Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Man, I know I've been defending the hell out of that guy...but I really do not like him. Just for the record. I still cringe visibly when I realize that guy is the freaking POTUS. What an embarrassment for the nation. I really just cannot stand that guy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Adam Server: Did Trump Basically Shoot Those People In Pittsburgh Himself?

Yes...yes he did...
   Actually, as full of shit as Serwer usually is, he may have a point-fragment here. Trump was, indeed, hyping the "caravan" as being, basically, full of MS-13 zombies riding...pregnant dragons looking to lay their anchor eggs in 'Merka or whatever. Which...I mean...look, speaking for myself, I just don't want 4,000 illegal aliens marching into the country on the theory that Hey, they can't stop us all... So I don't need any of the bells and whistles about Zika and whatnot. OTOH, of course, the MSM was doing it's normal thing. Which is: basically writing impassioned arguments for letting them all in and giving them ADC...but just leaving the conclusion unstated. So, even without Trump, there was going to be a lot of anger on the right.
   We've got no very good reason to believe that the Tree of Life shooter wouldn't have acted without Trump. But, thing is, if you say a bunch of irresponsible shit that's likely to pump up the crazy...and then the crazy does, in fact, get pumped up...and some of the crazy goes off and kills eleven innocent people... Well...We're not completely sure I killed them is not a terribly persuasive line of defense.
   Again, Serwer's full of shit. He trots out all the standard spinny, hard-spun gripes. But, really, the president just can't be pumping out half-baked, irresponsible crap like that. There's almost nothing he says that's worth saying that couldn't be said 50% less crazily. The "caravan" is bad--it needs to be stopped. We can't let giant masses of people in just because they show up en masse and demand it. See how I just said that without adding any Nazgul? Say it that way, dumbass. I mean...president dumbass.
   And, honestly, does anybody think that Obama wouldn't tell the "caravan" to get bent? Because I think he would, for the very reasons I mention: you can't set a precedent like this. Of course, he'd have enough political capital built up with Mexico that he could reason/sweet-talk them into stopping it. Trump's alienated so many allies that now he's got to do everything the hard way.
   Eh...what was I talking about again...?
   I certainly hope no one pays any attention to this nonsense...

Does Paul Ryan Think You Can End Birthright Citizenship With An Executive Order?

False Sexual Assault Scheme Aimed At Muller By GOP Activist

I do not know what to even say about this insanity.

David E. Bernstein: "Has There Been A Surge Of Anti-Semitism Under And Because Of Trump?"

In short: no.
   This is a really good piece--both the defense and criticism of Trump are sensible:
   First, the defense:
   In the aftermath of the horrific murders at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, a good part of the media, social and otherwise, wishes to blame Donald Trump. Surely, Trump's inflammatory rhetoric doesn't exactly calm societal waters, and his remarks on Charlottesville, though often exaggerated by hostile sources, did not exactly come across as a rousing denunciation of white supremacy. Nevertheless, there are some barriers to blaming Trump for anti-Semitic acts specifically.
   First, Pittsburgh was hardly the first time an anti-Semitic gunman murdered people in a Jewish insitution in the U.S. Between the Clinton and Bush II years, there was a shooting at a Jewish Community Center in L.A., a shooting at an El Al counter at LAX, a shooting at the Jewish Federation in Seattle, a shooting at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, and a shooting at the Holocaust Museum. Lower levels of vandalism and violence have been even more common. It's true that the death toll in Pittsburgh was especially high, but that's just happenstance; any of the other shoooters would have been happy to kill as many or more. [UPDATE: It's worth noting that many commentators, such as Franklin Foer in The Atlantic, simply ignore these past crimes, and act as if the Pittsburgh murders were some unique event in recent American Jewish history.]
   Second, the Trump administration includes some very strong opponents of anti-Semitism. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has fought anti-Semitism in the world body, one of the world's primary purveyors of it, with a vigor and effectiveness not seen since at least Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Trump appointee Ken Marcus, head of the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, has devoted much of his career to fighting anti-Semitism (but was confirmed over the objections of Senate Democrats, some of whom thought he was too opposed to anti-Semitism too willing to identify certain types of Israel-bashing as a form of anti-Semitism).
   (Some would add here that the Trump administration has been the most pro-Israel in history. While true, I'm not sure that this affects domestic American anti-Semitism one way or another, except perhaps to especially irritate anti-Semites.)
   Those who wish to blame Trump have an ace in the hole, an Anti-Defamation League study that purports to show an almost 60 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents between 2016 and 2017, which is implicitly blamed on Trump. This study has been cited on over and over in response to Pittsburgh. ... [But the study's misleading]
   Then, the criticism:
Some of my friends tell me that adding reasonable context to the Pittsburgh shooting "excuses" Trump, and thus makes future incidents more likely. On the contrary, I think that reasoned criticism of Trump is useful—for example, noting that Trump's conspiratorial mindset inadvertently feeds anti-Semitism because the latter is a product of the same mindset, or that Trump should have unequivocally rejected support from white nationalists during his campaign, or that Trump is too narcissistic to apologize when he retweeted from anti-Semitic websites, and so on, though I would draw the line at blaming Trump for the incident, unless one wants to also explain why there were similar shootings before Trump, and also talk about all the other currents of anti-Semitism on both left and right that contribute to Jews' being by far the most targeted religious group for hate crimes for many years running.
These criticisms seem right to me. They're not flashy. They don't get the left the evil, racist, antisemitic Trump it so desperately wants...but they're hardly inconsequential.

A President Can't End Birthright Citizenship

Vox (so...grain of salt and all that...) asked eleven legal's not really more complicated than you would have thought. The answer just seems to be a straightforward no. The way people were talking I thought there was some hidden complexity...but...though there always kind of is...there's really not much in this case.
   In fact, the whole thing seems pretty nutty to me. As you know, I'm inclined to defend Trump on many points...but...I'm pretty not-happy about this one...even though I think we'd likely be better off without birthright citizenship at this point. It's in the Constitution. Want to amend it? Fine. Otherwise: nothing to see here.
   Anyway: no, you can't do it with an executive order.

Trump Considers Trying To End Birthright Citizenship With Executive Order

I'd hate to see us give up birthright citizenship, which seems to me to be a pretty cool part of our tradition. But it simply may not be sustainable given the facts on the ground. It would seem surprising to me if it could be done via executive order.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Prosecutors "Might" Pursue The Death Penalty Against Tree Of Life Shooter


Though, of course, we encounter the well-known paradox that the more obviously you deserve the death penalty, the more likely you are to be exempted on account of being a crazy sonofabitch.

APA 2.0 Gaining Some Traction?

I've mentioned this idea here before...and, incidentally, I'm the first one I know of to do so...which...means very little. Any familiarity with the APA blog would naturally drive the inquiring mind to think: this shit is whack.
   Obviously the lefties that have politicized APA 1.0 would try to ruin APA 2.0, too...but that doesn't matter much. It's not suppose to be an eternal answer to academic totalitarianism...just the next answer.
   Also, said loons would use use membership in APA 2.0 against job candidates, whereas members of APA 2.0 would be more-or-less bound by principle not to do something analogous... So that's a problem, too.
   Details, details.
   Right now I'm just happy that people are even talking about this.
   Note that over 65% of people who took the poll said they'd definitely or probably leave the current, loony That's...maybe about twice as many as I might have's encouraging.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Guardian Is Probably Wrong About The Genetics Of IQ

Squirrel HIll Shooter Was Anti-Trump...Because Trump's Obviously A Catspaw Of The Jews...

Bomber: pro-Trump; Trump's fault.
Shooter: anti-Trump; Trump's fault.
It's possible that Trump's stupid, irresponsible rhetoric is just stirring up crazies...but just because it's possible doesn't mean it's true.
He ought to throttle way the hell back on the rhetoric. And give up Twitter entirely. But that doesn't mean that a specifically anti-Jewish, racist, crazy who is anti-Trump because Trump's allegedly too Jewish-friendly (note: Kushner) can be blamed on him.
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but: there are plenty of legitimate criticisms of Trump.
For the love of God Stop making shit up.

Do Unisex Changing Rooms Put Women In Danger Of Sexual Assault?

The NYT On Illegal Immigration: Evil Immigrant-Hater Trump Considers Refusing To Let Massive Horde Illegally Cross Border At Will

They don't even try to be objective anymore. You see...:
The effort would be the starkest indication yet of Mr. Trump’s election-season push to play to his anti-immigrant base as his party fights to keep control of Congress.
   Trump's base isn't "anti-immigrant." (Though I assume some Trump supporters are.) But, then, writing 'anti-immigrant' when what's needed is 'anti-illegal-immigration' is SOP in the "MSM." Our hand is forced by the horde (or "caravan") bearing down on us. What other options does Trump reasonably have? How would he have acted differently were this to happen a month after the election? 
   I shouldn't have to say this, but: I don't want these people to suffer. But we can't let in everyone who wants to come here. And we can't simply let groups march across the border merely because there are a lot of them. And it's bogus "asylum-seekers" themselves who have broken the system by abusing it. 
   Trump is revolting as a person, but his policies are often pretty good. Focusing on the former instead of the latter seems irrational to me. I got over it; you can, too.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Pachycephalasaurus Omnivorous??

Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Jesus Christ.
Has the country gone mad?
Buttload of posts allegedly from the shooter's "social media" sites here, via Reddit. Unadulterated antisemitic nuttery, as will be no surprise.

At Conference; Cable News

At a conference. Stupidly turned on cable news, which I almost never do anymore at home.
My God CNN is genuinely, droolingly, sanctimoniously terrible's...almost as bad as...Fox "News"...which's the political/current-events equivalent of reading the Necronomicon....except for the knowledge part of forbidden knowledge...
   Also, it's so obvious that the right and the left each would be saying basically what the other is saying if this had turned out to be a "false flag." 
   Also...yeah: dude is a psycho. But that doesn't mean that the rhetoric of both sides isn't way out of bounds. And Trump is, hard as it is to believe, the president. So he's not supposed to be getting anywhere near the bounds....but he's one of the worst offenders. Small errors by the president are worse than large errors by others. And Trump makes big errors all the time. Which is not to say that CNN et al. don't spin even innocuous things into Mein Kampf...because of course they do.
   Thing is, when you say crazy stuff, crazies believing you is a predictable consequence. Is Trump responsible for what the crazy did? at least some extent... OTOH, contra CNN, "fake news" is not a shocking assault on the media. It's more like stating a rather obvious fact.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Those Pipe Bombs

It's so stupid that it's hard to believe that it could be someone straight-up going after Dems. But it's also so stupid that it's hard to believe that it's a false-flag blue-on-blue hoax. In fact it's so stupid that I've even wondered whether it's a false-false-flag...somebody on the right trying to make the Dems look bad by doing something so stupid that it looks like a false-flag...
     Also, is it just me, or is none of this stuff people are pooping their pants about really all that scary? I don't see why getting an obviously fake bomb is terrifying...especially when the Secret Service or whoever opens your mail. It's like those internet "death threats" that everybody now cites to prove how endangered they are...but when you can actually read them they're often stuff like "I wish you would fall off a cliff" or somesuch.
     I wish Trump would stop being such a shithead. He's fanning flames that ought never to be fanned, and the good points conservatives have to make about the left are getting discredited...on top of everything else.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Bombs: Fake, But No False Flag

That's (a) the way it looks, and (b) my guess. That is, I think it's pretty clear by now that they were probably fakes. But as for the false flag theory: a false flag operation can't use fakes, can it? I mean, there's no doubt that the left loves hate-crime hoaxes...but you can't really pull one off with fakes. The point of such hoaxes is to make the right look worse than it actually is. Real bombs mailed to e.g. Obama and Clinton...that would do the trick. Fake bombs...not really. So what if somebody mails fake bombs to people? That's worth basically nothing. All an operation like that can do is blow up in your face, as it were. It doesn't really make the right look that bad...but if you're caught, the left looks really bad. Maybe it's a false false flag op...ever think of that, Mr. Smart Guy? Huh? Well...OTOH, maybe a lefty false-flagger would send fake bombs, figuring that the media will pump it all up enough to do the trick? Eh...I'm not buying it.

Katy Tur: The "Trump Said All Mexicans Are Rapists" Lie Just Keeps on Keepin' On

Look, it's been two years. How about spending 30 seconds to Google it.
     She's wrong about Trump starting it. That's just stupid. But she throttles back to "he made it worse," which is true. But they were bad already. Has the left been worse than the right? Oh, who the hell knows? It hasn't been notably better. Seems worse to me, but such impressionistic comparisons are way unreliable, especially when you're madder at one side than the other.

Fake (Pipe Bomb) News

Boy, CNN-or-MSNBC...whichever it was I just had the misfortune of seeing on the teevee...sure was working hard to crank up some fake-pipe-bomb hysteria. You may not realize this, but PEOPLE ARE TERRIFIED BY THIS ACT OF TERROR-Y TERROR!!!!111
   Imagine how bad it would be if these things could blow up. Or even, like, smolder a bit.

The On-Going Debasement Of Philosophy: "RuPaul's Drag Race And Philosophy" Edition

Just now, on PHILOS-L:
First, I'd like to stress that I am not making this up.
Second, I especially did not make up the first line:
+++Apologies for cross-posting+++
Call For Abstracts: RuPaul’s Drag Race and Philosophy
*Deadline: November 1st 2018.*
     Abstracts are sought for a volume in Open Court’s Philosophy and Pop Culture Series on RuPaul’s Drag Race. With its 10th season concluding as the most successful yet, RuPaul’s Drag Race has established itself as a major pop-cultural event that mediates drag culture to the broader public. In RuPaul’s own words, we are experiencing the “Golden Age of drag.”
     While RuPaul’s Drag Race started out as a competition-based reality TV show, it has since then become much more. The show’s appeal stems from incorporating a huge variety of subcultural practices, norms, and phrases, offering a blend of references of drag, LGBTIQ+, race and other movements based in identity politics with great philosophical potential.
     This book aims to lift this potential in combining philosophical exploration with the themes and examples of the show. From philosophical issues being discussed on the show directly – theories of gender construction, aesthetics, identity – to interpreting RuPaul’s famous quotes and phrases to taking some practices and occurrences as point of departure for philosophical reflections, RuPaul’s Drag Race offers many docking points for intriguing debate and surprising new approaches to old philosophical problems.
     Thus, we invite thoughtful and thought-provoking contributions from all philosophical perspectives and traditions that pertain to RuPaul’s Drag Race.
     Possible chapter topics include, but are of course not limited to:
Spilling the T: Drag Race on Truth and Truthfulness
You’re Born Naked and the Rest is Drag: Philosophical Approaches to Identity and Self-Perception
If you don’t love yourself…: Self-love, self-criticism, self-hatred
She done already done had herses: Theories of Justice and Injustice
Sashay Away: How to Deal with Loss and Death
Call Me Mother: Drag Race and Different Concepts of Motherhood
Can I get an Amen?: Religion and Drag Race
Eleganza Extravaganza: Hedonism, Epicurus and the Good Life
The Realness: Ontological Questions in Drag Race
Reading is Fundamental: Speech Acts and Philosophy of Language
Fierceness and Virtue Theory
Lip-Syncing as Art Form in its Own Right
Flazéda: Theories on Semantics and the Meaning of Words
Drag as a Performance Art
Facts are Facts: Postmodernism, Post-Truth, and Relativity
Drag ‘Race’: The Role of Racial Identity and Dynamics in Drag Race
Skinny Legend and Obese Icon: Body Aesthetics, Body Images
Drag Race and the Perpetuation of Harmful Female Stereotypes
Plastic Surgery and Fairness in Competition
Ornacia and Theories of Mind
Drag Race Between Irreverence and Offensiveness
Everybody Say Love!: Emotions, Feelings and Affection

Saritha Prabu: "I'm An Immigrant, And Trump Represents My Views On Immigration Way Better Than Democrats Do"

I've been saying a lot of this stuff since before it was cool...I mean...politically incorrect and racist and evil...
     As we’ve all noticed, the immigration debate changed vastly in the last five, ten, and 20 years. Once upon a time, back in 2014, Hillary Clinton could say, “We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border doesn’t mean your child gets to stay,” and not get booted off the stage and out of the Democratic Party.
     Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said in 2009 that “Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple.” President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union message declared that “real (immigration) reform” means strong border security, learning English, and “going to the back of the line behind folks trying to come here legally.”
     So, not too long ago, Democratic leaders talked in rational, truthful ways about immigration. But now many Democratic Party leaders and elected officials espouse open borders, uncontrolled immigration, sanctuary cities, and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and dismiss any proposed immigration restriction as racist, nativist, and xenophobic. What happened? How did the immigration debate change so much, so fast? 

David French: "Newt Gingrich Didn't Break American Politics"

I disagree.

Universities And Faculty "Diversity" Pledges

Utter madness.
These are, basically, professions of left-wing politics.

PC: Paleo- vs. Neo-: Old People Edition

There are some notable differences between paleo-PC and neo-PC. One has to do with the status of old people. The paleo-PCs used to list "ageism" (because, as I'm sure you realize, you can just stick '-ism' or '-phobia' onto anything you like...) among its cardinal sins: racism, sexism, classism, ageism... Neo-PC never mentions "classism", and prefers 'misogyny' to 'sexism' (partially because it likes to pretend that it's a one-way street, and 'sexism' can go in either direction.)
     But I think the real change is with respect to age. Whereas disparagement on the basis of age used to be, allegedly, akin to racism, neo-PC really, really hates old people--along with whites, males, know the list--and bitches about them all the time. It's common to read them gleefully anticipating the boomers dying off. They sometimes refer to old people (which paleo-PC used to insist we describe as, e.g., "older Americans) as 'olds.'
     Anyway, in general, PC leaves liberalism behind, urging us not to eschew prejudice, but, rather, to merely accept a different, politically correct set of prejudices.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

NRO: Pipe Bomb And Powder Harmless

Gosh, that's a surprise.

