Monday, November 29, 2021

AP Refers To Waukesha Christmas Parade Terrorist Attack As "Last Week's Christmas Parade Crash"

Oh and:
"Darnell Brooks Jr., 39, is accused of speeding away from police and entering the parade, refusing to stop even as an officer banged on the hood of his SUV."
Kyle Rittenhouse is a murderous white supremacist...
Darnell Brooks "entered a parade and refused to stop."

Sunday, November 28, 2021

34% Of White College Applicants Lie About Their Race

This is as close to conclusive proof as we get in this vale of tears. Despite progressives' characteristic refusal to believe the obvious, being nonwhite/nonAsian is an advantage in college admissions and everybody knows it.
It helps even more if you're trying to snag a teaching gig. Members of the relevant demographic groups go to the front of the line.
Of course progressives deny all this. Despite the fact that everyone is tripping all over themselves to get "diversity hires," they still pretend to believe that e.g. blacks are at a disadvantage.
But that's the central vice of the PC left, as I may have mentioned: the subordination of truth to dogma.
I mean, look, hiring preferences may be the right thing to do. I don't know. But at least be honest about it, fer chrissake.

Brad Patty: Marxists Against CRT

 Worth a read.

That weird, confused fact/truth distinction is all over the place. I mean, there is a difference between fact and truth--the latter being a characteristic only of representations (or so goes the standard line, anyway). But I've heard science types say that they are interested in "facts not truths"--roughly as Patty's imagined historians do. Whatever they're trying to say, that's not the right way to say it. E.g. some of the relevant science types seem to think that truth is some religious thing. 
Anyway. Patty gives the distinction a gloss that makes sense--it's fine. It's just not what the fact/truth distinction is really about. He's talking about a distinction, roughly, between bare facts and high-level explanatory accounts or efforts to unify the facts. Something like that. 

Fred L. Pincus: "Critical Race Theory Controversy Has Decades-Old Roots"

   I mean...there are some truths here and there in that thing. Certainly the right can be nutty in its own ways--e.g., notoriously, about sex. Though...well...who could have thought that the left would turn out to be even crazier about it? Not me, surely. I absolutely did not see that coming. Wingnut puritanism looks downright quaint compared to the systematic brainwashing, sexual grooming, and sexual mutilation of children.
I sure got all that stuff wrong. I used to think that left-liberal sexual liberationism was pure good.
Boy, am I dumb.
But anyway.
The piece on the other end of that link is like a case-study in progressive self-delusion. If you really want it to be true, and you're just clueless enough, and your information sources are just biased enough and you engage in a bit of selective nipping and tucking of the can end up with an essay like that.
So there it is, for your reading...pleasure...or whatever.

COVID: Vaccines vs. Immunity Acquired Via Infection

This seems obvious to me--though, of course, I lack all relevant
First, you don't mandate vaccines for something with such a low mortality rate--so I don't understand how this is on the table. It's not even clear to me that it's a medical question, but a moral/political one.
Second, speaking with the vulgar and not with the learned, this is an experimental vaccine. The more it is insisted that it's THE MOST PERFECTLY SAFE VACCINE OF ALL TIME AND EVERYBODY MUST TAKE IT EVEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREAD ACQUIRED IMMUNITY FROM INFECTION...the clearer it becomes that something loony is going on here. The only rational position is: Ok, you've had the batflu, no need for the vax. But: there should be no talk of mandates, anyway. If somebody had it and still wants to be vaxxed--well, sounds like that's up to them. But unless/until it's proven that naturally-acquired immunity is basically useless--no. No pushing vaccines on them.
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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Greenwald: "The Cynical And Dangerous Weaponization Of The 'White Supremacist' Label"

