Friday, April 28, 2017

So You Think You Can President: Presidenting Is Hard Edition

I'm kinda inclined not to make fun of this, because it's honest and straightforward, and involves an admission of error. OTOH, it's irresponsible to take on the presidency when you're in no way, shape or form qualified for the job. So there's that.

Heather MacDonald: The Snowflakes Have A Chilling Effect Even Beyond The Campus

Hear, hear.
   I've been saying this for a long time. Also, it's true. Pretending that this is limited to campuses is part of what I have been calling PC denialism. Somebody explain to me why it is so difficult to understand that ideas matter? Even if these bad ideas were limited to universities, that wouldn't mean that they're not a problem. Universities matter. Nobody's ever think of saying "oh, fascism is extremely fashionable at universities...but it's isolated to campuses...so no reason to worry." If the content of PC ideas doesn't bother you, that's one thing. But the isolated to universities argument is bogus. By how on earth could anyone believe that they are isolated to universities? Universities are a place where people learn important ideas--ideas that influence them for the rest of their lives. Universities are largely for learning ideas. Are there any ideas that are limited to universities?
   Anyway, MacDonald writes:
Many observers dismiss such ignorant tantrums as a phase that will end once the “snowflakes” encounter the real world. But the graduates of the academic victimology complex are remaking the world in their image. The assumption of inevitable discrimination against women and minorities plagues every nonacademic institution today, resulting in hiring and promotion based on sex and race at the expense of merit.
Seemingly effete academic concepts enter the mainstream at an ever-quickening pace. A December 2016 report on policing from the federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services includes a section on “intersectionality”—the campus-spawned notion that individuals who can check off multiple victim boxes experience exponentially higher and more complex levels of life-threatening oppression than lower-status single-category victims.
Faculty and campus administrators must start defending the Enlightenment legacy of reason and civil debate. But even if dissenting thought were welcome on college campuses, the ideology of victimhood would still wreak havoc on American society and civil harmony. The silencing of speech is a massive problem, but it is a symptom of an even more profound distortion of reality.
   And just one more example: the DoJ argued that sex is, at least in part, determined by "gender identity." That is to say: purely biological kinds are at least partially determined by beliefs. The Department of Justice seriously argued that a bogus concept dreamed up in the women's and gender studies department is partially constitutive of biological kinds. 
   To think that bad ideas somehow, magically, cannot cross some kind of doxastic town-gown force field is simply absurd.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Diet Soda Tied To Dementia And Stroke

The Problem With The March For Science

"Let's face it: people like science when it supports their views."

The Democratization of Censorship

This isn't exactly about what I thought it might be about...but I'm sure you know what I'm thinking, and I think it's worth thinking about.
The phrase is evocative.

The Politicization Of the "March For Science": Are "Colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice" Scientific Issues?

They are, in fact, not.
Also, apparently, it was considered a problem that Bill Nye The Pseudoscience Guy is a white male...
Things are going down a bad road in this respect.

Colby College Bias Incident Log

Remember: political correctness is a right-wing myth!

It's Embarrassing To Be An American These Days: Trump's Tax "Plan" Edition

facepalm
[fixed thanks]

Bernstein: The FBI Believes There Was An Active Trump-Russia Cover-up

Democrats may very well have overplayed their hand on Rooskiegate, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing there. Bernstein says that the FBI thinks there's something there.

Fascistic "Antifascists" Shut Down Parade In Portland?

Maybe.
   There's plenty of reason to hate "antifas" (lol) without concluding that they were actually behind this nonsense.
Read more »

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Truly Pathetic Response To Kipnis By The Northwestern University Philosophy Graduate Student Association

Larison: Lindsey Graham's Deranged Ideas About Attacking North Korea

Inter alia, Larison is right: that's not preemption. It's what Bush '43 called "prevention." I.e.: something not countenanced by just war theory.

"Epistemic Exploitation"

facepalm:
Epistemic exploitation occurs when privileged persons compel marginalized persons to educate them about the nature of their oppression. I argue that epistemic exploitation is marked by unrecognized, uncompensated, emotionally taxing, coerced epistemic labor. The coercive and exploitative aspects of the phenomenon are exemplified by the unpaid nature of the educational labor and its associated opportunity costs, the double bind that marginalized persons must navigate when faced with the demand to educate, and the need for additional labor created by the default skepticism of the privileged. I explore the connections between epistemic exploitation and the two varieties of epistemic injustice that Fricker (2007) identifies, testimonial and hermeneutical injustice. I situate epistemic exploitation within Dotson’s (2012; 2014) framework of epistemic oppression, and I address the role that epistemic exploitation plays in maintaining active ignorance and upholding dominant epistemic frameworks.

Laura Kipnis, Unwanted Advances

Read this book:



So You Think You Can President: Chait On Trump's Fake Executive Orders

Bill Nye The Pseudoscience Guy

sigh
   And a book called "Undeniable" on top of everything else. It's not that I expect evolutionary theory, in its broad outlines, to be overturned...it's just the principle of the thing. Science groupies like Nye have a tendency to flip-flop between All science is fallible and provisional and This science is undeniable as it suits their purposes.
   And then there's this facepalmerific, pseudoscientific, stinking pile of gender studies.
   Jeez I really used to like this guy. It's weird how such Gestalt shifts happen...but when you see it, you see it. Dude is a charlatan and a shill.
   [Ugh. That too.]

