Saturday, October 31, 2015

Against Freedom Of Speech In Academia: A Response To Germaine Greer

This is just as bad as you'd think it would be.

Attacks On Germaine Greer Show Identity Politics Has Become A Cult

At the Guardian by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper of Warwick.
We've said most of these things here at one time or another, but it's a relief to see them so well-said in such a prominent place.
I still think that the tide will turn against the PC cult, as it did last time... But I'm less certain about that than I'd like to be.

(via the Leiter Reports)

Anna Stubblefield: Opposition to Pseudoscience is "Hate Speech"

Behold, a new frontier in Lysenkoism/political correctness.
   Here's an important question: has anybody in "disability studies" called bullshit on this bullshit? If I didn't know better, I'd have guessed this might have been written by some second-rate Alan Sokal...
   Stubblefield writes that she won't be calling for censorship against critics of the pseudoscience of "facilitated communication"...  But what she does apparently do is argue that criticizing it is morally wrong...

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Facepalm-Inducing Post On the Anna Stubblefield Case At The "Discrimination and Disadvantage" Blog

   It's not that there's absolutely nothing of any possible value in all that. It's rather that there's far, far too little of value. And, much more importantly, that these people are chasing their own tails in these ever-more-baroque attempts to characterize everything in terms of "privilege," discrimination, disadvantage, racism, bias, etc. etc. etc.   A concern for fairness turns into moral fanaticism and an almost religious kind of detachment from reality. The attempt to ferret out every more subtle and fine-grained alleged varieties/instances of prejudice becomes pathological at some point. I'm not even sure that people have any ability to make such fine-grained moral discriminations.

   Perhaps even more disturbingly, we discover in that post that there exists a Routledge Handbook On Epistemic Injustice...
   And the facepalm-inducing news just keeps on coming...

Rutgers Philosophy Professor (a) Falls For The "Facilitated Communication" Hoax, (b) Molests Disabled Patient

   I saw some things about this recently, but kind of just let it pass. I'm suffering from outrage burnout...
   I'm tempted to say that the biggest outrage here is that a philosophy professor fell for the "Facilitated Communication" hoax. This technique (or, more precisely, the theory that it works) (a) is not even vaguely plausible, and (b) has been refuted about as conclusively as something can be refuted. The method is described as "controversial" in all the stories I'm seeing...but to the best of my knowledge that's just not true. Unless some bomb has been dropped, FC is as much a settled issue as the existence of leprechauns. Besides, it'd be a simple thing to prove otherwise. If there were something special about this case, and--somehow--FC worked on the man in question "DJ", Stubblefield should easily be able to prove that. As in the original tests of FC, she could simply leave the room, whereupon the judge could provide DJ with some impossible-to-guess information ("12," "Elizabeth Barrett Browning," "the Large Hadron Collider," whatever), then Stubblefield returns to the room and DJ reveals the information via FC... But...since FC doesn't work...
   I haven't been following the dust-up, but I expect that Stubblefield must have tried to argue, inter alia, that her sincere belief that she was having a consensual affair provides her with some excuse...  Guess the jury didn't buy that, if, indeed, she argued it. The obvious response would be: it's no excuse if your belief is held irresponsibly, no matter how sincere it might be...  Though who knows how the law sees such things...
   "Disability studies," like the other political quasi-disciplines that aim largely at effecting political change rather than scholarly/scientific results, is not renown for its scholarly rigor. This should come as no surprise. It is, as is well known, much more difficult for people to be rational and objective when politics is in play. So that may have been a factor.
   I do think--on a completely different note--that one can make something of a case to the effect that this is less bad than if the sexes of the participants had been reversed. I used to dismiss such suggestions out of hand, but I've started to think that they're at least worth discussing.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trump Won The Debate???

Cruz came in second???
C'mon GOP...this isn't funny anymore...

Keith Humphreys Worries All The Time About Getting Shot

This is just weird.
   I interact online with some rather--or so I'd characterize them--over-the-top anti-firearm people. They are fond of accusing gun-owners of being constantly terrified of violence (hence their desire for a gun in the house). That's...not true. I guess probably some gun-owners are like that...but none that I've known. But maybe some anti-firearm types are constantly/frequently afraid of getting shot while out in public?
   Which would also be weird if you've lived in the places that I've lived...but I realize there are many places where that might be rational. I doubt that Keith Humphreys lives in those places though...
   I've been running into so much anti-gun looniness, though, that I am pretty sure I'm being pushed to the other side of the spectrum. I'm trying to resist, but I'm cantankerous like that. It's one of my many known flaws.
   Anyway. I just don't think that the specter of gun violence is really looming over Americans at every turn. And I think that in most parts of the country it's the height of irrationality to believe that it is.

Next Week Is Stoic Week!

I will observe it mostly by sitting on my porch.

A Balanced (!!!) Article on GamerGate and the Threats at SXSW amazed...

   Good on The Observer.
   Here's what recently struck me about the GamerGate dust-up:
   Threats of violence are asymmetrical in the following respect: though there are loonies and harassers on both sides, and both sides receive threats...and though both sides denounce these threats, the kinds of people who lurk in the background on the two sides are different. The kinds of people who are probably lurking in the background rooting for the GGers and making threats against the anti-GGers are largely (almost certainly) disgruntled, socially-isolated/inept young white males. That is, the kind of people who sometimes do actually snap and try to kill large numbers of people for lunatic reasons...  I don't think anybody thinks that there is really going to be violence against a GG panel. But violence against an anti-GG panel--while vastly unlikely--is not inconceivable.
   On the other hand, however, the kind of people on the anti-GG side are the kinds of people who have a fairly impressive track record of exaggerating and flat-out fabricating stories of harassment and violence against themselves. That's better than killing people, no doubt...but it's still very, very bad...and it's more similar to what you actually find on the anti-GG side than are mass shootings to what you actually find on the GG side.
   That just struck me, FWIW.
   So I posted it.
   The end.

