Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sherrod Brown 2020?

Worth taking seriously...though he's actually pretty lefty by my standards. He signed some ridiculous thing about "gender identity" in schools. Aaaand hes got this anti-flag-desecration thing he's got going on... Maybe he's an interesting centrist...but he could be the worst of both worlds. He's only been on the periphery of my radar. But, prima facie, he seems like an option. The "dignity of work" stuff also sounds initially pretty interesting...but some of what I've read makes it seem more lefty than you might think.

Carl Bernstein Has Lost It Over Trump and Putin

Incoherent speculation.
TDS is sweeping the nation, kids!
Did the left used to be sane? Or am I misremembering?
Probably some of both, I reckon.
(Actually, the left I sympathized with wasn't very left, so.)
In addition to everything else, this non-stop shrieking about the DEADLY WORLD-ENDING SUPER-RACIST THERMONUCLEAR PUTIN-CONTROLLED MECHA-TRUMP is making actual Trump seem...well...y'know...pretty ok by comparison. 
Nice work, you guys. I didn't think it was possible. But you've done it.

Next time: BUT HE SERVED THEM HAMBURGERS!!!!111

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Brooks: "The Cruelty Of Call-Out Culture"

"The Insanity of..." would have been a more apt title.

Q: "Why Is Congress So Dumb?"

Monday, January 14, 2019

Study Finds People Enjoy Sex More When Baked Than When Drunk

Newsweek: Bernstein: Putin Runs Teh Trump!!!!!111

Right...so...write this down as a firm prediction of the left.
Because you have to be really, really stupid and nuts to think it's true.
Now hear this: Trump is a moron...not a Russian catspaw.
Seriously...I'd rather have Trumpo the clown in office than these other loony shitheads.

Beauty and Evolution

Interesting.
Seems to me that people tend to ignore the possibility that evolution acts in rather general ways, and that it might equip creatures to have an appreciation for beauty that's rather more general...rather than just an arbitrary preference for some specific visual stimulus. This is the kind of thing that seems to happen with intelligence. Evolution equips us with intelligence, and then we go nuts with it. It doesn't equip us to find the Lowenheim-Skolem theorem fascinating...it equips us with intelligence generally, and then lots of stuff follows from that for our behavior.

The Loss Of Confidence Project

This looks really, really interesting and important.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

James Watson Stripped Of Honors And Fired By Cold Spring Harbor

What Watson said was injudicious and rather callous...rude, I suppose...but it's more than merely consistent with what we seem to know about IQ.
   Here's a question. If you're a scholar, in some sense it's the only question: is what Watson said based on respectable evidence? Or is it not.
   The fact of the matter is that it is. You don't want it to be true. I don't want it to be true. No sensible person wants it to be true. But the universe does not care about our feelings. How is it that this even needs to be said?
   I am not insensitive to the painfulness of the relevant evidence. But I am far more concerned about the mass subordination of evidence to politics that has migrated from the humanities to the social sciences and now to the actual sciences. The subordination of evidence to politics is the essence of political correctness. It is an intellectual cancer. And it's a betrayal of our only sacred obligation as inquirers. 
   Cowardice...intellectual dishonesty...the desire for the approval of others...these are deadly to inquiry. 
   A secular religion now controls what we--and what scientists--can say and think. Some truths are now unsayable. And this new secular religion is much more restrictive than the old, religious religion. Meet the new boss...considerably goddamn worse than the old boss.
   And this is James F*cking Watson. 
   Imagine what will happen to li'l ol' me if/when I'm eventually doxed... I'll be retroactively fired to before my hiring and forced to pay back my salary for like the decade before I started my current job...

Obama's Border Patrol Chief: Build The Wall

link
(via Instapundit)

David Leonhardt: Get Rid Of Trump; He's Demonstrably Unfit For Office

link
It would be a lot easier for me to agree with this case if the other side were acting even vaguely sane.
   IMO the Bush administration was much, much worse. They tried to steal the election of 2000, and basically only failed because they--unbeknownst to anyone--had already won. Bush v. Gore was a train wreck. Then they not only lied us into Iraq, but used the tragedy of 9/11 as the fulcrum for their lies. And let OBL get away because they wanted the personnel and materiel to attack Iraq. I'll never stop being angry about those things. Neither should you.
   But, more to the point: it's hard for me to understand the freak-out about Trump given our largely passive acceptance of what '43 did. Unless Trump completely freaks out, he's on track to be a much, much, much, much better president than '43. Which means he could still be terrible.
   It's also clear that much of the hatred of Trump is based in his rejection of the craziest crazy of the PC left--his appointment of DeVos and reform of Ed, his rejection of transgender ideology, his rejection of tacit open borders and identity politics...the freak out isn't entirely principled. It's largely--though not entirely--political.
   But, all that having been said, I still think the guy is terrible and semi-terrifying. I don't know exactly how bad he is, nor how bad he might become, but I think he's just too erratic to hold the highest office. (The presidency maybe shouldn't have been allowed to become this powerful...but one problem at a time...) Which doesn't mean that I think he should be removed. Impeach him, if there are grounds. Let the system work the problem.
   737 days remaining as of now. Maybe the left should stop thinking about a moonshot and start thinking about how to beat him at the polls. The Dems can do that by stiff-arming the crazy left and running to the center. Or, rather: the Dems and the crazy left could do it in concert if the former runs a centrist and the latter sticks with the former. But will they? If the Dems ran a Blue Dog, would progressives vote for him or her? If not, that's evidence that leftist anti-Trumpery isn't all that principled, but, rather largely political.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working For Russia