Bill Nye, The Pseudoscience Of Sex, And Neo-Lysenkoism (NSFW?)

cringe
   My God that thing is terrible on just about every level it has. I guess if you ignore every particular thing about it and just try to see it as generically sexually liberatory you might make some kind of a case for it...but that's a long stretch.
   Bill Nye isn't a scientist, of course, he's an entertainer. He basically toes the line on a bunch of lefty pseudoscience--GMOs, "social constructionism" about race, the whole sex/gender train wreck, and so on. That's bad enough...but now the dude has become a kind of spokesperson for scientific autonomy from politics...while being a shill for the left. And honestly, that's the vibe I got from the March For Science--that it was (a) part genuine appeal for scientific autonomy/objectivity, (b) part leftish anti-Trump somethingorother.
   I think it's very bad to smoosh (a) and (b) together. Piously defending objectivity while using that as a stalking horse...just not good at all.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Politicization of the "March for Science"

   One of our Anonymi left this...exactly none of which surprises me in the least.
[Correct link now]

How Political Was The March For Science?

I dunno. I've been ignoring the news.
   But I'll say I'm a bit skeptical. I think that the threshold is much lower for such a march critical of a Republican administration than it is for one critical of a more liberal or progressive administration. I'm not really sure what it would take to get a bunch of scientists out against a Democrat. OTOH, of course, and crucially: the Dems haven't done the kinds of things the GOP has done with respect to global warming. OTOOH, the Obama DoJ did argue that sex is partially a matter of "gender identity"...which is frothing-at-the-mouth, insane, neo-Lysenkoist crackpottery...buuuut....it's obviously not on the scale of GOP climate denialism. But anyway, it'd obviously take an awful lot to get scientists to march against, say, the generic progressive tendency to exaggerate the importance of society/culture as opposed to biology.
   I'd also like to know what the composition of the crowd was. Here's my guess: fewer hard scientists, more engineering / public policy / public health types. (Of course there are probably just more such people in general.)
   It's a bit hard for me to believe that partisan politics wasn't a fairly significant factor in all this. And I think that the bogus pretense of political neutrality is really bad. A little of that goes a long way.
   But I'm fairly likely to be full of shit on this. This ends up being little more than a generic expression of my general position on such things, I suppose. Bill Nye figuring prominently in all this doesn't help anything. That guy is hardly a paradigm of political neutrality.

Administration Sanctions Fraternity For "Appropriating Culture;" Refuses To Say Which Culture

Needless to say, there is no such thing as political correctness, and it's all one big myth promoted by conservatives...
...yet on an obviously and completely unrelated note having nothing whatsoever to do with "PC" which is not a thing and doesn't exist...American universities become increasingly Kafkaesque.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Berkeley Campus On Lockdown After Loose Pages From 'The Wall Street Journal' Found On Park Bench

God bless The Onion
(h/t The Chairinator)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sikorsky S-97 Raider

Red Hook Long Hammer IPA

I see that this gets some pretty mediocre reviews around the web, but I like it. It's basically my fave for an everyday or "session" (I don't know why I hate that term...) beer. Founders All Day IPA, which is marketed as a "session" beer is just nasty bitter to my taste. I like bitter beer and IPAs, but just lots of bitter with no finesse...bleh...I'm over it.
   Am I wrong about Long Hammer?

MLK on Truth, Untruth, Spiritual Slavery, and Neutrality in Moral Crisis

Now, let me make it clear in the beginning, that I see this war as an unjust, evil, and futile war. I preach to you today on the war in Vietnam because my conscience leaves me with no other choice. The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free." Now, I've chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal. 
"Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"

Bill O'Reilly Fired Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

The De-Professionalization Of The Academy

Pseudonymous, so largely unverifiable...but coheres with what we know about the academy.

PC Denialism: "Political Correctness Is A Right-Wing Myth"

   The very heart of PC is the subordination of facts to (leftist) political doctrine. So this self-referential move should be unsurprising: PC? What PC? I don't see any PC anywhere. Who you gonna believe, the Ministry of Truth or your lyin' eyes?

Labels:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Berkeley Cancels Ann Coulter Appearance Over Security Concerns

The Return of Rachel Dolezal

   Here's another leftist angry about Dolezal. Which is whatever. I mean, Dolezal is not black...but it's incoherent for the left to pretend that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman but Dolezal isn't black. Much less that Jenner is a woman and that even questioning that is bigoted...but Dolezal is not black.
   Dolezal isn't black. Jenner isn't a woman. Even if you can't see that, you should at least be able to recognize that it's incoherent to make one judgment in the one case and the opposite judgment in the other.

Judge Forces Auburn To Allow Richard Spencer To Speak

Uh.......yay?
I haven't been this hapbivalent since the Nazi won the right to march in Skokie.

Y'know...the other Nazis I mean.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Neo-Nazis vs. Anarchist Pr0n Stars In The Berkeley Freak-0-Rama

Law Schools Lean Left...A Lot

Carolina not lookin' so good on that measure, either.

Berkeley Police Department Offers Protesters "Symbolic Arrests"

This...does not appear to be made up.
Allegedly, no one has taken advantage of this service in "years."

Lehman and Soh: The Rhetorical Trap At The Heart Of The "Neurosexism" Debate

Right on the money, IMO
The motte and the bailey strike again.

The Dangers of Strategic Impatience

Maybe throw a tactical tantrum. See if that helps.

Charging Bull vs. Fearless Girl

   This is a pretty silly issue, but I'm inclined to think that di Modica, the sculptor of Charging Bull, is mostly right: installing the second statue has changed the meaning of the first one. I mean, the second artist would have a legitimate objection if, say, someone installed a statue of a man standing in front of the girl, suggesting that her fearlessness resulted from the fact that her father was actually protecting her and her fearlessness was basically bogus. So is it cool to modify the meaning of someone's artwork in this way? It's legal, obviously...but I'd say kinda uncool.
   I don't know what to do about it, and don't care much...though I do think that the media reaction would be pretty different if a sculpture with a more liberal-leaning message were modified / defused by a second sculpture in this way.

