Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Progressive Double Standard: Ben Carson, Idiot?

link
I agree that Ben Carson doesn't come across as the sharpest tool in the shed when he's speaking publicly. But:
(a) Dude is a neurosurgeon.
(b) Progressives would never allow conservatives to get away with something like this.
   The progressive rule is something like: conservatives aren't permitted to say anything critical of anyone who belongs to a group high in the progressives stack; if Jones is a member of progressive-favored group, G, and you criticize Jones, then you are a G-ist (or G-"phobe," or whatevs). OTOH, progressives are free to be as derisive toward Jones as they like...if Jones doesn't toe the progressive line, that is. Look at the stuff they say about Kanye. (Who is, though, a bit of a nut, so...)
   Also, of course, trangenderism is controversial to say the absolute very, very least. It isn't in any way clear that segregating people by sex under relevant circumstances is discriminatory. If Jones is a man (which is to say: an adult male), and a homeless shelter is segregated by sex, then standard practice would, it seems, be to house Jones with the other men. "Gender identity" isn't a real property/characteristic. It's a term that was made up to make false beliefs seem like facts. What matters for real purposes is people's real characteristics, not their beliefs or feelings or other subjective representations of those characteristics. Of course one can disagree, and I'm willing to pretend that the question is still open. But it's preposterous to simply declare it discriminatory to treat men like men and women like women--as if radical theories of transgenderism had been proven while no one was looking. Perhaps some as-yet unforeseen evidence and arguments will be discovered in the future. But, until such a time, it's not Carson who's being weird here. Progressives simply declared a radical, implausible theory true, and declared it bigotry to disagree. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us are obligated to play along.

WaPo: Racial Prejudice Has Declined During Trump's Tenure...Because...Uh...TRUMP SO RACIST That He...Uh...Makes New Racists And...Uh...Something Something Something

I'm just going to leave this here without comment for right now.
I suggest it provides us with a stunning occasion for reflection on questions about politics, logic, and intellectual honesty.

Greg Wiener: "It's Not Always The End Of The World"

link
   President Trump recently declared that he won the White House in “one of the most hard fought and consequential elections in the history of our great nation.” It is not difficult to conjure elections that mattered more, like Thomas Jefferson’s in 1800, Abraham Lincoln’s in 1860 or Franklin Roosevelt’s in 1932. What is becoming difficult to find is a modern aspirant to the White House who does not think of himself or herself as the solution to a world-historical crisis.
  There is no question that Mr. Trump’s political style is aberrant. But what if, all things considered, the needs of the moment are ordinary? That is the first question demanded by the foremost political virtue: prudence. Prudence is a capacity for judgment that enables leaders to adjust politics to circumstances. In extraordinary times, prudence demands boldness. In mundane moments, it requires modesty. Lincoln, the foremost exemplar of prudence in American political history, can instruct today’s voters in both ends of that continuum.
   A related point: stop with the frantic, ceaseless, reflexive change. 'Hope' was a good campaign slogan; 'change' not so much. We have it so good--basically all of us--in the historical scheme of things, that the vast majority of possible changes will make things worse--many catastrophically so. Reagan, Bush and Bush were much more on target with 'stay the course.' 'Stay the course' doesn't mean never change anything. It's a matter of emphasis. I fell for 'change' at the time because I was convinced that he meant, roughly, change the tone in Washington; soften the partisan divide. Which I think was and is imperative, Gingrich having wrought what he wrought. But the GOP was having none of it. And, anyway, one can see all sorts of things in your average one-word slogan.
  Wiener ends:
Before claiming instead that every election revolves around a crisis, political leaders should embrace what Edmund Burke called “a moral rather than a complexional timidity.” Voters ought to share Lincoln’s skepticism of the rhetoric of catastrophe. That would be a prudent response to our grandiose politics and the grandiose politicians who peddle it.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Allen et al.: "Doing Better In Arguments About Sex, Gender And Trans Rights"