Bombs To Dems: Fake

Yeah...sounded fishy immediately.
I'm gonna go ahead and call it: fake.

Bombs Sent To Prominent Democrats Via The Mail I the only one that thinks this sounds fishy?
Unsurprisingly, the Post took the opportunity to score some political points in that story.

#GeorgeYancyIsSexist, vol. 2

No, I'm not going to keep wasting my time on this nonsense...but:
I speak as an insider. I know about what so many of us men think about women — the language we use, the sense of power that we garner through our sexual exploits, our catcalling and threatening, our sexually objectifying gazes, our dehumanizing and despicable sexual gestures and our pornographic imaginations. This is not simply locker room banter but a public display of unchecked bravado for which we often feel no shame.
Hey, guess what? I speak as an insider, too, and:
I don't know any men who are sexist. I used to. I don't anymore. I was raised to be non-sexist before I knew the word 'sexist'--a word I doubt my parents even knew. And I, too, know how "many of us men think about women." The many men that I know are...well, I'd say that they're resolutely non-sexist...but actually it just seems to come naturally to them. I, too, know "the language we use"...and it's perfectly fine. Now, guys I know do sometimes talk about women being hot. Because hot women are a salient feature of life's rich pageant. I'm sure Andrea Dworkin wouldn't approve...but it's pretty damn respectful. If noticing and sometimes even discussing female beauty is sexist, then we're sexist. But it isn't. And we're not. The few discussions I have about women's appearance are--unlike in Yancy's cohort, apparently--always perfectly cool. I'm not wimpy or neutered--or so I'd say--but, look: I've had girlfriends who spoke more salaciously about other women than I do. The real goal, of course, is to berate and dispirit men. But--too bad for you--it's possible to still be a reasonably normal sexual person without knuckling under to leftist/feminist puritanism. That's the real rub. That's what really drives nonsense like Yancy's.
     Personally, I don't feel any "sense of power...garnered through...sexual exploits." Though mine are numerous, and impressive! I assure you! Numerous! And impressive! I'd say that I've, thus far, lived a very happy life, sexually speaking. And yet I don't feel any fucking "sense of power" as a result. What the fuck is this guy even talking about? Did he learn about men from watching 1950s movies? Or reading 1970s feminism? What? I've never catcalled in my life. The one friend I ever saw do something similar (though not technically catcalling), I raked over the fucking coals.
     Do any of us have "sexually objectifying gazes"? Well, now you're just talking about made-up shit, so God knows. If you mean: do I or does any guy I hang out with leer at women in public? No. Never. Never ever. If your friends do, I suggest you get different friends. Do I ever notice attractive women in public? Why, yes I do! I sometimes even look at them. And if that were sexist, then I'd be one. Like...10,000 times over. But it isn't. So fuck you.
   "Our dehumanizing and despicable sexual gestures?" HONESTLY WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN  TALKING ABOUT???
   And "our pornographic imaginations"???? Our....well...O.k.that's fair. But not about my friends nor coworkers. And not in a gross way... Y', like...a sexy way... Anyway, it's not clear that that's anybody else's fucking business, now is it?
   "...a public display of unchecked bravado..."??? LOOOOOL Yancy obviously doesn't know any of the guys I know. What bullshit.
   That op-ed is bullshit from stem to stern. It's just lefty-feminist nonsense. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.


So screw George Yancy, then, I guess.
But I, for example, am not. And I hope and trust that you aren't either, oh odd reader.
The editorial is almost too dumb to take seriously. But it's basically par for the course on the left.
I dunno. Maybe his heart's in the right place or something. But...
Wait...I almost said: I expect better of philosophers... But... That would be stupid. When philosophers on the left write this sort of thing, it's generally no better than when the journalistic left or the activist left writes it. Sneakier maybe...but usually not better.
I least he fesses up with some specifics--e.g. that he insisted that his wife take his last name. Which is good because it's a specific criterion, not just a vague gesture at some form of original sin.
See, I didn't do that--didn't insist that JQ take my last name. Not that she would do anything I insisted on anyway lol... If I'd have insisted, she'd have told me to go to hell, because I wouldn't have been the person she thought I was. And if she didn't tell me to go to hell, I might very well have dumped her because she wouldn't have been the person I thought she was...
I never even considered asking because it's not important to me. In fact, I think it's kinda messed up. Dropping your last name? WTF?
She asked me once, basically as a kind of purely theoretical afterthought, whether it was something I cared about. That was it. (Actually, I do kind of care about it in that I weakly believe that people shouldn't do it...other than that: I don't care.)
Anyway: I do agree that you ought to fess up if you're a sexist. Just dump the bullshit assumption that we're all sexist. Because, of course, the idea floating in the background is: all men are sexist...but the good ones like GY admit it...whereas the bad ones like me don't. So: fuck that, of course. That's just more progressive bullshit. It's a way to get some cred by tearfully confessing your sin, while also showing that you're better than the benighted, reviled enemies to your right.
Also, incidentally: presumably all women are sexist, too? Because if you think women are different than men in this respect...uh...well...I hope you know what that is...

McArdle on Illegal Immigration

     Immigration restrictionists and advocates both struggle with that question to some degree, depending on the scale they use when considering it. On the macro scale, restrictionists find it easy to say, no, of course we can’t let in every single person who wants to come, because doing so would transform the country into one that few Americans of any political persuasion would want to live in.     The United States would be vastly more unequal, in income and opportunity. Migrants would languish in the kind of squalid poverty that the America hasn’t seen for a century, in numbers — a doubling of the U.S. population is probably a conservative estimate — that would defeat any conceivable tax-and-transfer program. When you’re working with long strings of zeroes, the restrictionist position seems overwhelmingly compelling.
     But on the micro scale, where you can see the human faces, “reasonable” immigration restriction starts looking more like “ruthless.” Those Honduran migrants lying under a tarp in Huixtla, Mexico, aren’t any less deserving than you are of clean drinking water, safe streets and a warm, dry abode. They just failed to hit the Pick-6 in the birthplace lottery. By what moral right do we tell them to go back to Tegucigalpa and hope that their local MS-13 chapter decides to prey on somebody else? Looking at actual faces, rather than zeroes, many people would answer: “None.”
     A truly open-borders policy has almost no constituency in the American electorate, but it’s the implicit philosophical framing of most media stories on immigration, which tend to focus on the micro problems of individuals, not the macro problem of just how many of those individuals the country can admit. [my emphasis]
This all seems really right to me. Despite my recent jihad against the left's craziness on illegal immigration, I'm not insensitive to the plight of illegals and aspiring illegals. I hope we can help them. We just can't help them by letting all of them in. The cost of doing so would be to shift the U.S. in the direction of the very places they're fleeing. 
     I've long said around this joint that my major sympathies lie with those fleeing violence...and that that's one of the reasons I take a harder line on illegal immigration from economic motives. It's not because I don't understand that poverty is bad. Rather, if we hadn't already let in 22 million people who came here mostly for economic reasons, we'd have more leeway to let in more people fleeing violence. 
     I want to emphasize this again: "A truly open-borders policy [is] the implicit philosophical framing of most media stories on immigration..." As I've been saying for like six or seven years, sometimes getting a lot of flack for it. Just sayin'...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Obama On Uncontrolled Illegal Immigration

"We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States, undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, lawfully to become immigrants in this country."
So true that even Snopes can't figure out how to get around it.
As usual: Obama was right.

Open Borders Dems

All The Best To Sandra Day O'Connor

Wishing her the best.

New Dem Ad

Life Protip: Do Not Fuck With The Scots

They got pipes! They got Claymores! They got assault rifles!
The Scots...they. bad. asses...:u
[Also: they got a little bitty horse...]

Ben Shapiro: "On Sex, The Trump Administration Returns To Reality And The Law"

Exactly right on every point. Even gets the sex/gender distinction right, which almost nobody does anymore.
Let me say it again: Catherine Lhamon has done an amazing amount of damage to this country.

Burying The Politically Incorrect Lede: WHITE SUPREMACISTS CHUG TEH other news race not "socially constructed"...

On the one hand, you've gotcher basic neo-Klansmen cavorting around shirtless, chugging milk, and bragging about...and I can't stress it enough that I'm not making this up...Neanderthal DNA... I'm gonna just assume, as usual, that there's no reason to pay any attention at all to those guys.
   On the other hand, you've got our politicized scientific establishment...caught in a stew of lies, stupid, undergraduate-level reasoning, and bullshitting...claiming, e.g., that race is "socially constructed."
   Now:...though "socially constructed" barely means anything at all...if you deny that race is "socially constructed," you're a racist. Even though the claim is at best false and at worst meaningless. If you point out that it's false: racist. Criticize the arguments: racist. Explain the philosophical confusions underlying it: racist. Dare to suggest that truth matters: racist.
   The only argument that is permitted is: the theory helps racists.
   That is: every acceptable argument must have the aim of countering racism. Merely aiming at truth is impermissible.
   Now...there's little doubt that this idiocy will help out racists in the medium-run. The left has colonized any science that impinges on politics and turned it to the left's purposes. And that includes genetics. So now we have a deeply-rooted, vocal, shrill commitment to a loony metaphysics and a bunch of terrible science about race. This is a big, fat, slow, hanging pitch right over the middle, just waiting to be murdered out of the park by the cavorting milk-chuggers. And, to be clear: they'll be right.
   One of my guiding ideas has long been: you can be a liberal without being an idiot.
   But I have to say, I'm less sure of that every day.

