Friday, June 23, 2017

The Fundamental Sources Of PC / SJ / Progressive Madness

There are different ways of trying to organize and understand the madness, but my very long-standing view is that this way of doing so captures something true and important:
     What's the fundamental source of madness on the PC left?
          A lack of regard for truth (or, equivalently: facts).
   To say that x is "politically correct" is to indicate that x is not actually correct. I.e. not really true. I.e. not true. Political correctness--which is, IMO, largely indistinguishable from contemporary "progressivism" (but absolutely distinct from by-God liberalism...)--is, in essence, the view that accordance with left-wing political orthodoxy should be substituted for accordance with evidence. (As an actual matter of fact, 'PC' is a term for left-wing insanity of this type; but it might as well mean any such insanity. There's obviously plenty of it on the right, as well...though there does seem to be some sense in which this particular kind of madness is more acute on the left...)
   And a lack of respect for truth/facts goes hand-in-hand with the view that thinking so makes it so...which might itself be represented as the fundamental problem...though I think it's a slightly subordinate one. Almost no one thinks that believing that x actually makes x true. Mostly people who want to believe such a thing just let it all be a kind of muddle, so that they avoid focusing too clearly on the difference between:
          S's belief that p makes p true
          and
          p is neither true nor false, but S believes that p
     This craziness is mixed up with rape crisis hysteria, one aspect of which is the idea that you were raped if you think you were raped, and that your environment is hostile if you think it is. It's also obviously at the very heart of this strange contemporary view that your "identity" is whatever you think it is--where this is now commonly said to be the case with respect to "gender," sexuality and "ethnicity" (Though mostly the left is drawing the line at race, in order to rule out Rachel Dolezal / transracialism cases. That decision on their part was more-or-less arbitrary, so it could easily change in a year or two.) It's the crazy heart of transgender ideology, as well as views according to which indigenous beliefs constitute actual knowledge.
   Liberals like to think that a major difference between them and conservatives is that they respect truth and evidence--and, so, science--whereas conservatives don't. But that just isn't true. The left is at least as bad as the right when it comes to subordinating truth to orthodoxy. The left just focuses on cases in which conservative preferences tend to conflict with science and liberal preferences tend to accord with it--e.g. in the cases of climate change and creationism. When leftist ideas conflict with the evidence, the left is every bit as fast to side with orthodoxy: IQ is pseudoscientific, Jenner is a woman, GMOs are dangerous, race is "socially constructed."
   Eh, that's enough of that for now.
   Somebody's getting crazier and crazier...it's either me or everybody else.
   Inclusive 'or'.

Does Trump's Ed OCR Mandate "Preferred Pronoun" Use?

If so, it's utter madness.
   In about five years we've gone from Here's this obviously crazy new pomo-y idea that some men are women to The state demands that you speak in accordance with the New Transgender Orthodoxy
   I suppose this means that it's only a matter of time before I lose my job... [Actually, it looks like these "instructions to the field" may not apply to colleges and universities.] [Also note: even aside from being a totalitarian diktat, it's a mess. If it goes to court, it should be a bloodbath.]
   And: so much for Trump being the great anti-PC crusader.
   
   I suppose it's foolish to think that it's possible to reason with liberals/progressives at this point...or, hell, conservatives either, it looks like. They've drunk the kool-aid. They've plumped for an incoherent, fantastical fiction in which people can magically change sexes at will...and/or an alternative history in which Gosh, nobody ever meant that women are female! Where would anybody get such a crazy idea? We've always meant that women are people who think of themselves as women! (And in which circular definitions are A-ok...) At this point, I suppose that any further efforts to point out that the emperor has no clothes will just make you--by which I mean me--even more of a crackpot.
Read more »

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Even I Can Tell That The AHCA Won't Work

No individual mandate.
End of story.

Dems Seethe After Georgia Loss: "Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump"

link
   If history has taught us anything, the cause of the loss will be identified as "failing to communicate our message effectively."
   It's never the content of the "message," of course. Neither the Dems nor the Pubs ever admit that their ideas might be bad or unpopular.

