Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Two Dead, Four Injured In UNC-Charlotte Shooting; Suspect In Custody

   Apparently he was apprehended after he ran out of ammunition.
   I tend to be on the pro-firearm side of the debate, but one of the arguments on our side that drive me crazy is when pro-firearm types argue that magazine size doesn't matter (usually: because mags can be changed so quickly).
   Yeah, bullshit. I love my high-capacity mags, and have no intention of ever giving them up--but there's simply no doubt that smaller mags would tend to make shootings like this less deadly. For one thing, the shooter might not have extra mags. But if he does, and each of them holds fewer rounds than it might have, then, again, his effectiveness decreases. (For one thing, he has fewer total rounds than he might have.). And I wouldn't want to have to take down someone by hand in the short window provided by them changing magazines...but that'd be a helluva lot better than the alternative, which is: trying to do it while they still have rounds in the mag. Also, these jackasses aren't exactly Delta operators--they're not changing mags like John Wick or anything. They're likely to be slow and awkward.
   None of which means that I favor magazine capacity restrictions.

Authorities To Arrest Father If He Refers To His "Trans" Daughter As 'She'--In Public Or In Private

I almost can't believe something this patently insane is actually happening.
SHE'S A GIRL. Her father is being threatened with jail for speech--specifically for REFERRING TO HIS DAUGHTER ACCURATELY. 
Nobody had even heard about this lunacy ten years ago...now people are being jailed for refusing to pay lip service to it--and being forced to stand by while their children are sexually mutilated.
And: I'm not certain that the First Amendment will save us from some similar insanity if progressives get a majority back on SCOTUS. 
And neither are you.
Yet another reason I don't think I can vote for a Democrat again unless/until this hard left madness passes--if it ever does.
What got me on the warpath about this stuff was just how patently, absurdly false it is to say that women can be male and men can be female. I wasn't terribly interested in any practical consequences...but Jesus Christ...this shit is turning into some kind of dystopian nightmare.
Actually, there's a pretty good chance that what he's really being punished for is thoughtcrime.

Bruce Fein: "Unseemly, Censurable, But Not Impeachable"

This seems reasonable to me, though I don't think anyone who isn't a Constitutional lawyer (or something similar) could really evaluate it, even though it's just s short, popular piece. Somebody like me lacks the collateral knowledge required to really evaluate such arguments.
   My initial reaction was, basically: if you try to do something which would obstruct (in the ordinary sense of 'obstruct') justice, then you obstructed justice. But that was a stupid thing to think. This is a legal question. I'm just not qualified to speak on it. If I'd really known what I was saying, I might not have predicted, as I did, that Trump was probably innocent of collusion, but guilty of obstruction.
   I also don't know whether Fein is right or not about what's needed for impeachment.
   So, really, all I can say is: sounds reasonable. So, roughly: he doesn't say anything stupid enough that I can tell it's stupid.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Paul Starr: "Trump's Second Term Would Cause Irreversible Damage" / "...It's Effects Would Be...Durable"

The first was the title at Real Clear Politics...dunno whether the Atlantic changed it to it down or RCP spiced it up.
I found nothing cited by Starr to be terrifying.
   As for a conservative court: I currently fear a progressive court much more. A conservative court might weaken the governments powers over labor and the economy...but that wouldn't necessarily be bad. And curtailing misuse of the interstate commerce clause would be good. A progressive court, on the other hand, would be likely to do much more damage, e.g. undermining both the First and Second Amendments. A conservative court might be suboptimal, but, given the way things currently stand, it would be far less likely to be catastrophic. Even if Roe were overturned--and it won't be--the relevant decisions about abortion merely revert to the states.
   I no longer accept climate hysteria, so those considerations don't move me. I do think we should be concerned about AGW...but my current position is that it's less pressing than the left wants us to believe. And the inclusion of nonsense like "free" college in the Green New Deal shows that progressives actually agree. If they really believed that the apocalypse  was upon us the GND would look very different.
   Nuclear proliferation is a concern. But Trump's failing to secure an agreement with North Korea doesn't make the problem any worse. As for the INF treaty: Russia was cheating. Trump's decision may not have been optimal, but it wasn't crazy.
   And I don't see Trump as any sort of threat to democracy. Trump's the output of democracy. And his opponents seem to be bigger threats. They've been trying to overturn the '16 election for two years.
   I don't want another Trump presidency. The idea gives me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. But it...probably...wouldn't be the end of the world. Right now, it seems fairly clear to me that we'd be better off rolling the dice on another four years of the Unindicted Co-Conspirator-in-Chief than going with the Dems. The Dems are riding the progressive crazy train; there is no doubt whatsoever that, if they are in power, they'll implement a fair bit of far-left crackpottery. And I think that a progressive court, given the left's radical lurch to antiliberalism, would be a catastrophe. Even Biden has had to swing left, yammering about "white man's culture" and whatnot. Given the state of the party, even a relative moderate would sweep a hoarde of extremist progressives into the bureaucracy. After the fever breaks, we can consider putting the blue team in power again. But, currently, keeping them out is extremely important...even given what that leaves us with.

"Diversity Statements: Professions of Progressive Faith

These things are completely cracked.
   These schools are saying that you aren't, e.g., qualified to be a mathematician at their institution, nor to do research in their physics department, unless you have a personal relationship with Our Lord And Savior Diversity Jesus. Are you brilliant? Maybe the next Einstein? Insufficient, bigot! Don't want you! Are you scrupulously fair? Completely indifferent to race, sex, etc.? Well, that's racist, actually, as you know. To not be racist you have to think race is super-important! You have to think that it pervades everything! And to be considered for a job here, bub, you have to tell us, in writing, how you are personally committed to advancing the holy cause of diverstityandinclusion. We're not interested in some egghead who might do some egghead thing like win a Nobel prize. What matters here is that you are on board with leftist politics. Yes, we put it in terms of diversityandinclusion...which we love with a burning passion hotter than a million suns...don't get us wrong! But you know as well as we do that this is also a way to force you to at least pay lip service to progressive politics generally. And, as Theodore Dalrymple says, that's to some extent a means of breaking the spirit of those who disagree and see through the lies; we humiliate them in their own eyes by forcing them to recite a catechism that anyone can see is false. Independent-minded people will recognize this as an appalling subordination of the intellectual to the political...and those are exactly the people we want to root out. Eggheads and troublemakers are unlikely to spend a lot of their time cultivating their diversity cred, and unlikely to pour their full heart into their statement...thus giving us evidence of their retrograde attitudes, ergo grounds for weeding them out.
   Of course it also gives us other grounds for preferring nonwhite nonstraight nonmales to...those other people.
   No arguments are actually needed against this madness. This is a litmus test. If you think these things are acceptable, you've gone round the bend.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

You Don't Notice Climate Change Is Happening...Because Of Climate Change...

The less you notice it, the realer it is...

Rachel Maddow Is Nuts

I knew she was bad, but I didn't realize she was this bad.
I swore off cable news a couple years ago, so I kinda didn't even remember she existed.

Dominic Aiello: "What I Saw At Middlebury College"

At the time, I was beginning my first semester of college as what Middlebury calls a “Feb”: Along with about 80 or 90 classmates, I was beginning my college education a semester late. I moved in while most of the campus was away on break, and spent the week getting to know the other Feb freshmen. It was essentially a week full of fun activities and bonding on an idyllic private liberal-arts college campus in rural Vermont. Along with everyone else, I was encouraged to believe that this is what the whole Middlebury experience would be like. And maybe, in times of yore, it was. But not in this era, when students are encouraged to experience campus life as one long sequence of ideologically-inflicted psychic traumas.
The tenor of intellectual life was established in March, a few weeks after I arrived, when the student newspaper, The Middlebury Campus, published an article entitled, White Allies Asked to Support Eliminating White Supremacy in Curriculum, which described a standing-room only gathering of Middlebury students concerned about “the need to eliminate racial violence from the Middlebury curriculum.” The organizer told the crowd that “the academic institution is the greatest mobilizer of white supremacy.” The event called for the “decolonization” of the academic curriculum, and elicited testimonials such as “the violence we experience in the classrooms is truly across disciplines.”
...I was stunned by the realization that the school was no longer run according to any coherent set of ideas set down by the administration, but rather by the knee-jerk diktats of a small group of radicalized students operating in open alliance with like-minded staffers.
Don't miss the recordings... 

