Friday, June 29, 2018

Sauce For The Goose: Avital Ronell Edition

Female NYU Comp Lit prof Avital Ronell (never heard of her) accused of sexually harassing male student...Judith Butler and Slovoj Zizek (described as "the moral conscience of international human rights and perhaps the world’s most famous living philosopher") listen...but they do not believe!!!! A clear violation of the principle!!!!
   Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to believe a whole of of stupid bullshit about how skepticism, due process, and the presumption of innocence are all something something patriarchy...

If You Question "Trans" Ideology, They Will Slander You

   This is a well-established conclusion by now--there's really no denying it. [That is: the title of this piece.]
I've already posted on Singal's excellent piece on kids who think they're transgendered and then change their minds, and on the hysterical response from the transgender left.
   Look, goddamn it: this debate matters.
   The leftist theory of transgenderism is false.
   And if you don't care about that: it has major policy consequences.
   People representing themselves as the opposite sex is perfectly fine under most conditions; but a man representing himself as a woman is still a man. There's not one single decent reason against that obvious truth. Representing a non-A as an A does not make it an A (except, possibly, in few irrelevant trick cases.)
   The theory simply doesn't work, and doesn't come close to working. But if you say that, a flock of crazy people will descend on you and try to destroy you. (See Alice Dreger's, Galileo's Middle Finger for details about how Michael Bailey was slandered and his reputation destroyed for the sin of actually investigating and hypothesizing about transgenderism.)
   So...are we going to tolerate this? We wouldn't tolerate it from the right. Are we going to tolerate it if, say, the polygamy lobby uses the same tactics? After all, they seem to work like a charm. Why is everyone but the right apparently ok with extremists winning consequential public debates via slander and character assassination? I don't understand this at all. Is it that they're afraid? Or that they don't care? Or that they are fine with the use of psychotic anti-liberal tactics so long as it's by the left?
   Even if you buy every bit of trans ideology, you should oppose how its proponents are conducting themselves in this debate.
   Oh and: if their arguments were good, they wouldn't have to do this. But when you're pushing obviously unsound arguments, ad hominems are probably your best. Rational persuasion is out of the question, but that leaves at least trickery an badgering.
   And don't forget! Part of the dogma is that trans ideologues don't seek to silence their opponents! You see...we're completely making that up!
   Anyway: three cheers for Jesse Singal.

John Paul Wright: "Heterodoxy Is Hard, Even At Heterodox Academy"

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Last Jedi

Finally got around to seeing it.
Like, prequel-level bleh.

Andy Ngo: "Jordan Peterson Rallies Portlandia's Dissidents"

Progressives Contra Civility: "Protest Isn't Civil"

Van R. Newkirk II at The Atlantic.
   I think this is an interesting question.
   A few observations:
   First--needless to say--progressives have a double-standard. (Counterpoint: every view and every movement contains multitudes. Countercounterpoint: shut up.) On the one hand, even disagreeing with them itself literally constitutes an act of violence. On the other hand, them surrounding and shrieking at political opponents and calling for this to happen every time they are sighted in public is perfectly acceptable.
   Second, isn't there a kind of sliding scale here? Yes, the left has flipped its shit. But separating kids from their's a serious matter. Especially if you don't understand the increments by which we got to such a place. Perhaps, uh, energetic protests are defensible in such a case. (Counterpoint: the left initiated mass physical assaults on Trump supporters before he was even elected. Countercounterpoint: how is that relevant? Countercountercounterpoint: is that actually a serious question?)
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Chris Potts: The Masterpiece Cakeshop and Red Hen Cases Aren't Very Similar

This is reasonable.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Lefties Flip Their Shit At Kennedy's Retirement Announcement

I'd have been freaking out a bit myself a year ago. But, hey, Gorsuch seems to have been a pretty good pick. And the unhinging of the left has made me very worried about who the Dems might nominate next time around. So, given a choice between (a) another justice picked by the guy who picked Gorsuch and (b) a justice picked by the x such that x is nominated by the Dems in 2020...well, hell...hard as it is for me to believe, I think I'd choose (a). And Kennedy seems to feel the same way. long as Roe isn't threatened...I guess I'm strangely un-bummed by this.

Beinart: "There Is No Immigration Crisis"

I'm skeptical of much of this...but it's still pretty good, I think. And one of the few things I've read recently that's both encouraging and plausible.

Trump Did Not Mock Disabled Reporter

That's the long and and the short of it.
   Well, it's the short of it, actually. The long of it is: he did mock him...but he did not mock him for his disability. Trump uses that spastic shtick to make fun of people--sometimes himself--who have screwed up. He didn't even know who the reporter was, so didn't know he was disabled.
   I think this is significant. It's a big, easily-debunked lie--fake news, as they say. How am I--devoted as I am to debunking stupid anti-Trump hyperbole--just now finding this out?

Vox: "Maybe Democrats Should Stop Being Afraid Of The Left"

Whelp, here we go.

Van Norden NYT Op-Ed Distorts Jordan Peterson's Position

I noticed this, but didn't mention every problem with that train wreck of an op-ed.

Bad Philosophy: Aaron Jaffee: "Cis Fears And Transphobia: How Not To Debate Gender"

Wow this is just awful. If it even counts as philosophy at all, it's very, very bad philosophy. It's yet another bad response to Kathleen Stock's argument against transgender ideology. If you've got the stomach for it, try to just wade through the first two sections. It's like stepping into the twilight zone. Not, unfortunately, that it's the worst I've ever seen, because it isn't. The pro-"trans" position requires us to basically start off by ignoring the fact that all women are female. Now...the idea that women are female absolutely, positively has to be the starting-point for any such discussion. The pro-"trans" side is free to dispute it...though the arguments never, ever work. But all women are female is so clearly (or, if you like: apparently) true, that if you don't start there, you're never going to be able to provide support for your position by the lights of any sensible person. Jaffee, instead, starts--philosophically speaking--on Mars, by pretending that it's profitable to begin by listing things (like: being able to pay rent) that all "trans" and "cis" "women" have in common. This is the rough equivalent of insisting that any discussion of the existence of God start off by acknowledging the reality of original sin. [Bad analogy: rather, it's just a stupid starting-point. You've got to be deeply confused about the overall logical/dialectical situation to think that's an even vaguely plausible starting-point.]
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Bryan W. Van Norden: "The Ignorant Do Not Have A Right To An Audience"

Wow this is awful.
And whatever you do: don't look at the comments. You will fall into a pit of despair. The almost-uniform enthusiasm for a barely-concealed anti-free-speech argument is depressing as hell.
   Norden is tangentially right about some things--and the title is, in a certain important sense, true: of course some views are more deserving of an audience. After all, some are truer than others. But most of the post is just, as you might expect, a variation on now-familiar PC-left arguments for silencing conservatives...and liberals.
   He specifically chooses terrible righties (e.g. Anne Coulter) and juxtaposes them with lefty heroes (e.g. Ta-Nahisi Coates) to conflate (i) truer views are more worth listening to with (ii) leftier views are more wroth listening to. And, though (again) there's a clear sense in which the title's true, it's also clear that what Van Norden really wants is for institutions to favor the left over the right. All the views allegedly not worth listening to are on the right.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mueller Poised To Zero-In On Collusion Allegations

Conclusions (and indictments) possible by Fall.
I'm trying to ignore / bracket it, but Jesus Christ.
Needless to say, I'm pulling for no collusion...since the alternative is almost too awful to contemplate. But wish in one hand, etc.

Is Philosophy Dead?

David Lynch Declares That Trump May Be One Of The Greatest Presidents

Incidentally, has anyone bothered to find out what Jodorowski thinks about cap-and-trade? I hear the Cronenberg/Hooper analysis of DPRK CVID is Twitterific...

Tracey Ullman: Overly-Woke Support Group

Pretty funny (via Leiter)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Jesse Singal Dares To Write A Reasonable Story About Kids Who Change Their MInds About Being "Trans"; Causes The Internet To Lose Its Mind

When anyone does dare to write anything that questions "trans" ideology, the rest of the internet loses. its. shit.
   The Atlantic is, it says, running a whole series of responses to Singal's piece, of which two have apparently been published. I've only read the first response, by Thomas Page McBee, but it fits the pattern: it clearly expresses anger about Singal's heterodoxy...but in terms of actual content, it's extremely thin gruel compared to Singal's excellent story.
   Jezebel, always good for a laugh, responded with this ridiculous piece of crap, which is such shit that I couldn't even make it through it. I had to quit at the now-standard how dare this non-"trans" person write on this topic?!?!?!?! objection. Just one of the many defense mechanisms deployed by the PC left to make sure their favorite pseudoscience goes unquestioned. 10,000 stories uncritically accepting "trans" ideology...a shit-ton of others explicitly arguing for it and dismissing its obvious incoherence with rhetorical waves of the hand...including the main defense: question one iota of this theory, shitlord, and you're a BIGOT! But a few piece that dare to question "trans" freakout!
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Rich Lowry: "The Truth About Separating Kids"

This is basically what I said.
It still seems plausible to me.

