Thursday, March 30, 2017

Go Heels, Beat the Ducks

Gonna be in Memphis for a conference this week too late for the Sweet Sixteen and the round of eight.
AND JQ's parents offered to fly us to Phoenix for the Final Four...and I couldn't do it (conference + missed class + impending exam + other stuff + dammit).
Perhaps my sacrifice will convince the universe to smile upon Roy and the boys.

Go You Tar Heels!

Trump Admin Sought To Block Yates From Testifying About Russiagate

The Nunes Plot Thickens

Flynn Offers To Testify On Russiagate In Exchange For Immunity

NC: Some Kind of Deal on HB2

Eh, I'm basically trying to ignore this because it's all such a shitshow. It would be kind of a difficult even if both sides were rational. But both sides are irrational.
   "Progressives" are almost certainly going to win this, of course, because progressives now win just about all the cultural fights...which is better than the other guys winning them all...but worse than the rational position winning out in all the cases, of course.
   If feminism flipped on the issue, that might change things--but that probably won't happen soon. Feminists are actually somewhat split on this stuff, though the pro-"trans" feminists won that fight for now. I won't be a bit surprised if things change in the future, especially if public restrooms and locker rooms are integrated by sex. If that becomes the status quo, I think it's virtually inevitable that the more radial sectors of feminism with flip and become, basically, anti-"trans."
   I do recognize that e.g. men who represent themselves as women face problems with respect to public restrooms. But I don't think that's the main motivation here. I'm inclined to think that the more powerful and salient motive is the desire to be recognized as women (or, in the other case, men). As either Dreger or Bailey or one of those people points out--and they know what they're talking about--it's crucial to the people in question that others participate in their fantasy. Being yanked out of it by someone telling you you're in the wrong restroom, or using the "wrong" pronoun, is apparently quite the buzzkill.
   Now, the violence reason remains a good reason for us, whether it's actually their main reason or not...but it's not exactly clear how to deal with that problem, nor how extensive it really is.
   But I'm not so much interested in the practical problems as I am interested in how easy it is for progressives and the PC left to trick/bully the culture into accepting something patently false--in fact, something totally nuts: that some men are "really" women. The position is totally daft, and the arguments for it are catastrophically invalid. Look, by all means, let's talk about whether or not the sex-segregation of public facilities is ever permissible. But allowing ourselves to be brainwashed into accepting that some nights are actually's surreal.... Especially when the exact same arguments were, in the case of "transracial" Rachel Dolezal, declared to politically incorrect that they were not to be discussed...
   Eh, whatever. This is all dumb, but people don't care, and I'm just going to turn into an even bigger kook if I keep thinking about how crazy this all is.

"I'm An American, First And Foremost"

   The title of this NYT series--"This Week In Hate"--is a bit dramatic for my taste (as is the Washington Post's current tag line "Democracy Dies In Darkness")...but I'm not going to nit-pick. The stories in the piece are angrifying in the extreme, and they seem entirely credible. Unlike all the obvious and probable hoaxes that fit the Known Hoax Templates, these are all-too-believable to my mind.
   As we used to say back home, people are no damn good.
   Not really, of course. But an awful damn lot of them are. In dire need of ass-kickings, for one thing. Threw a bottle of pee at somebody? Really? You assholes...are...what? Just toting around a bottle of pee all the time? But then what? "Hey, Stuart, what do you think I should do with this bottle of pee?" "I'm not sure, Travis...oh...there's a Hispanic-looking fellow...perhaps throw it at him?" Or was this a pre-meditated pee-hurling incident?
   And as for Ms. Russ's case, it adds just that little extra bit of whatever that her family has undoubtedly been here longer than the jackass telling her to go back to Mexico. And she's right: other people should have stood up for her. Though, in their defense, people are often shocked into silence by crazy shit like that. Also, of course, we're basically encouraged to be passive and not stand up for ourselves and others.
   Meh, there's really no reason for me to go on about this stuff. There are enough people going on about this already. I prefer to go on about the stuff that isn't being gone on about by everybody else. Kinda goes without saying that this bullshit is bullshit. But every now and then I just feel like typing angrily about it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Are "Hate Crimes" On The Rise?

Senate Intelligence Committee To Start Russia Probe

Jesus Christ, finally the adults are on the case.

Republicans Sell You Out: Internet Privacy Edition

The GOP just keeps finding new ways to suck.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bill O'Reilly / Maxine Waters don't like O'Reilly and I don't particularly have any opinions about Waters. But somebody's going to have to explain to me why it is that O'Reilly saying that Waters' hair looks like a James Brown wig is allegedly:
(a) racist
(b) sexist
(c) impermissibly harsh ridicule (of some non-racist, non-sexist type).
Now, my sainted mother might very well smack me upside the head for ridiculing one of my female elders in a similar manner...but by contemporary standards of political ridicule this barely even moves the needle. So I'm just not buying (c). And how on damn Earth is it supposed to be (a)? It can't be that Waters and Brown are/were both black...that makes no sense at all. And I'm skeptical that O'Reilly would be given a pass if he'd have said that Waters's hair looked, say, like that one dude's from Poison or whatever. That leaves (b)...but...basically everyone left of David Brooks has spent the last year ridiculing Trump's hair...not to mention his tan and even his no. I'm not buying the sexism charge either.
What am I missing here?

Who Was Nunes's Secret White House Source?

"The Postmodern Intellectual Roots Of Today's Campus Mobs

Crispin Sartwell
   I go on about the link between pomo and the PC left a lot--the link was explicitly avowed in the paleo-PC era, but less so now. Even the term "political correctness"--which used to be politically correct--is not so now. Now the politically correct term is roughly "social justice"...ism? osity? Something...
   I don't think that Sartwell is right to say that anyone ever thought that not dropping n-bombs was all you had to do to not be racist. Nobody I've ever known thought that. Not sure why anyone would think that...but NBD.
   I'd also add that it's not just postmodernism that's at the intellectual core of PC--rather, there are lots of bad ideas, mostly from recent Continental philosophy--postmodernism, poststructuralism, aspects of critical theory... 'Relativism' (the term) is a bit passe now, and 'social construction' (largely the same idea) is much hotter--but that's probably the fault of American sociologists, not continental philosophers... There's also a dash of the Whorf-Sapir hypothesis in there...  Do bad ideas just never go away? Anyway...I've done that song and dance too much already.
   I think the Sartwell piece is largely right, but mostly I'm happy to see such things appearing in important places--even if it will be dismissed by "progressives" for appearing on the WSJ editorial page.