This is pretty good. 
I don't buy radical feminism (though actually I've heard Reilly-Cooper make some pretty interesting arguments for an unusually compelling version of the view). And I continue to be annoyed that, basically, only radical and "gender-critical" feminists are allowed to publicly criticize trans ideology/mythology. But, still: good to see people standing up to the efforts to shout down dissent. Most of the best arguments coming from this quarter aren't peculiar to radical feminism. They do also deploy various men suck arguments, but those can just be ignored. 
   The argument over transgender ideology/mythology is over, logically speaking. Attempts to argue that women can be male and men can be female never really got off the ground at all in that sense--the important sense. They were complete and total failures from the get-go. Trans mythology continues to rule currently in the cultural superstructure because it's part of the overall web of prevailing progressive dogma; it's sustained rhetorically by the political power of progressivism. It survives only because it became politically correct to believe it (or pretend to), and it'll be sustained only by political commitment and whatever force of convention the left can manage to generate before the political (in fact: quasi-religious) fervor begins to fade away. 
   A lot hangs on the Dems attempt to pass the "Equality Act," because I doubt the shrieky fervor propping up the myth can last all that much longer. It's starting to undermine women's sports, and it shouldn't be too long before the massive wave of blowback from the sexual maiming of children hits. I'd also expect that, if a whole lot of dudes actually start actually showing up in women's restrooms and locker rooms, that'll accelerate the blowback process. So it's important for progressives to get the mythology ensconced in the law pretty soon, making it more difficult to dislodge. Because ten years from now this is all going to look like Satanic-Panic-level mass hysteria. 
   Anyway, props to Allen et al. for doing this. Everyone who speaks out publicly gets brutally dogpiled by the trans cult and progressives generally. So it's a nontrivial thing to do.

John Soloman: Steele Dossier Easily Disproven, But FBI Didn't Bat An Eye

And things may be about to get even interestinger.

Massive Increase In Extinctions?

NYT Editorial: Assange's Indictment Aims At The Heart Of The First Amendment

C. L. Bryant: "Biden Isn't Too Moderate; Democrats Are Too Radical. Trump May Be The Best Option"

Everything's crazy now.

What Swordfish Use Their Swords For

Doxxing Contra Science

William Josephson: 17 Reasons Why The National Popular Vote Initiative Is Likely To Fail

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Rep. Steve Cohen Questions Pelosi's Patriotism Over Impeachment

Me: Nobody can make Trump look good.

More On The Radicalization Of The Blue Team: "Obama Without Obama-ism: Dems Embrace The Ex-President But Not His Policies"

What was liberal four years ago is insufficiently radical today.
This is part of what's dangerous about the left, IMO: it thinks that, if I want to keep things the way they are, and you want them to change, it's a kind of toss-up. It fails to recognize that change should be undertaken cautiously, with the expectation that it won't work. The status quo should get presumption. Unless it's overtly and undeniably bad. But not every disagreement is like the civil rights movement.
If you think that we need a mad dash to the left from Obama's policies, you've lost it, man.
OTOH: if the Pubs had not so ruthlessly opposed everything Obama tried to do, I doubt we'd be in as bad a fix as we are now. On the other other hand, the ACA was a gigantic change.
Eh, my $0.02.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Pentagon: Climate Channge Will Destroy Us: Britain Will Have Siberian Climate By 2020

So saith the Pentagon...in 2004.
Guess it's gonna be a really rough year...

Pelosi Accuses Trump Of Cover-Up, But Tamps Down Impeachment Talk

If this weren't about the U.S.A. threatening to go into a tailspin, it'd be really fascinating.
I did not know about Congress's inherent contempt power. Now I know.
I believe Trump to be kinda crooked, and the Congressional Dems to be kinda loony. So, honestly, I don't know which side I expect to come out the biggest loser in this battle of the network nitwits.
Or, well...actually, you can't really get busted for looniness...but you can get busted for even one instance of proven crookedness. So I guess I'll have to go with: advantage: Dems. Surely there's something sufficiently shady in Trump's financial records to bust him on, no? Though, OTOH, I often think: he had to have some pretty good accountants and tax lawyers working for him. So maybe not.

Deutsche Bank Can Turn Over Trump's Finandial Records

Uh-oh...the fewmets could hit the windmill...