NYT Readers Slam It For Latest Transgender Propaganda

How's this for a confused title?:  "Anatomy Does Not Determine Gender, Experts Say."
Turns out that the "expert" in question is basically an activist. The article is the typical nonsense...but what's notable is that--at least currently--the commenters are absolutely slamming the Times, as well as transgender ideology itself.
   Maybe more people are now willing to be honest about the emperor's lack of attire.

French: "The Trump Administration Isn't 'Dehumanizing' Transgender Americans"

Even if the Trump administration changes regulatory definitions to match the obvious statutory intent, it doesn’t deny any person’s humanity or existence. Every single American is still protected by every single provision of the Bill of Rights (and every other constitutional right). Every single American still enjoys the benefit of every other generally applicable statute.
You'd think that the rhetoric would be too hysterical even for those on the left--"dehumanizing," "defining out of existence," and so on... Honestly, it's just nuts.

Mass Freakout As Trump Administration Mulls Defining 'Sex' As Sex

If you think that 'sex' means sex, then you are a hateful, Neanderthal shitlord. What kind of monster thinks that different characteristics are different and that words have meanings?

Monday, October 22, 2018

NPR: How Do We Talk To The Dangerous Idiots Who Disagree With Us?

"My view is that we need to indict public leaders who are trafficking in science denial as a form of misconduct and a form of putting the American public into danger," she said. "However, I do think that we as scientists have engaged nonstop in trying to confront denialism and often that engagement is a very—it's coded male power brokering that is very problematic in the culture because it pits people against each other instead of focusing on shared values."
Seriously, this is worth reading. It's a good snapshot of what we might call intersectional lefty madness--the infection of quasi-scientific policy debates by the standard dreck from grievance this case, the smooshing together of climate-change hysteria with all the race and sex / evil menz / power crap from the weakest parts of the humanities.

The "Migrant" "Caravan"

So...I'm going to conclude that there is no plausible way to deny that the left has a de facto open borders position after this... If you reflexively argue to admit a massive horde that could easily have sought asylum in a number of different, closer places...then you basically just don't believe in laws and borders and shit.

The Post Adopts The "Defining Trans People Out Of Existence" Trope

The Washington Post, a formerly great newspaper, has become a self-parody.
Worse, of course, are the comments.
A kind of cultish religion has gripped the left.
It's a nauseating and horrifying sight.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

More Lefty, Anti-Kavanaugh Witchcraft

     In Brooklyn, there is an occult bookshop called Catland Books. “Catland” is, one imagines, an apt description of the homes of the women who congregate there.
     The operators of the establishment have announced that they are planning to hold a special hex session this weekend to make Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh “suffer.” It is sure to be a popular event.
     Because progressives belong to the Party of Science, they may wish to visit some of their like-minded fellow partisans at Catland Books, where they can also take a few courses: Demonology 101, Plant Magik [sic] 101, or Potions & Tinctures 101, which all are on the current schedule. Everything seems to be 101 — that’s a lot of introductory classes, a lot of foreplay for a master’s course in horsesh**.
     Dakota Bracciale, owner of the shop, tells Newsweek: “We know the system is broken, and the people in charge need to be taken down by any means necessary, magical or otherwise. . . . This is basically Antifa witches — we’re coming for these people’s throats.”
     Question: Does that sound like a disagreement about politics to you?
     Occasionally, our friends on the left do us the favor of making plain that which conservative critics have inferred about their ranks: that they are intellectually unserious, that they are damaged, that they are high on rage, that they have made a religion of politics. Father Gary Thomas, an exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose who may be taking the Catland gang more seriously than they deserve, will be saying a special Mass to counter the proffered hex. One welcomes the efforts of a Catholic priest who takes his faith seriously enough to invite ridicule — a fool for Christ, as Paul put it. But in much the same way that it is difficult to imagine the Almighty choosing the likes of Jerry Falwell as His emissary, it is difficult to imagine the other guy choosing as his agents a couple of sad dopes in Brooklyn — not in a world in which Kim Jong-un and Taylor Swift exist.

NYT Whines About The NPC Meme

Wow, this meme really has struck a nerve. Now the NYT has posted an extremely whiny article about it.
   I really does nail something about the brainless, soulless left. But you'd think they'd have the wit not to throw tantrums about it. That's basically an admission of defeat.

Gingrich: The Man Who Broke Politics

I try not to hate people. But I hold the Newtron Bomb responsible for destroying the basically anglophiliac good will that used to prevail in the house.
If the country crashes and burns in the next fifty years, there's a good chance that it's his fault.

P-40 Pic

Trump Administration Seeks A Return To Sanity With Respect To Sex, "Gender," and "Transgenderism"

This should send progressives into hysterics...but it looks like the Trump admin is simply returning to factual, scientific policies on this stuff.
     But check out the NYT's headline:
"Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out Of Existence"
     If you want a snapshot of transgender insanity, you could hardly do better.
     First, the NYT--like the rest of the "MSM"--doesn't even pretend to be objective about this anymore. They bought a bizarre, extremist theory of this stuff, and that's that. They speak as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world, free from any doubts.
     Second: the nonsense was defined into existence. Nothing discussed in the article involves "defining it out of existence." It merely returns to a non-ideological view of the matter, focusing on the objective characteristics that the government has always recognized and must recognize. Specifically: sex. Nobody's even saying that outlandish nonsense like "gender identity" isn't real. The suggestion, apparently, is just that the government need not have any interest in such (pseudo-)concepts. Oh and: they shouldn't be confused with the stuff the government does need to know about you--i.e. your sex. This nonsense was defined into existence by mere words; it's a clash with the facts and real, practical matters of government that threaten it.
   Third, don't neglect the politically correct but ungrammatical use of 'transgender' instead of the grammatically correct 'transgenderism.' The headline is talking about the state or condition of being transgendered (though they also want us to say 'transgender' there). This is obviously the kind of case in which we use suffixes like '-ism'...but the official PC line on that is that people who consider themselves transgendered think it sounds too medical--as if [cough] it were a disorder. So they demand that--as with pronouns--we alter our vocabulary and modify English grammar in order to cater to their whims.
   It's utter madness that things have come to this point. This may be yet another case in which Trump, loathsome as he may be as a person, is going to implement saner policy than Obama, admirable though he was as a person.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Warren's Claims About Her Racial Background (a) Poorly-Supported; (b)...Even WORSE! Z0MG TEH OFFENSIVE!!!!!!!11111

(a) There are apparently substantial scientific reasons for questioning EW's interpretation of her genetic test.
   That's significant. I personally don't care much for EW. But I understand the allure of family lore--and I think we can all understand it when it comes to American Indian ancestry. Some groups are just cool, and we'd mostly feel cooler for being descended from them. What's so bloody (as it were) hard to understand? If I found out that I had American Indian blood in my veins...or Viking blood...or Zulu blood...or Spartan blood...hell yes I'd be all about it. Who wouldn't? Jesus. I say again: it's like the left has never met any human beings. I'm telling you right now that if I ever found out something like that--or even had some thin reason to believe it--you would never hear the end of it.
    OTOH, Warren seems to have leveraged her alleged/possible racial background to gain an employment advantage in academia. That's dicier...and the left certainly can't be ok with that. I'm inclined to agree that you need better evidence if you are going to use your alleged race to gain such advantages over others.
   But (b): Warren is being sucked down into the incoherent maelstrom of identity creationism. The PC left has always had a strong tendency to accept some version of relativism / social constructionism / subjectivism /etc. There's a lot of very bad philosophy at the core of PC--much of it committed to some version of word-magic, belief-magic, and/or culture-magic. Whereas your identity really is who and what you are, the left wants it to be: who and what you think you are. Furthermore, the left has come to use 'identity' primarily to gesture at their well-known class of obsessions: race, sex, "gender," whatever. This combination of things inclines them toward saying things like Warren's biology doesn't matter. It (allegedly) doesn't matter because Indian tribes reckon membership in a way that is, apparently, partially biological and partially social/cultural--as is their right. What certain people believe about it also supposed to be a factor.
   But look: that doesn't mean that Warren isn't American Indian. Because that term is, apparently, roughly ambiguous. It can reasonably refer to your race or some complex including something about your cultural heritage. I took EW to be making a claim about her race. (Which claim may or may not be provable for reasons gestured at in the link.) One might respond that she ought to have known better...than anyone claiming NA ancestry ought to have investigated more. And that point has some force. However: someone who has nothing but Navajo ancestors is NA, in the racial sense. Period. Even if they are refused recognition, and refused membership in any tribe.
   Anyway, there are legitimate objections to how Warren handled this...but nothing is gained by adding PC nonsense about "identity" into the mix. (Which is not to say that the conventions and theories of American Indian tribes themselves aren't relevant--because they do seem to be. But it's more complicated than it's being made out to be.) There can't be much doubt that, for the purposes of current questions about affirmative action (and "diversity") in the U.S., it's race that matters.