Russiagate: "This Is What A Cover-Up...Looks Like"

   Obviously now there has to be an independent investigation, and it's just a matter of time before the GOP will be forced to capitulate on that point. The evidence of significant links between the Trumpistas and the Russians is simply too strong to ignore, as is the evidence that the Trump administration and important members of the GOP are running a cover-up. 
   None of that is to say that there was illegal collusion--just that there is more than enough evidence to make an investigation obligatory. Way, way, way more than enough evidence. It is no longer permissible to not have an independent investigation. And if it takes demonstrations in the streets to force the GOP to do the right thing, then so be it.
   I tend to want to stay above such frays, but, obviously, we're looking at something here that walks and quacks like an extremely Russian duck. Right now we should only be focusing on forcing an investigation...but honestly, I'm going to be pretty surprised if there's not something very illegal at the bottom of all this.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Carolina Has Been In 25.6% (20/78) of Final Fours

That is just about the most amazing CBB state I have ever seen.

Carolina 75 - Kentucky 73

Good game Wildcats, good game Heels...
Survive and advance...

F*ck New Skype

F*ck new Skype forever.
I will never use Skype ever again.
F*ck that bullshit "Skype for business" bullshit, and f*ck the 10,000 times I've had to reset my f*cking password because it refuses to give you more than one the hell am I supposed to remember my bullshit Skyp password on the first try? I have to reset it every damn time because I never use the same password more than once...because I've always had to reset it last time I used the goddamn thing.
F*ck you Skype, f*ck you Microsoft .

And double f*ck "Skype for business."

Go Tar Heels Beat The 'Cats

This is gonna be a fun game to watch if you don't care who wins.

Legal Fictions

An important concept.
One I didn't know about: the doctrine of survival: if two people die simultaneously (or it isn't possible to tell who died first), and it becomes legally necessary to determine which one died first, the older one is deemed to have done so.

Does The FBI Have Information That Trump Associates Coordinated Anti-Clinton Activities w/ Russia?

Sheep-Goat Hybrids

There are sheep-goat hybrids...and sheep and goats belong to different genera.  !!
And some are fertile. [er, some of the hybrids, I mean. Obviously some sheep and some goats are fertile...]
Nature abounds with borderline cases.

Has The FBI Flipped Flynn?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Gustavus Adolphus "Diversity Council" Posts Fake Racist Flyers To "Raise Awareness"

My hypothesis is that this sort of nonsense springs from the same sort of cause as real fake "hate crime" hoaxes. Part of the leftist mind craves this stuff--"hate crimes," that is. They so crave it that they are not satisfied with the actual number of such incidents. So they manufacture fake ones. If the problem were as bad as they wish it were, there'd be no need to do such things to "raise awareness." They could point to actual instances. That's the best way to "raise awareness"...
   Me, I want the amount of this shit to be less. A lot less. A lot lot less. But it is what it is; the numbers are what they are. I think there are way more than enough relevant incidents, including for purposes of "awareness raising." Maybe point to this fucking sonofabitch, may he rot in hell, who traveled from Baltimore to NYC specifically in order to stab somebody--anybody--who was black. He ended up murdering a completely innocence man, Timothy Caughman, who was just waking down the goddamn street. How about you use that example?
   This crap is a blight on the academy.

Carolina 92 - Butler 80

Good game Heels, good game Bulldogs.
   Butler never let up, and narrowed the gap late in the game, but Carolina was playing well, despite Butler's pressure on the front court. Luke Maye with his best game so far.
   Kentucky tomorrow. Gonna be tough.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dinosaur Family Tree Poised For A Colossal Shake-Up

This is huge if true.


Obviously this isn't a news site, but, as you know, I more-or-less randomly post news items I happen to be reading and think are interesting. But just for the record: there's just too much happening on the Trump/Russia front...I'm overwhelmed...I can't even keep up with reading it. It's not that I don't think it's important.
   Also, I've gotta give a talk tomorrow and give a paper at a conference next weekend, so I've got too much to do to worry about little things like the fate of our democracy.
   (Jebus...I try to keep telling myself that there's a nonzero probability that the Dems and the media are jumping the gun on all this...but sure does look like an awful lot like...well...something very, very bad.)

Trump Robot Sophists Defeated Clinton Robot Sophists In Lead-Up To Election

If it weren't for AI, they'd have no I at all.
The chatbots — basic software programs with a bit of artificial intelligence and rudimentary communication skills — would send messages on Twitter based on a topic, usually defined on the social network by a word preceded by a hashtag symbol, like #Clinton.
Their purpose: to rant, confuse people on facts, or simply muddy discussions, said Philip N. Howard, a sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute and one of the authors of the report. If you were looking for a real debate of the issues, you weren’t going to find it with a chatbot.
“They’re yelling fools,” Dr. Howard said. “And a lot of what they pass around is false news.”
   So Trump was allied with Wikileaks, the Rooskies, and baby Skynet.
   Maybe we ought to start checking for links to the Illuminati.
   I'll just note that it sounds like Clinton's chatbot army was meant to do the same nefarious things as Trump's chatbot army...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

AP: Manafort Had A Plan To Benefit The Putin Government

...basically by undermining democracy in former Soviet Republics.
   I'm not going to flip out. But there is no doubt about it whatsoever: an investigation must be initiated immediately. If the GOP drags its feet, I'm willing to start aiding and abetting the (shudder) Democrats again. If Republicans resist this, they need to be crushed politically. Or maybe a specifically anti-GOP / punish-the-Republicans-for-Trump-etc. organization needs to arise.
   I have no interest in presupposing guilt. But there is no justification whatsoever under the prevailing conditions for fighting a goddamn investigation. Resisting an investigation at this point is tantamount to a cover-up. So far as I'm concerned, blocking an investigation when there is prima facie evidence of a crime is not appreciably less-bad than blocking an investigation when you know that there was, in fact, a crime.
   I keep talking myself out of fully appreciating how  truly godawful the GOP is.