Behold, The WaPo: ThiS HAshTaG KiLLs 'n' SurELy iT's THe EnD Of DRUMPfffff!!!!1111

Here's a good window into the contemporary Washington Post:
  • Reduced to commenting on social media
  • Twitter no less
  • A "hashtag" no less
  • A variation on its SNL strategy: reports on some pop culture nonsense ridiculing Trump as if it were news; allows the Post to criticize Trump while pretending to report
  •  Also reports on another "tweet"...from later the same day as the first...claiming that, since the "hashtag" was still "trending"--nearly twelve hours later!!!--the nickname had stuck!!!1111
All that's missing:
  • Declare victory in 2020
"Deranged Donald" isn't even a very good insulting nickname. It's certainly no Little Mario, Lyin' Ted or Pocahontas*...
   I'm not really sure it's possible to beat Trump at this game. It seems to work because the nicknames are just so damn stupid and juvenile. They work--I'm making this up, obviously--by striking a blow against their targets' dignity...but they can't really be defended against, since to do so would be even farther beneath their dignity. ("I'm not that little!" isn't going to work...) So they've got to either suffer it in silence or make things worse. 
   Trump is such a mess and is so little dignified that I'm just not sure this will work against him. To call him deranged is already to blow it--if, that is, you're trying to out-Trump him. 'Deranged' is already too serious. What you'd need here is something more on the order of 'dopey'--'Dopey Donald' is the right kind of thing...though not a great one, in particular. 
   Anyway...twitter liberals and the WaPo can congratulate themselves on this all day long, but it's just not very good.
   It's probably no secret that I find this tactic of Trump's really stupid and revolting. As usual, however, the left found a way to make itself look, if anything, even dumber. If you're going to stoop to Trump's level, you best win the point. Otherwise you've stooped and you look pathetic, foolish and desperate. 

*Though, of course, the really hilarious nickname for Warren, Fauxcahontas, isn't Trump's

"How Angry Pilots Got The Navy To Stop Dismissing UFO Sightings"

I've been hoping this would go away...I don't need anymore dissonance in my cognition...:
A recent uptick in sightings of unidentified flying objects — or as the military calls them, “unexplained aerial phenomena” — prompted the Navy to draft formal procedures for pilots to document encounters, a corrective measure that former officials say is long overdue.   As first reported by POLITICO, these intrusions have been happening on a regular basis since 2014. Recently, unidentified aircraft have entered military-designated airspace as often as multiple times per month, Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for office of the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told The Washington Post on Wednesday.
   Citing safety and security concerns, Gradisher vowed to “investigate each and every report.”
   He said, “We want to get to the bottom of this. We need to determine who’s doing it, where it’s coming from and what their intent is. We need to try to find ways to prevent it from happening again.”
   Luis Elizondo, a former senior intelligence officer, told The Post that the new Navy guidelines formalized the reporting process, facilitating data-driven analysis while removing the stigma from talking about UFOs, calling it “the single greatest decision the Navy has made in decades.”
   Chris Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was less laudatory.
   “I don’t believe in safety through ignorance,” he said, scolding the intelligence community for a lack of “curiosity and courage” and a “failure to react” to a strong pattern of sightings.
   In some cases, pilots — many of whom are engineers and academy graduates — claimed to observe small spherical objects flying in formation. Others say they’ve seen white, Tic Tac-shaped vehicles. Aside from drones, all engines rely on burning fuel to generate power, but these vehicles all had no air intake, no wind and no exhaust.
   “It’s very mysterious, and they still seem to exceed our aircraft in speed,” he said, calling it a “truly radical technology.”
   According to Mellon, awestruck and baffled pilots, concerned that reporting unidentified flying aircraft would adversely affect their careers, tended not to speak up. And when they did, he said, there was little interest in investigating their claims.
   “Imagine you see highly advanced vehicles, they appear on radar systems, they look bizarre, no one knows where they’re from. This happens on a recurring basis, and no one does anything,” said Mellon, who now works for To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences. Because agencies do not share this type of information, it is difficult to know the full extent of activity. Still, he estimated that dozens of incidents were witnessed by naval officers in a single year, enough to force the service to address the issue.
   “Pilots are upset, and they’re trying to help wake up a slumbering system,” he told The Post.
My money's on the Skunk Works.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Owning A Handgun "Disqualifying For A 2020 Democrat"?

I swear the Dems didn't used to be this crazy...
Also, they didn't used to be that bad at statistics...

If We Really Did Only Have A Decade To Save The World, Then....Gluing Your Boobs To The Street Would Still Be A Loony Thing To Do

San Diego Synagog Shooter Manifesto?

Crazy motherf*cker.
Sometimes it seems like it's crazy sonsabitches everywhere...

Bernie Doubles Down On Prisoners Voting

This idea is merely bad and not outright insane.
That makes it one of the better ideas the blue team is currently pushing.

Oh NRA...

...you so crazy

Snowfalls Are Now Just A Thing Of The Past

Diversity Cult Report: "Creating Inclusive Curricula In Higher Education"

This is the kind of monomaniacal bullshit we get all the time.
   "Diversity" is worth a bit of attention--maybe 1/10th as much as it actually gets. It's worth some thought and effort. It's not important enough--and not close to being important enough--to be something around which the entire institution of the university should be recreated.

"Don't Forget" That "@YaleLawSch faculty" Has "Confirmed" That the 2020 Election "Counts As" A "Constitutional Moment"

Jesus Christ, has everybody gone stupid?
[1] Not even "the Yale Law School faculty," but "@YaleLawSch faculty."
[2] There's no real reason to believe that "Constitutional moments" are real things.
[3] For that and other reasons, certainly "@YaleLawSch faculty" isn't in a position to "confirm" it.
[4] Stick that "Don't forget" BS. That's of a piece with the left's "friendly reminders"; specifically, it takes something that is likely bullshit and pretends it's established fact. See, we're not making shit up...we're just issuing a friendly reminder of something we all recognize...
   Honestly, we're suffering a constant barrage of stupid these days.
   Because Donald Trump is a gigantic threat to the Constitution because he may appoint justices that will actually do things like protect the First Amendment...dangerous, dangerous "Constitutional moment"...

NYT: "Trump Shows A New Level Of Contempt For Congress"

I'm too ignorant to know who's right here, but I'm strongly (though ignorantly) inclined to favor more Congressional oversight of the president to less.
   OTOH, Democrats have given Trump just about all the reason in the world not to trust them. Given their actions thus far, I certainly wouldn't, e.g., give them my tax returns. They've made it as clear as it could be that they have every intention of treating him unfairly.
   At this point, I'm just hoping that he can replace RBG and go out without giving the Dems too much of a boost. Either Trump 2020 or AnyGivenDemocrat 2020 will be a disaster.

Tristan Rogers: "The Dearth Of Conservatives In Academic Philosophy"