This is the latest totally the end of Drumpf. As if opening the investigation were the same thing as finding that the concern was true..
   Needless to say, it's beyond bad that a president would even be suspected of such a thing. But the hysterical left keeps managing to make Trump look less badthan he actually is by repeatedly crying 'wolf,' and blowing such things wildly out of proportion. By being merely awful, Trump so exceeds the expectations set by the lunatic left that he kinda comes out looking almost good.
   And, incidentally: no, Trump is not secretly working for Russia. who the hell would even take such a thing seriously? I mean...I'm glad that the FBI investigated it. But if you think there's any appreciable chance of it being true, your TDS is probably acting up again.

Carolina 62 - Louisville 83

Wow.
That was a thrashin'.

Ron Martinelli: "The Tuth About Crime, Illegal Immigrants, And Sanctuary Cities"

Wow...can this be true? The claim that illegals commit fewer crimes per capita is repeated over and over like a mantra. I was under the impression that it was proven. In fact, I've thought and said that Trump's emphasis on crime by illegals was not particularly relevant, and not great tactically.
   Anyway...big if true. Huge if true, in fact. If this were true, it would mean that we've been bamboozled by the progressive media / controllers-of-culture again...in an almost unbelievably major way.
   But I doubt that it's true. It seems pretty unlikely that they'd have been able to suppress something this big for this long. Not that they wouldn't...but I doubt that they can.

"For Gay Conservatives, The Trump Era Is The Best And Worst Of Times"

Pretty interesting...but waaay too long. So not, in my case, interesting enough to finish. But YMMV.
Of course I disagree with lumping the "transgendered" in with homosexuals and bisexuals. In my view it's a completely different matter. But that's just one aspect of the thing. There's a pretty funny and interesting bit about Colton Buckley, a Republican from Oklahoma. I'd completely vote for the dude. There's also a lot of gossipy stuff that basically just waters down what's interesting about the piece. But anyway, of possible interest.

Yet Another Prophecy Of Trump?

Is this for real?
   Pretty funny if so.
   Snopes says it's real...but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's fake...
   I don't think I remember this series, but I might. It's the sort of thing that might well have been on reruns when I was a kid.
   While we're on approximately the subject, don't forget the works of fiction that foretold the rise of the progressive left...

Marco Rubio Is Absolutely Right About The Wall/Shutdown [*]

This guy could have been our president.
That's on you, Pubs.
Well...I guess the blue team shares the blame. But...less.
   The Dems' resistance to improving border security is irrational. But a shutdown seems like the wrong response. And: if we let Trump get away with this bogus declaration of emergency...and we shouldn't...we're basically laying the groundwork for President Harris (saints preserve us) to declare a climate-change emergency in order to, say, force through the "green new deal." (Or...red new deal...amirite?) So, anyway, I think you should be against the Trump thing. But if you aren't, maybe you'll be against the Harris thing.
   It's not that this is all easy...but: it's easy to at least try to say sensible things about the basics.
   Though I realize more and more than I don't really understand anything about government and politics.

* Eh, what do I know? It's all one big swirly clown show to me now.

Grassley: Don't Declare An Emergency To Build The Wall

Friday, January 11, 2019

Behold The PC Left


Anything Good To Read On Forcing Government Shut-Downs?

This seems like shenanigans to me, but honestly I don't know anything about it. If anybody knows something to read, please to pass it on.

Giulliani: Trump Team Should Get To 'Correct' The Final Mueller Report?

Eh, this is probably being twisted/blown out of proportion...he may very well have meant something like: correct obvious factual errors...
I mean...how else could it make any sense?
But anyway: yeah, no. You don't get to correct the report.

If You're An Academician, Write Portland State About Their Politically-Motivated Retribution Against Peter Boghossian

Honestly, does any doubt remain that the PC / "social justice" left basically controls academia?

The First 700 Miles Of Border Fencing Was Fine...

...the 701st mile is, however, immoral...

"Mexico Will Pay For The Wall"

Wow, progressives just won't shut up about this one.
Maybe I should care more about it...but I just don't.
I never thought that was a serious claim. I mean, Trump just says shit. Honestly, who believed that? I mean, Trump shouldn't just say shit. (We've fallen on hard times when we have to say this about the POTUS...) And he ought to be hammered for just saying shit. So, I mean, go to it. But it isn't much of a criticism of the wall thing. Perhaps they're leaning on this because so many of their other arguments are so dumb. I dunno.
   Also: fer chrissake, maybe we could set the barrier question aside for now and all agree to mandate the use of E-Verify? Well...of course we can't...
   721ish days down, 739 remaining...nearing the halfway point for Trumpo the Clown.
   As for the loony leftists who control our cultural superstructure: no end--and no halfway point--in sight.

The Wall Is Immoral...

