Friday, November 30, 2018

"How Twitter's Ban On 'Deadnaming' Promotes Free Speech"

Translation: how suppressing free speech promotes free speech.
   At least Molloy is kinda sorta trying to engage with real issues. Not very well...but I appreciate the effort. I don't see anything in there really worth addressing in detail. There's the usual hyperbolic nonsense to the effect that any transgression of trans ideology is tantamount to threatening their "existence." And, of course, there's the central dispute about whether or not using their old names can reasonably be considered some horrible thing. I mean, all sorts of things can be done annoyingly, and/or with bad intent. Even just using a form of someone's name that they don't like can be assholish--consider some conservatives's insistence on referring to Obama as "Barry." I actually tend to agree that somebody who insists on calling Jenner 'Bruce' all the time is, well, kinda being an asshole. I do not in any way agree that there is something wrong with noting that Jenner's name was 'Bruce' for most of his life, nor with noting that Jenner is, in fact, a man. But writing either of those truths on Twitter--not that I would ever write anything on Twitter--would get me banned.
Read more »

Do White Liberals Dumb Themselves Down When Speaking To Blacks?

I've got to say that this would cohere with my emerging suspicions about the differences between conservatives and liberals.

Does The Climate Report Feed "Alarmist Fearmongering"?

Kinda sounds that way.
Apparently a significant part of the dispute is over "RCP8.5"...which does, indeed, sound like a crackpot worse-than-worst-case scenario.

Ivan Krastev: A European Goes To Trump's Washington

This wasn’t my first visit to America, but it was my most disturbing one. What I found so disconcerting was the pervasive political polarization afflicting the country. It was also clear that America has become inward-looking and conspiracy-minded. And in Washington now, people are incapable of discussing anything but President Trump. They talk about Mr. Trump even when they pretend to be speaking about something else. It’s all Trump, all the time.
He seems to indicate that most of the conspiratorial thinking--about Trump anyway--is on the left. Which seems right to me. The right has always seemed to me to have its conspiracy theories...I guess The Deep State Contra Trump is a new, trumpy one, though. It does seem to me that we now seem a bit like the Afghanistan/Iraq we sometimes hear about, in which everybody basically swims in a sea of rumors.
   Mr. Trump’s presidency has ushered in two significant changes that are likely to have staying power. First, with his administration, Americans have lost confidence in their exceptionalism. It’s not just the president but also the millennials (who predominantly oppose him) who no longer share the belief that America is an “indispensable nation” with a moral obligation to make the world safe for democracy. The difference is that the millennials believe that America is hardly better than other countries, while Mr. Trump believes that if America wants to defend its global leadership, it has to be nastier than others.
   Second, under the Trump presidency, rivalry with China has become the organizing principle of American foreign policy. Republicans and Democrats disagree on almost everything today, but one area where there seems to be effective bipartisanship is that America must change its policy toward China. Only a few lost souls in Washington continue to believe that China’s economic development will lead to a political opening. There is now a consensus that allowing China to join the World Trade Organization in 2001 was a mistake and that if America fails to contain China’s geopolitical reach now, tomorrow it will be impossible to do so. America’s anxiety about China is in my view a realization of the fact that China’s market-friendly, big-data authoritarianism is a much more dangerous adversary for liberal democracies than Soviet Communism ever was.
I don't even know whether the first thing is true, much less the second. 

"Individual 1 Emerges As A Major Subject Of Mueller Probe"

As is the current practice of the Post, the actual information in the story sounds less ominous than the headline. My bet is still: collusion: no; obstruction: yes. But I'm still just waiting for Mueller's conclusions.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Google Employees Debated Burying Conservative Media In Search Results

Holy crap.

I Miss The New Republic

Like, a lot.

WaPo: A "Transgender Woman" Is Challenging Chicago's Definition Of The Female Breast

The article is written in PC newspeak, as is the WaPo's practice. So, of course, the transgender "woman" in question is not a woman, but a man who has, apparently, had cosmetic surgery to appear womanly. Consequently, I don't see the problem. Sullivan-Knoff is not a woman, so the ordinance does not apply to him.
   As for whether there should be laws banning women from exposing their breasts in public--well, that's a perfectly reasonable question. Such laws aren't particularly easy to defend, and perhaps they should be ditched. OTOH, it's also not easy to defend laws requiring people to wear clothes at all. If we keep going down this road, we'll soon enough find ourselves facing demands that people be allowed to have sex in public. As an abstract (and not very interesting) philosophical question, it's probably worth some thought. As actual matters of public policy: there are all sorts of laws and conventions that can't be easily defended except by saying that there are some things that the vast majority of us don't want to have to see and be around.
   One of the weird things I keep noting about transanity is that it does sometimes raise questions that are worth thinking about...even if they are raised in a distorted form, having been reflected in the funhouse mirror of transgender ideology. Does it actually make sense to segregate public restrooms and locker rooms by sex? How about sports? Scholarships and grants? I'm inclined to think that the answer is yes in at least most of those cases...but it's not the most obvious thing in the world. It's just bizarre that the questions end up getting raised as a result of a political faction shriekily demanding a purely linguistic change in the use of the words 'man' and 'woman.'

"Donald Trump Is Destroying My Marriage"

All of these people are batshit crazy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Breakdown Of Manafort Plea Deal A Setback For Mueller Investigation


Do White Liberals Represent Themselves As Less Competent In Interactions With Blacks?

Also weird.

Do Well-Educated People Think They're Farther To The Left Than They Actually Are?


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Space Racism...Or...Spaceism, If You Will

Shitty PC-popomo pseudophilosophy is everywhere.
Even Mars isn't safe.

The Atlantic Discovers The First Amendment...Sort Of...

Why aren't these Wisconsin high school kids being punished for "mimicking a Nazi salute"?
The answer may surprise you!

Oceania Is At War With Fascism

1984 Map?

Heather Mac Donald: Feminists' Undue Process

Three more cheers for Betsy DeVos and Trump's Ed.

Everything Is Racist: Orcs Are Racist

Orcs are racist.

See how, once I assert something, it's easy to talk yourself into thinking something like: Yeah...I guess I can kind of see that...
That's all the pomo/PC left needs to conclude that it's true.
Though, y'know, nothing is actually true true...

Woman Aggrieved Because People Don't Recognize That Her Son Isn't The Race He Appears To Be

Her son is biracial, but looks white.
He doesn't think of himself as white.
People tend to take him for white...because he kind of is...and that's what he looks like.
This is the source of her aggrievement.

Ben Shapiro: The Real-World Consequences Of Submitting To The Transgender Zeitgeist

Pathetic Conservative Hasn't Even Been Banned From Twitter Yet

RIP Larry Becker

He was a really impressive guy. We weren't close, but he was the chair part of the time I was at W&M, and I liked him and respected him very much.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Trump v. Acosta Re: Invasion

Trump Was Right About The "Caravan"

Signs That We Have In My House

Because...I guess...that's the kind of people we are...

Gerfried Ambrosch: The Deep Roots Of The Illiberal Left

The left hasn’t “gone mad,” as is often said. In a sense, it has always been mad. Illiberalism, intolerance, and authoritarianism, presented in the guise of progressive “liberalism,” arguably have a long, constitutive tradition on the left. Marx himself was known for his imperious intolerance.
I thought he was going to make the point a bit differently: it hasn't exactly gone mad...rather, it has a theory. Its principles/ideals, its world-view, and its modes of reasoning are all wrong (and pernicious). It's not exactly madness...not if madness is analogous to a hardware problem. The left has something more like a software problem: like the religious right, it's in the grip of bad theories and bad principles. It's running a madness emulator...
   Anyway...not a huge surprise to find out that Marx was dogmatic.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sex Wasn't Better Under Socialism

Evidence Against Global Warming Swept Under The Rug; NYT Reporter Advocates Climate Hysteria

Nothing to see here...move along...  As we know, global cooling is also global warming.
Also: the sky is falling.

NASA Falls For Popomo Gibberish

I blame the philosophy for being so insular. Continental / popomo gibberish has become the philosophical coin of the realm. Basically anybody outside of philosophy (and classics) who runs up against philosophical questions adopts the general framework of popomo nonsense because it's what's available and they just don't know any better.
   Thus, by being so insular, we've given the world the scourge of Foucault everywhere.