From 'Illegal Alien' to 'Migrant': Why We Shouldn't Given In To Political Correctness

The legal term is 'illegal alien.' The PCs insisted--inexplicably--that it was "offensive." But, then, since almost everything is, to their mind, it's not clear why that should have mattered to anyone. Then we got 'illegal immigrant.' But immediately on the heels of that we were told it was all wrong, because "no human being is illegal." Though, of course, there's no suggestion otherwise in the term. An illegal contractor is not illegal qua person. Only qua contractor. An illegal contractor is a person who contracts illegally. An illegal immigrant is a person who immigrates illegally. No one ever honestly thought otherwise.
   But this offense is largely tactical. It doesn't have to make sense.
   Shifting to 'illegal immigrant' made it easy for progressives to shorten it to 'immigrant.' Thus easy to claim that opponents of illegal immigration are opponents of immigration--conservatives are against illegal immigrants, we're now routinely told.
   Now, of course, the immigrants are merely "undocumented" if they'd merely lost their library cards. And, of course, they're not even immigrants anymore--they're migrants. They move in no specific direction. Coming in? Leaving? You don't know. Perhaps they're sneaking out of the country...
   The political battle more and more seems to be between those who think we should have some immigration laws and those who think we should have none--or damn close to it. As is so commonly the case with the PC left, their shrieking about terminology is in the service of their more substantive goals. It's a jockeying for conceptual position, as when they insist that some men be referred to as women; conceding the terminological point allows them to assert, e.g., that such women should be able to use the women's room...just like any other women!
   For this and many other reasons, it's almost never a good idea to give in to PC linguistic demands.

The Washington Post Doesn't Even Pretend To Care About Objectivity With Respect To Illegal Immigration Anymore

Friday, October 19, 2018

Ann Althouse On Michelle Goldberg's TDS

     Goldberg's most facepalmerific claim is, basically: the only way to save yourself from the hysterical, Trump-induced agony that's undoubtedly gripping you is: volunteer for the Democrats.
   The most embarrassing bit of the article, though, is that she takes Jason Stanley seriously; specifically:
In his recent book “How Fascism Works,” the Yale professor Jason Stanley wrote that patriarchy is “strategically central” to fascist politics, which always seek to cement racial and gender hierarchies. “When women attain positions of political power usually reserved for men — or when Muslims, blacks, Jews, homosexuals, or ‘cosmopolitans’ profit or even share the public goods of a democracy, such as health care — that is perceived as corruption,” he wrote. That sentence encapsulates how Trump, the most corrupt president in American history, sells himself as corruption’s opponent.
How--and this is a serious question--are you going to have a serious conversation about such things with a person who would write--or quote--something like that with a straight face?

Larison On Mohammed bin Salman, The Murder Of Jamal Kashoggi, And Trump's Quasi-Complicity

Another case in which Trump is leaning hard in the direction of autocracy, seemingly straining to find some excuse for doing the wrong thing. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

"There Is No DNA Test To Prove You're Native American"

Sounds like there are no test results that are sufficient to get you accepted by a tribe. But that's completely different. But if you've got, say, 100% Native American genes, then you're Native American. Nothing about any human decision can change that.
   I don't like Warren. But this anger directed at her by American Indians for proving that she has American Indian ancestry is absurd. Fine: don't accept her into your tribe. Doesn't change her genes--i.e. her ancestry.

Hate Crime Hoaxes: OSU Edition

I don't even try to keep up with 'em all anymore.

Tabatha Southey: The Dumbest Think You Will Ever Read About The James Damore Case

Here's a hysterical tantrum for ya.
You really couldn't write something wronger if you tried.

Post-Postmodernism / New New Age: "Witchcraft And Self-Care After Kavanaugh"

MacLean's On The Great Lindsay Shepherd

Nothing much new here.
Just linking.
MacLean's is surprisingly even-handed.
But if you actually pay attention to what the other side says...well:
   Toby Finlay uses “they/them” pronouns. Grammatically speaking, that means students coming to the Rainbow Centre will chat with them. (Not “him” or “her.”) Finlay is trans and non-binary, a term used when one’s gender identity is neither male nor female. So is Milas Hewson, a fellow member of the Rainbow Centre, who also uses they/them pronouns.
   It’s been a hard month for both at the Rainbow Centre, a service within the school’s diversity and equity office that supports education and advocacy for queer and trans students. “Students have come to us feeling complicated, upset and invalidated,” Hewson says. “With these young students struggling to figure out how they’re experiencing gender, to be told in a classroom that that’s not valid has a very deep impact because it’s an issue that strikes close to home for these people.”
And even if Shepherd tried to remain neutral in the classroom, Finlay challenges the idea of neutrality in this case, saying it’s wrong “that these are issues of debate and trans students’ identities or experiences are up for conversation—in the sense that their reality is up for conversation.”
   Hewson talks about being confronted in school hallways “by people I barely know asking me to justify myself and my positions.” By speaking with media, Finlay and Hewson have become the public faces for the Laurier trans community. “That also in a huge way makes me feel fairly unsafe on campus
Z0MG! Being asked to justify your positions!!!!!111??? By people you barely even know??? The horror!!!!111
"That also"...."in a huge way"...."makes me feel"..."fairly"..."unsafe"..."on campus"....
(a) Huge, eh?
(b) You feel that way, do you?
(c) Fairly!
(d) Unsafe????
(e) On campus.
Counterpoint: no you don't. You're lying. Unless you're stupid.
   But: you're lying.
   And probably: you're stupid.
"...because I don’t know who might recognize me and approach me out of nowhere and have something violent to say..."
Something "violent to say"? Violent? To say?
"... or do,” Right. So...has anyone?
 Hewson says. “I feel generally uncomfortable on campus.” feel...uncomfortable...on campus?????
"Kira Williams experiences something transphobic every day."  No he doesn't. He's lying. 
"Some days that’s harassment. Other days it’s sexual assault." No it isn't. "Kira" wishes. "Kira" is lying. He's making it up. This is wish-fulfillment. This is not real life.
“The reality is Dr. Peterson’s speech is targeted at trans people,” says the Laurier PhD student. “And the reality is that when people like Peterson speak, it has consequences in the real world—consequences I have to live through every day.”
The reality: someone is pointing out that you're wrong. 
And that's all.

Beautiful Flying Tiger P-40s

My traditional favorite fighter of the war...though I prefer later variants...dukeing it out with the Spit. Admittedly, the Warhawk can basically only be your fave for sentimental reasons...but, as a kid, I fantasized--a lot--about flying for the AVG.
   Coincidentally, JQ's grandfather (aka papou) fought the Nazis in Greece, and "did some stuff" for the CIA. His reward: they brought him to the States years later. Her dad was eight. They flew 'em in on Flying Tigers Airlines. Also kinda funny: papou and I took a completely unjustified, immediate liking to each other. That was my big "in" with the rest of the family.
   Also, well into his 70's papou went back to Greece and walked through the mountains into Albania and somehow managed to get some of their cousins out of prison...
   Sometimes, you know you're dealing with a whole different order of person. Dude was a legend, without a single ounce of pretension about it.
   Also: my friend Peter the Public Defender's grandpa was a general, and knew Claire Chenault during the war. He reported that he was "not impressed"... (I may be misremembering, and he may have said this of Stilwell...but I don't think so.) (After Pete Mack's comment, I'm going to take out this qualification.)

#MeToo *Reductio*s Itself: Clinton/Lewinsky Edition

Because, you see....22-year-old women can't make their own decisions. And because The Power Of Power Compels You!
   JQ was 22 when we started going out, and I was 35. And I had been her adviser. And she'd only graduated about a year or so before. And if you suggested to her that she was treated unjustly, or had no--or, to cheat in the ordinary way: no real--choice in the matter, she'd laugh in your face. She was, I suppose, in retrospect, more the instigator than I was. Though it was a matter of pretty equal instigation.
   As per usual, the feminist left seems to have never met any actual human beings.

"Think Professors Are Liberal? Try School Administrators"

I have wondered about this.

High School Girls Admit To Making False Sexual Assault Accusations Against A Male Student Because "The Just Don't Like Him"

The standard feminist position is: such false accusations are so rare that they can basically be discounted.
I'm more and more certain that this is false.
Here's one reason I'm dubious: the vast majority of things feminism has convinced me of in the past have been false. (Just one example: rape is not motivated by a desire for sex; it is a crime of violence.)
Feminism got a few big things right: men and women are of equal moral worth, they ought have equal political rights, and women have historically been oppressed/discriminated against on account of their sex. But mission creep has, IMO, killed feminism. It wants to be considered an authority on more and more things. And, like the rest of the PC left, feminism tends to adopt factual views because they're politically correct, not because they're the views most likely to be true. So I just don't rely on feminism anymore.
This is exactly the sort of question feminism is unusually unreliable with respect to.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Thunder and Rain: Sweet Child O' Mine

That's Not Baseball: NL To Adopt DH?