Nothing much new here except some stuff about the Washington Post continuing to accuse Rittenhouse of so-called "white supremacy" even after it itself had published an op-ed acknowledging that the charge was unfounded. 
Also: that the WaPo itself often gets the basics of the case wrong, demonstrating that at least some people writing for it don't seem to know anything beyond what they read on left side of Twitter...
I'm always heartened by the fact that even the very-much-left-leaning Greenwald is onto them. 
One last thing: I wonder how much of the lunacy in the MSM is explained by massive ignorance rather than malice and political correctness? I mean--clearly some of it is. That's always been clear. But e.g. ignorance about global warming models is one thing...but how does a writer for the Washington Post--one writing about the Rittenhouse case--continue to believe...even after the trial...that Rittenhouse transported the rifle across state lines? That's a level of reportorial ignorance that's almost beyond belief. 
I tend to think that most of the insanity on the left is generated by political correctness--and it's beyond any doubt that much of it is. 
But maybe I'm underestimating the role of mere ignorance.
Or maybe not
I mean...come to think of it...writing it doesn't mean they believe it...
And extremists generally--and PC leftists in particular--don't maintain a clear difference between what's true and what's in accordance with their dogma. 
One last thing: of course GG is also right--and I've said it innumerable times--that accusations of racism and "white supremacy" are now basically like accusations of witchcraft--they don't require any evidence. They've basically become verbal tics. The left just flings them around indiscriminately. It's particularly weird for "white supremacy," which escalates things beyond "mere" racism. In actual fact a white supremacist is someone who belongs to or would at least feel at home in organizations like the Klan. Your kindly but old-fashioned great aunt might be a tiny bit racist...nobody's a tiny bit white supremacist... And yet that nonsense is now flung about with the same mindless abandon as 'racist.'

Friedersdorf: "Universities Try To Force A Consensus About Kyle Rittenhouse"

No surprise here.
I predict a similar resolution from our faculty senate.

"The Lab-Leak Theory Meets Its Perfect Match"

A really interesting puzzle that I don't have the time nor the expertise required to even be a well-informed layperson about. All I really know is that the lab-leak theory was rejected for obviously weak reasons, at least in part because, as is so often the case now, it took on a political valence and progressives didn't like it--probably because they now tend to be oddly pro-China. And the lab-leak theory seemed more anti-China than did the wet-market (ugh...what a term) theory. (The former is more on the China is evil and incompetent end of things, the latter more on the China is gross end of things.) sleep again, so I just skimmed this Atlantic piece even.
   We could get the worst of both explanatory worlds if we combined the two into something like: Wet markets are hotspots for interspecies transmission...the virus leaked from the lab and then naturally gravitated to such a hotspot and then went crazy.  
   I don't care about the political quibble over this, except to the extent that it interferes with figuring out what happened. Anyway, the kinda-stupid suggestion above isn't quite the worst of both hypotheses. I mean, it doesn't require two origin stories. And it would explain why such the virus would originate near both the lab and the "wet market" (again...ugh). The idea is something like: you could have leaky labs without the leaked viruses necessarily causing trouble...unless one leaked into a wet market. But those things are hotspots for trading viruses among species, and so they exacerbate the problem...something something something. 
   Obviously I'm basically just bullshitting here. And if this were anything more than bullshitting, somebody else would have suggested it already.

David Frum, Russiagate Dead-Ender

The last, best defense of the dying hoax: the SSIC report--which has the advantage of sticking to innuendo and hypothesis. None of the investigation worked out the way progressives, Dems and anti-Trumpers hoped it the SSIC report lets them fall back to the reasons that prompted the investigation and pretend it constitutes proof. 

The Salvation Army Joins The Cult

The insanity spreads.

Nu, Xi, Omicron, Stupid


So, Wait, Are We Supposed To Be Getting Hysterical About The Nu Variant Or The Omicron Variant?

I have no idea what's going on.
But WSJ says this.
Hey, remember when Trump was a racist for imposing a COVID travel ban? Good times.
Basically I can't distinguish fearmongering from legitimate causes for concern when it comes to COVID.
I's fucking awful...but also very much exaggerated...right? I mean...just about the first thing that became clear to be out of the fog of hysteria, early on, was that the danger was being more-or-less systematically exaggerated. Why was it suppressed for so long that age and comorbidities were so crucial? I is that to be explained? Why has no one ever said, in all this time: "Lose five pounds"? 
And I say:  Gell-Mann amnesia.
I know that progressive institutions are radically distorting race issues. and, so far as I can tell, they're doing the same to climate issues. And somehow COVID, too, has taken on a political valence--with the left being committed to COVID hysteria and the right being committed to a much more sanguine and let's-get-back-to-normal view of the thing. So one has to suspect that there's a certain degree of progressive influence on the reporting...
Are leftists generally just more panicky? I mean, they're less panicky about China... Which is consistent with them being generally just more panicky...

The Wokefication Of Philosophy: "The Spatial Phenomenology of White Embodiment"

Some things you don't even have to read/listen to in order to know they're crap...

Friday, November 26, 2021

Atlas: "I Watched The Nation's 'Top Scientists' Lie About COVID And Get Away With It"

No surprise, really. 

Though I remember thinking at the time that Redfield sounded reasonable.