   I think that the issue should be decided--to whatever extent it is decided--on the basis of arguments like those. However....  This is pretty good, IMO, and it also contains the following surprising information: Charging Bull was an act of "guerrilla art," created and installed entirely by the artist, without pay, at a personal cost of about $360k, as a kind of expression of faith in the American economy after the market crash of '87. Fearless Girl, OTOH, is a marketing ploy by a giant investment fund as a marketing ploy having something-or-other to do with a "gender diversity index" fund that uses the NASDAQ abbreviation 'SHE.'
   Now...I think that in this case, motives matter less than the other stuff... But I doubt they will to most people. And if Fearless Girl gets moved, my guess would be that it'd be on the basis of arguments like the latter rather than the former.

Doublethink

You know...Orwell was really onto something with this.
This concept / phenomenon is worth reflecting on.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dems Against Centrism

The terms "social justice" and "economic justice" now pretty much send me to red alert.
There's nothing magically rational about the center, of course...but it's usually notably less nutty than the ends of the spectrum.

Stanley Kurtz: Understanding The Campus Free-Speech Crisis

Pretty good, IMO.
Fills links together and fills in some of the history I couldn't fill in / link together for myself.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Antifas" Throwing Knives and M80s in Berkeley

Creepy Caped Christian Dudes Opposed By Even Crazier Lefty Loons

Come on, seriously?
These guys with the red capes and religion and shit...how is it that they end up being the less-crazy party here? They're totally batshit! But they end up being the less-nutty contingent.

NRO: A Beginner's Guide To the Trump/Russia Controversy

The "Proud Boys"

D*ckheads to the right of me, d*ckheads to the left of me...
Here are some of the right-wing jackasses from the most recent Berkeley dust-up:
According to the description on their Facebook page, “The Proud Boys are a fraternal organization founded on a system of beliefs and values of minimal government, maximum freedom, anti-political correctness, anti-racial guilt, pro-gun rights, anti-Drug War, closed borders, anti-masturbation, venerating entrepreneurs, venerating housewives, and reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism during an age of globalism and multiculturalism.”
Since Pete Mack mentioned them, I thought I'd put this up, too. Jesus Christ. I suppose it's too much to ask that this bunch and the antifa etc. bunch just kill each other off...

Trump Pumps More Muck Into The Swamp

My favorite part is the secret ethics waivers.

"Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellseley"...

..."hostility may be warranted" if you disagree...
Not going to "enact" the "emotional labor" to shred this Newspeaky piece of lunacy.

(h/t The Mystic)

Probably Mostly Anti-Trump Violence In Berkeley

link
   The headline says, basically, that "hundreds arrested...as protesters clash..."...but I'm going to go ahead and openly and explicitly conclude, via induction, that:
The anti-Trump side started the violence
And also, as a kind of secondary conclusion: The L. A. Times is basically concealing that.
   I mean, look, we've got one reported pro-Trump rally, "antifa" psychos show up and, as always, there's violence. Simultaneously, allegedly large anti-Trump rallies are reported all over...no violence. This is hardly complicated stuff...
   If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to acknowledge it. But I think that the hypothesis above is obviously the reasonable one, given what we know about the two sides.
   For one thing, if the pro-Trump side had started it, that'd be the lede. It isn't. So they didn't. Probably.
   Here's one way that leftward bias operates in these cases: even fairly obviously fake stories about violence / "hate crimes" directed by right against the left get reported. Actual, verifiable, politically-motivated violence by the left against the right gets soft-pedaled, and/or represented as mutual, or ignored.
   The mass violence against Trump supporters during the campaign was reported...but did not cause anything like the kind of media freak-out that would have occurred if the polarity of the violence had been reversed. I expect this is just more-or-less more of the same.

[Also: Lauren Southern is alt-right?
That could be...but if so, then 'alt-right' doesn't mean what it's being said to mean.
I couldn't figure out what that was supposed to mean...then I thought it had become clear that the term was paradigmatically applied to some real whack jobs like Richard Spencer and Vox Day...but now here it is applied to Lauren Southern, who seems mostly pretty reasonable to me.]

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Q: How Many Magazines Do You Need?

A: All of them.
Dude has more AR-15 mags than I do, and doesn't even have an AR-15.
(Non-gun nuts will not find this interesting in any way.)

ICE Report Indicates That Sanctuary Cities *Are* A Problem?

Woman Forced To Return To Saudi Arabia Because She Did Not Have Man's Permission To Leave; May Face Death

How is that the world tolerates this insanity?

Friday, April 14, 2017

You're Not Mad At The Airlines...

...You're mad at America...
...You're not mad at America...
...You're mad at Western civilization...
...You're not mad at Western civilization...
...You're mad at humanity....
...You're not mad at humanity...
...You're mad at the human condition...
...You're not mad at the human condition...
...You're mad at the universe...

...me, though...I'm just mad at the airlines.
I don't know what the f*ck you-all are on about.

Also: don't tell me what I'm mad at.

Was Sean Spicer Denying The Holocaust?

Translation:
We're very graciously and charitably not officially saying that he definitely and obviously was...buuuut....
   Jeez these folks are nuts.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Republicans Are Nuts: Bombing Syria Edition

"Republicans Love The Same Attack On Syria They Hated When Obama Considered It":
37 percent of Democrats back Trump’s missile strikes. In 2013, 38 percent of Democrats supported Obama’s plan. That is well within the margin of error. 
How about Republicans? Well, that’s a wildly different picture:
In 2013, when Barack Obama was president, a Washington Post–ABC News poll found that only 22 percent of Republicans supported the U.S. launching missile strikes against Syria in response to Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians. 
A new Post-ABC poll finds that 86 percent of Republicans support Donald Trump’s decision to launch strikes on Syria for the same reason. Only 11 percent are opposed.