Bill Nye Gets Race Wrong

tl;dr: Wouldn't it be nice if race were made up?
   The dog analogy is a good one, and I've used it for quite awhile now. However it points to just about the opposite conclusion BNtSG wants it to. Human races are, indeed, like dog breeds in some important ways. For one thing: they're both divisions below the level of species. For another: they're both real, and for another they're both biological. Indeed, breed a German Shepherd and a poodle and you still get a dog; breed a Caucasian and an Asian and you still get a human. (a) No one doubts those things; (b) neither is relevant. What's relevant is this: human races, like dog breeds, are real clusters of individuals with different phenotypic traits. It's easy to distinguish purebred German Shepherds from purebred poodles. I know nothing of dog breeding, and I can do it every time. So can you. Similarly, you and I can both distinguish, say, someone with nothing but Swedish ancestry from someone with nothing but Japanese ancestry. Every time. Martians would be able to do so, too. The differences between the groups are clear, observable, and physical.
   Yes, there are borderline cases. That's the way real biological kinds work. There are intermediate cases between the sexes, but the sexes are real. There are intermediate cases between lions and tigers, but that distinction is real as well. If you can make true generalizations and predictions based on a certain kind, then it's likely to be real. And we can, of course, make true generalizations and predictions based on both dog breeds and human races. For example, we can predict what the offspring of two German Shepherds or two Caucasians will look like. We can also make true predictions about rates of medical problems such different groups will face.
   Nominalism about races is simply no more true than nominalism about dog breeds. Both dog breeds and human races are real kinds--though, biologically speaking, neither is very important. Sub specie aeternitatis, neither way of grouping things matters much. I'm not sure why that simple, true point isn't enough for leftish types... But for whatever reason, it isn't, and they're very committed to upping the ante from not important to not real.
   Only some very, very bad philosophy--of a kind that tends to rule the roost in places like anthropology--conjoined with some extremely powerful wishful thinking, political groupthink, intellectual dishonesty, and dogmatism sustains "social constructionism" about race. "Social constructionism" about basically anything is almost certain to be deeply confused... Combine it with the soft Lysenkoism common on the left, and you really do get a mess.
   And really, that's the biggest problem here: the intrusion of politics into science. This confusion about race would be bad enough if it were merely propped up by nominalism, the post-post-modern mishmash, and the other philosophical dead-ends that pervade so many of the humanities and social sciences. But it isn't. It's driven by liberal and leftist politics... And the combination of bad philosophy with political fervor...shudder...  Not good. Not very good. Very not good indeed...

   So...wouldn't it be nice if race were made up?
   I don't know... It'd certainly be more convenient...though it would make the world a less interesting place...and that's not nothing...
   But I'm not even sure racists would care much about these arguments and conclusions...even if they were valid and true...
   Since the arguments are patently invalid, however, and their conclusions false, there's no need to spend too many wetware compute cycles wistfully fretting about the counterfactual.
   Also, I'm sorry to see that Bill Nye has succumbed to...whatever it is... I don't think it has a name... Happens when you get popular, and everybody loves you and wants to hear what you have to say about everything... So you talk about more and more things that you understand less and less, shooting more and more from the hip...until you start saying dumb things. Easy to understand how it happens...still unfortunate.

'Yes' Means 'No': The Only Genuinely PC Standard of Consent

   So after reading yet another nonsensical post somewhere on the misleadingly-named "Yes Means Yes" standard (which, as I've noted ad nauseam, should actually be called No Yes Means No), I finally came to realize that the only genuinely politically correct standard is Yes Means No. Only the recognition that there can be no genuine consent in a heteronormative, late-capitalist phallogocentric heteropatriarchical rape culture can ever...oh...set us free or something. Not that there's any such thing as freedom. Especially, y'know, in a HnL-CPlHpRC.

Falsehoods Aplenty In the Second GOP Debate

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Who Killed The Liberal Arts?

Yes, Prager "university" is a right-wing loony bin.
But this is right.

When A Man Shoots A Dog, That Is Not News...


Monday, October 26, 2015

The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 3

Spoiler alert.
Don't keep reading if you haven't seen the episode.

   First, re: Glenn. The answer is no. Why did Nicholas say 'thank you'? Because he intended to do what he did: kill himself and land on top of Glenn. It's a bad plan, and I don't see how N thought he was going to execute the last bit of the plan after he'd blown his brains out...but that's what I think was going on. Glenn then...oh, I don't know...slides under the dumpster or whatever... He'd be covered with N's guts...though that is not, according to my understanding, what disguises you from zombies in TWD... The gore has to be from zombies. Otherwise it just smells like more gorey, gutty gooness to them. But whatever.
   Second, re: Rick. Here's what I'd do: the problem with the RV is clearly the battery. So R runs to the back and makes noise out the back window. The zombies mostly come back there and try to get in, thus pushing the RV forward. Rick runs back to the front, pops the clutch...and Bob's your...or his...or whoever's...uncle...
   I hope Glenn isn't alive because failure to kill off main characters is one of the biggest failings of a show. If the main characters can't die, then there's no real tension. I know...semi-important characters die off all the time in TWD...but that's kinda different. Furthermore, too many escapes from impossible situations can be similarly ruinatious. I like the character, though, so I won't complain too bitterly if he shows up alive.

Saudi Arabia To Run Out Of Cash?

This does not sound to me like the sort of thing that is likely to stabilize the region...

UWM "Inclusive Excellence Center" Fears Murder, Assault and Rape If Its PC Language Policing Program Is Exposed

Outrage #1: UWM has an "Inclusive Excellence Center" all...
I could easily write several pages of outraged sputtering about the name alone...
Outrage #2: It pumps out crack-brained leftist propaganda about "microagressions" in order to police language. At a public university.
Outrage #3: The stuff it cranks out is even slightly more idiotic / incoherent than your run-of-the-mill neo-PC gibberish...which is saying quite a lot actually...
Outrage #4: When busted on this idiocy, the director of the center suggests that a story about her office might result in assault, rape or even murder against the students who work there. This is SJW SOP: criticism or disagreement is tantamount to violence. "I am afraid of you" is the SJW's trump card.
Look, people--including liberals--need to be outraged about this idiocy.
It is not permissible to brainwash students at public Universities...
...or anywhere else for that matter.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Peak PC? Alex Manley: No To Movember or: Prostate Cancer is Privileged Cancer

About once every couple of weeks I come across something on the interwebs that makes me think:

This. This is the supidest thing ever written.

