Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Scores Against Kamala Harris

She still accepts an array of the nutty ideas running around on the left...but she seems to be one of the saner ones.
Gotta say, I like her.

Gabbard/Hickenlooper 2020!

Trump Is A Racist Because 'Infested' Is A "Dog Whistle" Or: How The Method Of Free-Form Interpretation Makes The Left Stupid

Not going to spend a lot of time on this nonsense.
   Erin Burnett: Trump's a racist because he said that Baltimore--that notoriously rat-infested craphole--is rat-infested. And because 'infested' is...wait for it...a racist dog whistle! Needless to say!
   Now, 'infested' is in no way racist...but since this is all about free-form interpretation...well, heck, you can say whatever you want! Does the claim sound vaguely plausible in some inchoate, gut-level way? Oh, hell, why not? I mean, any number of things sound vaguely plausible... If sounding vaguely plausible is where the bar is set, then you're always basically going to win before you even begin.
   Add confirmation bias to that, and you've got a powerful type of sophistry--once it's been suggested that it's becomes hard to judge. I can imagine someone using 'infested' in conjunction with some sort of racist idea about...teeming masses...nonwhite teeming masses! SO IMAGINABLE! SO TOTALLY IMAGINABLE!
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Dems Purge Staffers From DCCC For Being White

This is actually good in a way.
It's a kind of a little test case.
If progressives are right, then we'd expect the DCCC to improve as a result--the white staffers were hired because they got unfair advantages over equally/more well-qualified nonwhite candidates.
If conservatives are right, then we'd, instead, expect the DCCC to...uh...what's a word for anti-improve? Am I just blanking on something obvious? Anyway: to anti-improve, because this is just "reverse" racism (i.e.: racism). Instead of taking the best available people for the job, they're taking the best available people who also have preferred skin colors. So we'd expect them to take less-good people, on average.
So: let the battle of the theories begin!

Is Trump Arousing / Directing A "Dark Psychic Force Of...Collectivized Hatred"

A little bit, probably. 
Mostly not.
   I'm inclined to think that there's a big group of people in the country that our elitist/progressive cultural overlords believe to be stupid, bad, repulsive, worthless and just generally defective--the basket of deplorables. Some people are stupid, bad, etc. etc. So some of these people probably are those things. But not all--not nearly all. Most of the "deplorables" are probably good people--though there are, of course, degrees of goodness. For example, there are actual white supremacists out there--they're probably fed up, and tired of being regarded as shit, too...but screw 'em. Nobody feels bad for those guys... But there are a lot of perfectly good people out there in the basket o' deplorables. Many are rural, white, blue-collar, high-school-educated, religious, conservative...and they know damn good and well that they are regarded with contempt by progressive elites, who regard them as stupid, ignorant rubes afflicted by racism and every other such defect. 
   Trump is doing and saying things that  are likely attracting the attention of both the good and bad "deplorables." I suppose the David Dukes of the world are taking heed. But so are perfectly reasonable people who are just fed up with progressive insanity and contempt for them. They're tired of progressives--who are often not smart, knowledgeable, not good, and afflicted by cultish political madness--looking down on them and telling them that they're stupid bigots who are unqualified to have a voice in the direction of the country. I mean, look, there's me. I've leaned decidedly liberal all my life, I'm one of the (lower-tier! Ergo contemptable.) elites myself...and I can't freaking stand that progressive combination of crackpottery and contemptuousness.
   Trump is doing and saying things. And those things resonate with lots of different people, some of them good and some of them bad. Just as progressives and progressivism do. Progressivism is not good, any more than conservatism is bad. They've each got their points, and they've each got their problems. Even liberal centrism--the One True Political Faith--ehhh...probably gets a few things wrong here and there... Progressivism is a train wreck. Lots of the deplorables--stupid and ignorant and unworthy though they are--see that. Progressivism is both wrong and contemptuous of the rest of us--that's about the most irritating combination possible. Lots of people are stirred up against them, and Trump is basically the spokesman for anti-progressive stirred-upedness. He's the spokesman for many good people and for many bad people. Just like, say, AOC or Michael Moore.
Read more »

James Antle III: "Tulsi's Last Stand?"