...but the border isn't?
That position requires some gymnastics to defend...
Ooorrr...it fits together seamlessly/naturally/effortlessly with an open borders position...
Huh. Wonder which it is?
Seriously. I do wonder.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Border Fence Follies: They'll Climb Over! They'll Tunnell Under!

Yeah, no.
Fences, you see, are not perfect barriers. The point is, basically, to make it significantly harder to move along a given trajectory...not to make it absolutely impossible. This sort of perfection fallacy tends to crop up when people have already made their mind up about something and, hence, have stopped actually thinking about it.
Compare:
  • Seatbelts don't work because it's possible for them to come unfastened
  • Antibiotics don't work because it's possible for the infection to survive
  • Coats don't work because you might still be cold
  • Cell phones don't work because you might lose service
Blah, blah, blah.
Here's the only kind of argument that is going to work here: there are alternative methods of border enforcement that are more cost-effective than additional fencing. Give us an argument like that or shut the hell up. Er...no disrespect to Speaker Pelosi. She ok. I'm not a big fan, but I do respect her. But c'mon: get serious.

Trump Won / Trump Lost

Thiessen: Trump Won
Frum: Trump Defeated Himself
So he either won or he not only lost but kicked his own ass.
I don't see him winning this. Although I think he's probably less wrong than the Dems, and expended fencing would be good, Congress controls the purse-strings. And part of me kinda likes to see them slap down the president--especially this guy.
I don't see Trump winning this one.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Trump vs. Pelosi/Shumer On Prime Time

I thought both were somewhat reasonable and both somewhat full of it, and didn't go over the transcripts to figure out which was more what. 
   Trump's basically right about expanding barriers, though Congress controls the purse strings and it seems to me that the president forcing a shutdown is an attempt to usurp that authority.
   But I'm not sure I understand anything about government and politics anymore.
   Bad sign that the Dems are fighting more fencing. But, then, I can't even seem to find any information about what the most cost-effective measures are. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Tara John: "This Is Why Border Fences Don't Work"

Should have been titled: "This is how to write an op-ed using only fallacious reasoning."

The Only Question About The Border Fence Should Be: Is It Cost-Effective?

That's all I got.

Carolina 90 - State 82

Whew.

Trump To Address Nation Re: Border "Wall"

This should be good...
I expect it to be about 66% unhinged. And to fan the flames of crackpottery across the aisle. And to just generally make things worse. I shudder to think what President Warren's illegal immigration policies might look like.
OTOH, it may be better than gubmint by Tweets.

Portland State Goes After Boghossian In Retaliation For Busting Grievance Studies

The insane left is a powerful force in academia.
IMO we should be no less alarmed by this than we would be if a crackpot religious sect had risen to power in our universities. 

The State Game

Could be a barn-burner.
Go Tar Heels!

The American Psychological Association Goes Full Gender Studies Re: Masculinity

link
   Of course "toxic" or "problematic" or some other stupid-ass PC mantra is probably the preferred term...
   I expect to see this show up in the next DSM. And it's really no surprise. Progressivism tells psychology what it wants to see in the DSM, and gender studies is just a wing of progressivism.
   I actually do think--and thought so before it was cool--that there are interesting questions about gender. It's all been radically blown out of proportion by activist academia...it's about 1/100th as interesting and important as they think it is, and should, therefore, occupy about 1/100th as much air time as it actually gets in the academic world...but that still makes it somewhat interesting.
   At any rate: masculinity is something worth thinking about, and it's not beyond criticism. But the gender-industrial complex is about as far to the left as it's possible to get. It blows its own obsessions out of proportion, and its dedicated to "valorizing" (as the paleo-PCs used to say) women and shitting all over men. Women: inherently good, held back only by "toxic" masculinity and "toxic" femininity and probably other "toxic" shit as well. Men, however...: f*ck 'em. Inherently bad.
Read more »

The Border, Fencing, The Wall, Terrorism, And All That Crap

I don't think concerns about terrorism and gangs are the main reasons for wanting to control immigration, including at the southern border. The reasons for keeping control of immigration are the more mundane ones. The ideal of open borders / uncontrolled immigration that's barely under the surface of many arguments on the left is nuts. Especially for the U.S. Because everybody and his brother wants to come here. Which I understand. And I respect. But not everybody can.
   It seems obvious that the idea of a sea-to-sea wall is a bad one. Seems totally cracked, actually. I take it that there's not a lot of important disagreement about that.
   However, expanded--perhaps radically expanded--fencing is a good idea. [And it gets better the more the farther left works to oppose any other methods of immigration control. The farther one goes to the left, the more one seems to find opposition to all deportation. It begins to seem that our only option is to prevent people from crossing the border in the first place.]
   It concerns me a lot that the Dems seem to be siding with the extremist left by refusing to fund more fencing. I worry that the crazy [breathy voice] Walls divide "arguments" are actually taking hold over there.
   OTOH, they might just be sick of Trump's shit, and poking a finger in his eye. That I can get behind. You can only put up with somebody's puerile bullshit so long before the urge to thwart their will becomes irresistible...even if they're right. The goal is, to some extent, to force them to settle down and grow up.
   However, that excuse only goes so far. We need--or at least it would be good for us to have--a lot more fencing and a lot better border security. Not to mention: E-verify, more enforcement of laws against visa overstays, etc.
   We let in quite a lot of immigrants, but people abuse the system anyway. We've got a right to enforce the laws.
   Both sides seem crazy as hell to me now. I do understand that Trump could make the pope cuss...but he's practically the voice of sweet reason compared to the [breathy voice] Walls divide crowd. (Well...that's probably an exaggeration...)