"Days Of Rage," or: No Rest For The Wingnut

This is some bullshit.
   How much of this is just contemporary PC progressivism, and how much is specific to La resistance to Trump? I mean, the progressive full-court press to make non-progressive thoughts, policies and actions subject to crazy, shrill social punishment is nuts. But will it mostly go away with Trump? Or is this the left we're stuck with for awhile?

Drum On Illegal Immigration: Declare Victory And Go Home

It's a cogent point...but: counterpoint: isn't 400,000 per year is a lot, pretty much no matter how you slice it? Counter-counter-point: how the hell would we answer that question objectively? Counter-counter-counter-point: you libtards are always something something! Counter-counter-counter-counter-point: aren't you late for your Klan meeting or something?

Free Speech: The U.S., Poland and Spain Are Kinda The Last Bastions


Crazy Bear Encounter

Man, had the craziest encounter with a bear I've ever had last weekend. (There are only black bears around here...else I'd probably be toast.)
   I was trail running, thinking, believe it or not, about a philosophical example featuring bears--crazy, right? When there's like an EXPLOSION just off the trail. It was so sudden and violent that I only caught weird glimpse of a blur...but I think the bear(s) were sleeping (or maybe foraging) right off the trail. If it'd been a grizzly, and a charge, lemme tell ya, I'd have had NO time to react. Anyway, it was, like, maybe 10' away. Which is a little unusual, because it was mid-afternoon and it's a somewhat (though not extremely) popular trail. Anyway, it was so crazy that it took me what seemed like seconds to figure out what was going on. I saw a cub go up a tree, and mom ran about 20 yards...and then stopped.
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Sunday, June 24, 2018

RIP Charles Krauthammer

I disagreed with the dude about virtually everything, but I was sorry to hear of his passing.

The Top 15 Democratic Candidates for 2020 Ranked

Read 'em and weep.

Deborah Lipstat: "It's Not The Holocaust": Separating Children From Parents At The Border

It's not the Holocaust.
It's definitely not the Holocaust.
It bears no significant resemblance to the Holocaust.
If you don't see that, you've likely lost perspective.

Lipstat's right that it's not the Holocaust.
But I'm not wild about half her reasons.
She writes:
I understand [the] outrage. I share it. But something can be horrific without being a genocide or a Holocaust. Defenders of the Trump policy self-righteously pounced on the comparison, denouncing it as hyperbolic. Although there is nothing good that can be said about Trump’s family-separation policy, it is not a genocide. Equating the two is not only historically wrong, it is also strategically wrong. Glib comparisons to the Nazis provide the administration and its supporters with a chance to defend their position, something they do not deserve.
She's right that the comparison isn't true/accurate/apt.

That should be the end of it. 

She may also be right that the comparison is tactically bad--though I'm not so sure. People are suckers for argumentum at Hitlerumargumentum ad Holocaustium... (In the paleo-PC era, I used to joke that there were only two crimes: rape and genocide. Anything the paleo-PCs didn't like was either a kind of rape or tantamount to genocide. The neo-PCs seem to have deviated from that blueprint, but not by much.) Anyway, maybe the tactic is, overall, rhetorically effective, or maybe it isn't. It shouldn't matter. It's bullshit. Period. That ought to be an end on it.
   I hate counterproductivity arguments. And I especially hate them right now, because they tacitly accept the crazy views of the PC left. Why isn't "That's bullshit" taken to be a good enough reason against something? Because it is a good enough reason. I worry that we are tacitly admitting that we have to signal our anti-Trumpitude with every argument. The Trump administration absolutely does deserve to defend itself...against the comparison to freaking Hitler... Though, for that matter, it deserves the right to defend itself against the other stuff, too: there are decent reasons for the policy in question, though I, myself, don't think it can possibly be the best available alternative. [I wrote this and didn't get around to publishing it; the policy's on the way out the door already.]

NAS To Re-Publish "The Case For Colonialism"

And: if you're an academician and already not a member, you should join.
Screw the AAUP; they've gone over to the Dark Side.

Brian Cran: "A Literary Inquisition: How Novelist Stephen Galloway Was Smeared As A Rapist, Even As The Case Against Him Collapsed"

The PC left is an insane cult that is a powerful force for evil in the English-speaking world, and an almost irresistible force for evil in the academic world.
   One of the really crazy things about these cases is how obviously false the accusations are. In the Galloway case, you'd have to be crack-brained to think it had any chance of being true. It's not a close call...the accusations have been proven false. Imagine being targeted by an even moderately intelligent and cunning false accuser... You wouldn't stand a chance.

PC ACLU: The ACLU Weakens Its Commitment To Free Speech

The general point isn't news: we've seen evidence of this for close to a year now. But Kaminer's report on the internal memo is clear confirmation.

The #WalkAway Campaign!!!!!

Welcome to the #WalkAway Campaign!! This is a grassroots movement of patriots of all walks of life who have come together to reclaim unity, civility, and understanding in spite of our differences through the collective agreement that the divisive and dishonest rhetoric of the left has gone too far, and we want a kind, tolerant, inclusive, and honest America back again. Please see the "About" section for more information.
I'm as good as gone already.
   It's too much to hope...way, way, way too much to hope...that the George-F.-Will-ian never-Trump-ers and these WalkAway folks would...nah...why even think about such a thing......right?
   Probably just turn out to be the next 4chan trollery, anyway...right?
   But if not...

Transgender Pseudoscience Marches On: Brainwashing Kids In Fairfax

Look, this is just madness.
   In the space of less than a decade, we've gone from here's a weird theory you've never heard of to if you even question it you are a bigot to governmental institutions will now indoctrinate your children, and if you object you are a bigot
   It's pseudoscience. I don't object to discussing it, obviously. But it's a tissue of fallacies that wouldn't survive for a second if it were coming from the right rather than the left. It's the intellectual equivalent of public schools teaching the doctrine of original sin as if it were scientific consensus.
   I don't give a damn what the specific content of the view is. I can't believe that we're reached a point at which patent falsehoods have become doxastically mandatory. Transgender pseudoscience isn't even a complicated piece of pseudoscience. Even a tiny bit of honest thinking reveals insurmountable errors.
   I'm not kidding when I say: if this theory can take over society, any theory can. This stuff makes Creationism look like heliocentrism.

Lexington Restaurant Kicks Out Sarah Huckabee Sanders On Political Grounds

O, brave new world, that has such restaurants in it!
   You suck, Red Hen. I've never heard of you, but next time I'm in Lexington, I'll make it a point not to go there. Welcome to progressive America, in which the personal is political...and so is the vocational, the educational, and the sexual. Somewhere someone is probably working on a "social media" app that will let progressives share information so that they can more effectively harass the politically incorrect, refuse them service, fire them, and so on.
   OTOH...which is really the same hand...: how far is this, really, from refusing to bake someone a cake? There's not all the difference in the world, obviously. the one case, we're talking about a deeply-held religious belief, and a demand to get over it on the basis of an extremely recent social trend and court decision... On the other hand, we're talking about a more-or-less routine political disagreement. So that matters. Religion is normally considered a rather special case.
   And Trump's kind of a special case of shittiness. But I suspect that doesn't much matter. He makes things worse...but I suspect that this is just progressivism, and we should get used to it. It leans totalitarian; this is just one case in a very big pattern of punishing the politically incorrect. Fire them, refuse them service, kick them out of class, harass them, physically attack them, target their homes...raise the cost of heterodoxy until wrongthink is stamped out... Perhaps the average progressive in the street wouldn't participate in those things...but the average progressive in the street tolerates those things from other progressives.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The One Time The Air Force Defended The A-10...

...was against...the P-51...
Actually an updated version of the P-51, the PA-48 Enforcer.
Crazy, man.

Michael Anton: "Why Do We Need More People In This Country, Anyway?"