I've got complicated views about this, but it's something of a problem IMO.
What explains it? Probably the background left lean of academia and undergraduate-aged kids. Also philosophy errs toward the theoretical, as does leftism. Also a lot of philosophy is crap. Also a lot of it is crap because it's just rationalization for what we already believe. Even optimists about philosophy ought to admit that there's juts an enormous amount of crap and rationalization in it.
   What about these explanations?:
Why are there so few political conservatives in philosophy? Some hypotheses stand out immediately. One may notice that philosophy requires a critical attitude that sits uncomfortably with the characteristically conservative respect for authority. As a profession, philosophy also does not offer career prospects that risk-averse conservatives may value higher than their more idealistic liberal counterparts. Lastly, as Peter K. Jonason has shown, openness to ideas and experience—the philosophical character trait par excellence—is associated with political liberalism, not conservatism.
Meh. Conservatives are the new liberals in this respect, at least in academia. That is to say: the left is the status quo/orthodoxy in academia. Conservatism now requires more independence of thought there. Hell, I'm not even conservative, but academia and philosophy have swung so far left that people like me, who are less subject to the tides of opinion than most, are left standing to the right of the mean, marveling and the insane things that are now apparently orthodox. This isn't a completely novel position for me to be in. In my youth, most people around me seemed to be stuck in an overly-provincial, conservative, and religious worldview. I was of a more independent and contrarian bent, and so was more prone to busting out of that perspective. Most others were less independent, less contrarian, and less willing to force themselves to think consistently. For the record, I probably went too far...a well-known tendency of the contrarian...but I did bust out.
   Currently, most philosophers seem to me to be analogous to the people back home. They're too much on autopilot, too much influenced by the prevailing orthodoxy...and, to some extent, they just don't want any trouble. Hence a smallish group of radicals exerts disproportionate anti-philosophical influence on philosophy. Consequently, philosophy, overall, acquires a decided lean to the left. You have a bunch of shrill radicals with megaphones (e.g.: control of the APA, control of major salient on the web) and a lot of political influence and armor...and everybody else. Most of them lean left, but they mostly don't want to politicize philosophy. But they also don't want any trouble, don't want to take on the loudmouths, and certainly aren't interested in staking out and defending some kind of contrary, anti-left position that will require a lot of time and effort...and will make them the target of a vicious, powerful and, frankly, somewhat unhinged radical faction... All of this together produces a fairly pronounced lean to the left--a hard lean in some quarters, and a more go-with-the-flow-y lean in others. But overall: a big lean.
   Look, a lot of that's basically stream-of-consciousness, and I've got the flu or something. So it's probably not terribly good.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Steven Spier: "Universities Should Be Punished For Giving Black Students Lower Grades"

I wouldn't be all that surprised if this were put on the table.
In fact, I wouldn't be too surprised if they tried to penalize individual instructors for it.
I mean...that's "social justice"...no?

Are Americans Smart About Science?

Ehh...are those questions really about science?
The last two about method might mean something maybe.

The Great John McWhorter On Racism, Cops, and "Diversity" In Academia

I think I posted this entire debate once before, but this part is so stupendously, ridiculously, right on target that I'm posting it again by itself so there:

Corporate Personhood Bad; River Personhood Good

“Most people in America would laugh at the idea of a river being treated as a person, yet we don’t bat an eye over concepts of corporate personhood,” Freid said. “That’s really reflective of our culture, if you think about it.”
It might be, if it were true. But most people in America don't even know that corporate personhood is a thing, and almost no one understands much about the idea of legal personhood or the arguments for and against it. And of those people in the U.S. who even know about the idea, most deride it as absurd.
   Anyway, it's ridiculous to say that "we don't bat an eye" over it. That can't be a serious opinion. It must have been one of those bits of hyperbole that slip* out when people are on a roll.
   Also anyway, corporations are more person-like than rivers are in the relevant respects. It's not really controversial that corporations have rights and duties. It's not clear that rivers have rights, and I doubt that anyone thinks they have duties.

*'Slip' or 'slips' here? I can't figure it out.

Jed Handelsman Shugerman: "Trump Conspired With The Russians. Mueller Proved It"

The second part of the title isn't true, but this is still a very interesting piece.
Shugerman argues, basically: though Mueller found no proof beyond a reasonable doubt of conspiracy and coordination, he did find that the preponderance of the evidence indicates conspiracy and coordination. And it's reasonable to think that it's the lower standard that should interest us. Obvious, I'd say. The lighter burden is what should matter to voters and, I'd think, to Congress.
   But we swim in a sea of TDS, so I'm skeptical about Shugerman's claims that the lower standard was met.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Yoffe: Biden Helped Created The Culture He Is Now A Target Of

This is important.

Biden Comes Out Bullshitting

Lying, actually.
   I steal the title template from Althouse.
   Who basically nails it here: Biden's Announcement Video Is Anchored In A Demonstrable Lie.
   I do think that the UVa students who surrounded the statue of Jefferson in front of the Rotunda and fought the tiki-torch Nazis did the right thing. I'm pretty damn sure I'd have joined them if I could have...though people often chicken out in the actual moment. F*ck those tiki-torch assholes. And that's the incident that the Biden video seems to be referencing. The next day, however, the violence seems to have been mostly the left's fault, as is now common. The Unite The Right people had a right to rally. They had a permit. And there's, y'know, that First Amendment thing. And the Antifa types tried to stop them from doing it--while the cops looked on. As the city of C'ville had, apparently, instructed them to do.
   As I pointed out at the time, Trump explicitly said that he wasn't including Nazis and white supremacists in his "very fine people" category. That's just another overt misinterpretation / lie by the left, like "all Mexicans are rapists." He was talking about the two sides of the Confederate monument debate--and he was right. He also noted that both sides were responsible for the violence on Saturday, which is undeniably right. In fact it seems to have been the counter-protesters that were mostly to blame. But the left continues to pretend that he was, somehow, saying that some Nazis are very fine people.
   Because, you see, the actual Trump isn't bad enough. The left must build a straw Trump, and fashion him into the very worst person ever.
   I thought I might possibly be able to hold my nose and vote for Biden...but, honestly, that's probably not in the cards. The left has simply lost its mind. And they almost make Trump's grip on the truth seem firm by comparison. This isn't even so much about Biden or any other individual Democrat, any more than the insanity of Scientology is about the insanity of Tom Cruz. The problem, in each case, is the central, animating ideas of the group. Not every Democrat is nuts--not by any long shot. Many are, in fact...well, you see where I'm going with this...
   But illiberal progressives have become the vocal vanguard of the party. They're steering the ship. And their ideas permeate the party. And candidates cannot do well without currying favor with them. I currently fear the relatively short-term, superficial threat posed by Trump less than I fear the relatively long-term, deep threat posed by the hard-left antiliberalism of progressives.
   As I keep saying over and over...

Andrew Ferguson: "A Republic Too Fractured To Be Funny"

I'm not sure what to think about this, but I thought it was kinda interesting.
   I do remember, back just prior to the real breakout of paleo-PC, when I still unquestionably thought of myself as some kind of liberal, thinking that liberals really weren't funny anymore, and not knowing what that meant, but fretting that it might be significant.
   Ferguson doesn't say it, but basically everybody he's talking about is on the left. And I rarely find such folk funny anymore. Iconoclasm is funny, and conservatives are the iconoclasts now, not liberals...unless you count the almost-literal iconoclasm of destroying statues.
   Not that I can think of any funny, famous conservatives, actually. Certainly not Dennis Miller. Because pointlessly referencing Pliny the Elder isn't enough to make you funny. Or smart. But conservatives did win the meme wars. And, as is frequently noted on the right, the left can't meme. It really, really can't. The left is basically the new Moral Majority. And Jerry Falwells simply aren't funny. Colbert's shtick has never been funny--not in general, anyway. Though I don't know what else to say about it. John Stewart was, IMO, pretty great...but he was doing his thing before PC rose from the dead and began to ravage the land.
   Nobody's out there trying to suppress leftist humor, such as it is; it's stuff from right of the left that's being suppressed--on the Moral Majoritarian grounds that it's "offensive." Which is the paleo-PCs' favorite term of disapprobation. ('Problematic' is, of course, the updated and even less-specific translation into neo-PC. Which I've only recently recognized can be abbreviated 'NPC'. Which term drives the NPCs into paroxysms of anger...as do so many things... Actually: "offensive" isn't bad enough for the NPCs. They like to pretend that such stuff is dangerous.)
   Plus, the right--or, rather, the anti-left--has 4chan. So.
   Also, there's the left's politicization of everything. So everything is a matter of "social justice." So nothing politically incorrect can be funny. And nothing politically correct is funny. So that about covers it...
   Even Monty Python is now in hot water for at least two things: (a) being a bunch of white guys, and (b) thinking that men dressed as women is funny. As you know, both of these things are terrible. Dangerous and terrible. And not social justice in any way. Ergo literally Hitler.
   Also, Ferguson is wrong to say that Trump isn't funny. He absolutely has his moments, but the left is so humorless that it can't/won't acknowledge it. OTOH, Ferguson has what seems to me like a damn interesting point when he says that Trump never seems to laugh. Is that true? Because is seems true. And it would seem to be weirdly significant to me...but I have no idea why.
   I'm soooo sick of the left's annoying "punching up" / "punching down" locution. But I feel like that fits in here in some way I can't figure out.
   Also, I think I have the flu, which sucks and is not funny--not to me, anyway. Who gets the freaking flu in late April? But I'm going to use that as an excuse to not even try to end this screed.
   tl;dr: I really don't like the left, and think they are all bad things, including not funny.