"My New Vagina Won't Make Me Happy"

We actually aren't capable of creating vaginas, of course. 
But if we could, and if that still wouldn't make such a person happy, then that would be still further evidence that vaginas and/or the lack thereof are not the source of the problem.

Timothy Snyder: Trump Doesn't Even Rise To The Level Of Fascism

This...does not seem good at all to me.
But it may deserve more thought.
Seems like a mess to me on one read, though.
Among the many weird things in it is the attempt to link the 'fake news' locution with the Nazi 'Lugenpresse.' Everybody thinks that some news outlets are crap. How is the liberal 'Faux News' for Fox News any different, terminologically speaking, than 'fake news'? Synder (like others) seems to be arguing that the very fact that Trump thinks that some news outlets are unreliable indicates that he's a Nazi...because Lugenpresse!
   I'm not a Trump man, obviously...and one does worry more than a little...and more than a moderate amount...about what seem to be authoritarian tendencies. But bad arguments don't become good merely because their conclusion is 'Orange man bad.'
   I think Trump shouldn't be anywhere near the presidency, but I don't think he's a fascist...let alone "not even a fascist". Snyder's thought more about fascism than I have...but he doesn't make a good case in this piece.

Twitter Shuts Down Feminist Who Points Out That Men Can't Be Women

Feminists are some of the only people allowed to question transgender ideology at all...but they still face corporate and informal censorship.

Brendan O'Neill: There's No Such Thing As A Trans Kid

This stuff really is almost entirely a creation of the cultural left. 
As one of my colleagues is wont to remind me, this is one kind of case in which the term 'social construction' may be apt: somebody makes up the idea, gerrymanders a theory of it, then society convinces people that that's what they are. In case you doubt that:
The number of kids being referred to the NHS’s gender-service unit has risen by 2,500 per cent over the past nine years. It is reported that autistic children are particularly prone to reinterpret their confusions through the gender lens, the more it becomes socially sanctioned to do so. Young teenage girls are binding their breasts in the belief that they are really boys; young boys are increasingly being allowed to turn up to school in girls’ clothes; and more teens are being prescribed drugs that hold back puberty, that essential, natural progression to adulthood.

'Toxic' Is Now A Very, Very Stupid Word

...joining the ranks of 'offensive' and 'problematic'...

Pluckrose On The Bizarre Criticism of Peter Boghossian In The Portland State Vanguard

Wow that thing is embarrassing.
The longer your in academia, the clearer it becomes that many academicians just aren't very smart. The humanities in particular are largely filled with articulate, reasonably well-educated people who are interested in their field...but aren't necessarily the sharpest tools in the shed. And many of them don't even have the virtue of objectivity, which is probably more important than smarts.
   If these are the best criticisms they can scrape up, it's game, set and match for Boghossian & co.

Graham Drope: Explaining The Lack Of Women In Philosophy

It's probably largely a natural difference in interests + more males at the relevant IQ level. But it wouldn't surprise me a lot if other factors contributed. It seems to me that more women are interested in recent "Continental" philosophy--but that stuff gets looked down on by people in my philosophical neck of the woods. It also tends to get done mostly outside of philosophy departments--unlike analytic and "post-analytic' stuff, it's been very influential elsewhere, and basically gets done across the humanities and softer social sciences. So: it tends to get done in fields in which there are more women--women's/gender studies, lit, sociology, anthropology, education...basically everywhere else that does any philosophy at all.
   It wouldn't surprise me, however, if stuff like sexual harassment and stereotype threat play some role, though. But: empirical question.

'True Polar Wander' May Have Caused Latest Ice Age

PC/Pomo Is Largely About Making Up Stupid Words

Like 'himpathy' and 'himpunity.'
The contemporary left is one big, rolling self-parody.

The Decline And Fall Of The Washington Post: Michelle Obama Little Free Library Edition

Not even just an item in the Lifestyle section, but one of the lead stories.
And, of course, racism.
Remember when the Washington Post was a serious newspaper?

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Vice: Why Straight Men Hate Astrology So Much


Man, I hate being right all the time.
   Even as I have foretold, the resurgence of PC/pomo seems to be accompanied by a new "new age": magical bullshit is, apparently, trendy again. Or, since popomo et al. is already trendy: even more overtly magical bullshit.
   Sexism and attitudes against sexual minorities have just been inverted by the far-ish left. Not all that long ago, if you'd have admitted that astrology is more of a chick thing (and, somehow...apparently a gay thing??), there would have been much shrieking. Because at least it would have been acknowledged that astrology is bullshit. Now, apparently, that bit is just skipped right over...and it's just peachy that lots of women are (apparently...but...who knows...because...Vice...) (and gay guys too? Really?) falling for magical, fantastical pseudoscience.
   What really matters is that straight guys (GAH! amirite?) hate it. And also that they hate it because...wait for it....wait for it...wait for it....IT'S "GENDERED" !!!!!111111
Read more »

Andrew McCarthy: "The Enemy Of The People"

I'm not sure what to think about this aspect of our on-going pan-cultural dust-up.
Here's the best I've been able to do so far as articulating my inchoate view goes:
Trump is largely right. The press is pretty awful. It's bad and even dangerous in that its left lean is nearly pervasive, and in some cases jaw-dropping. I'm wary of such comparisons, but I, personally, am now (but wasn't two years ago...and possibly won't be two years from now) rather more concerned about the destructive potential of the press than I am about that of the Unindicted-Co-Conspirator-In-Chief. If Trump doesn't flip his shit and wreck us, he probably won't do more harm than the press is doing. One reason for this: he'll likely be gone in 787 days, whereas we've got the press we've got for...maybe ever. Another reason: everything Trump does is subjected to the full force of the disapproval of the cultural superstructure; virtually nothing the press does is. (Unless it happens to stray rightward on some incidental issue here or rushing to war or somesuch...) Trump's basically right about "fake news." That's just a bumper sticker...but it basically means: much of the news we get is crap. It is. And it's mostly crap in the same crappy direction all the crappy time. Furthermore, given the above, there's a grain of truth in "enemy of the people." However...the president doesn't get to talk like that. This one is basically incapable of talking any other way, of course. But he doesn't get to. If he wants to say more-or-less what I've said here--and what McCarthy says in the link--then, by all means, say it. But the president has no business saying shit like "enemy of the people." This is the kind of thing we just do not do--and do not do for very excellent reasons. Including that it is ambiguous, on its face, as between something sane and something insane. Which is the problem with much of what Trump says. He blurts out a tangle of words that could mean anything along a spectrum covering a range of meanings. Some of those meanings are actually things that need to be said; others are things that should never be said. This is a really, really bad--an unacceptably bad--thing for a president to do. Even given the irresponsible, falsehood-promoting, dangerous, politically biased crapitude of the news media.
Well...that's basically my $0.02, FWIW...

Friday, November 23, 2018

Did Al Qaeda Set The Camp Fire?

This is a tactic I've worried about for a long time. Worried about it enough, in fact, that I don't think I've ever even mentioned it. There seems to be no particularly good reason to think that this fire is their doing, however.

The Jordan Commission Absolutely Did Not Recommend Cutting Immigration By 1/3 And Bill Clinton Absolutely Did Not Agree

As you may have seen, it is currently fashionable on the left to deny that this ever happened.
I don't know where I stand on happened.
As I've said many times, I'd like to see us start to at least consider considering trying to throttle back on population growth in the not-too-terribly-distant future...but it's obviously a complicated issue. It's downright bizarre to me that lowering the population is such a radioactive solution on both ends of the spectrum. I don't think it's terribly realistic to think we can really convince people to do it...but it's not inherently immoral to try to.

Henceforth, Night Will Always Have Been Day; We Are Not Permitted To Discuss This

Just one more little bit of craziness about all this: just as accusations of sexual assault are being made irrefutable, men are being put in more situations that make such accusations easier to make.
Also, needless to say, you're a bigot if you are skeptical of any of this, and, in fact, even discussing it is verboten.