Monday, January 07, 2019

Abigail Shrier: "When Your Daughter Defies Biology"

link
Full text also available at /r/gendercritical.
   This is madness. Write it down. Remember it. When this is all over, it will finally dawn on people that this is the new Satanic Panic. People have accepted a completely insane theory...with very little resistance. If you can be convinced that men are women and vice-versa, then you can be convinced of anything. Basically the left can be manipulated by its vocal vanguard, and is willing to pretend to accept--and, worse, actually accept--even what are basically outright contradictions.
   I'm all for bucking "the sex-gender system"...but this is madness.
   The left needs to take a long, hard look at how irrational, immune to facts, and sheep-like it has become. The right's acquiescence to Trump isn't 1/10th as insane as the left's acquiescence to transgender ideology.

FIRE: New Duke Policy Renders Students Unwitting Rapists, Removes Protections For The Accused

Ocasio-Cortez: "No Question" Trump Is Racist

Exactly the dumb answer.
The actual fact: Trump says things that suggest the racism hypothesis. And that's not an acceptable characteristic for a president to have. Period.
   The left thinks everybody...or every white person...or every white conservative,anyway...is racist. That's "no question" that it's become a joke. A really disgusting joke.
   Don't forget, the academic wing of the left has proclaimed the following two things: (a) no non-white person can be racist (in the U.S.) basically by definition; (b) every white person is racist basically by definition. So...that's the general sort of thing we're dealing with here...
   AOC's own evidence very clearly fails to support a verdict of "no question." As is the practice of the progressive left, she marshals highly speculative evidence about e.g. "dog whistles" and whatnot--suggestive, but nowhere near clear enough to support her conclusion. Oh, and his reaction to Charlottesville--which, as I've said before, was actually pretty damn good...until he was badgered into losing his cool and saying some true but unPC things like: both sides were responsible for the violence.
   The fact is, there's a whole lot of questions about Trump's attitudes about race--questions where there shouldn't be questions.
   You've gotta choose your poison these days--Trump or the crazy left. You know my answer: Trump's a dead end. He's gone in 743 days (gawd...still not even halftime...). The crazy left is likely here to stay...and it's getting crazier and crazier... But YMMV...

Censure, Rather Than Impeachment, For Trump?

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Salon / D. Watkins: "Was Jazmine Barnes A Victim Of Domestic Terrorism? Will White America Own It?"

Um...so...what now then?

Antarctic Sea Ice "Astonishingly Low"?

The OD Probably Won't Legalize Weed in '19

Lindsay Shepherd's Evil Lefty Professors Who Compared Jordan Peterson To Hitler Are Suing Shepherd For Telling People About It

John Yoo And James C. Phillips: "'Free Speech' Means Just That"

"A too-broad interpretation of the Constitution’s free-speech clause protects things that have nothing to do with speech and makes other clauses superfluous."

Very interesting:
   Ironically, while the Court has diverged from the First Amendment’s original meaning by watering down the definition of speech, the Court has determined that commercial speech deserves lesser protection. But again, the Constitution makes no distinction between types of speech. Speech is speech under the First Amendment, whether political, religious, commercial, ideological, academic, or other. The only way that commercial speech could receive less protection under the Constitution is, under the natural-rights framework, because it is more prone to certain harm than other types of speech, and thus can trigger government regulation. But that’s a correlation, not a categorical distinction — and must be determined case by case.
   Given this original meaning, some of the Court’s canonical, if not controversial, free-speech decisions have wandered far beyond the Constitution’s text and history. Certainly the Court’s 1972 decision finding a constitutional right to nude dancing is wrong (California v. LaRue). Similarly, Texas v. Johnson, in which the Court concluded that flag burning is speech, is also probably wrong.
   Restricting free speech to just that — speech — rather than conduct, cuts both ways. For example, liberals want sexual orientation to be speech. Conservatives want cake baking to be speech. Neither would have constituted speech at the time of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The Constitution’s original meaning is not necessarily conservative or liberal.
   Conservatives have arguably pushed an erroneous free-speech argument as to why limits on campaign contributions, such as those upheld in Buckley v. Valeo, violate the First Amendment. Adopted in Citizens United v. FEC, conservatives on the Court reasoned that financial contributions facilitate candidate speech; thus, limiting donations unconstitutionally limits speech.
   We think the Founders might have disagreed that money equals speech. Money facilitates speech. So does a megaphone, or a personal computer. Nor does all money constitute speech; we do not speak when we buy an apple at the supermarket. Not all money given to candidates even goes towards electoral speech.

What Happens When The Gubmint Shuts Down?

Jazmine Barnes: A Tragedy Turned Into A "Hate-Crime" Hoax

Some of the usual suspects in the media jumped enthusiastically onto the white-man-shoots-black-child angle...which turned out to be ostentatiously false.

