween E-Mail and Self-Censorship

Academia: A Snapshot

   This is basically representative of much of what's going on in academia. There's probably no need for any comment by me.

Comey's Announcement Inconsistent With Departmental Policy

   Doesn't this seem like a case about which one ought not freelance? I mean, it's tough to be objective when we're dangling over the Trumpian abyss...but as a general rule I tend to think that presumption should go to established policy in tough cases.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Nina Burleigh: "The Battle Against 'Hate Speech' On College Campuses Gives Rise To A Generation That Hates Speech"

   Much of this, at Newsweek, is well-known, but it's still worth a read.

Sam Wang: Why Did The Polls Seem So Variable This Week?

Because there were a lot of them.

My response has been to self-medicate.

Cloudy With A 20% Chance of Trump

    America--land of Washington and Lincoln, as you might recall--currently seems to have nearly a 20% chance of electing Donald Trump as President.
   And God knows what f***ing Anthony Wiener's latest penis-related antics will do to that chance.
   I'm so very despondent about the trajectory of American liberalism that if the GOP could have manged to cough up an even minimally qualified, intelligent, sane and virtuous candidate...oh, even minimally qualified, intelligent, sane or virtuous one...I'd have been all ears. But noooo.  They almost always manage to be worse than the Dems in almost every damn thing they do. How do you manage to consistently be worse than the Democrats??? HOW???? That should be virtually impossible.
   Uh...anyway... The ray of hope I'm clinging to...or...whatever one does to or with a ray of that Clinton really is a committed centrist who is lying to the "progressives," and that a Clinton '45 would do what Clinton '42 did, turning the Dems back to the center. Maybe even...revive the spirit of the DLC? That's possible, right?? It's not even that unlikely...right?
   That, of course, is predicated on the assumption that the country does not go insane...insaner...and elect the ignorant, unqualified moronic quasi-rapist with mental problems... Which, as I mentioned, apparently could still happen...
   tl;dr: I hate everything about American politics right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Behold As Racist Lefties At Berkeley Block The Way of White Students

   Such ass-kickings are deserved.

The United States Is Not At DEFCON 3

   It's really freaky the nutty crap that sweeps through the rightosphere. The latest one to catch my eye is the DEFCON 3 panic.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tufts Campus Police To Investigate "Offensive" Halloween Costumes

   In addition to everything else crazy about this, you'll note the now-standard PC tactic of pretending that someone doesn't approve of x = x is "offensive" = x is dangerous.

Meet The AC-130J

Powell's Voting for Hillary

   No big surprise, I'd say.

Drum on the Massive Obamacare Premium Increases

   He's more sanguine about them than I am...but, then, he understands this stuff and I don't.

Monday, October 24, 2016

State of Texas v. United States

Here's the deal: 'sex' simply does not mean "gender identity."
And that's enough to sink the DoE/DoJ's case. Texas is right, and there is simply no doubt about it whatsoever.

On top of that, "gender identity" is not a thing.

The Atlantic: A Reading Guide For Those In Despair About American Politics

   We're assured that this list is compiled on the basis of an "ideologically" "diverse" (damn there are a lot of words I just can't stand anymore... Including any that include gratuitous occurrences of '-ology', '-ological' or '-ologically'...) list of people... And, heck the Atlantic does seem to be a cut above in that respect. Anyway, at least some items on this list look pretty promising.

APA Issues Code of Conduct

   Ugh, I almost can't bear to read it.
   It's basically a sure bet that there's going to be a fair amount of stupid in there.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Joss Whedon's Next Project Is A Horror Movie Set During WWII

   Cool, I love that kind of stuff.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

"Decolonizing" Mathematics

   Or: education major throws around buzzwords about a field she doesn't understand at all.
   Look, if you think this stuff is just going to go away, you're wrong. Reasonable people need to start pushing back, else 20 years from now you're going to discover that your state universities are wasting faculty lines on "ethnomathematicians."

Caesar Vargas: What I really Told Project Veritas

   I'm chagrined that I thought there was any chance that O'Keefe's Project Falsitas was telling the truth in that heavily-edited video. But so much of what Foval said was straight-up awful even without edits, that my head went all whirly...I...I got so confused...
   Anyway, here's the tl:dr of Vargas: O'Keefe is, indeed, a big fat liar / propagandist of Pravdaian proportions.
   Is Vargas giving us the straight dope? Well, we know that O'Keefe is a liar. We don't know anything about Vargas. Winner: Vargas. That is: in the absence of any other information, we have reason to dismiss the voice-over charges by PF against Vargas.
   Of course there's an easy way for O'Keefe to prove his as-yet unsupported accusations: he can release the raw footage. That would be pretty much an end on it. That would, presumably (and ignoring any other shenanigans) tell us everything we need to know.
   However: O'Keefe says he will not release said footage. So not only does presumption stay with Vargas, the refusal itself is further evidence that O'Keefe is a lying sack of shit.
   Ad hominems about funding are normally weak and commonly misleading, ergo I avoid them...but given the evidence we already have on the table, I think the lying sack of shit conclusion is further supported by the fact that Trump gave money to Project Falsitas.
   So that's basically an end on that.
   Unless/until PF releases the uncut footage, of course.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pinson Out Indefinitely

   Whelp, that's the season.

Alex Jones: If Trump Loses, A World War Will Kill 1/3 Of The World Population

   Eh...honestly that's probably not enough to make me vote for Trump.

STAT: Against Keeping Politics Out Of Science


   Wow. I have had a rough week, and I'm about to relax with some rye and beer and L4D2. I'm not going to waste 20 minutes pointing out what's wrong with that article. Maybe I will later... But it's pretty damn obvious. Nobody around here needs me to. Though...RPR doesn't exactly take potshots--it merely posts abstracts. If you don't want people making fun of some nonsense that you wrote, then my suggestion would be to stop writing nonsense. But that's just me.
   Oh, and then there's this paragraph, a critical thinking class in microcosm:
Another problem with faulting research for its political content is that knowing where to stop is impossible. The lines are completely arbitrary and subjective — which is the antithesis of science. Accepting that a field like gender studies is hopelessly politicized and worthy of scorn admits the possibility that astronomy and hydrodynamics are, too.
Come to think of it...I am going to use that in my CT class. Many of my students will be able to clearly explain what's wrong with that paragraph. Kinda funny that Oransky and Marcus couldn't see it...

The Vacuum-Decay Apocalypse Explained In A Cute Cartoon

I really hate vacuum decay.

Rasmussen: Trump Up By 2

It's a data point.
I'm not going to freak out.

Donald Trump Broke The Conservative Media

   This is really good. A short history of the conservative media takeover of American conservatism and the GOP, the radicalization of all three of them, and some thoughts about what must happen after Trump.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Proof That Non-Citizens Vote In Florida?

Well, so much for the insistence that there is no in-person voter fraud in the U.S.

[Here's another story, apparently from the same local NBC affiliate. That seems like the relevant source, not "Top Right News," which seems to have just posted it to YouTube. But it seems pretty weird that this story would not have legs if it's for real. Anyway, caveat lector for the time being.]

[See also this.
(h/t S. rex)]

Trump Is Rape Culture!!!!111

  God this is dumb.
  We'll be rid of Trump in two weeks.
   PC may very well be here to stay.
   (Also, didn't Slate used to be a cut above, say, Salon / Huffington Post? Or am I imagining that?)

[One commenter on Slate describes that piece as "Marcottian." Man, that hits the nail on the head alright. It does boost my spirits that the commenters on Slate frequently call bullshit on stuff like that.]