Court Orders TX Dad To Not Call His Son 'He' As Ex-Wife "Transitions" Him

In less than a decade, we've gone from Hey, here's a weird theory, to You must believe this theory or you are a bigot to progressives making a full-court press to make acceptance of the theory a matter of law.
This is, honestly, the most insane thing I've seen in politics and culture in my entire life. And I never thought anything would top the Satanic Panic. That was a mere blip on the radar by comparison, as it affected so few people.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Feminist Cafe That Charged Men 18% Extra Goes Out Of Business; Blames "Fragile Masculinity"

Laughably clueless feminism is a much better explanation...but it's always somebody else's fault, isn't it?
I, for one, can't believe that saying We overcharge you because we hate you to half of the population didn't work out better for them.

When It's Suddenly Brought Home To You That Donad Trump Is President: NYT Down On Your Knees Edition

I more or less agree with some version of almost everything Trump says here...
...and yet the fact that the president of the United States is saying it...nay, tweeting it...makes me want to jump off a bridge.

Supreme Court Considers Efforts To Redefine Sex To Mean/Include Sexual Orientation and "Gender Identity" (?)

Not exactly sure what's going on here.
You can't redefine sex to include sexual orientation and "gender identity"... That's just idiotic. Surely the Supremes aren't going to let that kind of nonsense pass...right?
However, I've never quite understood why one couldn't argue something like the following:
(a) Discriminating against Smith because he is homosexual is a type of discrimination based on sex; the reason is that Smith is being discriminated against for having sex with men, whereas women who have sex with men face no such discrimination.
(b) Discriminating against Smith because he wants to wear dresses etc. is a type of discrimination based on sex; the reason is that women are permitted to wear dresses etc.
Perhaps the response is: to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sex is to discriminate against them on the basis of their sex independently of any behaviors they engage in... Whether or not that's true should be a simple legal question, I'd think..
   But, anyway: I could see this going either way so long as the arguments deployed on the one side are similar to (a) and (b)...but I can't see any even vaguely rational way to argue that sex includes sexual orientation or "gender identity" (the latter not even being an actual thing).
   This is the kind of reason I now want a conservative court. I don't trust liberals to not do something insane here...
[Of course even if (b) is right, one might argue that I shouldn't have to hire Smith if he actually believes that he is a woman, anymore than I should have to hire him if he thinks he is Napoleon. Wearing dresses is one thing--in that case, Smith merely defies clothing conventions. Believing that he's a woman is a different thing entirely.]

Trump: "Nobody Disobey's My Orders"

Except for these fifteen times...
What kind of a crackpot says something like that?
And what kind of president routinely gives orders that subordinates basically have to disobey in order to avert disaster?
This is the sort of thing that makes Trump unfit for office.
But it may not, since it can all seem like small beans compared to the hysterical accusation that he was the Manchurian candidate...and the fact that said accusation dominated the news for two years...and, unsurprisingly, turned out to be entirely false...
So I don't expect this stuff will generate the outrage it ought to on the center and the right.

Democrats For Trump 2020

Sanders and Harris want felons to vote from prison.
Honestly, it's like every week brings a new item of radical progressive crackpottery, any one of which could be sufficient to sink the Dems next time around.

The WaPo Moves The Goalposts: Collusion Isn't a Thing And The Mueller Report Is Really About Other Bad Things About Trump Anyway

They're not even pretending to be objective anymore.
First, there's the headline:
"Armed With Mueller Report, Democrats Face The Challenge Of Trump's Messaging Machine." 
Here's a headline for a story that would actually make a lot more sense, but which we didn't--and will never--see:
"Armed With Mueller Report, Trump Faces The Challenge of Democrats' Messaging Machine." 
But, given that the Post is a key component of the Democrats' messaging machine, I suppose that's to be expected.
Look, We just spent two years hearing from Dems...and the Post...and the rest of the media...that Trump had colluded with Russia. First and foremost, the Mueller report allowed Trump to rebut that charge. But the Post breezes by those fantastical tales of yore--lies really. They stand the whole story on its head by going after Trumpian exaggerations and inaccuracies that pale in comparison to what the other side did...before simply moving the goalposts.
   Here's how the Post story begins, if you can believe it:
President Trump summarized the special counsel report on the day of its release with four words in all caps — “NO COLLUSION. NO OBSTRUCTION.”
The first two were not addressed by the report. The second two falsely described Robert S. Mueller III’s findings.
Honestly, this may be the last straw, Post-wise, so far as I'm concerned. Collusion was not addressed by the report? Really? I mean, I haven't read the report...but the Attorney General of the United States thinks the report addressed the collusion question and found none. So what's Scherer/the Post thinking? Near the end of the story, we get:
The Russian campaign to help Trump’s campaign, which he had also denied and minimized, was laid bare, as were many contacts between suspected Russian agents and his advisers that stopped short of the legal definition coordination or conspiracy. As for the catchword “collusion,” adopted by Trump, Mueller said it was not a legal standard to steer a criminal investigation.
Right. Collusion isn't a criminal charge. That doesn't mean that the report doesn't address the question of collusion. It does, and there was none. Unless we mean 'address' in a narrower-than-normal sense: Mueller wasn't focused on collusion, but on conspiracy and coordination. But: no conspiracy and no coordination, so no collusion. So no collusion. And 'collusion' was the term Democrats and the media chose, not Trump. The main charge was cast in their terms, and they were wrong. Splitting hairs at this point as a way of avoiding the fact that they've been ostentatiously wrong for two years is utter shit. The question is "was there collusion?"...until the report finds no collusion, and Trump reports "NO COLLUSION"...now collusion was never the issue at all, you see... More Trump lies!
   And, unsurprisingly, the bulk of the story is an exercise in moving goalposts: it's mainly about what a piece of crap Trump is. Which is true, and newsworthy, I'll grant. But different. 
   Another main theme is how hard it is for the Dems to get their lies about Trump to trump his lies about their lies...now that the internet prevents the Post et al. from shaping the respective lies in such a way as to guarantee the triumph of the former. I hope we'll be forgiven if our outrage about this is rather muted...
   I'm not saying not to be concerned about Trump. But me, I've become even more concerned about the coalition of progressive nutjobs that control basically all the main cultural salients. This is the point at which I usually say: we've got 637 days of Trump remaining as I write this...but we're stuck with progressive control of the culture for the foreseeable future. However, I'm no longer sure that Trump will lose in 2020. Not because of anything he's done, really. But, rather, because the other side has flipped its shit, and Trump looks less and less bad by comparison. As Glenn Reynolds repeatedly notes: all they had to do was not be crazy... 

Dogs Are Racist Or Something

Something something white supremacy, something something woke. Something something colonizing, something something problematic. Something something gentrification, something something whitewashing.
White people. Is there anything they can't ruin?

"Why Was It So Uncomfortable To Watch Arya's Sex Scene In Game Of Thrones?"

Yeah, it wasn't.
Well, maybe a little unexpected or disorienting at first...but hardly so much as to warrant space in the Washington Post...
But here's the real cringe:
With Arya, the awkwardness stems partly from a lack of information about her gender identity and sexual orientation. Throughout the show, the audience is left to wonder: Does Arya identify as a woman? Is she queer? Does she like guys, or girls, or both? Perhaps viewers are still not completely comfortable not having answers to those questions. And they did not expect answers to come via an abrupt and completely unexpected sex scene.
LOL "gender identity." I mean...this person is obviously and factually and undeniably a woman...but...does she identify as one? In twenty years, people are going to look back on this and shake their heads in astonishment. Old people are going to have to explain this shit to kids. "Well, uh, thing was, the progressive bit of society lost its mind and pretended to believe that you could change your sex just by saying so...so they pretended to think that these were intelligible questions...uh...yeah...it didn't make any sense back then, either..."

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Best Ranger 2019

I'm tired just from watching this:

Justin Charity: Possibly The Dumbest Article I've Read This Year

Wow, this is embarrassingly bad.
It's silly to pick nits about something so monumentally dumb...but Mr. Charity (cool name, btw) can't even seem to get the basics about his targets straight.

Mustang vs. Komet

Joel Kotkin: "The Unwitting Committee To Re-Elect The President"

This is pretty much exactly the same point I just made.
Ergo I endorse it.