I'm not even sure why this did it for me. I's really, really, really, really, really stupid... So stupid that there's a decent chance that it's just some kind of inept satire... But it's really not in the same league as some of the stuff I've posted... I mean, you can actually distill out of this a semi-coherent point that's distantly related to something he actually says: i.e.: you might reasonably consider giving to cancer charities on the basis of how deadly the cancer is. I mean, it's not a particularly good point...but it's not utterly moronic...  Of course you'd be twitter-crucified if you suggested giving to, say, pancreatic cancer instead of breast cancer...that shit is not going to fly, nosiree Bob...
   ...oops...I regret suggesting there that people named 'Bob' identify as men... That's obviously problematicalistical now...
   ...Which reminds me that we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable wave of "Movember is teh transphobic!!!111" posts from the extreme moonbats...because those will be coming soon... Those actually make about 1/100th the sense that this cancer nonsense I don't know why I'm even complaining so much about this one... But there's just something about it that's hilariously stupid...even though it's practically The Brothers Karamazov by the standards of the PC left...
   Which is not to say that I don't think "movember" is stupid...because I do.
   But there is absolutely nothing morally wrong about it. And watching the PCs try to come up with complain about with respect to it is actually kinda funny. I mean, we obviously can't have a bunch of men...ya know...doing something without trying to cook up some crackpot story how deeply evil it is... Ha ha! Obviously not! Men are evil, and so if men are doing something it is incumbent upon us to invent some semi-coherent interpretation of it according to which it is wrong. Duh. I mean that should go without saying by now...
   Ah, forget it. It's almost not even worth making fun of these people anymore...

Left-Wing Bias In Wikipedia: "Political Correctness"

   I complained a few months back about the Wikepedia entry on political correctness...of course I didn't think to try to link to a page that would survive editing...not even sure how to do that, and too lazy to look right now...
   At any rate, the talk page now shows a kind of war over that page, in which at least one editor was banned. The page is still largely about the term and not the phenomenon, and it's still pretty badly done, and it still has a decided bias to the left...but at least it's something of an improvement.

Impeachment Fever--Catch It!

   Somewhere around the election of '92, Republicans decided that it was conceptually impossible for any Democratic President to be legitimate. They frantically cooked up impeachment schemes against Clinton until they found one that would kinda sorta fly...  The chatter about impeaching Obama started even before he was elected...though it seems to have cooled--which really surprised me.  And now we get Mo Brooks (R--Alabama) floating the idea of impeaching HRC before she's even secured the nomination.
   So the GOP platform seems to be built largely around these two planks: (i) shut down the government if we don't get our way; (ii) impeach any Democrat who wins the Presidency. Oh, and don't forget what's by far the most important one: (iii) Gerrymander ourselves into a majority in the House.
   The GOP has flipped its shit.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Another Lame Defense of Political Correctness: It's Good For Comedy!

Catherine Rampell: Free Speech Is Flunking Out On College Campuses


Weslayan student newspaper prints an op-ed moderately critical of the "black lives matter" movement.
Within 24 hours of publication, students were stealing and reportedly destroying newspapers around campus. In a school cafe, a student screamed at Stascavage through tears, declaring that he had “stripped all agency away from her, made her feel like not a human anymore,” Stascavage told me in a phone interview. Over the following days, he said, others muttered “racist” under their breath as he passed by. 
The Argus’s editors published a groveling apology on the paper’s front page. They said they’d “failed the community” by publishing Stascavage’s op-ed without a counterpoint, and said that it “twist[ed] facts.” They promised to make the paper “a safe space for the student of color community.” This self-flagellation proved insufficient; students circulated a petition to defund the newspaper.
Ultimately, the student government halved funding for the paper and will distribute its funding among other publications--presumably ones with more politically correct editorial policies.
   So...contrary to liberal defenses of this insanity:
Political correctness is not merely being nice to people.
It is not a liberal movement
It is certainly not innocuous
The bit of this I'd most like to highlight is this bit from above:
In a school cafe, a student screamed at Stascavage through tears, declaring that he had “stripped all agency away from her, made her feel like not a human anymore,”
That is insanity. It's not mere falsehood. It goes far beyond that. It's not the kind of bullshit that most people think up on their own. This is classic far-left/PC cant. It's downright formulaic. It's a species of crazy that people catch from other people. It's what the PCs infect naive college students with. If your intellectual immune system is weakened, you can actually fall for this nonsense. Remember what's being said here: the fact that A wrote something critical of B's political view (a) robbed B of all agency and (b) made B feel non-human.
   Utter, unmitigated bullshit.
   The point of this shrill, hyperbolic nonsense, of course, is to (i) shut down all criticism of far-left views and (ii) justify shutting it down on the grounds that it is causing actual harm to people. 
   Briefly, the liberal view is often expressed like so: your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. Implied is: short of that, my rights allow me to do as I please. And speech that genuinely aims at the discussion of ideas is never like swinging a fist. Slander and libel are; shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater is; discussing ideas is not. The illiberal left denies this; speech is always like a fist, and--at least when it suits them--it should always be evaluated purely in terms of who gets punched and how much it hurts. "Punching up" (i.e. at whites, males, etc.) is always permissible (it's impossible to hurt the "privileged"...also, they deserve to be hurt...). "Punching down," never. 
   There's always been a kind of weird naturalism/materialism woven through the left that rejects the very ideas of truth, reason and justice. That's the element of the left that wants to reject that idea that objectivity is possible, that science gives us knowledge of the universe, that law should strive for justice. That strand of the left rejects all those bourgeoisie, enlightenment ideas in favor of a view according to which e.g. everything is class struggle. It's all about power, and any appeal to truth, reason, and justice is a quasi-superstitious smokescreen aimed at concealing mere competing interest. Thus the liberal view that dispassionate scientific inquiry and rational discussion of political and policy are not like swinging a fist...that view is rejected by the far left. Sure, we get some appeals to agency (as above)...but that's a different strand of an incoherent mish-mash of theories.
   People--especially liberals--need to be much, much more concerned about this stuff than they seem to be. This sort of thing is happening at universities across the country (and, less importantly, on "social media"). It's being allowed to happen not only by students and administrations but by faculty. Many liberals refrain from criticizing the illiberal left. Many go so far as to defend them. Those things have to stop.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Drum: Breaking: Republicans Still Pissed Off About Benghazi

And still losing their shit about it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Pox On Both Their Houses: Williams Disinvites Kooky Anti-Feminist From "Uncomfortable Learning" Lecture Series

Williams, and some all-too-familiar-by-now PC idiocy.
Suzanne Venker (niece of Phyllis Schlafly...not making that up...), the woman they inexplicably invited, then incoherently dis-invited.
Seriously, all of you people are stupid.
This actually sounds like a set-up to me, anyway. Instead of inviting a critic of feminism that presents a genuine challenge to the view (e.g. C. H. Sommers, Cathy Young), they invite this Venker person? That's like inviting a real, live straw man for the express purpose of shredding it... And I'd bet at least a bit of money that that's exactly what they had in mind. But their plans were thwarted by their even loonier, even leftier comrades, who think the fact that someone on their campus saying something they disagree with is equivalent to physical violence. (All speculative...bad philosoraptor...bad!)
You're all idiots.
Though, honestly, there's a way in which maybe the banners are better. At least they're straight-up about it. At least it's honest. They're not bringing someone in to strengthen their collective delusion that their views are rational. They're just straight-up eschewing rationality altogether...

