Monday, December 31, 2018

Warren Throws Her Hat In The Ring

Roy Spencer, CLiMatE DeNIer!!111

Just throwin' this out there:
   How can such [inaccurate] models, which are increasingly portrayed as accurate, be defended with a straight face for energy policy decisions? The amount of warming they produce is not based upon physical first principles, as is often claimed. That some warming should occur is based upon fairly solid principles, but the amount of warming from increasing CO2 is entirely debatable.
   The dirty little secret is that the models are tuned so that only increasing CO2 causes warming, since the various uncertain sources of natural climate change are either not known well enough to include, or are purposely programmed out of the models. (How do I know? Because NONE of the natural energy flows in and out of the climate system are known to the accuracy [about 1%] needed to blame recent warming on increasing CO2, rather than on Mother Nature. Those natural energy flows in the models are simply forced to be in balance, and so the cause of model warming ends up being anthropogenic. Thus the models use circular reasoning to establish human causation.)
   The fourth and fifth questions have to do with whether we can really reduce CO2 emissions as long as humanity needs fossil fuels to reduce poverty and create prosperity. I have nothing against alternative energy sources per se, as long as they are practical and cost-competitive. Everything humanity does requires energy, and as long as China and India continue to reduce poverty with ever-growing usage of fossil fuels, global CO2 emissions will continue to increase, no matter what the United States does. With about 1 billion people in the world still without electricity, I believe it is immoral to deprive them of access to affordable energy.
   Out of the 5 Big Questions, which are most important? Ultimately, economics is what rules peoples lives. Poverty kills, and forcing people to use more expensive energy will worsen poverty.
   In France we are seeing the violent push-back against green energy policies (among other , mainly economic, issues), and we havent even yet reached the point where policies will reduce future CO2 emissions by enough to measure the effect by the end of this century in terms of global temperature. So, if you think the Paris riots are bad, wait until you see the public response to policies that will reduce future CO2 emissions by, say, 50%.
   But we cannot ignore the science. What if the science was absolutely certain we were in for 20 deg. C of warming and a collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet, with 200 ft. of sea level rise? Then humanity might be willing to make large sacrifices to save itself. So, the science does matter… the question is, can it be trusted?
   Based upon the observed rate of global warming (which is too small for any individual to feel in their lifetime), and failed climate model projections, I’d say the current state of the science is not yet ready for primetime.
   For now, the science supports some modest and mostly harmless warming, but not enough warming to justify CO2 emissions reductions that would destroy the global economy, worsen global poverty, and have no measureable effect on global temperatures by the end of this century anyway. [emphasis in original]

Firm Predictions To Test Competing Cultural/Political (World)views: E.g. Re: Climate Change

We ought to be looking for ways to test our relatively high-level positions / worldviews. Climate change / AGW would be a great one. I think the following is clearly true:
The left currently holds that it has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that anthropogenic climate change is (1) real and (2) so significant as to demand radical measures in response.
I'm not sure what the right thinks, really, but it's something like: neither (1) nor (2) has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. 
   These positions should be clarified, made more precise, and written in stone somewhere. Then re-evaluated periodically. Ten, fifteen, and twenty years from now we'll know more. Being wrong about such a thing should count as significant evidence of dumbassery. 
   (I'm obviously ignoring a lot of complexities...)

Bill Gates Wants Us To Use More Nuclear Power

Including, possibly, traveling-wave reactors.
I'm with Gates: renewables are great, but it's a fantasy to think they can do it all right now.
   And I'd add: climate-change hysteria is partially driven by real, legitimate concerns, it's partially a stalking-horse, and, partially, at this point, a symbolic issue. I'm attracted to an idea some conservatives floated a long time ago, roughly: one measure of how real the concern is is: how willing the left is to drop its opposition to nuclear. If Smith genuinely believes that we are facing a fossil-fuel-fueled, species-ending climate catastrophe, then nuclear should be the first alternative Smith thinks of. If, instead, Smith ignores this relatively conservative, readily-available solution in favor of, basically, a moonshot solution that requires the development of relatively radical new technologies and major changes in our approach to energy production--technologies and changes he's been pushing for years, independently of this new alleged crisis--well...this is grounds for skepticism about his actual reasons. To the extent that Smith does that, there are grounds for suspecting that he's using AGW as a stalking-horse to pursue antecedent goals that are independent of the alleged new crisis.

Ocasio-Cortez Busted Fibbing About Working-Class Upbringing

Warning: Gateway Pundit, the single most unreliable blog I've ever come across. It just plain makes shit up. But all it does here is reproduce the relevant tweets, so: link.
   AOC isn't exactly a towering intellect. She almost certainly won on account of factors that have nothing to do with her fitness for office. But, then, sadly, the same can be said of an awful lot of Congressmen...and Senators...and at least one president...
   I actually do come from the working class, and I suppose that's why I find the faux working class shtick particularly annoying wherever it shows up. I also find the political celebrity thing annoying as hell. So people like AOC, "Beto," and (most notably) Trump just irritate the hell out of me.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Chuck Todd Won't Give Time To Climate-Change "Deniers"

As is his right.
"Skeptics" seems like a more neutral / reasonable term to me.
The more insistent they become that there is no room for doubt, the more I doubt.
I mean, I don't really have a right to an opinion about the matter. So my views don't matter. Nevertheless, just reporting on my subjective states: as they get more dogmatic, I get more skeptical.

Has The NYT Already Decided To Back Kamala Harris In 2020?

Ann Althouse suspects it's so.

White House In "Chaos"?

Well, that's an exaggeration, of course. Kelly doesn't say that at all. Because the press is full of shit.
But not good even if half-right.
710 days down...750 to go.
Not even halfway there.

"Inside The Strange World Of Conservative College Women"

Better title: Inside the strange mind of the progressive press.
This article illustrates how insular, out of touch, and dogmatic the progressive press--but I repeat myself--is. They can't even make it through the title without editorializing. And it's not just the headline-writer: the clueless, dogmatic editorializing reappears every few paragraphs throughout the story.
   The students interviewed aren't strange at all. But the author of the piece is completely clueless.

India Legalizes Same-Sex Sex

Props to India.
(This happened a couple of months ago, actually.)

If You're Panicked About Climate Change, You Should Embrace Nuclear Power

One of the things that makes me skeptical of climate change hysteria is the fact that there's no major movement in the relevant sectors to reevaluate / embrace nuclear power.
Here's something relevant.
It used to be a tough call between coal and nuclear...but if we take the contemporary conventional wisdom about climate change seriously, I'd think the balance of reasons would shift radically in favor of nuclear. Especially given all the new alternatives to LWRs.
So here's something that would decrease my climate semi-skepticism: progressives embrace nuclear--e.g. reopening Yucca Mountain.