Decolonizing The Meal

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Swiss Gun Groups Oppose New EU Gun Restrictions

   I guess I count as kind of a Neanderthal for being somewhat pro-Brexit...not that I have a right to an opinion... But damn, I would not want the EU (nor any other such organization) making laws for the States.

Prager "University": If There Is No God, Then Murder Isn't Wrong

What a stinker that video is.
I've said some good things--to my own surprise, actually--about a couple of the Prager "University" videos of late (here, here). But man, this one's just a train wreck from beginning to end. This is the worst attempted philosophy video I've seen since that crapfest from Vox on race nominalism. If I had to pick a loser from between those two, I'd be hard pressed.
Read more »

Greg Sargent: Trump's Non-Stop Lies Are Failing Him

At the Chicago Tribune:
"People close to the president say Mr. Trump's Twitter torrent had less to do with fact, strategy or tactic than a sense of persecution bordering on faith: He simply believes that he was bugged in some way, by someone, and that evidence will soon appear to back him up. ...
"The president, people close to him have said over the last several weeks, has become increasingly frustrated at his inability to control the narrative of his action-packed presidency, after being able to dominate the political discourse or divert criticism by launching one of his signature Twitter attacks."
Let's pause to consider how remarkable it is that those paragraphs appeared in a major newspaper. Trump continues to vaguely believe that what he tweeted will somehow be validated later, at least in some form. But at the same time, Trump himself is growing aware that his nonstop lies — or delusions, or self-deception, or whatever you want to call all of it — are failing him. And he's frustrated by it. This is coming to us according to people close to Trump.

Elizabeth Warren Questions Hiring Of For-Profit-College Officials At Dept. of Education

I'm not the biggest Warren fan, but I'm behind her on this one.

Trump's Weary Defenders Face Fresh Worries

You take a job defending a batty President who's not qualified to hold the office, you're going to have a tough, unpleasant, despicable job. You've earned your weariness and then some.

"Hate Crime" Hoax: Jewish Man Paints Swastika On His Own House

Comey: Trump Is Lying About Wiretaps; Investigation Of Collusion With Russia Continues

There's no reason for me to rail about this.
   I can't even write about this stuff in civil terms at the moment.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trump Approval Rating 37%

Obligatory: what's wrong with 37% of the American population?

Carolina 72 - Arkansas 65

That was our toughest win all season.
Got a bit lucky with the Meeks tip / no call toward the end, but it wouldn't have mattered. They'd only have had one second left on the shot clock. And we'd had our share of bad luck on calls.
We didn't play all that well...but...survive and advance...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Carolina 103 - Texas Southern 64

Good game Tigers!
On to Arkansas

Go Tar Heels--Beat The Tigers

Carolina vs. Texas Southern comin' up.
Git 'em

When [Sex] Differences Are Ignored In Health Studies, It's Women Who Pay The Price


Iiiiis this a joke?
I say no...but...Poe's Law and whatnot.
I'm a wee bit Scots-Irish, for the does that mean I get, like, 1/16th of a vote on this sort of shite or what?

Brits Call Trump Admin On Its Wiretap Bullshit

Turn out that you can slander the former President of your own country with fantastical fabrications...but if you slander your closest ally with the exact same fantastical fabrications, they put their collective foot down about that shit right damn quick.
   Jesus Christ.
   This just gets crazier and crazier.
   They're lying. Everybody knows they're lying. They've got to know that everybody knows they're lying...but they just keep on digging.

Donald Trump / Andrew Jackson

I dunno whether Gerson is right that Trump has chosen a hero... But for no very interesting reason, I did find myself thinking the other day: well...he's better than Jackson...  (I continue to think that the Dems might maybe want to re-think the whole Jefferson-Jackson day thing...what with Jackson being a genocidal maniac and all... MO Dems now call it the Truman dinner instead of the J-J dinner, I think. Though, given that HST dropped The Big One on Japan, I expect that to be challenged in my lifetime.)'s not that Jackson didn't have certain admirable qualities. But overall, I'd say he's not exactly a guy you want to heroify really.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Next Generation F-15

A missile truck...but still a damn cool missile truck.

Duke: The Art Of The Foul

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SM-27/28 Machete: Replacement For the A-10?

I'm psyched about the possibility of a propeller-driven attack plane...not that my opinion has any more authority here than that of a 10-year-old, since my only criterion is basically it would be so cool!!! 
   Also: it'd be super-cool to have both prop and jet variants.
   Actually, it does seem like you'd get lower air speeds and longer loiter times--and apparently it keeps the GAU-8! (Though I've wondered whether it might be more effective to use something lighter...we don't actually fight a lot of tanks anymore... What about going to two 20mms or...dare I say it?...a buttload of .50 cals??? You know you're all thinking it...
   Special shout-out in that article to the awesome OV-10 Bronco, too.

   Disclaimer: I rate weapons systems only on the basis of their coolness factor, which is all I'm competent to judge.
   Also: killing people is wrong.

"People Are Scared": Paranoia Seizes Trump's White House

A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies — inside their own government.
In interviews, nearly a dozen White House aides and federal agency staffers described a litany of suspicions: that rival factions in the administration are trying to embarrass them, that civil servants opposed to President Donald Trump are trying to undermine him, and even that a “deep state” of career military and intelligence officials is out to destroy them.
Aides are going to great lengths to protect themselves. They’re turning off work-issued smartphones and putting them in drawers when they arrive home from work out of fear that they could be used to eavesdrop. They’re staying mum in meetings out of concern that their comments could be leaked to the press by foes.
Many are using encrypted apps that automatically delete messages once they’ve been read, or are leaving their personal cellphones at home in case their bosses initiate phone checks of the sort that press secretary Sean Spicer deployed last month to try to identify leakers on his team.
   This is how a deranged autocratic regime operates--not a sane, respectable small-'d'-democratic / small-'r'-republican administration.
   Of course this may not be the straight dope...but if it ain't good.

