Thursday, February 28, 2019

Albright Apologizes To Romney For Deriding His Russia Claims in '12

CNN: Climate Change Extremes Are Getting So Bad That People Don't Even Notice Them Anymore

Next step: climate changes is so bad that climatologists can't even detect it anymore.

Trump / Kim Summit Ends Abruptly, But Apparently On Friendly Terms

Honestly, this strikes me as basically the best-realistic-case scenario. No deal--but that was predictable. Ending on friendly terms, so another summit seems pretty likely. Promising, I'd say.
   It's way better than I would have expected from Trump. Sounds like perfectly competent negotiating--and he doesn't seem to have given in to the temptation to lunge for a bad deal in order to eclipse the Cohen circus.
   I still don't like the guy--to say the very least. But compared to the Trumpasaurus rex that so obsesses the left / media...well...he's downright ok at least some of the time by comparison. High praise, eh?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Vox: The Knitting Community Is Reckoning With Racism: Fiber Artists Of Color Are Something Something Prejudice Something Something Inclusive Or Whatever

Yet Another Politically-Motivated "Hate Crime" Against A Trump Supporter

Again: actual and coverage because the polarity doesn't fit the media's preferred storyline.

Wikileaks And Roger Stone Both Say That Michael Cohen Is Lying

There are so many lying bullshitters in play now that I am not even gonna try to keep up with this.

India v. Pakistan...Is India Really Still Flying MIG-21s?

Damn, that's crazy.
If they really did managed to take out an F-16, it seems like a pretty good trade for two MIG-21s and some indeterminate type of helicopter, doesn't it?
Don't get me wrong...the MIG-21 is a beautiful jet...I love 'em...I just didn't realize anybody was still flying 'em.

The Left Just Can't Stop Swooning Over AOC

It's embarrassing even to the pretty-much-totally-debased left...but she really is cute.

Most Of the Current Political Violence In The U.S. Is Against The Right, And The Media Conceals It

Just one more case.
Jussie Smollett's obviously fake bullshit got 10,000 times more coverage than this case of actual politically-motivated violence caught on tape.

The Testosterone-Fueled He-Men Of Women's Sports

Mary Frances Williams: How I Was Kicked Out Of The Society For Classical Studies Annual Meeting

Appalling even by the standards of contemporary academia.

Claire Lehmann, Quillette: We Must Defend Free Thought

Cohen "Suggests" Trump Broke The Law In Office

I can't stand that jackass, but if this is the best ya got against him, then he wins.

Green New Deal Would Cost $90+ Trillion

It's just not a serious proposal.
Better to be more honest about the risks, and, so, about the real options for addressing them.

Cohen: No Evidence Of Russian Collusion--But Trump's a Jackass And A Crook

The Post buries the lede, which is:
Cohen plans to testify that he doesn’t have any direct knowledge of Trump’s campaign coordinating with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. 
   That's all there is: one sentence, followed immediately by a 'but' and some weak, entirely unconvincing speculation to the contrary. But the above is the bottom line.
   The rest of what Cohen plans to say is all perfectly plausible, IMO: he's a crook and a terrible person. Not that I particularly think Cohen ought to be believed...but none of what he alleges seems out of keeping with what we know about Trump.
   Anyway, I'm not seeing anything there that is inconsistent with my position on Trump: shouldn't be allowed within a lightyear of the Oval Office--but didn't collude with the Russians.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

House Votes To Terminate Trump's National Emergency

Good on the Dems
Not so good on the GOP

Was The Entire Russian Collusion Narrative Was Made Up?

WaPo Editors: A Better Green New Deal

Big props to the WaPo editors for this.

Dreher: "Today In Trans Tyranny": UK Mandatory Indoctrination For 5-Year-Olds, Bioethicist Argues For Denying Parental Veto Over Hormone Treatments

Will Wilkinson: Don't Abolish Billionaires; Abolish Bad Policy Instead

Ilya Somin: Why Trump's Emergency Declaration Is Illegal

The strongest legal argument against Trump's attempt to use emergency powers to build the wall is that declaring an emergency does not authorize him to spend money and condemn property for that purpose. But he also lacks grounds to declare an emergency in the first place.
Also: it's not a "sudden emergency."

House To Vote On Overturning Trump's Emergency Declaration

Seems right to me. Seems like a direct challenge to Congress's power of the purse. But I don't much understand the details.

Cohen To Testify About Trump's "Lies, Racism And Cheating"?

Stay tuned.
Sounds a lot less clearly damning than many of the usual suspects have been predicting / fantasizing about...but we'll see. Doesn't sound to me like this is going to do anything more than confirm what we already knew: dude has no business being within a lightyear of the presidency.

Yet Another Hate Crime Hoax: Transgender Activist Burns Down Own Home, Killing Five Pets

"Boyfriend" and "Girlfriend" Not PC

Jeez, get with the program, NRO...this news like 30 years old.
The lefties all started using 'partner' in grad school. Not to be outdone, I started referring to my gf, with whom I was living, as my 'roommate.' For some reason the departmental feminists got kind of pissed off about this when they found out she was my gf, and kind of gave me the business about it, on the grounds that it was "misleading." Guess who won that argument?