Philosophy Beclowns Itself: Episode The...Like...Zillionth Or Whatever

This conference aims to open up questions and provide a platform for critical analysis concerning the underlying assumptions, ideologies, narratives, social structures etc. that are rooted in white colonialism, which have shaped (and continue to shape) reality for a multitude of people. The aim is to re-tell stories where white heterosexual upper-class men are no longer the protagonists, and to think critically about ways to re-shape our present reality in efforts towards decolonisation. [my emphasis]
Is that what they really meant to say?

Even Glenn Greenwald Is Fed Up With The TDS Double-Standard

Of course I'm not wild about GG...nor about tu quoques...NEVERTHELESS...
(Is this a tu quoque?
I think this sort of thing arises a lot when fallacy accusations are afoot. GG doesn't explicitly say that it's ok for Trump to do it because other presidents etc. have done it in the past... What he says might suggest that...but, strictly speaking, he doesn't say it. He just says that he's tired of people acting as if Trump invented this particular craptastic (but possibly: craptastically necessary) aspect of our foreign policy... Which isn't in any way fallacious.)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

I Think I Have Poultry Poisoning

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Matthew Continetti: The Real Forever War

I think this is basically right.
Which is not to deny that orange man bad.

Everything Is Racist: Ancient Aliens Is Racist

You really can't make this shit up.

God Bless Betsy DeVos

I've become so used to the seemingly non-stop parade of insanity in contemporary academia that this...I hardly know what to say. 
   I revere Obama and revile Trump...but on this issue there's just no doubt that Obama's Department of Education did great harm, and Trump's seems to have corrected it. De Vos has been ridiculed (occasionally justly--see: grizzly attacks) for being unqualified...but, to be honest, being unqualified may very well be the best qualification you can have given the state of contemporary education education. Ed schools and the education bureaucracy are filled with utterly daft theories, most of which have some link to the anti-liberal left. Given the choice between someone steeped in that nonsense and someone with no experience with education at all, I'd likely pick the latter. Starting from a clean slate is better than starting from a slate covered in nonsense. 
   I think this points to the contours of a general disagreement between conservatives and liberals/progressives: the latter are alleged to revere expertise, whereas the former are alleged to trust more to the policy judgments of the common man. I used to be firmly in the latter camp, and now I've begun to incline toward the former. I do so largely, I take it, for the same reason many conservatives incline that way: many alleged experts aren't allegedly experts because of intelligence and relevant knowledge; they're where they are because the left has colonized/subjugated the relevant area of study, and instilled leftist dogma as the orthodoxy...and "experts" have the preferred politics. This sets up the progressive two-step: take over a discipline, then appeal to the consensus in that discipline as evidence that progressive policy inclinations are "scientific." Oh: third step: ridicule conservatives for being antiscientific...
   Anyway: props to DeVos and her people for restoring some sanity with respect to Title IX.
   Oh and: beware the comments under the story, of course...unless you still deny that anti-liberal madness has become widespread on the left. Then, by all means, you should read the comments.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Trump's Lawyers Have Submitted Written Answers To The Special Counsel's Questions

Monday, November 19, 2018

Trump: We Should Have Got OBL Long Before We Actually Did

100% true.
We should have got him at Tora Bora. And we would have if Bush wasn't holding back men and materiel in anticipation of his push to invade Iraq.
Honestly, I don't even allow myself to reflect on that cluster of incidents anymore, because it drove me crazy for years. Now I just don't think about it.
Oh, but:
None of that's probably what Trump's talking about. He's probably trying to pin this on Obama somehow (and, obviously, Clinton too).
That dude kinda lives in a slightly different dimension than ours or something. It's not entirely unrelated to our's just...rotated Q-ward by @% or something.

Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler And Stalin

Holy God this is a good book:

I started it a couple of years ago, and got worn out by the carnage halfway through. Just started it up again. Massive and horrible, but absolutely a great book. One way to summarize it: the Holocaust, unfortunately, wasn't so special. It was merely (!) one episode in an on-going series of horific mass murders conducted by Stalin and Hitler in eastern Europe--often using starvation as the primary weapon. (Cannibalism turns out to have been a fairly common occurrence.)
   One sort of side-note: Snyder argues that Hitler initially wanted to exterminate the Slavs and kick out the Jews (not an uncommon claim)...but when the blitzkrieg on the eastern front failed, Himmler et al. basically (as was their habit) altered the plan so as to make it seem as if Hitler's wishes were, in spirit, at least, actually being actualized. So they decided that murdering the Jews had sort of been the actual goal after all. At least it would have to do.
   Also: I hadn't realized to what extent the Einsatzgruppen relied on adjunct recruits/henchmen recruited form local populations. Also, apparently, it was fairly easy to get the Einsatzgruppen to kill men. Getting them to kill women and children was a kind of hump they had to be pushed to get over. Unsurprisingly, I suppose.
   One major conclusion I draw from the book: if you lived roughly between Germany and Russia during the relevant time period, you were basically just f*cked.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA): If You Resist Gun Confiscation, We Will Nuke You

I may be paraphrasing...

Dan Crenshaw: How--Exactly--Does Trump Undermine Democracy?

Yeah, I've been puzzling over this one, too....
Trump does a lot of many obvious ways he's bad for the country...but how is he "undermining democracy"? I mean...I'd have thought that it's the other side that's most clearly making anti-democratic noises. For one thing, there's a sense in which they've never accepted the result of the 2016 presidential election. And there's certainly a widespread idea that Trump should be thwarted at every turn. Should that count as undermining democracy?
   But, anyway, lest I tumble fully into that tu quoque...  How's Trump doing it? Contra these knuckleheads, bashing the press for fake news doesn't count. For one thing, he's often right. For another thing, even bogus attacks on the press aren't clearly a case of "undermining democracy." News flash, press corps: criticizing you is not undermining democracy. I'm not saying that BS attacks on the press are good...but that's a different issue. Throwing Jim Acosta out isn't "undermining democracy."
   Anyway: how is it that Trump is "undermining democracy"?

Postpostmodernism And A New New Age: "Social Justice" and Astrology

Wow I hate being right all the time.
Looks like neo-PC may associated with some new new age magical bullshit.
Which makes a certain amount of sense, obviously, what with the contemporary left being so committed to social creationism, producing facts by fiat, and irrationalism generally.
Anyway, here ya go.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dogwhistle Watch: Medal of Freedom / Elvis Edition

Well, as they say, if you hear the dog whistle, you're the dog...
Isn't it funny how all the most important progressive stuff is undetectable? Dog whistles, structural *-ism, nanoaggressions, our secret, deep gender-selves, "implicit" bias...
There's a entirely undetectable my wristwatch...

A Not-Great But Not-Terrible Dialog About Trangenderism

It'd be hard to find two groups I disagree with more than radical feminists and transgender ideologues. But I admire these folks for having a civil public conversation on the subject. (Honestly, though, the incivility has been almost entirely on one side of this particular issue.)
   IMO most of this discussion just isn't terribly relevant, because the questions about alleged oppression and so forth are far, far, far, far, far less important than the questions about truth and falsehood. And those questions are pretty damn simple: can males be women? No. Can females be men? No. There's just nothing even interesting about those questions.It's an open-and-shut case. In fact, it's a not-even-worth-opening case.
   That doesn't answer any of the substantive questions about whether we should allow sex-segregation in restrooms and locker rooms, sports and scholarships. And all that. those questions could legitimately be raised, if not in actual policy contexts, at least in philosophy. What it does is make it clear that you can't settle those questions with mere semantic screwing around.
   Lawford-Smith produces far stronger arguments than Chappell--but, then, she's got a much stronger case than he does--when she focuses on the right issues, anyway.

Trump's Criticism Of The Media "Threaten[s] The Constitution"?

Uh...I don't see this at all.
The news media is pretty much of a disaster. How is it that criticizing a disastrous press is a threat to the Constitution? I'm not even sure that criticizing a good press would threaten the Constitution. Obviously Trump's criticisms are often stupid and false...really stupid and false... And having a president that says stupid, false things might be a threat to the Constitution. But I don't really see that saying stupid, false things about the press in particular...especially when it is itself stupid and prone to printing falsehoods and a particular threat to the Constitution.
   Don't get me wrong...I wish we had a more sensible president. I really, really do. It's not entirely irrelevant to note, however, that I also wish we had a more sensible news media. We have 792 days of Trump left. Then he's gone. The media, however, isn't going anywhere. And isn't likely to get notably better any time soon. It's not going to lose its hard left lean in the next year, nor the next five years, nor in a decade, nor for the rest of my life nor yours. If Trump can manage to basically keep things between the ditches--to not, say, start any actual shooting wars for the next 792 days--then there's a good chance that he'll leave office having done (in addition to a fair amount of good) far less harm to the U.S. than a persistently biased media.
   Anyway. I just don't see this criticism.
   But I do have to say that 792 days still sounds like an awfully long time.