Brett Joshpe: "Baseball's Crime Against Humility"
My long-standing view: If the pitcher doesn't bat, it's not baseball.

Anti-Masculinity Indoctrination At UT

This is appalling.
But it's par for the course.
Look, I actually think that there are some interesting things to say about gender, including masculinity. There's 10,000 times too much of that shit in universities right now, and it's typically done very, very badly. Badly enough that it's probably worse than nothing at all. Badly enough to make its But that doesn't mean it can't be done well--and it sometimes is.
   But there's no excuse for this stuff like the UT thing. This has nothing to do with the telos of the university. Universities shouldn't be conducting programs aimed at social change. Especially politically non-neutral social change. And, I'm almost tempted to say: especially crackpot lefty social change, which I now am tempted to say is the most destructive kind. But really, that last bit is just anger. We should stop with: they shouldn't be doing any of it.
   A counterpoint: what about pushing points about sexual consent? Yeah, yeah, ok. If that were done more sanely...well...campus drinking-and-hookup culture seems to have made that a possible emergency that has to be dealt with. There's no excuse for wasting resources on this masculinity shit. And don't try to link it up with the other topic. No stretching.
   Pushing this anti-masculinity nonsense is no better than pushing Pentecostalism or Scientology.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Lindsey Graham: I'll Bet I Can Out-Indian Warren

Oh Lindsey're the American politician I currently hate least.

Was Gary Hart Set Up?

F*cking Lee Atwater, man.
I don't hope he's in The Bad Place...but it's not like he completely doesn't deserve it.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Elizabeth Warren Does Have Native American Ancestry

Well, sorta, anyway.
My ruling: it counts! She said she did, she does, end of story...even if it might be less than the average American. You gotta draw the line somewhere, and, since nobody was more specific than 'some,' the line is drawn anywhere north of 0.
827 days left.

"Transgender" Man Wins Women's Cycling Championship

Q: How many legs does a horse have if we call its tail a leg?
A: Four. Calling it one doesn't make it one.
That's actually a pretty insightful little riddle...
   Rachel McKinnon is a man who prefers to represent himself as a woman--as is his right. (He's also a philosopher, incidentally.) But, really, no serious puzzle arises simply because someone cooked up the term "trans woman." "Trans women" are men--adult males. Calling them "women"--or some version of the term--doesn't change that. Word magic is as fictional as any other kind of magic. If we're going to use such a term at all, the term for someone like McKinnon should be 'trans man.' Though 'man', alone, is sufficient.
   It's astonishing to me--and disheartening--that the left is so easily manipulated. Liberals were certainly right to take the side of sexual minorities in the sexual revolution. But progressives have, as usual, taken a good idea and pushed it to an absurd extreme. Instead of protecting the rights of a minority to live their lives largely without interference from others...they've fallen over the edge. Now they're arguing that the interests of sexual minorities trumps not only the rights of others to live without interference, but facts as well.
   My own august institution is currently considering a faculty senate resolution which would make non-standard pronoun use upon demand mandatory. I won't do we're talking about a resolution that could cost me my job. If the administration were so foolish as to try to enforce it. Which, of course, they won't be, as it's an obvious attempt to compel speech.'s a sad damn day when the courts and the administration have to curb the totalitarian impulses of faculty. I'm beginning to think that, among all of academia's many problems, its takeover by the left may just be the most serious.

Kyle Smith: "'White Women' Becomes A Disparaging Term"

The crazy left reeeally does not like white people.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Brett Stephens: "Democrats Are Blowing It Again"

Right on the money. Right smack dab on the money:
     Michael Kelly, the legendary journalist who died covering the invasion of Iraq in 2003, once wrote that the “animating impulse” of modern liberalism was to “marginalize itself and then enjoy its own company. And to make itself as unattractive to as many as possible.”
     “If it were a person,” he added, “it would pierce its tongue.”
     But if the most liberals can say for their political tactics is that they aren’t as bad as Trump’s, they are indicting themselves twice — for imitating the wrong model, and for doing it worse.
     I write all this as someone who is on record hoping Republicans get pummeled in the midterms — a fitting electoral rebuke for their slavish devotion to an unfit president and their casual abandonment of long-held conservative principles. America desperately needs a party that stands for sanity and moderation, not extremism and demagoguery.
It is, as Stephens notes, a pity they can't both lose.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Is It Better To Be Born Rich Than Gifted?

DCCC On Da Phone

Just got a fundraising call from the DCCC. I told the dude, politely, right up front that I wasn't going to contribute. He asked why. I told him. He started talking over me and trotting out all the currently-fashionable left-wing nonsense...hate speech, only racists oppose the Dems...we don't technically support Antifa...  I'm calling him on red herrings and non sequiturs...the thing is, he can't even be minimally sane, minimally reasonable and minimally liberal for the three minutes it might have taken to get some money out of me. Well...not me anymore...but past me. Or somebody like me. He's talking over me like crazy. I start getting pissed. I start talking over him. I tell him that all the Dems have to do is stiff-arm the crazy left. Just shift back to the center a bit, and I'm back on board... Then comes "Nazis" this and "the Klan" that and "you know what happened when the Nazis came to Boston? We put the boot to their heads." "Well, there ya go," I said. "You've confirmed my point. You people don't believe in the First Amendment." But he couldn't stop. Eventually I said "Not only am I not giving you any money, just because of this call, I'm not going to give the Dems any money this year at all, and, in fact, I'm going to call up the NRCC and give them some money." He still couldn't stop. By the end he's saying "WE'LL BE RIDING THAT BLUE WAVE IN NOVEMBER," and I'm saying "I'll be laughing my ass off when that doesn't happen..." Then I hung up on him.
   In my experience--and I have a lot of it--the people working the phones for Democratic fundraising are pretty bad. Either rude people who are getting paid for it or nutty dogmatists like this guy. (People doing GOTV phone banks stuff and canvassing are completely different in my experience.) He couldn't even be reasonable for a solid minute. He just started right in with the bullshit like "if we stand up for ourselves we're called an angry mob," which prompted me to laugh at him. And try to patiently (well, semi-patiently) explain that nobody is saying that. What we're saying is that when you're an angry mob your an angry mob.
   RIP donkey team, I guess.

[LOL oh, forgot the part where, after I said "Z0MG ahm totally giving to the NRCC," he said "I've got their number right here: 1-800-KKK." LOL that was pretty funny actually. Though I'm pretty easily amused.]

Jonathan Chait Goes Over To The Dumb Side

   We need to recognize and condemn mob action on both sides...but right now it's the left that's the most salient problem. And the fact that right-wing mobs have been a problem as well changes nothing about left-wing mobs.
   Also: I think such comparative questions are the road to perdition. It's easier to cheat with respect to comparative judgments, and easy to use them in fallacious tu quoque defenses. Neither Trump's badness nor the Tea Party's makes contemporary rabid leftist mobs any less bad.

The Left: An Unhinged Mob

Blogger has developed a strange tendency to refuse to embed YouTube videos critical of the left. I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explanation for this...
Anyway, here's one.

The Crazy Left Just Keeps Getting Crazier: Victoria Bissell Brown / Misandry Edition

I don't care what this psychotic, moronic, sexist lunatic thinks about men, and I don't much care about her opinion of us.
   Rather, I just gesture at this as evidence, relevant the next time someone claims that the leading ideas of the contemporary left really aren't that bad. Stop pretending. They absolutely are that bad.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Still Can't Watch The Whole Kanye Thing

I'm not even making this up: I think I've made it like 1.5 minutes in total.
It's so cringe-inducing that I honestly cannot watch it. I've tried...I can't.
Although...I gotta say...I was pretty shocked that Don Lemon called it a "minstrel show." I mean...I'm not the kind of person to make a big deal out of that sort of thing...and you know how fond I am of Don Lemon...but even I raised an eyebrow at that.
Thermonuclear cringefest would, IMO, have been better. Or maybe facepalm of Biblical proportions.

The New, Woke GOP

Via Instapundit: behold, the new, anti-PC GOP
Get rid of Trump, knock off 10% of the roughest, craziest edges, keep standing up to the banshees, and I'm yours.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

NEO: "The Politics Of Reporting On Left-Wing Violence Against The Right"

French: Progressive Mob Action Is A Real Problem

Here's this gem:
NPR, in an article that included descriptions of death threats against Republican senators, framed the story this way: “Republicans Seize On ‘Angry Mob’ Mantra To Keep Their Midterm Base Fired Up.”