Rape Is About Sex, Not Power

   One of the bizarre things feminism convinced me of when I was young was that rape is about power, not sex. I didn't believe it for any very good reason. I just thought I should be a feminist, and my feminist gf and her loony feminist mentor told me it was so, and I accepted it. I usually wasn't that epistemically compliant...but I was pretty young at the time. Anyway, despite seeing my way clear of the superstitious and inegalitarian parts of feminism pretty quickly, that belief stuck in my head. Perhaps I assumed that there must be evidence for it or something. But only fairly recently I came across someone pointing out that it was false, and it dawned on me that of course it was.
   Anyway, yeah, it's false. Here's a thing.

The Daily Caller: Drudge Poll Shows Trump Won Debate 3

But only 76-24, down from the 92-8 of the St. Louis debate.

Trump's Appeal to The Election of 2000 to Justify His Refusal to Commit Himself To Honor The Outcome Of The Election

   It's not a sound response, right?
   Gore did honor the outcome. There was never any doubt that he would honor the outcome. He got royally screwed over and he honored the outcome. The decision in Bush v. Gore is laughably/cryably absurdly terribly awfully not even close to being minimally plausible--and he honored the outcome. The scene of him in the Senate repeatedly bringing the gavel down on Congressmen trying to stop certification of the votes is one of the most goddamn inspiring things I've ever seen. Gore's the polar goddamn opposite of Trump on this score.
   I think this got started because of one infelicitous way that Wallace asked the question; he asked at one point something like: on the night of the election, if you lose, will you call your opponent and concede? This left Trumpo minimally plausible wiggle room to cite Gore. But, of course, all that's just because of one unfortunate way of asking the question. Gore was always committed to honoring the outcome, and did so even though it was kind of bullshit. Trump is basically saying that if he wins he should win and if he loses he should win. He's in effect saying: fuck America, fuck your democracy, fuck your democratic principles.
   Is there any doubt that he would seize power if he could?
   Anyway, no. Nobody's actually asking you, Trumpo, to say that you'll concede on election night no matter what. We're asking whether you will honor the democratic process. Anything other than an enthusiastic yes means that you are a psycho fascist. So now we know what he is. As if we didn't already.

Three Wins For Clinton

[There is absolutely no reason to read this crap. It was just mindless venting while 3/4 asleep]

   Not being a moron with obvious mental problems was enough to win, and HRC pulled that off with flying colors. Two questions in, I was kinda sad that I'd donated to her campaign,  but I soon remembered that I'm really donating to the generic anti-Trump, and was at peace. Her answer to the Supreme Court question was less embarrassingly ignorant, but possibly even scarier, than Trump's, since it basically came down to: I'll appoint justices that will advance the political ends I prefer. I was hoping for something more along the lines of: I'll appoint someone smart who will interpret the law objectively...but I suppose that was an irrational hope.
   Of course Trump once again showed that he is entirely unqualified for the office by refusing to say that he'll accept the outcome of the election. If he hadn't already proven himself to be entirely unqualified, that might have been a much more important moment than it was. The "bad hombres" line is already generating PC pearl-clutching. I'm willing to listen to explanations of why that's supposedly a horrific thing to say, but thus far, no good ones. The "vicious woman" line, frequent childish interruptions and the rest of his deranged shenanigans were just icing on the cake.
   Also, something he said made me think that he thinks he's intelligent...something I never considered before. I suppose I just figured that he knew, at some level, that he's an idiot...but now I think he might not actually be hip to that scene.
   Anyway, my $0.02.

[This was written when I was three-quarters asleep. Whatever. Who cares. It's really just venting. HRC did great given the circumstances, and I think she could be a really good President. She could be even more moderate than Obama. ]

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Great Southeast Shakeout

Get ready, it's on its way.
Tomorrow, 10/20 at 10:20.
Remember kids: preparedness is cool. Chicks dig preparedness.

Trump and the *Insufficiently Attractive to Molest* Defense

   Trump's catching hell for this, and rightly so, I think.
   But is it because that defense is never any good, or because of contingent facts about Trump etc.?
   I mean, I agree that making fun of people's looks is a shitty thing to do in general. (Though I do worry that it's also bad to slip toward moral fanaticism about such things... ("Lookism," believe it or not, was the paleo-PC term for this sin.))
   I know this is probably a particularly pointless philosopher's puzzle, but aren't there some cases in which Smith might plausibly defend himself against accusations of sexual assault leveled by Jones against him by indicating that he is not attracted to Jones?
   I don't think that this defense is plausible in Trump's cases. He seems to be basically arguing "I am not attracted to these women now, therefore I would not have been attracted to them when they were in their 20's." The very fact that he's using such an implausible type of argument may be telling. Also--and I'm sure there are many people who would put me in the same category as Trump for even mentioning this--his accusers actually seem to be unusually attractive. So I'm not buying it.
   (Also incidentally: the very fact that I might be crucified if the wrong group of people--and here I mean: liberals and/or PCs, not Trump supporters--read that previous paragraph shows how irrational many on the left have become about such issues. Says me, anyway.)
   Also: even if we were to grant that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"...
...which, incidentally, we shouldn't do...because it isn't... Not entirely, anyway. Beauty seems to be to some extent in the eye of the beholder, but that's different.
   Anyway, even if we did grant that, we could also point out that the following is a true empirical generalization: most men would find Trump's accusers attractive. Ergo it is unlikely that Trump did not. It's unlikely that his eyes behold things so atypically.
   (Another observation I'd probably get in trouble for: Trump's accusers mostly have the same "look". They are, for example, mostly blondes. Not much evidence...but perhaps some.)

   But back to the argument that would get me in trouble were anyone ever to read it other than the weird denizens of this place...
   Suppose that Smith is a celebrity with droves of attractive fans constantly clamoring to have sex with him. There is copious evidence that he avails himself of these opportunities, and that he has fairly normal standards of beauty. Suppose Smith is accused of sexual harassment by Jones. Suppose also that Jones is extremely unattractive by anyone's lights. It might be mean for Smith to point this out, but meanness can't be a consideration in the face of such a serious accusation--unless we're presupposing that Smith is guilty. If Smith is guilty, then pointing out Jones's unattractiveness is just another shitty thing about Smith. But if we don't presuppose Smith's guilt, then surely it's permissible for him to say--if it's true--that he is not attracted to Jones. Uh...right? I mean, imagine a case in which Jones is terribly deformed, has leprosy, whatever. This can't always be completely irrelevant, can it?
   Of course Trump's case is different. He's obviously lying, and he's obviously an unusually mean, vicious jackass. He revels in trying to harm anyone who runs afoul of him. And that's pretty clearly part of what he's doing in this case. But we can imagine that in Smith's case, he's not. It genuinely and obviously pains him to say it--but suppose he's actually repulsed by Jones (and actually innocent). Surely he's permitted to say so.
   What if Smith is heterosexual and Jones is male? Is Smith permitted to use that in his defense? Isn't that just an instance of Smith not finding Jones attractive?
   Perhaps feminists who still believe that such crimes are entirely crimes of violence with no sexual motive will object--but they're wrong, so that objection is unsound. So I wouldn't put any stock in that objection. Rape and sexual assault are primarily about, y'know, sex.
   So, anyway, Trump is lying and he's aiming to score emotional points against people who he's already assaulted... But I don't think that this general type of defense is always weightless, and I don't think that it is always reprehensible.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Armata T-14 vs. M-1 Abrams

Sounds like a close call, but the Abrams is proven.