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The WaPo's Level-Headed Version Of The Green New Deal

See, now this is good.
I don't agree with all the particulars...but even I don't care about that.
Did this time-travel forward from the sensible, liberal-centrist WaPo of yore????
(h/t S. rex)

The Russian Collusion Hypothesis As A Test Of Political Sanity And Delusion

ok, don't forget:
  • I'm fairly committed to any of the strong or even moderate versions of the RCH being mostly false.
  • The left is strongly committed to some fairly strong version of RCH being true.
  • Conservatives, as I read them, are strongly committed to everything but maybe very, very weak versions of RCH (ones that involve unwitting, minor "collusion") being false.
I don't think there's any real chance that Trump colluded with the Rooskies...except in some very weak, incidental sense--e.g. he may have bent some law that he didn't really understand or whatever. The left seems to believe that he outright cooperated with the Russians to steal the election. I think that's completely crazy. I think that conservatives probably believe about what I believe.
   I think that Mueller will deliver a nothingburger. I think that said 'burger will prove that, yet again, progressives are living in a fantasy world of their own creation.
   Needless to say, if the report shows real collusion, Trump must go. And if he tries to suppress the report, he's gotta go. And if the former, then I'm the asshole. Though I do think there's a real chance of the I'm not placing any bets on that one.
   Anyway: I expect a no collusion proven verdict. And, so, I predict: still more evidence that Progressives are living in their own bizarre version of Narnia.

Jeffrey Sachs at CNN: "Green New Deal Is Feasible And Affordable"

Don Aitkin: A Good Starting Position In Discussions About "Climate Change"

This is roughly the set of positions that seem most reasonable to me now. There are a few of these that I suspect to be true, but am not convinced of (e.g. 8); and I don't really understand what he means by 16:
1. There is good scientific evidence that human activities are influencing the climate. But evidence is not fact, and neither evidence nor fact speak for themselves.
2. The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is neither as strong nor as demanding of action as is widely claimed.
3. Our ability to mitigate, let alone to reverse, any such change through reductions in CO2 emissions is even less certain, and may itself be harmful.
4. The scientific consensus on climate change as widely reported inaccurately reflects the true state of scientific knowledge.
5. How society should proceed in the face of a changing climate is the business of politics not science.
6. Political arguments about climate change are routinely mistaken for scientific ones. Environmentalism uses science as a fig-leaf to hide an embarrassment of blind faith and bad politics.
7. Science is increasingly expected to provide moral certainty in morally uncertain times.
8. The IPCC is principally a political organization.
9. The current emphasis on mitigation strategies is impeding society’s ability to adapt to a changing climate, whatever its cause.
10. The public remains unconvinced that mitigation is in its best interest. Few people have really bought into Environmentalism, but few people object vehemently to it. Most people are slightly irritated by it.
11. And yet climate change policies go unchallenged by opposition parties.
12. Environmentalism is a political ideology, yet it has never been tested democratically.
13. Widespread disengagement from politics means that politicians have had to seek new ways to connect with the public. Exaggerated environmental concern is merely serving to provide direction for directionless politics.
14. Environmentalism is not the reincarnation of socialism, communism or Marxism. It is being embraced by the old Right and Left alike. Similarly, climate change scepticism is not the exclusive domain of the conservative Right.
15. Environmentalism will be worse for the poor than climate change.
16. Environmentalism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

NYT Editors: "The Green New Deal Is Better Than Our Climate Nightmare"

No it isn't.
But here's their argument, for your consideration.
The GND is the progressive equivalent of a Trumpian sea-to-sea concrete wall: a crack-brained overreaction to an actual, serious problem, based on hysteria and a misunderstanding of the nature and extent of the problem and the real options with respect to solutions.
   Well...sorry...that's my current view, anyway. IANAC (I am not a climatologist). But I think the road to hell is paved with these kinds of arguments. That is: oh, sure, this utterly daft solution based on sheer fantasy may not be exactly right...but it's still awesome in that it:
(a) better than what the other guys want!
(b) better than what we have now!
(c) …"changes the 'conversation'"!
(d) symbolic!
   I'm all for taking reasonable--even accelerated--steps to reduce GHGs. But I simply don't believe climate catastrophism. The case for catastrophism, at least as it trickles down to someone like me, is simply too weak, and the evidence of cheating is too strong. And: the track record of science, when it intersects with progressive politics, is too bad.
   The GND is a nutty pipe dream and a stalking horse for other progressive preferences. Anyone would genuinely thought there were only 10 years left before a catastrophic tipping-point wouldn't include nonsense like UBI in their plan. They'd be clamoring for more nuclear, not for moonshots at renewables. Blah, blah, blah.
   There is a sane, sensible case to be made for adopting sane, sensible carbon emission goals. But the GND isn't a set of sane, sensible goals. In fact, contra the NYT editors: it isn't even better than what we have now. And IMO this is the same pattern we see--shockingly, to my mind--repeated over and over in our politics: it doesn't take all that much to offer something better than what the GOP is offering. But the blue team can't manage to do that.
   (Although! The adults really are still in charge of the Dems, to at least a large extent. See e.g. Feinstein's recent response to the people who sent the kids in to manipulate her with respect to the GND...)
   Also: I have no right to be as sure about AGW as I am right now. My pendulum is swinging all over the place.