Williamson On The Antifa Blackshirts Running Amok In Portland

One funny bit:
Madeleine Kearns: Is Donald Trump — in rhetoric or in deed — partly to blame?
Kevin D. Williamson: The Israelites had their golden calf. We have our golden toilet. Donald Trump is to blame for Donald Trump. That’s enough for any one man to bear.
Also, a bit that confirms one of my basic fears:
In Portland, the blackshirts aren’t a tiny schismatic fashion. There were Democratic-campaign staffers standing out in front of Democratic-campaign events on Election Night chanting along with them.
I'm currently more concerned about the insane left than I am about the insane right, largely because the former is tolerated and even advocated by the relatively-more-mainstream left, including basically all elements of the cultural superstructure, whereas the latter causes a complete freak out if it dares raise its head at all. Imagine right-wing thugs routinely taking over public spaces in a major American city, attacking innocent liberals. Just imagine for a second or two what the headlines would look like on CNN, the Washington Post, and the NYT.
   Of course the psycho right could surprise us. Maybe it's just keeping its powder dry. But I doubt it.
   Anyway, we don't have to choose between fretting about the psycho left and fretting about the psycho right. They're not mutually exclusive. But I think it'd be, currently, a bit foolish to split one's fretting up equally between those two groups.

Suppose Ultima Thule Is Aliens; Recall That Trump Is President

So by now everybody knows that Ultima Thule has a weird light curve. Awesomest explanation: it's not a KBO at all; it's an alien ship. 
I was, of course, thinking about this awesomest possibility yesterday...when I realized that, if it were, then Trump would be president when we made first contact.
Imagine Independence Day...but with Donald J. Trump running the show rather than Thomas J. Whitmore... 
If I've got to live with that terrifying thought, then you do too.

Germany To Recognize Third Sex (aka "Gender") Option For The Intersexed; Used as Springboard For Transgender Agenda

Ok, intersex...uality? Intersexed-ness? (As with 'transgender' / 'transgenderism', there's this weird demand that we modify grammar here and just say 'intersex'...but that's ridiculous). Anyway: it's a genuine problem. Someone who is genetically and anatomically right between male and female can't, it seems, truly say they are either male or female. They genuinely fall between the cracks with respect to reporting their sex, and with respect to sex-specific pronouns. It's not clear to me what to do in this case, but it seems that we have to do something--and I think it's plausible to ask the people most affected what they think we should do. Anyway, there are real problems here that require real thought and real solutions; the actual facts of human sex aren't the way we (laypeople) thought they were. (In retrospect, it was silly to think that the distribution was strictly bimodal; that's just not how nature operates.)
   Again: this is a real problem; it requires a real solution.
   Transgenderism is different. It's not much about facts, it's all on the side of preferences and representations: some men prefer to falsely represent themselves as women, and some women prefer to falsely represent themselves as men. Except in certain circumstances--e.g. if they're on a trajectory to have sex with somebody, going into public restrooms or locker rooms, playing some organized sports, applying for some scholarships, some legal purposes, etc.--such false self-representations are permissible (at least in some sense of 'permissible'). This is not to say that sex (aka "gender") "dysphoria" isn't real. I expect it is in some few cases. Or at least it might be. Among billions of people, you'll probably find some few with almost any psychological problem you can think of. What it means is that preferring to represent yourself as a sex that you aren't is not, in principle, any different than any other preference for self-misrepresentation.
   Transgender ideology, of course, hitches its unrelated arguments to the discussion of intersexuality for rhetorical/tactical reasons. But the discussions should be separated. TI holds the unrelated view that a paradigmatically male person can literally, actually become a woman simply by feeling or declaring that it's so. Which is nonsense. And it has nothing to do with the real, actual problem of intersex(uality). And none of any of this has anything whatsoever to do with "gender"...which term is basically an equivocation-generator as it's used on the left. It means sex when that's convenient, and a range of other things when that's convenient. Nothing about "gender" is relevant to the discussion of intersex(uality) unless 'gender' is simply being used as a synonym of 'sex.'
   Incidentally, the story uses inflated figures, which is par for the course. Apparently the actual number of intersex(ed) people is more like 0.06% than 1.7%.
   Also: the medical question of what to do with intersex(ed) children seems like a really tough one to me. Medical interventions are represented as being akin to sexual mutilation...but I'm skeptical. I expect we tend not to hear about the more successful cases. Seems to me that, if there were an irreversible procedure that would perfectly shift an intersexed baby into one of the two sexes, that procedure should be performed. It's possible that the child would regret that when he or she is grown, but it seems unlikely. The real question seems to be: how good are the procedures? The less effective they are, the stronger the case for not doing them. Or so it seems to me.

"2018 The Year Of The Woman, In 5 Powerful Quotes"

Wow, this is embarrassing.
And I'm a dude.
If I were a woman, it would make me want to crawl under a rock.
   I mean, the stuff about discrimination after pregnancy could be true--I have no idea. So that's something.
   Somehow Christine Blasey Ford makes an appearance. Because feelz > reelz, I suppose.
   And as for the public urinals...well, that's f*cking disgusting. They should have vandalized them because they're gross, not because they're allegedly sexist. And what it has to do with "#MeToo" #GodKnows. Though, if Parisian men really are peeing in the streets so much that these urinals seemed like a good idea, then they are, indeed, disgusting pigs.
   The final section makes no sense at all--and the quote isn't even from a woman.
   Behold, the absolute state of the NYT.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Merkel: Nations Must Give Up Sovreignty???

Did Angela Merkel say: "Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty"???
Zero Hedge says so (warning: that site will give you cancer).
If so, there are 2-3 alarming things about it:

1. That anybody...let alone a world leader...would say it.
2. That I can't find any major news source reporting it.
3. That the left has skipped right over my open borders worry to the elimination of nations outright.

My guess is that this isn't true. Bad translation or something.

McWhorter: Virtue-Signalers Won't Change The World

The great John McWhorter.
Always worth reading, and hits close to the bullseye, as usual.
   I disagree with a couple of aspects of the piece. I agree that political correctness generally, and neo-PC in particular (conveniently abbreviable 'NPC'...) is largely about "virtue-signaling." And I agree that's worth pointing out. I also think that this psychotic, screechy, reverse-racist virtue signaling is fruitless--except insofar as it's counterproductive.
   However, I'm skeptical about leaning on counterproductivity arguments and arguments about the intellectual and moral vices of the NPCs--despite their soundness.
   I think it's more important to focus on the falsehood and irrationality of political correctness / "social justice" / identity-politics progressivism or whatever you want to call it.
   That cluster of views is a train wreck in a number of ways, and I've yelled about them over and over. Not that I think that I have some unique ability to detect and articulate them. I think that the subordination of truth to (left-wing) politics is the central failing... But it's hard to pick out just one. The popomo "hermeneutics of suspicion" BS is another main culprit, as is the nonsense about "the death of the author" and radical interpretive subjectivism. Put all those together and, basically, anyone who deviates from leftist orthodoxy is a racist* (i.e.: a racist or some equally bad other type of *ist or *phobe). Give me any reason to suspect that you might be a racist and you're a racist, jack. And doubting radical, hysterical anti-racism is a reason.
   Put all that bullshit in place and the culture of hysterically frantic virtue-signaling falls out pretty naturally: when you can be a racist for no particular reason, and denying that you're a racist only serves to show that you are a super-duper racist...well, you're in a tight spot. One solution that's evolved: you've got to desperately display your alleged anti-racism in some other way. One way: denounce others as racist. Another way: fess up to your sin. That is, basically: cop a plea. You're not getting off Scot-free (!)...but you can cop to a lesser charge... I'm a racist, of course, because all white people are racist...but I'm one of the good of the least racist who acknowledges his racism...
   Eh, I'm rambling.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Mizzou: Tall Men Asking Out Short Women: Sexual Harassment