Clinton Campaign and DNC Operatives Inciting Craziness and Violence At Trump Rallies and Colluding With Superpacs?

[Nah, forget it. I watched it again when I got home, and it basically all comes down to (a) typical O'Keefean bullshit editing and (b) one guy who sounds pretty much like a bullshitting asshole, i.e. Scott Foval. Without seeing the actual, uncut footage, there's usually no way to tell what most of these people are talking about. Given O'Keefe's well-established record of dishonesty, I guess I don't see any reason to fret too much about this BS.
   I knew I should have just dismissed this bullshit out of hand...but nooooo... I got all up on my I'm-not-partisan-see? high horse. Imma gonna take this seriously despite the source! Even if O'Keefe does turn up anything not-overtly-bullshitty, you've basically got to conclude by this point that it's merely currently-undetectable bullshit, and that the bullshit will be revealed soon enough.  Like the GOP, O'Keefe has cried wolf one too many times for any sensible person to fret about his allegations. If he ever says anything true, we'll eventually hear about it. But until such a time, there's no reason to treat anything he does seriously.
   That's my view, anyway.]

   Look...this is a James O'Keefe joint. So caveat auditor. There are places where typical O'Keefean editing is almost undoubtedly in play, and induction indicates that many of the edits will produce footage that's real, of course, but tantamount to lying.  As even RedState notes, we basically can't even pay attention to those points unless/until we see the unedited footage.
   However...there are other places where alleged Democratic operatives seem to clearly state that they are acting as intermediaries between the Clinton campaign and superpacs, and working to incite violence at Trump rallies. One claims to hire mentally ill people to do the latter, and claims that he loves working with unions--the AFL-CIO, he says, will find him someone to do anything. At one point someone claims credit for the riot in Chicago that shut down a Trump rally and injured two cops.
   Even if half or 3/4 of this is misleading editing, this video is still a devastating demonstration that the Democrats suck. I don't want to suggest that the GOP doesn't do such things--we saw that they did to great effect in Florida in 2000, to the great detriment of the country. But this video seems to show that the Dems are no better. We might also say, of course, that a lot of blame still falls on Trump supporters--they're the powder keg that the Dems are touching off. That may be true, but it doesn't mean that the Dems are not to blame for intentionally setting them off. There's enough blame to go around in this case.

[Forgot to add: one point where cheating edits seemed to be a clear possibility was the crucial point where someone alleges that the Clinton campaign knew about this stuff. Still bad though.]

Monday, October 17, 2016

What Is Wrong With Social Psychological Science?

(via the philosophymetametametablog)

Josh Barro: Why I Left The Republican Party To Become A Democrat

The most important thing we have learned this year is that when the Republican Party was hijacked by a dangerous fascist who threatens to destroy the institutions that make America great and free, most Republicans up and down the organizational chart stood behind him and insisted he ought to be president.
Some did this because they are fools who do not understand why Trump is dangerous.
Some did it because they were naïve enough to believe he could be controlled and manipulated into implementing a normal Republican agenda.
Of course, there were the minority of Republicans who did what was right and withheld their support from Trump: people like Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Hewlett-Packard CEO and megadonor Meg Whitman, with her calling Trump "a threat to the survival of the republic."
I want to focus on a fourth group: Republican politicians who understand exactly how dangerous Donald Trump is but who have chosen to support him anyway for reasons of strategy, careerism, or cowardice.
   Rubio, Cruz and Ryan in particular...

Trump: Ein Volk, ein Gott, eine Flagge

   Ein Esel

Iraqi Forces Inflict "Heavy Losses" On ISIL in Mosul?

CNN +  Iraqi army --> who knows?
But let's hope.


...a long road to a very small house...
   Hey, these armrests on this one model of 727 don't obviously look like they go up!   And then there's the butler who...didn't see  I mean, y'know...I didn't see it either, come to think of it...
   Thin gruel indeed.
   They even cite that lunatic Gilberthorpe against Leeds. Jeez, you'd think they'd have scrubbed that one at least.
   They also seem to be lying about Migillivray's account. She said that she felt a hand on her butt; they say she felt someone "bump" her. Not nearly the weightiest of the accusations, of course.
   Oh, and, as for Kristin Anderson's accusation, it seems that Mr. Trump does not sit alone at clubs.
   Anyway. It's a pathetic list of impotent responses. Honestly, though, I haven't been able to find the butler's actual account. Depending on the details, it could end up being stronger that it sounds.

Burning the Ship of State for Short-Term Political Gain: I Blame Rush Limbaugh

   So here's a common thought: one of our great strengths is that most of us basically trust the system, and mostly trust our countrymen. In my view, Rush Limbaugh played a pivotal role in fucking that up. He employs the method of derogatory free-association to wend his way from whatever news blurb or current event the uses as a springboard, through some subsidiary derogation of liberals (Limbaugh-ian lemmas) to the (preordained, of course) conclusion that liberals are evil and stupid and cowardly and dedicated to the destruction of the country. He hates liberals and loves to be thought intelligent, insightful and well-informed. And he's willing to destroy the country in order to pursue those preferences. It's not a particularly deft analogy, but I've long pictured this like so: we're on a sailing ship that's run as a democracy. Limbaugh is a guy who's willing to tear down the masts and tear up the decks to make a bonfire in order to host a party drumming up support for his side. He's willing to cannibalize the ship of state to fuel his campaign against liberalism. Once the ship is broken, we're all fucked. But that's fine with him. Limbaugh's delusional, rabid hatred of liberalism, and his love of fame, adulation and money...these are what motivate him. USA be damned...
   That's what we're seeing from Trump now. On exactly zero evidence, he's willing to destroy the faith in democracy that's necessary for the survival of the Republic--not in order to win. That isn't going to happen. He's already lost. He's a political dead man walking. But rather simply because he can't resist the urge to lash out in defeat. If scoring futile points against Clinton requires destruction of American democracy, then so be it. Of course he won't destroy it...but he's happy to weaken it as much as possible.
   He's probably not an actual agent of Putin...but he might as well be.
   I've defended that sonofabitch against unsound criticisms, and I've even tried hard to give him a run for his money against criticisms that seemed sound but unfairly-leveled. I've tried to keep my disgust for the guy from interfering with my thinking about him. But disgust me he does, and always has. Not, y'know, this bad... Not as bad as he does now that I know that he's a rapist-lite who wants to destroy the country with a tantrum... But you don't even have to know those things to be justly revolted by the guy. I think he may be the most disgusting American politician of my lifetime. Even Wallace at least saw the light and sought redemption. Even Nixon had some virtues...
   But anyway, the point is that Trump reminds me of a dumber, shittier Rush Limbaugh. At any rate, they're cut from the same cloth in many respects.

Trump Accuser Zervos: Currently Too Complicated To Count

   The Zervos case seems to me to be too complicated for her testimony to count against Trump in the clear and obvious ways that some of the other testimony does. She apparently continued to support Trump, and her cousin alleged other motives. She responds the he's angry over a family dispute, he's an enthusiastic Trump supporter, one of Zervos's friends testifies that she told her at the time... This might be untangleable by the pros, but probably not at the level of bloggy bullshit. The other, uncomplicated accusations give weight to Zervos's testimony, but I'd say that Zervos's testimony is an evidential wash without the testimony of others.