William Davies: "Everything Is War And Nothing Is True"

I've got the flu, and can't really think clearly, but part of this look interesting, e.g.:
In civil society, the facts provided by economists, statisticians, reporters and academic scientists have a peace-building quality to the extent that they provide a common reality that can be agreed upon. The ideal of independent expertise, which cannot be swayed by money or power, has been crucial in allowing political opponents to nevertheless agree on certain basic features of reality. Facts remove questions of truth from the domain of politics.
This doesn't really make much sense given that facts and truth are basically the same thing--truth is the linguistic analog of facts. But ignoring that: the claims above seem plausible...though I'd gripe one of my standard gripes: this is yet another reason why it's so wrong / destructive for the left to control/manipulate experts--scientists in particular. And, of course, it does. All the softer sciences are made up mostly of progressives, and they tend to bring their conclusions into line with progressive preferences. Econ seems to be something of a holdout--but it's "harder," too. And the humanities are almost completely in the thrall of progressivism--and progressives have begun citing humanists as experts (" "). Women's and gender studies scholars, for example, are cited as experts in public debates over e.g. sexual assault, transgenderism, and "toxic" masculinity. (Wow the word 'toxic' sure has become repulsive...) Even though humanities scholars probably shouldn't be cited as experts on anything other than historical questions like "When was Hamlet written?" and "Who most influenced Cervantes?" Humanists don't so much discover truths (or facts) as offer interpretations. And many humanists explicitly reject the idea of a separation between scholarship and politics. The people cited by progressives as experts are, often, basically leftist activists who make whatever arguments they can think of to support leftist conclusions. This is a corruption of the process, and conservatives have been onto it for years. Everybody but progressives seems to understand what's going on here. Does anyone--even those of us who acknowledge that it could and ought to be--think that e.g. sociology is outputting apolitical conclusions? Even psychology and climatology--which are supposed to be natural sciences rather than social ones--are affected. 
   In short, the refs are cheating, and cheating very consistently for one side. And the other side knows it. So if Davies is right, and the neutrality of experts--including journalists!--are supposed to be doing something that promotes domestic tranquility...but, instead, they're cheating...well...that's the sort of thing that cannot but stoke anger and resentment on the side that's getting the shaft.
   Here's more:
Many of the anxieties surrounding “post-truth” and “fake news” are really symptoms of a public sphere that moves too quickly, with too great a volume of information, to the point where we either trust our instincts or latch on to others’. There’s a reason Twitter invites users to “follow” one another, a metaphor that implies that amid a deluge of data, truth is ultimately determined by leadership.
   Well, truth isn't...but we know what he means; no sense quibbling. I'm not sure about his point there, but it seemed to me to be worth highlighting for consideration.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Carolina 77 - FSU 59

Let's hear it for Nas and Garrison, yo.

LGB Publication: It's Racist For Trump Admin To Pressure Iran To Stop Killing Gay People

If the left keeps this stuff up, they are going to put the Babylon Bee out of business...

Some Billionaires Associated With Slower Economic Growth, Some Not

It may depend on whether their money is associated with political connections.

Lightsaber Officially Recognized By French Fencing Federation

Friday, February 22, 2019

"Coast Guard Lt. Used Work Computers In Alleged Planning Of Widespread Terrorist Attack, Prosecutors Say"

Holy crap.
Good work, Coast Guard (and FBI).

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Carolina 88 - Duke 72

Losing Zion changed things immensely, of course. Imagine the force it took to blow that shoe apart like that! Hope the kid's ok. Weird game in many ways...we won it on the inside (?!?), and couldn't hit 3s to save our lives (2-20). Coby and Nas barely scored. Just a weird game all around. Luke kicked ass: 30 pts, 15 rebounds. Always good to leave Cameron with the W...

George Will: "Trump Is Trashing The Constitution; Larry Hogan Shows Republicans How To Respond

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Slow, Sad Death Of Fact-Checking The Babylon Bee Edition

Trump: NYT "Enemy Of The People"

Goddamn it.
The NYT is kind of a piece of shit...but also kind of an even vaguely ideal world, we'd have something much, much better. But it's not a fucking "enemy of the people." Unless being kind of a piece of shit is being an enemy of the people. In which case: maybe. But not IMO.
   Both sides of our current national spat are full of shit, IMO. I've got nothing to add to that, really.

Frank Hobbs At Climate, Etc. On The "97% Consensus"

In summary, Cook (2013) contains flaws in conception, implementation and interpretation that invalidate its claim that a meaningful “97% consensus” exists.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Nick Sandman's Lawyers File $250 Million Lawsuit Against WaPo

Godspeed, Nick Sandman.

Heather Mac Donald: Jussie Smollett and "The Frenzied Search For Racism"

The truth: as instances of actual racism get harder and harder to find, the search to find such bigotry becomes increasingly frenzied and unmoored from reality.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Lake Street Dive: Lola

We've Cut Racism Down To Size

One bit of evidence: the crowd that thinks its still a huge problem has to make it up.
It'll never go away entirely. That's just how humans are, unfortunately. But damn if we haven't knocked the shit out of it compared to how it used to be.

Happy Washington's Birthday!

F*ck "Presidents' Day".
Washington's birthday FTW.

Smollett Mailed Himself Hate-Finger-Painting And Crushed Tylenol Before Fake Attack

Funny how little attention the MSM is paying to this...when they barfed all over themselves after the initial "hate crime" reports...