The Kanye-Trump Summit

Yascha Mounk: "Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture"

   If you look at what Americans have to say on issues such as immigration, the extent of white privilege, and the prevalence of sexual harassment, the authors argue, seven distinct clusters emerge: progressive activists, traditional liberals, passive liberals, the politically disengaged, moderates, traditional conservatives, and devoted conservatives.
    According to the report, 25 percent of Americans are traditional or devoted conservatives, and their views are far outside the American mainstream. Some 8 percent of Americans are progressive activists, and their views are even less typical. By contrast, the two-thirds of Americans who don’t belong to either extreme constitute an “exhausted majority.” Their members “share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.”
     Most members of the “exhausted majority,” and then some, dislike political correctness. Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages.
     Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness—and it turns out race isn’t, either.
     Whites are ever so slightly less likely than average to believe that political correctness is a problem in the country: 79 percent of them share this sentiment. Instead, it is Asians (82 percent), Hispanics (87percent), and American Indians (88 percent) who are most likely to oppose political correctness. As one 40-year-old American Indian in Oklahoma said in his focus group, according to the report:
It seems like everyday you wake up something has changed … Do you say Jew? Or Jewish? Is it a black guy? African-American? … You are on your toes because you never know what to say. So political correctness in that sense is scary.
Read more »

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Behold, The Left: More Anti-Kavanaugh Crazies

Behold, The Campus Left

Kavanaugh Protests 1

What If We Found Out The Truth About The Kavanaugh / Ford Incident?

It would matter practically...but how much would it matter with respect to assessing the rationality / reasonability of the the respective camps? I mean...ultimately, I suppose I'm so undecided that the oscillations of my doxastic needle don't matter too much. CBF's account could be true. It doesn't involve any overt internal inconsistencies, it loosely coheres with some facts--e.g. about BK's crowd of friends and the date of the 7/1/82 within about seven weeks... I've already talked about its weaknesses.
   BK seems to have been quite a drunk, and possibly a bully, and he seems to have either started or at least dramatically escalated at least one bar fight. So I think there's objective support for JQ's hunch that he is (or at least was) a mean drunk. He probably lied under oath...but he lied about undergraduate drinking...and I'm given to believe that that's the sort of thing people look the other way about. (Though he seems to have turned himself around, and to be a pretty exemplary dude in adulthood.)
   At any rate, neither one scores high when their story's held up against the available evidence. 
   Subjectively, in terms of demeanor and so forth, I didn't find either of them notably credible, for what that's worth. Actually, we know what it's worth: basically nothing. Ford in particular set off alarm bells to me. But so what? What's more important is that, objectively speaking, nothing she showed us meets any significant standard of proof. 
   So suppose we found out that Ford was making it all up? Or that she isn't? What would it matter? I've inclined more toward disbelieving Ford somewhat more than I disbelieved Kavanaugh, I suppose. But if we found out she was lying, it wouldn't me make any righter in any significant way. Hunches are about a half-step better than flipping a coin in a case like this. Of course if Ford turned out to be right, the left would claim that this showed they were more reasonable, and the right would do the same if the tables were turned.
   So, though I'd obviously very much like to know what actually happened, it wouldn't really mean anything for the rationality of the respective sides. It would make one side lucky, but that's about all.
   This isn't quite right...but something like that.

W&L Renames Buildings, Orders Portraits Of Lee In Military Attire Replaced

   No surprise. I think this wave of crazy will come and go, and they probably won't come for Washington--nor Mr. Jefferson--until the next wave. But it'll happen at some point. And, of course, this wave might not go at all.
   The future is a stupid place.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Nikki Haley: Another Adult Leaves The Building

Well shit.
   On the bright side: rumors (that she denies) that she'll challenge Trump in 2020.

McConnell: OK To Consider SCOTUS Nominees In An Election Year

Monday, October 08, 2018

Behold, The Left: Antifa In Portland Allowed To Direct Traffic

I do not even want to think what would happen if I found myself in that situation.

The Left, Reason, Disagreement, And Group Interest

When you see everything in terms of power and group interest, members of your own group disagreeing with you becomes a puzzle. The leftier left also has a tendency to irrationalize...well...everything*...but especially dissent from its doctrines. I'm a white dude, so my rejection of leftist doctrines is the effect of...somethingorother...for whatever values of somethingorother. It doesn't matter that much..."white privilege" is one flavor of the moment. "Male privilege" is another, as is "patriarchy." Or whatever. The point is to reduce rational, purposive belief and action to the results of mechanism or something similar. So, faced with, e.g., women who don't toe the party line on Kavanaugh, they have to generate some kind of psychobabble or sociobabble to explain away what is, in fact, a not-at-all-puzzling phenomenon. Why did Republican women disagree with the progressive line on Kavanaugh? Well, for one thing, the evidence rationally underdetermined theory-choice as between (a) Ford's account is true and (b) Kavanaugh's account is true. For another, Republican women probably come to the problem with a different set of beliefs and values. For example, they're probably a lot less likely to think in terms of advancing the interests of women as a group. Those differences might themselves require explanation, but that doesn't seem to mean they don't constitute a partial explanation for the phenomenon in question.

*This is really the crux of my disagreement with the lefty-left: they are overly-fond of deflationary, irrationalist explanations of belief and action. Of course such explanations have an important role to play in our overall accounts of belief and action. But the lefty-left has a preference that draws them toward explanations that completely wipe out rationality and autonomy. Even though I often think that the roles of reason and autonomy might be fairly small, there is, I think, all the difference in the world between thinking that we're only a little bit free and rational and thinking that we never are. To believe the latter is to just fall right off the cliff, IMO.

Behold, The Senior Art Critic For New York Magazine

Somin: "The Case Against Court-Packing"


There's no doubt in my mind that some of this has to do with me. I was oblivious to the left lean of philosophy and the academy generally for so long, that, having finally recognized it, it stands out like a sore thumb. And I'm writing at a particularly left-leaning time. But, man, PHILOS-L, the main listserv for conference announcements in philosophy, is just lousy with the stuff. The most eyerollerific offering this morning is a conference on "limits to wealth." I mean, of course, basically everything is fair game in philosophy...and there are some interesting questions in that vicinity...and theoretically one might approach such a topic neutrally. But...I guarantee you that's not what's happening.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Hysterical Lefty Protesters Claw At 13-Ton Solid Brass Doors At SCOTUS

If right-wing protesters were doing this, the media would... (left as an exercise for the reader)

Scott Kelly Apologizes For Quoting Churchill

Jesus, why do people prostrate themselves before the online mob?
   Churchill rules. Got a problem with that, FIGHT ME IRL, PC swine. Know who else hated Churchill? Y'know who? Y'know? Oh yeah...I think you know...

This Is The Left: Alexis Grenell: "What Women, Come Get Your People"

Here's why people like me are very, very concerned about the progressive left.
   Stop pretending that this kind of crazy won't catch on. It's already caught on, dumbass. It's the kind of nonsense one can hear at every university. The NYT clearly seems to think that it's within the current Overton Window. Maybe it won't catch on is no longer a viable position.
   Here's a tip for you: left-crazy is every bit as crazy as right-crazy, and it's every bit as dangerous. American liberals...y'know...when they existed...couldn't get that through their heads. They just never could.
   On the bright side, the crazy left tends to fragment and quickly commence to eating its own. One minute it's F*ck The minute, it's the Judean People's Front vs. the People's Front of Judea (splitters!).  Witness how La Resistance went from Sisterhood Is Powerful to F*ck Off White Women in less than twelve hours... So there's some comfort in that, I'll admit.

Sully On Kavanaugh

As usual, don't read the comments.
Wow, the comments under Sullivan's posts seem to be stupid even by the standards of the internet now that he's publishing at that site.

Dreher: "Progressive Tribalism Beats The War Drums"

Back To A Supermajority To Confirm Justices?

Is there any hope?

Presumably The Kavanaugh Investigation Will Continue Informally

I expect the red and blue teams to keep investigating Kavanaugh and Ford et al. I presume we'll get something akin to the investigation of the TX Air National Guard memo about Dubya. Anyway, if I were the left, I'd be at least fairly confident that, if the relevant anti-Kavanaugh evidence exists, they'll be able to scare it up. And then impeachment or resignation will be a real possibility.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Kavanaugh's Confirmation More Bipartisan Than Obamacare

Lindsey Graham Fever

Kavanaugh Is In

I do not know what to think about this.

Justice Kagan: People Should Try To Be Civil *And* People Should Lose Their Thin Skins...

...give people the benefit of the doubt, and try to debate ideas in a serious way.
Somebody should put this on a loop on all the 10,000 tv screens blaring nonsense on my campus.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Thiessen: "Ford's Case Against Kavanaugh Continues To Erode"

Paul Sperry: "Renovation Records Undercut Ford's Exit-Door Account"

Yeah, she's lying.
I've been meaning to rant more about this. But this information about the beach house seals the deal. She's renting out part of her house to Google there's a pretty good chance there's not even a way to get from one part of the house to the other. At least there's likely to be a locked door separating the two areas. Apparently this is a scam to get around zoning ordinances, retconned to accommodate the "memories" of being attacked by Kavanaugh. That's how I'd bet, anyway. (If I'm wrong, and she really was attacked, then I'll do my time in The Hell For People Who Don't Believe Sexual Assault Victims without complaint.)
   I didn't know the bit about her beach house--with no second door. Adding a new door basically requires a weekend and a sawsall. Or you can pay someone to do it for a couple hundred dollars. Well...depending on what kind of door they'd want, and because they live in a richy-rich area, let's say: a couple thousand. Chump change to them, I'm sure.
   But they never bothered to put one in.
   Because she's--very, very likely, at least--making it up.
   Furthermore: is this a known reaction to claustrophobia? If not, that's more evidence.
   And don't even get me started on the alleged fear of flying...