The AMA Throws Its Weight Behind Transgender Ideology

Of course speaking out against this makes you (i.e. me) a kook and a bigot...but, look, absolutely everyone should be alarmed as hell about this.
  This is the AMA--which should have nothing to do with this issue--throwing its weight behind a radically confused and false theory that has been foisted onto the culture by political extremists. One very specific, outre theory of transgenderism has been declared true. Its truth is simply presupposed by the "mainstream media," and any dissent from the theory has been, in effect, declared bigotry. The theory entails significant social changes (e.g. the elimination of sex-segregated public restrooms, locker rooms and sports). Such changes should never be implemented without careful consideration--but the suppression of dissent prevents this from happening. A radical political position based on outlandishly bizarre philosophical theories is being represented as an obvious, irrefutable, even scientific truth. Though: it's somehow both scientific and moral, in that dissent from it is morally impermissible.
Read more »

Leftward, Ever Leftward: From Same-Sex Marriage To Polygamy Edition

Remember how, during the discussion of legalizing same-sex marriage, it was bigoted and hateful to suggest that it would lead to legalizing polygamous marriage?
   Well...
   I'm not going to argue against polygamous marriage. I don't have any in principle moral objections to polygamous relationships, though I suspect that polygamous marriage would be a social train wreck. But I don't really have settled opinions here. I really am just gesturing at a kind of limited meta-point: that we already have reason to believe that people who said that same-sex marriage was likely to lead to polygamous marriage were right. At least they were probably right about putting polygamous marriage up for serious discussion. I myself was certain for years that there was no link between SSM and PM, and only came to believe that I had been wrong very late in the game.
   Here's a more expansive meta-point: I've also come to think that, when the left pushes for something, it's important to recognize that it's commonly just the next step in a long march leftward. I'm not exactly sure what that means for our thinking about such proposals. One possibility is: slippery slope criticisms against proposals from the left are more valid than they tend to be in other contexts.
   I suppose I'm becoming more interested in--and perhaps even sympathetic to--a kind of conservative argument that, I suppose, must go something like: a whole lot of the time, our real choice is between keeping the imperfect practice we have or taking the first step on a slippery slope to crazy chaos. But I'm constitutionally averse to that idea.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Left vs. Right: Kansas and Illinois

So I read blogs on both the left and the right. Different worlds, man. Different worlds...
   Here's one thing: liberals and conservatives are obsessed with the failure of different states. Liberals are obsessed with Kansas. Conservatives are obsessed with Illinois. Plenty of leftish types believe that Kansas is wrecked, and that conservative policies did it. Plenty of rightish types believe that Illinois is wrecked, and that liberal policies did it. (Needless to say, these positions are not mutually exclusive...)
   I don't have any position at all about either Kansas or Illinois. I've tended to just absorb the view that Kansas is f*cked because that's the word among people I'm used to agreeing with. But I really don't have any idea what's going on.
   But it does give us a kind of a little empirical test of which side is more delusional... I just don't know what the evidence indicates.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Good News About The Eastern APA Elections

Leiter
I can say, on the basis of actual personal experience, that at least one of the failed candidates has no business being anywhere near even the modicum of power associated with the laughably tragic APA. The fact that she lost is good...but the fact that she was a candidate at all seems to be evidence that something's rotten at the APA. And that's not the only evidence, not by a long shot.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Camille Paglia: On Trump, Democrats, Transgenderism, And Islamic Terror

Oh, Camille Paglia... Such a nut, but right about so much.
   She says this, which I think is really wrong, toward the end:
   "The categories 'trans-man' and 'trans-woman' are highly accurate and deserving of respect.'
   Those aren't real categories, and the terms are highly inaccurate...and so, qua categories and terms, they don't deserve respect. Which, of course, doesn't mean that people who classify themselves that way and use such terms don't deserve respect--because every good person deserves respect. Even the philosophically confused. Which is a good thing for all of us, no doubt...
   But anyway, Paglia is a wild man (as it were), and this is worth a read, says me.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Kenan Malik: In Defense Of Cultural Appropriation

Right on.
I'd add:
Malik is discussing two important, but conceptually distinct, problems:
          [1] Cultural appropriation is bullshit
          [2] Disagreeing with the crazy left can get you fired.
[1] is just another issue--another crazy aspect of the crazy weltanschauung of the crazy left. [2] is a meta-problem, arching over the other problems: the crazy, PC left and its progressive "allies"/enablers wield great cultural power, and they can destroy those who fail to slavishly follow their crazy orthodoxies.
Too much? Am I sounding crazy/dogmatic?
Eh, it's hard to be objective when you're TOTALLY RIGHT ABOUT SOMETHING.
   Malik cites cases in Canada...but Canada has no First Amendment analog...(er...does it?)...but it seems to be just a bit farther down the same trajectory we are on. (Not that we shouldn't worry about Canada per se, because we should, we should.) And we could cite cases here.
   IMO [2] is a force multiplier.
   Nope...scratch that. [2] is the main problem. Kinda sorta the heart of the matter. Without [2], the theory of "cultural appropriation" could be considered and rejected. Or, hell, accepted...because maybe CA is a real thing. State your case. I'll listen. That's the difference between you and me. (You PCs...not you you, dear reader...) [2] is soft totalitarianism. And hard misologism. Undermine [2] and everything else takes care of itself. Human reason deals with such things like running water deals with rocks.
   So sayeth me, anyway, already having my first Knob Creek rye of the weekend down my hatch...
   Cheers!