Althouse On Williamson On Reparations

I used to agonize over reparations, sometimes on this very blog. Then about ten years ago I just faced what I take to be the facts: it's never going to happen...and if it did, it's likely to make racial tensions worse. OTOH, we've tried--and we're still trying--to do something roughly equivalent, i.e. implement programs like affirmative action that basically aim to do the same thing. That's probably the best we can actually do.
   Althouse is right that Williamson--for all her flakiness--did state the case well, given time constraints...and without mention of "dark psychic forces," too.
   Unfortunately, this is just about the worst context in which to push for reparations. When taken by itself, purely on the merits, I think there's a substantial case to be made for them (it?), and the idea should be taken seriously. Against the backdrop of contemporary progressive/Democratic kookiness and craziness, reparations can just look like another daft bit of race hysteria. Again, there are a lot of Democratic ideas that I think should be considered--but not leapt into. And certainly not all at the same time.

Snopes Has Begun "Fact"-Checking The Babylon Bee; Snopes's Media Bias / Fact Check Rating: "Least Biased"

Snopes went off the rails awhile back.
Incidentally, I've been meaning to scoff at this: Snopes gets a "Least Biased" rating from Media Bias / Fact does Wikipedia... Those two ratings alone reveal that MB/FC itself isn't exactly what you'd call least biased...
Bias happens. The goal is to minimize it. But it sure seems as if the same flavor of bias shows up an awful lot, even among the alleged watchdogs...
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?, I guess, now that you ask...but still...
Anyway, Althouse makes a pretty good case in defense of Snopes...but I'm still going to grumble about it. Her strongest point is that it fact-checks The Onion in the same way, because people often wonder whether there's some real event/story being satirized. I'd respond that they need a different rating than FALSE, then, for such stories. They're all going to be false, obviously. They need something like "not based on any real event." But even that will run into problems, obviously. How strongly or loosely must such stories be based on such events to get which rating?
Eh, grumble, grumble, grumble...

David A. Graham: "Elizabeth Warren's Big Night"

   I certainly would like to be able to vote for a candidate I believe in and maximize the likelihood of beating Trump. But, contra Warren, that doesn't mean one who embraces a (her words) "far-left agenda." Just the opposite.
   There's almost no proposal on the Democratic table that I'm not willing to discuss. The Green New Deal is I don't see that discussion going anywhere...but the others I think I'm willing to consider. Even de facto open borders is on the table in the long run, given due consideration. I'm inclined to think it'd be a disaster...but that's what discussion is for. Let's do the research. In 20 years we might have grounds for accepting the idea. But not next year.
   But the sheer weight of kookiness, and the sheer number of nearly-blind leaps in the dark they're advocating makes the Dems dangerous.
   I think Trump is terrible. The Dems think he's about twice as terrible as I think he is--or so they keep saying, with apparently sincerity. But if they believe it, why aren't they on red alert? Why aren't they willing to just do whatever it takes to win? Why aren't they willing to throttle back on the extremism in order to achieve this end that they claim to think is absolutely crucial?
   It reminds me of their attitude to the GND: they say we face an "existential threat"...everything is an "existential threat" now, incidentally. But the GND looks almost nothing like a plan produced in response to such a threat--it's actually a stalking horse. It aims to frighten and trick us into completely re-engineering society in accordance with progressive principles, about half of which have nothing whatsoever to do with climate change. And many of the climate-change-relevant provisions are as they are because they're long-standing progressive preferences--not because they're efficient ways to slow climate change. In short: the GND cynically uses the alleged threat of climate change to try to shift the country radically to the left in almost every way. And it gives the lie to the cover story.
   In neither case can they truly believe that the threat is actually "existential."
   As for Warren's argument: she's probably right--no matter what the Dems do, the Pubs will say they're "crazy socialists." But in one case, the Pubs will be right, and in the other they'll be wrong. So make them wrong and appeal to the reason and perception of the voters--trust at least many of them to recognize the truth. Don't make the Democratic agenda depend in that way on the Republicans.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Washington Post: Mitch McConnell Is A Russian Asset