BB: Nation's Liberals Devastated After Learning That Hate Crime Didn't Actually Happen

Sunday, February 17, 2019

NYT: "Jussie Smollett Attack: As Mystery Deepens, Investigation Changes Course"

There is no mystery, and therefore there is no mystery to deepen.
It's exactly what it's always been: an obvious hoax.
Note that they very progressives that leaped to gnash their teeth and denounce Trumpistas after the initial, entirely unsubstantiated, obviously false, accusations of racism are now dragging their feet when it comes to acknowledging the proof of hoaxery.

Stock: Changing The Concept *Woman* Will Cause Unintended Harms

Stock is good, but this is merely ok.
Harm doesn't matter, really, in this discussion.
What matters is that men are not women. It's not possible to change the concept woman to include men, anymore than it's possible to change the concept marriage to include numbers, or to change the concept black to include white. Men can't be women because males can't be women. And there are limits to conceptual elasticity. The word 'woman' could be changed to include men...but, then, any word can be changed, in due course, to mean anything. With enough time or badgering or diligence, we could change the meaning of the word 'cat' to include dogs--but that has nothing to do with changing the concept cat to include dogs. To change the word 'cat' so as to include dogs is to change the word 'cat' so that it is no longer associated with the concept cat, but is, rather, associated with some concept like common pets. Changing the meanings of words is easy, relatively speaking. Concepts simply don't change. Not in that sort of way, anyway.
   Even many feminists who support transgender ideology have begun to admit that women can't be women and women can't be men. Rather, they're beginning to admit that they're really just trying to force people to change how we use the words 'man' and 'woman.' Caitlyn Jenner isn't a woman and will never be--though he might have been had he been born later, when medical technology is much more advanced. But the best the left can do currently is badger people into calling him a woman, and using feminine pronouns to refer to him. And that's a different thing entirely.
   As for the harm question; well, I'm not sure. But I'm inclined to think that, with respect to such questions, we're permitted to set up society in a way that we prefer. And there's nothing overtly wrong about a convention according to which public restrooms and locker rooms are segregated by sex.

The Young Left's Anti-Capitalist Manifesto

As if there weren't enough bad ideas in the air already.

Marlo Safi: A Wendell Berry Solution To The Problems Raised By Mega-Agrobusiness

I'm favorably disposed toward these ideas.
Also: when there are so many people that some are seriously suggesting that we can't afford to eat meat and cheese anymore, it's time to throttle back.

Facebook Bans Jussie Smollett Wrongthink

Progressive insanity is the orthodoxy in the cultural superstructure.

Smollett Paid Nigerian Brothers $3,500 To Fake Attack; The Three Rehearsed It Days Ahead Of Time

I was obviously, laughably fake from the get-go...but even I didn't think it was this fake. I thought he just made it up. I never considered the possibility that he might have staged a sham attack with actors and rehearsals and whatnot. Total crazytown, man.

The Jessie Smollett Hoax Is Not An Isolated Occurrence; And Hate-Crime Hoaxes Are Not An Isolated Phenomenon: They Are Of A Piece With The Hysterical Racialism Of The Delusional Left

Smollett made it up; in fact, he didn't merely make it up, he staged an actual fake attack. This isn't an isolated occurrence: fake hate crimes are a staple of the hysterical left. And those aren't an isolated phenomenon: they're of a piece with the progressive, identitarian left's general inclination to exaggerate and make up racism, sexism, and all their other -isms and -phobias. The general phenomenon is that the progressive left leans hard into these things, consistently fabricating and exaggerating: they "see" bigotry where it isn't, they fling around preposterous accusations as a matter of course, they believe every story and every accusation and every version of events spit out by their side, no matter how obviously preposterous. They choose loony interpretations of their enemies' words. Their intellectual wing, such as it is, works diligently to crank out new theories of ever-increasing implausibility that aim to bolster their fantasies and obsessions. They live in a fantasy world created by crazy theories, groupthink, and the unshakeable conviction that the rest of us--and America as an institution--is and are evil to the core. Racism and its cognates are original sin, and all of us--whites, anyway; men, anyway; straights, anyway; Americans, anyway--are irredeemable sinners. (Progressives confess their sin/"privilege"...there is no grace and no redemption...but they seem to think it does something for them...)
   One way all this fantastical, cultish obsession manifests itself is hate-crime hoaxes. When the world turns out to be not quite evil enough to suit them, they just go ahead and making up stories to show that it really is, anyway. These are their versions of burning bushes, weeping statues, and Jesuses on tortillas. But it's just one of the crazier, more overt expressions of a big, crazy weltanschauung and a big, crazy zeitgeist that have gripped progressivism.

David Wallace-Wells: "Time To Panic"; or: More Climate Change Hystericism

Look; lots of people (including me) are willing to take this problem seriously. But the histrionics don't make that any easier.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Ann Coulter: The Only National Emergency Is That The President Is An Idiot

I'm...not sure I've ever agreed with Ms. Coulter before...

Jussie Smollett Hoax Now Basically Confirmed

I'm shocked...shocked

Trump's Emergency Declaration Not That Bad?

I have no idea what to make of this.

Jussie Smollett's Obvious Hate-Crime Hoax: Now Even Hoaxier?

David French: Trump's Emergency Declaration Is Contemptuous Of The Rule Of Law

This seems about right to me, to the extent that I deserve an opinion.

NRO Editors: Trump's End Run

I basically agree with this.
I suppose it's in the hands of the courts now; but the mere fact that Trump is trying this is yet another black mark on his record.
And a general point: the imperial presidency must go. That we're stuck with it is the fault of both parties.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Andrew Yang Is Running For President On Universal Basic Income

Y'know...this guy is pretty interesting, and I'm not as skeptical of UBI as I used to be...because I'm not as ignorant about it as I week ago...