[Link via Leiter's digs]

"M, F, Or X: Oregon Becomes The First State To Offer 'Not Specified' Gender Option On I.D. Cards"

I don't see anything wrong with this, practically speaking--which is what probably ought to matter for stuff like this. If we're happy to get by with not specifying sex on driver's licences and suchlike, then why not? We might say, in libertarian mode: that's one less way in which the state is keeping tabs on us. Of course a natural-born citizen's sex will be recorded on their birth certificate. And, as we now think of things anyway, it's important to have a record of this.*
   Anyway: because I'm mostly interested in theoretical points, here are some:
   First, this passes muster if the 'x' simply represents, roughly, not specified, and if it's open to anyone to not specify their sex.
Read more »

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dems 11 - GOP 2

All-time Congressional baseball game record: 40-39-1.
Kinda intended to vote for the Pubs...but couldn't bring myself to do it.
I'd never watched one and didn't even know about it...but it was pretty damn fun.

The GOP Is Bullshitting Us On Health Care

There seems to be no there there.

Should Mueller Recuse Himself?

Mueller Investigating Trump Obstruction Hypothesis

Obviously this is non-optional.
Presumably the truth will out.

Richard Haier: "No Voice At Vox: Sense And Nonsense About Discussing IQ And Race"

link
   The most important disagreements between the PC progressives and those of us in the vast middle of the political spectrum concerns the importance of truth and its subordination to ideology. We think that truth matters, and that it should not be subordinated to politics. They disagree. We think that, if there is solid evidence that, for example, there are differences of whatever kind among races, we should face that fact and proceed from there. On the political side: most of us don't think that would undermine liberalism. Differences in innate abilities don't make us unequal before the law. Political correctness is, at its core, the view that facts should be subordinated to politics. When the facts are inconsistent with (leftist--always only leftist...) orthodoxy, then so much the worse for the facts. If p is true but politically incorrect, then belief that p is not only non-obligatory, it is impermissible. To believe that which is politically incorrect is bigotry, and truth is no defense.
Read more »

Charges And Arrests In Erdogan Thugs' Attack On Protesters

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

McAuliffe: "We Lose 93,000,000 Americans A Day To Gun Violence"

I have no idea what he was trying to say.

Critical Mass of Crazy: Fire-And-Brimstone Jesus Hawkers At Evergreen State

Those poor cops...
  Ya know what hell is? It's being caught between those two groups. I'm worried that this crazical mass is going to rip the fabric of logical space and...like...bestir dread Cthulhu from his dead dreaming in R'lyeh...or some shit.

Another Bernie-Related Attack?; And: Induction and Predesignation

Uh-oh
   One of the things I was going to say in that last post was that we all need to commit ourselves ahead of time to conclusions about what it means [ceteris paribus!!] if a mass shooter supports some cause or politician. This is a simple application of the predesignation rule for inductive inference. (As described e.g. in the great-but-unpublished Elements of Critical Thinking (McCarthy)). So, before you find out what cause the shooter supports, you should draw your conclusions about whether the event shows something or nothing about the cause, and what it shows, if anything.
Read more »

Bullshitting About The Scalise Shooting

I've got work to do, so I've gotta ignore this story right now, but I foolishly looked at the comments at the Post. One reason our public discussions are so damn stupid is that you can pretty much whatever you want with--usually--no penalty for being wrong.
   A lot of the things being said there support predictions (e.g. This is motivated by liberal hate-mongering; and: Got a gun because of GOP policies, etc.). Imagine how much more sensible such discussions would be if we had to place a wager whenever we said something like this. When there's no price to pay for being stupid, is it any surprise that this sort of thing immediately devolves into idiocy?

Report: Gunmen With Rifles Fire 50+ Shots At GOP Congressmen; Some Hit

Did Someone Open Fire On Congressmen Playing Hoops [Baseball] in Del Ray?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sessions Testimony

Thoughts?
I believed him when he denied any collusion with the Russians--though I already didn't believe he'd do such a thing. As for the stonewalling, however...which I believe that's what it mostly was--WTF? Muller can force him to testify though, yes?

BREITBART: SHOCK POLL PRO-TRUMP COREY STEWART LEADS IN VA GOVERNOR GOP PRIMARY

In other news, pigs fly.

As for the Dems: meh. Voted for Northam, kinda expecting Perriello.