We don't.
Anton's absolutely right. In fact, in my opinion, we kind of need fewer. We ought to be thinking in terms of incentives to help us work toward a somewhat smaller population. (And it's easier and better to control immigration than to try to influence domestic birth rates.)
   But: that's just one kind of consideration. I'm not in favor of micromanaging such things. And there are important considerations other than practical/consequentialist ones. In general, and within reason, more free movement is better than less free movement; it matters that some people just want to come here. In the absence of good reasons to say no, we should generally say yes. Furthermore, we have an obligation to help those genuinely fleeing violence and oppression--again, within reason. But things have gotten bad enough that we now have to start seriously considering the adverse environmental and social effects of a rapidly-increasing population and masses of unassimilated, often illegal, immigrants. (Incidentally, I also tend to be in favor of more foreign aid to countries south of our border; they need it, and it would help solve our illegal immigration problem.)
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George F. Will Leaves GOP, Urges Republicans To Vote Against Trump

God bless George Will
Leavin' the GOP
Urgin' Republicans to vote against Trump.
Maybe the last principled man in the commentariat. 
He sometimes goes a little nutty when Dems control the presidency...but I can forgive him for that.
Only 941 days (and counting)!

Oh and I'd add: refusing to vote for the GOP for a couple of cycles might help purge the House of the fruits of Gingrichism, which, IMO, has done more to wreck the republic than just about anything else in my lifetime. I'd take ten Trumps for the chance to go back in time and stop Gingrich. Well...five Trumps, anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2018

An Actually Serious Post About Finding A Non-Terrible Idea Buried In The Idea of "Safe Spaces"

I guess I've made it clear that I think that PC/SJ ideas are, in the main, not only extremely wrong, but often (a) downright stupid and (b) destructively stupid, at that.
   But, I do think that there are a few of those ideas that have tiny fragments of something non-terrible in them. It takes some excavation...but almost nobody is wrong about everything. (Sorry...this is about as charitable as I'm currently able to be to The Great Satan...)
   Take the idea of "safe spaces."
   First, clear away the terminological chicanery. PC/SJ terminology is typically loaded with PC-friendly presuppositions, and is engineered to covertly and rhetorically win substantive victories. The term contains a presupposition--or something like a presuppositions--that such "spaces" represent refuge from danger. This is almost never the case. "Safe spaces" are set up in order to (i) protect their denizens from encountering views with which they disagree, and/or (ii) provide them with areas in which to "recover" from possible exposure to such views. The idea is, quite clearly, to help isolate delicate leftist snowflakes from views they might find upsetting--or to help them "recover" from such exposure. Actual danger and actual safety are actually never at actual issue. "Safe space" is a misnomer, and not an innocent one. The term is a part of one of neo-PC's big ideas: that disagreement with their orthodoxy not only causes violence, but actually constitutes (!!!!) violence against left-preferred groups (non-white, LGB, etc.) (And that idea is undeniably insane.) If we take a room and designated it an area that's free from any disagreement with the left, and call it a safe space, we in some sense agree with and bolster the view that disagreeing with the left is tantamount to doing violence to them.
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David French: "In The Transgender Debate, Conservatives Can't Compromise The Truth"

This is completely right.
It's hardly even worth talking about anymore.
   So here's a meta-issue, also worth harping on: only the right seems to be concerned with the truth in this disagreement. The PC left uses a cloud of overlapping sophistries to try to cobble together a case for their pre-determined conclusion that men can be women (and vice-versa). That should concern absolutely everyone left, right and center. To abandon our commitment to truth and reason is the end of everything. For most of my life--IMO--it's the right that's tried to force its metaphysical fantasies onto the rest of us in the form of religion. Currently the progressive left is doing the same, but without the religious component. One could say: without the supernatural component...but I think that's inaccurate. The progressive left is committed (sometimes explicit, sometimes not) to various versions of cultural relativism and social constructionism, which views are, basically, magical / superstitious. They're just less honest about it. But both views survive by throwing up smokescreens of ambiguity and carefully swerving back and forth among (a) claims about things, (b) claims about beliefs, and (c) claims about words.
   Anyway. That's a different rant, and I've got work to do.

Student Barred From Class For Claiming That There Are Two Genders

Note that this is a religious studies class... There's no even vaguely plausible reason for such a course to be discussing transgenderism and the (mythical) wage gap.
   Of course it's possible that the kid was being a jackass...but there's no real evidence of that, and the prof seems to admit that he's being kicked out for expressing doubleplus unPC beliefs. So no need to make up alternate explanations, I'd say.
   This stuff is completely out of control.

Shakira "Most Likely" Not A Nazi

Here's a snapshot of our time.
   The best bit is about how this is "most likely" an accident and "likely" an oversight. Because, hey, she might actually be a double-secret Nazi and just using this whole "I'm from South America and this is a pre-Columbian symbol" thing as a cover for her until-now-completely-unrevealed Nazism. Of course we can never, ever be completely sure, and should henceforth treat her as a person who is maybe a Nazi...just, y'know, to be safe. Better that a million innocent people be accused of prejudice than that one fleeting unPC thought go unharassed.
   tl;dr: she's a witch.

Wikipedia's Leftist Bias: There's No Reverse Racism

   How much racism against whites is there actually in the U.S.? I don't know...but I know enough to know that this is loathsomely shitty and dishonest:
There is little to no empirical evidence to support the idea of reverse racism.
First, note the sneaky wording: not: there's little to no empirical evidence to support the existence of reverse racism...but, rather: "there's little to no empirical evidence to support the idea of reverse racism" (my emphasis). As if the very concept needed the nod of "scholars" or "experts."
   But the idea doesn't need the nod of scholars. (I mean, there's a merely technical objection to the idea that goes like this: reverse racism is just one might argue that there's no "reverse" of it. But that's a quibble among sane people on the non-left. It needn't bother us.) So it's a fine concept. But is it non-empty? That is: is there any reverse racism? Of course--there's no even vaguely serious doubt of that. I've experienced some myself--though damn little of it to the best of my knowledge. But there are probably thousands of incidents of anti-white racism in the U.S. every day--and God knows how many in the world. In the States it undoubtedly pales in comparison to anti-black racism--but that's not important for our purposes here.
   [Note also that the above conclusion more-or-less follows from the leftish idea that "everyone's a little bit racist." I'm not sure that idea is true...but they accept it. And if it's true, then the conclusion that there's anti-white / "reverse" racism is unavoidable, barring some kind of miracle.]
   Note how the entry simply assumes the bullshit leftist re-definition of the term in the first section: racism isn't racism if the racist doesn't have more "power and authority" than the object of his racism. Utter nonsense, of course: racism is, roughly, disliking someone or thinking less of them illegitimately on the basis of their race. It has nothing to do with "power and authority." A racist with "power and authority" over the object of his racism is a more effective and harmful racist--but without the "power and authority," he's still a racist. Which is, of course, exactly why the left is trying to redefine the term--they want it to be impossible for non-whites to be racist, and impossible for whites to be victims of racism.
   Two more quick points:
   First, note that the entry focuses almost exclusively on the U.S...probably because, were it to look elsewhere, even the bullshit "power and authority" re-definition could not stave off the irrefutable evidence for anti-white racism.
   Second, note how the left operates: it takes over academic disciplines, installs its theories and jargon, then appeals to itself to referee disputes. Here, on the talk page, someone points out that there's bullshit editor just says that the opinion of "scholars" is what matters. The left controls Wikipedia and academia...and that's convenient when someone questions its propaganda on Wikipedia. 
   Oh and, of course, as if it needed to be said: where Wikipedia speaks on any topic of interest to the left, it simply cannot be trusted.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hammer Time: Absolutely, Positively, Do NOT Fuck With the SAS

The two most surprising things about this story:
(1) You can kill somebody with a 9mm.
(2)  A Glock jammed.

But seriously: don't fuck with the SAS.




If we get an actually actual feckin' space force out of this, I'm going to declare this whole Trump thing WORTH IT! Set phasers on FUN Mr. Sulu and/or Chekov or whichever one of you guys used to set the phasers on stuff!

But this isn't big enough! What about a TIME FORCE! We have to close the time force gap with the Rooskies!
I'll bet Trump's on it...just give him time!

Lindsay Shepherd and Jordan Peterson Bring (Independent) Lawsuits Against Wildfrid Laurier University

Been meaning to mention this that DA was whining about--thanks, DA! I hope Shepherd takes 'em to the cleaners. As for Peterson...well...I mean...Shepherd's profs are ignorant morons who can't tell the difference between their own loony, quasi-religious political commitments and it slander? I mean, I'm all for bringing some kind of hammer down on the neo-Lysenkoists who have taken over the humanities etc....but...I'm not so sure this is the right hammer to bring down. I expect that they really are stupid enough and dogmatic enough to more-or-less think that Peterson is like Hitler. IANAL...and IANA I especially ANACL...but...isn't sincere ignorance a defense?
   But, as for Shepherd...get 'em, girl!