Chris Matthews: Hitler Didn't Use Chemical Weapons

link
   Anyway, as I was saying: it is not (and, so far as I know, has never been) a "rule" that you can't make comparisons to Hitler.
   The very fact that some on the left fabricated this rule out of thin air in order to have another stick with which to beat the Trump administration tells you a lot about where the vanguard of the left end of the spectrum has gone of late.
   When confronted with the undeniable fact that their rule is totally goddamn fictitious, some people I was conversing with online the other day (by which I mean: I was trying to reason with them, they were shrieking at me...) sputtered out something roughly like: nuh uh...um...you can't make comparisons to Hitler if your job is to speak for the administration!!!!111
   Now...that's a pretty specific rule right there...and obvious bullshit...but despite its specificity and obvious bullshittiness, counterexamples are still readily available.
   The "no Hitler" rule is just made up. This criticism of Spicer does not work. I hereby declare that case closed.

   There are less terrible criticisms. Like: it was a really dumb mistake; so dumb that it constitutes intolerable incompetence.
   See? That's how we formulate a passably cogent criticism of someone, kids!
   In my opinion that criticism is unsound...but it's cogent. I don't think it's a very big screw-up, and I don't think it's indicative of intolerable incompetence, for reasons I've already yelled about. I've heard a lot of people say things like "chemical weapons weren't used in WWII." It's a pretty common observation to make. What people mean is they weren't used in the field. Nobody is forgetting about the death camps (or "Holocaust centers" as some might say...eesh...I didn't say it wasn't cringeworthy...), nor about Zyklon B. They're just speaking with a tacitly restricted universe of discourse, as we do all the time.
   But, hell, at least that part is a conversation worth having.

CIA: Wikileaks Is A Hostile, Non-State Intelligence Service

"Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?"

Well, Shelly, you're obviously a moron...but...well...nothing else, really. You're just a moron.
   This sort of stupidity I find annoying. Currently, a white dude can say something perfectly innocent, and if there's even one person who is sufficiently dedicated to pretending to have misunderstood it, white dude can instantly be way far up shit creek. On the other hand, there are academicians and hacks (but I repeat myself) who explicitly, openly publish insulting, racist, sexist, discriminatory stuff about white dudes, advocate for oppressive measures against them, etc., and nobody on the left bats an eye. I mean...these douchecanoes are helpless to actually do much...but it's the insanely double double standard that's irritating.
   Behold:
Over the past 500 years colonialism, slavery, and various aggressive wars and genocides, have been due to the actions of white men. Redistributing some of their assets will go some way to paying the historical debt that they owe society.
Here, let me help you with that...I'm sure you meant:
Over the past 500 years some colonialism, slavery, and various aggressive wars and genocides, have been due to the actions of white men.
Oh and:
Redistributing some of their assets will go some way to paying the historical debt that they owe society.
Yes, well...play stupid games, win stupid prizes...how about we add up all the things white dudes have done good for the world--discoveries, inventions, creations--and then we can subtract points for all the bad stuff they've done--wars, colonialism, genocide--and then losers pay winners the balance. How 'bout that? Honestly, do you think white guys are going to come off in the red on that? It's an idiotic way to think about things...as the egalitarian liberalism developed by white guys! has taught us...but if you insist on thinking in that stupid way, you gotta be consistent about it.
   Also, just for the stupid record here in this stupid conversation: nobody's taking away our franchise or our money without a fight. Which means nobody's taking away our franchise or our money. Think about it for juuuust a second, Shelly...which group in all the world should a rational person want to go to war against least? Give ya three guesses!
   Jeez the left has lost its shit.

Is There "Specific, Concrete And Corroborative Evidence of Collusion"?

That's what the final paragraph of this Guardian article alleges.
Hearsay about somebody else having good evidence is virtually valueless...but maybe worth keeping an eye on.

Did We Just Drop A MOAB in Afghanistan?

Looks that way.
But why drop air-burst ordinance if you're going after tunnels, I wonder?

Forced Sterilization for "Transgender" People...In Order to Change Sex On Birth Certificate

So initially I was horrified by this.
Then I followed the link here and was doubly horrified when I saw the headline: "European Court Strikes Down Mandatory Sterilization for Transgender People."
WTH???????
   Then I realized that it was largely a typical bit of dishonesty from the NYT/major media: there seems to be no such mandatory sterilization at all...though it's difficult to tell from the story...because so much of it is written in such a way as to distort the issue for political effect.
   Apparently, some European countries require sterilization in order to change the sex on official documents like birth certificates and drivers' licenses. (Contrary to what the headline says, there is no gender listed on drivers' licenses or birth certificates...not in the U.S., anyway, and I'm sure nowhere else. No such document says "masculine" or "feminine." It's sex that they list: male/man, female/woman.)
Read more »

"Free Speech = Hate Speech"!!!!111

I, uh, guess this was posted by someone on the PC side? 
I suppose it could be a pro-free-speech hoax-ish thing maybe? But I'd guess not.
(via Ann Althouse)

Laura Kipnis on the David Barnett Case at Colorado

   David Barnett was, as seems clear, fired for writing a paper summarizing arguments in defense of one of his graduate students who as falsely accused and convicted of sexual assault by CU.
   Here's Leiter on Laura Kipnis's account in Unwanted Advances.

General Acknowledgement of Trump Train Wreck 4/13/17

There's just no way to keep up with it.
All I can really do is acknowledge it.
Still fairly confident about my prediction of impeachment / rage quit by October.

His best hope is probably blowback from anti-Trump hysteria...or perhaps a bit of dog-wagging.

Theory, Theory, Who's Got The Theory?