Overwatch Drama And SJWs In Gaming

Sadly, GamerGate didn't succeed in purging the SJWs from gaming and gaming journalism.
Now there's this.
In short:
Girl shows up on high-powered Overwatch team. Nobody's ever heard of her, and her movements on camera don't appear to match the movements of the avatar that she's allegedly controlling. People suggest she's not actually playing. SJWs--gaming journalists et al.--proclaim this THE MOST SEXIS THING E-VAR!!!111one and something something "GENDER ESSENTIALISM" (which...is a term that never, ever makes any sense...)... Immediately turns out that she was not, in fact, playing. Rather, it was actually a dude who was off-camera....
   No matter how many times these people are proven to be morons, they just seem to keep going.

"Seinfeld" Too unPC For These Modern Times

I wasn't wild about the show, but come on

Conquest's Three Laws Of Politics

link:
1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Ashe Schow: "5 Signs You're In The Midst Of A Moral Panic"

In case you're not yet convinced of this already.
   In times of mass hysteria, people try to justify gutting due process by claiming the alleged problem — sexual abuse — is widespread and using statistics to back it up. But these statistics are not evidence and often the result of shoddy research or cherry-picked and misrepresented for effect.
   Multiple surveys were created during the Satanic Panic. One limited survey conducted by psychologist Richard Peterson, who worked with police during Paul Ingram’s investigation, found about 25% of therapists in Tacoma and Seattle had treated alleged victims of satanic abuse. A survey from the American Psychological Association conducted in 1991 found that 30% of respondents had treated someone alleging ritual abuse, and 93% of those said in a follow-up survey that they believed the claims.
   Another social panic, this one about child abductions and occurred around the same time as the Satanic Panic, used a grossly exaggerated figure to suggest children across the country were in danger of being kidnapped. The media and others claimed 50,000 children were abducted a year, when the actual number was around 600 (still frightening, but far from 50,000).
   In today’s sex assault panic, we see multiple inflated statistics allegedly confirming an epidemic. We’re told that 20% of female undergrads, and 33% of women in the U.S. total, have experienced sexual assault. We’re told false accusations are rare (even though the statistic pertains to proven false allegations, which are difficult to conclude) and therefore the vast majority are true. The truth is that there are a range of categories for accusations, a small percentage are proven false, and a small percentage result in a guilty verdict. Everything in between is uncertain.

Trump Tweets Obama, Clinton Quotes About Illegal Immigration and Border Barriers

What was common sense in 2005 and 2015 is the height of political incorrectness today.
One of many reasons to abhor progressivism.

"A Cautious Hope Emerges Among Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Constituents"

"...why be fearful of losing a way of life"...?
   Kinda sounds like progressivism is being a little more up front with its actual goals, at least... 
   Also in this fawning article: "intersectional feminism," how to stop ICE from finding the illegal aliens in your neighborhood, and much, much more!
   Being a "nation of immigrants" with a strong liberal tradition...just not good enough anymore, bigot. The left has plans for us--and they don't include any of that pesky, outdated stuff about the American way of life.
   I still have hopes that the Dems will stiff-arm their left wing. But the fact is, we just don't know what they'll do, especially over the medium-to-long-term.
   I sound like the conservative cranks I used to make fun of...but those conservative cranks were making this stuff up. Now that stuff is real.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Are Men More Disadvantaged Than Women In the U.K., U.S., And Most Of Europe?

Maybe.
It wouldn't be a huge surprise...just a wee surprise.

AOC: AT IT AGAIN

Nuclear War As A Means To Stop Climate Change

It's just one essay by just one kook...but to the right, it seems like a telling snapshot of lefty climate hysteria. (via Instapundit)
   Among the many stupid things in there: the idea that nuclear war would totally f*ck the planet is based on "shaky science." Presumably this is intended to contrast with the "settled science" that tells us that we are all going to die from climate change unless we retool all of human existence to avoid it.
   For the record: I basically accept a somewhat de-hystericalized version of the standard view of this matter. I don't deserve much of an opinion about it. So I accept--in some cynical sense of 'accept'--the consensus of the relevant scientists, basically. I'm willing to accept policies aimed at decreasing carbon output... There's a good chance we're being played...but waddayagonnado?
   There's a lot about climate-change hysteria that looks familiar from the perspective on the right: a bunch of long-term lefty goals--ending fossil fuels, renewable energy, decreasing consumption, ditching meat, more public transportation, more government control of the economy, more power to international institutions--and wow, what a coincidence! Some relevant science claims that we have to do all of them right now or we're all going to die! And the science is settled! And only irrational anti-science types on the right deny it.
   Ok, so...if people on the left honestly believe that...why aren't they advocating the most obvious, proven, efficient course of action, i.e. expansion of nuclear power? Weird that this is all obvious and proven and the most super-duper emergency thing we've ever faced...but...still not as bad as nuclear...
   Nuclear war, you see, is preferable to fossil fuels / climate change...but nuclear power...no way, climate bigot... (Though that comment is unfair against the average progressive...it's just another expression of frustration against the linked article...)
Read more »

Did Trump Lie About: Former Presidents Regretting That They Didn't Build A Border Wall?