And don't forget, this is an institution entrusted with the education of young, impressionable minds...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Can Dems Re-Take The Senate?

Jim Webb Drops Out


UNH At It Again: "Gender" "Microaggressions" Cause Health Problems

This is ridiculous in and of itself, but it's also a wee window into lefty bias in academia. This sort of thing crops up all over in academia, whereas on just doesn't see any righty analog.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Here We Go... / IZA Chronicles

Man bites man on flight, then dies "horrible death."
I've got like 10,000 hours of Left For Dead under my I'll be ok...

Were The Bush TXANG Memos Forged?

   The rightosphere believes that they conclusively debunked the Bush TXANG memos. Of course, they also believe that Obama is a gay alien Kenyan-born reptile in an Antichrist suit who ordered FEMA to close Wal-Marts in Texas in order to lay in supplies so that the Chinese can come over and take our guns...  Also there's no global warming...
   This dude claims that typewriters of the relevant time period have been found that could have produced the memos, and that those memos have never been conclusively debunked. (Warning: Salon link! Not an actual news source!)
   I report, you decided.
   At any rate, he also reminds us that, whatever the fate of the memo, there was some kind of shenanigans going on with respect to Bush's TXANG record.
   Funny, isn't it, that the actual war hero, Kerry, ended up on the defensive about his military record, while the actual semi-draft-dodger Bush was pure Teflon when it came to this stuff... As we've noted around these parts, and as the author points out too: so powerful is the background conservative theory that all conservatives are two-fisted men of action and all liberals are girly-men fraidy-cats that patently disconfirming facts seem incapable of even making a dent in that conviction. (See also: Gore, the football-player vs. Bush the cheerleader...)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Feminist "Rape" Double Standard: Amy Shumer Edition

   This isn't a big deal. At all.
   I just point to it as one part of a case for the contemporary PC / SJW / feminist / university / liberals-who-have-lost-their-way double standard with respect to sexual assault and rape.
   I don't actually know who Amy Shumer is, incidentally. But it doesn't matter.
   Anyway, it's pretty difficult for me to work up much outrage about the incident in question. It would have been better if she'd have turned around and left, but it's not a big deal that she didn't. And the same would be true if she, wasted, had called "Matt" over to her place. x being drunk and passed out and y creeping into their bed and macking on them: that's one thing. x being drunk and calling up y and asking them over and macking on them...a different thing entirely.
   However...the usual suspects would not treat the cases as the same. Whereas Ms. Shumer is apparently being praised by said suspects, she'd be hailed as a victim / survivor had the tables been turned. If it weren't for double standards, those folks would have no standards at all...
   Part of the background confusion here is that the relevant people want us to pretend that men and women are exactly the same when that benefits women...but they secretly employ just the opposite premise when that's convenient for them.
   Again, I don't really hold it against feminism that there are crazy, intellectually dishonest, dogmatic, radical feminists. Those people exist in basically every movement. I do hold it against feminism that the vocal vanguard, the most prominent part of that movement, the part that steers the ship in academia and on the internet, basically accepts the crazy, or at least refuses to reject/criticize it. A movement with some crazies is one thing; a movement run by crazies is a different thing entirely.
   I'm not anti-egalitarian-feminist...but you folks just aren't in charge of your own movement anymore so far as I can tell.

[Yes, yes...I do realize that this is in "Thought"Catalog...  I followed a link to it from Reddit or something... So sue me.]

Drum: A Closer Look At 2016 Obamacare Enrollment

Saturday, October 17, 2015

If Bush Kept Us Safe, Then Hoover Kept Us Prosperous

This bullshit again.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How To Dismiss Critics Of Political Correctness: Hugo Awards Edition: Katy Waldman...Uh...Sub-Edition...Or Something...

Here's how you do it for x:
(1) Make some false assertions about Gamergate
(2) Analogize x to Gamergate.
   The real problem for the Sad Puppies is analogous to the problem for Gamergate: the three parties to the dispute are basically the good guys, the bad guys, and the really bad guys. In the case of Gamergate, the good guys are Gamergaters, the bad guys are the Anita Sarkeesian / Jonathan MacIntosh / Zoe Quinn loony lefty axis of evil, and the really bad guys are the misogynistic lunatics who harass people on the web... And who help out the bad guys by sending them (completely non-credible, we should note) threats there anything that maybe has even less gravitas than Twitter...? The bad guys then overreact, pretend the threats are credible, and cite them at every opportunity as evidence of pervasive misogyny.
   With respect to the Hugos, the good guys are the Sad Puppies, the bad guys are, once again, the loony lefties, and the really bad guys are Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies. Those guys are complete psychos. This Day fellow (whatever his real name is) is a far-right nutcase. The SPs brought a lot of their problems on themselves by allying themselves with the RPs. Apparently they analogized it to Roosevelt allying with Stalin to beat Hitler...but I don't see that allying with somebody like VD is permissible over something as frivolous as awards...even the Hugos...
   Yes, there's a lot of PC crap in sci-fi these days...but there's a lot of PC crap all over the damn place...  The best organized hope for fighting it in sci-fi is the SPs. And they are not going to be successful--nor do they deserve to be--if they stay friendly with the RPs.

Oxford Feminist Activist Admits to "Rape"

   Yeah...who knows what's going on here?
   I put 'rape' in scare quotes in the post title...but that doesn't mean that either Teriba or the publication on the other end of the link uses the term. They don't. But...
   ...imagine these people describing a male as having "initiated non-consensual sex"...
   And also realize that these people are batshit insane, and that what they count as non-consensual is not necessarily actually non-consensual. E.g. Teriba might have "established consent" with respect to touching the other person's right brea...uh...non-sex-specific chest-region...but failed to establish it for her partner's left non-sex-specific chest region...
...or she might just be a rapist.
Who knows?
There is no more telling what the facts are like about a sexual encounter from what these crazy people say than there is telling about the history of the Earth from rantings of Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard.