GOP Head of House Intelligence Committee: Trump Wiretap Claims "Wrong"

“We don’t have any evidence that that took place,’’ Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “In fact, I don’t believe — in the last week of time, people we’ve talked to, I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”
If Mr. Trump’s Twitter claim is to be taken literally, Mr. Nunes said, “then clearly the president is wrong.”
The President is full of shit is what the President is.

Cornel West, Robert P. George et al: Truth-Seeking, Democracy, and Freedom of Thought and Expression

This is great--and it could even turn out to be important.
That it's issued largely by Cornel West is, I'd say, particularly important.
Sign it!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Rachel Maddow Has Trump's Tax Returns?

   I used to like her a lot, but now basically can't watch her at all. Has she gotten smugger? Leftier? Am I just crankier? Righter? Is it just one of those once you see it things? I am easily annoyed...
   At any rate, I reckon I can stand a bit of Maddow exposure to check out this's prolly gonna require cracking open that new bottle of Knob Creek rye...but...if I gotta, I gotta.
   Please let this be true.

[It was a nothingburger. A nothingburger sandwich. A nothingburger sandwich souffle. A nothingburger sandwich souffle with a side of nothing...
Maybe even kinda sorta a wee victory for Trump?
Serves me right for believing Maddow I reckon.]

Jennifer Harvey: "Are We Raising Racists?"

GOP Rejects CBO Analysis of AHCA, But White House's Own Internal Estimate Says CBO Is Too Optimistic; Kevin Drum's Brain 'Splodes

Yeah these people are full of it.
I'm not wedded to the ACA. I understand almost nothing about what's going on. But I am inclined to trust the CBO. I trusted Obama, and trust the Dems a little bit. I don't trust the GOP at all. And I anti-trust the Trumpazoids. That is: by this point, I just assume that whatever they say is the opposite of true.

The Secondary Break: Wrapping Up The Duke Win

Adrian Atkinson's take, extremely interesting as always.

Friedersdorf: Why Won't Steve King Assimilate and Embrace American Values?

Along the way, Friedersdorf quotes this great passage from Chris Rock:
“To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before. ... That’s not black progress. That’s white progress … There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.”
Damn, that's right on the money.
Anyway: yo, Steve King: get with the American project, ya damn lunatic.

The Absolute Worst Article On Political Correctness I've Read In A Long Time: John Warner: "On Political Correctness As The New Campus Religion"

My God this is a giant pile of bullshit.
   It's pretty appalling that Inside Higher Ed would publish it. I mean, I agree that big-time college sports is a matter of concern. But it's completely irrelevant to the issue of the threat posed to the university by the radical campus left.
   The entire thing is a giant tu quoque deployed as a red herring: the left isn't a threat to the university because big-time sports are also a threat. So don't worry about the campus left.
Bullshit. Total bullshit. Unequivocal bullshit. Dishonest bullshit. Dangerous bullshit.
   One of the things that make PC dangerous is that it has so many academic sophists dedicated to defending (and promoting) it. Faculty has always been vaguely at odds with sports. But many, many faculty are on the side of PC--in fact, they're the source of it.
   I'm not going to waste time refuting this nonsense. Even if college sports were religion-like too--and they kind of are in a way--it would not mean that PC isn't. And Warner's claim that PC is an effect of students growing up under conditions of scarcity is just absurd. Today's students have, on average, grown up under conditions of plenty. And Warner does nothing to prove that his all-purpose, generic, quasi-Marxist explanation actually explains the phenomenon. He just asserts it. And even if it were the right explanation, it wouldn't in any way mean that PC isn't a threat and shouldn't be fought.
   Just a terrible, terrible, terrible article, and another example of PC apologism.

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J. J. Reddick Joins Push To Put Civility Back In College Basketball

I've been fretting about this crap for a long time--props to J. J. for taking up this cause. I don't really have it in me to support something called "Dove Men+Care"...and I expect enough guys have the same hangup that that's going to be a problem...but anyway, this needs to be done in some form.
   There was just a big battle on Inside Carolina about the "overrated" chant against Duke's Harry Giles. I was on the side that thought it sucked, and wish we hadn't done it--as allegedly was Roy, who stopped the chant. Dean used to do the same thing. (Saw him silence a "bullshit" chant after a bad call in the Dean Dome once. One guy shut up 21,000 people almost instantly with a wave of his arms...Dean had magical powers I tell ya'...)
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Monday, March 13, 2017

What the *Hell* Is Going On With Steve King?

Seriously WTF?'

Hate Crime Hoaxes: Americans In France Edition

Yeah this is yet another "hate crime" hoax. I'd bet money on it.
It's completely implausible, has the ring of a sexual fantasy about it, and contains those recurring characters, attackers that are completely nondescript except for being white male Trump supporters who eagerly broadcast their political allegiance while committing the crime. 

Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave...

Maybe Trump was wiretapped...y'know...with the dishwasher or, wait!...
...He never said 'wiretapped'! He said ' "wiretapped" '!  The scare quotes mean that...he...meant...that...somebody (not saying who)...watched...somebody (not saying who) way or other (not saying how).  See? Ha ha! You have once against made the mistake of taking Trump literally but not seriously!
Trump is the bullshittiests bullshitter I think I've ever seen.

Spy For Three Minutes, Rotate A Quarter Turn...