Peter Wehner: Progressivism Is Radicalizing The Democratic Party

Wehner starts out by gesturing at rightward movement in the GOP. But it's thin gruel compared to this:
To more fully grasp the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, it’s useful to run through some of the ideas that are now being seriously talked about and embraced by leading members of the party—ideas that together would be fiscally ruinous, invest massive and unwarranted trust in central planners, and weaken America’s security.
  • The Green New Deal, a 10-year effort to eliminate fossil fuels “as much as is technologically feasible” that would completely transform the American economy, put the federal government in partial or complete control over large sectors, and retrofit every building in America. It would change the way we travel and eat, switch the entire electrical grid to renewable energy sources, and for good measure “guarantee” high-paying jobs, affordable housing, and universal health care. It would be astronomically costly and constitute by far the greatest centralization of power in American history.
  • Medicare for all, which would greatly expand the federal role in health care. Some versions would wipe out the health-insurance industry and do away with employer-sponsored health plans that now cover roughly 175 million Americans. This would be hugely disruptive and unpopular (70 percent of Americans are happy with their coverage), and would exacerbate the worst efficiencies of an already highly inefficient program.
  • Make college tuition-free and debt-free, with the no-debt promise including both tuition and living expenses—a highly expensive undertaking ($50 billion a year or so just for the federal government)—that would transfer money from less wealthy families whose children do not attend college to wealthier families whose children do. It could also have potentially devastating effects on many private, not-for-profit colleges.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Eric Boehm: Justin Amash: Trump Has Engaged In Impeachable Conduct

IANALANAYp (that is: IANAL And Neither Are You...probably...).
But I'm not particularly opposed to impeachment--though I don't have any real idea whether Justin Amash is right. But, hell, run the charges up the flagpole and see who salutes.
   I do have some sympathy for Trump on this score, since its the blue team's inability to accept the results of the 2016 election, and their resultant fantasies about Russian interference, that seem to have driven Trump to his acts of possible obstruction. But what really matters would seem to be what he did, not what drove him to it. (Obviously, part of what qualifies one to be president is an ability to roll with such crazy, partisan punches; Obama did it, m*****f*****s. He did it A LOT.)
   I think we're in a terrible bind. Just about the only thing standing between us and the abject madness on the left is the Unindicted-Co-Conspirator-In-Chief...himself a crackpot of Biblical proportions. And, it would seem, rather a crook. And a loudmouthed, narcissistic con man. And probably a sexual assailant. Who could do God knows what with an errant tweet. Though, IMO, his policies aren't that bad, especially compared to the insanity we're likely to get when the other side gets back in the driver's seat. At least he's doing something to mitigate the border crisis, and dulling some of the craziest edges of the blue team's policies, e.g. in Ed (bless you, Betsy DeVos). Honestly, I think his policies are ok--far less harmful than what the blues are likely to inflict on us. Overall, anyway. If he can resist pressure from the neocons, and avoid starting a shooting war in Iraq, I actually kinda think...and I can't believe I'm saying this...that he might be the least-disastrous option in 2020. WTF? Did I actually write that sentence? Et tu, Smith? What happened to you? You used to be cool...
   Well, maybe I'd better think more about that... Don't take that too seriously. It can't be right...right? Perhaps it's the bourbon typing...
   Anyway, though impeaching Trump is fairly likely to make us worse off, I have no interest in defending obstruction of justice. ITMFA. Let the Senate decide.
   My fantasy is that Trump gets to appoint moderate-conservative, anti-activist, non-pro-life replacements for RBG and Thomas, then he gets thrown out on his ear in 2020 (or sooner), but the Pubs keep the Senate and retake the House. President Kerry and VP Wesley Clark talk/slap some sense back into the blue team, and it returns to the center just in time to hammer the Pubs in 2024...
   A boy can dream, can't he? A boy is fed up, and wishes a pox on both their m*therf*ckin' houses. A boy is way, way sick of this here shit. Also, a boy may have been drinking...