If Trump Fires Muller That's it

The fewmets will hit the windmill catastrophically.
I can't believe that even Trump would be that stupid.

Monday, June 12, 2017

More Vox Sophistry About Race And IQ

Somebody's "pedaling junk science about race and IQ"...but it's not Charles Murray.
   It's an upsetting topic. I'm certainly not immune to those feelings. I don't blame people for having a difficult time being objective about it. But if you can't be at least reasonably objective about a subject, you might want to consider just leaving it alone. (Best thing: be reasonably objective and discuss the issue. Second best thing: be unobjective and just keep quiet about the subject. Worst thing: be unobjective and talk about it anyway.) Vox is downright religious about this issue. Which, again, I don't necessarily blame them for. But dang, they really should quit publishing flat-out crap about it.
(And don't forget about this video, consisting of 100% unsound arguments!)

Team of Suck-Ups

Melania Moves To The White House

I can't help but imagine that their private conversations about this involve her saying a lot of stuff like "I will not live in that...that...shack!" That pic makes me kinda think of Zsa Zsa Gabor in the opening credits of Green Acres...  The looks says Well, here we are in the provinces...don't step in anything, Baron.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Culture Wars Arrive In Britain?

It's Worth Watching This Just To See How Truly Insane "Antifas" Are

I honestly think this is worth watching. This is one of the most grotesque things I've ever seen on the interwebs, and I ain't lyin'. Too tired to say anything about it now...but, then, nothing I could write could really add much. I'll just let the Fascist "antifasists" speak for themselves.

Jimmy Carter Is Still Awesome

Shook everybody's hand on the plane.

(link and title courtesy of S. rex)

Bharara: "There's Absolutely Evidence" To Begin Obstruction Case

Democrats: The Base Wants It All; The Party Wants To Win

link
Also:
"Inspired By Sanders, Activists Push Democrats To The Left--Or Out Of The Way"
   It annoys me that these kinds of disagreements tend to be represented as battles between groups that agree in principle, but disagree about how ambitious to be about moving left. One of my concerns about the Dems is that few people ever say that they think it would be a mistake to move further left at all. It's not that there are no lefter policies that I tend to favor. It's rather that I'm concerned about the general orientation according to which we ought always to be moving to the left, whether faster or slower. That idea is a blueprint for inevitable disaster--and not merely of an electoral variety.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Transgender" Boy Wins Two Girls' State Track Championships In Connecticut

Andraya Yearwood is a boy. He just won two events (the 100- and 200-yard dashes) at the Connecticut high school class M state championships. Had he competed with other boys, he would have finished last.
   My guess is that this is the sort of thing that will motivate people to speak up against this nonsense. People might be bullied into mouthing the words "Andraya is a girl"...but when it comes to robbing people of sports titles they have trained for for much of their lives... Well, when things actually matter to people, suddenly their tolerance for such foolishness goes way, way down...

Racism In Critical Race Theory

By which I mean: racism that is in critical race theory, not racism as discussed in critical race theory.
   I'm not exactly a fan of blogs like Gateway Pundit...obvs...but liberals typically can't see / won't admit / don't care that there's a fair bit of anti-white racism on the left, including the academic left. I don't care all that much about it myself...except insofar as I think that ideas matter, and that bad ideas are ideas. Hence they should be criticized...or, at minimum, recognized. I don't take this personally...but I take it seriously.
   An infelicitous sentence, even intentionally and obviously misinterpreted in a way that might possibly be vaguely racist against a non-white race might ruin your academic career. But you can build your academic career on overt anti-white racism. In my opinion, such a radical double standard should at least attract a bit of scrutiny.
   I'm certainly not suggesting anything like suppression of open inquiry. If someone has arguments that the very nature of whiteness is violence, then they should explain them.* But you and I both know how well such arguments are going to stand up to actual scrutiny outside the academic leftist echo-chamber. There's nothing inherently bigoted about making arguments that allege to find a flaw occurring more frequently in a race or a sex or whatever...but when the flaw is allegedly necessary, and especially when such arguments are systematically bad...it becomes reasonable to conclude that it's something other than a love of truth that's driving them.


* Of course in any other case, this would elicit cries of "essentialism!" Which...is one of those terms the intellectual left loves, but that they don't understand. By 'essentialism', they usually just mean realism. Which, of course, they don't like because something something social construction.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Good, Pure, Innocent Antifa Anti-Trump Protesters Who Refuse To Cooperate With Prosecutors Face A Buttload of Prison Time

Hard to tell what's going on from this not-at-all-objective piece.
Admittedly, 80 years sounds excessive, even for these asshats.