link
Haven't found a direct quote yet, so it could be more media lying about what Trump actually said (another "all Mexicans are rapists" case)...but it's just as likely not to be.
   Every reasonable person should want expanded fencing along the border. But Trump's ridiculous emphasis on a sea-to-sea wall mucks everything up even more. It's a stupid idea. It'll never happen. It shouldn't happen. And it's driven the other side even crazier, so that now the vocal vanguard of the progressive left seems to have adopted a position according to which any barrier at the border is inherently evil. (Of course the VVPL seems to think that any enforcement of immigration law of any kind at the southern border is evil...) Hence the brainless rhetoric like [breathy voice] Walls divide... 
   Dems did previously recognize the desirability of more fencing. Now when asked they seem to shift the conversation to the stupidity of the border-spanning wall idea. The sane option--expanded fencing--seems to have dropped into third place among preferences, and each side is now fixated on the stupidest idea on the other side. And the fight has become symbolic...so...now it's very much more difficult to straighten out.
   This is exactly the kind of thing I worried about when Trump won: we get Trump (bad enough in itself), he makes progressives even crazier than they already are, he crashes spectacularly...then we get an even crazier progressivism.
   Previously, IMO, the Democratic leadership was good at stringing along the crazy left wing of the party without giving them the crazy shit they wanted. If they show that they're going to keep doing that, they can get me back.



Conservatives Freak Over AOC Dance Video

What're we, stuck in the Footloose timeline or something?
Lighten up, Francis.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Trump Says Tlaib Dishonored Country By Cussing Him

Uhhh....pot...kettle...etc....
I mean...yeah...bad form...but it's pretty funny coming from our porn-star-porking, hush-money-paying, unindicted co-conspirator-in-chief...
I think it's worse to be antecedently committed to impeachment. Even though he may very well end up deserving it.

Space Nazis, Ultima Thule, and "Science Is Political"

Meghan Bartels, ladies and gentlemen...
Just click through. It's just a tweet. I'm not going to summarize a tweet.
   "Science is political": bullshit.
   Not because there aren't any substantially true interpretations of the sentence...but because the people who say such things almost always mean something dumb by them. (They like to leave the quantifier off of such claims because they like to mean "all science is political" without having to defend that indefensible claim. When challenged on it, they can easily retreat to a more modest interpretation.)
   And: stretching frantically to find some link between Nazis and an asteroid doesn't show that "science is political." It shows that you are an idiot with too much time on your hands.
   Good science isn't political. So, no. Science isn't political. Though some of it is. Way, way too much, in fact. The left likes to pretend that they're the heroes of the story, bravely unmasking corrupt, reactionary presuppositions of and influences on science. But currently it's far, far more often the left that does the politicizing.
   This wispy link between an asteroid and the left's new obsession--Nazis--is just a particularly bone-headed effort.

Joanna Williams: The Year Of Trans Tyranny

link
When trans activists fail to convince adults of their cause, they simply turn to children as a more docile and captive audience. This week, teachers in Brighton have been advised by the city council to instruct pupils that ‘boys can have periods, too’ in new sex-education classes. How this sits with biology classes on reproduction is anyone’s guess. ‘Menstruation must be inclusive of all genders’ – that is the advice to teachers of baffled 10- and 11-year-olds.

Dems Introduce Bill To Eliminate Electoral College

facepalm

Could be a long two years.

Will: Republicans Should Be Alarmed By This Sign Of Intelligent Life In The Democratic Party

link
One swallow does not make a Spring...OTOH, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...

Democrats Vow To Somehow Surpass Republicans In Messing Everything Up

Oh, Babylon Bee...

Gutting Defends Affirmative Action

Against the objections of NYT readers.
   I suppose I'm still inclined to reluctantly support some types of affirmative action in higher ed. But I don't think it's an easy thing to defend. But it's probably less bad than the "diversity" approach, since the latter involves, basically, the creation and maintenance of a cultish devotion to a set of crazy, ill-formed beliefs about the magical power of [reverential tones] "diversity and inclusion."

Thursday, January 03, 2019

MTBing In Tibet


Trump's Shitty Soviet History

Yeah, I think my jaw actually dropped when I heard he said this.
   I mean, the media is doing its usual bullshit...Trump was really trying to say that the invasion of Afghanistan hastened the end of the USSR. I guess he was trying to make the cases more similar in order to justify his talk of pulling out. Politicians get history wrong all the time. It's ignorant, but it's not really a case of "repeating Russian propaganda."
   Still kinda facepalmerific, though.

Mittens Contra Trump

God bless ya, Mittens:
   Romney, in his opinion column, credited Trump for cutting corporate taxes, stripping out what he described as excessive regulation and appointing conservative judges. But he said policies and appointments are only part of being a president.
   A president, Romney wrote, must also demonstrate honesty and integrity and elevate the national discourse.
   “With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring,” Romney wrote. 

Trump Disparages Mattis At First Cabinet Meeting

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Fleccas Talks To: Lefty Protesters

Now that's hard cringe.