John A. Glynn: "Why Donald Trump Will Be Reelected"

I completely disagree with this:
But Trump’s imminent reelection will be due to the fact that, at this time of writing, Democrats have very little to offer, very few candidates willing to get down and dirty with Trump—and, after all, politics is a dirty game.
Though I agree with several of Glynn's other claims: that if the economy holds up, Trump is likely to win. And that the Democratic candidates are a rather dismal lot. But I think the strongest reasons to think Trump is likely to win are:
[1] Contemporary progressivism has flipped its shit
[2] Progressives are now the visible and vocal vanguard of the Democratic party.
   Look: I am very unlikely to vote for the Dem in 2020. If the Dems have lost me against Trump, they are in very serious trouble. I gave a lot of money and volunteered a lot of time to the Obama campaign. It was hard to lose me, but they managed it.
   And although Trump is only about half as awful as the left makes him out to be, he is still awful. Really awful. A dim-witted, loud-mouthed, narcissistic con man who shouldn't be anywhere near the Oval Office. Saints daggum preserve us... Though their delusional demonization of Trump is part of what's gone wrong over there. They're nearly as delusional about Trump as the Birthers and Antichristers were about Obama.
   Trump's terrible, but he's up against a party that in the grip of a crack-brained extremist political cult that will almost undoubtedly cobble together a platform composed largely of (a) some really bad ideas from the past that have been shown not to work, and (b) an array of loony ideas cooked up last Tuesday or so in the grievance studies departments. 
   It's not that the Dems are lackluster, nor that they aren't willing to fight dirty--progressives have been doing almost nothing but fighting dirty. Sometimes literally fighting, as Antifa's basically the Brownshirts of the contemporary American left... But the left also fights crazy. They have adopted a bunch of lunatic ideas, and we know what the principle of change is in them: they are ceaselessly driven to adopt even crazier ideas, and to do so at an astonishingly rapid rate. Socialism...sex-change by fiat and all that entails for restrooms, locker rooms, women's athletics, and so on...medical mutilation of children...fourth-trimester abortions, open borders, the PC-ification of all aspects of life (it's not just for universities anymore!) and the destruction of all who disagree, "diversity" uber alles, global warming hysteria (it's settled science, bigot!) and the dystopian green new deal...and we haven't even gotten to the elimination of private health insurance nor universal basic income yet...the crazy just keeps on comin'...
   Bah, not all this again... It's not as if I haven't ranted about this stuff already.
   But no: it's not merely that the Dems have little to offer, nor that they're insufficiently vicious. It's really the opposite of both of those: having been captured by the illiberal left, they're offering a giant pile of crazy, and they've become alarmingly vicious and violent. By comparison, Trump seems almost reasonable and civil. Almost, anyway.

What Really Caused The Notre Dame Cathedral Fire?

I've avoided raising this question, but now I think that's ridiculous. I doubt that the cause is actually known at this point. The grounds for ruling out arson seem, well, aspirational. Apparently vandalism and fires at churches in France have become alarmingly common. There was a failed bomb attack against Notre Dame in '16. And, as the first link notes, the renovating outfits that work on sites like Notre Dame are extremely professional and knowledgeable. Furthermore, the confident assertions that the fire was accidental seemed unsupported as soon as they were made--which is to say: even while the fire was still raging.
   None of this is a veiled way of suggesting that we know that the fire was set intentionally. Rather, it's just to note that we don't know the cause. And: there's reason to keep an open mind about it. I expect that the frantic insistence that it was accidental was politically-motivated. Which, of course, doesn't mean that it won't turn out to be true. Politically correct bullshitting by the media has become so common that I think we have to figure it in to just about everything they report. At least in the States...though perhaps France is different.
   I don't think adults should have to bullshit themselves in order to remain objective about such matters.

"Microsoft Staff Openly Questioning The Value of Diversity"

It's amazing to me that the insanity of the diversity cult has been able to suppress dissent for as long as it has. But it's proven more effective at thought-control than I'd have predicted. It took a broadside from Damore...but seemed to keep on going full steam ahead...
   Anyway, I'm happy to see this.
   After a year on my college's diversity committee, I'm even more appalled by it all. It's an elaborate tangle of conspiracy theories, quasi-religious faiths, and thinly-concealed leftist efforts to consolidate control of universities. The groupthink and willful suspension of disbelief involved in all this is appalling. And it's doubly appalling that it's all so powerful and effective at universities. Whereas younger me imagined university faculty to be among the most independent thinkers, older me concludes that the opposite may well be true.
   Oh and, note that the article simply asserts without argument that Damore's memo was based on "pseudoscience." Which is absolutely, positively false. As has been well-established, his arguments were consistent with some of the best relevant and available science. It's his opponents' arguments that are indifferent to the available evidence.
   But, then, 'pseudoscience', like 'conspiracy theory' has more-or-less come to mean: something conservatives believe and liberals don't.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

WSJ: Obstruction Of Nothing

It goes without saying that the WSJ editorial page has a significant right lean. But I found it worth reading. Unless/until somebody I trust gives a careful analysis of the report, I'm withholding judgment on obstruction. I might break down and read the damn thing this summer, but I'm trying to resist the urge. I spent way too much time on Bush v. Gore, and all it got me was crazy pissed off. Also too much time on the WMD / aluminum tubes case. Though at least I got a couple of grants for that...it wasn't a complete and total waste of time.
   This non-collusion is the backdrop for the other half of Mr. Mueller’s report, which concerns whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by interfering in the Russia probe as President. The special counsel devotes another 182 pages to rehearsing every detail of Mr. Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as FBI director, his well publicized comments (thanks to Mr. Comey’s leaks) to Mr. Comey in private, and his raging about the Mueller probe.
   Mr. Mueller makes no “prosecutorial judgment” about obstruction, though he conspicuously says that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
   This is Mr. Mueller’s cheapest shot because the standard for a special prosecutor is not exoneration, whether or not Mr. Trump claims it. The standard is whether there is sufficient evidence to charge a crime. Mr. Mueller concedes he lacks enough evidence to know what Mr. Trump’s motives were in firing Mr. Comey or asking him to go easy on Mr. Flynn, so he should have left it there.
   The factual “analysis” about obstruction that Mr. Mueller does offer is hardly persuasive, even if Mr. Trump often behaves badly. Were his public and private comments praising Messrs. Flynn and Manafort and (for a while) Michael Cohen attempts to dangle pardons so they wouldn’t cooperate? Well, all three have been convicted of crimes and no pardons have been offered.
  Mr. Trump was dumb to ask White House counsel Don McGahn to ask Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mr. Mueller. But Mr. McGahn refused to do it and was prepared to resign over the matter before the President dropped the subject.
   Mr. Mueller essentially reveals a President behaving in predictable Trumpian fashion at being investigated for a crime he didn’t believe he committed—and which even Mr. Mueller now concedes he didn’t commit. There was no underlying crime, and the investigation continued with full White House cooperation. Mr. Mueller knows about these Trumpian eruptions because the White House turned over mountains of documents and allowed him to interview anyone he wanted except the President.
   Nothing in the end was obstructed. The FBI probe continued after Mr. Comey was fired, and Mr. Mueller wasn’t interfered with. Mr. Mueller prosecuted those he could find enough evidence to try to turn for state’s evidence, but there was no coverup because there was no collusion with Russia to cover up.

Friday, April 19, 2019

David French: The Trump Adminisration Is Basically Made Of Lies

Now this I absolutely believe:
I’ve finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, even I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel’s Office. We’ve become accustomed to Trump making up his own facts on matters great and small, but to see the extent to which his virus infected his entire political operation is sobering. And the idea that anyone is treating this report as “win” for Trump, given the sheer extent of deceptions exposed (among other things), demonstrates that the bar for his conduct has sunk so low that anything other than outright criminality is too often brushed aside as relatively meaningless.
Basically we are going to have to choose between this lot of lying liars and the shrieking lot that lives in the fantasy world in which Trump is absolutely, positively a Russian agent and there is no other even possible explanation of his actions. And, of course, that isn't even close to being the most fantastical of their fantasies.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Propaganda From The Fuuuuutuuuurrrre...