Newsweek Reporter: "Almost Everyone I've Ever Heard Of Who Owns An AR-15 Is A Mass Murderer"

The reels...
(via Instapundit)

Overlord! Or: Nazi Zombie Army: The Movie

So my bud TL and I went to see it today--walked in and we were the only ones there at first. Sweet! Of course we sit in the primo row: the first one back of the walkway across the theater. Then two other people come in...and sit right in the same row, like two seats away. WTF? Then another dude walks in...and sits two seats down on the other side. So now there are only four small groups of people in the theater...three of them in the same row. What, pray tell, is up with that? It was such dumbassery I almost said something to them. In retaliation, I talked a lot during the movie, which I never, ever, ever do...
   Anyway: solid flick, would watch again.
   BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: 0.00% Hell's Bells content.
   Also, do prepare yourself: it's a solid flick...but, unsurprisingly, it doesn't live up to the stellar trailer...especially given that it's 100% AC/DC-free.
   [Some spoilage below.]
   I rarely notice acting, but I really thought Jovan Adepo brought something notable to Boyce. I'm not smart about movies, so I can't say more than that. But, though the writing extremely unremarkable, Adepo managed to make the character unusually likable. The Nazis are extra Nazi-y--rapey, spitty, nasty...zombie. So it's especially fun to see them get their due. It really did feel a bit like Nazi Zombie Army: The Movie--which is fine with me, because I like those games. There's a 30 Days Of Night gambit at one point. The one major disappointment to me was that the zombies are almost entirely science-y...which I don't understand. One of the reasons the Nazis are such over-the-top almost cartoonish villains is that...on top of the industrialized mass murder, the human experimentation, the genocidal mania, the master race cultishness, the trying to take over the world...the...well...y'know...basically everything about them...they were also, almost unbelievably, into the occult. I mean seriously. It's like they were downright trying to be the craziest bunch of murderous lunatics of all time. Exploiting that is part of what makes stuff like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Atrocity Archive (...and Nazi Zombie Army) awesome. I would have played that shit up to the hilt if I were making a Nazi zombie movie. Also I gotta deduct points for the human Nazi bomb which was just a bit too gruesome for the good guys, and didn't make any sense.
   Overlord didn't blow me away, and it probably won't blow you away, but it was a solid, fun flick. I mean...Nazis...zombies...idealized, anachronistic, racially integrated 'Muricans kicking ass, hot French-Resistance-type girl...little bit of sweet M1, Thompson, and MG-34 action...what's not to like?

Transanity: Rob Dreher: "The Abomination Of Desolation"

Obviously, I don't agree with all the religious stuff. But Dreher's in the right vicinity.

Behold, The Left: Grab-Bag Of Stupid Edition


...looks freaking terrible.
Shitty sci-fi/disaster movie checklist:
Global warming: check
Something something Earth's immune system/humans as sickness: check
Plot that simply cannot make sense no matter what: check
Try to make up for this by casting trendy actor who was in a somewhat sci-fi-ish thing once: check
Air superiority fighters fly two feet from giant monsters because just lighting the damn thing up with stand-off munitions would be boring: check
No A-10s or B-52s in this world: check
I'll pass: check

Trump's Ed Improves Title IX Regulations

I'm not a fan of Trump the person, obviously.
But I'm trying to focus on policies.
And a fair number of his policies are improvements on those of the Blue Team.
Despite my veneration of Obama, his Ed was a wreck, especially OCR. (One of the things I fear about the Blues is that they bring people like Catherine Lhamon in their train.)
De Vos has been good, her position on grizzly attacks notwithstanding, and these Title IX regs would be a big step in a better direction.

School Has Seventeen Children Changing Gender...Teacher Says Vulnerable Children Being Tricked Into Believing They Are The Wrong Sex

Of course she's afraid to identify herself because her career...her entire life...could be destroyed by speaking the truth.
   I'll just remind us all again of the existence of mass sociogenic illness, aka epidemic hysteria.
   Such mass hysteria is an amazing phenomenon, and no doubt. But the far more amazing phenomenon is the reaction of: everyone else / the adults / the culture at large to it. I'm far more concerned about the fact that the cultural/political/academic left has been able to terrify/brainwash basically the entire cultural superstructure--everybody except dedicated conservatives--into some combination of believing this tale and pretending to believe it. And also of course: I don't know which is more alarming: that you can (so easily!) terrify people into believing things, that you can terrify them into pretending to believe things, or that these two phenomena blend into each other...
   This is obviously insane. Everyone should be able to see that. Instead of admitting it, the left deploys a particularly vicious version of its favorite weapon: the mass, rabid, spittle-flecked accusation of bigotry. The weaponization of such accusations is an important phenomenon in its own right, obviously.
   I've seen some shit, man. I'm, like, the only person who seems to remember the Satanic Panic... Some day somebody needs to explain to me how that abject insanity got crammed down the memory hole. This is largely the same type of phenomenon...but more widespread and destructive. It's utterly mad, it's right in front of our eyes, and basically no one will admit it. Especially no one in academia. You know...the place where the passion for truth allegedly burns brightest... Ever heard of it?
   (Another instructive aspect of all this: the only people who have been allowed to speak up are radical feminists with competing claims of oppression...)
Read more »

Saturday, November 17, 2018

N.C. State To Offer Ph.D. In "Social Justice Education"

There are already degrees that are, in effect, degrees in left-wing political activism at almost every university--women's studies, x studies for all the notorious values of 'x', etc... We've got a program called "justice studies" which we all thought was odd years ago when it started up...but we thought it was going to be about law, incarceration, criminal justice...that sort of thing...  Now it seems to just be straight up "social justice" / left-wing politics.
   There's virtually no effort to conceal it anymore--universities are openly making the promotion of left-wing politics one of their major goals. Note that it's not even merely a degree in "social justice"...but in social justice education--i.e. the propagation of the mind-virus, the infliction of it onto impressionable young minds... Not. Even. Trying. To. Hide. It.
   And, hey, that "Ph.D." in "social justice education" is just as much a Ph.D. as a Ph.D. in math or astrophysics! Think about that for a minute.

Haight and Peterson On PC And The Academy

I think this is mostly pretty good. Some of it's really good, and some I think is wrong:

I do think we're figuring this stuff out. For example, the idea that PC (or "social justice"-ism or whatever you want to call it) is quasi-religious seems to have arisen in several different places at about the same time--which is a bit of evidence for the plausibility of the claim.
   Peterson is about the least-objectionable Jungian I've ever heard...but that stuff still gets a bit out of hand from time to time, IMO. I'm certainly not 100% on the same pate with Haight either, FWIW. But I think they're both pretty insightful about the PC problem.
   My current take is that my own institution is a bit like church. Lots of professors, students and administrators talk about "social justice" like people in church talk about Jesus and salvation. And they talk about racism and all the other -isms and -phobias like people in church talk about Satan and sin. 
   One notable feature is that they're often onto something--they're certainly not entirely wrong about everything. Murder and dishonesty and selfishness and unfairness are all bad...they're just not exactly sinful... Racism and all the other SJW/NPC obsessions: also bad. They're just not exactly matters of "privilege" nor "institutional racism," nor "social justice." Then, of course, both groups are just flat-out wrong about a lot. For example, neither understands the importance of truth and intellectual autonomy.
   Anyway. You've heard this all before.