Here's something (by Deborah C. Tyler) on this from The American "Thinker"...not the sort of place I normally find things with any value in them...but this one's pretty good."

The Best / Most Accurate Thing You'll Probably Ever Read About Gamergate: Kathy Young: Sex, Lies, and Gender Games

   One of the most prominent, most influential lies about Gamergate is that it started out as a sexist attack on Zoe Quinn. Actually, it started out with Zoe Quinn being an evil psycho to her boyfriend, and her boyfriend spilling his guts on 4chan... And if the roles had been reversed, she'd have been seen as a heroine "calling out" her evil, psycho, abusive boyfriend...
   Though she leaves out the part about Quinn's abuse of her bf, Young hits the other major points about Quinn:
1. The "Quinnspiracy" was not just—and not even primarily—about attacking Zoe Quinn as a woman. 
To be sure, discussions of the Quinn drama in free-access, unmoderated chatrooms can be easily mined for crude, hateful, disgusting comments. However, GamerGate blogger J.W. Caine makes a strong case that those chats reveal far more interest in attacking the "social justice warriors" and SJW-friendly tech media than in targeting Quinn herself. Indeed, many discussants warned that personal and sexual attacks on Quinn would undermine the larger effort—a fact conceded even by writer/blogger Jon Stone, a passionate GamerGate opponent. 
It is also absurd to suggest that Quinn was disliked simply for being an award-winning female videogame developer. (There have been no hate campaigns against far more prominent women in the field such as Ubisoft executive Jade Raymond, who helped create the hit game Assassin's Creed, or Kim Swift, designer of the highly successful Portal.) For one, long before the latest drama, Quinn had been widely seen in the gaming community as a beneficiary of gaming-media favoritism. The glowing reviews and awards for Depression Quest, a text-only game that has the player make day-to-day choices as a depressed person, rankled gamers who felt that it wasn't even a real videogame but a (dull) interactive fiction. There was a widespread feeling that it was getting praised due to "political correctness"—partly for promoting the socially conscious cause of mental health awareness, partly because of Quinn's earlier, widely publicized claims of harassment by users of a forum for depressed men. 
Was the resentment against Quinn at least partly related to her gender? Perhaps—though a male game developer widely seen as receiving undeserved acclaim, Phil Fish, was more or less driven from the field last year by relentless Internet abuse. (Having made a semi-comeback, Fish was recently targeted by hackers after publicly supporting Quinn—an incident that has been cited as proof that men in the gaming world only get ill-treated when they speak up for women. But Fish's troubles with haters long predated the Quinn brouhaha.) 
In any event, at least some of the anti-Quinn sentiment stemmed from an incident in which she appears to have engaged in truly appalling behavior—and which had nothing to do with her gender or sex life and everything to do with "social justice" zealotry.
Last February, Quinn learned about a women's videogame contest sponsored by a charity called The Fine Young Capitalists, or TFYC—artists and entrepreneurs who seek to encourage the creation of videos and videogames by women and minorities. Women were invited to submit ideas for videogames; the winner was to work with TFYC's designers and programmers to develop her concept into a game and get a cut from its sales. Quinn was outraged by what she felt was the contestants' "unpaid labor"—but even more so by the rule requiring transgender participants to publicly identify as female prior to the start of the contest. In dozens of angry tweets, Quinn accused TFYC of exploiting women and "policing transwomen's transition points," then gloated over accidentally crashing their website with her Twitter storm. (In August, Quinn claimed that she had only "posted 4 tweets saying I didn't know how I felt about their approach.") In a recent interview, a TFYC spokesman said that Quinn later continued to publicly attack the contest as "exploitative" and "transphobic," resulting in online harassment toward the group, loss of financial backing, and the cancelation of several planned articles about the project. Quinn and her supporters have cited a conciliatory statement TFYC issued in late August as a rebuttal of those accusations; but that statement was a "peace treaty" TFYC withdrew a few days later, saying that Quinn had not held up her end of the bargain. 
Of course none of this justifies harassment or threats toward Quinn. But the full story does not make her a very sympathetic figure. All of this complicated history has been almost completely erased from GamerGate coverage in the "progressive" media (gaming and mainstream), which reduced the Quinn saga to prurient revelations about her sexual exploits.

Don't Teach Girls to Defend Themselves Against Rape: John D. Sutter Edition

   This nonsense is so idiotic that it's vastly, irresistibly angrifying.
   First, no serious person doubts that rape is the fault of the rapist. I am told that there used to be such people...but it was obviously before my time...or in a different place or something...because for all the tales I've heard about that, I've never encountered a real person saying it.
   Second, nobody's saying not to try to inform any guys out there who might possibly not realize it that rape is wrong. Knock yourselves out with that. Personally, I doubt that there's anyone who (a) doesn't realize it, but (b) can nevertheless be reached / persuaded. But if there are any such guys, it'd be good to reach 'em. Do it! And godspeed.
   But the real point here: these morons have got to stop pretending that (i) teaching boys not to rape and (ii) teaching girls how to avoid rape are mutually exclusive.
   Said morons also need to stop letting their crackpot ideologies get in the way of saving actual lives. Perhaps in a strangely perfect-yet-still-obviously-imperfect world, it would always be enough just to teach people not to be bad, and no one would ever have to be taught how to defend himself/herself, nor how to avoid being a victim. But that's not the real world. These ideologues are more interested in clinging tenaciously to the panglossian idea that women as a matter of principle should never, ever have to do anything to avoid rape than they are to actually minimizing rape.
   This crackpot theory--like so many crackpot theories on the left--is actually based on a more fundamental crackpot theory: that it is impossible for any women, anywhere, ever to have any power to lower the probability of being raped. And that crackpot theory, in its turn, is based on another, more fundamental crackpot theory: that any suggestion that someone can defend herself against rape is "victim-blaming"...
   Say what you will about the right...they're nutty as a fruitcake alright...but their wingnuttery just doesn't seem as highly theoretical, nor as utterly divorced from any semblance of reality...
   Blaming a blameless victim is wrong. But, as a simple matter of obvious fact, not all victims are blameless. If I decide to text while driving, and am hit and badly injured by an extremely reckless driver in an accident I might otherwise have avoided, then I bear a certain part of the blame. If I decide to recreationally harass someone known to commit criminal assault, and he beats the crap out of me, then I bear part of the blame. If a woman decides to date a man with violent or misogynistic tendencies, and he rapes her, then she is partially responsible, and no amount of denying this will change that fact.
   The problem with crackpot versions of feminism is that they always want to make women a special case. And rape is certainly no exception. In particular, they want to make it into a crime so horrible that it is incommensurable with any other crime, and they want to make it into a crime that is impossible for women to ever contribute to. It's a terrible crime, and there are certainly many, many cases in which the victim bears no measure of blame whatsoever... But it is not a logical impossibility for her to do so. In actual fact, some women contribute to their own victimization just as some victims of any crime contribute to theirs.
   But we needn't even go into any of that. As an irrefutable matter of fact, women can lower the odds of being raped by learning to defend themselves. And so they should learn to do so. Just as men should learn to defend themselves in fistfights. And pointing those things out in no way blames victims, nor is it inconsistent with recognizing that criminals should not commit crimes.
   Perhaps it's the breathy, brainless, smug, self-satisfied, moralistic tone with which idiocy such as Sutters is delivered that so angers me. But at least part of it is that I have no time for dogmatic morons who are willing to sacrifice the real lives of real people to their idiotic theories.

