Friday, December 14, 2018

The Dumbification of Matt Yglesias

When I read this I thought that Vox had published a piece by some semi-literate undergraduate. The writing's godawful. But the ideas are even worse. I mean...really, Matt? You guys are so enamored of Occasional Cortext that you want to change the Constitution so she can run sooner?
Whelp, progressives have managed to do at least one thing that conservatives haven't been able to do: make conservatives look like the less-bad option.

Mob Of A Dozen Antifa Attack Two Hispanic Marines

Mistaking them for Proud Boys, they maced them and beat them, leaving at least one with long-term injuries.
Weird that this got so little coverage...why d'ya think that was?

ACA Unconstitutional?

French: "Don't Fool Yourselves, Republicans--Donald Trump Is In Serious Trouble"

Unlike the hysterical Russian collusion accusations, this stuff sounds legit.
Not that I'm paying attention.
Because I'm not.

These Truths Jill Lepore

This book has blown me away from basically the first sentence:
I started reading it last night as a kindle sample, and was so blown away that I bought the audible version this morning and have been listening to it off and on. Lepore herself reads it, and I it's...thus far...just fantastic. This is the first single-volume history of the U.S. I've read in a long time (does listening to it count as reading it?). Lepore's prose is fantastic and the tone she strikes is painfully apt and moving. It's still early...I could be disappointed. I'd almost have to be: It's unlikely to live up to the promise of the first chapter. I haven't gotten to anything substantive that I know enough about to disagree with I really shouldn't gush. It's the tone / orientation that's gripped me thus far. But, damn--gripping it is. This one hooked me from the get-go. 
   Anyway: check out a Kindle sample and see if I'm wrong. 

To Hell With The Democrats' Phone Pestering

Given the way things currently stand, I have no intention of giving them money. But I've accidentally picked up on them a couple of times and briefly and politely explained that I wouldn't be contributing. Invariably, they try to simply talk over me, and I end up telling them to go to hell and hanging up.
   About one more time and I really am going to send money to the NRCC... I've never gotten a call from the Pubs...but the imaginary Republicans in my mind are politer.

The Silent Sam Debate Goes Even Farther Off The Rails

What a damn mess.

Professor Hires Mercenaries To Rescue Ph.D. Student From ISIS

He probably had a chapter due.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Don' Need No Man to Put Down Da Seat

How Bad Is Trump?

This question vexes the hell out of me.

Ignoring The News

Gonna try to avoid it all damn day.
Somebody let me know if you-know-who blows up you-know-what.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I Assume It Was Trump's Fault...

...But I can't stand to watch that entire snipefest between him and Pelosi and Schumer...
   I do see that Pence is bad for not having participated...which is, I guess something like a new type of micro-micro infinitesimal aggression or aggression by omission or something. I also see that the Post is continuing to covertly editorialize by including videos from other people to express their view...
   But anyway, if this wasn't Trump's fault, somebody should let me know.

Kaufman on Transgenderism, Self-Identification and Civil Rights

This is pretty good but not great.
It's wrong in a way and suboptimal in a way.
First, it falsely asserts that:
...unlike a person’s sex, one’s ethnic identity is obviously, demonstrably socially constructed, and race, (beyond the human) is an outright fiction constructed out of superficial differences in material appearances, like skin color or eye shape, so it’s hard to see how ethnically and racially grounded civil rights efforts will be able to resist the logic of self-madeness.
That simply isn't true. Race could turn out to be a fiction, but hasn't so far. By far the most well-supported position, so far as we currently know, is that races are natural kinds. Though, if it helps you face that fact: they're natural kinds of a rather unimportant variety. But people are so desperate for race to go away that they'll grasp at any straw to make it happen. And, of course, anyone who believes that races are biological will be accused of racism--no matter how equal he thinks they are. Because the subordination of facts to politics is the central characteristic of political correctness.
   Second, though I think Kaufman is right, notice that this argument makes a certain common mistake--it gets suckered into arguing against "identificationism" on moral/political grounds. It's not that that's an error in the narrow sense, but it's an error in the broad (or we might say: strategic) sense that it falls into reinforcing the leftist game by playing it. My own view is that it's important to reject that game and insist on winning the point by showing that the central tenets of the PC left's views are false--not that they have bad political consequences. To give in by making factual disagreements seem moral/political might help you win the battle, but it'll also help you lose the war.
   But, still, at least on one front, Kaufman advances the discussion.

[Oh and: third problem (and source of the first problem): the use of the term 'socially constructed.' The ambiguity and other kinds of unclarities and confusions surrounding that term are fatal or near-fatal to any discussion.]

Conor Barnes: "Sad Radicals"

This is pretty good. It's a former-radical-turns-apostate story that adds a bit of inside scoop to what we already know about the PC left, rather like the "Everything Is Problematic" essay from a couple of years ago,

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The New Autocrats

Even correct for Postly spin, this doesn't sound good.

The 25 Most Racist Countries

And we're not on it!
Also: so much for that lefty "only white people are racist" BS...

(Though...does India have a Klan?)