Appliancegate is best gate!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wikipedia's Leftward Slant

   As I've mentioned, I've noticed leftward/PC bias in some fairly important Wikipedia entries about a couple of subjects I understand reasonably well. I don't know how widespread it is, but from my (fairly small) sample, my guess would be that it's significant. I know that I'm not the only one who's concluded this, FWIW. There's no reason to add the obvious observation that I could be wrong.
   But here's a reasonably clear case, I'd say: the talk page for the Christina Hoff Sommers entry. I don't understand Wikipedia's editing rules, but I'd describe the discussion like so: a couple of dogmatic editors blocking the eminently reasonable request to describe Sommers as a feminist. Now...Sommers is a feminist. There's really just no doubt about that. She considers herself a feminist, she's an egalitarian about sex, her view would have been mainstream feminism 30 years ago, and it's very similar to what most ordinary people who identify themselves as feminists mean. It's really an open-and-shut case. If she's not a feminist, the majority of women in America who classify themselves as feminists are not feminists.
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1 Seed In The South

Go Tar Heels

McCain To Trump: Retract Obama Wiretapping Claim Or Prove It

This is the right response, and the right general tactic, I think. Go after him hard on these specific, crazy assertions. Absolutely refuse to let him off the hook until he provides evidence [eyeroll] or retracts.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Scientific American: John Horgan and Noam Chomsky: Some Politically Incorrect Scientific Research Should Be Banned

   Jesus Christ this is chilling.
   Horgan's proposed ban on research into race and IQ is alarming enough.
   But worse than that, to my mind, is his agreement with Chomsky's radically anti-scientific claims: that:
...discovery of a correlation between some of these qualities is of no scientific interest and of no social significance, except to racists, sexists and the like. Those who argue that there is a correlation between race and IQ and those who deny this claim are contributing to racism and other disorders, because what they are saying is based on the assumption that the answer to the question makes a difference; it does not, except to racists, sexists and the like."

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The Rise of "Buffy Studies"

   I love Buffy, but this is dumb.

Andrew Sullivan: Is Intersectionality A Religion?

   The more accurate title would be: Is Political Correctness A Religion? (or: Is The "Social Justice" Movement A Religion?")
   The answer is: kinda. Or, rather: it certainly shares certain features with religious cults. Though that's true of a lot of crazy politics. Though it seems truer of PC than most.

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Carolina 83 - Duke 93

   Oh, Heels, we love ya, but you gonna drive us crazy.
   How is it that, for like five years, they just keep finding weirder and weirder ways to fold against the d00kies? It's getting downright bizarre. Berry was on the bench and all...but that 30-15 run was almost surreal. Just couldn't buy a basket, or a foul, or get a stop. 
   Meh, waddaya gonna do?
   On the the tournament that matters!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Jonathan Haidt and Frank Bruni On The Middlebury Anti-Charles-Murray Riot

Worth watching. For the record, I don't agree with absolutely everything they say, not that that matters.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

68 Seconds Of Daggum Roy

Heels + Biggie

Grayson Allen With Another Flop-Assault Combo, This One Against Louisville

   So in this clip we see Allen flop on the 3 after being barely touched on the forearm--per Duke protocol--and then kick the Louisville player in the gut from the ground.

Carolina 78 - Miami 53

Next up: d00k

HXA: Van Jones on the Dangers of PC

   Van Jones is very popular here at the institute, and it's always a cause for celebration if he happens to be on the teevee when we peek into the loony world of cable news. Which...I can't recommend, actually...but we still do it sometimes.
   He's right on the money here. I especially like the gym / university analogy.
   I'd go farther than he did in this respect: this species is not just useless in "the real world," not just obnoxious, and not just's wrong. It's intellectually and morally indefensible, and, politically, it's anti-liberal and on the side of totalitarianism. It's not just bad in its consequences, it's rotten at its core.

Fake Hate Crimes: Michigan / Brexit / Women's Literature Edition

Yet another one:
ANN ARBOR, MI -- A 21-year-old Ann Arbor woman pleaded guilty as charged to one count of false report of a misdemeanor in 15th District Court on Monday, March 6.
Halley Bass admitted in court that she fabricated a story about a strange man scratching her face in downtown Ann Arbor on Nov. 15.
"I was suffering from depression at the time," Bass told Judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines. "I made a superficial scratch on my face. It was visible and I was embarrassed about what I'd done. So I made up a story and told a friend that a stranger had done it while I was walking. I was encouraged to report it to the police. I made the mistake of doing that."
At the time, Bass claimed her attack was part of the surge in hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump a week earlier. She told police she was targeted for wearing a solidarity pin connected to Great Great Britain's "Brexit" vote.
Bass admitted to scratching her own face with the pin after becoming upset during a Woman's Literature class at the University of Michigan, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department report.
Bass and her Ann Arbor-based attorney, Douglas Mullkoff, requested that she be sentenced through the 15th District's mental health court. Hines said if court officials determine Bass is eligible...
   So...nobody believes that story about depression and whatnot, right?
   More likely is: this was a deliberate, politically-motivated act. It's a part of a pattern on the left about which generalizations (and even some predictions) can be made. Perhaps something like depression played a role, but Bass seems to be trying to claim that there was little or no political motive--her action is to be explained mostly or entirely in terms of psychological problems. 
   I do think it's complicated because I do think that political correctness (or whatever we want to call this extremist phenomenon on the left; 'alt-left' is another suggestion in the air) is basically a kind of political cult. So it involves a lot of beliefs and actions that seem to be somewhere in the twilight zone between sanity and insanity. Bass's action obviously raises questions about irrationality...but the strategic, political purpose of the action can't be ignored. Bass's action was a token of a type: people, often students, on the far left, fabricating "hate crimes," allegedly perpetrated by people on the right. The goal is, without a doubt, to trick people into thinking that the right is hateful, bigoted, violent, etc. (A more neutral formulation would be: ...that hate, bigotry and violence are more prevalent on the right than they actually are.) 
   I usually crankily refuse to add: obviously none of this suggests that there aren't actual problems with hatred, bigotry and violence in politics, nor that no so-called hate-crimes are actually being committed, nor even that there is not an "epidemic" of them currently. (I doubt the latter, but only tentatively.) But the PC left has a problem with hate-crime hoaxes. And, IMO, this problem confirms something important about that movement--though something that will not seem surprising to anyone who's familiar with it.