"The Holy Grail Of Western Americana"

The only reason I'm posting this is to brag that I recognized Billy the Kid in this picture before I read that it was him. I had a replica of a wanted poster for him--purchased at that great slice of Americana in the Ozarks, Silver Dollar City--when I was a kid. Looked enough alike in both pics to allow someone to I.D. him...

Sex Ed Lessons: "Yes Means Yes,' But It's Tricky

   First, let me complain again about the fact that there is no sense in which this "affirmative consent" approach can accurately be described as a "Yes means yes" approach.
   The approach is accurately described as: "No yes means no."
   There are good motives/ideas and bad motives/ideas for this policy.
   On the good side: the approach would, theoretically at least, take care of the problem of people who are too impaired to either consent or withhold consent.
   On the bad side, the approach is rooted in crazy rape crisis feminism, in particular the idea that it is logically impossible for women to be responsible in any way for avoiding rape. On this approach, a woman could, theoretically, simply not feel like saying 'no,' and, were the guy to proceed even, say, from first base to second, he'd be a rapist...or, at least, guilty of sexual assault.
   Are policies like this good or bad all things considered? It's somewhat hard for me to say. I'm so repulsed by the grotesque spasm of neo- PC / SJW nonsense we're currently experiencing that I think I've been driven too far to the other side. However, given that such policies will clearly and unequivocally classify some non-rapists as rapists...well...I just can't see how any law based on this idea can be just... Though I'm rather unclear what we're really talking about here... There's no way such a thing would ever pass as law... So is it supposed to be some kind of sub-legal policy only for universities?
   Obviously to think that people in long-term relationships are going to adhere to such a policy is utterly mad...though I did encounter one dude on /r/OneY--the male equivalent of /r/TwoX--who claimed that he did this every time, even in relatively LTRs... I asked him whether he realized that this policy would become fact downright some point...but he denied it, deploying one of the arguments I hate most in this vicinity: quoth he: it can be hot. Presumably that doesn't require an explicit refutation here, but:
(a) Not if you do it every time it can't.
(b) More to the point, "it can be hot" is not a valid refutation of: this is an unjust and insane policy.
Even if, contrary to fact, it were the hottest damn thing anybody ever thought of, that does not mean that the state has the right to demand it of people. The state cannot demand that we do something "because it's hot," and definitely can't demand it because "it can be hot". Hey, here's something else that can be hot, and that would basically eliminate the problem of date rape entirely: just tie the dude up before sex every time! Wow...come to think of it, I should become a "policy entrepreneur"...this idea could catch on in the dark corners of the edu-web where these ideas are hatched and fester...
   So I asked JQ: hey, what if I did the "can I do x" thing every single time? Quoth she, approximately: It would be creepy as hell, I would tell you to stop, and if you didn't would break up with you. Gross.
   There you have it.
   Anyway. I actually do think that there's a kernel of an idea buried in the "yes means yes" mess...but there's also a lot of nonsense.

David Brooks: The GOP's Incompetence Caucus

He's finally fed up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Democratic Debate 2015.1

Way less entertaining than the GOP debate, as predicted.
   I thought Sanders did great. I've been becoming more and more pro-Sanders, and his performance last night kept me on that trajectory. I don't think he can win, and I don't see how he can pay for all the freebies he wants, but he's a reasonable, principled guy who is not just some silly lefty. In fact, he largely came across as just someone who is serious about what I'd call the fairly centrist project of trying to put the brakes on the project of turning the U.S. into a freaking plutocracy...
   Clinton did well, but largely because she lied and BS'ed at crucial points, which seems to me to be par for the course. (E.g. the bit about the TPP "gold standard" comment, which I don't even have to look up to know was BS.)
   Webb hurt himself, I thought. I just don't think he's a good BSer, and he seems to have been prepped to try to turn every comment toward his legislative accomplishments. He made an interesting point about affirmative action, but it isn't going to fly with many Dems, unfortunately. His comment about killing the North Vietnamese soldier who wounded him didn't go over well. The new 'do and the makeup job were not helping him.
   Chafee really hurt himself, especially with his "it was my first day" defense with respect to Glass-Steagall ...though I think that's a reasonable defense and I admired his honesty. I think he's out.
   O'Malley...dunno. For some reason he was really off-putting to me, and I was getting annoyed with the green energy mantra. I don't think I'm a good judge of that guy.
   As for Anderson Cooper...his rushing through every question and his disrespectfulness toward Webb were really annoying me. The former was not his fault...the people in charge of the format need to go. Fewer questions with more time for each answer would be the thing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Anderson Cooper vs. Jim Webb

   I wish Jim Webb would smack Anderson Cooper upside the head for being so disrespectful. Then he ought to go after whoever dyed his hair blond and put all that lipstick on him...
   I'm pretty skeptical about Bernie in certain ways, but he's doing a great job tonight.
   Hillary is Hillary, for better and for worse.