Ilya Somin: "'Enforcing The Law' Doesn't Justify Separating Migrant Children From Their Parents"

This is worth a read.
   I wondered why The Daily Nous would link to Reason, even given its congenial conclusion on this topic...until I got to the thinly-concealed open borders stuff in the Somin piece. Progressives, PCs, libertarians and neo-liberals are all on the same page about that stuff...I wonder whether that coalition is resistible?
   A younger, more lefty, cosmopolitan me was occasionally starry-eyed about open borders, a world state and world-government. I still think the arguments for those things are attractive in certain ways, and ought to be taken seriously. Philosophically, that is. But I'd never consider them as live options for real change. For one thing, we'd lose crucial rights immediately (e.g. First- and Second-Amendment rights). In actual fact, I think such ideas are blueprints for tyranny and disaster. They're exactly the kinds of ideas that I think make the left dangerous. We managed to eke out a pretty just and reasonable political order...stop fucking with it. Stop acting like massive changes are without risk. I'm not against experimentation and fine-tuning. What I'm against is a headlong rush into every crackpot idea the left dreams up. I do agree that open borders (and world government) are ideas that shouldn't be rejected out of hand. But I also think they're very likely to be disastrous, and shouldn't be on the table for serious consideration any time in the foreseeable future.
   If your views about immigration force you to adopt a de facto open borders position, or something like it, then it's time to revise your views about immigration. And that's merely a specific application of a general principle: if your ideas about some specific point (of policy or whatever) require a massive overhaul of the entire system (whatever system it might be), then you're probably wrong, and you probably need to rethink the specific point. Sometimes a specific anomaly or puzzle or problem reveals the need for a revolutionary change. But usually not.
   What Burkean conservatives get right is: massive overhauls are not to be trifled with. We should be doing something to help people in central America. We shouldn't risk catastrophe here to do so. You can only do what you can do. If we'd have taken illegal immigration seriously previously, we'd be in a better position to take in asylum-seekers now. But we didn't, and we aren't. And, don't forget, many of the "asylum-seekers" are lying; they're being coached to say the things that will get their feet in the door...whereupon they can disappear and, likely, stay forever.

[Which, to be clear, doesn't mean I think Somin is wrong about the other stuff. I just can't believe there's not a better way to do it. I didn't even really pay very close attention to his arguments. There's just got to be a better way.]

Lucy Simms, Real American Hero


*Yeah, yeah...I deplore the overly-liberal use of the word 'hero'...but that's the way I honestly feel about it, and it's my blog, so there.

Mark Bauerline: "Faculty In Denial About Own Role In Decline Of Humanities"

So, I've known that the humanities were largely full of shit basically since late in my undergrad career. Not inherently nor entirely full of shit...but currently and largely so. And basically all the "defenses" of the humanities that have been appearing over the last 10-or-whatever years have seemed to me to be decidedly lame. But somehow--and I still can't freaking believe this--I never realized that the two were linked: defenses of the humanities suck largely because the humanities suck. The defenses suck largely because they're indefensible. In their current form(s), anyway.
   This is in that vein.
   The humanities have always been a kind of dicey game--that's the nature of the beast. But on top of that, they've been intellectually/methodologically corrupted by the postpostmodern mishmash and its flip side the politicization of scholarship. In their current debased form, they may very well do more harm than good--much of the time, anyway.
   Standard disclaimer: all sorts of ideas--including crackpot ones--should be represented in the academy. And race and sex (and even "gender") are somewhat interesting topics. But they're not the most important things in the wide universe, nor even in human life. Until so many in the humanities (and qualitative social sciences) stop using the academy as a catspaw to achieve their political ends...and stop confusing politics with scholarship...and stop with the race-and-gender obsession, they're going to suck. 
   So: to defend the humanities: first, make them defensible again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Freeman Dyson: "I Kept Quiet For 30 Years; Maybe It's Time To Speak"

Just to clarify here for our readers, obviously, you’re poking holes in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution but you’re saying it only tells the story up to a certain point. What do you mean by that?
   Well that he believed that evolution was driven by selection. That’s essentially Darwin’s contribution. And it’s true for big populations, but it has limits.
   The limits are you need big populations in order for selection to be dominant. If you have small populations, then random drift is actually more important than selection. That’s the Kimura theory. Kimura called it the neutral theory of evolution and he wrote a book about it which was widely ignored by all the orthodox biologists.
   But I think he was right. And in fact, it happens that small populations are very important in evolution. In fact, you have to have a small population to start a new species, almost by definition. So small populations have a controlling effect on starting new species and also in the extension of old species.
   So this neutral regime where the selection is not important may, in fact, be the real driving force of evolution when you come to a new species. And of course, if that’s true, it changes the picture in many ways.
Let’s move to another area, you’ve become known for questioning climate change. The idea that there has been a 40% rise in CO2 over 130 years, that’s not something you disagree with.But you do disagree with this idea that the climate is predictable or we know why it is happening. Is that correct?
   Yes. I mean we don’t understand climate. The most extreme examples of climate change were the ice ages and they were really a catastrophe for life in many parts of the world. And we don’t understand them.
   We just don’t know why they started or why they come and go in a more or less periodic fashion. It’s all a big mystery. And if we don’t understand ice ages we don’t understand climate.
So to counteract the rise in CO2 what has been your suggestions to the scientific community?
   Well, the only paper I’ve written on the subject, sort of in the official literature, was recommending growing trees. In fact, we could grow enough trees to take care of the carbon in the atmosphere. And that’s still true. If you planted all the wasteland over the globe with trees, it would be just about enough to absorb the carbon from the atmosphere.
   The carbon in trees is about equal to the carbon in the atmosphere. So the trees could be a way of managing the climate up to a point.
Do you believe that we face an imminent crisis on earth and that the pandemonium that seems to be sweeping the public, the media and the scientific community is appropriate?
   No, I don’t. It is starting to subside I would say. I don’t read much of what’s published but I have the feeling that the point of view of the sceptics is being listened to a bit more now than it was.

The Latest Episode of "Trump's America = The Handmaid's Tale"

yeah, no.

Variations On Conquest's Three Laws Of Politics

Binkov: M1A2 Abrams SEP v3 vs T-90MS

Mizzou Is In A Tailspin; Is It Because Of The PC/Click Dust-Up?

Mizzou's in trouble. The first hypothesis that comes to mind is that it's paying a price for the PC protests featuring Melissa "I Need Some Muscle Over Here" Click. But I'm not sure how to test that. Mizzou (see link) claims it's at least partially a result of more aggressive recruiting by schools in neighboring states (I'm lookin' at you, KU; way to kick 'em while they're down). Mizzou, to it's credit, has adopted the Chicago Statement, but still has only a yellow light rating from FIRE.
   I'm someone who semi-expects the "education bubble" to burst. Perhaps this will become a familiar pattern: instead of lots of schools slipping, we might see a few schools that go into death spirals, perhaps set off by one high-profile event. Just thinking out loud, of course.

[Incidentally: Click got another job, at Gonzaga. Imagine she'd done what she did on campus at a right-wing protest--called for "muscle" to attack a student journalist to prevent him from exercising his First-Amendment rights. Now try to imagine her ever getting another job anywhere in academia...]

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Is Harvard's Admissions Policy Racist?

Consider hypothetical university U, and hypothetical races, R1 and R2.
   Suppose U adopts rigorous, state-of-the-art methods of evaluating applicants, and, on the basis of them, concludes that applicants who are members of R1 tend to be, on average, more intelligent than members of R2. Suppose, however, that the evaluation procedure also concludes that members of R2 tend to be more intellectually virtuous (e.g. more intellectually honest, inquisitive, willing to consider views with which they disagree without falling into relativism or skepticism, etc.).
   Are U's evaluation procedures racist?

Should Philosophy Change In Order to Attract More Women And Non-Whites?

I'm only going to comment on one thing in this. Incidentally, these aren't the kinds of issues that can be freely and openly discussed in philosophy anymore. If you don't toe the party line pretty damn closely, you'd better just keep your mouth shut.
(For the record, I don't keep my mouth shut at all in person. I don't usually engage at the Daily Nous because it's not a venue for serious and open discussion (as you can see). It's largely an organ of the philosophical left. At best you can fruitlessly stir up a hornets nest there. (Well...that's not right. Actually, the majority of the comments always seem to dissent from the DN's PC lean...) I sometimes comment anonymously if I can't resist the urge...but the real problem with the DN is that people read it at all. Or, rather: that, after the anti-Leiter coup, it now functions as the most visible philosophy blog. It would better to just ignore it--or for someone to produce a non-left-leaning venue for such discussions. Participating when the discussions are (like this one) skewed so far left just plays into the hands of the PC politicization of philosophy. Furthermore, the internet philosophical left is so rabid that you always have to ask yourself whether making your point is worth the lunatic dog-piling you're likely to get...)
   But anyway, here's a question that seems to arise a fair bit anymore, in one form or another: should philosophy change (e.g. focus on different topics) in order to alter its demographics in a more "progressive" direction?
   I think we can answer this by asking an analogous question: should physics change (e.g. focus on different topics) in order to alter its demographics in a more "progressive"-friendly direction?