Orange County, NC, GOP HQ Firebombed

   Near Hillsborough.
   Some spray-painting: swastikas, "Nazi Republicans get out of town or else." If given the chance to bet on whether this was a genuinely anti-Republican act or a false flag operation by Republicans...I probably wouldn't bet. Pretending to have been victimized in order to further your political agenda is really more of a left thing. But it'd be really, really dumb (rhetorically/tactically speaking) for someone anti-Trump to do this, and not nearly so dumb (speaking in the same way) for someone sympathetic to Trump to do it. I'd guess that this helps the GOP more than it hurts it--which is not to say that it isn't a straight-up crime committed by some Dems or lefties against the GOP.
   Also: Dems roundly condemned the attack, and promptly raised $13k to help rebuild the HQ.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Comey: Alleged Epidemic Of Police Shooting Black Men Not Supported By Data

   We already knew this.
   But as Comey notes, better data-collection is needed.

The Discovery That Trump Is Basically A Rapist Raises Clinton's Lead To...Four Points

Goddamn, America.

   She had a two-point lead in the earlier WaPo-ABC poll, then we had a debate in which Trump acted basically crazy. Then we found out that he's somewhere in the vicinity of being a rapist. So what? The debate garnered her one point, and the sexual assault thing one more?
   Maybe the latter just hasn't had time to sink in? I suppose you could think that Clinton's policies would be so bad that even Trump would be less disastrous...but I just don't think she's liberal enough for that to be a plausible belief.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Trump "Grab 'em..." Tape...Now That We Know He Means It

   Man, I saw that Trump "Grab 'em" tape for the first time since it's become clear that he was, in fact, literally describing his actions, and not merely engaged in boorish bullshitting. Always before I was basically concluding that there was virtually no chance that he was literally and accurately describing his past actions. If you haven't listened to it since we came to know that this was what he was doing, you ought to. Always before my mind was in a kind of superposition of states between this guy needs the world's biggest ass-kicking and he is bullshitting. Seen against the background of our current knowledge, the epistemic wave-function collapses. Without the second alternative to bleed off the rage, that tape will send you through the roof. But it also yields clear and unequivocal knowledge of that guy's awfulness. I mean, I'm sure that seeing the tape is unavoidable, so I'm not sure what my point is. And those who were already sure that Trump was being serious, of course, have already had the experience. I just don't think I've ever heard anyone basically describing their sexual assault M.O. before. And now that I know that this is, in fact, what he's It just about pegs the rage-o-meter. Trump is a loathsome, disgusting, repulsive, evil human being. Give me goddamn Nixon before this guy, and I'm not kidding. This guy is a rapist in spirit--if possibly not technically in fact--but even that remains to be seen, as it turns out.
   Well, this isn't going anywhere that everybody else hasn't already gone, or won't go soon.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Trump's Counter-Witness Against Jessica Leeds

   Z0MFG...seriously...this lunatic may be a lynchpin in another one of my obsessions, the "VIP pedophile ring" insanity in the UK. That's the UK analog of our "satanic panic" of the '80s.
   If I can just get the Illuminati and the moon landing worked in here somewhere, I may be on my way to discovering some kind of grand unified theory of crazy.

Trump, Slipping In Polls, Warns of "Stolen Election"

At the NYT.
   Y'know, I don't want to get dragged down in the mud with Trump...but, honestly, exactly one party of the two major ones has, fairly recently, exhibited a willingness to steal a Presidential election...  They didn't steal it...but really only because Bush did, in the end, seem to get more votes than Gore. But "in the end" means, months after the election, when newspapers actually counted them. At the time when the Bush/Cheney campaign was engaged in sophistry and dirty tricks, it was not clear who had won. So their attempt to circumvent the process was the moral and political equivalent of stealing the election...though, unbeknownst to them, they had actually won.'s pretty goddamn infuriating for the GOP candidate to accuse the Democrats of stealing an election...not to mention that that accusation comes during an election in which the Democratic candidate leads by something like 4-7 points...
   Trump is a piece of shit...but this has been the GOP strategy for something like 20 years now: burn trust in the system to fuel your campaigns. It's like spending your million times worse...
   It was Rush Limbaugh that started this bullshit, IMO.
   Also: I'm getting a little worried about HRC's well-being in rather the same way I was worried about Obama's for the first three years or so of his first term... Tell people someone is destroying the country enough times and somebody might eventually believe you.


This has got to be the biggest thing we have ever killed!

More Allegations Against Trump

Well, they're coming in too fast to list them all at this point...
Holy crap. What a piece of shit that guy is.
How has no one punched his sorry ass out by now?

Growing Evidence That Russia and Wikileaks Are In Cahoots

I am shocked...shocked.

The Daily Show: Trump Supporters On The Sexual Assault Allegations

Yeah, don't watch this or you'll lose much of whatever of your faith remains in humanity.

(h/t the Redneck Raconteur)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Quartz: "Women Have Told Us For Years That Donald Trump Grabbed Them. Why Do We Only Believe It When He Says It."

   [Insert incredulous squint here]
   Oh, hell...I don't know what you're looking for here... Patriarchy? Misogyny? Rape culture? Bigfoot? Phlogiston? Xenu?
   A. I didn't really know anything about Donald Trump until he started his sales pitch to be President. I expect nobody else really knew about the accusations either.
   B. Um...are you seriously asking why we are typically more inclined to believe a confession than an uncorroborated accusation?
   C. Though actually, we don't "believe it when he says it." Because he doesn't say it. He denies it.
   D. Unless you mean that bus thing. Yeah, I didn't believe that either.
   E.  Until, that is, Leeds and Stoynoff leveled their very credible accusations. Then I believed it.
   F.  So...that post is about as wrong as it could be.
   G. And from such a credible source, too...
   H.  Also: no, I'm not going to give presumption to accusations. Especially not accusations of sexual assault now that PC and feminism have made such accusations en vogue. False accusations--perhaps once pretty rare--now seem to be as common as PTSD at a gender studies convention. You've got to be a pretty gullible to "listen and believe," especially in the current climate.
   I.  That's about enough internet for me today.

Hell Is The Absence Of Reason: "Transgender" PCs vs. Jordan Peterson

   We don't need no stinkin' liberal civil dialog
   Keep fighting the misologists, professor P.
   These people are nuts.

PEC Animated Electoral Vote Estimator comforting...

I Believe Trump's Accusers

    Though innocent until proven guilty is actually a legal principle, it's also a decent moral one. Especially with respect to accusations of sexual assault in the current climate that (a) promotes them and (b) "valorizes" accusers and (c) largely considers men guilty until proven innocent.
   But listen, you: I've done my time...I've done my duty, I'd say...with respect to trying to be objective about Trumpo the Clown...
   And I just believe these women. I just believe them. Their stories have the ring of truth about them. I'm not passionately devoted to their veracity nor any such thing. But I absolutely believe them.
   So, wrongly or rightly, that's where I am, FWIW, which obviously isn't very much...but it's also, I'd say, not nothing.



War With Russia / Hillary's No-Fly Zone?

   Jesus, is it just me, or is there an awful lot of chatter about a war with Russia all of a sudden?
    Which brings to mind something HRC said in the debate that alarmed me, but I'd forgotten about it: didn't she say she wanted a no-fly zone in Syria???? Isn't that...kinda nuts? It freaked me out when all the GOP candidates but Rand Paul were clamoring for it...and it seems every bit as much a sure-fire blueprint for war now as it did then.
   I guess if Putin did want to make some kind of move in Syria or eastern Europe, 1/20/17 would be a mighty fine time to do it...