   I used to think this was obviously true:
   Conservatives are in the grip of a bunch of theories about people, many (most?) of them bad. To take a well-known example, they're in the grip of a theory according to which men are typically more suited to work outside the home, whereas women are typically more suited to work inside the home. Liberals, however, have seen through this. Liberalism urges us to penetrate the distorting fog of tradition, and see people for who and what they really are. (Unsurprising, really, given liberalism's long association with empiricism.)
   I now suspect that that view isn't as true as I once thought. Currently, I'm more drawn toward this view:
Read more »

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Kerry 2013: Assad Similar to Hitler

Gosh, how is it that Kerry, while Secretary of State, violated the mathematically certain, inviolable, absolute, first principle of all American politics: It is never permissible to compare anyone to Hitler? You'd think that, if every such comparison is outrageous and entirely impermissible, there might have been at least a bit of a dust-up about that...

Larison: Yemen Is Being Starved To Death

This problem is not just going to go away.

It's OK To Compare Trump To Hitler...But Not OK To Compare Assad To Hitler

So here's the long-standing, revered, and inviolable rule that the left just made up:
It's never ok to compare anything/anybody to Hitler
And here's a bunch of stuff from the left over the past year or so comparing Trump to Hitler:
Trump-Hitler Comparisons Continue After Inauguration Day
Trump Using Mein Kampf Playbook Says Expert
What Germans Think About Hitler-Trump Comparisons (hint: maybe ok)
WaPo: Hitler-Trump Comparisons are Overstated (note: overstated; not verboten...)
Pops Frances [lol aka 'Pope Francis'] Comes "Pretty Darn Close" To Comparing Trump to Hitler
HuffPo (lol I know, I know...): Trump Takes Page From Hitler's Playbook
Amnesty International Compares Trump To Hitler
Anne Frank's Stepsister Compares Trump To Hitler

And on and on and on...
   So, you see, it's ok to compare Trump to Hitler...because he literally is literally Hitler...but it's not ok to compare anyone else to Hitler. Even Stalin. Even Mao. Even Himmler, I guess is the idea.
Trump however...
   I don't think this is a trivial point, in part because I think it shows how irrational the anti-Trump left (broadly construed) has become. They're clearly wrong about this, and yet I'm encountering a lot of them who are just out of their minds in spittle-flecked rage about it. Any ability to be objective about the issue should allow people to see that it's at least not so clear. But a lot of people have lost any ability at all to be even a little bit objective when it comes to Trump.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cable News Follies: "You Never Make Comparisons To Hitler"

I should never turn that crapfest on...
   CNN tonight, Don Lemon's[1] usual line up of liberals + that one crazy Trump guy + special guest star Alan Dershowitz. The liberals were flat-out out of their minds. They seemed to be genuinely solemn--though I suppose it could have been partially a put-on. The idea was that Sean Spicer had said something so unimaginably horrific that they were nearly speechless.
I am not making this up.
I am not exaggerating.
   Dershowitz completely ate their lunch for them, incidentally. That was fun to watch. Dude is basically smarter than the rest of them put together, and he just flat-out slapped the shit out of them.
   Not Nia-Malika Henderson, though. I like her, even though I think she's wrong a fair bit. I turned it off so that I didn't start throwing things at the tv...but she was pretty much staying out of it and seemed to be trying hard not to roll her eyes.
   But anyway the most strikingly insane part of the whole thing was that all of the liberals had suddenly adopted some bizarre principle, and spoke as if it were some kind of eternal truth:
You never make comparisons to Hitler
   SINCE WHEN?????
   SINCE F*CKING WHEN????
   SINCE NEVER IS WHEN
   People make comparisons to Hitler ALL THE GODDAMN TIME.
   Without analogies to Hitler THERE IS BASICALLY NO INTERNET.
   Except for the porn.
   You don't get to just proclaim that something is a standing rule because it gives you an excuse to dogpile somebody on the other side.
   If Obama had said the exact same thing, these exact same people would be saying exactly the same things that I'm saying.
   Is the left just flat-out losing its mind?
   I'm not even talking the PC left here...I'm just talking the ordinary left.
   THERE IS NO SUCH RULE.
   THERE IS NO NO HITLER ANALOGIES RULE.
   IT DOES NOT EXIST.
   And it better bloody well not exist, since a lot of people on the left have been comparing Trump to Hitler off-and-on for over a year now...
   AS GOD IS MY WITNESS PEOPLE ARE GETTING ON MY LAST GODDAMN NERVE.
   I'm gonna go have some rheumatiz' medicine and go to bed AND WHEN I WAKE UP YOU BETTER HAVE GOT YOUR SHIT TOGETHER LIBERALS.



[1] And I don't care what you say about Don Lemon, I like the guy. He's earnest.

Elizabeth Corey: A More Moderate Diversity

   This starts out pretty good, but falls flat starting in the section titled "Blind Spots." In order to try to stretch for the conclusion that the truth lies somewhere between ordinary views of the university and the PC / identity politics view, Corey starts attributing extreme and implausible views to defenders of the former--e.g. that we can achieve perfect objectivity by perfectly divorcing ourselves from our scholarship. Of course if that were the view, then the truth would fall somewhere shy of it...but it isn't the view. (She also asserts that that would be undesirable...but doesn't explain why...)
   Anyway, things go downhill from there...but the essay is ok before that, I'd say (after a quick read).

Executive Director Of Anne Frank Center Calls For Spicer To Be Fired For Saying That Hitler Didn't Use Chemical Weapons

Damn this is idiotic.
   Clearly Spicer was saying, roughly, that the Nazis didn't use chemical weapons in the field. To suggest that this is some horrible thing that warrants firing Spicer is just stupid as hell. I, personally, would say that Hitler didn't use chemical weapons. I'd never think of including Zyklon B as a weapon in the ordinary sense. It's a bit like saying that the agents used in lethal injections are "chemical weapons." There's just a kind of ambiguity in 'weapon' afoot--and Spicer's usage is, I'd say, more standard / ordinary than Goldstein's. To insist that Spicer be fired for overlooking a peripheral ambiguity--especially when it is entirely obvious what he meant--is intellectually dishonest.
   It's pretty hard to make the Trump folks look reasonable...but the hysterical anti-Trump squad is giving it a run for its money.
   Maybe Spicer should out-outrage the outraged by upping the dumb ante...he could pretend to be shocked that anyone would dignify poison used for mass murder by calling it a weapon. Oh I suppose Mr. Goldstein thinks that the Kool-Aid used by the People's Temple was a weapon! Well I, for one, do not consider slaughter to be on par with combat...this is tantamount to saying that our brave men and women in uniform are the equivalent of cultists! Have you no decency, sir???
   Or how about this: all explosives are chemical weapons! Spicer is denying that the Nazis used any explosives! Nazi apologist!!! Blitz denier!!!