Course Catalog At Evergreen State College

For the love of God, don't neglect to follow the links.

tl;dr: Trump on Comey Testimony

All the exculpatory stuff he said is true; all the incriminating stuff he said is false.
Off with his head!

'I Hope' Statements And Obstruction Of Justice

Politico Symposium: Will Comey's Testimony Matter?

Too busy, haven't read...but looks interesting.

Cam Johnson Is A Tar Heel!

My Impressions About Comey's Testimony

1. He certainly does come across as a very reasonable guy. I am inclined to believe him, though I did wonder whether some of his account may have been reverse-engineered...though he seemed very honest about what he didn't remember and where he made unconscious inferences. I'm not particularly insightful about such things, and there is allegedly evidence showing that we're typically not that good at detecting liars...so...I don't know. But it sure seems to me that he's an honest guy. It sucks that he may very well be scrupulously honest...but merely being put in this position means that people may always see him as a kind of superposition of states of Honest Comey and Dishonest Comey.
   I try pretty hard to be honest, and I tend to assume that other people are honest unless I'm given evidence to the contrary...consequently, I'm pretty credulous...so...not sure whether my thoughts on this are of any value...

2. I dislike Trump about as much as I've ever disliked anyone in American politics. It's like somebody built a guy for me to maximally dislike. There's almost no way for me to be dispassionate about him. But we know that he's got little respect for the truth. So in any he-said-he-said situation, if I have to bet, my money's on Comey and it's not a close call.

3. However, my concerns about my own political bias and the bias of my cohort were exacerbated by Comey's comments on e.g. Lynch and the Clinton-Lynch tarmac incident. Comey's right. That was inexcusable. But all I did was excuse it. It should have sent me to DefCon 4ish. But I categorized it as a foolish but innocent error.
   This seems very significant to me. We're all sitting around asking How can those fools on the other side of the aisle not see/admit the obvious?!?  But, when the tables were at least approximately turned, I / we didn't see/admit it.

4. There seems to be little doubt that Trump was attempting to interfere with the Flynn investigation. Some on the right are trying to spin it, of course. Ooooh see? Trump never came right out and said "I command you to stop this investigation!" He's teh innocent!!!!11 Bullshit. Even Trump isn't that stupid. He sent everybody out of the room and so on. He seems to have made it clear that he wanted the investigation stopped. A different person might be given the benefit of the doubt. But given what we know about Trump, it would be foolish to give it to him. And I say this keeping 3 (above) in mind. Trump might be innocent--and there might not be enough evidence to convict in court. But there's little doubt in my mind about what he did.

5. I guess everybody in the world thought of the "meddlesome priest" line--but when I thought of it I thought it made the opposite point that everybody else seems to think it made. I haven't read Becket[t]  [oops--one 't', as it turns out] since high school...but isn't the point that Henry didn't really intend to order the murder? Wasn't it kind of an accident? As represented in the play, anyway?

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Most Crucial Issue With Respect to Trump's Possible Obstruction of Justice? Clinton's E-mails, Naturally

I mean, I've found some of the exchanges about Lynch and Clinton's e-mails to be interesting...but, really, is, ah, this the right venue?

If anybody mentions the word 'Benghazi'....EEEEVVVRRRRYYYBODY drinks!

Comey Testimony T minus 5 Hours...

...and counting...

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Comey-Testimony-Related Drinking...

...has begun here at the institute.

The SR-72

Gerson and Suk: The Sex Bureaucracy; or: Bureaucratic Sex Creep

PC Deflationism

Guys, "political correctness is the simple idea that everyone should be treated with equal dignity and respect."
   Gosh, who could disagree with that?

Labels: ,

No Feathered T. Rex?

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

D-Day

That is all.

Four Top Law Firms Turned Down Trump Investigation Defense Gig: "He Won't Pay And He Won't Listen"

The President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen: "He won't pay and he won't listen."

Pentagon Can't Square Trump's Comments On Qatar With It's Own Position

Well...he's not boring...I'll give him that.

Philip Lemoine: Why Are Women Underrepresented In Philosophy And Should We Care?

If you have any reason to care about the state of the profession of academic philosophy right now, you really have to read this.
   This is the best thing I've ever read about the underrepresention of women in philosophy. I don't have time to say much about it right now. To some extent I think that the most important point is a kind of meta-point: these issues have not been discussed openly, objectively and thoroughly. And, of course, they ought to be. And, of course, they must be if extreme measures (like the implementation of preferences that are tantamount to quotas) are going to be taken to increase the percentage of women in philosophy.
   And, of course, the issues have not been discussed because people in the discipline are afraid to discuss them. Or, rather: afraid to discuss them objectively. If you disagree with the official (left-leaning, feminist) theory (that women are underrepresented and that this is due to discrimination), you will be vilified, whereas if you vocally support the theory, you will be applauded. I've discussed that stuff before, and there's more to say...but not now.
   Here's a prediction, incidentally: Lemoine will be maligned for the post. Anybody feel like betting against that prediction?