Trump Is A Racist, You Are A Racist

Democratic Debate

[Update 1: It's not getting any better.]
[Update 2: There is no chance in hell that I'll ever vote for Robert Francis O'Rourke]
[Update 3: we go...]
[Update 4: Whelp, that's it for Tim Ryan--"Donald Trump was onto something..." He'll never live that down with the blue team.]
[Update 5: Eh...I still kinda like Bernie.]
[Update 6: Does Marianne Williamson want government-funded yoga classes?]
[Update 7: Hickenlooper is too normal and reasonable to survive in this field.]
[Update 8: Buttigeig too. Too green, but seems eminently sane.]
[Update 9: Hickenlooper making sense again. Doomed.]
[Update 10: Bullock on nukes: huh?  Update 10.1: Huh????]
[Update 11: Buttigeig: "Naked racism." Eh, so much for that guy.]
[Update 12: Hickenlooper: (a) I beat the NRA; (b) I'm as progressive as anybody on this stage. Eh. Crap. Also: isn't that high-cap mag ban about to be overturned?]
[Update 13: I really kinda like Klobuchar. I guess she's supposed to be a psycho, but, y'know, aside from that...]
[Update 14: Robert Francis O'Rourke speaks in a phony voice with occasional phony affectations/inflections.]
[Update 15: Warren: we should be "the party of big, structural change." That should make your blood run cold.]
[Update 16: Bernie lists the *isms. Whelp, that's too bad.]
[Final update: I'd better just check out until after the primaries. This stuff isn't making me any more well-disposed toward the blue team. Less crazy than last time, though...unless I missed something at the beginning.]

Things Probably Aren't As Bad As They Seem

American politics in my lifetime has repeatedly produced events that I thought were utterly beyond the pale. I lost my mind during the recount debacle of 2000. I lost it again during the dishonest lead-up to the Iraq war. I mini-lost it when McCain picked Palin and briefly went ahead in the polls. I lost it over Trump and the general election of 2016. And, of course, over the last four or five years when PC rose from the dead to rampage across the land. Oh and: after the first Democratic debate, when it became clear that they're pretty much all loony lefties...or pretending to be for the primaries.
   So maybe...just maybe...the lesson here is that we're more resilient than I give us credit for. These things, too, shall pass. We will survive...yadda yadda yadda…
   Trump probably won't be the end of us. The next Democrat probably won't be the end of us. We'll keep on keepin' on for at least awhile. Trump repulses me, and the left horrifies me...but so what? WTF do I know?
Not much is what.
Take it from me...

Seventh Woods: Back to South Carolina

Best of luck to him; really gonna miss that guy.

Democrats Are "Center-Left"; Pubs are "Neo-Nazis"

Mifsud Mania

Transgenderism Cannot Be Discussed, Bigot

Political correctness marches on.

Trump Exhaustion Syndrome + It's Racist That Baltimore Sucks

Relevant background fact: Baltimore is, largely and basically, a third-world train wreck.
Everybody, for years: Jesus Christ, Baltimore, amirite?
E. Cummings + Progressives: RAAAAACISM!!!!!1111ONEONEONE
Trump: No, you

   Trump is like a rabid/dyspeptic dog-baby, tweeting whatever half-baked, half-digested nonsense he heard on Fox news. Probably while on the can. Progressives are a quasi-religious, apocalyptic cult. Their analog of original sin is racism/"white privilege," their apocalypse is global warming (actually, a rotating list of environmental disasters, always ten-years-or-so away). They seem intent on implementing every terrible idea that has cropped up on the left in the last decade or so.
   Sometimes Trump hits squarely on important truths that others won't address head-on...but not at a rate appreciably above that predicted by chance. Now he's making the cultists look like viable options...
   You may have noticed, but this is no way to run a damn country.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Brett Easton Ellis: What Really Triggers People About Trump?

   I disagree with Ellis very much. I think that the fact that Trump is president is basically horrifying, for reasons I've stated many times. Personally, he's an embarrassment to the country and he demeans the office. Just for starters.
   The other side has largely lost its collective mind--such as it is. And that happened pretty much independently of Trump. They'd already gone over the edge. Then Trump, like, built another edge and then shoved them over that one, too. Or they took a look at him and leaped off. I think even rational people should be basically disgusted that he's the POTUS. All the stuff that he botches is extremely important. He's something like a representative of the spirit of the nation. Saints preserve us.
   But very many of his policies are pretty good--and, crucially, much, much better than what we should expect from the current blue team. So IMO it's rational to hang on, hold your nose, and hope for the best. 
   Contra Ellis, I categorically reject the idea that anti-Trumpism is purely esthetic. 

Progressive Loyalty Oaths At UC

But everything's fine.
The only danger is Trump.