(via Instapundit)
One thing about PC/SJ nonsense: it's so patently absurd that there's nothing you can say to make the absurdity clearer. If you can't see the abject absurdity of such a thing, there's nothing I or anyone else can say that will make it any more obvious.
   The problem isn't that there are a few cases in which progressive ideology goes wrong in practice; there are a few cases in which any political view will go wrong in practice. The problem is that progressive ideology starts out clearly wrong...and then predictably and reliably generates absurdities. And: absurdities that aren't mere instances of misapplication or reasonable error. Rather, they're grotesquely irrational and crazy. Stuff like this isn't a bug, it's a feature--or damn near one. It's not like the social justice crowd says: Oh, we didn't realize that our view might be used to undermine free speech, due process, and normal human relationships and interactions! Those are goals, my dudes. They've been goals for a long time.
   This Missou case might be messier than it looks--but no details are going to emerge that make it reasonable to count height as a constitutive element of sexual harassment...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

"Such Gratuitously Negative Reporting Undermines The Credibility Of The Press Without Mr Trump Having To Say A Word"

Says a WSJ editorial.
Althouse adds:
I can barely read the news these days (and I absolutely cannot watch it on TV). The negativity toward Trump is so relentless, cluttering up everything. It's crying wolf times a thousand. If anything is worth taking seriously, I'm afraid I won't be able to notice.
Obviously I agree. Trump is bad in many ways. (Though his policies are good in many ways). But the TDS-infected MSM is just awful. They're actually making Trump look kinda good by comparison.

Nielsen: U.S. Borders Pushed To The Breaking Point By Those Who Seek Open Borders

Omri Ceren: Great CNN Chyrons '18

I got my links crossed up and initially thought the WaPo had published this...which was so astonishing I couldn't believe it...and, of course, really couldn't have been true. (Instead it's via Instapundit.)

Allen Farrington: PewDiePie's Battle For The Soul Of The Internet

I've actually never seen any of this guy's videos...but, given that the NPCs are wrong about virtually everything, I conclude that they're probably wrong about this, too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Some Random Actor Wants Transgender James Bond

The ultimate virtue signal?
   So much lefty nonsense here that the mind reels... I thought the idea of a female Bond was worth thinking about... But casting a woman pretending to be a man rather defeats any coolness in the idea. One aspect of the stupid is that the dude suggests casting England's highest-ranking "transgender" soldier in the role...which, of course, makes no sense whatsoever...unless the real goal is virtue-signaling....which, of course, it is. People like this must it around thinking, basically: what bullshit can I tweet today that will get me publicity and PC points? And obviously it works. I've seen several stories discussing this bit of nonsense.
   Maybe we really are getting stupider.

Dan Hannon On Falling IQ Scores In The West

via Instapundit:
   The fall in IQ scores in the West is perhaps the most under-reported story of our era. For most of the twentieth century, IQ rose by around three points per decade globally, probably because of better nutrition. But that trend has recently gone into reverse in developed countries.
   You hadn’t heard? I’m not surprised. Journalists and politicians won’t go near the subject and you can see why. Consider the theories offered by neuroscientists for the decline. Some argued it had to do with the rising age of motherhood, because the children of older mothers tend to have lower IQs, other things being equal. No one likes to say this, because it can come across as “older moms have dumb kids,” which is not true. (My wife and I were 44 when our youngest child was born, and my own parents were also elderly, but that didn’t make me too thick to grasp the concept of statistical distributions.)
   Other theories were even more explosive. For example, that unintelligent people were having more kids, or that the fall in average scores reflected immigration from places with lower IQs.
   But a new study from Norway, which examines IQ scores from 730,000 men (standardized tests are part of military service there) disproves all these ideas, because it shows IQ dropping within the same families. Men born in 1991 score, on average, five points lower than men born in 1975. There must, in other words, be an environmental explanation, and the chronology throws up a clear suspect: the rise in screen-time.
   Kids brought up with Facebook and Instagram are more politically bigoted, not because they don’t hear alternative opinions, but because they don’t learn the concentration necessary to listen to opponents — a difficult and unnatural skill.
I wouldn't leap to that hypothesis just yet...but it'd cohere with the fact that progressives rule "social media"...

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Russian Collusion Theory Collapses; The Left Moves The Goalposts

Sumantra Maitra at the Federalist.
This seems basically right to me.
Goalpost-shifting is sometimes warranted--if some goalposts belong in the new location, as it were.
But that ought to be cause for reflection. Progressives and Dems have often said that Trump threatens our democracy. That could be true...and Trump does threaten some things...but I don't see that he threaten our democracy. In fact, the left is more clearly threatening democracy by refusing to accept the outcome of the election, and seeking to thwart it.

Christopher F Rufo: "Seattle Under Siege" (On The Homeless Crisis)

This is nuts.
   Over the past year, I’ve spent time at city council meetings, political rallies, homeless encampments, and rehabilitation facilities, trying to understand how the government can spend so much money with so little effect. While most of the debate has focused on tactical policy questions (Build more shelters? Open supervised injection sites?), the real battle isn’t being waged in the tents, under the bridges, or in the corridors of City Hall but in the realm of ideas, where, for now, four ideological power centers frame Seattle’s homelessness debate. I’ll identify them as the socialists, the compassion brigades, the homeless-industrial complex, and the addiction evangelists. Together, they have dominated the local policy discussion, diverted hundreds of millions of dollars toward favored projects, and converted many well-intentioned voters to the politics of unlimited compassion. If we want to break through the failed status quo on homelessness in places like Seattle—and in Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, too—we must first map the ideological battlefield, identify the flaws in our current policies, and rethink our assumptions.
   Seattle has long been known as one of America’s most liberal locales, but in recent years, the city has marched even further left as socialists, once relegated to the margins, have declared war on the Democratic establishment. Socialist Alternative city councilwoman Kshama Sawant claims that the city’s homelessness crisis is the inevitable result of the Amazon boom, greedy landlords, and rapidly increasing rents. As she told Street Roots News: “The explosion of the homelessness crisis is a symptom of how deeply dysfunctional capitalism is and also how much worse living standards have gotten with the last several decades.” The capitalists of Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Boeing, in her Marxian optic, generate enormous wealth for themselves, drive up housing prices, and push the working class toward poverty and despair—and, too often, onto the streets.
Read more »

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Even Martina Navratilova Isn't Allowed To Disagree With Trans Ideology...Even With Respect To Sports

She shouldn't have backed down--and people should have backed her up. And McKinnon is a nut, and philosophers should have refuted his nonsense years ago.
   But here we still are--the progressive left can declare that night is day, and demand that the culture be re-engineered accordingly, and pronounce any disagreement the moral equivalent of racism...and people will go along with it because it's better than being falsely accused of bigotry. And philosophy has beclowned itself by splitting into (a) those who produce sophistical arguments in support of this madness and (b) those who cower in the corner.
   Trump's a threat to the republic...but I continue to think that he pales in comparison to the madness on the left.