Waukesha Christmas Parade Attack Disappearing Down The Memory Hole

link    I didn't realize that a sixth person had died. You probably didn't either. As goes without saying, were the racial tables turned, the story would hardly be disappearing off of front pages.

The CDC Lied About Naturally-Acquired Immunity and Reinfection

Par for the course.

Healthy Skeptic: Answers To Questions

I have a high opinion of this guy thus far.

Do Masks Work Against COVID-19?

   According to Nature's account of recent research, they do. I don't accord that much weight--basically because I don't trust Nature anymore when it comes to questions that impinge on culture-war stuff. My general view is what it's been for...well...a long time now: forced to guess, I'd guess that masks have some effect. Forced to guess about how much...I wouldn't know what to say. Maybe: not a whole lot? I have exactly no expertise. I don't even know enough to intelligently evaluate primary research.
   But I do know that, once the progressive left takes a position on something, every progressive institution falls in line and supports the shiny new orthodoxy. And that includes Nature (and Science, for that matter). Science and its publications have turned out to be just about as stupid, irrational and cowardly in the face of the Woketarian onslaught as everything and everyone else.  (e.g.). Since we know that Nature is woke/progressive/converged, and we know that the official progressive position is that masks are a sacrament--or a shibboleth--we know that it would be foolish to believe the story at the link. We have to treat such reports as something like suggestions for further inquiry--and I mean: to a greater extent than we normally would.

Ahmaud Arbery's Extensive Criminal History; Jogging Was His M.O. / Cover Story

Incidentally, none of this appears in the Wikipedia article on his killing.
   Wikipedia, as I've argued, can't be trusted with respect to any issue that impinges on any interest of the political/intellectual/cultural left. Wikipedia is controlled by editors who are absolutely committed to the leftist worldview. Wikipedia is just another institution, like academia and the media, that has been taken over by the postmodern progressive quasi-cult. Note that the evidence of Arbery's crimes is rejected for two reasons: (a) a ban on original research and (b) the evidence of his previous crimes (and mental illness) were ruled inadmissible in the trial. (b) is mere excuse--the entry isn't on the trial, it's on the incident. Information on (a) is available many places--if the editor had any real interest in the truth, it would be easy to find a published version of the claims in the original document. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

1 in 5 U.S. Prison Inmates Is A Criminal Alien

Needless to say, this is a very politically incorrect hatefact.

WaPo: Waukesha Christmas Parade Terrorism "Caused By An SUV"

Wait, I thought it was caused by a knife fight...or TEH WITE Z'PRIMIZY...

Daniel Buck, James Furey: A Language Arts curriculum widely used in U.S. schools ignores academic fundamentals in favor of radical pedagogy

There is absolutely nothing surprising about this.
Basically all the intellectually weakest parts of universities have accepted this mishmash of postmodernism and critical theory--and it would be redundant to add: radical leftist politics. 
It's everywhere. People who are not very smart, not very well educated, and not very good at philosophy have accepted this tangle of utter nonsense as if it were some sort of unquestionable foundation of all knowledge. When people say, for example, "critical race theory is not being taught in Virginia schools!", that's about as plausible as saying "there is no slant leftward anywhere in Virginia schools." Saying--as the left has basically been doing--that you can't find any part of an official curriculum titled TOP SECRET CRITICAL RACE THEORY INDOCTRINATION PROTOCOLS...well, you see where I'm going with this. You also can't find any part of the school day called "Radical Leftist Political Brainwashing Hour," either. But if schools don't slant hard left, I'd be astonished. Which isn't to say it's impossible. But I'd bet lots of money that they do. It's also possible that the pomo-critical-theory mishmash that now pervades and rules academia and all our other institutions, and that shows up in innumerable reports on K-12 curricula...just doesn't actually affect K-12 in any way. But that's not what's actually happening.

Old GA Citizen's Arrest Statute

Here are the two sentences that the jury instructions depended on:
A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.
This is the sort of thing I'm fairly good at, and can generally figure out at a glance. But this one made my head spin. Jacobson Andrew Branca writes:
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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Ahmaud Arbery Verdict: Basically All Defendants Guilty On All Charges