Don't feel much like watching it tonight...won't be as entertaining as the GOP debate...
Might tape it.

Ben Bernanke Leaves The GOP On Account Of Them Being Crazy

(via Inside Carolina)

Brendan O'Neill: Boomers (And Liberals) Share The Blame For Today's Censorship-Happy Students

At Reason:
How did British liberals respond to these bans? Not well. They either turned a blind eye to them, or supported them. Indeed, in a February letter to The Guardian decrying the new No Platforming of radical feminists, various academics said No Platforming was supposed to be "a tactic used against self-proclaimed fascists and Holocaust deniers." So even as they bemoan the No Platforming of radfems, they green-light the No Platforming of right-wingers. 
This sums up the problem with the middle-aged backlash against P.C: It’s too late, and it still isn’t consistently challenging censorship. Its main concern is that "people like us" are now falling victim to P.C. student intolerance. 
In the U.S., too, many liberals seem to have become concerned with P.C. only when their friends fell victim to it. When Jonathan Chait, in his New York essay in January, said P.C. "has returned," you had to wonder where he’d been for the past 20 years. From the Brown University students who stormed their newspaper’s offices after it published a piece criticizing reparations for slavery, to the Dartmouth students who burnt their newspaper after they thought it had made light of date rape, throughout the 2000s this attitude had been running riot on campus, following on from its explosion in the 80s and 90s. Perhaps liberals didn’t notice because its main targets back then were right-wingers, Christian evangelists, and Israel supporters, rather than liberals. 
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, too many liberals failed to stand up to the censorship of scoundrels. And as H.L. Mencken said: "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." 
Liberals’ complacency in the face of a 30-year tide of intolerance, fuelled by identity politics, the therapeutic culture, and the politics of victimhood, allowed P.C. to take root among a new generation. I mean, if an Islamist can be banned for being homophobic, why not Eminem? And if a neo-fascist can be banned because his ideas "harm" ethnic minorities, why not a radfem whose ideas "harm" trans people? The students of today aren't super-weird, they're just following the logic of censorship that earlier liberals either helped to set in motion or shrugged their shoulders at

Monday, October 12, 2015

Officer Acted Reasonably In Shooting Tamir Rice, 12

I really don't know what to say about this.

The U.N., Anita Sarkeesian And Zoe Quinn Want More Restrictive Internet


You really just can't make this stuff up.

Do Citizens With Guns Ever Stop Mass Shootings?

Short Answer: Yes
Longer answer: One can rarely be certain about such things...but almost certainly.

   When I first saw the title of this, I thought "that's the wrong question." I thought that because (1) genuine mass shootings of the relevant kind (as opposed to, say, certain kinds of gang-related violence) are extremely rare. And (2) concealed-carry permits are extremely rare. So the intersection of (1) and (2) are very rare indeed...
   But it turns out that there is still enough data to make an affirmative answer possible.
   Every time something like this happens, I think that more reasonable people ought to carry firearms...  But carrying a gun is a massive pain in the ass...and, of course, about half the population would think you were a lunatic if they ever found out that you were doing matter how good your intentions... Not, I suppose, that that should matter...
   I hate dipping my toe into this discussion, because both sides are utterly, completely, totally insane when it comes to guns.
   So I'm just going to shut up now.

Sinichi Mochizuki And The Impenetrable Proof

To complete the proof, Mochizuki had invented a new branch of his discipline, one that is astonishingly abstract even by the standards of pure maths. “Looking at it, you feel a bit like you might be reading a paper from the future, or from outer space,” number theorist Jordan Ellenberg, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, wrote on his blog a few days after the paper appeared.
Here's a really important point:
For Mochizuki's work, “it's not all or nothing”, Ellenberg says. Even if the proof of the abc conjecture does not work out, his methods and ideas could still slowly percolate through the mathematical community, and researchers might find them useful for other purposes. “I do think, based on my knowledge of Mochizuki, that the likelihood that there's interesting or important math in those documents is pretty high,” Ellenberg says.
Sounds like it would be foolish to bet that Mochizuki's proof works. Seems like the smart bet is that there's at least one significant error in it somewhere. But it also sounds like there might be something even more valuable in there than a proof of the abc conjecture: sounds like he might possibly be onto new methods of proof. An old prof of mine used to say--taking Cantor as an example--that, as interesting as it was to discover that there are more reals than natural numbers, what was really important there was the discover/invention of the method of diagonalization... And Peirce says that every major advancement in science is an advancement in methods.
   Anyway, it'll be interesting to hear what number theorists are saying about this in a couple of years.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fighting Back Against Mass Shooters

   Seems like there's never a great time to discuss this... Discussing it immediately after such an incident might make it seem condemnatory of the victims, and I don't want that. But discussing it when it's not at the forefront of people's minds also has disadvantages.
   At any rate: it's something that needs to be discussed. Fighting back almost certainly means fewer innocent deaths and injuries. A shooter could murder one person per round of ammunition if the victims were sufficiently docile. But one shooter with only semi-automatic weapons has virtually no chance of surviving if, say, ten people attack him from reasonably close range.
   We're encouraged to be docile, and to cede the responsibility for our safety to the state. That propaganda is useful from the perspective of the state, but it's bullshit.

Turkey Shoots Down Russian MIG?

(via Reddit)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Tom Gresham of Gun Talk Shreds John Hockenberry on NPR's The Takeaway

   Wow. This was one of the weirdest exchanges I've ever heard on NPR. I just happened to catch Piers Morgan doing a really cringeworthy anti-firearms song and dance on the same show the other day. I've actually seen that Morgan guy be a perfectly respectable journalist at times, and have never had the contempt for him that many seem to have. I only caught about 15 minutes of the program, but boy was it fluff. And Hockenberry made very little effort to control his anti-firearm position. I do understand why people feel passionately about it...but the show was really cringe-inducing. And the exchange with Gresham was even more so. I'm not familiar with Gresham or his show, and expected him to be a kook--but if he is, it didn't come across in this segment. He was calm, reasonable and well-informed...and Hockenberry basically lost it. His questions barely concealed his agenda and his anger, and Gresham actually called him on it at one point. Hockenberry then began denying that he was trying to advance a position, and insisted that he was "just asking questions," which was patently false. I got home before the interview was over, and had one of those NPR "driveway moments" they like to go on about...but not in a good way. I have a lower and lower opinion of NPR as time goes on, but this may have been the nadir.
   Props to Hockenberry for letting that interview see the light of day. I'm afraid I'd have gone right in and erased the tape if I were him...