[One of the weirder things in this story:  How did Navratilova not know that her comment would get this kind of response? Has she been living in a cave? Alternatively, if she did know, you'd think she'd be prepared to withstand some pushback. Weird.]

Tump's Tailspin?

Likely exaggerated...but, as I've often said about anti-Trump stories: alarming as hell even if only half-true. He might actually be losing what little shit he had to start with.
   Weirdly, one of the parts of the story that freaked me out probably more than it should: the stuff (which we already knew, really) about him watching cable news all the time. I fell into that around the election...and it about drove me crazy... Imagine its effect on Trump...  (Not to mention the public...)

Saturday, December 22, 2018


Honestly, I'm not even sure how bad this is.
By which I really do mean: I'm too ignorant to have any real conception of the pluses and minuses.
Bad for lower-paid federal workers, obvs...but I'm not sure how heavily we should weigh that...though right at Christmas, dude...I doubt this is gonna make people like you more.
Even a lot of Pubs think this is a bad idea, so I'm going with the bipartisan majority...but I'm taking it on faith.
D'ya think Space Force will have to shut down too?? What if the Romulans attack before Xmas???

Friday, December 21, 2018

Exit Mattis / Trump's Freakout/Unpredictability/Irrationality

Well, there goes our last, best hope for this administration...
   I've defended Trump a lot against what seem to me like dumb / unfair / invalid / false criticisms...and my own layperson's opinion is, basically: being in Afghanistan and Syria hasn't been a notably successful strategy. So, in the absence of clear, overriding reasons for being there, let's GTFO.  Other things being equal, better No war + hope for the best than War + hope for the best...  I'd rather err on the side of no war.
   And: I have no particular reason to believe that the WaPo et al. are giving us the straight story. They basically flip their shit at every possible opportunity where Trump is involved. They simply aren't neutral arbiters anymore...
   AND: though I tend to oppose the sea-to-sea version of The Wall, I do favor more fencing...and I favor it a lot more now that progressives basically oppose every measure to decrease illegal immigration....
   However: even given all these things, this chaos from Trump is exactly what worries me most about him. He has no idea what he's doing, he's a basically chaotic, unreflective, ignorant person. He's done some good things, and if he were to err toward his tendency to just do what the GOP tells him to, he could end up doing a pretty good job. Certainly better than a helluva lot of Democrats... But this is kinda like hammering nails with dynamite or something. We just don't really know how far this guy might go. Somebody this erratic has no business within a light year of the presidency.
   I still think that Democratic administrations will reliably take us one more mile down the road to perdition...and I actually think that we're probably very, very lucky to have two new conservative justices on SCOTUS. And, no, I can't believe that I believe these things. I didn't believe them two years ago. And I might not believe them a year from now...
   But I just can't believe that this kind of erratic unpredictability can be tolerated.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Obama Claus

Or perhaps I should say Barack Hussein Obama Clause...
I think what I miss the most is not having to worry about the president blowing up the world with a tweet.

Larison: Live By Illegal Presidential Warfare, Die By Presidential Whim

That sums it up pretty well, IMHO.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Is The Left On A Trajectory To Sexualize Kids?

Holy crap this is just flat-out creepy as hell. [Oops--that link is relevant, but this is the one I meant.)
This kid is alleged to be "in drag", at least, not part of the kiddie transgenderism stampede. And oh, hey, don't forget about "drag queen story hour" at your local public library...
   But none of these things involve weird sexual interest in children! Ha ha! Of  course not!
   Two years ago I'd have thought that such concerns were Infowars-level crazy... But, then, four years ago I'd have laughed in your face if you'd've told me that the left would soon adopt trans ideology as a matter of faith pretty much across the board. Hell, they've managed to make questioning it impermissible in the spheres of the culture they control.
   My current hypothesis, as I've said, is that the fringey left always has new mini-revolutions brewing. They're constantly working to shift the Overton window to port. I never thought I'd see same-sex marriage legalized in my lifetime (though I was in favor of it). I thought trans ideology was too absurd to ever be taken seriously outside of a gender studies department...yet here we are. About five years ago or so I started saying "hey, I don't see how you can make sense of the various progressive positions on immigration unless you believe in open borders..." People said they thought I was nuts...but now some on the left have begun to openly advocate for that policy. I've wondered aloud here whether we'd soon start hearing serious arguments for legalizing polygamous marriage. And: yesterday Silent Sam; tomorrow the statue of Mr. Jefferson before the Rotunda...or so I reckon.
   Anyway...somebody here is crazy...either me or the progressive left... (Inclusive 'or'...) But, honestly, this stuff with kids is creepy.

Trump Admin Bans Bump Stocks

Well...I guess I'm kinda ok with this.

Michelle Obama Is Bad Because Her Undergraduate Honors Thesis Was Radical And Kinda Silly

Ehhh...nobody should be held to account for anything they wrote as an undergraduate.

Irritating Pop Terms (With Special Appearance By AOC)

"Self-care" is a bit of pop terminology that drives me up the wall. There something in the idea that's ok...but the term is generally popular, I say, on the side of the snowflakes who think that every inconvenience is violence against them. I'm not saying that people never need a break or whatever, obs. But come on...."self care". Shut up.
   Anyway, incidentally, AOC thinks she needs some "self care" before she even starts her job. And she makes up a story about how it's political and working class and race!!!  And dammit she needs and deserves that massage with hot rocks or WTF ever. And anybody who ridicules her for being ridiculous is politically incorrect.
   I mean...I'll bet campaigns are exhausting, and that a vacation before starting your stint as a congressman is a damn fine idea. So why not just say this instead of saying stupid shit, one wonders?
   (Though I do wish her well--obviously it's a tough and important job. I don't find her views congenial, but I wish her luck.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Congrats To Kendall Marshall, Carolina Graduate

Michel Houellebecq: Donald Trump Is A Good President

Ohhh kaaayyy....
I don't have an opinion about Houellebecq. And I can't squint hard enough to see good president. Best I can do is: Likely to produce less-awful policies than likely Democratic alternatives. And even that takes some creative cognitive-dissonance suppression.
But the cloud of media anti-Trump propaganda makes it almost impossible for me to see Trump at all clearly anymore. Also I can't stand the guy, so...

[But again: Betsy DeVos has been a godsend for Ed!]