Seems wrong to me, but I wasn't paying close attention.
   The legal question largely seemed to turn on the question of the dependence or independence of the second crucial paragraph on the first, hence the instructions the judge gave the jury. I didn't know what to make of that, but I didn't think about it long enough. When I heard the judge talking through his interpretation, I wondered why there isn't some interpretive analog of the presumption of innocence--given what seems like a genuine indeterminacy in the law, it seemed to me that the more permissive (i.e.: favorable to the defense) interpretation should have been used. But, of course, I am NAL.
   Morally...well...Arbery was a dangerous criminal and he was clearly looking for stuff to burgle. He wasn't an innocent dude out for a run--pretending to be on a run was his known M.O. He tried to take McMichael's gun away, and either basically shot himself or gave McMichael little choice but to shoot him. You can't let a violent criminal take your gun away. There are undoubtedly aspects of the case I don't know about, but, morally speaking, I didn't think the McMichaels acted unreasonably--given my understanding.
   It's pretty damn hard to believe that Bryan was convicted. 
   But, as I said: I haven't followed the case very closely. 
   One might say that it's no surprise given the madness gripping the country. If Rittenhouse went to trial at all, I rather figured that the the defendants in this case were screwed.

Ilana Redstone: America By Gaslight

A main point: combining "the settled-question fallacy" with social punishment for wrongthink generates resentment. 
I don't care so much about the resentment part--but it seems right.
What I guess I'd say is: it'd be bad enough if we took an open question and prohibited people from accepting or endorsing one of the possible answers.
That's certainly what's going on in some cases--and in the case of the question How much racism is there in America? The most likely answer--but at least a reasonable one--is: not a massive amount. But that answer has been decreed not only impermissible, but racist. 
But Redstone's example of transgenderism isn't a good one to illustrate that problem.
What's happened in the case to transgenderism is that an actually settled question was deemed, by diktat, to be an open one...and then the actual, true, not-actually-in-question "answer" was deemed impermissible. 
A woman, to take the central case, is an adult, female human. One can--as is often done in philosophy--undertake to cook up doubts about it by focusing on distant logical possibilities. But such "doubts" aren't real doubts, and the issue isn't really in question. The "doubts" are pseudo-doubts. The gender-ideological position on the "question"/"dispute" is wildly implausible. It's more on the order of a skeptical "doubt": maybe woman has--somehow...unbeknownst to anyone for thousands of years--been a non-biological kind or concept all along... That idea is interesting only because it's so wildly implausible.
If the idea remained confined to seminar rooms, it would be a mere waste of time.
But that's one of the main characteristics of the postmodern progressive left: abstruse philosophical ideas are introduced into practical affairs. It's as if we had suddenly begun worrying about whether we were brains in vats when we were trying to make budget decisions or allocate resources to the military.
Sure, China seems like a threat...but maybe it doesn't exist at all...
To make matters worse--which, prima facie, one might have thought impossible--the crazy, philosophical, pseudo-doubt is declared true...and, worse: unquestionable.
So, in actual fact, the situation is often much worse than Redstone describes.
And this is political correctness: the declaration that obvious facts are fictions, and obvious fictions are facts--and the mass, rabid punishment of those who do the equivalent of refusing to "admit" that 2+2=5...

Actual Justice Warrior On Flash Robberies

Stop noticing things, bigot. These robberies are a completely new and never-before-seen phenomenon, and the perpetrators have nothing whatsoever in common and if you suggest that they do, you are even more of a bigot than you already are.

Hey, Don't Forget, Bigot!: "There's Nothing More Frightening In America Today Than An Angry White Man"!

So...y'know...I certainly don't want to be like the lefties and whine about every slight against my demographic group... I should say what's on your mind...and this was apparently what was on the author's mind. So ok. Instead of whining about it, we ought--as always--ask: is it reasonable? / is it true?  
I mean: it's CNN it's not really to be taken all that seriously.
So "frightening" is about subjective mental states...not sure how to evaluate a claim about frighteningness... But if it means dangerous...well...just as an objective matter of fact, go look at crime data...then get back to me.

Amber Athey: Get Ready To Forget The Waukesha Attack

   My favorite thing about it thus far has been the MSM immediately--before the suspect was even captured--arguing that this had nothing to do with BLM or the Rittenhouse verdict. Oh, hai, no, this is fine because he was merely fleeing from a knife fight... The mind, it reels.
   The only question now is: How quickly will this be memory-holed?

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Ahmaud Arbery: Very Tough Question

I haven't been keeping up--I don't even know what the judge ruled about jury instructions. But as Actual Justice Warrior argued, basically everything comes down to how to interpret two clauses in GA law concerning citizen's arrest. Anyway...I only spent about five minutes trying to figure it out, but damn, it looked like a really puzzling interpretive problem.