Hitting Assad: Right Or Wrong?

Just for the record: I have no earthly clue.

Monday, April 10, 2017

"Hannah Is A Girl. Doctors Finally Treat Her Like One." Also: Political Correctness

link
   Well, Hannah isn't a girl, of course--not if the part about Hannah being male is true. If Hannah were a girl, then I'm not sure how this could be notable. If Hannah were a girl, then all doctors would be doing is providing hormone supplements that Hannah's body did not produce properly. Who could object?
   Hannah, of course, is not a girl, and that's not all that's going on here...
   I don't think that most people believe this BS. But they don't want to speak up about it. If you speak up about it, you're branded a bigot. So people just shush up and try to believe as they're told...difficult though that is in this case. People don't want to make a stink at the more theoretical level, because they're not comfortable at that level, and they don't think it really matters. Most people are not going to risk being called a bigot over a philosophical disagreement.
   But if you've conceded the more theoretical point, I don't see what grounds you have for objecting to the practical consequences--Hannah really is a girl, Hannah's body is making too much testosterone and too little...uh...girl hormones...uh...estrogen? Or something? Doctors made some kind of crazy mistake at first and could somehow not see that Hannah was female...but now thank God, they've figured it out, and they're going to give Hannah the care that's needed to live a normal, healthy life as a normal, healthy girl.
   None of that's true...but if it were true, then there's no problem here.
   So, says me: don't try to be irenic at the theoretical level and then cranky at the practical level.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Mizzou Enrollment Continues to Plunge

link
   In response, dorms are being taken "offline." And:
This is on top of four other dorms that were already scheduled to go “offline” because of plummeting enrollment. Two of them – no joke – are named “Respect” and “Excellence.”
The...dorms...are...seriously??  The dorms are named 'Respect' and 'Excellence'? I mean, of course that's not the real point here...ha ha! I realize that. But still...damn...
   Somehow Mizzou has a good hoops recruiting class coming in...so...there's that...

Wagging The Dog?

   Well, I was thinking it before this latest turn of events, and you probably were, too... Trump was in such a tailspin that I wasn't sure that anything but military action could save him. (Or maybe a terrorist attack...those seem to help Republicans...though I doubt that the same would be true of Dems...) Assad did semi-force his hand / give him an excuse. And I don't know that Trump's response was wrong...Obama might have done the same thing if he'd still been in office.
   Anyway, as many people are noting, one danger here is that Trump is receiving positive reinforcement for this--it's the only thing he's done thus far that's not generally considered disastrous. It would probably be difficult even for a reasonable person to resist the siren song of further action. And Trump...well...you know what that guy's like...

One If By Land And Two If By Sea

That was just the back-up plan:
Despite its historical significance, the “One if by Land Two if by Sea” signal was just a backup plan. It was meant to warn patriots in Chalrestown, a borough across the river from Boston in case if the messenger himself could not make it there from Boston to start his ride. With so many British troops present in Boston at that time P.R. could easily be arrested by patrols. But at the end he was able to safely leave Boston by boat and ride himself so the signal was in fact redundant. With this a popular myth was created that the lanterns were intended for Revere himself who was waiting for the signal across the river.
This is how P.R. himself described his plan to use “Lanthorns” in a letter to Jeremy Belknap, Corresponding Secretary of the Massachusetts Historical Society dated in 1798: 
"The Sunday before, by desire of Dr. Warren, I had been to Lexington, to Mess. Hancock and Adams, who were at the Rev. Mr. Clark's. I returned at Night thro Charlestown; there I agreed with a Col. Conant, and some other Gentlemen, that if the British went out by Water, we would shew two Lanthorns in the North Church Steeple; and if by Land, one, as a Signal; for we were aprehensive it would be dificult to Cross the Charles River, or git over Boston neck."

Honey Your Coffee Is Terrible

Hoooooly crap
(via some comment on Reddit somewhere)

Saturday, April 08, 2017

*Patriot Games* Whining

Alright so I admitted that I not only read Red Storm Rising, but enjoyed the hell out of it. Despite Pete Mack's extensive list of Stuff I Ought To Read, I was jonesing for more RSR...so I started reading Patriot Games. I'd seen the movie, but whatever.
   Man, I am not liking this book at all. I'd normally have chucked it by now...but the RSR effect is strong...

Air B'n'B Host Refuses To Rent To Asian; Leaves People Stranded In Blizzard

Seriously, humans, what the hell is this?

Mike Pence Calls His Wife 'Mother'!!!!!!!!

Jesus Christ.
   Yeah, this seems weird to me. It seems weird to me when people refer to themselves in the third person as 'mommy' or 'daddy' or 'grandma' and 'grandpa' when talking to their kids, too. But how much business is it of mine? My thought would be: not very damn much.
   It seems even weirder to me that people refer to someone they're romantically involved with as their "partner." (In business? or what?)
   I'm not saying I don't find it weird. I'm just saying that even I'm tired to the condescending bullshit of the internet left / internet media...(but I repeat myself...) Pence's terminology sounds old-fashioned...which I guess is one of the few things that's not to be tolerated... He could use some silly neologism...and I'm sure a foreign term would be fine (were he foreign...)... But old-fashioned is verboten.
   Seriously, how is it that this sector of the left seems so clueless as to why people can't stand them?