It's Racism To Call A Crappy City Crappy

"Undiluted" racism, actually.
Althouse may be onto something here...every one of these spittle-flecked attacks against Trump diminishes whatever may have been accomplished by the last spittle-flecked attack. The last accusation of racism was implausible--though not entirely so--and seemed largely to depend on the premise that any political criticism of someone nonwhite is racist. This latest round of accusations seems like more of the same.
   Here's our situation: we've got a loon in the White House who keeps up a steady stream of unpresidential invective against everyone who crosses him...and we have an opposition party that has been taken over by extremists--i.e. lost its mind--and can't stop accusing everyone in sight of racism. Trump's doing a hundred things wrong...but the blue team can't seem to articulate a single one of the hundred reasonable criticisms it could be making. Instead, it heads straight for its favorite tactic every. single. time: that's racist!!!!111
   Baltimore is, largely, a shithole. Obviously not entirely. There are great parts of Baltimore, and super-rich parts of Baltimore. But y'know what: I wouldn't live there. Trump's off his rocker, and he speaks the truth only accidentally, when it happens to coincide with some attack he wants to make on his opponents. But he does speak something akin to the truth--in this and similar cases, anyway.
   He's a rhetorical alligator: he drags his opponents down to his level and fights 'em in the mud. Not part of that questionable analogy, but: in the mud, they reveal their own worst natures. And the worst nature of the contemporary left is very, very bad.
   And of course what I write above is false: there are all sorts of people out there articulating what's wrong with Trump's attacks. But those criticisms are swamped by the ceaseless, largely groundless and automatic, shrieking about racism. Everybody who's even vaguely objective about this knows that elements of the left use bullshit accusations of racism to get their way. Somebody needs to call bullshit on them. Trump's an imperfect option for doing so. But when everyone else wilts in the face of the criticisms, maybe what we need is an insensitive asshole who doesn't care what people think about him.

"Vote For Trump And You Are A Racist"

Joe Lockhart, everybody!
   Go f*ck yourself, Joe.
   The alternative to Trump in 2020 looks like it's going to be a party that has abandoned its centrist orientation and completely lost its god. damned. mind. Oh and: that is advocating more than one policy with a significant probability of actually wrecking the country. Oh and: that shrieks racism! at the drop of a hat--partially as a cynical rhetorical strategy, and partially because it's lost its god. damned. mind.  (See above.)
   I'm extremely unlikely to vote for the guy--but you're nuts if you think everyone who does so is racist--especially under the prevailing conditions. I'm very unlikely to vote for the Dems, too--obviously that's also racist. You jackass.
   It's the Dems that have made Trump a viable option. He should have been back on reality t.v. by December of 2016...but noooo… He should have no Earthly freaking chance to win in 2020...but the Dems are stampeding over each other to advocate ever-more-insane policies. Oh, and: to call half the country racist every time they have the temerity to be alarmed by the Democrats' unhinged extremism.

Trump On Baltimore: Racist...Though Everybody Knows He's Right...Including Baltimore's Mayor

basically, anyway
His remarks were, as usual, artless, indelicate, tactless, unpresidential...probably some more shit I'm overlooking...
But he's right--take Amtrak to NYC sometime. Look to your left as you go through Baltimore. It looks like you're in a post-apocalyptic hellhole. Or East St. Louis. But you don't say things this way if you're (a) president and (b) want to get something done. I even think it's good to give 'em some extremely straight talk! But not these intemperate, loud-mouthed insults (via freaking Twitter no less...) that are guaranteed to generate opposition--even though what you're saying is basically right.
And, again: accusations of racism by the left have become basically weightless. When that one kid yells 'wolf!' fifty times a day, everybody does and should ignore him.

Coats Reportedly Resigned Because The WH Was Watering Down Warnings About Russia

Jesus Christ.
I don't even buy most of the RUSSIANS! UNDER MY BED! hysteria, and I find this depressing/alarming as hell.
It's not that I actively disbelieve it--I just don't buy it. I'm willing to--but haven't yet.
We are so screwed.

Con Man v. Con Man

Trump v. Sharpton*
I can't bear to watch.

*Interesting factoid: one of these people is the president! Of the United States!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

George Will: "Some Questions For The Democratic Candidates"

Yes, but why even bother?

Dan Coats Out of rivals it ain't.
Not many adults left in the building.

Everybody's Racist: Elijah Cummings Is Racist

On the one hand: facepalm.
On the other hand: maybe it's best to fight fire with fire on this front. Progressives fling the charge of racism around spastically...hell, maybe just start flinging it spastically back...
Our politics is stupid.