Allen Fahrington: "After Academia"

I think I posted this previously...but even if so: here it is again. I think it's extremely interesting:
  These radical ideologies are empowering, but not in the inspiring way that this term is usually used. This power corrupts and, more importantly, it attracts the easily corrupted. Concurrently, a similar corrupting process seems to have occurred in academia, which has ballooned into an administrative morass, the primary purpose of which is to accrue rent-seeking profit, as predicted by Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law holds that a task will take as long as the time allotted to complete it. It seems to be a kind of social equilibrium theorem applicable to any complex organisation. Normally such organisations would simply collapse under the weight of their own bureaucratic inefficiency, but academia is different. It will never be allowed to collapse because education is a right. And what kind of monster could possibly be against education? And so the administrative bloat continues, unabated. If we are to address this problem and rescue education, we first need to distinguish between what I will call the classical and modern variants. Classical education involves the acquisition of culturally and scientifically useful knowledge, and fostering an ability to think critically to further understanding. Modern education, on the other hand, is accreditation by an officially sanctioned seminary.
   Defenders of “education,” who more often than not have a stake in the present racket prescribed by the modern definition, like to pretend that they are part of a system upholding the classical definition. At Evergreen, this was obviously false—critical thinking was subordinate to dogma and Bret Weinstein was hounded from his job for having the temerity to defend it. The university was conceived to provide scholars with a secure redoubt in which to conduct their studies, which would be partly funded by letting willing students pick up a thing or two by being in close proximity. This was a very sensible proposition in the 1300s, but is looking like a fantasy today. There are no safe spaces for scholars, and students can mimic proximity to scholars for the cost of an Internet connection. Willing students can get 20 or 30 separate undergraduate degrees’ worth of (classically defined) education from MIT OpenCourseWare alone. But many just want a piece of paper that says they are an adequately socialised member of society, approved of by the cultural elite.
   Peter Thiel has given a uniquely scathing critique of the insanity of this system. He questions whether higher education, as an economic exchange, represents much of an investment anymore—the student defers gratification to reap higher rewards in the future, or the student enjoys a four-year party as a consumption good. Thiel says he originally thought of higher education as consumption masquerading as investment, but now thinks of it as an even crazier combination of concepts: as insurance against failure in life in general, and as a kind of Veblen good that is priced uncompetitively so as to confer status on those who can afford it. This produces a ridiculous situation in which insurance is desirable, not because something disastrous is prudently insured against, but because the disaster would be the ignominy of failing to purchase insurance in the first place. It is effectively a Ponzi scheme. No wonder Thiel calls college administrators subprime mortgage brokers. They get a cut on selling pieces of paper that are only as valuable as we all pretend they are.
   This bizarre economic dynamic, coupled with Parkinson’s Law, coupled again with a slow motion ideological coup, has landed us with the following picture of higher education: students are required to enslave themselves economically to the cultural elite as a toll to gain admittance. The vulnerability in the interim is then exploited to manipulate social signalling and behaviour: if you don’t play along, your life will be ruined. But since academia is considered a bottleneck for success, those who don’t enter the raffle forfeit this leverage and are rewarded with dismal prospects.
   The only people really immune from all this are the actual elites, whose children are predominantly upper-class liberal whites. They receive all the same social assurances without giving up any leverage, and price out any remotely similar opportunity for the less fortunate to whom they ceaselessly and guiltily pledge their ostentatious support and solidarity. Higher education has become a transfer of wealth from the future earnings of the aspirational lower and middle classes to a metastasising administrative parasite, which funds the permanence of the cultural elite by wielding its leverage over anybody foolish enough to dissent.
   We need to stop wringing our hands over how to save academia and acknowledge that its disease is terminal. This need not be cause for solemnity; it can inspire celebration. It would allow us to shift our energies away from the abject failure of modern education and to refocus on breathing new life into the classical alternative. The social implications could be enormous—the lower and middle classes could be spared economic and cultural enslavement to the elite, leading not only to greater opportunity, equality, and worthwhile diversity, but frankly to greater happiness and fulfilment in life.

Are We In A Constitutional Crisis?

Dahlia Lithwick assembles some lawyer's opinions.
This doesn't take into account today's events.
Which don't seem at all good to me.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Trump and Deutsche Bank

Should Birth-Order Be Taken Into Account By Affirmative Action?