Monday, June 05, 2017

Let's Play Zizuku!

Political Correctness As Religious Cult

Political correctness / social justice madness is really a crazy cult, the left-wing analog of hard-core fundamentalists. They speak in tongues, for one thing. They get possessed by the...Hegemonic Spirit or whatever... And, of course, they're holier than thou and fixated on advertising it by finding something politically incorrect in everything everyone else does. They've got a kind of crazy superstition--it's a version of creationism with culture as Creator, straightness, whiteness and maleness as original sins, themselves as inquisitors...but no grace nor salvation nor redemption.
   Gah they're a pathetic and repulsive lot.

Richard Cohen: Thank God For Cultural Appropriation

Drum: Health Care Spending As A Percent Of GDP

oof

Evergreen State "College" Faculty: Investigate Weistein

Faculty of Evergreen State College would like to make it clear that, when shrieking student mobs corner faculty and refuse to let them move about freely, this is not violence.
   However, when faculty politely disagree with students via email, this is violence and an inquisition is necessary in response.
   Jesus these people are fucking insane.

Atrios is Awful

Blech.
Don't ask me why I looked into that shithole just now. It's complicated. But damn, man...

CNN FAKE NEWS MUSLIM PROTEST SAD!

Ok, I'm going to the gym, but just ran across this.
Wingnuts are saying: this shows CNN faking an anti-violence demonstration by Muslims.
My prediction (obvs): CNN is setting up a shot of an actual demonstration. (Hell, I don't even know anything about tv and I know the phrase "setting up a shot"...which...is a phrase that sounds to me that it describes something basically like what's in that video.)

Warner on Russiagate: "Lots of Smoke...No Smoking Gun"

That's pretty much what I had guessed.

Comey's Testimony In Open Session Scheduled To Begin At 10 am 6/8

Trump Reacts To London Terrorist Attack By Stoking Fear And Renewing Feud With Mayor

facepalm
Trump is stupid. Twitter is stupid. Trump + Twitter...saints preserve us.
   As I've whined before, I thought that one of the best things about the Obama presidency--after the Bush years--was that I didn't wake up every morning fumbling for the Washington Post to see whether the administration had done anything moronic while I was asleep.
   Yeah those days are over.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Portland Police Must Protect Right-Wing Free Speech Rally From Violent Leftist Protesters

So uh...
Anything about any of that seem...I dunno...notable to anybody?

Frank Bruni: These Campus Inquisitions Must Stop

This is ok in some ways.
Buuuut....ever notice how you are only allowed to criticize the left with counterproductivity arguments? Bruni says that indiscriminate accusations of racism will prevent us from making the progress we want--presumably on race. Which may or may not be true...I don't know. Indiscriminate charges of racism currently seem to be getting the left what it wants...
   But indiscriminate accusations of racism are wrong.
   And people who make such charges are bad.
   And they're wrong and bad regardless of whether they impede or promote progress against racism.
   Also, I'm getting a little annoyed by all the reminders that Brett Weinstein (Public Enemy Numero Uno at Evergreen State "College") is a progressive. That sounds a bit like it'd be ok to harass him were he a liberal or a libertarian or a conservative...
   And, as for the "day of absence" being coercive: of course it was. WTH is Bruni talking about? Have you seen the videos? There is no question that it's coercive.
   Jesus.

Trump Probably Can't Stop Comey From Testifying

link
Should he try, however, the fewmets are going to hit the windmill, you betcha.

The Intersectional Shakedown Racket

Quite Possibly The Very Dumbest PC / SJ Thing I Have Ever Seen: Give Your Money To The Women Who Were Frightened, Not The Men Who Died Defending them

Well, I don't have to tell you that the word 'hero' has been thrown around fairly loosely for the past 15 years or so. But I expect that you won't disagree that the two men who were killed for defending two women from a racist rant on a Portland commuter train count. Their names were Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, who was only 23.
   Their admirable actions have brought credit to them far above our poor power to add or detract.