Trump Molested: Jessica Leeds

Trump Molested: Natasha Stoynoff

Anti-Trump Stupidity

   So, as I said, JQ has gotten me into the bad habit of watching cable news sometimes. Argh. The stupid, it buuuurns.... So Trump announces that he's "unshackled," right? Soon thereafter, there's Don Lemon and some bozo on CNN talking about how 'shackles' is a reference to slavery... Which, as I don't need to tell you, is RACIST!!! Somehow. I don't know. Two steps into make-believe and I can't keep track of it anymore. (And let me say that I kinda like Don Lemon. He seems like a nice guy. He's earnest.) Then they wondered whether maybe Trump had said this intentionally to "draw liberals out" and make them say it was racist...oh, God, I don't know...something like: to make them play the race card in order to bolster the myth--and it's totally a myth--that liberals play the race card all the time...
   Trump is double disastrous. He's not only fanning the flames of insanity on the right, he's fanning them on the left as well. Someone on the left or other is always indiscriminately slapping the racist, misogynist or x-phobic sticker on something or other. Liberals seem barely able to see it, but it really seems to leap out at conservatives. Liberals might charge that conservatives are equally blind to actual racism etc...and perhaps they are. I'm not sure. But that doesn't make liberals' irrationality any more rational. And I hate counterproductivity arguments...but damn, can anyone say with a straight face that the torrent of irrational accusations from the left isn't hurting their cause?

Title IX Follies: Wesley College Edition

   So...brace yourselves...Wesley College in Delaware treated a male student accused of sexual something-or-other so unjustly...that the Department of Education OCR actually ruled against the college. How insanely Kafkaesque does your treatment of someone have to be for that to happen? Well, for example, you apparently have to charge them even though the accusers tell you that he wasn't involved, fail to tell him of the charges, spring a surprise judicial hearing on him when he thinks he's merely going for a routine visit to re-education camp, refuse to show him the evidence against him, and give him no time to present a defense. That's what it takes.
   Of course none of this should be happening at all. Title IX has nothing to do with such things, there are no issues of "equity" in's all utter madness. But here we are. People at the DoE have decided to push a liberal / PC agenda. They know what outcomes they want. And they're obviously misusing a law to get them. Neither the actual purpose of the law nor its letter make it suitable...but that isn't stopping them. To the extent that this is permitted, we can no longer say that we are a country of laws and not men. When the law is treated as if it were a poem to be interpreted however those charged with enforcing it prefer to interpret it, it might as well not exist at all. We might as well just give the enforcers the power to act by fiat.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Adjunct Instructor At UVA In Trouble For Calling BLM Racist

   ...or...'rasist', actually...
   So...there's clearly some racism associated with BLM. BLM is motivated on the intellectual side by the post-post-modern mish-mash. Anti-white racism is just part of that mix. Whether it's really a significant component, I really don't know. It may even just be an affectation. But it's clearly in there.
   However...I guess it goes without saying that BLM is, um, obviously not the most racist organization since the KKK. I'd be pretty surprised if it cracked the top 1000.
   So anyway: dude writes something false on his Facebook page. I don't do the Facebook, but I'm led to believe that this is...not uncommon. And the university comes down on him for it and, seemingly encourages him to "take a leave." And here's a chilling statement by the engineering school:
While free speech and open discussion are fundamental principles of our nation and the University, Mr. Muir’s comment was entirely inappropriate. UVA Engineering does not condone actions that undermine our values, dedication to diversity and educational mission. Our faculty and staff are responsible for upholding our values and demonstrating them to students and the community. Mr. Muir has agreed to take leave and is preparing his own statement to the community.
   Holy crap...
   UVA Engineering "does not condone" private actions by it's adjunct instructors that "undermine [their] values, dedication to diversity, and educational mission." Think about that for a bit.
  Mr. Muir, incidentally, was ratted out by another C'ville resident who saw his comment on Facebook, screen capped it, and sent it to UVA.
   Muir may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, or he may have just been having a bad day, or he may have been fed up in that moment by some of the copious bullshit in BLM. It doesn't matter. He's got a right to his political opinions, and I sincerely hope that he sues the shit out of UVA for giving him the boot over this.

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Donald Trump, Sexual Predator

   Whelp, that about does it.
   Trump's been treated unfairly by the media quite a lot, and I think that goes for his recently-released comments as well. Personally, I've got no patience with that kind of talk. But to leap to the conclusion --on the basis of the tape alone--that he was a sexual predator was unwarranted. His comments were consistent with two very different interpretations: (a) I assault women, and, because I'm famous, they don't report me, and (b) I'm a star, so women are hot for me and consent when I am very sexually assertive toward them. I think (a) was the more natural interpretation of what he said...but you don't get to choose that one and act as if it's the only plausible interpretation--especially when the accusation is so serious--simply because you disagree with the guy's politics. Furthermore, the eager leap to (a) leaves out what is perhaps the most plausible explanation his utterances: (c) he was bullshitting. Sometimes women are star struck and very receptive to my advances becomes they let me do whatever I want!  Even if it was the relatively more innocuous (c), I'd have no interest in listening to such bullshit nor being around such a guy...and I certainly wouldn't want him to be President. But there's all the difference in the world between being a boor and being predator.
  But that stuff is becoming more academic by the hour. We now seem to have collateral information that indicates that Trump apparently does, as it turns out, sexually assault women. Now (a) becomes the more likely interpretation. Now we're entitled to see that as the most likely interpretation of what he said. 
   So that sonofabitch is now well and truly unqualified to be if he weren't already.
   Of course, given my current concerns, I do have some peripheral worries that the eager, feverish media stampede to the worst interpretation/explanation of Trump's words will further the cause of rape crisis feminism, and its maniacal obsession with hyperconsent--an obsession that's inconsistent with actual human sexuality in all it's crazy awesomeness. But I think those concerns really ought to take a back seat to the more important issues of (a) sexual assault and (b) not having a maniacal quasi-rapist for president. It sucks that we--and feminism in particular--can't be vehemently against rape and sexual assault without becoming unhinged and anti-sex--but, well, here we are. Different problem for a different day, though.
   On the very, very bright side, this is the de facto end of Trump's run at the White House. And not a moment too soon, as you'll probably agree.

Trump: ISIS To Conquer America If Clinton Wins

   Flat-out delusional

Daniel Bonevac: What It's Like To Be A College Professor Who Supports Donald Trump

Wrong about some things, right about some things... But he's certainly right that openly supporting Trump on campus is going to cause you problems if you're faculty.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How To Develop Sympathy For Trump

Watch an hour of CNN.
I didn't have the heart to look at MSNBC or Fox.

Maine Governor LePage: Solution to Bad Obama Authoritarianism Is Good Trump Authoritarianism

Obama: We're Goin' To Mars

Sam Kriss: Our Gutless Eviscerators

   Liberals looooove the anti-conservative rant...but they're kinda bullshit when you think about it...

   (Or, least there are some points worth thinking about in there.)

Assange Hates Hillary

   In case you hadn't noticed.
   Doesn't mean that the emails are fake, nor that they should be ignored, obviously...but it's worth knowing.
   It does piss me off that Assange is trying to manipulate the election. And it pisses me off that he's trying to put Trump in the White House. His bullshit about radical transparency wears a bit thin when he edits the things and times their release for maximum effect against his enemies... So far I haven't seen anything too bad, but I haven't had time to look carefully. You can to some extent measure a person by their enemies. And if Trump, Putin and Assange all hate somebody...well...that counts in their favor by my lights.
   Zach Beauchamp is a bit slippery rat caveat lector...

Was Bill Clinton Right About Obamacare?

