Thursday, February 14, 2019

Andrew Yang Is Running For President On Universal Basic Income

Y'know...this guy is pretty interesting, and I'm not as skeptical of UBI as I used to be...because I'm not as ignorant about it as I week ago...

Jussie Smollett Changes His Story Again

Kyle Smith at NRO
Not that there's any real doubt that it's a hoax...but still interesting to see how this unfolds. Will the police and/or the media just let it fade from memory? That's my guess. I mean, with the Covington kids / Nathan Phillips incident, we had video of almost every moment, and that didn't really matter. There was the eruption of crazyhate against the kids and MAGA hats etc....then frantic attempts to deflect the iron-clad proof that it had all been bullshit...and then, so far as the media goes, it might as well never have happened.
Though the Washington Post did publish this that's something, anyway.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

More On The Lurch To The Left

C'mon, blue team.
The center is your friend.
I still believe that you can be a liberal without being crazy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Senate Intelligence Committee Has Found No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion

And if the best the Dems have is "but he asked them to hack Hillary's emails!!!111"...well...that's just pathetic.
   It's really important to keep track of this stuff.
   For the last two years, the left has been insisting that collusion was obvious and there was no other explanation. And the red team has been poo-pooing it all. Barring some weird twist(s), the two sides are on record as having taken up clearly opposed positions on this. At least there may be evidence that the pubs didn't know about, and that could be an excuse. I don't realistically see anything analogous for the blue team--they (many of them, anyway) have bee insisting that it's obvious that Trump is guilty. If it turns out--as, IMO, it's always looked as if it would--that they're this case, evidence of wrongness, I think, is basically evidence of nuttiness. There's nothing terribly wrong with thinking that Trump might have colluded...though that's almost never seemed plausible to me. But insisting that it was obvious that that was basically the only possibility...there's no excusing that.
   Anyway, as I've been saying: the blue team had better get ready to try to beat him in '20. Because that's very likely their only hope. And that's going to required two things, I assert: (1) the blue team needs to pick a centrist, and (2) their left wing has to vote for him. That means both of them are going to have to put their money where their mouth is about Trump being unfit for office. If he's genuinely a danger, then the progressive Make America Crazy campaign will have to go on hold for four years. If you think he really is so dangerous, then you should think that a 175% tax on millionaires and mandatory Drag Queen Story Hour at the DMV can wait another four years.

McConnell Will Force The Senate To Vote On AOC's "Green New Deal"

LOL now that's brilliant/hilarious.
I'm not what you'd call a big Mitch McConnell fan...but credit where credit's due.
Incidentally, have we reached local peak left yet? They can't really get that much crazier without losing significant support...can they? When you're making the Pubs look like the reasonable party, it's time to reassess.
(via Instapundit)

Thoughts on Blackface

I was in the gym this morning, and it suddenly hit me: blackface might be making fun of black people. That simply hadn't occurred to me. I've always just thought it was some weird-ass kind of theater, or some lame attempt at (non-malicious) humor...but somehow it didn't strike me as an attempt to poke fun. So that is a very different kettle of fish. I mean, I don't think that necessarily means that that's what people are intending it to be--Northam and Herring might easily have been as clueless as I was about it when they did it. Obviously something can still be racist even if not everyone who does it realizes that...but that's not the point. The point is that the trope could have an origin in bad intentions. I'm not even sure that the bad intentions are necessary. Actually, I suppose maybe the idea is that blackface is like a racist caricature.
   Anyway...maybe all that's obvious...but it wasn't....and isn't...obvious to me. It's the kind of thing it might be good for people to articulate better and more frequently in the public discussion.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Rob Lowe's Joke About Elizabeth Warren Isn't Racist Because She's Not Native American

Similarly, "fauxcahantas"
I'm not sure it'd be racist even if she were 1/1023 American Indian...

Carolina 61 - UVA 69

Eh, we let the solid lead slip away, Coby's 3 was a nanosecond late, then Guy hit the 3...6 point turn-around. UVa's a great team, but we just absolutely went to sleep in the last 5 minutes. Missed 12 of our last 14 shotes. Not the worst 5 minutes we've played all year, but close to it. Couldn't even put the ball in the hoop from point-blank range at the end of the game.
   IMO Virginia's the toughest team in the conference, so it's not a terrible loss...but kinda bad to get housed after you seem to have the game in hand. We've definitely got a lot of room for improvement. If we had any semblance of an inside game we might be a dangerous team.
   Injuries killed us, too...hope Nas is ok. Not to mention Leaky. Not to mention Sterling...