Some Progressives Not Happy About The Possibility Their Ticket Will Be "All White Guys"

e.g. Gillibrand.
Look, I'm as fed up with the weird, pervasive, "reverse" racism of progressivism as anybody. Their We hate (straight) white guys shtick has gone from amusing to tedious to pathological.
But you do have to admit, we really, objectively have had a lot of white guys for president.
At some point it becomes a little weird...
Which is not to say that I'm going soft on the weird, pervasive, "reverse" racism of progressivism...'cause I ain't.
But even a perfectly reasonable / non-progressive person might think: Hey, what a surprise...all white guys again! What're the odds?
What if the Dems run Biden/Beto (saints preserve us...)...and the Pubs run, oh, say...Condoleezza Rice? Jeez, talk about win-win. Rice might just straighten out the Pubs and keep the Dems out of office. Be still my foolish imagination...
(Also: Rice did try to warn us about Russia...and we all on the left laughed and laughed...)
In actual fact, we'll probably end up with, like, Kamala Harris and Michael Avenatti vs. a new, improved (?) Trump ticket featuring VP candidate The Mooch.
C' know you miss the Mooch as much as I do.

Crazy People Team-Up!: Scientology + The Nation Of Islam

Chait: "I Have Seen The Future Of A Republican Party That Is No Longer Insane"

Now about the Dems...

The Coming War On Merit

Boys Are In Trouble--And Feminism Isn't Helping

The Women's March And Antisemitism

When busted for it, they sent journalists a letter telling them, basically, that if they'd delete their tweets about it, then the women's march would send them an excuse/explanation...which they had to promise not to publish.

Professor Harassed For Pointing Out That Academia Leans Far To The Left

   With a reminder about that ed schools have turned into ideological training camps--and that's where a lot of administrators come from.

$600 Everyday Feminism "Training" To "Heal" "Internalized Whiteness"

It seems the motto for our age is likely to be "you can't make this shit up."

Roger Kimball: Offense Archaeology

Monday, December 17, 2018

Did Pterosaurs Have Primitive Feathers?

WSU Stocks Men's Restrooms With Menstrual Products

Next: stocking kindergartens with Geritol?

Primary School Students At One School In The UK Will Be Taught That Boys Can Have Periods

The Salt Scam

Dunno how right this is, but it's interesting.

Everything's A Dogwhistle: 'Sovereignty' Is A Dogwhistle

But of course!
The hermeneutics of suspicion compels you! The hermeneutics of suspicion compels you!
There must be hidden messages in all un-PC speech! All you gotta do is "find" 'em...
And, of course, given the death of the author...any interpretation you might impose on a "text" is as good as any other...
I didn't even realize that I was whistling for dogs...or Klansmen...or whatever...when I fret about U.S. sovereignty! This new learning amazes me...
So here's how the conversations go, I reckon, basically:

Progressives: [Scream a bunch of things that all seem to indicate that enforcing the border is evil]
Others: You seem to be covertly arguing for open borders; wouldn't that undermine our sovereignty?

Jeez, I can't believe I used to read ThinkProgress unironically. Just goes to show ya, I guess.

Increased Snowfall Over Antarctic Ice Sheet Mitigated 20th-Century Seal-Level Rise?

Uh...shouldn't that be either (in the better case) prevented, or in the less-good case delayed?  From just the abstract I can't tell which they think it is. But, anyway: sounds at least less-bad.

Titania McGrath, The SJW's SJW: "I Now Understand How Nelson Mandela Felt"

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Xmas: Every. Daggum. Year.

Every daggum year I'm swamped with grading etc. right up to the last daggum minute. I never really have a chance to get into the daggum Christmas spirit, think about good daggum presents, enjoy the daggum season. 
I gotta make some adjustments, man.

"Trump Should Work Out A Plea Deal And Resign"

Says Bush White House ethics czar.

George Packer: The Corruption Of The Republican Party

Unfortunately, I don't disagree with enough of this. Fortunately, my perspective on it isn't good enough to matter much.

Silent Sam: Craig Speech

The damnable Carr speech gets all the attention--understandably. But Governor Locke Craig also spoke at the dedication. One part of his address:
Ours is the task to build a State worthy of all patriotism and heroic deeds, a State that demands justice for herself and all her people, a State sounding with the music of victorious industry, a State whose awakened conscience shall lead the State to evolve from the forces of progress a new social order, with finer development for all conditions and classes of our people
Whatever happens with Sam, and whatever horrific, loathsome bullshit Carr said (and, apparently, did), this won't go away. The ideas of the Union, and of Craig, won out. The arc of the moral universe has, in these important respects, bent toward justice. 
   Questions about Silent Sam are fine-tuning questions. They may still be important--but they're more like rearranging the table and chair on the Missouri. The cause is won, if incompletely implemented. The questions at hand are questions about symbolism and offence. I continue to think that neither I--a white dude--nor the PC outrage mob are good judges of such a matter. The most telling question is: how does the reasonable black North Carolinian in the street interpret Silent Sam? 
   Crucial and complex advice for both sides:
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Carolina 103 - Gonzaga 90

We've had an up-and-down non-conference season, and I've been trying to keep my mind off hoops as much as possible, to help me attend to other things. But this one was hard to ignore.

What Should Happen With Silent Sam?

Not sure.
I'm inclined to want him back up for at least a year to defy mobocratic insanity. 
But, if the average reasonable black North Carolinian in the street thinks the statue disrespectful to them, it should likely go.
And the university's plan to move it to a new, museum-like facility is probably a pretty good stab at a solution.
I'm under the impression that striking is illegal for public employees at UNC. If the TAs go through with their threat to withhold grades, they should incur whatever the appropriate legal penalty is--which, for all I know, is being suspended/fired. If the half-wits in the Ed school go through with their threat to strike, they, too, should be treated however the law says they should. I'm absolutely fine with civil disobedience--but, as Thoreau and MLK note, you should be willing to accept the relevant penalty for your actions.
Taking the statue down off "the university's front lawn" is one thing; treating it as if it were the One Ring and casting it into Mt. Doom is something else entirely. 

And it'll be less than a decade before Mr. Jefferson and the statue in front of the Rotunda get this treatment at UVa.

[Damn. The BoG has knuckled-under to pressure and rejected the plan. I'm afraid their going to give all the way in to the hysteria.]

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Commission Votes To Arm Some Teachers

Uh-oh...this isn't going to go over well...
   Is it the right decision? Don't ask me. How should I know? I suppose that, as long as the guns are secured properly and quickly available to teachers who know how to use them, they're fairly likely to be a net positive, no? Mass shootings...if we're only worried about the mass ones...which...for some reason we seem only to be...are so rare that they're almost not worth preparing for beyond telling students to "run, fight, hide". Or, y'know, cower in place and wait to be slaughtered...which seems to be the policy at some schools.
   But these shooters tend to be cowards, so far as I can tell--many of them feel tormented, but seem afraid, even when armed, to go after their tormentors, preferring to kill indiscriminately. (Just one more crazy aspect of this crazy phenomenon.) But anyway: hardening the potential target is a good idea, supposing that the downsides aren't too down. It's always possible that an armed teacher himself could flip out, or make some really terrible mistake. And, given how extraordinarily rare mass shootings are, it seems like even small risks like those might outweigh the relevant advantages.
   Incidentally, we shouldn't have to figure this stuff out for'd think there'd be experts who know how to think about all this better than we do. But so much in the vicinity of the social sciences is skewed so decidedly to the left that I suppose we are stuck trying to figure this out ourselves.
   Anyway. Interesting development, that's for sure.