Not Making This Up: Death Of Academia: "Critical Hospitality Studies" [update]

Three signs of the death of academia:
1. Critical x studies for virtually every value of 'x'.
2. Left-wing capture
3. The very existence of disciplines like this.
I mean...can this possibly be for real? Critical hospitality studies????
   These lame-ass pseudo-disciplines always come up with such blurbs:
Critical Hospitality Studies continues to gain momentum both in academia and aligned to current world affairs and events.
The cringe-inducing grammatical error used to fudge things is perfect, actually. Does anybody really believe, first of all, that this bullshit is not only "gaining momentum" but continuing to gain momentum? And what the hell can it possibly mean to say that it continues to gain momentum both in academia "and aligned to current world affairs and events"? The intention is clearly to give the impression that "critical hospitality studies" is, like, super duper important... But...why? Because it's "aligned" with "current world affairs and events"? What the hell does that mean? That they're talking about them, I guess? Who the hell knows?
   Listen: if you can't even produce a grammatical first sentence for your conference suck.
   Also embarrassing: the conference program (Conference title: "Hospitality IS Society").
   We have this embarrassing major called "Hotel and restaurant management." I imagine this "critical hospitality studies" cringe comes from merging this sort of bone-headed, academia-destroying vocational training bullshit with critical theory--which is bone-headed, academia-destroying pseudo-philosophical bullshit on the more theoretical end of things. Frankly, I expected a lot more stuff about welcoming "migrants."
   This is a reductio of contemporary academia.

Don't miss the second sentence!:
Critical hospitality scholars have and can add much to the debates around what constitutes hospitality and how this could function within societies, communities, workplaces and among individuals.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jesse Singal: "When A Child Says She's Trans"

This is really, really good, IMO. And watch the video! The whole thing really is extremely interesting.
   The piece does, in effect, argue that there are a small number of actual cases of actual "gender dysphoria." I think that, in a world of 7 1/2 billion people, we should expect to find some of almost any malady we can imagine...but I remain a bit more skeptical about the phenomenon than Singal. I think it's fairly obviously something like mass psychogenic illness--in very large part, anyway. But I won't find it terribly surprising if we eventually confirm the reality of something like sex dysphoria. (Gender dysphoria would be a different thing...not really treatable medically. But since everybody seems determined to botch the sex/gender distinction...well...I've just about given up on minding it.)
   Of course my only real concern is roughly conceptual: no woman (nor girl) is male and no man (nor boy) is female. If the PC left could stop trying to deny that very simple, largely semantic point, the whole public discussion would become much, much clearer. So the medical point about whether or not any males feel like women (or girls), or any females feel like men (or boys) is really tangential to my concerns. For, say, John to have "gender" (actually: sex) dysphoria would be for him to feel like a woman (or a girl). Whether that ever happens to anyone is a purely empirical, medical, psychological question. But whether it's enough to make him a woman (or girl) is largely a philosophical one. (Whatever that means. No one's really sure what makes something a philosophical question...) And the answer's no. (Unless I'm really, really missing something.) That answer alone doesn't tell us whether we're obligated to pretend John's a woman, and treat him accordingly. But it goes a fair way toward a negative answer. It might be nice--but that means: supererogatory. It also must be balanced against the value of truth and honesty, and against the massive social changes that would be consequent on an affirmative answer. For example: goodbye, women's sports, goodbye single-sex restrooms and locker-rooms.
   Anyway, I say the piece is way worth a read.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Giuliani: IG Report Does Not Exonerate Trump

Heather MacDonald: If America's So Evil, Why Does The Left Think Immigrants Keep Coming?

MacDonald's good, and there's good stuff in here, but there's also an easy answer to the title question: because they think that they think that America is better than where they're coming from. I mean...a fair number of progressives seem to at least semi-think that the U.S. is hell on Earth...but I don't think that most do. And, besides, they don't have to think it's better--only the immigrants do. And as long as they (the left) thinks that they (immigrants) think that we ('Merika) are better than there (wherever they're coming from)...well, no puzzle, really. Right? Even though we're a horrific patriarchal hellscape composed of an infinite matrix of privileges with an overlay of rape culture and a soupcon of phallogocentrism* , it's still possible for us to be better than other places.
   Anyway, MacDonald:
Read more »

Separating Children From Parents At The Border

I've read very little about the crisis du jour at the border, but sometimes it helps to jot down some thoughts before getting the details.
   It seems to me that both of the following are reasonable:
[1] Children should not be incarcerated with their parents
[2] At least some people who illegally cross the border (intentionally) should be incarcerated.
It certainly sounds awful to separate kids from their parents...but...isn't that already something we do when parents are incarcerated? I mean, every parent in prison (and jail) has been separated from their children. I don't remember many people complaining about this in the past.
   But I doubt that it's such separation that's really the problem--it's more like: separating children from all their available parents. If we were throwing the fathers in jail but letting the mothers go free, with custody of the kids, that would be less bad, and there'd likely (though...who knows?) be less of an uproar.
   But...if a single mother goes to prison for, say, larceny or murder, her children don't go with her, right? That's a case of separating children from all available parents. But I suppose the children tend to be taken in by other relatives. So maybe the real problem is: separating kids from parents when no other family-members are available to take custody.
Read more »

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Harvard Says Asians Are Less Likable, Brave, Kind and Respected Than Non-Asians

Holy freaking crap.
   Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than others on traits like “positive personality,” likability, courage, kindness and being “widely respected,” according to an analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed Friday by a group representing Asian-American students in a lawsuit against the university.
   Asian-Americans scored higher than applicants of any other racial or ethnic group on admissions measures like test scores, grades and extracurricular activities, according to the analysis commissioned by a group that opposes all race-based admissions criteria. But the students’ personal ratings significantly dragged down their chances of being admitted, the analysis found.
Also, they ranked, like, super low on scrutability...
Read more »

Does The Average Feminist Take It Too Easy On Men?

Despite my estrangement from contemporary feminism, largely on account of its overt anti-male sexism and its embrace of bad philosophy...I do often wonder whether the average feminist in the street takes it too easy on dudes. The whining about "mansplaining" and "manspreading" and whatever the next ten installments in the man-x-ing series's just superficial pop-feminist nonsense. What about the fact that there has been no female Hitler? I mean...granted...there's kinda only been one male Hitler. But...there have kinda been at least a couple if we count Stalin, Mao, Genghis Khan, Pol Pot and maybe a couple others as Hitlers. And that's what's important, right?
   Anyway...I know I was just going on about this. But I'm going on about it again. Who's blog is it, anyway? Dudes have been history's biggest psychos. There's nothing sexist about recognizing that. It's an undeniable fact. Even ignoring the world-historical stuff, dudes commit the vast majority of murders and other horrific bits of mayhem. Men are the biggest danger to both men and women. Men are basically the most dangerous things in the world. Even though guns and other weaponizable technology make strength way less relevant than it used to be. As for Hitlerism, one might, I guess, just argue that women are shut out of those opportunities by the same kind of glass ceiling that they (allegedly) face everywhere else. But for the patriarchy, women would have had the same opportunities for doing some world-historical carnage that guys have had... But I don't buy it.
   Anyway, just a recurring thought I'm thinking out loud.