David E. Bernstein: RIP ACLU

"The ACLU no longer even pretends to believe in civil liberties."
Sad but true.
I'd suggest: this is yet another instance of the general phenomenon: the destruction of American liberalism by the illiberal, progressive left.
Practical question: what organization do we join/support/contribute to in the post-ACLU era?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Trumpdown: 795 Days Left

Beinart: Left-Wing Protests Are Crossing The Line

Good on Beinart.
[Incidentally, I went to the Atlantic, as I often do now, looking for arguments defending the left...but found this.]
It's kinda hard for me to believe that he seems to have aligned himself more-or-less seamlessly with the new, anti-liberal left...but the death of the old New Republic cast a lot of us into the wilderness, I guess...
   I admire Beinart's effort to take shrieking leftist mobs seriously...I guess. I suppose it's the right thing to do, though I'm not virtuous enough to do it myself. I'm not sure about his specific approach, since these...whatever they are...don't seem like clear instances of civil disobedience to me. But I'd never even thought of seeing them that way until Beinart suggested it. So I haven't given this enough thought. They're just not very similar to the relevant prototypes. Surrounding, intimidating, and physically attacking conservative public officials and journalists for having the temerity to appear in public...well...the Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter it ain't...
   It won't come as any surprise that he makes an obligatory gesture to the effect that Trumpers do it too...citing e.g. the recent "bombs." He doesn't mention the Congressional baseball attack by left-wing activist James Hodgkinson against Republicans. And there's little mention of antifa.
   But, anyway, good on Beinart for breaking with progressive orthodoxy, taking this seriously, and trying to write something serious about it.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Left Turns On The Big Dog

I see that Monica Lewinsky is about to reveal "her truth" [actual quote]
I also see that the left continues to completely ignore any of the women who have actually accused Clinton of actual rape...
You see, Lewinsky could not have had consensual sex with Clinton because of the "power differential." Which means that no one can have consensual sex with the president of the United States...
What load of horse shit.

We Got Hammered Today...But...Snowfalls Are A Thing Of The Past...So...

Today's was the earliest university closing I can remember...which is weird...what with snowfalls being a thing of the past and all...

What Was The Best Fighter Of WWII?

Taking them in order of how they show up on Google:  link

My view: nein! Double nein! Achtzehn!
That's a great plane...but die Nazis können nicht das beste...uh...WTFever Nazi for 'fighter plane' is...haben! F*ck those guys. That's a sweet-ass plane, but I'll die before I'll admit it was the best fighter of the war, m*therf*cker.

NPCs Go After Stan Lee

Do Non-Citizens Vote In U.S. Elections?

Mark Hamill Goes Over To The Dark Side

Even With Evidence Of High Crimes, Impeaching Trump Would Probably Fail

VoA: Trump's Baseless Voter Fraud Claims Could Hurt U.S. Faith In Elections

Well this isn't great.

Alex Trebek Thinks Some #Badthink, Says Some #Hatetalk

I'll take famous witch hunts for 400, Alex.
One of my current views about the lefty-left is: even when they're right about something,they'll end up being crazy about it. 
   I guess the other thing is: the crazy will have two parts/levels. The first-order crazy in this case is the evolution of legitimate concerns about and measures against sexual harassment (e.g. the "#MeToo" stuff...god I hate Twitter...) into rape crisis hysteria. The second-order crazy will be their pathological inability to tolerate disagreement about the first-order crazy--the mobs of shrieking hecklers on campuses, social media dogpiling and all that stuff. This is a way of enforcing first-order crazy by raising the social cost of dissent. (Right?)
   I think this has to be a fairly fringey fringe...but, as I've asserted before, (a) it's extremely prominent, (b) it seemingly exerts great influence on the rest of the left, and (c) the rest of the left seems unwilling to slap it down or even condemn it...dissent, after all, means excommunication, tearful public self-denunciation/apology, and all the other afflictions of the apostate. I want to believe that there are tons of real liberals left, dormant, just waiting to rise up and slap down the crazy uber-progressives... I think there's some reason for hope...but I also fear that it's just wishful thinking. Look at the comments at the Post sometime, or the comments under Andrew Sullivan's new columns. It's like they're written by a horde of mindless progressive zombies. The hyper-dogmatic groupthink really is a scary/repulsive sight. 
   Blah, blah, blah. I don't know any more about what's going on than you do. Why read this bullshit?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Justice: Whitaker Appointment Is Legal

Our Quasi-AG Can Protect Us From Time-Travelling Bigfoots

Doctors Are Not Authorities On The Second Amendment

This again.
   I don't think my thinking's sorted out quite right on all this. But I really don't see how doctors having first-hand knowledge of physical damage caused by firearms gives them any relevant expertise. We know, e.g., that twelve people were killed in a recent mass shooting. Do the relevant doctors think that we have an impoverished, mere layperson's conception of dead? I do think that first-hand experience counts for something. A person who's had a close relative commit suicide knows more about such a thing than the rest of us. The question is, though: how relevant is that? Doctors aren't experts on law or philosophy or political science or public policy or firearms. Suppose a group of doctors said: we see the devastation of STDs up close; government needs to start regulating casual sex. I expect progressives would feel rather differently about that. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Transgender" Dude Sues 16 Women For Refusing To Wax His Junk

Did You Know That "Regional And Local Transit Systems" Around Crystal City "Have Significant Unused Capacity, Even During Peak Travel Periods"?

Incoming House Dems Embrace Gun Control

They just keep making Trump look like a plausible alternative.

Black Security Guard Stops Murder, Disables Suspect; Police Shoot Him

John Yoo: "Whitaker's Appointment Is Unconstitutional"

If Sex Is Fluid, Why Isn't Age?

There can't really be much doubt that this is right, obviously, and people have been making similar points since the idea of "transgenderism" became fashionable.
   There's usually more than one way to make sense of a conceptual and logical train wreck of this kind. The way I currently favor puts the notion of "identity," as used on the left, at the center of things. 'Identity' means...or used to mean...who you are. The progressive left now uses it to mean something like who you think you are. Weirdly, they use it that way with respect to certain questions about race, but not others. Thus the central use of 'identify' is as a verb, as in: S identifies as F. One's "identity" in this sense is determined by one's own beliefs and/or "performative" acts (they loooove "performativity"). Though such acts of identification seem limited to the characteristics given centrality by the left: race, gender, "gender identity," sexual preference. But, while accepting that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman is obligatory, accepting that Rachel Dolezal is black is forbidden. So, laid over the main grid is a set of ad hoc limitations. To some extent these are probably just intended to conceal how nutty the view is--people will buy it in the case of a biracial person decided to go with one of their races, but won't buy it in cases like Dolezal's. (It's equally absurd in both cases, but it tracks with saner views in the former the overt absurdity is concealed.) But to the extent that they're ad hoc they're indefensible.
   I've got a whole half-baked theory of this stuff half-baking in the back of my head. "Social construction" and identity-as-identification are, I think, new ways of pushing the left's old nurture-over-nature line. They're ways of subordinating the biological to...well...not merely the social, but to the non-biological more generally. The contemporary left just does not like the biological. (Except when it's convenient, as it occasionally is when sexual preference is at issue.) Hence the attempt to shove sex (and even gender) offstage in favor of "gender identity." Hence also the concerted effort to insist that race is "socially constructed." But they (a) lack the courage of their convictions, and (b) tend not to be the most systematic nor consistent of thinkers, and (c) know that, the more they let the theory metastasize, the more obviously absurd it becomes. Hence the ad hoc limitations.
   You know what's weird is finding oneself in the midst of people who think all this nonsense actually makes sense. It's like waking up to find that like half the people around you are Scientologists or believe in astrology or something...and they insist that it's always been this way. And the other half either thinks there's nothing wrong with that, or are too afraid to speak up about it.

Monday, November 12, 2018

RIP Stan Lee

The Medicalization Of Everything

Jesus, this again.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

WW1: 100 Years

This is giving me some kind of historical vertigo.

Our On-Going Rorschach Test: Trump And The Rain On Armistice Day

Right, so you know the outline of what happened.
   Did Trump do something wrong? I don't know and neither do you. Because neither you nor I know whether he was actually told not to travel there by helicopter and also not to travel there by car. If you dislike Trump, however, you likely automatically concluded that he just shirked his obligation. If you like Trump, you probably automatically concluded that he did what he should have by listening to the prudent advice of the Secret Service or whoever.
   But you don't know. In fact, you don't know what's what in the vast majority of such cases. Which probably doesn't stop you from opining energetically about them. It sure doesn't stop me...