"Lester Berg": "Confessions Of A Soulless Troglodyte: How My Brooklyn Literary Friendships Fell Apart In The Age Of Trump"

Worth a read.
The stuff that interests me doesn't show up until later in the piece, and then only briefly. But:
   After Trump was elected, I continued to seek the company of bookish kin, without fully realizing that they were in the process of excommunicating me. Something shifted in late 2016—and not just with Jamie. An author I’ll call Daniel, who’d solicited my critical feedback in the past, sold his novel to a top publisher, earning a huge advance. I was happy for him, and he was kind enough to thank me in the book’s acknowledgements. But the novel didn’t sell well. And Daniel found a way to blame the bad numbers on Trump’s presidency.
Read more »

John Staddon: "Racism Is Everywhere...Is It Really?"; Also: The Crapification Of Philosophy

[1] No. No it isn't. 
[2] I think a philosopher who published something like this in, say, Philosophy Today would be dogpiled by leftist philosophers.
   I tend to think that the left (at least the vocal vanguard of the left, at least in the States) is more racist than the right (at least the relatively mainstream right, excluding the overtly crazy cases on the far right). The right's alleged racism, as charged by the left, tends to be hypothetical. That is, for example, many on the right want to decrease illegal immigration. The left asserts that this is racist. They seem to be thinking: a large percentage of illegal immigration involves Hispanics coming across the southern border; conservatives want to decrease this. It must be because they are racist against Hispanics. The obvious alternative hypotheses, disconfirming evidence, etc. are simply ignored.* The racism on the left however, currently, tends to be overt: "Dumbass fucking white people," "white men are bullshit," etc. The overt racism of the left is explained away in various ways, including by simply redefining racism so that racism against whites / by non-whites is impossible. But there's no reason to refute such rhetorical bullshit yet again. Double standards are bad. And racism is bad. And false accusations of bad things are bad. Blah, blah, blah.
   At any rate, Staddon is basically addressing the former point, and I've addressed that before: it's fashionable on the left to (a) hunt for racist hypotheses to explain actions, then (b) treat those hypotheses as if they are proven. That's a bad combination, as should be obvious. As one, weirdly, is expected to say nowadays: racism is real. It's just probably not nearly as common as the progressive left wants to believe. They believe it's everywhere, but it isn't. I don't know how prevalent it actually is, but it's less prevalent than they think and say it is.
   But also: I'm really concerned that such errors seem to have become undiscussable in philosophy--at least on the web.
   Eh, there's more to say about that, but I've got work to do.
   As always, I could be wrong.


* And this is all aided by a few peripheral expedients, like consistently saying that conservatives "are taking aim at immigration" (instead of illegal immigration), etc. This happens so consistently that it's pretty hard to believe that it's an accident.

Mark Ledwich: Against Rebecca Lewis's "Alternative Influencer Network" BS

This is really good.
The Lewis crap is crap.
Though, quoting Ledwich:
   Although I do not believe YouTube incentivises extremism, or that YouTube is predominantly right-wing, I still believe that the debate surrounding social justice issues could be less divisive. There seems to be a higher proportion of reactionary anti-social justice content compared to other platforms, and many YouTubers focus on the most extreme actions of progressive activists — unfairly labelling this as indicative of “the left”. Most of YouTubers are reacting to the issue of the day, especially when their outgroup does something outrageous. You also see the same from leftist YouTubers.
   Despite this, calls for censorship, such as are implied in the Data & Society report, are intolerant, partisan, and extreme. Their targets include centrist and mainstream right commentators (e.g. Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager) and they offer no viewpoint-neutral rules of what an acceptable YouTube video is. The justification offered is that their videos are “harmful” — a concept that has crept so far that it is almost meaningless. Indeed, the harmfulness of a video seems to be a factor of the viewer’s politics more than the video itself.
   I think our tribal instincts make politics on social media worse than expected, but I am hopeful that new social norms and effective platform “nudges” will develop. To do this, we all need to work hard to tolerate and empathize with people in our out-groups. I will do this right now and show some love to the progressive activists. I would like to endorse the leftist channels of ContraPoints, Robert Wright and Ezra Klein (who is, in fact, the author of the Vox article I just disagreed with). They seem genuinely interested in ideas and have demonstrated a willingness to attempt good discourse outside their own tribes. This is what political YouTube needs more of.

Solid points.
Though....as I've said before: I do believe that the left tends to be rather monolithic in the sense that the more centrist left is extremely hesitant to criticize the radical left, and this tends to pull the left leftward. The centrist right commonly criticizes and distances itself from the extremist right. The left recognizes no enemies to the left. That's not true of the right. And the craziest left-wing craziness today is extremely likely to be mainstream leftism tomorrow (and not to be questioned by any of us the day after that...)
   But, then, I'm not the most temperate voice you're likely to encounter about this stuff...

Infogalactic

Wikipedia's a shitshow...maybe Infogalactic can be an improvement.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Is Facebook Censoring Ads Showing People Who Are Too Attractive Or Too Unattractive?

Uh...kinda sounds that way...
I dunno, though, in part because I don't do Facebook.

Is Trump Kinda Right About The Fed?