   The third stabbing victim--who also tried to stop the psycho, and who is also a hero--has said some rather dumb things, however, and so, as usual, I want to grumble. Specifically, he urged people not to send money to the families of Meche and Best.
   In a six-minute long emotional video, Fletcher accused the city of Portland of having a “white savior complex” for giving more money to him and the families of the two men who died, rather than the two women, who were not injured in the altercation. Crowdfunding pages set up for the families of Fletcher, Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche received a combined total of $800,000.
   Fletcher insists that the real victims are the women, who he says must be traumatized from being targets of hate, and from the deaths of the two men who tried to intervene.
‘We in Portland have this weird tendency to continue patterns that we’ve done forever and one of them is this same old, just to put it bluntly, white savior complex,” said Fletcher. “I think it’s immensely, immensely morally wrong and irresponsible how much money we have gotten as opposed to how much support, money, love, kindness that has been given to that little girl.”
   “These people need to be reminded that this is about them, that they are the real victims here,” he added, and shared a link to crowdfunding page for the two women, which has since received $116,000 in donations.
That, of course, is bullshit. Being killed at 23 is much, much, much worse than being frightened at 16. Being stabbed to death by a psycho and never seeing your family again is immeasurably worse than being frightened. Best leaves behind three teenage sons and a 12-year-old daughter, incidentally.
   Furthermore, since when is a 16-year-old "a little girl"? Imagine the outrage if, say, Paul Ryan called some random 16-year-old "a little girl." The left likes to have it both ways on such issues: men and women are perfectly equal in all ways...except when it benefits women not to be. We're perfectly equal...though violence by men against women is horrific; violence by women against men is not. Threatening two women is worse than murdering two men. The women, you see, are "the real victims."
   And for the love of God, "white savior complex"??? The white guys were the saviors in this case. If they hadn't done it, no one else would have. And this guy was one of them! And still he has to find something to grovel about. We are so evil for being white and saviors... This is just flat-out madness. Two guys are killed and one is almost killed and the one who survives feels compelled to grovel about his own horribleness for the impertinence of saving non-white girls/women from death at the hands of a psycho...and takes it upon himself to tell people not to send money to the four surviving children of one of the murdered men...but, rather, to the girls who had a scare. Who in hell authorized this person--who is still alive and kicking--to speak on behalf of the dead men? And when--cripes, somebody tell me when--was the left infected with this stark, raving madness?

Remember: There's No Such Thing As Political Correctness

It's a "right wing myth":

On Burritogate:"Cultural Appropriation Is A Problem; A Misguided Burrito Cart Is Not Part Of It"; or: Well, You're Half Right

I thought this, by Christine Emba, was actually pretty good in important ways.
   She basically lays out several of the true premises, setting things up so that the objective reader can see that the warranted conclusion is, basically: cultural appropriation is not a thing. She's certainly right that the burrito thing is idiotic. And she's on target when she points out that things like theft of intellectual property are wrong...though she fails to go far enough. She doesn't recognize that, at every point at which it seems that alleged "cultural appropriation" is wrong, it's actually something else entirely. Is it bad to steal intellectual property? Sure--but that's a different matter. (And: not really what's going on in Burritogate.) Being disrespectful to people is sometimes (thought not always) wrong. (Some people don't deserve respect.) Is it bad to disrespect a culture? Maybe... That possibility is certainly worth considering. But I've never quite been able to figure it out.
   Look, I think this is important. Let's get down to brass tacks: Burritogate is not an anomaly. Burritogate is a consequence of ideas and attitudes that are absolutely central to neo-PC (or social-justice-ism...or whatever you want to call it). And it's totally, batshit crazy. It can't just be shrugged off. It's not just some extreme outlier. It's a logical (or illogical) consequence of core principles of neo-PC. And this is basically what happens with every PC / SJ idea when you apply it consistently. You get something totally nuts.
   And another thing: I think it's really important to see that the reason that PC / SJ tries works so hard to control language is that it's an efficient way of controlling a debate. This is why it's important to reject the diktats of the language police: once they secure acceptance of their preferred terminology, it becomes much more difficult to see the issues objectively, and much more difficult to explain why they're wrong.
Read more »

How GOP Leaders Came To View Climate Change As Fake Science

   This was interesting to me. I didn't have the whole sweep of the thing in my head.
   I've often said that it seems to me that a lot of problems are caused by liberals doing something wrong and conservatives over-reacting. I really have no idea whether that's true, nor whether the same thing happens in reverse just as often... But it's an idea that got lodged in my head. So in this case you could see current GOP "climate denialism" as an overreaction to Obama's Clean Power Plan. Though, of course, that could be seen as a liberal overreaction to to things already happening in the GOP...but that does seem a little less accurate to me... I dunno.

With The Brits

Saturday, June 03, 2017

"March For Truth" Seeks Fully Independent Investigation of Trump-Russia Ties

Eh...isn't that what's going on already?
   I mean jeez, I dislike Trump beyond the telling of it, but this sort of thing seems to be too much. Also, they need to lose the disrespectful signs.