Jussie Smollett Changes His Story Again

Kyle Smith at NRO
Not that there's any real doubt that it's a hoax...but still interesting to see how this unfolds. Will the police and/or the media just let it fade from memory? That's my guess. I mean, with the Covington kids / Nathan Phillips incident, we had video of almost every moment, and that didn't really matter. There was the eruption of crazyhate against the kids and MAGA hats etc....then frantic attempts to deflect the iron-clad proof that it had all been bullshit...and then, so far as the media goes, it might as well never have happened.
Though the Washington Post did publish this that's something, anyway.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

More On The Lurch To The Left

C'mon, blue team.
The center is your friend.
I still believe that you can be a liberal without being crazy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Senate Intelligence Committee Has Found No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion

And if the best the Dems have is "but he asked them to hack Hillary's emails!!!111"...well...that's just pathetic.
   It's really important to keep track of this stuff.
   For the last two years, the left has been insisting that collusion was obvious and there was no other explanation. And the red team has been poo-pooing it all. Barring some weird twist(s), the two sides are on record as having taken up clearly opposed positions on this. At least there may be evidence that the pubs didn't know about, and that could be an excuse. I don't realistically see anything analogous for the blue team--they (many of them, anyway) have bee insisting that it's obvious that Trump is guilty. If it turns out--as, IMO, it's always looked as if it would--that they're this case, evidence of wrongness, I think, is basically evidence of nuttiness. There's nothing terribly wrong with thinking that Trump might have colluded...though that's almost never seemed plausible to me. But insisting that it was obvious that that was basically the only possibility...there's no excusing that.
   Anyway, as I've been saying: the blue team had better get ready to try to beat him in '20. Because that's very likely their only hope. And that's going to required two things, I assert: (1) the blue team needs to pick a centrist, and (2) their left wing has to vote for him. That means both of them are going to have to put their money where their mouth is about Trump being unfit for office. If he's genuinely a danger, then the progressive Make America Crazy campaign will have to go on hold for four years. If you think he really is so dangerous, then you should think that a 175% tax on millionaires and mandatory Drag Queen Story Hour at the DMV can wait another four years.

McConnell Will Force The Senate To Vote On AOC's "Green New Deal"

LOL now that's brilliant/hilarious.
I'm not what you'd call a big Mitch McConnell fan...but credit where credit's due.
Incidentally, have we reached local peak left yet? They can't really get that much crazier without losing significant support...can they? When you're making the Pubs look like the reasonable party, it's time to reassess.
(via Instapundit)

Thoughts on Blackface

I was in the gym this morning, and it suddenly hit me: blackface might be making fun of black people. That simply hadn't occurred to me. I've always just thought it was some weird-ass kind of theater, or some lame attempt at (non-malicious) humor...but somehow it didn't strike me as an attempt to poke fun. So that is a very different kettle of fish. I mean, I don't think that necessarily means that that's what people are intending it to be--Northam and Herring might easily have been as clueless as I was about it when they did it. Obviously something can still be racist even if not everyone who does it realizes that...but that's not the point. The point is that the trope could have an origin in bad intentions. I'm not even sure that the bad intentions are necessary. Actually, I suppose maybe the idea is that blackface is like a racist caricature.
   Anyway...maybe all that's obvious...but it wasn't....and isn't...obvious to me. It's the kind of thing it might be good for people to articulate better and more frequently in the public discussion.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Rob Lowe's Joke About Elizabeth Warren Isn't Racist Because She's Not Native American

Similarly, "fauxcahantas"
I'm not sure it'd be racist even if she were 1/1023 American Indian...

Carolina 61 - UVA 69

Eh, we let the solid lead slip away, Coby's 3 was a nanosecond late, then Guy hit the 3...6 point turn-around. UVa's a great team, but we just absolutely went to sleep in the last 5 minutes. Missed 12 of our last 14 shotes. Not the worst 5 minutes we've played all year, but close to it. Couldn't even put the ball in the hoop from point-blank range at the end of the game.
   IMO Virginia's the toughest team in the conference, so it's not a terrible loss...but kinda bad to get housed after you seem to have the game in hand. We've definitely got a lot of room for improvement. If we had any semblance of an inside game we might be a dangerous team.
   Injuries killed us, too...hope Nas is ok. Not to mention Leaky. Not to mention Sterling...


Can you believe that the refs robbed us of that 3 by Coby?
Eh...looks like he was still touching the ball as the clock went to close as it could possibly have been.

"Fact"-Checking And The Left: AOC GND Edition

Carolina 26 - UVa 36 At The Half

3s not falling...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The NA-335: The F-15 That Never Was

I had never heard of the North American 335. Cool.

"Free" Everything For All!: Free Day Care For All Edition

I do agree with Pollitt that it's a better idea than free college for all...for what that's worth.
And she doesn't actually say "free," she says "affordable." And may even mean it. But both mean: the rest of us pay for (at least some of) it.
   I'm not irrevocably against such ideas. In particular, I'm more inclined to be in favor of government programs that help kids get a good start in life, hence that level the playing field to some extent. But the progressives' Free Shit! sweepstakes not only gets old, it betrays a worrisome view of government. If I knew it might stop somewhere, I'd be more favorably-disposed toward individual suggestions. But it won't.
   But, anyway, it is a better idea than "free" college for it's got that going for it...