Go Heels, Beat the 'Canes

This should be a good game.
(Also: the ACC tournament really needs to stay in Greensboro.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

USMC Nude Photo Scandal

Goddamn it, seriously?
   Here are two kinds of people who I have no respect for:  [a] people who think that naughty pictures are sooooo very naughty that there shouldn't be any of them; [b] dudes who either don't understand or don't care that posting explicit pix without permission is a violation of people's right to privacy.
   Yo, sex and eroticism are great...uh...yo again...and I have no sympathy whatsoever for puritans, right or left. But that's not what this is about. This is about invading people's privacy note the italics.
   Also, seriously, why do it? I mean...I understand the revenge thing. I think it makes you suck if you do it...but I understand it.* But...these can't all be revenge, right? Most of them just have to be more like: hey, I have these nekkid pix of LCpl Smith...but...that's not enough for me. Think I'll go ahead and post them on the interwebs so everybody in the world can see 'em... That is very damn dumb even--as my acquaintances in the military might say--by Jarhead standards.
   I'm against contemporary feminism, given what it's become in the academy and on the internet...but this has nothing to do with any of that. You don't even have to be an egalitarian feminist to be against this. Seriously this is just a matter of ultraminimal human decency.
   Can't everybody just not piss me off for like five minutes? FIVE MINUTES THAT'S ALL I'M ASKING

* Note: I mean posting nekkid pics for revenge--not revenge in general. As JQ would say: I'm totally down with mean..[looks around shiftily]...justice...  (Here's a tip: don't piss her off. I'm totally serious about that...) Actually, there are, undoubtedly, some instances in which women deserve to have their explicit pix posted. Hell, no matter what it is, somebody, somewhere, probably deserves it. But I'm going to go out on a big, fat limb and say: that remedy is very damn seldom apt.

Beware the Anger of a Patient Man

Tom Hill had that thought on a sign over his desk at Carolina.
Trump would do well to heed the advice before pressing that Obama wiretap claim.

Ben Carson Is An Idiot For Saying Something About Slavery and Immigration That Barack Obama Also Said

HA HA Ben Carson is an IDIOT who does not even understand what slavery was because he said that slaves were a kind of immigrant (different than ordinary, voluntary immigrants)!  He is also a racist, OBVS and...oh...uh...right...well, HE WOULD BE know...
   OH YEAH WELL OBAMA said the exact same thing like eleventy-million times! CHECKMATE, LIBTARDS!!!111
   However...actually, that Federalist post doesn't make the case all that clearly. In few of those quotes, taken by themselves, does Obama explicitly say what Carson said--that slaves were a kind of immigrant. The vast majority of the examples are variations on a slightly different line:
no matter whether our ancestors landed on Ellis Island or came here on a slave ship or crossed the Rio Grande, we are all connected to one another. We rise and fall together.
(In fact, like 10 of those quotes are really just the same thing said on different occasions, if that matters.) Above he doesn't say that we're all immigrants, but just that we all come from somewhere else--which is different. 'Immigrant' does, to my ear, suggest coming here voluntarily...though I'm not giving that point the attention it should get. At any rate, that's part of the problem... Dunno what the OED says...
    So...this counts against the angry conservative Obama Gambit in defense of Carson. one of the other Federalist quotes, he does put that claim in the context of calling all the listed types of people immigrants:
We say it so often, we sometimes forget what it means — we are a nation of immigrants. Unless you are one of the first Americans, a Native American, we are all descended from folks who came from someplace else — whether they arrived on the Mayflower or on a slave ship, whether they came through Ellis Island or crossed the Rio Grande.
   And, in one speech that the Federalist links to but doesn't quote, he also says:
Certainly, it wasn't easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.
[1] Most of the Obama quotes that are offered as evidence to demonstrate liberal hypocrisy on this point don't technically prove it on their own.
[2] The quotes are arguably in the same spirit as Carson's statement.
And, more importantly:
[3] When taken together with the statements from the naturalization ceremonies, the other quotes do support the defense / charge of hypocrisy. 
Even if [2] and [3] are/were wrong:
[4] The statements at the naturalization ceremonies alone would provide the grounds Carson's defenders need for the defense, and for evidence of liberal hypocrisy.

I think there was something else, too, but I'm in a hurry and didn't

   My conclusion:
   The righties are right, the lefties are wrong.
Carson's statement is predicated on what seems like an overly-expansive interpretation of the term 'immigrant.' It clangs off the ear, but seems to be consistent with a rather thin definition that he provides later. Besides, there are other cases in which we count people as immigrants even if they didn't come by their own free will--as in the case of small children. It's weird to call slaves immigrants, and it's kinda false, but it's hardly some capital offense. 
   The bigger point, however, is, to my mind:
   This bullshit, mostly semantic nit-picking needs to end, and the left is, by far, the worst of the two offenders with respect to that kind of nonsense. Carson said something odd while kind of stretching to make a point. One might point out that it's odd, or ask him whether he thinks that slaves were, strictly speaking, immigrants, or paradigmatically immigrants, or whatever. But this freakout over what is largely a semantic infelicity that obviously doesn't underlie anything like a substantive misunderstanding is just idiotic. Nobody, anywhere, can seriously believe that Carson is unaware of the difference between slaves and (most other?) immigrants.
   Also, note that no reasonable defense of Carson would have worked here, short of an inconsistency/hypocrisy defense leveraging statements from an unimpeachable lefty--e.g. Obama. And the defense probably would not have worked if it had tried to leverage the words of a white lefty--because you know what the internet left's rebuttal would have been like in that case...
  So, if Obama hadn't happened to have said something identical, there'd be no way to block this dumb, overblown criticism. 
   Ok, this is all extremely stupid, and I can't believe I just wasted that much time on it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Couple That Pointed Gun At Child's Birthday Party, Yelled Death Threats and Racial Slurs, Displayed A Bunch Of Confederate Flags, Sentenced To 15, 20 Years Respectively

  [I have deleted what I first wrote because it was basically just profanity]
   What. The. Hell. is wrong with these people?
   Somebody, please, explain this to me.
   On second thought, don't. I don't care, and I don't want to know. I've got no interest in delving into the so-called minds of such folk.
   I gotta lot I could say about these sonsabitches, but I'm not going to say it on the internet for posterity.
   But these people are, as JQ would put it, on my punch list.