Fauxcahontas Blames High Gas Prices On Corporate Greed

It depresses me that anybody is more ignorant of economics than I am...
It...I dunno...what's worse than depressing? Anyway, whatever it is, it does that to me that a U.S. Senator is more ignorant than I am. And a U.S. Senator who's views about economics are unusually influential, to boot. sheesh

BLM Activist On Waukesha: "It Sounds Like The Revolution Has Started"

One wacko does not a mass hysteria make.
My real concern is that fervor for violent revolution is always close to the heart of the radical left. It's the fact that insanity is the root and branch, the heart and soul of the contemporary left that concerns me. 
But this one wacko, in and of himself, doesn't.

Nixon Innocent? Prosecutorial Misconduct??

   I don't know what to believe anymore about any newsish stories about which I don't have fairly extensive personal knowledge. 
   Obviously we can't believe these claims about Nixon--the burden of proof there is extremely high. And I was way too young to understand Watergate when it was happening--though I do remember my family sitting around the black-and-white tv after dark at the farm watching what I suppose must have been re-runs of the days proceedings. I remember my dad and others saying "everybody does it--he just got caught." Of course I didn't know what to think--I still had a heroic, Washingtonian idea of the Presidency...
   But anyway. After Russiagate and Russigategate--and we aren't even after that latter one yet--I don't know what I can rule out as too crazy to be possible anymore. 
   Not to mention the Venona decrypts and the revelation that Joe McCarthy was basically right--accidentally, it seems. But right. His main beliefs about communist infiltration of the government were true--though they seem to have been largely unjustified. 
   While we're here: no one I know has known about the Venona decrypts until I mentioned them. And my pool of friends is unusually interested and well-educated. That fact has rocked me almost more than the information about communist infiltration itself. How can these astonishing revelations be so widely unknown?? What the hell is going on? In an information ecosphere in which trivialities play such a large role, how can something like this have so very much failed to register? (Bad sentence.) 
   tl;dr: WTH, I don't know what to think anymore.

Markel Hutchins: I've Been A Social Justice Activist For Decades. The CRT Debate Is Divisive.

Authors don't generally write their own titles, and what Hutchins actually argues is that CRT is divisive. Which it is.
CRT and the rest of the popomo mishmash is destructive at its core. It's inherently divisive and racist. Now, a normal theory might respond: yes, but the theory is true. Truth is the goal of inquiry. Too bad it's divisive--but you'll just have to deal with that. 
However the popomo mishmash doesn't care about truth. Truth enters into most bits of that tangle of nonsense in complicated, tangential, and subordinate ways. So, to cut the Gordian tangle: this theory can't plausibly respond that way. 
So it neither gets at the truth (nor really even tries to) nor promotes social good. (Nor, to use its proprietary jargon, "social justice.") It's epistemically, morally, and politically bankrupt.

Michael Harriot: "Kyle Rittenhouse Wasn't Convicted Because, In America, White Reasoning Rules"

Wow this is bad.
So...I don't know whether the author is white or I don't know whether the godawful excuse for reasoning he deploys is supposed to be of the white or nonwhite variety... But look: writing stupid shit like this is bad. Supporting the stupid side in a dispute by using stupid reasoning to argue that there's something crazy and racist about the obviously correct side in the dispute is wrong. You're trying to convince people that a reasonable verdict was unreasonable, wrong, and racist. This is the progressive left in a nutshell: since you've got no arguments, just screech RACISM!!!
"White reasoning." LOL. Sounds an awful lot like Jewish physics...

The Progressive Left Takeover Of K-12: "Critical Ethnic Studies" In MA

Well, the author's complaint is that it's antisemitic because it lumps Jews in with tells you a lot about the whole situation.
   Look, the tangle of nonsense that is recent Continental philosophy (and literary criticism...and feminism...and that whole radioactively ridiculous morass) took over the humanities and all adjacent fields ca. 1990. Everyone in philosophy grad school used to make fun of it. Well, nobody's laughing now. It's still incoherent...but the low intellectual standards and high degree of politicization in most of the humanities, social sciences, grievance studies, education, SComm...all of that...provided a fertile medium in which the infection of insanity flourished. Now it's more-or-less openly being implemented as K-12 educational doctrine. 
   Look, I haven't read the legislation. There's some chance that the MA policies are benign. But almost certainly not. I hope I'm wrong. But if I were, there'd be no reason for implementing such a curriculum. If you're teaching about race and racism in the ordinary way--as two prominent features of American history and human life among many other prominent features--you don't need a "critical" theory curriculum to do so. 
   The cult has taken over to such a degree that it can implement whole statewide curricula to indoctrinate children with pseudoscientific, racist, anti-American propaganda. And one of our political parties is supporting that.