Mike Pence Does Not Eat Alone With Women Other Than His Wife...

...the internet freaks out.
   Yeah, I think it's weird. But I also think that that's a decision that can plausibly be construed as a personal one. (Remember when liberalism used to believe in an expansive and inviolable personal sphere? Remember when the personal is political was for leftist extremists?)
   Eh, I kinda think this is yet another sobchakian freakout by progressives.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Should Trump Make the Power Grid Great Again?

Maybe
Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with six hours without power per year. But I do worry about the other stuff.

Larison: Attack On Syria An Act Of War

LaVar Ball: "Slow White Guys" Kept UCLA From Winning The Title

Ok, so LaVar is a nut, as is well known... And I don't really want to be the guy who futilely pushes this sort of point...but...nobody really cares much about assertions like this (me included). Buuut...this counts as racist, yes? Or no?
   Incidentally: is it true? Does it matter whether it's true? Whether or not it's true about this year's UCLA team, does anyone seriously deny that, among the very best players, fewer are white? Even if that were false, would it be racist to think that it was true? Is it sexist to think that, among the best players, few are women?

Ilya Somin: Large-Scale Military Intervention Against Assad Requires Congressional Authorization

link
As if we did that anymore

Thursday, April 06, 2017

"Maybe Liberals Are So PC Because Conservatives Keep Excusing Bad Behavior"

Well...sorta....
   Though you might just as well say: maybe conservatives keep excusing bad behavior because liberals are so PC.
   I mean, everybody realizes there's this kind of polarization / oscillation dynamic going on, right? Liberals and conservatives already tend to view these issues differently. Conservatives tend to excuse too much in this context, whereas liberals / progressives tend to imagine transgressions where there aren't any, and indiscriminately throw around false accusations. Each end of the spectrum pulls in its own direction. Conservatives are fed up with liberals' bullshit, and vice versa. Both get worse, and this, in turn, makes the other side worse. 
   I mean, seriously, everybody knows this, right?
   This is a familiar human phenomenon. 
   I'm not saying the two ends of he spectrum are equally bad. Perfect equivalence with respect to guilt almost never happens. But both sides are pretty damn bad. My inclination is to think that the conservative tendency has done more harm over the long run, but left is currently more intensely about this particular thing. I mean...they're really, really crazy...
   But anyway, that's not all that important. What's really important is that every bit of craziness you allow yourself to indulge in is not only bad in itself, but it makes your side more loathsome to the other side, and tends to create a more-or-less equal and opposite amount of crazy on the other side. 
   So even if you don't care about being a loon, maybe you'll care about that.
   

Micro-Inequities Exclude!!!

Don't miss out on this!:
Our words are only 7% of the message we send when we engage with those around us. The small things we do beyond our words may, unintentionally, create misunderstandings and poor working relationships. Participants will choose from 58 MicroTriggers™ identified in Janet Crenshaw Smith’s book, either something that bothers them, or that they observe, to consider during review of the things we all most desire and fear. Individuals will have the opportunity to demonstrate and exaggerate micro-message control to better understand the subtle messages we all send. All participants will share positive micro-messages for and with one another.
In this workshop, participants will:
* Define and identify micro-inequities (difference to micro-aggressions)
* Choose one or more micro-inequities for personal growth
* Review 7 Universal Fears and Desires
* Demonstrate micro-message control (word choice, tone, actions and body language)
* Consider the impact of a 1% bias
* Identify positive micro-messages for use at work
7%?!
MicroTriggers?!
TM?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
58?!
Micro-messages?!
Micro-inequities?!
1% bias?!
Man, this workshop has it all!
(My emphasis in bold. Just didn't want you to miss that notable sentence.)
I'm mostly amazed bythe extraordinary precision with which we can now measure the percentage of "the message we send when we engage with those around us" that our words constitute.
This new learning amazes me.

Welcome to the contemporary university. Part vocational training center, part amusement park, part social justice re-education camp. And oh, yeah...you might learn something here, too, if you're lucky.

Larison: Attacking Syria Is Still A Huge Mistake

Attack The Syrian Government?

I have zero expertise, I'm just thinking out loud:
   When I was younger, I was very gung-ho about humanitarian intervention. I still think we should at least go for low-hanging humanitarian fruit. Now I'm less optimistic in general about the effectiveness of such interventions. But more to the point: my thought right now is: maybe no intervention in this case. All other reasons aside, our current President does not have what it takes to oversee such an undertaking.
   Even aside from that: first, it isn't clear that we can fix this situation. Second, even if there's a decent change of fixing it, it doesn't always have to be us. Third, as awful as the situation is, I'm just not sure it's worth risking military confrontation with Russia. And again the other thought: even if this were a situation in which intervention was (were?) the smart move with, e.g., an Obama or even a Bush '43 in office, I don't think we can risk it with Trump in office. I certainly hope everyone else (er...other than Putin and Assad, of course...) is reflecting on that.

Application Essay For Stanford Is "Black Lives Matter" Written 100 Times

   In fact, it was actually '#BlackLivesMatter' written 100 times... Also some stuff about his volunteer work and the importance of his Islamic faith.
   Is it crazy to suspect that his odds of admission would have been significantly diminished if he'd, say, written the text of the Second Amendment 100 times and written about the importance of his Christian faith? 
   That's an honest question, even if I suspect that I know the answer.