It's Not The Science/Anti-Science Dispute That Really Matters; That's Just An Instance Of A More General Dispute

What's really afoot is the on-going disagreement/battle between (a) those who think that truth and dispassionate inquiry and discussion should get a kind of priority and (b) those who think that it shouldn't. The latter include those who think that religious revelation should get the priority as well as those who think that political goods (e.g. "social justice") should. People harp on the issue of science, with the right and left each accusing the other of being agin' it...but that's just a (major, admittedly) skirmish in the war.
   There simply can't be any doubt that truth and reason have largely been subordinated to "social justice" in universities. (One's tempted to say: wherever the left is powerful, reason will be subordinated to politics.) Though, of course, it's important not to admit that. Admit it and your side is doomed. Just deny it--no matter how implausibly--and you'll probably be ok. All you need is to give your partisans a veneer of plausible (or even implausible) deniability. Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?
   Recently I was having a discussion with a colleague with whom I have an on-going disagreement. I said that, when free speech conflicts with other things, such as emotionally protecting groups in the progressive stack, I err on the side of free speech. My colleague expressed the opposite view. It was an amicable exchange. But what I thought--and didn't say--was: that's the end of universities; in fact, that's the end of everything.
   It's the end of the world as we know it, intellectually speaking. But everybody around me seems to feel fine.

Promoting Frailty By Fetishizing Victimhood

Nothing new.
Still relevant.

Rod Dreher: Queering Science

Many of my friends think I'm crazy for thinking that the left is approximately as dangerous as the right. Obviously, they could be right. Sometimes we know how we're crazy, but, obviously, we often don't.
   But, for what it's worth, here's one of my main points: the right sometimes simply rejects science that it doesn't like. The left does that, too...but it also co-opts/colonizes science and turns it to its political ends. This is approximately the most anti-scientific thing imaginable.
   This is merely a particularly notable instance of this now-common phenomenon.
   I could go on and on about this, and I have. But I won't...this time.
   The left tends to be articulate and, in certain ways, anyway, erudite. It controls all the prominent levers of cultural power and authority. It controls all the elements of the cultural superstructure. It controls all the slick, impressive publications. There is no doubt in its mind that it's on the right side of history. It has everything it takes to make it seem like the intelligent and reasonable side of the cultural debate...and it tells us, inter alia, that men can be women, and that it's always been this way, and that to deny this obvious truth is the moral equivalent of racism. Has any cult ever insisted that its members believe anything more obviously false? The right may be an artless powder keg, but the left is downright hypnotic. It can and will sweet-talk us with the most up-to-date types of nonsense, and it thinks it has an obligation to rewire our minds. It's proceeding smoothly and ever-more-quickly toward its goal of rewriting the mind of the West on the basis of crackpot ideas cooked up in the weakest, seediest corners of the humanities. It knows how to make even outright contradictory ideas seem reasonable. Tell me about something more dangerous than that.
   The right tried for decades merely to get creationism seriously mentioned alongside evolution. It was (rightly) rebuffed. (I fought in some of those battles, on the anti-creationism side, incidentally.) In less than ten years, the left has managed to impose an outright contradiction all across society, and to get anyone who raises doubts about it branded the moral equivalent of a racist. There is simply no comparison between the cultural power of the right and the left right now, IMO. I rather doubt there ever will be again.

Spitfire and Typhoon

Larry King: CNN Stopped Doing News To Focus On Trump


This looks interesting.

Alberto Gonzalez: Whitaker Appointment "Confounds Me"

"Nationalism" and Trump and Macron

It's hard to tell what people are arguing about when they argue about nationalism. Trump says he's for it, Macron against it. If anyone actually knows what's going on, please lemme know. I tentatively guess that Trump's thinking of nationalism as it's opposed to some fairly extreme version of internationalism that takes organizations like the EU or even the UN to be paradigms for the future, and hopes to weaken/undermine national sovereignty. Whereas it seems that Macron is thinking of nationalism as patriotism gone wrong, and associating it with something like foreign policy "realism"...which, so far as I can tell, is basically ethical egoism writ large. And it's associated with one natural interpretation of "America first." This seems to be supported by Macron's emphasis on moral obligations that trump national prudence.
   These sorts of public, less-formal disagreements tend, IMO, to be matters of emphasis--haggling over smallish differences. Does Macron want to see the nation-state (or, depending on what you think that means, just: the state) wither away, to be replaced by EUs? And, ultimately, something UN-like? I guess I doubt it...but the Europeans are weird, so maybe. Does Trump want...I dunno...whatever Trump is supposed to want? Needless to say, the left is hyperventilating with the effort of making him a massively racist antisemite, a white/ethno-nationalist, and everything else they leap to corresponding conceptions of nation, nationalism and America-first-y-ism. I've heard people say that Trump is, if anything, a civic nationalist, which seems plausible--certainly more plausible than the ridiculous claim that he's a white nationalist...which really is a completely different kind of thing anyway.
Read more »

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Whitaker's Installation Is Illegal "And Anything [He] Does, Or Tries To Do, In That Position Is Invalid"


Hate Crime Hoax At K-State: Second Time In Two Years

WaPo: No Way Whitaker Should Be Running Justice

   Andrew McCarthy defends the other side.
   Rosenstein calls Whitaker "a superb choice"...but he's not holding up a copy of today's newspaper, so we don't know when he actually said it, nor even whether he's still with opposed, say, to "vacationing in the Balkans." But, seriously, Rosenstein's judgment has to matter, no?
   Though I'm not seeing any even vaguely plausible way to get around that bit about how the Muslims and th' jooz and th' godless infidels shouldn't be federal judges.
   Though I'm under the impression that the Post is full of shit when it comes to Marbury v. Madison. Since when is that decision beyond criticism? Didn't Felix Frankfurter famously criticize it? I'm under the impression that it's a rather controversial decision. Counterpoint, obvs.: theoretically, yes...but keep that shit in law school, yo...don't appoint an AG who criticizes it. Counter-counterpoint: I don't understand how any of this works.
  Anyway, another hilarious week on So You Think You Can President...
  801 days.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Once Said Jews, Muslims And Atheists Should Not Be Federal Judges

Paul Rosenzweig: "It Wouldn't Be Easy For Whitaker To Shut Down The Mueller Investigations"

So Much For Holy Hell

   I guess Graham's claim is that firing Sessions was permissible after the election. Sounds like back-peddling to me, but this is a common kind of puzzle; there is a relevant difference that Graham can cite in defense of his differential judgments. I just don't know whether it's reasonable to do so. But I'm skeptical.
   And, of course, it makes perfect sense to say that firing Sessions is permissible; what's impermissible is interfering with Mueller. It's also reasonable for the other side to suspect that firing sessions and hiring what's-his-name is a(nother?) step toward interference with Mueller.
   Personally, I'm up to about DEFCON 3... But Mueller's team is writing the report, and I can't believe the White House will try to block its release. OTOH, I just don't know how far Trump is willing to go, which has kind of been my main objection to him all along. I don't believe the hysterical left's TRUMP = HITLER nonsense. But I don't have much sense of how far he'd go if he were put in a corner. And that's way, way worse than bad enough.

802 days left

A Case For Impeachment

Short on specifics to say the least.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Mueller Team Now Writing Final Report

Carolina 78 - Wofford 67

Already off to a better start than last year!

Hate Messages Hate-Taped To Walls At University Of Manitoba

It's okay to be whaaaaat?

Lefty Mob Targets Tucker Carlson's Private Residence; Matthew Yglesias Approves

I do not care for Mr. Carlson, as will come as no surprise. But this is psychotic. I guess harassing people when they go out in public just isn't edgy enough anymore.
On the bright side, middle America tends to see this sort of thing for what it is. On the not-so-bright side, given the current state of the media, they're unlikely to see it at all.

Mattis To Stay On?

The Acosta Video: Am I Blind?

I watched those videos side-by-side like twenty times, and can't see any difference. Can somebody explain to me what I'm missing?

Was Oumuamua An Alien Probe?