Can you believe that the refs robbed us of that 3 by Coby?
Eh...looks like he was still touching the ball as the clock went to close as it could possibly have been.

"Fact"-Checking And The Left: AOC GND Edition

Carolina 26 - UVa 36 At The Half

3s not falling...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The NA-335: The F-15 That Never Was

I had never heard of the North American 335. Cool.

"Free" Everything For All!: Free Day Care For All Edition

I do agree with Pollitt that it's a better idea than free college for all...for what that's worth.
And she doesn't actually say "free," she says "affordable." And may even mean it. But both mean: the rest of us pay for (at least some of) it.
   I'm not irrevocably against such ideas. In particular, I'm more inclined to be in favor of government programs that help kids get a good start in life, hence that level the playing field to some extent. But the progressives' Free Shit! sweepstakes not only gets old, it betrays a worrisome view of government. If I knew it might stop somewhere, I'd be more favorably-disposed toward individual suggestions. But it won't.
   But, anyway, it is a better idea than "free" college for it's got that going for it...

Saturday, February 09, 2019

"They Called Them Spitfires..."

A fantastic homage to the greatest and most beautiful fighter plane of all time...not a dry eye in the house here at the Institute after watching this...God bless the Brits, and God bless the Spit.

Carolina 88 - Miami 85 in OT

Wow, good game Miami, good game Heels!
That was a fun one.

Science Proves Conservatives Are Irrational, Episode MCXXIII: Conservativism Is All About B.O.

Behold, the leventy-millionth scientific proof that conservatives are irrational and primitive.

The Red New Deal

Total crap.
My favorite bit was the adjunct proposal to "provide economic security for all who are...unwilling to work."
   I'm not even really a "denialist"...I just don't believe the hysteria. Largely because Progressives don't believe the hysteria. If they did--as I've argued before--they'd be bargaining away everything else to get carbon emission reductions. They'd drop their objection to nuclear and argue for building every damn nuclear plant we could possibly fuel. They certainly wouldn't cram irrelevant socialist pipe-dream nonsense into a bill like this. If an asteroid were on a trajectory to destroy the Earth, and only an all-out effort would stop it, and party P1 actually believed that, and party P2 didn't, P1would drop every other goal, bargaining them all away to get whatever it was going to take to stop Armageddon. Instead, you see what the Dems are doing--pursuing socialism and other whackery at the expense of policies that--according to them--are our only hope for survival.
   They don't even believe their own bullshit; why should we?
   Me, I'm all for reducing carbon emissions. I'm extremely pro-environment. But I'm anti-bullshit.

Is Abortion In Danger?

Rauch and Wehner: Republicans Got Us Into This Mess And They Have To Get Us Out Of It

I think I agree with most of this, including especially:
The most troubling — and from our point of view the most disappointing — development of the Trump era is not the president’s own election and subsequent behavior; it is the institutional corruption, weakness and self-betrayal of the Republican Party. The party has abandoned its core commitments to constitutional norms, to conservative principles and even to basic decency. It has allowed itself to be hijacked by a reality television star who is a pathological liar, emotionally unsteady and accountable only to himself. And it has embraced presidential conduct that, if engaged in by a Democrat, it would have been denounced as corrupt, incompetent and even treasonous.
In the long wake of Gingrich, the Pubs have shown themselves willing to play hardball to the point of warping the system and violating the norms necessary for its proper functioning. To my mind, this is the most destructive part of Gingrich's legacy, and I still believe that it could ultimately be the end of us, or contribute significantly thereto.
Read more »

Thursday, February 07, 2019

"The Ten Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal"

Again, this shows that the progressive left doesn't really believe that climate change is an emergency; it's largely just using it as a stalking-horse to achieve ends it wants for other reasons.