Saturday, February 09, 2019

"They Called Them Spitfires..."

A fantastic homage to the greatest and most beautiful fighter plane of all time...not a dry eye in the house here at the Institute after watching this...God bless the Brits, and God bless the Spit.

Carolina 88 - Miami 85 in OT

Wow, good game Miami, good game Heels!
That was a fun one.

Science Proves Conservatives Are Irrational, Episode MCXXIII: Conservativism Is All About B.O.

Behold, the leventy-millionth scientific proof that conservatives are irrational and primitive.

The Red New Deal

Total crap.
My favorite bit was the adjunct proposal to "provide economic security for all who are...unwilling to work."
   I'm not even really a "denialist"...I just don't believe the hysteria. Largely because Progressives don't believe the hysteria. If they did--as I've argued before--they'd be bargaining away everything else to get carbon emission reductions. They'd drop their objection to nuclear and argue for building every damn nuclear plant we could possibly fuel. They certainly wouldn't cram irrelevant socialist pipe-dream nonsense into a bill like this. If an asteroid were on a trajectory to destroy the Earth, and only an all-out effort would stop it, and party P1 actually believed that, and party P2 didn't, P1would drop every other goal, bargaining them all away to get whatever it was going to take to stop Armageddon. Instead, you see what the Dems are doing--pursuing socialism and other whackery at the expense of policies that--according to them--are our only hope for survival.
   They don't even believe their own bullshit; why should we?
   Me, I'm all for reducing carbon emissions. I'm extremely pro-environment. But I'm anti-bullshit.

Is Abortion In Danger?

Rauch and Wehner: Republicans Got Us Into This Mess And They Have To Get Us Out Of It

I think I agree with most of this, including especially:
The most troubling — and from our point of view the most disappointing — development of the Trump era is not the president’s own election and subsequent behavior; it is the institutional corruption, weakness and self-betrayal of the Republican Party. The party has abandoned its core commitments to constitutional norms, to conservative principles and even to basic decency. It has allowed itself to be hijacked by a reality television star who is a pathological liar, emotionally unsteady and accountable only to himself. And it has embraced presidential conduct that, if engaged in by a Democrat, it would have been denounced as corrupt, incompetent and even treasonous.
In the long wake of Gingrich, the Pubs have shown themselves willing to play hardball to the point of warping the system and violating the norms necessary for its proper functioning. To my mind, this is the most destructive part of Gingrich's legacy, and I still believe that it could ultimately be the end of us, or contribute significantly thereto.
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Thursday, February 07, 2019

"The Ten Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal"

Again, this shows that the progressive left doesn't really believe that climate change is an emergency; it's largely just using it as a stalking-horse to achieve ends it wants for other reasons.

Chicago PD: Smollett Will Be "Held Accountable" If He Made A False Report

The Real Story Of the Covington Kids / Nick Sandman / Nathan Phillip Encounter On The Mall

If this video is an accurate representation, then what happened really is exactly the opposite of what the left / media claimed. I expect that it's accurate, because any error or omission will be seized upon by the usual suspects...if they even ever mention it again...which I doubt that they will. Their M.O. is: smear and advance. Refutation of their tale was already on the table within a day; they didn't care. By the time that their lies were undeniable, they'd already moved on to the Jussie Smollett hoax. That's already fading away.
   The only thing I can clearly identify as having been left out is the Seven Nation Army chant, which I think a reasonable person might construe as provocative. But it doesn't matter. This is such a black-and-white, open-and-shut case that even if it's off by about a third, nothing much changes:

The progressive left has lost its mind.

OD Dems In Disarray

I don't have any idea what to say about this mess.
   I mean, the accusation against Fairfax is unsubstantiated, but sounds plausible. It is, obviously, by far the most serious charge. The other two have admitted that they did the deed in question at some time or other...though I'd say that deed is a venial transgression...but I guess I must be an outlier on that. I mean...uh...I think racism is a Very Bad Thing. I've thought that my entire life, so far as I can remember. This hasn't been a casual belief, but, rather, something pretty close to the core of my moral outlook. But over the course of the past few decades, the public posture of the left (hence of Polite And Consequential Society) has changed in such a way as to widen the scope of what counts as racism, and increase the moral severity of each transgression. So that now, apparently, someone even mentioning (and not even using) what we now refer to coyly as "the 'n' word" is apparently an unforgivable, mortal act of racism. Even as its appearance in popular culture has become far, far more common than ever. A pretty strange stage of affairs.
   Anyway, as I've babbled before, offensiveness is a weird thing. It's one of those categories that may not have any reality beyond however much reality is constituted or conferred by considered judgments. And I think the judgments that are most salient here are those of the average reasonable black person in the street. Somebody oughtta take a poll. Because I'm fairly sure that a lot of what's getting passed off as the consensus of minority groups is actually the opinions of leftist activists and academicians (but I repeat myself...). I doubt, for example, that illegal/undocumented aliens/immigrants/migrants care much about the terms 'illegal alien' and 'undocumented migrant'... 
   Anyway. common was it in the '80s to walk around in blackface anyway? Was just everybody doing it? This is kinda the weirdest thing about all this to me.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Insect Decline