Spencer Case: "When Philosophers Fail To Do Their Job"

It won't matter much to philosophy per se what the psychological details about transgenderism ultimately turn out to be like--even if, indeed, it turns out to be a real phenomenon. But as for the patently unsound arguments for transgenderism's most notorious propositions--that it's possible for females to be men and males to be women--those are entirely indefensible. They would have been laughed out of the room immediately had they come from the right rather than the left. Explaining why those propositions and arguments are "non-starters" (a term I find annoying, but which is irresistibly apt here) is pretty easy for any competent philosopher.
   But philosophers fled. They are some combination of bamboozled by the progressive left and afraid of it. You can be as derisive as you want of the right in philosophy...but you take on the PC left at your peril. Very simple, straightforward facts about the concepts and the meanings of the terms rule out any possibility of men being female or women being male. It's humiliating to the discipline that everyone but a few feminists has cowered before the wrath of the progressive left--and some vocal, angry, and sometimes not-entirely-balanced individuals with personal stakes in the debate.
   Philosophers have, indeed, failed to do their job in this case--and this is one of the few cases in which they actually could have helped. The case is so simple that it's actually possible to conclusively refute the view in question. But, instead of helping, they've abandoned the field....except for those who have pitched in to defend and advance the sophistry.

Spencer Case: The Boy Who Inflated The Condept WOLF

This is good.

"The Milennial Left Is Tired Of Waiting"

Progressives Are Modern Puritans

Yep, I've said similar things--yay me!
I mean, there are elements of the right that are also elements of it--but that's well-known, and they have no power. They don't eve really pretend not to be neo-puritans. Puritanism is basically an open ideal of theirs.
   Progressives are in charge of things, and they consider themselves to have only the very most advanced--and utterly non-puritanical--views. Contrary to fact. Hence all the dietary fads, the revulsion at luxury--or, rather, at uncool luxury--cool luxury is fine. The fondness for environmentalism and the constraints it puts on uncool luxury...and don't forget the sex!
   Progressivism is a weird combination of libertinism and prudery. For all its wanton "celebration" of certain favored kinds of sex, it also wants ironclad control of it. The personal is political, after all--that's one idea that never seems to change over there. Why, back in my day, liberals--an extinct genus of American political animal, ancestors of progressives--wanted the government and society and other people out of your goddamn bedroom... How retrograde! Currently the idea that the personal is political manifests itself in the idea that there can never be a sufficient degree of consent. (I asked JQ once what she'd think if I insisted on having sex only in accordance with neo-PC standards of consent, and she said, without hesitating, "I'd break up with you"...)
   If you want your sex life unregulated...too bad! The alleged requirement that you have to ask for consent at every conceivable point--if you're male--cannot be waived. Progressive feminism doesn't stipulate that you have to ask for consent at every point if you agree to such a constraint. It stipulates that you have to do so no matter what you prefer. Perhaps you don't consent to having illiberal feminists tell you what you have to do during sex--too bad, bigot! All your sex are belong to us! Of course currently this sexual ideology only seems to be enforced at universities--but it'll be enforced everywhere if the progressive left becomes powerful enough to do so. What they implement at universities tells you what they'll implement across society if given the chance.
   Again I say: back to liberalism!

Sean Stevens: "The Perception Gap: How False Impressions Are Pulling Americans Apart"

Important, IMO.
   I generally try to talk about the "vocal" or "visible" vanguard of progressivism, or "the PC left," though I should be better about this. I've said many times that I don't think that the whole left third of the country is daft or any such thing. I've said that I tend not to hold any faction's radicals against it. What I do hold against it is a failure to criticize, oppose, and reign in its radicals. Currently, the guys on the right that I read have nothing but contempt for, say, the racist right. As for Trump, well more than half of them either think he's the lesser available evil or are never-Trumpers. On the left, however, there's generally an enthusiasm for radical wokism. This seems to me to be a general pattern: it's characteristic of the radical left to move leftward, and characteristic of the more moderate left not to criticize the radical left. Sometimes an enthusiasm for moving rightward seizes the right--but not as commonly. In fact, one criticism the righter factions of the right have of the lefter factions of the right is: you guys are just ten years behind the left. The left keeps changing things, the lefter right drags its feet, but doesn't want to be impolite nor accused of the things they'll be accused of if they don't go along with the change fairly readily.
   At any rate: if there still exists a great moderate middle, that would be extremely good news. Though it's not clear, I suppose, how much that matters if it's willing to go along with whatever agenda the radicals decide to set.