Friedersdorf: GOP Must Choose Between Trump And The Rule Of Law

Linked with approval.
   I feel like I've given the guy every chance. I know I've always had a tendency to be unfair to GOP candidates and presidents. I've tried really hard to control for that this time around. And I've tried to develop a stoic attitude about just attending to policy and not freaking out too much about the personal characteristics of the president. 
   But I just don't see things getting any better from here. Trump has faced a lot of unfair opposition. And I realize that some of it is likely a conscious effort to get him to flip his shit. But a president's got to be able to not flip his shit. And Trump just doesn't have what it takes. 
   I fear the other side, too. And those fears are, in a sense, deeper. But that consideration only goes so far. Concerns about Trump are pretty damn immediate, it seems to me. I keep thinking: we can muddle through for two more years... But that's less clear to me now even than it used to be. 
   What a damn mess.

White House Revokes Acosta's Press Pass

I'm no Acosta fan...but is there any reasonable defense of this?
Honestly, though, I can't tell any difference in the videos, and I watched them side-by-side like twenty times.

Grown-Ups Still Largely In Charge Of Donkey Team

Oh, Donkey Team, maybe there's hope for you yet:
   House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in August that impeaching Trump was "not a priority" for Democrats.
   Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, said Wednesday that Democrats should wait for special counsel Robert Mueller to finish his Russia investigation before considering impeachment.
Maybe let's wait until the investigation is over before we impeach the president is, sadly, about the most mature thing I've heard from a major politician in months. And, hell, two years ago I thought the guy'd be impeached before the midterms...which shows exactly how much I know about anything, which is, obviously, nothing.
   And I'm not the biggest Pelosi fan of all time...but damn it'd be a relief to have her back as speaker.
   I always just kinda assume it's all up to the Dems. If they stiff-arm the progressive left again, things may be ok. I still hold out hope that Obama's going to step up and start unloading on the progressive/PC fringe. He's said things here and could so totally happen...

Bad Night For The Blue Dogs

I hate American politics so much.

Protests Against Sessions' Firing

Though the ACLU--a formerly-liberal organization formerly dedicated to civil rights--declared Sessions the "worst Attorney General in modern American history". So the left has to be kinda torn on this one.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Old Crow Medicine Show: Wagon Wheel

Trump Forces Out Sessions

This is basically the last straw, to my mind.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Cline WIns

Kaine Wins

Fear And Loathing At The Polls

Wow, I don't think I've been so depressed at the polls...maybe ever. In '16 I was apprehensive, but pretty sure that HRC was going to win, and I still felt as if the Blue Team was keeping the PC crazies at arm's length...though I now suspect I may have been naive to think it. But, anyway, I was feeling pretty good. I've long had a somewhat higher opinion of HRC than many Dems have/had. I think she's pretty damn centrist, not unlike the Big Dog, and I think she'd have been a check on the antiliberal progressives.
   Anyway, no optimism this time. I split my ticket for the first time in quite awhile...which is fine. It's the way I was raised, actually, and, in some sense, my natural state. I've always been a little skittish about voting straight-ticket. Also, feels weird not to do any volunteering for the Blues. Also the Reds got a hold of my number somehow, and I'm getting texts from them now...
Truly this is a darkish, though not nearly the darkest, timeline...

Monday, November 05, 2018

F-16: Who Needs Thrust Vectoring?

Holy crap that thing is amazing.

F-15 vs. F-16 At Red Flag

Eh, turns out to just be a bad music video...but...still...the two most badass Gen 4 fighters at Red Flag...I watched it...
Obviously the F-16 is going to have an advantage in close like that...not that the F-15 is likely to let anything shy of an F-22 get in that close... The most amazing thing is that they still seem fairly evenly-matched in close...though these look like Es. The real contest would be the Viper vs. Cs.
Two amazing warbirds, absolutely no matter how you slice it.

More Thunder And Rain: Dreams

806 Days Left

Let's Go Blue Team / Let's Go Divided Gubmint

Help us,'re our only hope...
   Looks like the Blues are going retake the House (538 says: 6 in 7 chance) and the Reds'll keep the Senate (also 6 in 7)...but I've still got such PTSD from election night 2016 that I may never feel confident about an election again. I guess we could get another surprise from "shy Trump voters." Not that I want that to happen...because I don't...but it would kinda serve the left right: stigmatize the other side so relentlessly that support for the Reds can't accurately be measured, and they pull out another shocking win...

How NYT's Democratic Bias Manifests Itself: The Birth And Growth Of The "Jobs Not Mobs" Slogan

I think you could see this as a bit of mostly-objective memeology: here's how it started, here's how it developed, blah, blah, blah. OTOH, to treat something in this way tends to suggest a kind of quasi-scientific, deflationary intent: focusing on the etiology is often a way of suggesting that external forces, rather than the intrinsic allure of the message, is responsible for its acceptance and development. (Ew, this thing is weird...let's dissect it...) Also, of course, we're told that it originated on "the internet's fringe"...and the history only goes back to a compilation video of leftist mobs...despite the fact that we'd all been commenting on the mobs...and despite the fact that there were mobs... But the Times doesn't trace the idea back to, y'know, the mobs...nor to the mainstream chatter about mobs...but...somehow...just to a "fringe"compilation.
   The left has a tendency to externalize/pathologize ideas anyway. And it's got The New York Times, The Atlantic, Google et al. on its side. It's become addicted to trying to deflate legitimate objections by treating them as you'd treat a disease--represent them as pathological, view them externally, as some sort of nuttiness or tactic of the right, give a causal history of them and tell an external story about how they appeal to people who have problems because they have problems. (That's part of the idea of using '-phobia' as a suffix in terms like 'transphobia'; you don't have a legitimate objection to confused ideas, you have a medical condition...)
   Ya know how this slogan got started? It started with shrieking left wing mobs beating people up even before the election. Then Antifa mobs breaking things, attacking people and shutting down speakers. Then the shrieking campus mob that surrounded Christakis, the mob that attacked Murray, and the anti-Kavanaugh mobs...some partially naked, some dressed up as Handmaid's Tale Characters, some waling and beating on the doors of the Supreme Court... It started with actual blue-team crazy. It also started with a strong economy and solid employment numbers. "Mobs" is grounded in the facts. "Jobs" is grounded in the facts. "Jobs Not Mobs" rhymes, and it contrasts one objectively good thing for the red team with one objectively bad thing about the blue team.
   But the NPC...oh...sorry...I mean the NYT...isn't interested in objectivity anymore. So, instead, we get the crap we get.
   Of course I've lost my objectivity about this stuff, too. So perhaps I'm making a mountain out of a molehill.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Stewart Justman: "Trigger Warnings And Mass Psychogenic Illness"

I've gone on about this stuff before. It's what I think most transgenderism comes down to, as well as a fair bit of rape crisis hysteria. I tend to somewhat prefer the term 'mass sociogenic illness.'

1600 "Scientists" Defy Science To Support Transgender Activism

Again we see that the left is more anti-science than the right. The right sometimes just denies inconvenient scientific consensus (see: anthropogenic climate change)...or (vainly) demands that a favored pseudoscience be included in curricula (see: creationism). But the left co-opts whole sciences, and gets them to declare even the most outre excesses of leftist politics "settled science." Whereas the right can't even get its big toe in the door, the left is already on the inside, with all its buddies, running the show.
   "Gender identity" isn't a scientific concept. It's probably not even a real concept at all, but, rather, a pseudoconcept. The left wants to push this nonsense onto society...well...fine. That's kind of its thing. But the coopting of science into this effort is inexcusable. And these scientists/"scientists" ought to be ashamed of themselves. We should expect that politicos will try to pull this off...but that the scientists are complicit...that's just appalling. This is the kind of nonsense that manifested itself when the "march for science" basically became leftist politics on parade.

Listen To This Hawker Sea Fury

Like Lysistrata For Retards

Disgusting on so many levels.
The left so often ends up being more sexist and more puritanical than the right they so abhor.
As if women didn't actually enjoy sex, but merely used it to get what they want from men.
And as if the personal actually were political. Which is, incidentally, the dumbest damn thing the left has ever come up with.
If I were with a woman who tried something like this, we wouldn't be together much longer. Not that I would ever be with such a woman.
And you don't even want to know what JQ is going to say when I show her this shit. I'm going to seem like a paragon of dispassionate reflection.
These people are like the moral majority. But with more STDs.

Couple Parks Illegally In Crosswalk; Woman Calls Cops; Couple Turns Out To Be Black: Racism!