Trumpo Unbound

   I'm not exactly sure what's left... Actually grabbing some...uh...genitals...right on camera? Doing that shooting-somebody-on-Fifth-Avenue thing? Sucker punching Clinton during the next debate? Or maybe digging up the corpse of Vince Foster and seating it in the front row with his family? Announcing plans for a Running Man-inspired reality show in which the American Gladiators hunt down and kill illegal immigrants? There's not really a whole lot of places left for Trumpo to go...
   But, anyway, I guess people who think he's been too restrained and decorous are in for a treat.

"Microaggression" "Training" at "Universities"

   In brief, here are some of the many things I think are wrong with this:
   [1] There's no such thing as a "microaggression." One of the central characteristics of the PC left is that it holds that anything that bothers the PC left is a type of violence. Disagreeing with the PC left is, of course, an act of violence. And any minor annoyance--or minor deviation from their myriad idiosyncratic and largely arbitrary rules--is, similarly, an act of violence. But aggression, of course, require intent. And intent is lacking in the relevant cases. Asking where you're from is not an act of aggression, and not anything even vaguely resembling an act of aggression. It's possible (though extremely unlikely) that I could ask such a question with the intent of annoying you...but that's an act of assholery, not an act of aggression. (I do realize that something that's innocuous if it happens once or twice can be maddening if it happens every day...but that doesn't make it an "aggression," micro- or otherwise...)
   [2] Characterizing this as training presupposes that the issues are not controversial. Someone might reasonably ask you to think about these issues, and might direct your attention toward arguments on each side of this controversy. But to characterize this bullshit as training is to indicate that the answers are known, and the information merely needs to be imparted to students.  And that is utterly, obviously, fantastically false.
   [3] This has the feel of Anonymous's theory in action. I now can't get the idea out of my head that this nonsense is being perpetuated largely by interstitial administrators and shadow faculty who run things like writing centers and orientation, who are trying to maintain their funding by creating a permanent constituency for (to quote A) "The Center For Safe Justice Life Action"...  A thinks that that's what this is mostly about...though I'm not convinced of that part. Also I think I'd add: the other leg of the triad (in addition to the administrators/shadow faculty and student activists) is leftist post-post-modern faculty in the humanities and social sciences. They're the ones pumping out the theoretical (or pseudo-theoretical) part of this stuff, pushing it in their classes, etc.
   Notice also that the person running the session in the story seems to be issuing rulings in response to student questions, not offering to discuss the issue. It's hard for me to not read "see me afterward" as meaning see me afterward so that I can explain to you must think, rather than come on up afterward and we can think about it / discuss it together. But maybe that's wrong. Also, I suppose this is [2], not a separate point. Also I could be imagining that part because I've totally lost my objectivity about this crap.

Douthat: Clinton's Samantha Bee Problem

   Things have gotten pretty weird if I start sort of agreeing with Ross Douthat...
   Things have gotten pretty weird.

Trump Is A Bully

Yeah, remember how I denied that?
I was completely wrong.
I basically argued that he was an asshole, but was not in a position to bully people like Clinton and Warren, because he wasn't more powerful than them. But I later realized that he had the spirit of a bully...and I concluded that that's what really matters.
   And after the last debate, I've become convinced (at least I'm currently convinced) that he was trying to physically intimidate Clinton.
   If that's true, he's basically insane. Attempting to physically intimidate a much smaller woman????  And so lacking in self-control that you do it during a televised event that basically the whole country is watching? (Note: I do realize that most people don't watch the debates...but WTF ever).
   Am I wrong about this?
   I knew something was agitating me during the debate...I had an unusually powerful urge to punch Trump in the head...more powerful than normal, I'm saying. But I didn't fully recognize what he was doing. Did different networks have their own cameras and give different angles?
   If that's what was going on, then that's undeniably bullying...and of a particularly crazy kind.
   I now think that guy is more of a psycho than I previously thought he was.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Roy Mic'd Up: Alright, We Gotta Git Better At It...

There is nobody better than Roy

Philosophical Shitstorm

Posted without comment.
I'd rather hear what others have to say.

Ryan Cuts Trump Loose

Trump And A Sneak Attack On Mosul

   I'm not going to complain a lot about that embarrassing shitshow of a second debate, but I will complain about Trump's stunning ignorance manifesting itself in those dumbass assertions about Patton and the need to launch a "sneak attack" on Mosul. Look, obviously I'm no expert and I could be wrong, but...(a) if attacking Mosul without warning were an option, we'd be doing it...but (b) it just doesn't in any way seem to be an option. It's not always possible to misdirect the enemy. It's fairly common for both sides to know where the next attack needs to happen. And this is one of those cases. How exactly is it that we're supposed to coordinate U.S., Iraqi and Kurdish forces and keep everything secret? Having Iraqi forces involved in any way means that ISIL is going to pretty much know what's up. "Let's just have a sneak attack!" is a bit like "Let's just drop everybody in by parachute!" It sounds like an option...if you don't have the foggiest idea what you're talking about.
   Furthermore, Customary International Humanitarian Law indicates that the population should be warned if you attack a civilian target. (via...I don't remember where...).
   That having been said, I thought one of the cringiest moments of the debate was when Martha Raddatz started arguing against Trump on that point, floundering around for some kind of explanation...e.g. something something "psychological warfare"...  I do realize that it would be very difficult to be perfectly objective as a moderator when one of the participants is a dangerous lunatic...but that was pretty bad. I'm sure it was one of those cases in which every sane person knew that Trump was just being a moron, but no one knew exactly why. Hard to just keep your mouth shut...but that's the moderator's job. That was part of a stretch in which it really did seem, as Trumpo himself said, like it was three on one. There was just enough of that sort of thing, I thought, to give him plausible deniability with respect to his own assholery.
   Well, really finally: was it just me, or was he acting kinda crazy with respect to moving around on the stage. It was really disconcerting me, and I finally realized that, if I were around a dude acting like that, I'd be going to yellow alert and keeping an eye on him. There was just something weird about it. Was he trying to physically intimidate Clinton? I couldn't tell from the camera angles on CNN.

Debate 2

   Craziest part: Trump threatens to go Nixon on Clinton if he wins, and interfere with his own DoJ to make them investigate her.
   The bananarepublicification of the U.S. could be just around the corner.
   Trumpo again showed that he knows exactly nothing about both foreign and domestic, again, he just made a bunch of shit up...
   But he didn't crap his pants on national television, and he didn't physically attack I think we'd have to say that he exceeded expectations. Clinton actually knows things, but, of course, that doesn't matter.
   The nutty pre-debate press conference with the largely discredited Clinton accusers was...well...totally cracked. It really threw off the CNN talking heads. They were totally freaking.
   Anyway, CNN numbers seem to say that Clinton is a big winner again.  Hope that's right.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Trump Exercises The Nuclear Option

   I cannot believe this even from Trump.

Ferguson Effect?: Chicago Cop Afraid to Become The Next News Story

   A guy on PCP beat her face into the pavement, ripped some of her hair out, gave her a concussion and knocked her out while her partner tried to stop him.
   At Cop in the Hood.
   Also here.

Fareed Zackaria: "How Trump Exposed The Corruption In The U.S. Tax Code"

   Does anybody know how accurate this is?