UK Bans Sexist Stereotypes In Advertisements?

Uh...can this possibly be true?
Things seem to look worse and worse for our friends across the pond.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Dumbification of Matt Yglesias

When I read this I thought that Vox had published a piece by some semi-literate undergraduate. The writing's godawful. But the ideas are even worse. I mean...really, Matt? You guys are so enamored of Occasional Cortext that you want to change the Constitution so she can run sooner?
Whelp, progressives have managed to do at least one thing that conservatives haven't been able to do: make conservatives look like the less-bad option.

Mob Of A Dozen Antifa Attack Two Hispanic Marines

Mistaking them for Proud Boys, they maced them and beat them, leaving at least one with long-term injuries.
Weird that this got so little coverage...why d'ya think that was?

ACA Unconstitutional?

French: "Don't Fool Yourselves, Republicans--Donald Trump Is In Serious Trouble"

Unlike the hysterical Russian collusion accusations, this stuff sounds legit.
Not that I'm paying attention.
Because I'm not.

These Truths Jill Lepore

This book has blown me away from basically the first sentence:
I started reading it last night as a kindle sample, and was so blown away that I bought the audible version this morning and have been listening to it off and on. Lepore herself reads it, and I it's...thus far...just fantastic. This is the first single-volume history of the U.S. I've read in a long time (does listening to it count as reading it?). Lepore's prose is fantastic and the tone she strikes is painfully apt and moving. It's still early...I could be disappointed. I'd almost have to be: It's unlikely to live up to the promise of the first chapter. I haven't gotten to anything substantive that I know enough about to disagree with I really shouldn't gush. It's the tone / orientation that's gripped me thus far. But, damn--gripping it is. This one hooked me from the get-go. 
   Anyway: check out a Kindle sample and see if I'm wrong. 

To Hell With The Democrats' Phone Pestering

Given the way things currently stand, I have no intention of giving them money. But I've accidentally picked up on them a couple of times and briefly and politely explained that I wouldn't be contributing. Invariably, they try to simply talk over me, and I end up telling them to go to hell and hanging up.
   About one more time and I really am going to send money to the NRCC... I've never gotten a call from the Pubs...but the imaginary Republicans in my mind are politer.

The Silent Sam Debate Goes Even Farther Off The Rails

What a damn mess.

Professor Hires Mercenaries To Rescue Ph.D. Student From ISIS

He probably had a chapter due.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Don' Need No Man to Put Down Th' Seat

How Bad Is Trump?

This question vexes the hell out of me.

Ignoring The News

Gonna try to avoid it all damn day.
Somebody let me know if you-know-who blows up you-know-what.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I Assume It Was Trump's Fault...

...But I can't stand to watch that entire snipefest between him and Pelosi and Schumer...
   I do see that Pence is bad for not having participated...which is, I guess something like a new type of micro-micro infinitesimal aggression or aggression by omission or something. I also see that the Post is continuing to covertly editorialize by including videos from other people to express their view...
   But anyway, if this wasn't Trump's fault, somebody should let me know.

Kaufman on Transgenderism, Self-Identification and Civil Rights

This is pretty good but not great.
It's wrong in a way and suboptimal in a way.
First, it falsely asserts that:
...unlike a person’s sex, one’s ethnic identity is obviously, demonstrably socially constructed, and race, (beyond the human) is an outright fiction constructed out of superficial differences in material appearances, like skin color or eye shape, so it’s hard to see how ethnically and racially grounded civil rights efforts will be able to resist the logic of self-madeness.
That simply isn't true. Race could turn out to be a fiction, but hasn't so far. By far the most well-supported position, so far as we currently know, is that races are natural kinds. Though, if it helps you face that fact: they're natural kinds of a rather unimportant variety. But people are so desperate for race to go away that they'll grasp at any straw to make it happen. And, of course, anyone who believes that races are biological will be accused of racism--no matter how equal he thinks they are. Because the subordination of facts to politics is the central characteristic of political correctness.
   Second, though I think Kaufman is right, notice that this argument makes a certain common mistake--it gets suckered into arguing against "identificationism" on moral/political grounds. It's not that that's an error in the narrow sense, but it's an error in the broad (or we might say: strategic) sense that it falls into reinforcing the leftist game by playing it. My own view is that it's important to reject that game and insist on winning the point by showing that the central tenets of the PC left's views are false--not that they have bad political consequences. To give in by making factual disagreements seem moral/political might help you win the battle, but it'll also help you lose the war.
   But, still, at least on one front, Kaufman advances the discussion.

[Oh and: third problem (and source of the first problem): the use of the term 'socially constructed.' The ambiguity and other kinds of unclarities and confusions surrounding that term are fatal or near-fatal to any discussion.]

Conor Barnes: "Sad Radicals"

This is pretty good. It's a former-radical-turns-apostate story that adds a bit of inside scoop to what we already know about the PC left, rather like the "Everything Is Problematic" essay from a couple of years ago,

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The New Autocrats

Even correct for Postly spin, this doesn't sound good.

The 25 Most Racist Countries

And we're not on it!
Also: so much for that lefty "only white people are racist" BS...

(Though...does India have a Klan?)

Neo-Nazi Incident In Washington State

These psychos had been reduced to mere residuum. I'm not sure whether that's what they still are, or whether they're actually returning to significance. (I don't think a poser would get 'devil' tattooed across his head...). The media's obsessions and biases make it hard to get any sense of overall trends. And the SPLC can no longer be trusted.
   At least they were caught quickly. Thing is, they'll, at best, go back to prison where they'll be welcomed with open arms by the in-house branch of the Aryan Brotherhood/Nation/Whatever. Obviously these are not people who are particularly worried about getting locked up.
   Needless to say, among my many concerns about this stuff, is that vocal anti-white leftism (in addition to being racist in itself) is fanning the flames of (actual) white supremacism on the right. Unlike naive, youthful me, I no longer think we'll ever get rid of racism completely. The trick is to reduce it to embers. But so long as the anti-white left is so prominent/vocal, and given, basically, carte blanche, I don't see that happening. I dislike counterproductivity arguments, and prefer to focus on the wrongness of racism per se, including the anti-white racism of the PC left. But the consequences in this case are so profound that even I can't ignore them. Real, actual white supremacism--so I'm not adopting the fashion of using the term as a synonym for white racism--is a very, very dangerous thing. This is not something to mess around with.
   But it's also not something to freak out about just yet. Cold-hearted as it sounds: in a country of 325,000,000 people, this sort of thing is going to happen sometimes. It's a terrible thing for the individual innocent victims involved, but it's probably not a widespread social crisis--yet.
   I'm sick of people virtue-signalling about this stuff, so I rarely say it...but I hated these guys with a fiery passion before it was cool...