Actual "Hate Crimes" Actually Happen To Trump Supporters

I mean, if you believe in "hate crimes," and I'm not sure you should. But anyway: one side doesn't have to make them up.

According To Everything On The Front Page Of The Post, Trump Is Guilty After All

Weird how they're so much better at this than Mueller is...

[I haven't really changed my view on obstruction--i.e. that, on my layperson's understanding of what that is, I kinda think he did it. (Though I haven't read the report; so I could change my mind.) I'm really just pointing out that the Post has become a joke.]

Thursday, April 18, 2019

CNN Meltdown Over Mueller Report

I saw this, too.
It was not pretty.

Georgetown Students Tax Themselves To Pay Reparations

I don't have a really fixed position on reparations.
But I am inclined to think that this kind of thing at universities is bad--and indicative of the way the left views power.
If some students want to pay toward reparations, each is free to do so. In fact, each may pay as much as he wants--more, in fact, than he can really afford, if that's what he chooses to do.  Imposing a requirement, however, on those who disagree is a different matter. It's hard for me to see the arguments as being clear enough to warrant coercing others. Sufficient respect for the opinions of the naysayers ought to make reparations advocates prefer paying twice as much to forcing the reasonable opposition to do something they consider unjust.
In general, I've come to expect that, as soon as the left gets enough votes to enforce its whimsical preferences on others, they're as good as imposed. Perhaps the right's no better, but it's not as prominently power-mad and expansively totalitarian right now. Eh, maybe that's wrong. But our lefty faculty tried passing a faculty senate resolution forcing us all to use each students' "preferred pronouns"... Better get used to that, incidentally...versions of such laws are already emerging. If you think there won't be a push to impose such fantastical modes of reference on us all, yer dreamin'.

Foolproof Mueller Report Prediction

After it "drops" (so...we're all saying 'drops' now, then?), and no matter what it says, the left will continue to insist that Trump is the Manchurian candidate. Of course the right will do the equal and opposite thing no matter what...but I'm not nearly as pissed at them right now, so whatever. Get your own blog. Then you can be pissed off at whoever you want.

"Diversity" "Training" Doesn't Work

Since my opinion has swung against "diversity" efforts in academia, and I object to basically any kind of "training" for professors, obviously I'm not too keen on "diversity" "training"... So I'm predisposed to be sympathetic to such a conclusion.
   I don't think there aren't any good ideas in the vicinity of "diversity"...but my God, what a cancerous disaster the idea seems to have become. It's basically become a stalking horse for leftist politics. I can barely stand to hear the word anymore. I have about the same reaction to it now that I had to 'Jesus' before I busted out of the Ozarks. Sometimes I think: If I hear that word spoken in breathy, weepy, ardent tones one more time I'm going to flip my shit...
   Also: how odd that sending people to a political reeducation camp that presupposes they are racist doesn't work... Weird...

The Whole, Horrible Truth About The University of Tulsa

Jesus Christ what a catastrophe.
These are the two great destructive forces currently threatening the university: leftist politics and vocationalization. The idea seems to more-or-less be to eliminate universities entirely, and replace them with job-training and indoctrination centers. Only the sciences can save us.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

MIT Librarian: LIBRARIES ARE WHITENESS WHITEY!!!11; Also: U. Of Tulsa Eliminates Departments, Replaces Them With e.g. "Humanities And Social Justice," "Ecology, Environment And Sustainability"

   Yet another thing about the social "justice" cult: it infests every aspect of universities. It's not just the faculty, but the administrators and quasi-administrators, and functionaries. This is not the first evidence I've gotten that it's penetrated pretty deeply into libraries.
   Anyway, the point is: whiteness is bad, m'kay?
   This shouldn't surprise you if you realize that the social justice cult thinks that whiteness isn't a skin color, but, rather, a kind of social class defined by its role in oppression. (Hint: whitey is the oppressor.)  Except, of course, it's really a skin color. And it's people with that skin color that they don't like. So.
   Also, it seems that the University of Tulsa has eliminated departments and crammed everybody into four broad divisions:
"Fine Arts And Media"
"Humanities and Social Justice"
"Human Biology and Behavior"
"Ecology, Environment and Sustainability"
Tell me, if you would, what kind of f*cking morons it takes to do something like that?
Also: nobody bats an eye anymore if universities officially admit that they're out to promote leftist politics, aka "social justice"... But, in a way, 'social justice' is one of their slickest bits of terminological legerdemain: it sounds like it means something like rightness. In fact, it's a name for illiberal leftist politics. It's basically like using the term 'truth' to name your specific theory.
Here's the babble straight from the babbler's blog.
Jesus universities have gotten stupid.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ilhan Omar: "Some People Did Something"

I don't see a damn thing wrong with what she said.
And she's right: some people did something [horrible]...and many Muslims paid a price for it.
You can make all sorts of things sound sinister by framing them cleverly and playing them over and over.
As for death threats...well, I don't doubt it in this case. But people--especially persons of the left--currently overplay that pretty dramatically. Most of what they characterize as death threats are really more like "I will be happy if you die." Which, where I come from, doesn't come close to counting as a death threat. Anything shy of Ahmma kill ya' ass, motherf*cker is just playful banter...
But, anyway, the right is totally full of shit on this one, IMO.

Apologies for Blog Mismanagement

No, I don't mean the content of the posts, wiseass.
I mean that I haven't kept up with comments, nor with current events.
I'm kinda juggling a lot of things right now, and a bit overwhelmed. I dash in occasionally for a drive-by post, but that's about it.
When I finally looked in and saw like two weeks worth of comments, it really hit me that, damn, there are a lot of f*cking smart people who comment here. Which made my blog-guilt more severe...
Anyway, I'm in the homestretch of the semester, and hope to get my shit together, blog-wise, thereafter.
Man, someday I'm going to do a semester right, without stumbling, on fire and disoriented, across the finish line...

Monday, April 15, 2019

Notre Dame

Christ. What a disaster.
I now feel even more fortunate for having been able to see it.
You'd think that they'd have so many fire-prevention measures in place that this almost couldn't happen. I suppose I'd expect that there'd be people basically patrolling and monitoring the place at every moment--especially during renovations when, apparently, the chance of fire is elevated.
What terrible news.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Kershaw Clash

Carolina In My Mind

"Why Liberals Are More Intelligent Than Conservatives"

I don't find this persuasive in the least...and it's not just because I'm pissed at liberals.

Media Exaggerates Woman's Role In Photographing Black Hole; People Point This Out; They Are Then Characterized As Evil Sexist Trolllzz

Look, this is freakin' cool, boss, and no matter how big or how small her role is, it's more significant than anything I'll ever do.
But it looks as if the media did, yet again, seize on and exaggerate the role played by a woman because she's a woman.
And if you're gonna do that, you deserve to get busted for it.
I'm sure there are some shitty trolls in the mix...but mostly the complaint seems to be that the media got caught lying yet again in yet another way that was aimed at advancing the progressive "narrative."
None of which is to say that Bouman doesn't deserve big props, because she does, she does--like every other member of the team.

Dems Of The Recent Past Advocating Trump's HorribleRacistNationalistImmoralNeanderthal Super-Duper-Anti-Immigrant Policies

The real lesson here is that the Dems have lurched hard to port in the last twenty years. The policies are still sensible; the Dems no longer are.