Thursday, October 04, 2018

"We Were Bret Kavanaugh's Drinking Buddies; We Don't Think He Should Be Confirmed"

Et tu, m*ther f*ckers?
When even your drinking buddies don't have your back...damn.
I have been skeptical...but I think this probably puts and end to any doubts about whether Kavanaugh lied--under oath--about his undergraduate drinking.
But the silver lining in all of this is that I now feel much better about my undergraduate drinking...

[Incidentally, note that the only pics the Post now uses of Kavanaugh are the mean scowly-face ones. Journmamalism!]

Pluckrose, Lindsay and Boghossian: "Academic Grievance Studies And The Corruption Of Scholarship"

A long piece from the triumvirate who Sokalized 7-14 "grievance studies" journals. These are the heroes who gave us some sweet-ass papers I've lol'd at here pretty recently, including:
  • "Human Reactions to Rape Culture and Queer Performativity in Urban Dog Parks in Portland, Oregon" (colloquially known as "dog park rape culture")
  • "Going in Through the Back Door: Challenging Straight Male Homohysteria and Transphobia through Receptive Penetrative Sex Toy Use"
  • "An Ethnography of Breastaurant Masculinity: Themes of Objectification, Sexual Conquest, Male Control, and Masculine Toughness in a Sexually Objectifying Restaurant"
  • "When the Joke Is on You: A Feminist Perspective on How Positionality Influences Satire"
  • "Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism"
All of these were accepted for publication. "When the joke" was published in Hypatia, the leading feminist philosophy journal--which already disgraced itself (at least) once in the last year-or-so, in the Tuvel affair. "Our struggle" is apparently a chapter of Mein Kampf rewritten in popomo / grievance studies jargon.
   NB4: grievance studyists start arguing that (a) these papers are obviously bad and should never have been published so this shows nothing...nothing!, (b) this doesn't count because something something academic fraud something something the fabric of trust that something academia, and/or (c) Hey, they accidentally produced legitimate grievance studies scholarship!

Was The Kavanaugh Investigation Sufficiently Thorough?

Sure doesn't sound like it...but needless to say, I know exactly nothing about how to run an investigation of anything more complicated than "Did little Kaitlyn and and little Tanner cheat on their little philosophy quiz?"

How Dare You Talk To Women Like...You Would Talk To Men!

Senator Hatch, do you believe women?
Well, not if the suppressed quantifier is universal...

The Race Is On To Find Planet X

Insta-Glenn is right on the money.

Lindsey Graham vs. REEEEEEsister

REEEEEsister: [something about how Kavanaugh should take a polygraph]

Lindsey Graham: Why don't we dunk him in water and see if he floats.

Dude is on fire...
This story includes this line, delivered without obvious consciousness of irony:
"The foundation maintains that winners are never chosen for any political reasons..."
Here's the complete list of winners. I stopped looking them up after awhile:
●Matthew Aucoin, 28, a composer and conductor with the American Modern Opera Company/Los Angeles Opera
●Julie Ault, 60, an artist and curator in New York City. [for ""redefining the role of the artwork and the artist by melding artistic, curatorial, archival, editorial, and activist practices into a new form of cultural production."]
●William J. Barber II, 55, a pastor and social justice advocate with Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C.
●Clifford Brangwynne, 40, a biophysical engineer at Princeton University.
●Natalie Diaz, 40, a poet who teaches at Arizona State University. [a "Mojave American poet, language activist, and educator".]
●Livia S. Eberlin, 32, an analytical chemist at the University of Texas in Austin.
●Deborah Estrin, 58, a computer scientist at Cornell Tech.
●Amy Finkelstein, 44, a health economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
[dunno why this formatting is messed up sry]
  • ●Gregg Gonsalves, 54, an epidemiologist and global health advocate at Yale University. [epidemiologist and global health advocate at Yale University who spent nearly three decades as an HIV/AIDS activist.]
  • Vijay Gupta, 31, a violinist and social justice advocate with the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Street Symphony.
  • ●Becca Heller, 36, a human rights lawyer with the International Refugee Assistance Project.
●Raj Jayadev, 43, a community organizer and co-founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug.
●Titus Kaphar, 42, a painter in New Haven, Conn.
●John Keene, 53, a writer in the Department of African American and African Studies at Rutgers University.
●Kelly Link, 49, a fiction writer in Northampton, Mass.
●Dominique Morisseau, 40, a playwright at Signature Theatre in New York City.
●Okwui Okpokwasili, 46, a choreographer and performer in New York City.
●Kristina Olson, 37, a psychologist [studying "transgender" children] at the University of Washington.
●Lisa Parks, 51, a media scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
●Rebecca Sandefur, 47, a sociologist and legal scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
●Allan Sly, 36, a mathematician at Princeton University.
●Sarah T. Stewart, 45, a planetary scientist at the University of California at Davis.
●Wu Tsang, 36, a filmmaker and performance artist in New York City.
●Doris Tsao, 42, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology.
●Ken Ward Jr., 50, an investigative journalist with the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Other 2018 fellows have made their art a conduit for social activism — like Vijay Gupta, 31, a violinist and social justice advocate who provides musical enrichment to the homeless, incarcerated and others in Los Angeles; Natalie Diaz, 40, a poet at Arizona State University whose works explores the lingering impact of violence and oppression in the lives of indigenous Americans; and Okwui Okpokwasili, 46, a choreographer and performance artist whose pieces combine storytelling, music and movement to convey the stories of African and African American women.
The MacArthur grants are a pretty cool thing...but they're not only political, they're almost entirely political. The PC left is so deep in its own echo chamber that it has forgotten there's a world outside it.

Pubs Signal Satisfaction With Kavanaugh Report

Dunno what's in there.
I wouldn't be likely to vote to confirm given what I know right now, I suppose, and having not seen the report.
The hearsay seems to indicate that there are relevant people the FBI didn't talk to. But, again, we don't know what's in the report.
I suppose my half-baked inclination is to think: the Pubs can confirm somebody fast if they want, or they can move forward on Kavanaugh, but not both. 
I don't see what harm another week of investigation would do. Well...not exactly true. I think I understand the harm it would do, but I suppose it to be better than the alternative, which is: making someone a Supreme when there are such doubts about him. That doesn't mean that we have to knuckle under to "Me Too" hysteria. I suppose it seems that there's a rational via media between (a) listen and believe and (b) just ramming him through.
But philosophers undoubtedly make shitty senators.

Photos Of Earthquake/Tsunami Aftermath In Indonesia

The Realio, Trulio End Of The Kavanaugh Nomination

Great reporting by the New Yorker.
   The statement by the Georgetown prep student makes me much less skeptical of Ford's story.
   One thing that seems pretty clear: Kavanaugh was a penis in high school. That doesn't necessarily disqualify you from the Supreme Court in middle age...but it makes all the accusations more plausible.

Trump Mocking Ford

Not cool.
838 days left.

It's a completely different case, of course, but the left was gleeful about SNL mocking Kavanaugh--who, so far as we can tell, has been falsely accused of awful acts.
Though, again, it's not the president.
Though I doubt Ford's story, the president obviously shouldn't be doing such things.
But, then, that guy's an idiot so whaddaya expect?

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Kavanaugh Busted Irrevocably

Well, that's it for him...there's no coming back from this:
"I didn't socialize with Brett," Roche said. "He would come home and he was incoherent, stumbling, he would sometimes be singing, he occasionally would wear this -- I think it was an old leather football helmet -- and he would throw up, and then in the morning would have a lot of trouble getting out of bed."
Stumbling? An old-school leather football helmet?? Singing???? This man was a menace! I'll tell you right now that I never...never!...had trouble getting out of bed after a night of drinking as an undergrad. The mere thought of it! I certainly hope Judge Kavanaugh is in a 12-step program. He may even need a 24-step program, by the sound of it.. I can say with great confidence that no one else in the U.S. government drank in college...most notably not Obama...who not only didn't drink, but didn't smoke weed either, and absolutely didn't didn't inhale. And also didn't do any coke or anything.
   I've got no particular view about Kavanaugh. I doubt much would be lost if we just moved on to the next nominee. Or, rather, I think that would be true in a vacuum. But, honestly, the Dems are going insane, and their behavior in this matter has been deplorable. I don't think SCOTUS should be treated as a political football...but I do think part of me will cheer if the Pubs tell the blue team to shove it and confirm him. I mostly hope they take the high road...not that they're particularly known for that or anything. I do think that the flames of rationality can be fanned in the Dems...though it's a long shot. And I do think it matters that a SCOTUS nominee has lied under oath, even if about fairly trivial matters. But this nonsense about treating even completely unsubstantiated sexual assault allegations as tantamount to proof has to stop. 
   That having been said--the Ramirez accusation does concern me quite a lot.