The lunatic left has apparently dubbed her "Crosswalk Cathy" because...well...that's just the way they are now.
   Honestly, does anyone take accusations of racism seriously anymore? I kinda just assume it's, at best, a 50/50 proposition now. Why, back in my youth, accusing somebody of racism actually meant something. An accusation of racism was grounds for being invited to step outside. Now such accusations are just background noise.They basically mean nothing.

Carolina 107 - Mt. Olive 64

That Was One Good King

Emma Green: "Refusing To Put Fear At The Center Of Jewish Identity"

Jews--and blacks and Muslims and Asians etc.--have to realize that they'd never be on their own in the U.S. if white supremacists or some other variety of crazies came after them...right? I mean, I vociferously defend the rights of the Klan et al. to speak and assemble...and to not get recreationally/symbolically punched by Antifa...but...that obviously doesn't mean that I wouldn't be perfectly happy to deploy violence against them should they themselves do so. I conclude this is hardly an unusual attitude. In fact, I thought this was supposed to be the standard-issue 'Merican attitude, no?
   Anyway...I suppose it's easy to say if you're not in a frequently-persecuted minority group...but I'm not concerned about some mass white-supremacist uprising. Jeez, look at the reaction to Charlottesville. A couple-hundred guys with some screws loose held one rally and the whole country freaked out about it. I mean hell, man, I abhor the Klan as much as anybody and twice as much as most...and even I thought it was an overreaction. In fact it was an overreaction--people didn't even let them hold their perfectly legal rally. (Although the tiki-torch march the night before did complicate matters...) Anyway, it's not like the country exactly took it easy on 'em.
   I just don't see a mass white-supremacist wave happening any time soon. And if it did, I see it being slapped down hard and fast. Anybody who thinks Sessions is going to take it easy on those guys is trippin. It's good to keep our eyes on 'em...but it's bad to fan the flames of fear. The panicky left and the panicky media...but I repeat myself...just act as force multipliers. Don't try to turn these guys into the Brown Shirts or the SS. That's not only false, but it plays into their hands.
   Incidentally, I do recommend spending some time on their websites--Stormfront and suchlike. You can come to understand them better, and kinda keep your finger on their pulse. (Spoiler alert: they're really, really into white stuff.) One thing you'll learn if you do that is that they're way, way, way more sad / pathetic than alarming. I go through cycles in which I make an effort to keep an eye on them, though I haven't been doing so lately. They really are a sad lot.
   Anyway: just one of the many reasons for Jews--and any other minority--to breathe a sigh of relief. If the Klan et al. did start to feel their oats, you can be really damn sure that the majority would come down upon them like the very Fist Of God.

Don Lemon on CNN: Stop Demonizing People; Blame White Men

“We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?”
Um...I love ya, Don...but...uh...
   Look, facts are facts and they have to be faced, regardless of how unpleasant they might sound or be. And unpleasant facts about race aren't racist merely in virtue of being unpleasant. So if Lemon's right, he's right. 
   Thing is...he's not really right. Whites are still a majority, vastly outnumbering any other racial group, so it'd be pretty crazy if they didn't commit the most crimes of any given type. Without worrying too much about recent fluctuations, here are two facts that make it a bit say the focus too much on white dudes in this context:
   First, black men commit a radically disproportionate percentage of all murder in the U.S.
   Second, Middle Eastern men commit a radically disproportionate percentage of terrorist killings in the U.S.
   So, if you insist on going all racial on this sort of thing, you've gotta explain why you are skipping over those two facts. 
   The vocal vanguard of the progressive left loves to spew anti-white rhetoric, and isn't too concerned about getting the facts straight, nor referencing the most salient of them. Given how enthusiastic they are about their anti-white and anti-male propaganda, it's a bit hard to believe that they aren't racist and sexist...but I'm not sure I want to get sucked into that game right now. There's more than one possible explanation, and it's complicated. Such things are matters of degree, anyway, contrary to leftist theories. 
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Saturday, November 03, 2018

Saying That Things Would Have Been Different Had The Victim(s) Been Armed Is Not "Blaming The Victim(s)"

Obligatory: Trump's got no business being within a parsec of the presidency. But here we are.
Criticize away. But stop making shit up.
Saying that things would have been different had the Tree of Life synagogue been armed is not "blaming Jews for violence against them." That's a despicable, loathsome suggestion. Accusing someone of something like that is repulsive. It's morally wrong. And it's stupid. And, though I dislike counterproductivity arguments, it's part of what gave us Trump to begin with.
   Obviously one could say what Trump said in order to "blame the victims." But that's a special case of such an utterance, and it requires the intention to do so. Without that intention--an intention Trump obviously didn't have--the utterance more-or-less just states a fact. Though, actually, it also gestures at a political view that gun control isn't the solution to such problems.
   Now, I don't think Trump should have said it, because I think it's too much like politicizing the tragedy. But that's a different thing entirely.
   Also--Second Amendment fan thought I am--I don't find such claims all that plausible/relevant. It's hard to envision a nation in which we're basically all armed all the time. That's not how I want to live. Not because I don't want people to have the means of self-defense handy...but, rather, because carrying a gun is a pain in the ass, and I think it would radically diminish our quality of life to have to do so all the time. I'm not sure laziness qualifies as Constitutionally-relevant, though...
   Anyway: as I've said before, the right and the left each have a flagship dumb argument in this vicinity: the right's is: If only everyone were armed all the time... The left's is: Armed potential victims will make the situation worse... IMO the right's argument is basically fantasy. And the left's is approximately an order of magnitude more delusional. In fact, it's characteristic of the politically correct left. It takes a real effort of political self-delusion to convince yourself that, were you to be cornered by a psychokiller, you'd be better off if you were unarmed--better off throwing the gun away than trying to shoot him. (What...because if, in the fifteen seconds before FreddyJason cuts you in two, you might accidentally shoot yourself in the head, thus robbing yourself of 5 seconds more life?)
   For the love of God.
   Stop with the fervid fantasizing about Trump, and the groundless attempts to make him have the worst conceivable intentions every moment of every day.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Conor Friedersdorf: "Truth vs. Social Justice"

Look, everybody thinks about language control first when they think of political correctness. But PC is, first and foremost, about subordinating truth to politics. And "social justice" is just a euphemism for political correctness.

Archaeorhynchus With Fossilized Lungs Found

Jonny Quest's City Council Voter's Guide

Jonny Quest prepared the following voter's guide for me for our up-coming city council election, with her recommendations '*'d. Names and exact amounts have been changed to maintain my thin veneer of anonymity:
Candidate 1:
     CROOK; evaded [about $60k] in taxes
Candidate 2:
     Platform: I'm Hispanic
Candidate 3:
     Platform: I'm a mom
     Oh yeah, I'm also:
     - A community organizer
     - Queer
     - An illegal alien
     But also:
     - Pro-union
     - Pro-labor
     - Against incarcerations for nominal offenses
Candidate 4:*
     Platform: The government is terrible, just like those kids next door.
     [But yes, vote for him, he's just a regular guy]
Candidate 5: *
     Platform: I don't want a new high school

More Bad Arguments For Transgender Ideology By Philosophers

Philosophy in the service of politics is sophistry an awful damn lot of the time.

Ford, Kavanaugh Accuser, Receives $1 Million And Book Offer

Racially-Motivated Murder In Louisville

Jesus, how did I miss this?
Hanging's too good for him. But it'd do.

What We Needed vs. What We Got

What we needed was an intelligent, sober, serious, thoughtful, articulate centrist or center-right president who would have corrected for progressive overreach without sounding like he's giving aid and comfort to the craziest corners of the right, and without indiscriminately saying a bunch of crap that sounds kinda racist and just inflames the worst parts of the left.
   I's good to get the 1-in-2-out's good to undo "trans" insanity, it's good to install sane leadership at the Department of Education, it's good to take illegal immigration seriously (not that Obama didn't). At this crazy point in history, I think it's even good--or less-bad--to get conservative judges on SCOTUS...which...well...two years ago I wouldn't have believed it if you'd told me I'd be writing that...
   We needed a serious, sensible critique of our recent, erratic, injudicious left turn. The PC left would still lose its shit...but its anger would lack genuine righteousness. With Trump, however, we're largely fighting dumb with dumb. Character counts. I reckon Trump's character and demeanor will turn off a whole lot of moderates who might otherwise have been lured away from the left.