Monday, December 10, 2018

10 Comedians Who Can Never Host The Oscars Now

Most important thing: Sarah Silverman was haaaaaaawwwwwt...

Sunday, December 09, 2018

David French: The Special Counsel's Cohen Sentencing Brief Is Ominous For Trump

The Crying Nazi Vows Destruction Of The Left After Fields Conviction

John Kelly Leaving Trump Admin

By my count, that leaves approximately this many adults in the administration: James Mattis.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

John Rosenberg: "From Diverse Professors To Professors Of Diversity"

It's not exactly true to say that academia has become a political cult...but it's not exactly false, either.
   The horrifying thing to me is that the very people who are supposed to be the keepers of the flame of knowledge can say such things and support such programs. No one with the degree of intellectual honesty God gave a goddamn goose could say such things with a clear conscience. It often seems to me that people who produce such lunacy are beyond hope, because there's no explanation or argument that could make the lunacy clearer than the lunacy itself.
   This is the sort of thing that's led me to think that we'd be a lot better off with quotas. Quotas may be a meat-ax solution, but they're honest. The religion of diversity has intellectually and morally corrupted the university--corrupted its mind and soul. Huge swaths of universities can't bring themselves to look at the facts straight on--so they have to construct a bunch of quasi-myths (expressed in the muddled language of PC / popomo) in order to view and express the truths obliquely (and inaccurately).
   The two most delusional and intellectually dishonest institutions I've ever been associated with are (a) the baptist church back home and (b) universities. Over the years I've learned to more-or-less give (a) a pass; it's not supposed to be honest. It's not supposed to be rational. It's not supposed to be the goddamn steward of the goddamn intellectual / scholarly /scientific heritage of humankind. (b) is a whole different goddamn kettle of fish.

Yet Another Academic Dogpiling: Noah Carl Edition

Apparently Carl is a racist who racistly argued racistly that research on race, IQ and genetics should be discussed honestly by scientists. The racistness of this racist racism is clear, is it not?
   [Insert standard rant about neo-Lysenkoism here.]
   The case of transgenderism is a bit clearer, and more obvious because it's been shoved into actual policy debates, and is being used to implement actual totalitarian policies that affect ordinary people...but the multi-pronged PC attack on this front is nearly as clear. It's nuts and, IMO, eminently worth reading about. In order to avoid unpleasant conclusions about race and IQ, the PCs have basically been willing to (a) outright deny clear scientific evidence, (b) brand anyone who isn't willing to deny clear scientific evidence racist, (c) argue that the very idea of IQ (and, perhaps, the very idea of intelligence) is unscientific, (d) argue that races are fictions or social creations (or, inconsistently, both). That mean that, in order to avoid one, single politically incorrect conclusion, they're willing to push anti-rationalism and weird metaphysics deep into major aspects of science. IMO you should be very alarmed by this.
   And, though I tend to think this point shouldn't even be raised: they do this all on the basis of a defective belief to the effect that we all must be equal, on average, and as a matter of fact, in order to be morally equal / of equal moral worth. Which means that they're committed to a theory that makes our moral equality a contingent matter of fact. So we just have to sit around hoping that we're all morally equal. Except, of course, what we're really obligated to do is: suppress any evidence to the contrary. And brand anyone who thinks honestly about the subject a heretic/racist/witch.
   It worries me that people aren't more worried about this.

More On The Fields Conviction

   Friend of mine who lives in C'ville was telling me about a robocall she got the night before the trial started. It referenced, among other things, C'ville's [black*] mayor and Chief of Police, and "Jew" this and "Jew" that. And you thought those credit-card robocalls were obnoxious...
   Honestly, I was concerned about the Fields trial because we'd heard so little about it. I thought there was going to turn out to be some crazy complication or mitigating circumstance, and the whole goddamn thing was going to bring the Klan et al. and antifa et al. back to C'ville and there was going to be another shitstorm.
   I am a bit surprised that the verdict was premeditated murder. To the layperson--or this layperson, anyway--a moment of irrational, violent passion seemed more likely. But I suppose the facebook post about using a car to run down protesters...yeah...I guess that counted.
   I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, in retrospect, the Unite the Right rally may not have been the very best idea that anyone ever had.

*Not actual word used

Absolutely, Totally The End Of Trump No Doubt About It

Wow, that's a relief!
Does anybody know when Pence is being sworn in?

Today's End Of Trump

Friday, December 07, 2018

A Date which Will Live In Infamy

James Fields Found Guilty Of 1st-Degree Murder In C'Ville Car Attack

No surprise.
Bonus chanting kooks.

Gender Studies Under Attack In Hungary and Elsewhere

First, this is bullshit, and governments need to keep their hands off of academia. This sort of violation of academic freedom is extremely dangerous.
   Way down the list of concerns, however: gender studies really is mostly bullshit. And I'm someone who (obviously) thinks there are some interesting questions about gender. In the U.S., anyway, the emphasis on gender is radically overblown. The topic simply isn't interesting/important enough to occupy 10% of all work in the humanities and soft social sciences and warrant its own department. Academic work on gender has a consistent, leftward political bias, and the methods employed are fairly consistently of the popomo variety: free association always wending and looping and wandering its way toward pre-ordained politically-correct conclusions. Like the other "x studies" departments established in the paleo-PC era, women's and gender studies departments were established to be even more devoutly political outposts in an already-politicized academy. And now we've begun to see more gestures at the authority of women's/gender studies professors when it comes to public debates. It's common on the left to deny a distinction between scholarship and activism (and between teaching and indoctrination), and many leftist scholars consider themselves scholar/activists. This means that in debates over, say, transgenderism or social constructionism, the left can basically cite its own expertise and pretend to have invoked something akin to the relatively more neutral expertise of objective scientists: scholars push some crackpot new theory that inevitably leans hard left, activists and other politicos take it up and push for legislation, it encounters rather timid opposition which is shouted down as *ist / *phobic, the left cites opinions and "results" among x studies professors as evidence in support of the theory...and the circle is complete...
   My view is that universities would be a lot better off if there were about 10% as much chatter about gender.
   Oh and: don't forget the Boghossian/Pluckrose/Lindsay Sokaling of grievance studies nonsense.
   But none of this changes the fact that this is an academic matter and governments need to BTFO.
   (Actually, this sort of thing is a PR win for gender studies in the rest of the world...)

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Teen Kills Parents, Allegedly Because They Wouldn't Accept His Transgenderism

James Fields Case Now In The Hands Of The Jury

Unless something new came up during trial, seems like an open-and-shut case.

Good Riddance To The Weekly Standard

I always hated that rag.

Good News / Bad News: We've Discovered The Largest Oil And Natural-Gas Reserve In History In NM

Energy we control: good.
More carbon in the atmosphere...y'know...probably bad...