Chicago PD: Smollett Will Be "Held Accountable" If He Made A False Report

The Real Story Of the Covington Kids / Nick Sandman / Nathan Phillip Encounter On The Mall

If this video is an accurate representation, then what happened really is exactly the opposite of what the left / media claimed. I expect that it's accurate, because any error or omission will be seized upon by the usual suspects...if they even ever mention it again...which I doubt that they will. Their M.O. is: smear and advance. Refutation of their tale was already on the table within a day; they didn't care. By the time that their lies were undeniable, they'd already moved on to the Jussie Smollett hoax. That's already fading away.
   The only thing I can clearly identify as having been left out is the Seven Nation Army chant, which I think a reasonable person might construe as provocative. But it doesn't matter. This is such a black-and-white, open-and-shut case that even if it's off by about a third, nothing much changes:

The progressive left has lost its mind.

OD Dems In Disarray

I don't have any idea what to say about this mess.
   I mean, the accusation against Fairfax is unsubstantiated, but sounds plausible. It is, obviously, by far the most serious charge. The other two have admitted that they did the deed in question at some time or other...though I'd say that deed is a venial transgression...but I guess I must be an outlier on that. I mean...uh...I think racism is a Very Bad Thing. I've thought that my entire life, so far as I can remember. This hasn't been a casual belief, but, rather, something pretty close to the core of my moral outlook. But over the course of the past few decades, the public posture of the left (hence of Polite And Consequential Society) has changed in such a way as to widen the scope of what counts as racism, and increase the moral severity of each transgression. So that now, apparently, someone even mentioning (and not even using) what we now refer to coyly as "the 'n' word" is apparently an unforgivable, mortal act of racism. Even as its appearance in popular culture has become far, far more common than ever. A pretty strange stage of affairs.
   Anyway, as I've babbled before, offensiveness is a weird thing. It's one of those categories that may not have any reality beyond however much reality is constituted or conferred by considered judgments. And I think the judgments that are most salient here are those of the average reasonable black person in the street. Somebody oughtta take a poll. Because I'm fairly sure that a lot of what's getting passed off as the consensus of minority groups is actually the opinions of leftist activists and academicians (but I repeat myself...). I doubt, for example, that illegal/undocumented aliens/immigrants/migrants care much about the terms 'illegal alien' and 'undocumented migrant'... 
   Anyway. common was it in the '80s to walk around in blackface anyway? Was just everybody doing it? This is kinda the weirdest thing about all this to me.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Insect Decline

Carolina 113 - State 96

State ended on a 14-4 scoring run...but we'll take it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Reece Jones: Borders Are Racist

Wow this is shit.
It is logical to support immigration restrictions if you believe that the United States is fundamentally an Anglo-European culture with western civilizational roots. This logic drove the United States’ earliest immigration laws from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Immigration Act of 1924 that established quotas to protect a racially defined notion of who could enter the United States. Subsequent immigration laws removed the explicitly racist elements, but have continued to limit the number of immigrants, the vast majority of whom are not white.
To recap, and clarify: if you believe that the U.S. has Western civilization at its roots, then you are racist. And if you are racist, then you want immigration controls. Therefore, if you want immigration controls, you are racist. Also, though our immigration laws aren't racist anymore, they're racist anyway, because they limit the number of people who can come into the country from elsewhere...and most people elsewhere are nonwhite.
   And this guy's a professor at the University of Hawaii...

Carolina / State

The big one is tonight.
Good excuse for missing the SOTU.

Augsburg U. Prof Under Fire For Quoting James Baldwin's Use of Racial Slur in Class

SOTU 2: The ReTrumpening

I can't bear to watch.
Somebody tell me what happens.

The Slow, Sad Death Of AOC And The Wrongness Of Billionaires Edition

I remember when that website wasn't a joke.

Dreher: Hiring The Diversity Commisar

And yet I watch my colleagues watch this happening, and they say nothing.
Fortunately my own department is notably sane...though insufficiently infuriated.
But year by year and month by month, the diversity-industrial complex takes over more and more of everything here.