Carolina 113 - State 96

State ended on a 14-4 scoring run...but we'll take it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Reece Jones: Borders Are Racist

Wow this is shit.
It is logical to support immigration restrictions if you believe that the United States is fundamentally an Anglo-European culture with western civilizational roots. This logic drove the United States’ earliest immigration laws from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Immigration Act of 1924 that established quotas to protect a racially defined notion of who could enter the United States. Subsequent immigration laws removed the explicitly racist elements, but have continued to limit the number of immigrants, the vast majority of whom are not white.
To recap, and clarify: if you believe that the U.S. has Western civilization at its roots, then you are racist. And if you are racist, then you want immigration controls. Therefore, if you want immigration controls, you are racist. Also, though our immigration laws aren't racist anymore, they're racist anyway, because they limit the number of people who can come into the country from elsewhere...and most people elsewhere are nonwhite.
   And this guy's a professor at the University of Hawaii...

Carolina / State

The big one is tonight.
Good excuse for missing the SOTU.

Augsburg U. Prof Under Fire For Quoting James Baldwin's Use of Racial Slur in Class

SOTU 2: The ReTrumpening

I can't bear to watch.
Somebody tell me what happens.

The Slow, Sad Death Of AOC And The Wrongness Of Billionaires Edition

I remember when that website wasn't a joke.

Dreher: Hiring The Diversity Commisar

And yet I watch my colleagues watch this happening, and they say nothing.
Fortunately my own department is notably sane...though insufficiently infuriated.
But year by year and month by month, the diversity-industrial complex takes over more and more of everything here.

Gaetz: Border Walls Work And Democrats Know It (Special Bonus I-Was-Right-All-Along Screed)

Pretty strong arguments.
I just want us to address the illegal immigration problem effectively/efficiently. Trump got things rolling toward a crazy extreme with the very idea of a sea-to-sea concrete wall-not-fence. And he stuck tenaciously to that crazy idea for quite awhile. Now...Trump could make the pope cuss...and he needs to be taught proper respect for Congress...and I understand how a crazy person can force one into an overreaction... But... The opposite kind of crazy has been running wild on the left in the form of sympathy with fully open borders and the view that border barriers are inherently evil. Even Pelosi foolishly declared fences immoral. So now the Dems have managed to defend--and perhaps even adopt--a view that's approximately an order of magnitude crazier than Trump's. Trump's wall idea was nuts, but it didn't involve anything like abandoning national sovereignty. He merely defended a maniacally extreme version of something we already have--physical barriers along the border. The Dems seem to have leaped off the philosophical cliff in response. And this is, I think, characteristic of the progressive left: they've demonstrated a willingness to defend positions that involve radical theoretical / philosophical shifts. This is far more radical than the way the right operates. They may want to weaken government, but they don't implicitly argue that the very idea of nationhood is wrong. They're willing to argue for crazy social creationist positions in order to defend the utterly indefensible view that people can change their sex-or-gender merely by saying so or wishing or occupying a different social role. They commonly deride the very possibility of truth, reason and objectivity, and commonly argue that science is inherently political...even while declaring the other guys anti-science... Seriously. What's going on on the left right now should horrify any reasonable person.
   Anyway, two things I've been right about:
   First, many on the left are in favor of open borders. I started pointing out several years ago that that position was entailed by much of what progressives were saying--that the things they were saying didn't make sense unless they believed in open borders. I caught a lot of grief for that, but I was right.
   Second, that Trump would make the left even crazier. There's no doubt about that.
   I also predicted that after Trump, there'd be a deluge of progressive-left insanity. I guess that prediction will have to wait two years to be assessed. But I'm afraid I'll turn out to have been right about that, too.

Monday, February 04, 2019

"University of Alabama Scientists: 'No Evidence' Climate Change Causes [Is Causing This?] Extreme Cold"

Post: "Bernie Sanders's Estate Tax Plan Would Reduce The Federal Debt And Help Even The Playing Field"

Dunno what to think about this sort of thing. I'm not sure there's right answer.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

The Fetishization Of Corporate Media

Is anybody keeping track of all the Trump/Russia false alarms unleashed by the media?
Surely one could, after the fact, rate the media for accuracy...
Even Glenn Greenwald is appalled.

Are We Headed For A "Soft" Civil War?

I wouldn't bet the farm on a negative answer.

Madeline Osburn: Here's What We Know About The Alleged Attack On Actor Jussie Smollett

   He asked the cops to turn off their body cams when they arrived.
   He was wearing some cord around his neck when they arrived.
   He refused to turn his phone over to them.
   The police can find no video of the attack (though there are lots of cameras in the area).
   He did not say his attackers were white.
   He claims the attackers yelled "this is MAGA country," but didn't tell this to the police initially.
   Police are investigating a threatening letter sent to him earlier.

Also: it's totally fake.

USA Powerlifting Bans Men Misrepresenting Themselves As Women From Competing As Women

Wow, so reactionary.

Drum: How Did The Lefties Take Over The Democratic Party So Quickly?

His answer.
My answer: because the center-left is helpless against the left. No enemies on the left! The left is only allowed to oppose the right. They crumble and grovel when faced with leftier positions. They think, at some level, that lefter = better. This is one reason the left is so dangerous. The logic of the left forces it to move leftward, ever leftward. Which makes conservatism, in a sense, the only sane position.

Trump Is Lazy

On the bright side, it may be better that he doesn't really work.