More On Trump's Threat To Dump Illegals On Sanctuary Cities

Same argument.
Still seems to me like a shitty, Trumpesque thing to do...though I'm not exactly sure why.
OTOH, I think the "sanctuary" stuff is nuts, I wish it were illegal, and I agree that the outrage on the left makes it clear that its adoration of illegals is not entirely sincere.
The Mayor Oakland, California, Libby Schaaf, who made news last year by tipping off illegal alien criminals to ICE raids, shared her sentiments, which are common among the left. About the Post story, Schaaf said it was “(a)n outrageous abuse of power — using human beings to settle political scores. Our President wants to punish everyone; those who seek sanctuary in our country and those who provide it.”
   Schaaf went so far as to call the idea “illegal, immoral, undemocratic, and racist,” though didn’t explain how. Granted, no one wants to move to Oakland, but how it’s racist remains a mystery.
   In her local TV appearance, Schaaf repeated the standard lie that illegal immigrants “actually makes our city better and safer.” If that were so, why is she so outraged? Shouldn’t this idea be greeted with tickertape parades? Oakland isn’t exactly a safe city, the opportunity to reduce crime by importing people with higher moral character than the average American should be a net-plus, right?
   The truth is illegal immigrants are a net drain on society. These aren’t people with PhDs and piles of seed money looking to create the next great start-up, they’re largely people who can’t speak English, with little to know education; many are illiterate in their native language. They will become the servant class for the liberal elite and their wealthy donors. More importantly to the left, they will be dependent on government.
   Of course such "sanctuary" places might argue that they will be overrun--that this will bring too many illegals to their area. That's not a weightless response, if true. But I'm skeptical.
   We bring in an astonishing number of legal immigrants every year, and unwillingly take in an astonishing number of illegal ones. It is permissible to have reasonable immigration restrictions. And it is reasonable to insist that people come into the country legally. We want to help refugees from violence--and we do. But we can only do so much. And there are other countries where they could go. We have to draw the line somewhere. It is daft to declare that your city, county, or state won't cooperated with immigration enforcement. Trump's Trump. But--as seems to be more and more common--his Trumpian looniness seems outweighed by the looniness of the other side.

Will: "Democrats' Foolishness Sweepstakes"

Testify, brother George

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dems Are About To Pass A Law Legally Conflating Sex and "Gender Identity"

This is why I've left the Democrats behind--or they've left me. 
Progressivism, as I've opined, has evolved into something like a quasi-religious cult. And it's working frantically to re-engineer society in accordance with its superstitions. And it's basically taken over the Democrats.
The creepiest thing about all this--and there are many creepy things about it--is that so many people I respect don't see anything wrong with any of this. Worse, they cheer it on. 
Contra that article, I don't think that men pretending to be women and invading e.g. women's restrooms and locker rooms is the main problem. The main problem is that the theory isn't true. And isn't even approximately true...and it's being imposed on us by political zealots. A person's sex is not the same thing as their subjective preferences, hopes, feelings nor beliefs about their sex--any more than a person's subjective preferences, hopes, feelings, or beliefs about his height are the same thing as his height.
Incidentally, I've been saying this would happen, as have Jordan Peterson et al. For years people have been arguing that we should simply ignore the truth and be nice..."why not just call people what they want to be called?" Well, first, because I have no obligation to say false things just because you ask me to. Second, because you're not asking, you're telling. And third: it's always been predictable that there would be a push to make all this mandatory--first socially, then legally. 
So get ready to speak in accordance with legally-imposed genderific Newspeak. Big Sibling will be watching...and hearing...you.

Somebody At the WH Suggests Busing Illegals To Sanctuary Cities; Proposal Is Immediately Rejected; Post Writes Interminable Story About It

Look, this was a shitty idea.
I'm in no way denying that. It was worse than a shitty idea, because this sort of retaliation against political opponents is absolutely right out.
But...is a rejected proposal of this kind really worth a long top story in the Post?
Maybe so. I've lost my objectivity, so I'm not in much of a position to say. But I'm skeptical.
The very existence of "sanctuary" cities (and counties and states) is about an order of magnitude more outrageous than this rejected suggestion...but it's easy to dismiss shittiness with such comparisons. Honestly, such comparisons pave the road to perdition.
Though...I thought illegal immigrants weren't bad. Isn't that more or less the thinking on the left? Aren't they, like, a gift from God? The realest Americans? Who do jobs crappy American Americans won't? And strengthen our communities with their beautiful, beautiful diversity and ethnic food and stuff?
So how is busing them to your town retaliation? Shouldn't it be welcomed? Especially by sanctuary cities?
Nah, that's gotta be a straw man. But damn...it's not all that far from the progressive view...
Anyway: shitty idea that does say something about the mentality of at least one person (Miller?) in the Trump administration. Though I do think that it's worth keeping in mind that half of the background story that the Post isn't interested in writing about.
I really just can't stand either side anymore. Not that I think that they're doing an equivalent amount of harm. For I do not.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Orwell: The Duty To Restate The Obvious

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know this quote.

Caught (?): Louisiana Arsonist Who Torched Black Churches

Well, they seem very certain that they've got the right guy.
Dude seems maybe too young to really understand the kind of f*cked-up history this sort of crime hooks up with. SMGDH. I'm still mostly against the idea of stiffer penalties for "hate crimes"...but I'm not going to go out of my way to complain about it in this case. Try to revive this kind of shit and I expect Uncle Sam's gonna come down on you like the very fist of God.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Candace Owens. Absolutely. Watch. This.

I'm not saying that there's noresponse to this. I'm saying that a response is required.

Lt. Col. Richard Cole, Last Doolittle Raider, Dies At 103

RIP to a true American hero.

Obama: Ideological Rigidity, The Left's Circular Firing Squads, and "It's Not Racist To Be Disturbed By Immigration"

Here and here.
Sure wish he'd say stuff like this more. And say it here.
Dude is so freaking reasonable.
Still can't really believe we went from him to Trump. It was like the crazy train went from 0 to 60 in...I dunno...some very small number of seconds.
Though I will say: given the nature of the post-Obama left, I'm extremely grateful for the circular firing squads...

Student Makes Bad Sound; Academia, Internet Outraged

This has gotten completely out of control. I grew up before that word was "reclaimed" (is that the right term? I can't currently remember...). It's all over the place now; it's unavoidable. It's enthusiastically used and integrated into popular culture...and I've still never quite gotten used to it completely. There's an obvious argument for the position that it's permissible (or at least far less-bad) for blacks to use it than for non-blacks to do so. But the currently-popular view (popular on the left, at any rate) that it's a horrific moral wrong for non-blacks to say it is absurd. It's a shitty word. And that's basically all it is. It's not a magic spell. The progressive view is particularly unsustainable in conjunction with the view that "celebrates" (as the paleo-PCs used to say) its use by blacks. The enormous alleged moral gap just isn't sustainable/defensible, and it's less so the wider it gets. It's what produces the absurd outrage that's often sparked when a white kid is videoed singing along with a rap song. In fact, it's the absurdity of the moral exaggeration that prompts some people to say it. Moral absurdities always prompt recreational violations of the relevant rule--as well as pointed, principled violations.
Read more »

Some Actor You've Never Heard Of Says Trans "Women"s Penises Are "Biologically Female"

Look, why think this is any more implausible than the more familiar parts of trans ideology? Progressives insist that males can be women. When added to facts about women and/or the definition of the term 'woman', that yields a material contradiction. Once you've accepted that such a thing is true, you've already crossed the intellectual Rubicon. Might as well allow the absurdity to propagate further out. It's more honest, really. Might as well go for: some penises are female. Or my preferred consequence: all women have vaginas, but some vaginas are exactly penis-shaped and indistinguishable from them. So all transwomen have vaginas, but some of those vaginas are tubular, extend from the body penis-wise, and so forth: vaginas are not biological things, but, rather, "social constructs," determined by the social role they play. Genitals attached to a person who is oppressed in certain ways are vaginas; genitals attached to their oppressor counterparts are penises...


Great game Texas Tech, great game--and great season--Hoos.

Monday, April 08, 2019

The Washington Post Has Flipped Its Shit, Episode MCLXIII: If Trump Is Not A Rooskie Then He Must Be A Nazi

The argument seems to be: Hitler said that ethnic Germans needed lebensraum (apparently not a term with which the Post expects its readers to be familiar)...so...you could see this as him saying that Germany was overcrowded...Trump said we couldn't keep letting in a gazillion illegals...and one of the things he said, by way of dramatically making the point, was "our country is full"...which...if interpreted in a way he didn't seem to mean it could be construed as the claim that the U.S. is overcrowded....WHICH MAKES HIM LITERALLY HITLER!!!!!!!111
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Thursday, April 04, 2019

California Attorney General Calls For Illegal Immigration To Be Decriminalized

Gosh, this is surprising.

Leroy Justice: Purple Rain

Vox: "Our 'Emotional Devastation' At Trump Winning The Election Drove Us So Insane We Beiieved The Trump Collusion Story"

I mean, it'd be a big leap forward if the left could admit even that much.
But the problem goes far deeper than that.
The left is currently locked into a tangle of insane, quasi-religious theories that blind them to a fair number of important truths. Progressivism is the religious right of the 21st century.