"Gender Non-Binary Star Asia Kate Dillon Ponders Emmy's: Actor Or Actress?"

link
   Yeesh. Tempest in a teapot.
   So is Dillon female? If so, then Dillon's an androgynous woman. There's nothing all that notable about that. "Non-binary" is one of the trendy quasi-philosophical terms that's all the rage in the neo-pomo sectors of the humanities and social sciences. It sounds all technical and stuff! Get it? But anyway: there's nothing new nor particularly exciting about androgyny. The pendulum of fashion swings back and forth on this sort of thing. We're in a fairly long-term trend in which hyper-masculinity and femininity--even to the point of cartoonishness--is pretty popular. So maybe it'll all somewhat even out. Which IMO might be a good thing.
   But anyway, Dillon isn't in a special category of person. If Dillon is female, then Dillon's a woman, and an actress. There's nothing exciting there, really. Obviously the actor/actress distinction is drawn on the basis of sex. No such distinction is ever drawn on the basis of how one "identifies"... Yes, it's odd to divide such things up by sex--stop the presses! But that's probably for the benefit of women, since most good roles are written for men...so the left may want to think twice before going down this road. Anyway, it's hardly revolutionary to note that it's a somewhat weird system. Change it if you want...but you can see what the consequences of that are likely to be.
   The only really unusual thing about Dillon and others like Dillon is that they have a non-standard conception of what information should be public and what should be private. It's normally easy to tell whether someone is male or female--and social conventions make this even easier. People who agree with Dillon don't want others to know their sex. I don't necessarily think that's the weirdest thing in the world. It does seem a bit weird that everybody can tell what's between your legs by glancing at your face and clothes, doesn't it? I'm not sure that major social institutions should be altered to accommodate this non-standard opinion--but I don't necessarily think it's totally crazy or anything.
   As usual, we'll have to draw the line somewhere...some people, for example, don't want people of the other sex to see their faces. Others would prefer to walk around naked in public. I'm not really sure how to tell how weird such beliefs are sub specie aeternitatis...but there are limits to what the rest of us are obligated to accommodate.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Chait: Before This Is Over, Republicans Are Going To Wish Hilary Clinton Had Won

I kinda think so too...though OTOH, I've come to wonder whether the GOP might be invincible.

The Camp Of The Saints

Yeah, the source is Slate...but still...this is pretty alarming.
   I thought the other day that maybe I ought to read The Turner Diaries...maybe I ought to read this thing, too. Hell, might as well go all the way and read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion while I'm at it... (Incidentally, a friend of mine was at American University of Beirut for awhile. He told me that he was walking down the street one day and saw a big, new display in the window of his friendly neighborhood bookstore...and it was, indeed, a display of a new edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion... Jeez. Kinda like having a big sale on Necronomicon 2017!...)
   Any other KKKrackpot KKKlassics I need on my list?
   Oh, great...after this post I'm probably on even more lists than I was on before...

[Yeesh. Here's some more.]

Trump, Russia, And The Syrian Chemical Attacks

I don't even know how to express sufficient sympathy for the victims. I'm not even going to try.
The only thing of any importance at all that I have to say is that I'm extremely concerned about the fact that we're cheek-to-jowl with the Russians in this mess, and our President is not only entirely unqualified, he's not even particularly stable.
I don't want to be an alarmist, but I'm very concerned.

Here is a link to videos of some of the victims. Not for the faint of heart, but informative in certain sense.

A Tale Of Two Bell Curves

Make of this what you will. 
It seems very reasonable to me, but it's a near certainty that I'm missing things. And extremely likely that the book's enthusiastic critics are missing things as well. I've got no intention of defending the details of the argument. I do have a strong interest in defending freedom of inquiry and expression. I find discussions of race and IQ unpleasant and upsetting, but I deny that those are grounds for suppressing inquiry and honest discussion.
I do not think that these points ought to have to be made.

Osita Nwanevu: "The Kids Are Right": In Defense Of The Thought-Police

The usual parade of sophistries, including an extended argumentum ad Trumpum.
I really do worry that the PC left is a bigger threat to liberalism than the right, largely because liberals reflexively fight the right tooth and nail. Sadly, the illiberal left is, as they say, inside the wire.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Donald Trump Is An Extremely Unpopular President

35% job approval, 57% disapproval.
He's more unpopular than Obama ever was.
And who among us thinks we have seen the bottom of these ratings?

Ol' Roy, Tar Heels Overcome "All That Stuff"

Yay, yet again, for the Robesonian.
And extra special props for the reference to "...a major Raleigh newspaper that long ago launched a crusade to take down the basketball program at UNC system’s flagship university and has never allowed the truth to interfere." 
In your face, Dan Kane.

Allison Stanger: Middlebury: My Divided Campus

link
A link in that op-ed takes you to this document: "Broken Inquiry on Campus," a kind of PC / neo-pomo manifesto, apparently written by undergraduates. I'm very happy today after the game last night, and I'm not going to kill my own buzz by wading very far into that facepalmerific piece of sophistry. I hereby merely point and laugh.

Are You Overconfident?

Thanks to S. rex for turning me onto this extremely interesting quiz.

Franklin Street, After The Win

Wish I'd been there.

2017 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS 71 - GONZAGA BULLDOGS 65

Holy crap what an ugly, gut-wrenching game. Officiating was infuriating going both ways. Really just about zero fun to watch...but I'm not complainin'...
   I'll take the ugly, gut-wrenching, no-fun-to-watch game where we win the national championship over the "instant classic" where we lose it any time. There are plenty of games to enjoy during the year.
   Good game, Gonzaga. Obviously a great bunch of kids, and Mark Few is legit.
   And good game, Tar Heels. Redemption is sweet!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Did Blackwater Hold Secret Meeting To Establish Trump-Putin Back-Channel?

XB-70 Mid-Air Collision, 1966

I did not know about this.
I also did not realize that the Valkyrie could cruise above mach 3!!!

Go Tar Heels!

Beat them Zags.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

GDTBATH!

That is all

Labels:

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Carolina 77 - Oregon 76

Good game Ducks.
Way too close.
Survive and advance.