Neo-Nazi Incident In Washington State

These psychos had been reduced to mere residuum. I'm not sure whether that's what they still are, or whether they're actually returning to significance. (I don't think a poser would get 'devil' tattooed across his head...). The media's obsessions and biases make it hard to get any sense of overall trends. And the SPLC can no longer be trusted.
   At least they were caught quickly. Thing is, they'll, at best, go back to prison where they'll be welcomed with open arms by the in-house branch of the Aryan Brotherhood/Nation/Whatever. Obviously these are not people who are particularly worried about getting locked up.
   Needless to say, among my many concerns about this stuff, is that vocal anti-white leftism (in addition to being racist in itself) is fanning the flames of (actual) white supremacism on the right. Unlike naive, youthful me, I no longer think we'll ever get rid of racism completely. The trick is to reduce it to embers. But so long as the anti-white left is so prominent/vocal, and given, basically, carte blanche, I don't see that happening. I dislike counterproductivity arguments, and prefer to focus on the wrongness of racism per se, including the anti-white racism of the PC left. But the consequences in this case are so profound that even I can't ignore them. Real, actual white supremacism--so I'm not adopting the fashion of using the term as a synonym for white racism--is a very, very dangerous thing. This is not something to mess around with.
   But it's also not something to freak out about just yet. Cold-hearted as it sounds: in a country of 325,000,000 people, this sort of thing is going to happen sometimes. It's a terrible thing for the individual innocent victims involved, but it's probably not a widespread social crisis--yet.
   I'm sick of people virtue-signalling about this stuff, so I rarely say it...but I hated these guys with a fiery passion before it was cool...

Monday, December 10, 2018

10 Comedians Who Can Never Host The Oscars Now

Most important thing: Sarah Silverman was haaaaaaawwwwwt...

Sunday, December 09, 2018

David French: The Special Counsel's Cohen Sentencing Brief Is Ominous For Trump

The Crying Nazi Vows Destruction Of The Left After Fields Conviction

John Kelly Leaving Trump Admin

By my count, that leaves approximately this many adults in the administration: James Mattis.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

John Rosenberg: "From Diverse Professors To Professors Of Diversity"

It's not exactly true to say that academia has become a political cult...but it's not exactly false, either.
   The horrifying thing to me is that the very people who are supposed to be the keepers of the flame of knowledge can say such things and support such programs. No one with the degree of intellectual honesty God gave a goddamn goose could say such things with a clear conscience. It often seems to me that people who produce such lunacy are beyond hope, because there's no explanation or argument that could make the lunacy clearer than the lunacy itself.
   This is the sort of thing that's led me to think that we'd be a lot better off with quotas. Quotas may be a meat-ax solution, but they're honest. The religion of diversity has intellectually and morally corrupted the university--corrupted its mind and soul. Huge swaths of universities can't bring themselves to look at the facts straight on--so they have to construct a bunch of quasi-myths (expressed in the muddled language of PC / popomo) in order to view and express the truths obliquely (and inaccurately).
   The two most delusional and intellectually dishonest institutions I've ever been associated with are (a) the baptist church back home and (b) universities. Over the years I've learned to more-or-less give (a) a pass; it's not supposed to be honest. It's not supposed to be rational. It's not supposed to be the goddamn steward of the goddamn intellectual / scholarly /scientific heritage of humankind. (b) is a whole different goddamn kettle of fish.

Yet Another Academic Dogpiling: Noah Carl Edition

Apparently Carl is a racist who racistly argued racistly that research on race, IQ and genetics should be discussed honestly by scientists. The racistness of this racist racism is clear, is it not?
   [Insert standard rant about neo-Lysenkoism here.]
   The case of transgenderism is a bit clearer, and more obvious because it's been shoved into actual policy debates, and is being used to implement actual totalitarian policies that affect ordinary people...but the multi-pronged PC attack on this front is nearly as clear. It's nuts and, IMO, eminently worth reading about. In order to avoid unpleasant conclusions about race and IQ, the PCs have basically been willing to (a) outright deny clear scientific evidence, (b) brand anyone who isn't willing to deny clear scientific evidence racist, (c) argue that the very idea of IQ (and, perhaps, the very idea of intelligence) is unscientific, (d) argue that races are fictions or social creations (or, inconsistently, both). That mean that, in order to avoid one, single politically incorrect conclusion, they're willing to push anti-rationalism and weird metaphysics deep into major aspects of science. IMO you should be very alarmed by this.
   And, though I tend to think this point shouldn't even be raised: they do this all on the basis of a defective belief to the effect that we all must be equal, on average, and as a matter of fact, in order to be morally equal / of equal moral worth. Which means that they're committed to a theory that makes our moral equality a contingent matter of fact. So we just have to sit around hoping that we're all morally equal. Except, of course, what we're really obligated to do is: suppress any evidence to the contrary. And brand anyone who thinks honestly about the subject a heretic/racist/witch.
   It worries me that people aren't more worried about this.

More On The Fields Conviction

   Friend of mine who lives in C'ville was telling me about a robocall she got the night before the trial started. It referenced, among other things, C'ville's [black*] mayor and Chief of Police, and "Jew" this and "Jew" that. And you thought those credit-card robocalls were obnoxious...
   Honestly, I was concerned about the Fields trial because we'd heard so little about it. I thought there was going to turn out to be some crazy complication or mitigating circumstance, and the whole goddamn thing was going to bring the Klan et al. and antifa et al. back to C'ville and there was going to be another shitstorm.
   I am a bit surprised that the verdict was premeditated murder. To the layperson--or this layperson, anyway--a moment of irrational, violent passion seemed more likely. But I suppose the facebook post about using a car to run down protesters...yeah...I guess that counted.
   I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, in retrospect, the Unite the Right rally may not have been the very best idea that anyone ever had.

*Not actual word used

Absolutely, Totally The End Of Trump No Doubt About It

Wow, that's a relief!
Does anybody know when Pence is being sworn in?

Today's End Of Trump