Gaetz: Border Walls Work And Democrats Know It (Special Bonus I-Was-Right-All-Along Screed)

Pretty strong arguments.
I just want us to address the illegal immigration problem effectively/efficiently. Trump got things rolling toward a crazy extreme with the very idea of a sea-to-sea concrete wall-not-fence. And he stuck tenaciously to that crazy idea for quite awhile. Now...Trump could make the pope cuss...and he needs to be taught proper respect for Congress...and I understand how a crazy person can force one into an overreaction... But... The opposite kind of crazy has been running wild on the left in the form of sympathy with fully open borders and the view that border barriers are inherently evil. Even Pelosi foolishly declared fences immoral. So now the Dems have managed to defend--and perhaps even adopt--a view that's approximately an order of magnitude crazier than Trump's. Trump's wall idea was nuts, but it didn't involve anything like abandoning national sovereignty. He merely defended a maniacally extreme version of something we already have--physical barriers along the border. The Dems seem to have leaped off the philosophical cliff in response. And this is, I think, characteristic of the progressive left: they've demonstrated a willingness to defend positions that involve radical theoretical / philosophical shifts. This is far more radical than the way the right operates. They may want to weaken government, but they don't implicitly argue that the very idea of nationhood is wrong. They're willing to argue for crazy social creationist positions in order to defend the utterly indefensible view that people can change their sex-or-gender merely by saying so or wishing or occupying a different social role. They commonly deride the very possibility of truth, reason and objectivity, and commonly argue that science is inherently political...even while declaring the other guys anti-science... Seriously. What's going on on the left right now should horrify any reasonable person.
   Anyway, two things I've been right about:
   First, many on the left are in favor of open borders. I started pointing out several years ago that that position was entailed by much of what progressives were saying--that the things they were saying didn't make sense unless they believed in open borders. I caught a lot of grief for that, but I was right.
   Second, that Trump would make the left even crazier. There's no doubt about that.
   I also predicted that after Trump, there'd be a deluge of progressive-left insanity. I guess that prediction will have to wait two years to be assessed. But I'm afraid I'll turn out to have been right about that, too.

Monday, February 04, 2019

"University of Alabama Scientists: 'No Evidence' Climate Change Causes [Is Causing This?] Extreme Cold"

Post: "Bernie Sanders's Estate Tax Plan Would Reduce The Federal Debt And Help Even The Playing Field"

Dunno what to think about this sort of thing. I'm not sure there's right answer.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

The Fetishization Of Corporate Media

Is anybody keeping track of all the Trump/Russia false alarms unleashed by the media?
Surely one could, after the fact, rate the media for accuracy...
Even Glenn Greenwald is appalled.

Are We Headed For A "Soft" Civil War?

I wouldn't bet the farm on a negative answer.

Madeline Osburn: Here's What We Know About The Alleged Attack On Actor Jussie Smollett

   He asked the cops to turn off their body cams when they arrived.
   He was wearing some cord around his neck when they arrived.
   He refused to turn his phone over to them.
   The police can find no video of the attack (though there are lots of cameras in the area).
   He did not say his attackers were white.
   He claims the attackers yelled "this is MAGA country," but didn't tell this to the police initially.
   Police are investigating a threatening letter sent to him earlier.

Also: it's totally fake.

USA Powerlifting Bans Men Misrepresenting Themselves As Women From Competing As Women

Wow, so reactionary.

Drum: How Did The Lefties Take Over The Democratic Party So Quickly?

His answer.
My answer: because the center-left is helpless against the left. No enemies on the left! The left is only allowed to oppose the right. They crumble and grovel when faced with leftier positions. They think, at some level, that lefter = better. This is one reason the left is so dangerous. The logic of the left forces it to move leftward, ever leftward. Which makes conservatism, in a sense, the only sane position.

Trump Is Lazy

On the bright side, it may be better that he doesn't really work.

Everything Is Political: The Patriots Are Teh Razizt

The left has flipped its shit.

CNN Cries In Its Beer That Yet Anther Totally The End Of Drumpfff Fails To Pan Out

Also facepalm

Some Actress Or Other Flips Her Shit; Blames Mike Pence For Jussie Smollett Hate Crime (Hoax)

Wow Colbert is embarrassing.

Said Jilani: "Why Does Ralph Northam Deserve No Mercy?"

I'm inclined to agree with much, but not all, of this. Here's something good:
   Perhaps just a few years ago, Northam’s apology and Saslaw’s defence would have been enough for the governor to be able to move on. We have all done things we’re not proud of in the past, and our most offensive and obnoxious moments do not encapsulate our lives. But given an American elite culture that is regressing to a secular version of old puritanical norms, whereby sinners are branded for life and there are political points to be scored for casting them into hellfire, it is not surprising that Northam was immediately deluged with calls to resign.   ... 
   ...there is a curious dissonance between the message activists are promoting—that an offensive gesture from 35 years ago should permanently end a man’s career in politics—and their campaign around America’s system of mass incarceration. When it comes to criminal-justice reform, progressives are preaching that the aim of the system should be rehabilitation, not punishment, and that criminal behaviour is forged by social influences, rather than the result of bad choices by flawed individuals. They preach a Christian message of hating the sin but loving the sinner.
I was just wondering, actually, what would happen if, ten years hence, someone found out that I'd written something saying that I wasn't sure how bad blackface was. Will that be a fireable offence in academia in a decade? Actually, I'm not entirely sure it's not a fireable offence now...