Race Nominalism: The Major Confusions In A Nutshell: LiveScience: "Race Is A Social Concept (Not A Biological One)"

   I could say (and I guess have said) this about a lot of different articles, but this one could serve as a primer on the confusions that lead to nominalism about race. It's all there: invalid arguments including the continuum fallacy...a straw man of the alternative argument that actually counts against the view it's suppose to support...and half the article is about racism and the importance of fighting it--which is the real motivator of race nominalism, and utterly irrelevant to the scientific/philosophical question. Oh, and it's also got one of my favorites, an argument that's cagily stated here...but in other places stated more clearly...apparently to the effect that the very purpose of the idea of race is to bolster racism. See, it wouldn't be enough for realism about races to be an honest mistake. It's got to be racist at its core.
   Look, perhaps good arguments for race nominalism will appear tomorrow, or next year. The better case currently exists for the view that races are natural kinds--very unimportant and whispy natural kinds, but natural kinds nonetheless. But that could change. New evidence could arise, the nominalists might think of better arguments...whatever. But the idea of race is almost certainly a scientific theory, even if a folk scientific theory. The idea is going to arise to everyone who encounters a group of people with apparently systematic physical differences from their own population. The idea of race is, of course, necessary for racism, but it is obviously not sufficient for it, and it is not the purpose of it. It's not like no one ever noticed the physical differences between whites, blacks and Asians until the evil white people were casting about for some way to oppress others. And, of course, even if that were true, it wouldn't show that races aren't, in fact, natural kinds.
   Finally, race is not and cannot be a "social concept." (Of course, that phrase is ambiguous in ways similar to the disastrously confused "social construct.") Race is a physical (or biological) concept. The concept race is the concept of physical similarities and differences among groups of people. If such clustering of physical similarities and differences is not real, then race is not real. These are the only two options: races are biological realities; races are not biological realities. There is no third option.
   The alleged third option is just a cluster of confusions. Sometimes sociologists et al. try to cash out this putative third option by arguing that it means that race has social consequences (like black slavery in the U.S.). But race can't have social consequences--nor any consequences--if it isn't real. Unreal things don't have consequences. The idea of them might, of course...but that's different. So the idea of race could have social consequences...but an idea having social consequences doesn't make its object real. The ideas of Bigfoot, witches, and ghosts all have social consequences...but that's not sufficient to make them real because (like race) they are all concepts of real, non-social things--even if none of those things exist. Their consequences could (imprecisely) be said to be "socially real," because they are (largely) social consequences. But there's all the difference in the world between saying that the idea of an unreal thing has real social consequences and saying that that things is real. And the term "socially real" is intended to blur this important distinction.
   Anyway, and again: races, given what they are supposed to be, can't be social. They're either natural kinds (ergo real) or not (ergo not). An analogy: if we found out that we'd made an enormous, incomprehensible mistake, and everybody is really of the same sex...we...y'know...somehow just didn't notice... Well, in that case, the fact that we've built a lot of our society on the (illusory) difference would not mean that sex was actually real..."socially real"... The concept of sex (the biological categories, not the activity) is the concept of something physical. If those physical differences aren't real, then sex isn't real (more precisely: sexes are not natural kinds). Sex would be a myth--though, like at least most religions--a myth with profound social consequences. To describe it as "socially real" is to choose an inaccurate, misleading description over readily-available, accurate descriptions. The descriptions is misleading because it is ambiguous in precisely the way that will lead people to confuse the importantly different claims: (a) it's an inherently social thing, and it's real and (b) it's an inherently biological thing, and it's not real, but the idea of it has real social consequences. The idea of razor blades in Halloween candy was, we could say, "socially real" led people to have their kids' candy x-rayed. It just wasn't...y'know...real real...

Saturday, October 08, 2016

George F. Will: "America's Quiet Catastrophe: Millions of Idle Men"

   Yeah, I've been worrying about this.
   Don't have any significant thoughts about it, though.

Christina Hoff Sommers at CSULA

   The PC thought police were there, crusading against the free exchange of ideas, their mortal enemy. Consequently, there had to be a fair number of ordinary police, too.
   Sommers is great. Who Stole Feminism? like saved my life. I'm barely exaggerating at all! It came out my first year in a shitty one, year job. I was living in a pre-fab house up on a ridge above a couple of giant industrial-strength chicken...I dunno...barns I the middle of nowhere. If the ridge had been steep enough, I'd have jumped off at several points. Got the book on a Friday, stopped off for a 12-pack of cheap beer and the cheapest steak over t' th' Food Lion...seriously, I was not making enough money to live on, even pathetically. If I hadn't just finished my dissertation like a month before, I'd have genuinely been suicidal... Shit man was baaaaaad...
   Anyway, paleo-PC insanity had already begun to fade, but I was still fretting hard about it... Went home and stood in my pre-fab kitchen, drinking too much cheap beer, cooking and eating a really terrible steak (and nothing else), and finished the book at like three o'clock Saturday  morning. It gave me hope that liberalism (in the broad sense) and reason might possibly re-emerge as a force against the lunatic left and their postmodern misologist allies who were taking over the academy. Well...that's the way I saw it at the time, anyway...and haven't changed my mind about it to this day...
   Also I then got into a big, heated public argument about Sommers with a prominent feminist when I was visiting Chapel Hill soon thereafter. It wasn't my fault! Had to be broken up by the department Chair... Not my fault! TOTALLY NOT MY FAULT!!!
   Anyway, CHS is one of my heroes.

Kathleen Parker, "Rape Apologist"

   Well, the PCs are insane, so none of this comes as any surprise whatsoever.

Trump Continues To Slander The Central Park Five

   Dogmatism is a kind of insanity.
   Also, though the left flings charges of racism everywhere at every opportunity...the case against Trump builds every time race is a plausible factor in explanations of his actions. Or so it seems to me. The Mexican rapists nonsense was pure bullshit. (Is, actually, as the left continues to misquote him shamelessly. The worse part IMO is that it isn't even strategic lying. They are so dedicated to finding racism everywhere that they seem unable to recognize that what he said is in no way equivalent to what they want him to have said.) A concern with illegal immigration...well, IMO everyone ought to be concerned with illegal immigration. It needn't have a single damn thing to do with race... If Canadians were flooding across the border we should be alarmed. But it can...and sometimes it does...  Then there was the Judge Curiel business. Really damning... Dude is a Hoosier fer the lova God... But...somewhat complicated by the fact that Trump used the same argument template that the left uses all the time...: if you're of race A, then you can't expect fair treatment from people of race B. That wrong-footed me, I'll admit, and I was confused for awhile. But obviously it doesn't show that Trump isn't racist...just that the relevant sectors of the left are racist. (Not every leftist of course...but there is a general (and often very explicit) anti-white orientation of the extreme PC/identity politics left). It's not what you'd call's right out in the open, in, e.g., the theory that "whiteness" is essentially a matter of oppression. (They're willing to suspend their anti-essentialist scruples in this one case...).)
   And, of course, Trump's position on the Central Park Five can be explained by other phenomena: jumping to conclusion, eagerness to find someone to blame for a heinous crime, theories about "superpredators" that were current at the time, and, of course, dogmatism.
   But as cases stack up...with racism as a likely partial motive in many of them...well...that hypothesis becomes more and more plausible.
   The left has made plenty of irrational arguments for the proposition that Trump is racist. (My favorite is probably that he sometimes uses the locution "the blacks"...  I mean, really, could there be any clearer sign? He says, e.g., "the Vets," But anyway, just because crazy people accuse someone of something doesn't mean the charge isn't true. I don't think that Trump is a dedicated, conscious, theoretical racist. I think he's the other kind. But that's plenty bad enough.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Roy Mic'd Up, First Practice

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Michigan: "There Is An Infinite Number Of Pronouns"

  Yes, but...a denumerable infinity or a non-denumerable infinity?
   Hint: if you say the former then you are an oppressor, jack.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Veep Debate

   Is it just me, or was that unusually painful to watch?