Everything Is Political: The Patriots Are Teh Razizt

The left has flipped its shit.

CNN Cries In Its Beer That Yet Anther Totally The End Of Drumpfff Fails To Pan Out

Also facepalm

Some Actress Or Other Flips Her Shit; Blames Mike Pence For Jussie Smollett Hate Crime (Hoax)

Wow Colbert is embarrassing.

Said Jilani: "Why Does Ralph Northam Deserve No Mercy?"

I'm inclined to agree with much, but not all, of this. Here's something good:
   Perhaps just a few years ago, Northam’s apology and Saslaw’s defence would have been enough for the governor to be able to move on. We have all done things we’re not proud of in the past, and our most offensive and obnoxious moments do not encapsulate our lives. But given an American elite culture that is regressing to a secular version of old puritanical norms, whereby sinners are branded for life and there are political points to be scored for casting them into hellfire, it is not surprising that Northam was immediately deluged with calls to resign.   ... 
   ...there is a curious dissonance between the message activists are promoting—that an offensive gesture from 35 years ago should permanently end a man’s career in politics—and their campaign around America’s system of mass incarceration. When it comes to criminal-justice reform, progressives are preaching that the aim of the system should be rehabilitation, not punishment, and that criminal behaviour is forged by social influences, rather than the result of bad choices by flawed individuals. They preach a Christian message of hating the sin but loving the sinner.
I was just wondering, actually, what would happen if, ten years hence, someone found out that I'd written something saying that I wasn't sure how bad blackface was. Will that be a fireable offence in academia in a decade? Actually, I'm not entirely sure it's not a fireable offence now...

Northam Now Says (1) He's Not Sure Which Guy He Is In The Picture And/Or (2) He Can't Be Sure That's Him At All

I dunno, man. I don't think either of these is a particularly strong defense:
A. I'm not sure that's me...I might be the guy in the Klan costume
B. I took so many pictures in blackface that I'm not sure whether that's one of them.
   OTOH, I'm not sure that appearing in blackface once in 1984 means that you are forever unfit for public office. The public discussion currently seems guided by the assumption that every such transgression is a moral mortal sin. I'm not sure how bad something like this really is. Is it a moral mortal sin? Are we sure it's not more on the Damn that wasn't a great idea end of the spectrum? Perhaps in the Dude, that was kind of an asshole thing to do sector of moral space? Something can be stupid and regrettable without being an indication of deep and undying racism. In matters of offensiveness, it seems that the average reaction of reasonable members of the average relevant group is extremely important. I guess I'd have thought that reaction would be rather more like Dude WTF were you thinking? F*ck right off with that stupid shit. That is a fairly high degree of dumbassery. Don't talk to me for, like, a day and a half. But I dunno. I hesitate to ask black people I know because it seems to much like So, speaking as a black man, and for all black men, what is your opinion of this?
   I never felt the allure of this stuff, nor thought it was that funny. I'm fine with some reeeeeally "transgressive" humor...but this just never seemed that funny to me. But I also don't think it's Literally The Worst Thing Ever. But my opinion doesn't really carry any weight in this case. I do think we've got to resist the idea that every dumbass racist thing somebody says or does is deserving of the social death penalty.
   I have no position on Northam in general, but am inclined to think that clamoring for his head over this is a bit too much. But I think it's obvious that, if the average reasonable black person in the street disagrees, that has to be weighed very heavily.

Who's Right About Ruth Bader Ginsberg?

On the right, I'm seeing:
   Nobody's seen RBG in public since her surgery.
   This is weird, and suggests she's in worse shape than we've been told.
   It's yet another sign of media bias that they're not asking about it.
   When Melania Trump wasn't seen in public for awhile, the media flipped
On the left I'm seeing:
   The right is flipping out about RBG
   This started with QAnon
   This is yet another sign of how crazy the right is

So who's right(er)?

Andrew Sullivan, Transgenderism, Lysenkoism, And The Derangement of Public Discourse

It's good to see Sullivan taking this stuff on.
But, as I've pointed out before: one sign of the iron fist with which the PC left controls our public discussion and thought is that the only dissent permitted is in other progressive terms. You aren't permitted to simply point out the most salient fact about trans ideology: that it is false. Men cannot become women nor vice-versa as a result of feeling or declaration (or, for that matter, existing medical treatments). The only dissent that is almost--but not quite--tolerated is of the form: this will harm other groups high in the progressive stack, e.g. women, homosexuals, lesbians.
   This is an extremely dangerous and deranged situation. Everyone should be rejecting this neo-Lysenkoist nonsense...instead of no one...

Jussie Smollette And The Evils Of Trumpism

Well, there's this:
The reported attack on Smollett included every hateful element you could think of: racism, homophobia, lynching and Trumpism.
Trump isn't just an erratic, loud-mouthed, narcissistic bullshitter who is vastly unfit for the presidency... No... "Trumpism" is now in the same category as racism, lynching, and anti-homosexuality... And this is how--one example of how--the left has become crazier than the right...

Friday, February 01, 2019

Northam In Blackface (or Klan Robes)?

Mississippi Bans Abortion After 15 Weeks, No Rape Exception

Serious question: is everybody going insane?

Did Trump Just Actually Negotiate Successfully?

Foxconn now says it will do manufacturing in Wisconsin.
Induction seems to speak against it...but if I didn't know better...I'd think that Trump had just successfully negotiated something...