PC Denialism: No Free Speech Crisis: Jeremy Waldron Edition

I'll just link to this for now. It doesn't seem very good to me, but, then, I'm an evil liberal / civil libertarian / "free speech absolutist" (or "free speech fetishist" as I've also been called). I'd say that this is mostly just another bit of denialism...there's no problem about free expression on campuses! This would be called "gaslighting" by the PCs if the tables were turned... Anyway, I do think that there are a couple of points in there worth discussing. For example, I agree that it isn't clear that academia should be setting out to defend democracy. Since I favor a depoliticized university, it seems that cuts against the idea that universities should be structured in order to promote democratic skills and values, too. (OTOH, I think one might argue: academia should be indifferent to democracy, but democracy shouldn't be indifferent to academia; democracies should value non-political universities and their outputs, even if the university should view democracy in the same abstract way it views monarchy.)
Read more »

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Aaron Mate: "The Mueller Indictments Still Don't Add Up To Collusion"

At The Nation, which has actually been pretty objective about this stuff.
For the record, though my view has oscillated, the mean is still: 
Collusion: no
Obstruction: yes
Though, as I've said before, I'm speaking of obstruction as a layperson...whatever the hell that means and for whatever it's worth. One way to add some meat to those bones: my hunch is consistent with Trump getting off on a technicality. What I mean is: it still seems to me that the fired Comey in order to derail the collusion investigation. And, unless I'm really missing something, that is deserving of impeachment even if it isn't illegal. And conviction. Even if, as I suspect, there was no collusion and Trump was largely motivated by a desire to derail an investigation that he plausibly considered irrational and unfair...intentionally thwarting it in such a way seems rather clearly unacceptable.
But all this is half-assed. I'm just thinking out loud, yet again. Mostly to prompt rational correction.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fewer Blacks Perceive Bias In Jobs, Income, and Housing

Single-study alert
But big if true.
If it's false, give me about a week before crushing my hopes.

I Have No Idea What's Going On: The Trump-Kim Summit

It's become even clearer to me that I'm almost always clueless about foreign policy.
Which doesn't actually distinguish it from domestic policy.
More and more I just sit back and hope for the best.
Everybody on my side of the fence derided the Reykjavik Summit, and look what that achieved.
There's probably some fallacy in play there.

Larison: "Read The Trump-Kim Memorandum--The Devil Is In The Details"

   The Singapore summit between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was quite a spectacle, but the show the two leaders put on produced virtually nothing of substance. If we judge this summit the way we would judge a high-level meeting held by any other president, it’s clear that it failed to deliver what the administration wanted. This wasn’t a great accomplishment for the president, though he has a strong incentive to present it that way and continue on the diplomatic track for now. Despite its disappointment, however, if the summit is followed up by productive negotiations, it could still reduce tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Read more »

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Portland "Portlandia" Feminist Bookstore Closes; Blames "White Cis Feminism," Patriarchy, Capitolism

Bwahahahaha score another win for the patriarchy, fellow patriarchs:
“The current volunteers and board members stepped into and took over a space that was founded on white, cis feminism (read: white supremacy). It’s really difficult, actually, impossible, for us to disentangle from that foundational ideology,” the statement continued. “Patriarchy, White Supremacy, Capitalism cannot be reformed and ever serve the people. Abolition is the goal.”
It's so weird that an anti-capitalist business would fail. Not to mention a feminist bookstore that hates white feminists. Oh well, I'm sure they had a killer business plan...but the patriarchy always wins!

PC Watch: Syracuse Suspends Students For Politically Incorrect Skits Performed In Private

Suspended for 1-2 years, and accused of, inter alia, committing physical violence for politically incorrect skitting.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Twitter CEO Apologizes For Eating Politically Incorrect Chicken

This is obviously liek SUPER problematistic and NOT OKAY because the personal is political and lunch is like the MOST SUPER POLITICAL meal of the day! Eating politically incorrect poultry is hate eating, fascist! I can't believe this, like, super double-Nazi got away with a mere apology! That is so white privilege or white supremacy or whatever. Something white, anyway. If lunch and chicken and eating weren't all total social constructions, that guy'd be in real trouble, you betcha.

(For the record, I eat at Chik-Fil-A about once a week during the semester because it's on-campus, it's fast, and it's pretty damn good. We don't so much agree, me and Chik-Fil-A, about same-sex marriage. But we agree about how to make a good chicken sandwich which, as it turns out, is mostly what I'm looking for in a fast-food establishment.)

The Hot New Conspiracy Theory That's Taking The Intertubes By...Storm!!!!111

Brought to you guessed it...the notorious...the hacker known as 4Chan.

Race, IQ, and Genetics, Yet Again

I got kind of excited about this: "There's Still No Good Reason To Believe That Black-White IQ Differences Are Due To Genes." I know...I know. It's in Vox. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking, basically, that even Vox can't be wrong about everything...right? I mean, they are doctrinaire, anti-scientific lefties on race pretty much down the line, so far as I can tell...but...maybe just this once...just maybe...
   But also: that paper isn't merely an obvious tissue of fallacies like so much of the anti-hereditarian stuff that makes it into the popular press. Not so far as I could tell immediately, anyway. It actually looks like it could be worth taking seriously...but that means: more than the one read I've given it.
   OTOH, this argues that Nisbett et al. are wrong in more-or-less the usual ways--and it links us to this, which looks good...but will have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest.
   And: Harden admits, basically--mirabile dictu!--that races are real! In Vox! Amazing! But then goes on to engage in what seems to be some of the obfuscation common to the anti-hereditarians. Yes, there are populations other than races that would serve as better scientific categories. So what? That does nothing to make questions about race and IQ uninteresting.
   At any rate, my excitement drained away quickly when I read this by Turkheimer: "Origin of Race Differences In Intelligence Is Not A Scientific Question." Well, there's the dog. The rest is--likely--mostly tail. Bottom line according to Turkheimer: it's not possible to settle the question scientifically. And it's the hereditarians' fault, you see. Because there are interpretations and interpretations. He doesn't quite say that they're racists--but he comes about as close to it as is possible without doing it, e.g. calling them "race scientists" and asserting that they're no better than the "race scientists" of the early 20th century. He also gestures at their "potentially destructive conclusions." So his position seems to turn on dropping the skepticism bomb and launching a barrage of ad hominems. Which is what the "anti-hereditarian" case so often comes down to. (Libeling Murray is a cottage industry in academia.)
   I'm not an expert on any of this stuff. I'm not a psychologists, not a statistician, not a geneticist...not an anything that's relevant to doing actual research on these questions. And I'll be dancing in the streets if it turns out that there are no genetic, racial IQ differences. But my informed layperson's current bet is what it's been for about five years now: that Murray and Harris are basically right: racial IQ differences are partly genetic.

Secure, Contain...


Twitter CEO Dogpiled For Eating Chik-Fil-A During Pride...Month????

Wait...there's a Pride month?
LOL no. I mean, I'm way more than cool with fighting back against repressive sex norms and shit...but...a whole month? When did that happen? That's more than a little bit disproportionate, don't you think? I mean...mothers--who are way, way, way more important--only get a day? But the like 4% of the population with non-standard sexual preferences gets a month? Nah. Pick a day or two or whatever...but a month is ridiculous.  A week even would be kinda...flamboyant.
   Anyway, Chik-Fil-A is pretty damn good. When I'm on campus I eat that shit all the time. I don't care about their politics. I get Starbucks, and those people are crazy.
   And to hell with the people who want to politicize everything we do. Screw that shit.

Bruce Bawer: "How Higher Education 'Studies' Men"

Thanks to Anon for this in one of the fifty comments I had neglected to publish.
   It's absolutely right: women's studies is about how awesome women are and how terribly women have been treated by men. Men's studies is about how shitty men are and how terribly men have treated women.

David Von Drehle: There Will Be No Trump Collapse

What looked like a winning message last winter — “not Trump” — appears less potent today. The president has set the bar for himself so low that if November comes and he hasn’t been frog-marched from the Oval Office in handcuffs, and hasn’t rendered the Earth a glowing nuclear ember, a sizable number of Americans will judge him a success.

Brooks: The Problem With Wokeness

The problem with "wokeness" is actually that it's bullshit.
But Brooks also has some stuff to say about it.

Miss America Will No Longer Be About "Outward Physical Appearance"

So...just publication records then?

Ben Domenech: The Enlightenment Is Not Responsible For Racism

That's always been a dumb thesis.
The Englightenment might have tried to put a scientific gloss on it...but the Enlightenment tried to put a scientific gloss on everything.
Jamelle Bouie is wrong about most things, and he's wrong about this. He's right that the Enlightenment has a dark side...but he's wrong about what that is. A cornerstone of his argument is this Kant quote (see final sentence) which is--or so I and others think--intended to be ironic.
   Anyway: did the Enlightenment invent racism? No it did not.

Coleman Hughes: The High Price Of State Grievances

Are The Dems Unraveling?

Train To Busan

Number 1, that's a good daggum zombie movie.
Number 2, the Koreans are going to be the ones most likely to survive the IZA, because they are some smart m*therf*ckin' zombie-fighters, ah tell you hwhut. That newspaper trick alone puts 'em way ahead of me, and I ain't no slouch, lemme tell ya.