Makes a huge difference.
If your goal is to offset social and/or biological disadvantages, seems like it would be difficult to ignore.
I've long thought that being the oldest child was one of the biggest advantages I've had in life. Not that you can necessarily figure this stuff out by personal observation.

Wealth Inequality In The U.S.

Prima facie suboptimal...but not sure how to think about it after that. One worries...but one may not even be sure what about...if one is particularly ignorant about economics and policy... One supposes one should at least learn enough to know what to worry about...

Larison: Trump's Big Lie About The [Iran] Nucler Deal

Conservatives are delusional about the Iran nuclear deal. I guess it's an extension of their ODS generally: the Obama administration did the deal...ergo it's bad...awful...Kenyan.... They seem to think that, because they can imagine a possible deal they'd like better, the actual deal is bad. As if there were no other party involved in the deal, with actual interests that actually constrain agreement.
Anyway, Larison writes:
The president and other administration officials have been telling lies for months that Iran still seeks nuclear weapons, but they are rarely called out for it. Trump’s declaration that he won’t “let” Iran have nuclear weapons is disturbing because it shows how divorced from reality he and his Iran policy are. At one point in the interview, he asserts that “five years from now, they’re going to have an open path to making nuclear weapons.” There’s no truth to that. It is a total fabrication. If a path to nuclear weapons existed for Iran, the nuclear deal closed it off. The thing that Trump insists he will stop has already been stopped by the deal that he stupidly calls a “horror show.” Of course, his FoxNews interviewer doesn’t challenge him when he says demonstrably false things like this.
I'm not wild about the way this is all going.

PC Calvinball: Clothing Company Apologizes For Straight Female Model Making Out With Pseudo-Female Robot

Ridiculing the PC/SJ left really just amounts to reporting on them.
So...apparently the idea is that it was wrong for a straight, female model to make out with a robot that looks female? Because...only non-straight models should be allowed to make out with robots that (falsely) appear to be the same sex as the maker-outer? Or...perhaps straights (straighties? The straights? Straight Americans?) are permitted to make out (or appear to make out? Is it actual making out? I have to say, I'm not sure...) with same-sex-appearing robots...but it's impermissible to represent the act? Or impermissible for money to change hands? Maybe the idea is that it's wrong for the company to hire--or pay--a straight person to do such a thing. (Though I read somewhere that, in 'Merica, homosexuals were, on average, wealthier than heterosexuals...so...does that matter, if true? Or maybe it's just homosexual men? I don't know.) Is the idea that only non-heterosexuals can portray non-heterosexuals? But if Smith makes out with robot that vaguely appears to be the same sex as Smith--but in fact, of course, has no sex--is Smith being portrayed as non-heterosexual? I mean, if the apparent sex of the robot matters, is the model straight anymore? I mean, she made out with a pseudo-female robot... So maybe she's non-heterosexual now. And why isn't anyone asking whether the model is robosexual? Should non-robosexuals be able to make out with robots? Shouldn't they have to hire a robosexual American for such a role? And why is no one asking whether the robot gave consent? But if robots can't give consent, wouldn't to insist on consent be to deny sex to robots? That doesn't sound very social-justicey.
   My guess: the company just made this shit up because nobody cared about their commercial. But, of course, this kind of crackpot complaint would be more-or-less par for the course for the social justice left.
   Why, back in my day, the idea was to consider de-emphasizing such classifications. I mean, heterosexuality and homosexuality are things, but why elevate them to principles? If you take the sensible ideas of liberalism and completely f*ck them up so that they're stupid and crazy, you get the contemporary left.
   Oh, and, incidentally, the thing didn't even say that the model is heterosexual; it said that she "identifies" as such. But "identification" has nothing at all to do with what someone really is; as the term is used on the left, to "identify" as F is simply to say that you're F. So, even by the standards of the left, there's no evidence that they have any right to get their petticoats in riot. We don't know what the model's sexual preferences are--all we know is what she says they are. And, of course: what they really are is none of anyone's business, anyway. 
   Oh and also: who says that a person's preferences with respect to humans should indicate their preferences with respect to robots? Maybe you can be human-straight and robo-...not straight.
   Or maybe anyone who seriously worries about this sort of thing's an idiot...
   Oh and: the only really "offensive" thing about any of this is the shit where they pretend that the robot has thoughts, and that it says something about "my truth." But, of course, nobody has truth. It's not something you can possess. Truths and falsehoods are impersonal. 
   Robots are apparently shitty at philosophy.*