Everything Is Racist: Milk Is Racist

JQ and I drink like two gallons of milk a week...and I grew up on a dairy guess we're, like, totally racist.
Also, incidentally: 2% milk is for communists. And that blue water stuff isn't even milk at all.

Saudi-Funded Lobbyists Paid For 500 Rooms At Trump Hotel

I just assume this is more anti-Trump bullshit...but maybe not.

Google Tracks You In Incognito Mode

Too bad for you perverts.

S-SMOD...I-Is That You?

Sadly, no.
It's a miss.

Virtuous VA Diversocrat vs. Nefarious Trump; Also: Racism: Bad

Jeez, I don't even know why I read these things anymore.
There was no reason on God's green Earth for the VA to issue a statement about The Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville. That's just ridiculous. Should the FAA have released a statement? The OMB? The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency? DARPA? NASA? It just makes no sense.
   The Post--which has become an embarrassment--spins the story in its now-standard way. Instead of a diversocrat trying to politicize public statements by the VA, it's a story of a virtuous crusader being shut down by the nefarious Trump administration.
   And for the love of God: don't look at the comments!!! The virtue signaling has hit hurricane force almost immediately. Hey...did you guys know that racism is bad??? Z0MG! It's like totally bad!!!!1111

Men Are Allegedly Asking For Consent Videos Before Sex; Feminists Think It's, Like, Totally Problematic

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

So You Think You Can President: "Chaos Breeds Chaos"

Jesus Christ.
Here's one test I use: if I could do a better job as president, then we're in big trouble.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Heather Mac Donald: We're All In Gender Studies 101 Now

Exposing Media Misinformation/Disinformation About The "Migrant" "Caravan"

Contra the MSM, the "caravan" is apparently overwhelmingly male, and largely driven by economic motives.
(Though: some of his questions are leading.)

John Dingell's Prescription For Fixing The Country

I don't agree.
Note that my opinion counts for about 1/1000th that of Dingell's.

Paul Ryan Is Kinda Sorry He Was A Total Failure At Balancing The Budget

ERA YES?...or NO?

Gail Heriot gets some issues on the table fast at Instapundit. (And, incidentally, if you'd have told me a couple of years ago that I'd be reading Instapundit, I'd have laughed in your face...)
I don't really deserve an opinion on the ERA, though I did formerly have passionate views about it. I was for it...then I was formally against it because I thought everything it did was already done by the 14th Amendment. Now I'm not so sure of that...but I've also come to think that, were it passed, we can basically be certain that it will Title IXed...i.e. it will be turned to nefarious progressive purposes, e.g. used to advance transgender ideology. Obviously I'm in favor of protecting people with non-standard sexual preferences and non-standard appearances and self-representations...within reason. But men can't be women nor vice-versa, and I'm against passing any legislation--let alone a Constitutional amendment--that might be twisted to the contrary. In fact, I've moved to the right on such issues generally, as I've been convinced by conservatives that it's part of the logic of the left to expand the powers of the state that benefit their agenda...especially via the courts. I might change my mind back on that...but that's where I--largely ignorantly--stand right now.
   I do think that women keep getting the short end of the stick every time their interest competes with that of another group...but still, for now anyway, I'm back to being mostly against the ERA.
   Incidentally, if passed--and enforced--I wonder whether it'd benefit men in academia?

So You Think You Can President: Obstruction By Tweet?

lol this guy.
For the record, I realize that this doesn't count toward confirming my obstruction guess. This is a new and unforeseeable instance of possible obstruction.
Jesus this guy. 

Monday, December 03, 2018

Charles Camosy: "Trump Won Because College-Educated Americans Are Out Of Touch"

I'd bet a substantial amount of money that there's a whole lot of truth in this.
It should (but probably doesn't) go without saying that this doesn't mean that Trump is right. That's obviously a very different issue. But there just can't be much doubt that the worldview of the average humanities/social-science professor and that of the average (normal) American are extremely different. I often suspect that the view of the average professor might be less realistic/defensible than that of the average [person]. The [former] accepts quite a lot of stuff that's obviously sheer fantasy. But I'm probably in no position to speak with any authority on such a comparison. [lol fixed]

Soros-Funded University Kicked Out Of Hungary

Well this doesn't sound good.

Political Correctness And Race, Again

More and more I'm inclined to think that the central characteristic of the PC left is its ability to stare straight at the fact that p and declare that not-p. In fact, to declare that only a bigot could even entertain the thought that maybe p...
   I first encountered something like this kind of delusional dogmatism in the religious right. But it was far less virulent. At least those people were convinced of otherworldly fantasies. They were making up stories and insisting that they had to be right. They weren't looking right at a tree and declaring it a cow.
   One way you can tell that it's political correctness that's motivating this race nominalism is: you'll almost never encounter a discussion of the metaphysics that doesn't include some mention of the moral/political question. But, of course, the metaphysical and moral/political questions must be kept separate. That's the primest of prime directives here. Violate that principle consistently, and that's the end of everything.
   The two thinks that sustain race nominalism, IMO, are: (a) the moral/political motive and (b) our intellectual milieu's background nominalism. The PCs adopt race nominalism because they think it will help with the anti-racism project--a laudable goal in and of itself, obviously. And nominalism is the kind of political view that people who don't know any philosophy, but think they should, default to when the question arises. Being a nominalist is easier than actually thinking about the problem. (Man, that kind of snark is part of the problem... I suck...) Nominalism has its legitimate allure. It also sounds parsimonious/bleak...therefore sophisticated. But IMO there's no way to work it consistently into a plausible worldview. Not one that includes a realist view of science, anyway. (Not that Appiah doesn't know his shit; he does...he's respectably wrong about it.)
   Races are tiny little natural kinds. They don't matter much...but real and insignificant is different than fictional.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Colin Wright: Evolution Denialism On The Left

Much of the elaborate fantasy tale that constitutes the contemporary leftist worldview is driven by a preference for nurture over nature.

NDG Gets MeTooed

It's fine when it happens to white guys...but you'd think the left would draw the line when nonwhites get the business.

Kathleen Stock Still Getting Hassled For Questioning "Trans" Ideology

Soh: In Academia, Censorship And Conformity Have Become The Norm

HRC And John Kerry (Basically) Admit That Trump Was Right About Immigration

I always thought HRC was sane on this, and her refusal to pander to some demands that she pander during the election support my view. Her infamous "open borders" comment struck me as an anti-protectionism comment, not an actual endorsement of open borders. Which would be insane.
   Anyway. If Hillary had been more direct about this in '16, things might have gone differently.
   Also: Kerry '20.

The Beginning Of The End Of The Korean War?

Sullivan On Illegal Immigration, Transgenderism, And An Anti-Protest Law

Separate topics.
He's always worth reading.

Nicholas Philips: "Steve Bannon Is Wrong, But Not For The Reasons You Think"

Philips makes a much stronger case for the second conjunct of his title than for the first.

Trump Something Something THE MOB

Saturday, December 01, 2018

How Queer Theory Became University Policy

RIP '41

I disagreed with him politically, but there's no doubt that he was, in many important ways, a great American.