Transanity Lessons For Two-Year-Olds: Drag Queens Used To Propagandize In Tax-Funded Preschools In The UK

I say this is no better than religious or political indoctrination. In fact, it's probably worse. And I say this despite the fact that I have no allegiance whatsoever to traditional sex-roles. I mean GOD DAMN people...does sexual liberalization have to lead to this kind of crazy, fucked-up shit? Because I do not even one bit like where this seems to be going. And you know as well as I do that it's not going to stop here...grotesquely repulsive as here is... I see they're going after kids, right? They're going after teens, and pre-teens...and now outright children. I am 100% ok with questioning traditional views of sex and gender...but I'm 100% not ok at all with this sort of thing.

Latest Wingnut Conspiracy (?) Theory: Justin Trudeau's Eyebrows Fall Off

I do not care for Justin Trudeau...but if I've got to choose between him and the grotesquely moronic Gateway Pundit, there's no contest.
I have no freaking idea what's up with Trudeau's eyebrows. But I'll bet anybody $100 right now that it's not fake eyebrows sloughing off. Which is what the rightosphere seems, like, totally convinced is what was going on.'s easy to be hypnotized by the insanity on the left...but the fever swamps remain just as fever-plagued as ever. (Though this, of course, is a frivolous example.)
(It's not really a conspiracy theory, obvs...b/c, like: no conspiracy. But whatevs.)

Conference Alerts / Not Making This Up: "The Fragile Phallus"

I repeat: I am not...that's November Oscar Tango...making this up:
Psychoanalysis has long held that masculinity is not a biological given, nor is it simply the sum total of patriarchal values operating on an individual. Rather, it is characterised by a peculiar, fraught and anxious relation to the psychical emblem of the ‘phallus’.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Great Daryl Davis

A better--and far, far, far more patient, empathetic and understanding--man that I am, and no doubt. I've gone on about him before...dude is a real American hero. A couple more Daryl Davises in the world, and the Klan would be done for. Just happened across this TEDx talk:

"The Dotard" vs. "Little Rocket Man"

hoo boy
On the bright side:
...people who have discussed the issue with him said he views negotiating with Kim as if it were another of his real estate deals in New York.
...which means, I guess: we'll make a deal, wait for NK to live up to its end of the bargain, refuse to hold up our end, and then sue 'em if they have the temerity to complain about it.
I can't believe that the trajectory of world history is being determined by these two clowns.
I shudder to think of the massive rejiggering of my world view that's going to be required if Trump pulls this off.

Oxford Colonialism Colloquium Takes Place In Secret To Avoid Protests And Retaliation

If you want to discuss colonialism in a scholarly, non-political way, you may have to do it in secret.

Should Brazil Prevent Amazon Tribes From Killing Children With Medical Problems?

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Suzanna Danuta Walters: "Why Can't We Hate Men?"

Another voice from the vanguard of contemporary feminism.
Far be it from me to interfere with an enemy who's in the process of destroying herself.
The vanguard of contemporary feminism really does hate men, and it's really, really says they can't isn't other feminists. Well, they hate white men, anyway. Straight white men, anyway. 
   And, admittedly, most of the really spectacularly awful people in the world seem to be's a point in there. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Genghis Khan...all dudes! But dudes are also responsible for the vast majority of our great accomplishments as a species. The extremes just tend to be populated by dudes. There's nothing wrong with feminists or women or anybody noting that most of the ostentatiously, astonishingly shitty people in the world tend to be men. Well, that's the way it seems to me, anyway. But there's a world of difference between saying that and saying "men are evil," or "men shouldn't run for office. And if "we should hate men" isn't "hate speech," one wonders what would be. Walters doesn't actually say "I hate men," or "all men deserve hatred," but she all but does. (Me, I'm ok with her saying it if she believes it...but she's an idiot for believing it.)
   She also writes: "The world has little place for feminist anger." Which is a pretty odd thing to say, given the nature of contemporary feminism... I mean...there's no doubt that the supply exceeds the demand...but that would be true even if the demand were prodigious...
   Will this be a bridge too far for your average progressive in the street? I'd think so...but I'd have thought we'd have reached that point on multiple fronts years ago, but we didn't.
   tl;dr: stupid.


Sorry, everybody.
Tons of comments haven't been getting posted. I got lazy and started relying on Blogger's notification system again. That was dumb.
   I think I've got all the non-spam comments posted...I'm gonna do something different with comments at some point...I just hate damn spam comments so much...
   Thanks especially to Pete Mac for emailing me. Some people were commenting in comments...but, since I wasn't seeing them, etc.

More on Transanity: The Stock Dust-Up Hits IHE

Colleen Flaherty, "By Any Other Name"
   Pro-"trans" philosophy is a train wreck. Feminist / gender philosophy generally isn't very good. You can't really serve two masters, and that stuff is extremely politicized. It typically aims to bolster some flavor of leftist politics, and so, by the standards of real philosophy, it's pretty thin gruel. Starting with immovable political commitments--like starting with immovable religious ones--radically impedes your ability to honestly seek the truth.
   There are a zillion things to say about this crazy dust-up, but I'll just point out a couple. First, the problem at issue is basically (to extend the concept) iatrogenic. It was basically generated out of the academic swamp of women's studies and feminist philosophy. There's never been any good reason to believe that men can become women by acting like them. The weaker regions of academia worked themselves into a tangle of confusions because they're cultishly committed to a tangle of bad politics and bad philosophy (more accurately: literary criticism). The postpostmodern mishmash has wrecked huge swaths of the humanities and social sciences. It never helps, never brings understanding or enlightenment. All it does is sow ignorance and confusion. Nothing about the embarrassing clusterhump at issue here is in any way surprising given the state of the Weaker Regions.
   The only other thing I'll say is: it's telling that the issue is finally being raised publicly by a dissenting feminist. And it's being represented, primarily, as a question of harm to non-"transgendered" women. If an ordinary straight dude had stood up and made the ordinary philosophical objections to the theory, he'd have been fucking crucified. That the objection is coming from a "gender critical" feminist is important. On this issue, the "gender critical" view is--so far as its most important objections go--just the commonsense view: man and woman are biological kinds. But the commonsense view of the matter--the view that every child knows is true--has been completely silenced. The objections can only be raised--years late--because they are represented as feminist criticisms.
   Finally, note how desperate the pro-"trans" side is to deflect attention away from the central question: Are "trans women" women? They know they simply cannot win that debate if it is conducted in even vaguely sane terms. Many of them have even given up trying. Instead, they try to marginalize the question by asserting--absurdly--that it doesn't really matter, that it's peripheral, that only the ignorant would take it to be importance. (Or, alternative, that it's so monumentally difficult that no one but "experts"*--such as themselves--should dare try to understand it.) That's ridiculous--but it is, actually, a view endorsed by the postpostmodern mishmash: political questions are prior to factual / descriptive ones. That shows that their argument is not unprincipled--but at the expense of showing that their central commitments are idiotic.

*As I've said before: it's not even clear that there really are experts in this sort of thing. And even if there are: expertise in the humanities and soft social sciences is very different than expertise in other disciplines. A chemist is likely to have actual knowledge of chemistry; an "expert" on "gender" mostly just knows what other people have said about gender; in fact, a contemporary "expert" on gender is likely to believe fewer truths and more outrageous falsehoods about it than a randomly-selected person off the street.

A Criticism of The First Quillette Wrongspeak Podcast on "James Damore's Inconvenient Brain"

Glad to see this podcast appear...but I wasn't too psyched about one of the main themes in the first installment. To wit: the defense of Damore on the grounds that he's "on the spectrum," and that such people might be more inclined to speak inconvenient truths that offend people.
   Maybe the idea is to run a consistency ad hominem of the form: firing Damore is wrong even according to PC/SJ principles. But it's not represented that way in the podcast--not that I caught, anyway. The strategy, of course, risks defending the lower-order point (Damore shouldn't have been fired) at the cost of (seemingly) supporting the higher-order point to the effect that such decisions should be made (largely? solely?) on the basis of the participants' position in the "progressive stack." Truth-seeking isn't confined to people who are "on the spectrum," and it needn't (shouldn't!) be defended in such terms. What Damore wrote was reasonable, and his alleged "neuroatypicality" is of secondary--if that--importance.
   It's tempting to use their own arguments against them. But it's suboptimal, since it risks endorsing / strengthening those higher-order views / inferences / strategies.