Northam Now Says (1) He's Not Sure Which Guy He Is In The Picture And/Or (2) He Can't Be Sure That's Him At All

I dunno, man. I don't think either of these is a particularly strong defense:
A. I'm not sure that's me...I might be the guy in the Klan costume
B. I took so many pictures in blackface that I'm not sure whether that's one of them.
   OTOH, I'm not sure that appearing in blackface once in 1984 means that you are forever unfit for public office. The public discussion currently seems guided by the assumption that every such transgression is a moral mortal sin. I'm not sure how bad something like this really is. Is it a moral mortal sin? Are we sure it's not more on the Damn that wasn't a great idea end of the spectrum? Perhaps in the Dude, that was kind of an asshole thing to do sector of moral space? Something can be stupid and regrettable without being an indication of deep and undying racism. In matters of offensiveness, it seems that the average reaction of reasonable members of the average relevant group is extremely important. I guess I'd have thought that reaction would be rather more like Dude WTF were you thinking? F*ck right off with that stupid shit. That is a fairly high degree of dumbassery. Don't talk to me for, like, a day and a half. But I dunno. I hesitate to ask black people I know because it seems to much like So, speaking as a black man, and for all black men, what is your opinion of this?
   I never felt the allure of this stuff, nor thought it was that funny. I'm fine with some reeeeeally "transgressive" humor...but this just never seemed that funny to me. But I also don't think it's Literally The Worst Thing Ever. But my opinion doesn't really carry any weight in this case. I do think we've got to resist the idea that every dumbass racist thing somebody says or does is deserving of the social death penalty.
   I have no position on Northam in general, but am inclined to think that clamoring for his head over this is a bit too much. But I think it's obvious that, if the average reasonable black person in the street disagrees, that has to be weighed very heavily.

Who's Right About Ruth Bader Ginsberg?

On the right, I'm seeing:
   Nobody's seen RBG in public since her surgery.
   This is weird, and suggests she's in worse shape than we've been told.
   It's yet another sign of media bias that they're not asking about it.
   When Melania Trump wasn't seen in public for awhile, the media flipped
On the left I'm seeing:
   The right is flipping out about RBG
   This started with QAnon
   This is yet another sign of how crazy the right is

So who's right(er)?

Andrew Sullivan, Transgenderism, Lysenkoism, And The Derangement of Public Discourse

It's good to see Sullivan taking this stuff on.
But, as I've pointed out before: one sign of the iron fist with which the PC left controls our public discussion and thought is that the only dissent permitted is in other progressive terms. You aren't permitted to simply point out the most salient fact about trans ideology: that it is false. Men cannot become women nor vice-versa as a result of feeling or declaration (or, for that matter, existing medical treatments). The only dissent that is almost--but not quite--tolerated is of the form: this will harm other groups high in the progressive stack, e.g. women, homosexuals, lesbians.
   This is an extremely dangerous and deranged situation. Everyone should be rejecting this neo-Lysenkoist nonsense...instead of no one...

Jussie Smollette And The Evils Of Trumpism

Well, there's this:
The reported attack on Smollett included every hateful element you could think of: racism, homophobia, lynching and Trumpism.
Trump isn't just an erratic, loud-mouthed, narcissistic bullshitter who is vastly unfit for the presidency... No... "Trumpism" is now in the same category as racism, lynching, and anti-homosexuality... And this is how--one example of how--the left has become crazier than the right...

Friday, February 01, 2019

Northam In Blackface (or Klan Robes)?

Mississippi Bans Abortion After 15 Weeks, No Rape Exception

Serious question: is everybody going insane?

Did Trump Just Actually Negotiate Successfully?

Foxconn now says it will do manufacturing in Wisconsin.
Induction seems to speak against it...but if I didn't know better...I'd think that Trump had just successfully negotiated something...