Trump / Truth

My refrain: even roughly and informally trying to correct for PolitiFact's bias, this is just not good. Say it's half as bad as PolitiFact says; that's still mind-boggling.
His words seem to intersect with the truth only accidentally.
But, then, caring about the truth is retrograde and shit anyway. It'll probably be grounds for dismissal from universities in a couple of decades.

Wikipedia Leftward Bias: "Politicization of Science" Entry

Notice anything about this entry?
   Wikipedia leans hard to the left just about wherever it touches on contemporary culture-war stuff. Conventional wisdom among dissidents is that it's dominated by editors who are quasi-religious left-wing zealots, and who use every trick of the rules to keep the thing leaning has hard left as possible. Thing is, it's supposed to be governed by the "NPOV" ideal--i.e. neutral point-of-view...
   Incidentally, Media Bias / Fact-Check...which I was optimistic about for awhile...rates it Least Biased...which is pretty absurd. MB/FC itself exhibits a clear leftward bias, IMO...which is fairly common among the prominent fact-checkers... This is a problem the non-left has long faced: the allegedly neutral arbiters lean left. Thus the non-left finds itself constantly whining about the refs. (Some of that is intentional "working" of the refs...but not all). MB/FC lists Snopes as least-biased, too...which, IMO, cased to be plausible some years back...
   But, then, I'm on the warpath (!) about such consider the source...

Gillibrand Proposes $10,000,000,000,000 Climate-Change Plan

If the other guys are right about the climate apocalypse, of course, this is a rational course of action.
If, as I currently am inclined to believe, they are wrong, then...well...what a disaster.
Young people should be especially attentive to this debate. If they're wrong, and if the Dems take office, they are going to take a gigantic pile of be more precise--they are going to take a gigantic pile of your money--and they're going to, basically, put it in a big pile and burn it. No, wait: that's not very environmentally correct... Well, dispose of it. Recycle it into paper straws or something. Actually, as with the Iraq war, they're going to take a giant pile of your money and use it to make the world worse by e.g. taking things that work well (cars, washing machines, air conditioners...) and replacing them with things that work badly. And we're talking about five times more money than the Iraq War cost.
[Yeah, that was a stupid thing to say. The Iraq war was worse than burning money--we spent money to burn military equipment and kill and maim our own soldiers. This would at least get us some clean energy and stuff.]
In case you're too young to appreciate the value of money, consider this: this is money you could have in your pocket. Money for a house. Money for a car. Money to fix your kids' teeth and send the to college (where they will likely be indoctrinated to believe in fake things on which more money can be wasted...). This is money that could be used for medical research--money that might cure the disease that will eventually cripple you or kill your wife. Money is not just money. Money is better life. And wasting ten trillion dollars on something unreal is more or less the same thing as killing and crippling and impoverishing huge numbers of people.
[Not that AGW is unreal; but the looming Apocalypse that we only have tend years to stop is unreal.]
The other guys could be right; that $10,000,000,000,000 might best be used to stave off a real, actual climate catastrophe.
But you'd better think about it. You'd better not just go along with it because it's the politically correct, polite, done thing to do and think. Not just because that's what polite, educated, right people do...