Trans-hippoism

Friday, June 02, 2017

Did Trump Exit The Paris Climate Agreement Because Obama Agreed To It?

"Affirmative Consent" Madness A Little Bit Closer To Infecting The Extra-Academic World

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Soon, we'll all be rapists.

Anybody still feel like arguing that political correctness isn't a threat to Mundania?

[Incidentally: notice how K. C. Johnson tries to argue with the left: he knows it's fruitless to try to reason with them. He knows that there's no way to move them on the basis of the fact that the policy is batshit f*cking crazy... So he uses one of their own argument templates against them: this would increase incarceration rates.
   Now...that shouldn't matter to them. It shouldn't carry any weight with lefties because they are committed to the proposition that the increase would be comprised of rapists. More rapists in prison is good, not bad. (Or it would be if they were actual rapists...which they wouldn't be...but never mind.) But when you're arguing with lunatics, I suppose you can't expect your arguments to make much sense.]

Victim Chess: Kathy Griffin Edition

So there was this weird thing with a bloody Trump mask...WTH? Who the hell would think that was ok?
   Anyway.
   The alleged comedian, Kathy Griffin (with whose oeuvre I am not familiar) claims that criticism of her act by the Trump family constitutes "bullying."
   facepalm
   Well, that's the way our public discussions go now. Victimhood is the ultimate armor. In fact, it's armor that you...I dunno...can also take off and bash your enemies in the head with. Public slapfights are now exercises in maneuvering for the most vulnerable position. They're like dogfights in which you try to maneuver into the other guy's sights, so you can claim that you're being attacked. I'm afraid, I feel unsafe, I am threatened, I am bullied...these are now the ultimate trump cards in our discussions. Note that just about every screed by the hard campus left includes some claim to feel unsafe. Your disagreement with my beliefs is literally an act of violence against me is a closely-related complaint.
   Imagine what Nietzsche would have to say about this shit.

Radical Students Turn Professors Into "Dancing Bears"

“A few students discovered that pompous teachers who catechized them about academic freedom could, with a little shove, be made into dancing bears.”:
   Watching the way George Bridges, the president of Evergreen, has handled this situation put me in mind of a line from Allan Bloom’s book “The Closing of the American Mind.” Mr. Bloom was writing about administrators’ reaction to student radicals in the 1960s, but he might as well be writing about Evergreen: “A few students discovered that pompous teachers who catechized them about academic freedom could, with a little shove, be made into dancing bears.”
   At a town hall meeting, Mr. Bridges described the protestors as “courageous” and expressed his gratitude for “this catalyst to expedite the work to which we are jointly committed.” Of course, there was also pablum about how “free speech must be fostered and encouraged.” But if that’s what Mr. Bridges really believes, why isn’t he doing everything in his power to protect a professor who exercised it and condemn the mob that tried to stifle him?
   The Weinstein saga is just the latest installment in a series of similar instances of illiberalism on American campuses. In March, a planned speech by Charles Murray at Middlebury ended with the political scientists escorted off campus by police and his interviewer, Professor Allison Stanger, in a neck brace. In April, a speech at Claremont McKenna by the conservative writer Heather Mac Donald had to be livestreamed when protestors blocked access to the auditorium.
   Shutting down conservatives has become de rigueur. But now anti-free-speech activists are increasingly turning their ire on free-thinking progressives. Liberals shouldn’t cede the responsibility to defend free speech on college campuses to conservatives. After all, without free speech, what’s liberalism about?                      [my emphasis]

Beren and Luthien

Thursday, June 01, 2017

White Artists Grovelling

So...
You're a white artist. You're pretty social justicey...so you make some art commemorating the murders of several non-white people. Good for some social justice points, right?
Wrong, Becky
You have just like...I dunno...appropriated something or microaggressed or some shit.
What it really comes down to is: you are white, and you said or did or made something or other that had something or other to do with somebody or other who was not white...and that is NOT OK.
So what do you do?
Why, you debase yourself to the point of asking whether you can disassemble your own sculpture and help the group that is irrationally criticizing you burn it...and then you offer to meditate on your own horribleness for having the temerity to say something against white people killing non-white people.
Of course.

This is how powerful faux victimhood is now, and this is how corrupt the victimologists have become. They can basically make certain people do whatever they want just by invoking the power of their helplessness. And there are spineless, guilt-ridden white people who are only too eager to comply...and debase themselves to the maximal degree...
And so....what? Is everybody going to keep pretending that this is all within specs?

School To Student: Enough With The Gender Flip-Flopping

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Jeez what nonsense this all is.

The President Of Evergreen State College Speaks to Student Demands

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No, wait...here's the actual text.

That first thing would have probably been less humiliating.