Is The Mueller Report More Damaging Than Barr's Summary Indicated?

It'd almost have to be, given that the summary was so good for Trump.
As for whether it needs to be released now or later: later's fine with me, FWIW. I've said that there should be massive protests if the report isn't released. And I still think that. But I now don't think there's any chance of it not being. I also think it's ridiculous to make a bid deal out of another two weeks.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Peter Wehner: "The Democratic Party Is Radicalizing: Extremism Isn't Just Affecting The GOP"

Ya think?
To more fully grasp the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, it’s useful to run through some of the ideas that are now being seriously talked about and embraced by leading members of the party—ideas that together would be fiscally ruinous, invest massive and unwarranted trust in central planners, and weaken America’s security.
    • The Green New Deal, a 10-year effort to eliminate fossil fuels “as much as is technologically feasible” that would completely transform the American economy, put the federal government in partial or complete control over large sectors, and retrofit every building in America. It would change the way we travel and eat, switch the entire electrical grid to renewable energy sources, and for good measure “guarantee” high-paying jobs, affordable housing, and universal health care. It would be astronomically costly and constitute by far the greatest centralization of power in American history.
    • Medicare for all, which would greatly expand the federal role in health care. Some versions would wipe out the health-insurance industry and do away with employer-sponsored health plans that now cover roughly 175 million Americans. This would be hugely disruptive and unpopular (70 percent of Americans are happy with their coverage), and would exacerbate the worst efficiencies of an already highly inefficient program.
    • Make college tuition-free and debt-free, with the no-debt promise including both tuition and living expenses—a highly expensive undertaking ($50 billion a year or so just for the federal government)—that would transfer money from less wealthy families whose children do not attend college to wealthier families whose children do. It could also have potentially devastating effects on many private, not-for-profit colleges.
    • Increase the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent from its current rate of 37 percent for those making more than $10 million, unwise in the 21st-century economy and far above the average top rate for OECD nations; and impose a “wealth tax” that would levy a 2 percent annual tax on a household’s assets—including stocks, real estate, and retirement funds—above $50 million. It isn’t even clear whether a tax on wealth rather than income would be constitutional, but that almost seems beside the point.
    • Abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which upholds immigration laws; protect “sanctuary cities” (local jurisdictions that don’t fully cooperate with federal efforts to find and deport unauthorized immigrants); and take down existing walls on the southern border, walls which Speaker Nancy Pelosi has referred to as “an immorality.” These policies signal that Democrats don’t really believe in border security and are mostly untroubled by illegal immigration.
    • Eliminate the Senate filibuster, pack the courts, and put an end to the Electoral College. The effect of these would be to weaken protections against abuses of majority power.
    • Reparations for African Americans to provide compensation for past injustices like slavery, Jim Crow laws, and redlining. (Senator Elizabeth Warren believes Native Americans should be included as well.) Reparations would pose countless practical problems and create unintended consequences, as David Frum argued in these pages.
    • Opposition to any limits on even third-trimester abortions, and opposition to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation clarifying that babies who survive attempted abortions must receive medical care. Abortion is a very difficult issue that requires empathy on all sides—but for many of us, this stance of Democrats is morally incomprehensible.
    • Increasing antipathy aimed at Israel, one of the most estimable nations in the world. Two freshmen Democrats, Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have embraced the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement targeting Israel, and House Democratic leaders faced a fierce backlash in their efforts to condemn the anti-Semitic remarks by Omar, who has a record of anti-Semitic comments and who most recently accused supporters of Israel of dual loyalties. (The Democratic House, unable to pass a measure that focused solely on anti-Semitism, eventually passed a resolution condemning “hateful expressions of intolerance.”)

Warren: "Corporate Executives Must Face Jail Time For Overseeing Massive Scams"

Is there, somehow, another side to this story? Because it's hard to figure out what it would be like.

Nicholas Jones and Douglas Lute: "NATO's Biggest Problem Is President Trump"

This seems fair to me, though my understanding of the issues is pretty limited.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Beta O'Rourke Is Sooooo Full Of Shit

Handsome Boy Modeling School: The Truth

I Still Haven't Found...

...f*cking YouTube sucks and won't recognize this brilliant thing.

Taiibi: Russiagate Is This Generation's WMDs

That seems about right.

Nas Little Goes League

Obviously the only option.
Best of luck, Nas!

Turns Out There's A State Of Emergency At The Border After All

I'm inclined to be in favor of more border fencing, within reason. But I argued that Trump shouldn't be allowed to build more of it by declaring a state of emergency. But it turns out that there is an emergency there, after all. So now I think he should be able to do it. I don't know whether Trump knew that the crisis was building, or he was just accidentally right about it. The latter seems pretty implausible. But if it was the former, I didn't hear him say so.
   Not that building fence is a solution to the current crisis.
   And of course borders and nations and laws and stuff are racist, so...

Beto O'Rourk Is Facepalmerific

Jeez this guy makes me cringe whenever I have to listen to him. His tone and mannerisms absolutely scream bullshitter.
Even aside from the absurdity of e.g. (in effect) calling the GND "absolutely right on the money."
If I have to choose between him and Trump I'm going to jump off a bridge.

Carol Hay: "Who Counts As A Woman?"

Yet another embarrassingly bad pro-trans-ideology post in the NYT. They're barely even worth commenting on anymore. The errors and confusions are so glaringly obvious that it doesn't take a philosopher to identify them...though one has to wonder whether it takes a philosopher to believe them...or at least think them up.
   The most notable thing about this to my mind is that, despite article after article in the NYT, Washington Post, etc. articulating and defending these ridiculous positions and arguments, I don't think there's been a single one articulating the obvious, non-insane, and actually true alternative. That's to say: man and woman are, as they have always been, sex kinds not genders. What all women have in common is: being female. There is no great puzzle here. It takes the likes of Judith Butler et al. to cook up a problem, and then to hysterically defend a ridiculous, politically correct solution. Female is a sex; feminine is a gender.; woman is a species/sex/age kind: a woman is an adult, female human. Women are necessarily female. Women tend to be more feminine (i.e. less masculine). Women are necessarily female, and tend be feminine. It takes a concerted effort by scholars to confuse these rather simple matters. Women could become men--if we could change females into males. But we can't currently do that, we can only simulate such a change. "Transwomen" are not women at all, but feminine men. Calling them "women" is just another bit of tactical misdescription by the left, which is known for its use of the tactic.
   It's ridiculous to take Hay's positions and arguments seriously by addressing them directly. But I can't help at least pointing to some peripheral bits of sophistry. Consider the first lines of her essay:
Who counts as a woman? Is there some set of core experiences distinctive of womanhood, some shared set of adventures and exploits that every woman will encounter on her journey from diapers to the grave?
Who counts as a woman is: every adult, female human being. There's simply no puzzle there. Is there some set of experiences common to all women? Not really, but sort of. Not really because woman isn't a behavioral kind, but a biological one. So what all women have in common is a biology, not a type of experience. Sort of because you can just trivialize things by saying: all women share the experience of having a female body. Hay begins her essay the way she does precisely in order to obfuscate the issues by presupposing that there's some puzzle about commonality of experience that needs addressing. There isn't.
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Monday, April 01, 2019

The "#MeToo" Double Standard

I've long been fond of Biden, despite his loopiness. Of course that was before he got all #w0ke! and shit and started emitting gibberish about the evil white man's "juridical culture." Whatever that meant.
If anything.
But you gotta admit: if anybody on the red team were as gropey as he is, they'd have been hateshrieked off the public stage loooong ago for #wrongtouch!.
Not to mention the fact that, current craziness aside, it really is a bit creepy. I mean: one of the many insanities infecting the contemporary left is a jihad against touching anyone, ever without prior "consent." I've seen more than one screed to the effect that the time-honored method touching people on the shoulder when trying to get past them from behind in a crowd (e.g. a bar where it's too loud to really get their attention vocally) is TOTALLY LIKE RAPE. ("WHO EVEN DOES THAT???" one participant in the discussion asked. Uhh...who doesn't?) So...that's all nuts, obviously... But damn there is a whole lot of distance between that insanity and Biden's gropiness.
It's a sign of sickness that people are so uptight about obviously casual, incidental, and friendly touching. But damn, Joe, you go a bit far.