Mueller's 'Witch Hunt' Snags Another Witch

Wrongspeak: Quillette's Podcast

With Jonathan Kay and the great Debra Soh

Ryan: Gowdy's Initial Assessment Is Accurate: FBI Doing It's Job In Campaign-Season Probe

Friday, June 08, 2018

"When You Say 'I Would Never Date A Trans Person' It's Transphobic"

By a (and I quote) "educator, social justice healer, and queer trans woman."
   Here's the deal: if everyone pretends that "trans women are women," then obvious puzzles arise: why object to them using the women's room? Why object if they want to be on the women's track team? Why shouldn't they be eligible for women's scholarships? And why would you rule out having sex with one?
   Of course "trans woman" means man who falsely represents himself as a woman. Which, again: I think is his right. (Within reason. One thing that isn't permissible is: tricking straight dudes into having sex. Personally, I don't see how one could make such a mistake...but perhaps alcohol is involved. Whatever.) I've got no interest in enforcing arbitrary clothing conventions. Dude wants to wear a dress and makeup, he should knock himself out. Fight the power and shit.
   But even if you don't care about the fact that "trans women are women" is false, perhaps you'll care about the fact that the falsehood generates the prima facie puzzles. You might respond to those puzzles by pointing out that we let "trans women are women" slide because they asked us to, because they want us to say it, because it makes them happy, because it's "only words."
   But it's not only words. The "only words" ploy is, well, a ploy. Also: words are words...but they aren't only words.
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Thursday, June 07, 2018

Question: Why Is It Permissible--Perhaps Even Laudable...Or Obligatory--To Have A Black Student Union, But Impermissible To Have A White Student Union?


Is First Thing In The Morning Not The Best Time To Drink Coffee?

George Will: "There Will Be More Wedding Cake Cases"

This is great.
   Spoiler alert: to get the full effect, I kinda think it's best to just read the whole (unusually short) thing. But if it's summarize or nothing, then read the end, below. To cut to this chase, but still avoid quoting the whole column, I skip over a lot of good stuff:
   Because attacks on freedom of speech are today ubiquitous and aggressive, its defenders understandably, but sometimes more reflexively than reflectively, support any claim that this freedom is importantly implicated, however tangentially, in this or that dispute. A danger in the cake case was that victory for the baker would make First Amendment law incoherent, even absurd: Expressive activities merit some constitutional protection, but not everything expressive is as important as speech, which America’s foundational political document protects because speech communicates ideas for public persuasion.
   Friends of the First Amendment should not be impatient for the court to embark on drawing ever-finer distinctions about which commercial transactions, by which kinds of believers, involving which kinds of ceremonies, implicate the Constitution’s free-speech and free-exercise guarantees. Taking religious advice, the court on Monday acted on the principle that “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” which means: Cope with today’s ample troubles and cope with tomorrow’s when they arrive, as surely they will.
   I'm not sure to what degree I agree. But I think it's a sketch of an important point.

Andy Ngo: "At This Portland Bakery, White Guilt Poisons The Batter"

This is such an embarrassing load of shit that you'd think even the delusional PC crowd would have the cognitive and moral resources to be embarrassed and outraged by it...but you'd think wrong if you did.
   To my mind, one of the most amazing things about the social "justice" charlatans is how often they're out to make a buck--because they deserve money for their "emotional labor." Of all the laughably, nauseatingly, embarrassingly outrageous bullshit in this story, here's some of it:
Cameron Whitten’s apparent grifting actually dates back months, to when he first realized he could monetize progressive Portland’s generous surfeit of white liberal guilt. Last October, he appeared at a panel event on race and social justice with former Portland State sociology professor and hate crime researcher Randall Blazack. The blog post Blazack wrote after the event inadvertently exposes the methods used by race hustlers to manipulate and humiliate their targets:
One of [Whitten’s] points is that his time is valuable and he should not be expected to help white people with their racism without compensation. I totally agree. Before the event, I messaged him and said I was looking forward to the panel. I wanted to thank him for taking the time to be on my podcast. In the South we do that by buying folks beer.Me: I owe you a beer. Let me buy you one tonight.Him: I don’t drink. I accept cash though!Me: How about a salad. LOLHim: I find salads offensive.I thought the cash line was a joke so I made a joke about the salad. Apparently, I offended him. He trotted out this interchange to the packed room (and streaming online) about “this white man” offering him a salad. I apologized for the offending comment and took it as a cue that I should probably think about my use of humor, something that has gotten me in trouble before. (I tried to acknowledge his point by getting out my wallet that only contained 3 bucks, which I placed on the table in front of him. In retrospect, that was probably seen as being a bit rude.) After the talk, I went to the ATM and got out $20 to give him because I really do think his point about being compensated for his efforts is valid.
For his gratuitous and public humiliation of a progressive scholar, Whitten was not only afforded a warm reception at the event but he was thanked by his target, who was evidently grateful to have been shamed in this way. Blazack even wrote a follow-up post restating his craven apology once more, in response to which Whitten received more donations from supporters. “If you’re a white ally and you understand the power of reparations, here are my personal [donation] links,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Feminists And Other SJWs Are Going After The Big Dog

So apparently Bill Clinton is, "in the #MeToo era" (Jesus, how many times do we have to hear that moronic phrase?), expected to apologize to Monica Lewinski...for their consensual relationship. Lewinski, as you may remember, pursued him...inter alia raising her skirt so that he could see her thong.
   When Clinton was politically popular and useful to them, feminists did acrobatics to defend him, scrupulously ignoring accusations against him, including those of rape. But now, with "#MeToo" insanity loose in the land, he's expected to apologize for a consensual relationship. Because reasons.
   Feminism has been slowly--and sometimes not so slowly--flipping its shit for the last 40 years at least. It has proven incapable of making an actual dent in actual rape and sexual harassment, so it's decided, instead, to attack targets of opportunity and redefine violations so that those targets are guilty. That's how Title IX insanity has worked. Can't catch actual rapists on campus? Then brainwash college women to reconceptualize sexual regret as rape. It's easier to make something up about a target you've already got in hand that it is to go out and catch an actual perpetrator...
   I sincerely hope the Clinton tells them all to go fuck themselves. (Perhaps this will have the additional happy consequence of leading them to level "#MeToo" accusations against themselves in the future...). He doesn't owe Lewinsky anything so far as I can tell. Clinton might be guilty of sex crimes...but not against Monica Lewinsky.

Kristof: "Democrats Childishly Resist Trump's North Korea Efforts"

Dems are acting like the Pubs have acted with respect to the Iran deal.

The Navy's Developing Little Autonomous Boats To Defend Its Ships

Complete, Verifiable, Irreversible Denuclearization For the DPRK?

Mapping San Francisco's Pooping Problem


Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Politifact: Ted Cruz Falsely Claimed That Schools Want Boys To Shower With Girls; He's Wrong Because Some Boys Are Girls!

Here's your favorite "fact checking" site laying down some "facts" on you, homes.

Airstrip One Update: Judge Calls For Kitchen Knives To Be Blunted

(h/t The Mystic)

Giuliani: Trump Can Pardon Himself, But Won't

I do not understand what's going on.

Monday, June 04, 2018

SCOTUS: Masterpiece Cakeshop Doesn't Have To Bake The Cake

Holy crap...7-2!
   I probably don't deserve an opinion about this, but it does seem to have been made on very narrow grounds to the effect that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was biased against the baker. Three cheers for modest decisions--I'll say that much.
   As for the bigger, undecided question: egad, what a Kobayashi Maru. Discrimination against people on the basis of their permissible sexual preferences is bad. So is trampling on people's religious beliefs...especially immediately after we've just undergone an extremely radical conceptual / social / legal change of the kind we underwent with respect to (same-sex) marriage. On the one hand, I'm tempted to view our attitudes about same-sex relationships in terms of the different-race template. On the other hand, I now think that we ought to have a kind of adjustment period after such a radical social change. A few years ago I'd have flipped out at the suggestion...but currently I just don't think you can demand that people turn on a dime in such respects.
   Anyway...I'm glad that I'm not responsible for figuring this stuff out.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

"Transgender Kids Are Changing The World"!!!!!!!1111111

Queer Death Studies!

Not making this up!

Jonny Thakker: "On Being An Arsehole: A Defense"

This is worth a read.

British Poetry Is White Supremacy Or Whatever

"White Women, Stop Waiting For A Sexist Dystopia To Arrive"

Because illegal immigration!!!!!111
I certainly hope it goes without saying that I'm in no way indicating that everything mentioned in this story is just dandy.
And, yeah, HuffPo. So basically: cheating.
But, widespread is this kind of moonbattery, d'ya think?

"We Should Applaud The End Of The Nuclear Family Says Top [British] Judge"

This is the kind of insanity that should make one sit down and reflect hard on...well, whatever the hell the general (social?) phenomenon in play here is.
   Some quick and sketchy points: remember: I'm not a conservative. For most of my life I've been a cheerleader for social change and experimentation. I now think I was, actually, rather an idiot about it when I was younger. To cut to the chase, let me again quote my friend Dave from grad school (quoting someone else): a liberal is someone who thinks he's smarter than everyone else who's ever lived.
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