   And I'm not what you'd call happy about defending them in any way, shape, or form...twenty years? Does that seem right? Same as for kidnapping? More than for rape? More than for murder? Am I wrong about this? Somebody give me a reality check here. I mean...they did apparently seek out a black kid's birthday party in order to drive by with about a million Confederate flags on their bullshit, never-been-used-for-actual-work pickup trucks, scream racial insults and death threats, and point a goddamn shotgun at'm not exactly wanting to rule out 20 years... It's not obviously wrong to my mind...but...
   If you'd have asked me, I'd have said to throw the goddamn book at 'em and then throw the bookcase too... But...a combined 35 years? not completely sure that that's proportionate to the crime, d*ckish though that crime undeniably was.

Trump Really Did Win 28% Of The Hispanic Vote

Well that's weird/interesting.

Balkinization: Who Should Decide Whether The President Is Crazy?

Asking for a friend.

Legal Insurrection: Campus Shout-Downs: First They Came For The Jews And Israel

Pretty much right, I'd say.
   A (Jewish) friend of mine was basically driven from his campus two years ago because he'd criticized Hamas on his personal Facebook page--criticized it, let me say, in a fair and defensible way. A student took one post, intentionally misinterpreted it (as being racist, of course), and the lefties as his school came after him. It was so bad--and the school's initial reaction (basically: to back up the students) was so insane--that they granted him a year's leave until things cooled down. Needless to say, he and his family received death threats--I suppose that sort of thing is de rigueur these days.

The Sensitivity Censors

This is just plain creepy as hell.
Henceforth, all work will be submitted to the Ministry of Feels for approval...

Travel Ban Arguments: Most Foreign-Born Terrorists Radicalized Years After Coming To U.S.

   Ok, not to be accused of supporting anything Trump-related, is this an argument against a travel ban?
   I mean, it could be part of an argument, if other premises were itself? Why does it matter if it takes, say, 10 years for some dangerous proclivity to manifest itself? One could still argue that we're doing something like importing raw materials for bombs that will be used against us.
   If, say, rates of terrorism were much, much higher among Muslim immigrants, then, even if terrorist tendencies didn't manifest themselves for ten years...would the time-lag matter for purposes of determining immigration policy? And if our question is, specifically: Do we need more stringent vetting procedures?...does the lag matter?
   If we were considering whether to let in people infected by a virus that commonly caused a virulent, contagious disease ten years after they entered...would the lag matter?
   Again: yes, I do realize that these problems could be fixed with additional premises/evidence...but if we're supposed to accept this argument, then those premises have to be argued for.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Is 1 in 137 Teens Transgendered? they are not.
   If that article doesn't trip your bullshit detector, I'd say you need to go have it recalibrated.
   (Remember how 1 in 10 people were homosexual back in the '80's? Off by a mere order of magnitude...)
   My guess about that article: it's a description of a political project, not a scientific one. And I'd be willing to bet money on it...if I could find anyone foolish enough to bet. ( be fair...this kind of thing usually isn't provably bullshit for guess nobody really wants to bet over that kind of time frame...)

Official National Parks Service Photographs Prove That Trump's Inauguration Crowd Much, Much, Much Smaller Than Obama's

But, hey...this business taught us something important about Trump.
   Because if you'll lie like a goddamn rug when absolutely nothing important is at stake, and when you're sure to be fact when it's already obvious that you're lying...then you'll definitely lie when a lot is at stake and you might actually get away with it.
   Trump is a liar. That's been well-established. He's also a bullshitter in Harry Frankfurt's sense: he doesn't much care about whether or not what he says is true or false. In fact, he seems to sort of slip and slide back and forth between lying and bullshitting.

Larison: Trump And Our State Of Permanent War

This is good.

"It's Impossible To Predict What May Offend The Internet"

Horizon: Zero Dawn looks like it could be cool. But, despite the fact that it works hard not to be "offensive"* in the current hyper-sensitive climate, it's apparently not sufficiently inoffensive for some. Apparently it's been accused of "cultural appropriation" for, e.g., using the word 'tribe':
Vice’s Waypoint asked Horizon’s narrative director John Gonzales what he thought about the criticisms. He responded saying the developers took great care to determine the vocabulary that would be culturally appropriate. He also noted they took bits of culture from tribal cultures around the world, throughout history.
“That said, with the kind of culture of the Internet that we have right now, it’s impossible to predict what it is that may offend,” Gonzales said. “Certainly we were not intentionally being insensitive, or to offend in any manner.”
   What Gonzales says is true in a way, but false in a way. It's false in that it is possible to predict what will offend the PC left: everything offends them. Is x a thing? Then x offends them. Even today's PC orthodoxy will be declared un-PC tomorrow or next week or next month. That's how this game is played. Two relevant things:
[1] PC/SJs are driven by the desire to be PCer-than-thou. It's more-or-less a religious cult, and you gain status by being purer/more virtuous than others, by the lights of the cult. So the quest for purity/status gives ambitious PC cultists a motive to "find" some counter-revolutionary flaw in even in the purest expressions of PC. 
[2] PC/SJ is driven by postpostmodernism on the intellectual side, ergo they employ the method of quasi-literary speculation. There are basically no standards of argumentation other than: say some approved things about gender, race, and similar things, eschew actual reasoning/analysis, and end with a politically-correct pseudo-conclusion. Other than those rules, the method is one of free-association. There is no predicting what the internet left will find offensive in the sense that: they are unconstrained by any actual rules of reasoning. Since they just make things up, for any p, they can claim to find p offensive...and, in fact, can claim to find both p and not-p offensive.
    It really is like dealing with criticism from the craziest religious crazies. You can't take it seriously, because there's virtually no rhyme or reason to it. One important type of social organization--especially in fantasy and sci-fi--is a tribal one. It is absurd to declare all fiction that represents any tribal social order verboten. And it's absurd to declare it verboten to use the word 'tribe' to represent tribes. The PCs/SJs have a crazy theory. There's no more reason, objectively speaking, to take them seriously than there is to take religious crackpots seriously. Though there is, sadly, a prudential reason: religious crackpots have little cultural clout anymore, and what they do have is waning. Nobody who matters to people like game developers expects anyone to take right-wing crackpots seriously. But we're all expected to take left-wing crackpots seriously. Being accused of the non-existent sin of "cultural appropriation" by some idiot is no more significant, morally speaking, than being accused of blasphemy by some idiot. It's like being accused of demonic possession or witchcraft. It's a cracked concept. But can have dire consequences.
   Ok I'm going to stop complaining about this kind of nonsense so much.