Drum: Donald Trump Is A Lousy Businessman Who Got Lots Of Money From His Father And Then Squandered It

   That about sums it up.

Fascism, Communism and the Confederacy:

   So I was thinking...   It's become common recently to argue that the Confederacy was similar to (or at least roughly as bad as) Nazism/Fascism. I don't think that this is an entirely unwarranted comparison, in part because I've long been inclined to think that slavery was approximately as evil as the Holocaust / Nazi mass murders. So anyway, it's recently become socially impermissible (where I intend this to contrast with morally impermissible) to display the Confederate battle flag. I don't necessarily think that's crazy, though I'm less sure about that than I might be.
   However, as many (e.g. Jordan Peterson) have noted, it's still socially permissible to display symbols of the Soviet Union. In fact, it's not only permissible, but fairly common, for academicians to consider themselves Marxists. Of course there's the standard defense that Marxism is separable from Soviet totalitarianism. But (a) the cause of Southern independence is (to a much lesser extent, admittedly) separable from slavery, and (b) there are academicians who explicitly categorize themselves as e.g. Leninists or Maoists, and (c) that doesn't explain why it's socially permissible to display symbols of the USSR.
   So there seems to be a kind of inconsistency here. What explains it? One hypothesis is: it's the left that's driving this sort of thing (um..."the national conversation"? Cultural change? I'll need to leave that unspecific.) So they are inclined to push against things roughly on the right and inclined to excuse things roughly on the left. (Again: striving for unspecificity.)
   That's all I've got.

Trump the Genius

   I know it's just campaign bullshit...but imagine actually believing that Donald Trump is a genius.
   Anyway, David A. Graham:
Viewed from some angles, this spin is absurd. Nothing about Trump successfully negotiating the tax code to his advantage makes him more qualified to overhaul the code; in fact, he’d seem to have an incentive to keep it the way it is, and anyway, if the trick was so neat, isn’t his accountant the real genius who ought to be running for president?

Monday, October 03, 2016

NYU Students: Men Deserve Free Tampons

   Perhaps the most amazing thing about this stuff is that so many people are just pretending that it isn't utterly daft. It really would be difficult to think up something more ostentatiously ridiculous than demanding tampons in the men's restroom. Maybe they should also be demanding child care rights for childless couples while they're at it.  It's just creepy as hell that, wielding only an incoherent theory, hair-trigger accusations of bigotry, and some shrieky screaming, the PCs have managed to work us into a position such that everybody is basically willing to pretend that tampons in the men's room is a plausible suggestion. And free tampons no less. Or, rather: tampons paid for by someone else. Oh brave new world that has such bullshit in it...

Sunday, October 02, 2016

"If Americans Can Be Transgender[ed], Can They Be Transracial?"

   Unsurprisingly, not very good.
   A few good bits, as when the interviewee mentions one of the most obvious/glaring contradictions about the transgender PC neo-orthodoxy: it says that biology is irrelevant, but cites brain scans when they allegedly show what they want them to show. Biology is invoked when convenient, derided ("biotruths"!) when inconvenient.
   The answer to the question in the title is easy. It's yes. If transgenderism made any sense, then transracialism would make sense. Neither, however, do. The two stories are too similar to accept one and reject the other. Reason seems to demand rejecting them both. A bad but perhaps minimally acceptable error would be to accept both. Accepting one and rejecting the other is right out.
   One of the few things that gives me hope about this insanity is that many/most commenters at the Atlantic seem to recognize bullshit when they read it. They not only recognize that the theory is nuts, they also recognize that the Atlantic is engaged in a propaganda campaign, publishing numerous articles supporting the PC neo-orthodoxy...and only articles that support it. Despite the obviousness and greater strength of the arguments against it, they have not, to the best of my knowledge, published a single article that dissents from the politically correct position. I suppose the idea is to just keep pumping out the propaganda, and ignoring criticism of it, until the opposition is worn down. If rational dissent carries the day, I suppose those who proselytized for the crazy theories will simply try to pretend it never happened.

"Finally, Someone Who Thinks Like Me": The Story of a Trump Supporter

   This, at the Washington Post, is interesting.
   As a piece of journalism, though, it kind of worries me. Ignoring all the other aspects of the story, the one that leapt out at fact, I don't see how it could not leap out at anyone...was: the story is about a woman with mental problems--like, forcibly institutionalized, cops coming to her house and taking her away mental problems. When that's combined with the title of the piece, it's hard not to worry about anti-Trump bias/intentions. OTOH, much of what makes her clearly delusional is her faith in the kind of obviously crazy right-wing copypasta, memes, Facebook posts, repeatedly-forwarded emails etc. that constitute the coin of the realm in the rightosphere... So that part seems legit.
   Anyway. That's all I got.

Trump Doesn't Pay Taxes; Should He?

   I'm going to go ahead and provisionally conclude from this that Trump just basically doesn't pay taxes. Is that bad? I mean, assuming that it's all legal? (Does a question mark go at the end of that last sentence? Or what?)
   I mean, the law's the law...if you can legally reduce your tax bill, is it bad to do so? Or is that only bad for the filthy stinking rich? I honestly don't know. I thought Clinton had a good point and a good line when she said that it means that he's not paying for schools, nor for national defense, etc. Smart point, and rhetorically good too if you like that sort of thing. But presumably it's all legal... I suppose we've got a responsibility to help support the kind of infrastructure (broadly construed) that the government provides? Uh...right? But couldn't you say roughly that tax law codifies exactly what your responsibilities come to in this respect? Following the law = fulfilling your responsibilities?
   However the moral question gets answered, I'm not sure that this will bother people already inclined to support Trump. My guess is that they might generally agree with his assessment that it makes him smart. (Though actually, what it makes him (in both senses of 'make') is rich. In the evidential sense, it shows that he's rich, not smart, in that it shows that he can afford tricky accountants. And saving that much money can also make you (in the causal sense) rich. I mean that's a lot of scratch. )
   But then Trump apparently doesn't pay anybody. And, y'know, taking shit from people without paying, that makes you smart, too. If by 'smart' you mean "a big fat crook."

Buzzword Watch: "The Body"

   Well...buzzphrase? Is 'buzzphrase' a word?
   Anyway, "the body," "bodies," "embodied"...they've all somehow become buzzwords in the crepusculum where political correctness and postpostmodernism intersect. I don't know why. I guess it comes from the feminist writing on this stuff (e.g. Susan Bordo) in which you see arguments to the effect that philosophy has identified the mind with the male and the body with the female and thought of the mind as good and the body as bad. So then you want to do your deconstruction of the distinctions because binaries bad, and then also possibly simultaneously keep the distinction and invert it so bodies/female good and mind/male bad and blah blah blah. Anyway, whatever the origin, the relevant sector of academia currently loooooooves "the body" and cognates. And it loooooooooooooves its buzzwords even more. So much so that the jargon almost seems to take on a life of its own. Deploying it seems to almost become an end in itself. Papers become vehicles for using the trendiest words. For example:
"Embodied Vulnerability in Large-Scale Technical Systems: Vulnerable Dam Bodies, Water Bodies, and Human Bodies."
(via NewRealPeerReview)

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Sully 4 HRC

Andrew Sullivan is for Hillary.
Stop. The. Goddamn. Presses.

Jonathan Haidt, Ringleader Of Heterodox Academy, On Campus Insanity, Business, And Other Stuff