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

UK Campus "Diversity Officer" With History of Racism/Sexism Against Males and Whites Charged With Sending Threatening Communication

   Well, this woman is crazy...
...and a racist and sexist...
...and sending a threat is definitely worthy of prosecution...
   But I'm not so wild about the other charge: "sending a grossly offensive communication." I'd be happy to hear arguments about it...but it's not obvious to me that that sort of thing should be illegal...     The UK is kinda kooky about such stuff, of course...
   Be interesting to see how this plays out.

(via Reddit)

Doctors Without Borders Calls U.S. Bombing Of Hospital A "War Crime"

Is it just me or is this crazy?

Monday, October 05, 2015

"Privilege" Aplenty!: "Nuclear Family Privilege"

   The thing I love about Salon is that they publish this stuff with, as it were, a completely straight face. It makes McSweeny's look like The Congressional Record. Embarrassingly, it took me a long time to catch on. I thought Salon was merely a cesspool of trendy, muddle-headed, liberal-ish lower-middle-brow clickbait...when, in fact, they're clearly pretending to be a cesspool of trendy, muddle-headed, liberal-ish lower-middle-brow clickbait in order to "perform" (as the elitterati might say) a kind of complex commentary on that sort of thing...
   Incidentally, this does seem like an occasion for raising an issue that we obviously need to deal with at some point. I write, of course, about not-being-driven-to-distraction-by-moronic-cultural-fads-like-"privilege"-mongering privilege. Think of all the time, attention and energy people like us waste being annoyed by idiotic nonsense like this, when other people pass by it with nothing more than a fleeting feeling of revulsion... And they are oblivious to their privilege in this regard! What good is our pain if others cannot be made to feel guilt for not feeling it??? To what end do we...oh...hold on...dammit... I've got to get ready for class. Which reminds me that I also need to write sometime about having-prepared-your-lecture-over-the-weekend-when-you-were-supposed-to-instead-of-putting-it-off-until-Monday-morning privilege... Not to mention having-remembered-to-buy-orange-juice-privilege...that being something I particularly want to emphasize this morning, and something I sincerely hope you'll feel guilty about. Every time someone forgets to buy orange juice, those of you who didn't forget benefit...

Friday, October 02, 2015

Umpqua Community College (OR) Shooter Targeted Christians

What the hell does one even say about this?
   We have to figure out how to keep firearms out of the hands of people who are crazy and/or evil. This is madness.
   Apparently this lunatic was spouting off on 4chan very recently. Nobody took him seriously, of course, so, as is their wont, faux egged him on as a way of making fun of him. That will obviously be misinterpreted/spun by the media as actually egging him on. 
   I've sometimes conjectured that one difference between people who grew up with the internet and people who didn't is that most of the latter think that words matter, whereas at least some significant chunk of the former think something like: words don't matter. Or, I don't know, maybe it's just that words on the internet don't matter... This would explain why so many young whippersnappers think that it's absurd for people to get upset by things said on the web. I don't know. But I do know that a lot of time and panic will be expended on Wolf Blitzer & co. breathlessly talking about the mysterious hacker 4chan urging the murderer to murder. Incidentally, there's also that case going on about a kid's gf urging him to commit suicide...though she seemed more serious...though perhaps not totally serious...  Actually, of course, words do matter. Though working out the details of that point isn't all that easy.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Two Monks Inventing Paintings

(via Reddit)

Oxford Student Union Bans Free Speech Magazine...


(h/t S. rex)

Is It Becoming More Common For Liberals To Advocate Open Borders?

   I've long contended that much of what liberals say about immigration is on a trajectory toward advocacy of open borders. I quit reading Crooked Timber years go, when it--or so it seemed to me--became a liberal echo chamber. You can still find interesting stuff on there sometimes, and a better person than myself would be better at panning for gold amid the ostentatiously scramble metaphors...
   I do think that there's a decent moral case to be made for open borders. But I also think that the position is nutty. To my shame, I've never thought about it in much detail. Who knows which way I'll swing if I ever do think hard about it...  One vague concern I have is that open borders arguments typically sound to me like arguments that also entail that we should all have what we might call open doors. That is, roughly, they sound like arguments that would also lead to the conclusion that we cannot justify excluding others who are less-well-off than ourselves from our private property. And arguments that nations are roughly tribal seem to me to be applicable to families. Such arguments do make a certain amount of sense. But my gut says that you don't have to go very far down that trajectory before things become insane... Again, that's a gut-reaction to a set of arguments I have not thought about with any care.
   At any rate, I once conceded in an argument around here that I had been wrong to suggest that many liberals were tacitly committed to an open-borders position. I can't shake the impression, however, that I was wrong to concede that. There still does seem to me to be a tendency on the far-ish left to see border control as inherently unjust.

NRO: Obama Submits To Dominant Males

   Is it just me or is there an awful lot of this kind of thing over on the right? I don't mean just the ODS / frantic spinning out of any anti-Obama tall tale they can imagine... And I don't mean the ad hoc pseudo-scientism (in this case anthropologism)... I mean the weird stories about dominance and submission among dudes in the context of foreign policy...especially when Putin is involved. In the link above, we see two fever-swamp themes come together: Democrats as submissive wimps and Putin as "alpha male." I don't think I know anybody who thinks or talks like this about humans in real life, though I do see such stuff on the interwebs. Do folks over on the right really tend to think like this? Or is it just more feverish, opportunistic anti-Obama nonsense? The latter is weird but familiar...the former is downright bizarre and grotesque. The conservatives' man crush on Putin was weird enough before this latest turn...
   Another weird thing about all of this seems pretty consistent on the right: the view that macho posturing is a sign of strength, while a calm, cool disinterest in any of that stuff is a sign of weakness. Which is exactly the opposite of the truth in my experience. Is there some deep psychological difference between conservatives and others on this score? I'd say that the simplest explanation is that it's all just bullshitting aimed at denigrating Obama. But it wouldn't be astonishing if it were something more than that.
   Of course the NRO is typically a pretty nutty place, so one expects frequent nutty--and occasionally very nutty--stories. But for my money one of the creepiest things is the consistent wingnuttery in the comments. Here's a patently cracked article, and I find no comments pointing that out. Nobody? Really? That's some unusually groupy group-think right there...