Judge Throws Out Nick Sandman's Case Against The Washington Post

   Legal eagles have said all along that this was a bit of a long shot. The progressive left and their media confederates were 100% in the wrong on this story, 100% of the time, from beginning to end. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the WaPo is prosecutable.
   To recap: progressives took a short and obviously heavily-edited video of a man beating  drum in Sandman's face (Sandman was 13, and much smaller than Nathan Phillips, the drum-beater). Even from that video, it was evident that Sandman wasn't the aggressor. Progressives all across the web lost their minds. As is their wont, they "saw" things that simply weren't there, convicted Sandman of the unforgivable sin of "smirking" (actually: smiling) near a "POC," heaped scorn and insults on him, encouraged colleges to refuse to admit him, expressed their hopes that he would suffer misfortune, and called for violence against him (wanting to "punch" his "white," "privileged," "smirking" face appeared in various forms). As clear evidence emerged that this was all utter madness based on lies, leftists simply refused to acknowledge--or refused to believe--their error. Major news organizations, including the Washington Post, went right along with the progressive e-mob, tailoring their coverage so as to accept the leftist fairytale. WaPo isn't responsible for its comments section...but the comments were, unsurprisingly, about an order of magnitude more unhinged than its actual coverage. (For those of us who often take refuge in the belief that the average progressive in the street is saner than the vanguard, comments sections are often particularly disheartening...) When it was no longer possible to pretend that they had been even vaguely right, the WaPo finally issued a tepid, grudging, hand-wavy acknowledgment.
   I say this is one of the more illustrative little snapshots of the unhinged contemporary left. We see this sort of thing writ big and writ small, sometimes taking years to play out (as with Russiagate), sometimes unfolding so quickly that all the facts are right in front of us (as with the Covington kids). Over and over and over the progressive left displays its capacity for political correctness--accepting politically-driven delusion over plain evidence and hard facts.
   Politics has the capacity to make people crazy. Everyone is susceptible, including, of course, both our left and our right. For most of my life, I've thought that the right was more afflicted by it. But both times in my life that the left has rocketed to ascendance, their capacity for self-delusion has utterly eclipsed that of the right--other than the specifically religious right, IMO. It's no accident that "political correctness" is a term specifically intended to describe a phenomenon of the left. (The term was allegedly coined by less-rabid leftists to capture the madness of more-rabid ones.) This phenomenon is particularly stark on that end of the spectrum; their capacity for the subordination of evidence to dogma is particularly striking/alarming.
   Blah, blah, blah.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Your House Is Racist, Racist

Obviously we should all move into super-high-density apartment buildings in super-high-density megalopoli. Anything other than super-high-density hives is likely to be whiter. Ergo racist. As should go without saying.

SCOTUS: Trump Can Use Pentagon Funds For Border Wall

I don't understand the issues--few people do, undoubtedly. Prima facie, it sounded unlikely to me that it could be permissible. But I'm happy about the upshot; fencing has become even more important than it was a few years ago. The best way to put the brakes on this disaster is to make it more difficult to cross the border illegally at all. It's difficult to deport people once their here, and progressives have made it clear that they want to make it even harder. Future Dem presidents might slack off on enforcement, but it would take major political capital to actually tear down expensive, effective fencing.
Incidentally, I'm always distressed to see the Supremes divided along political lines. Which means I'm often distressed.

Peggy Noonan: "What Were Robespierre's Pronouns?"

When you've lurched so far to the crazy that Nooners is eating your lunch, it's time to reassess.

Trump Signs Safe Third Country Agreement With Guatamala

This is really good news--good for us, and good for legitimate asylum-seekers.
   One has to wonder why this wasn't done before.
This gives us another very clean test case--if Democrats and progressives object to it, that's additional evidence that they have some aim in mind beyond helping asylum-seekers. I mean--we already know they do. But it's still worth attending to their reactions.
   And, needless to say, by taking some of the pressure off of our own system, we should be able to detain illegal-entrants under better conditions, and sort out their cases more quickly.
   This is another coup for Trump...well...things being what they are, perhaps I should find a different locution... Sometimes things get in such a tangle that even outsiders with less knowledge/expertise, but unburdened and unblinded by the peculiarities and stupidities of the status quo, are better at untangling them than members of that status quo. That seems to be what's happened with Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education, to cite another example.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Omar Was Wrong: Blacks Kill More People Than Whites

I still don't think what she said was racist. Although it turns out to be false, it was a reasonable thing to believe, and/s one need not be a racist to believe it.


We only have 12 years 14 months to save the world from climate DOOM!!!
That's to say: vote for Trump and the planet gets it.
If you want me to be less cynical about this, you've got to quit stoking the flames of my cynicism with stuff like this.

57% Of Americans Say Trump Is Racist

I don't think that the top-line number matters much--it's not a big enough majority to b epistemically very significant. The 85% of Dems may not matter much because of the trendiness/prevalence of everything-is-racist progressivism + partisanship. The 21% of Pubs may matter, again because of partisanship + some tendency to dismiss racism. The number that stands out to me is: 8/10 blacks. Though, come to think of it, I guess we'd have to control for how many are Democrats. Anyway. Obviously people tend to be oversensitive when they're the direct alleged targets of such alleged prejudice. But they also tend to pay more attention, have more finely-developed judgment, and be more serious about the question. It's not dispositive--but it makes me sit up and take notice. Rather like I take it more seriously when Jews think something is anti-Semitic. 
Read more »

Trump's 3% Growth Undone By Annual Data Revisions

Well that sucks.