UVA Med Student Suspended For A Year For Questioning "Microaggressions" Lecture

link
His questions weren't great, and they were a bit heated, but he was way, way, way within the bounds of civility. I've heard a lot of objections and responses at philosophy papers that were waaaaaay more heated and aggressive than that. And his questions were certainly better than her responses, which were bullshit. She was apparently trying to both define "microaggressions" as something that could target only preferred groups in the progressive stack...and simultaneously worm out of that commitment in order to avoid the obvious objections.
   Note that the student who ratted him out complains that he had "questioned the validity of the information" the speaker presented...."for the whole audience to hear"!!!111 My God...questioning the validity of claims! At a university!
   Apparently they're trying to force him to get some kind of psych evaluation or treatment. Tres Soviet, UVA. Tres Stalinist.

The Crapification Of Philosophy: The "Biopolitical Philosophy" Blog

The Lies Of Feminism

Link
Sometimes it's hard to remember that and when feminism was a good thing...but honestly, it really was. Back in the day, that is. It fought against myths like this one: all women want to be, primarily, housewives and mothers. That was a terrible myth, and it's dead now, and thank God. 
   But feminism replaced the old lies with new lies. And there were many. Here's one: women have no particular desire to be wives and mothers. Here's another: a woman who devotes her life largely to to being a wife and mother lives an inferior life. (And she'll be unhappy for it.) The other half of the lie being: every woman ought to put her career first and family second.
It's important to free people from the shackles of tradition. It's also important to note that many traditions are traditions for good reasons. Both the kinds of lies mentioned above can help to ruin people's lives. Women's lives in case you think that's worse...
   Contemporary feminism is overly focused on ruining men's lives right now...but don't forget the damage it does to women, too.

TDS In Hollywood

I mean, anybody who listens to these people is an idiot anyway...but still...
Aside from everything else that's stupid there...when you compare Trump to these representations of Trump...y'know...he doesn't seem that bad anymore...

How The Cost Of Light Fell By A Factor Of 500,000

The amount of labor that used to buy about 50 minutes of light now buys about 50 years of light.
Now that's progress.

Ibram X. Kendi: "What The Believers Are Denying", or: Climate Change Is Like Racism...Somehow...

Wow this is terrible.
Honestly, it seems to me that progressivism is becoming more and more like a crazed, cultish religion.

Is Facebook "Outlawing" The Terms 'Illegal Immigrant' and 'Illegal Alien'?

Maybe.
   The left has been squawking about the legal term 'illegal alien' for years. Then they started in on 'illegal immigrant', using the following absurd argument:
'Illegal immigrant' means that the very person in question is illegal qua person;
But no person qua person is illegal.
Therefore 'illegal immigrant' is naughty. 
Of course that's about as dumb as the rest of their arguments. 'Illegal immigrant' in no way entails that the person is illegal qua person (whatever that would mean).  To call x an illegal immigrant is to say that x has immigrated illegally, on analogy to 'illegal contractor,' for example. 
Honestly, the left has become a cesspool of stupid. 
They're obsessed with words, and their goal, obviously, is to insist on ever more euphemistic euphemisms until all reference to illegality is gone and we're all referring to them as "the legalest Americans" or somesuch.

Taleb: The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship Of The Small Minority

UMass Tells Student To Take Down Sign Cursing Nazis Because of "Inclusion"

As you know, you can't make this shit up.
(h/t The Mystic)

"Climate Grief: The Growing Emotional Toll Of Climate Change"

I think you can probably guess what I think about this...

"Progressive Misbelief: Re: Race, Crime and Policing

From Peter Moskos, whose excellent Cop In The Hood blog seems to be another victim of Twitter--since he got a Twitter account, he barely posts anymore:
   For well over a century, "progressives" have a proud tradition of not only exposing what is best for other people (often correctly, I might add) but also thinking they know what other people believe (often incorrectly). There's a paternalism inherent to the progressive movement that can come awfully close to racism (or at least a white-savior complex) when it comes to policies that impact non-white people.
   A recent article points out how white liberals (of which I count myself) have, on issues of race, moved to the left of black Americans.
   If you, like me, hang around mostly with a liberal white set, you might believe 1) the greatest problem in poor black neighborhoods is the risk of being shot by police; 2) crime is down everywhere; 3) black neighborhoods are over-policed and 4) any attempt to apply policing solutions to neighborhood problems of crime, violence, and fear is part of a right-wing plot to throw more blacks in prison. There are other crazy things I hear as well, like, for instance, proven crime-reduction strategies -- take hot spots policing and Broken Windows (minus the zero-tolerance) -- are racist because they disproportionately impacted African Americans.
   I've seen this for a while now on issues of policing issues, and it frustrates me to no end. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but white liberals and "progressives," particularly the woke set, seem to have a certain fondness for thinking they know what other people should believe. That is a privilege you should check.
   So if, like me, you read the New York Times and listen to NPR, here are some things that might surprise you:
  • Blacks want more police presence more than whites want more police presence. Only 10% of blacks want less police presence. Read that again, if you have to. I remember having a discussion about this fact with a nice editor at a major national magazine. At first she simply didn't believe it. It didn't fit her worldview nor the view of her (mostly white) coworkers. It didn't fit the narrative. 
  • Over 70% of Americans feel safe walking alone at night in the area where they live. For very low-income non-whites, it's just over half. This is on par with residents of Nicaragua and Zimbabwe! Sigh. What a country.