* Anybody want to bet on whether I get fired for saying this in 20 years? 
Trick question! I'll get fired for saying something else waaay before that... #PHILOSOPHYISDEAD #STUPIDROBOTS #HASHTAGSAREIDIOTIC

C. S. Lewis On "Moral Busybodies"

Robby Soave, in his post on the Game of Thrones finale, reminds us of this C. S. Lewis quote:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth.
I make comparative points like this, too, but in more reflective moments I realize that I'm not very sure about them. Lewis's point is plausible, but that's all I can say. It's maybe more important to make the non-comparative point: regardless of whether they're better or worse than the robber barons, moral busybodies, left or right, will make your life hellish. The first group of moral busybodies I encountered in my youth was composed of conservative Christians. It took me awhile to realize that there was an analogous group left of the liberal left--the left-wing moral busybodies. Both groups want to micromanage our lives. Both...God help us...have theories--about what we should think, what we should be permitted to do, and how we should be. Both are dogmatically certain of their theories. Both crush dissent mercilessly when they can. Both should be diligently opposed and kept as far away from power as possible.
   One difference that concerns me, obviously, is that one group of moral busybodies is taken seriously in academia and the rest of the cultural superstructure. The other's been shoved out of power and isn't taken seriously at all--which, by my lights, is good. But the former one is granted enormous power and influence, despite having given us all the evidence we could possibly want that it's no less nutty and totalitarian than the latter.
   "Robber barons" are a separate problem--a problem I've got no particular insight into.

Ryan Goodman: "How Trump's Stonewalling Puts Our Democracy At Risk"

Not convincing, but I don't really care. I'd be inclined to think that Congress should, in general, get more rather than less information. (Though, of course, we know they can't keep their mouths shut...so legitimate state secrets seem like a different matter.) I have no idea what's going on.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Great Liz Phair: Polyester Bride


Fox On The Lun

Speaking of f*cking awesome Japanese bluegrass...
[This links to the end of the video...can't fix it...dunno why.]

Heather Greene Knows Her Booze

Impressive:

Nobody's Darling: Japanese Bluegrass Band

First, and completely independently of the cultural dust-up, I've long loved Japanese bluegrass. I'm way psyched that folks from a culture about as different as its possible to be recognize the awesomeness of bluegrass and old time. Second, they're just damn good at it. From the first notes of this you can tell that they're on point and just get it.
But, since we're on the topic anyway: "cultural appropriation" is bullshit.
Culture is "appropriation" if it's anything; it's "that which is passed down."
Anyway: keep it up, Japanese bros; you absolutely get it.

Sex Strike?

facepalm
Making fun of the PCs/SJWs is easy largely because they do most of the heavy lifting themselves.

Martin van Creveld: "Trump's Scary Sabre-Rattling In The Middle East"

link
Trump's unpredictability is perhaps my biggest concern about him.

Former NRC Chairman: "I Oversaw The U.S. Nucler Power Industry. Now I Think It Should Be Banned"

[I]
This view should absolutely be taken into consideration--though, of course, we don't want to weigh an op-ed too heavily. It should direct our attention to more serious arguments for the view that nuclear plants are a lot more dangerous than we think.
   I'm skeptical. It seems extremely unlikely that both of the following can be true:
  • [a]  Anthropogenic climate change is such an emergency that we must [do whatever it is we're supposed to do...cut carbon emissions in half?] in a decade or [CATASTROPHE!]
  • [b]  Nuclear is so dangerous that we shouldn't rely on it even given [a].
The stronger the case for [a], the less likely it is that [b] is true. If [a] is true, we should be willing to accept extremely risky alternatives to fossil fuels. We should, e.g., be willing to accept a fair number of major nuclear accidents
   I like the planet-killer analogy:

Suppose we discover a planet-killing asteroid that will hit Earth in ten years. One (ridiculous, science-fictiony) way to stop it is to build a shit-ton of nuclear plants (or some similarly risky technology) to laser-beam it out of the sky (or whatever). Or, we can try a moonshot in which we transform some safer technology (like solar, or whatever); but this won't work at current levels of technology; it requires massive technological leaps forward--leaps that may well elude us.
Seems prima facie crazy to take the second course of action. If we really are facing the end of everything if we fail, then we should go with proven technology--almost no matter how high the costs. How many Three Mile Islands...or Fukushimas...or even Chernobyls...would it be worth to save the Earth? Answer: a whole damn lot.
   Second, I doubt Jaczko is right about the cost/risks of nuclear. By some estimates, nuclear is the safest means of generating power, with fewer deaths per terawatt hour than even solar. Of course nuclear doesn't poison us gradually and steadily the way coal does; but every now and then it will likely poison us a lot. It's good to keep that in mind--comparison is a bit tricky. However, what the numbers tell us is that, thus far, even given the risks of occasional disaster, nuclear has been very safe.
   I spent about a year in high school reading a lot about energy independence for debate, and focused a lot on nuclear. That doesn't make me all that well-informed...but I did read and think about it a lot, and it's something I've sort of kept my eye on to some extent since. I don't have and don't deserve a real position on the issue, and I'm not really a nuclear enthusiast. But I'm inclined to accept a conditional: if the climate catastrophists are right, then we should go nuclear. Jaczko's op-ed motivates me to read more about it, but it doesn't change my mind.
   One reason I'm skeptical of such arguments is: I'm skeptical of contemporary progressivism generally, and especially of its views of anthropogenic global warming, including the Green New Deal. I think it's clear that leftier progressivism (painting with a broad brush, yet again...) is using climate change as a stalking horse; it doesn't even believe its own hype about the subject. This op-ed coheres with my doubts. Progressives have always wanted to develop alternative energy. Along comes AGW. We're told that it's the greatest emergency humanity has ever faced. We have ten years to make massive changes to energy production. But somehow that ends up also meaning: adopting a long list of progressive policies...policies they've already long-wanted...including (a) alternative energy and (b) stuff completely unrelated to climate change. The latter include, just to name a few: universal health care, paid vacations, "healthy food initiatives," "free" college, affordable housing, family medical leave, a $15 minimum wage, some strange stuff about "indigenous rights"...you name it...no matter how unrelated it is to climate change, if progressives want it, it's in the GND. This is obvious bullshit. One (slightly less obviously BS) aspect of using AGW as leverage to get what progressives already want for independent reasons is: using it to get alternative energy. As with the other stuff, it makes no sense (though at last this one makes a little sense); if we're actually trying to avert catastrophe, it's utterly irrational to overlook nuclear (coincidentally: antecedently disliked by the left) and gamble on solar (coincidentally: antecedently liked by the left).
   Obviously the GND is not a plan that would be advanced by someone who actually believed we had ten years to save the Earth. Such a person would put all other progressive projects on hold for the next ten years, focusing exclusively on "saving the planet." The last thing he would do would be to water-down the initiative and scatter his energies by trying to achieve completely unrelated pet goals like better school lunches. He'd also prefer proven technologies to uncertain ones--e.g. nuclear to solar. He'd make a deal with conservatives: back me on climate change and I'll give you everything else until the problem is solved. But somehow, magically, even thought we must, allegedly, immediately go to CLIMECON 1, progressives need make no concessions whatsoever. In fact, climate change magically and inscrutably becomes a reason to adopt everything they want.
   So, no. I don't buy it. And it'll take a lot of evidence to convince me of Jazko's conclusion--that the nuclear objection to the GND is unsound because, hey, we suddenly realize that nuclear is way more dangerous than we thought it was! Despite being responsible for more-or-less 0 deaths ever in the U.S. More people are probably going to die installing rooftop solar panels next year than are going to die from nuclear power...
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