* This is sort of a misuse of scare quotes, but 'offensive' was the all-purpose term of disapprobation for the paleo-PCs of the '80s-'90s, and the term has been ruined for me ever since. (It was the rough paleo-PC analog of the neo-PC "problematic.") So I distance myself from it thusly.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Justin Jackson, ACC PoY

I thought Kennard had the edge.
Congratulations to JJ!

The ACC Might Be The Best Basketball League Ever

And Carolina won the regular season outright by two games!

Trump The Unhinged: Obama Something Something Wiretaps Edition

Trumpistas colluded with a hostile foreign power? The real problem is that someone found this out! Investigate Obama!
By this point, the actions and assertions coming out of the White House seem more-or-less randomly-generated. It's past time for Congress to look for legal means to get this lunatic out of office. Two months turned out to be just about two months too long.

Justin Jackson: Home In Carolina

This is a great read...if you're a Tar Heel, anyway...

Grayson Allen Elbows Brandon Robinson...

...and simultaneously flops by doing that fake head-snap-back thing he always does.

   Look, I don't want to hate Duke. I do enjoy the rivalry. But this sort of thing is a fairly significant component of Duke basketball, and I find it irksome that they get away with it unscathed. Dirty play like this is bullshit, it gets old. It's also cost us games. I'm not going to whine about it, but it deserves to be mentioned.
   Ten years to the day from Henderson's intentional foul against Hansbrough:

Carolina 90 - Duke 83

Carolina played very tentatively, and Jackson had a bad night, but but Hicks was great and Berry was a monster.

   Oh yeah, and: ten years to the day after Henderson's intentional foul broke Hansbrough's nose, Grayson Allen intentionally elbowed Brandon Robinson upside the head. Should have been a flagrant and an ejection. Oh, yeah--and Allen was flopping (by throwing his head back, as he does several times every game) even as he committed the foul against Robinson. How Duke gets away with this shit I simply cannot understand. Any other team in the country would have a reputation for thuggery. Somehow it all seems to slide right off of Duke.
   OTOH, Kennard and Jefferson are great, and strangely unhateable. Y'know...for d00kies...

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Trump Campaign And Administration Collude With Hostile Foreign Power?

Go Heels, Beat d00k

Oh, man, senior night...we've got the tournaments left, of course...but I'm really gonna miss these seniors...and Justin.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Ok, Here's An Easier Way: Has Anyone In The Trump Administration

not been meeting with the Russians?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

I Really, Really Miss Dubya

Is this what they call rock bottom?

The Return of "Trans-Black" Person Rachel Dolezal

I, for one, am glad she's back.
   Dolezal hit the news about the same time the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner story really got churning. It was more-or-less simultaneously announced by the internet thought police that (a) we were all obligated to immediately and unequivocally accept that Jenner was literally a woman, and (b) we were all obligated immediately and unequivocally reject the claim that Dolezal was black...and, of course, (c) we were forbidden from discussing, doubting, or thinking in any way about the obvious, overwhelming similarities between the two cases.
   But, of course, it is a rare thing indeed for such a perfect counterexample to a trendy theory to pop up in such a timely manner. It's a testament to the power of PC to control public discussions that it was able to basically prevent public comparison of the two cases.
   Thing is, Dolezal's claim to being black is just about exactly as strong as Jenner's claim to being a woman. (Which is to say: completely weightless...but that's not important right now.) The left has decreed that both gender and race are "socially constructed." ('Socially constructed,' to the extent that it means anything at all, means about ten different things by my count (and I actually have counted); 'gender' used to mean something precise and important and useful--but now it, too means, basically, everything and nothing at all.) The left also declared that Jenner, by thinking of himself as a woman and adopting a more feminine appearance, had literally become a woman. (One branch of the theory declares that Jenner has always been a woman...even while fathering children...) However, though Dolezal thinks of herself as black and adopts a more black appearance, she has not only been declared not black, she has been declared a racist for claiming to be black. And, of course, whereas "outing" Dolezal we declared good and even obligatory, "outing" someone who is "trans" is considered to be a very great transgression indeed.
   There really is just no way to sustain these opposite judgments about cases that are, by the lights of the relevant theory, almost exactly the same.
   In short: either Jenner isn't a woman or Dolezal is black.
   More generally: the left either has to give up its position on transgenderism or it's got to admit that some people are transracial.

Sessions Recuses Himself From Russia Investigations

This does not seem sufficient to me.
If he doesn't resign, he should be investigated.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Are You "Causing Someone Emotional Labor"???

Jebus it's just getting worse and worse.
   And what's with this weird new usage of the term 'emotional labor'? It was bad enough when it was used in the way one would normally use any term of the form x labor. But it seems to be used here--I suppose this is inevitable with the PCs--as if it referred to a type of crime ("victims of emotional labor") or injury ("causing emotional labor") instead of...y'know...labor... I reckon it's not bad enough just to cause somebody extra work...that extra work then has to be reconceived as injury.
   Seriously, how are people getting away with such nonsense?

Sessions Spoke With Russian Ambassador During Trump's Campaign

On a first read, this doesn't actually sound as bad as the headline sounds at first...but I kind of can't tell anymore what's supposed to freak me out and what isn't.
[Update: nope. On a second read, it sounds exactly as bad as the headline.
WTF? Are we fighting an alliance of the Russians and the GOP?]

Obama Returning to Politics To Fight Gerrymandering?

As if he weren't awesome enough already...
This is one of the most important political fights, says me.

.45 vs. 9mm

This is, IMO, worth watching all the way through, though you gotta wait for it.