Trump And The Dems Just Added $1.7 Trillion To The National Debt

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Ilhan Omar: "We Should Be More Fearful Of White Men"

So, is this racist?:
   "I would say our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country," she replied.
   "And so if fear was the driving force of policies to keep America safe -- Americans safe inside of this country -- we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men."
   My inclination is to think: well, not overtly so. It certainly makes it easy to hypothesize racist beliefs or attitudes on Omar's part...but it does require such a hypothesis. For one thing, truth is a defense, and I think she's right: if we're talking about homicides or murders, white dudes do kill the most people. I mean, we're no diabetes...but we're pretty deadly. Even if that's wrong--because it could be (black men commit a radically disproportionate percentage of murders, and may, for all I know, commit more total than white dudes) a reasonable, reasonably well-informed and non-racist person might still believe it. I mean, I believe it, anyway.
   Now, if we were talking percentages and likelihoods--which we perhaps should be--she's wrong. Black men commit more murders per capita than white men. And, contrary to the line pushed by the left, white men aren't even more likely to commit mass shootings. Or, at least, that's what the most recent numbers I've seen say.
   One might also hypothesize that it's racist attitudes that lead her to talk about absolute numbers rather than percentages. Again, a hypothesis about her mental states. Which is ok--but it's a hypothesis.
   Furthermore, this is one interview in which she's directly being asked about this stuff, and basically answers off the cuff, mostly in an attempt to deflect criticisms of Muslims. Even if she is making some horrible mistake, it's idiotic to hold one such incident against her. This is some psychopathy of our time: say one thing that might be racist and you're evil for all time.
   That crap is nonsense.
   What I object to is that outright, overt racism is tolerated and even promoted on the left. It's downright fashionable. Making a mistake--if she did--about murder rates is one thing. Repeatedly saying things like "white men suck" and "whiteness is inherently oppressive" are very different things. Even the latter is actually a somewhat complicated case, I think. The real problem with it is that the arguments for it are so ludicrously stupid that it really is hard to see someone believing it for non-racist reasons. Well, the former case is a little complicated, too--it could be a joke. And I'm certainly ok with that. I've certainly laughed at jokes about white people before. Who hasn't. Really, it's the double-standards that need to be addressed.
   So anyway: some on the right think this proves that Omar is racist. But I don't see it. It suggests a hypothesis. But that's different.

Lawfare Summary Of Mueller Report

PSU Punishes Peter Boghossian For Counterrevolutionary Scholarship

Boghossian et al. embarrassed intellectually weak, highly-politicized parts of academia by showing that they can't tell the difference between (a) the kinds of things they routinely publish and (b) patent, intentional bullshit. That is: he Sokaled them.
   For this, his institution has basically banned him from conducting research.
   Among all the things one might say about this: here's a difference between paleo-PC and neo-PC: in the old days, Sokal made people stop and think, and brought them to acknowledge that bullshit had become a problem in the humanities. But NPC is much, much more powerful, authoritarian, and intolerant of dissent. This time around, they have the will and the power to kill the messenger.
   This lends some support to something one of my professor said to me about fifteen years ago: if inquiry is to survive, it will have to move outside the academy. At the time he thought it might move to big tech companies. But it turns out that they have also been converged.
   I'm not saying that this is the end of everything, obviously. But I am saying that the dismissive attitude of many academic liberals/progressives is delusional. The idea that political correctness isn't a real and serious problem is simply indefensible.
[More on this.]

Was Trump Right About Puerto Rico And Hurricane Maria?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


I agree with the sentiment...but am extremely puzzled by the source...

Harvard Law Prof Gets Bizarrely Conned By A Crazy Woman, Her "Trans" Boyfriend, And Kind of Some Other Dude, Too

So everybody's talking about this.
   This dude is just not too bright, I'm afraid. And he seems to know nothing about actual human interactions. The woman and her ("trans") boyfriend are apparently insane (hard to believe...) and evil. Also, there's another dude involved somehow, but I was kinda skimming at that point. But, seriously: at some point, you just kinda stop feeling sorry for him. When someone repeatedly does such idiotic things and is so deeply complicit in his own mistreatment...well...honestly...sounds like he kinda deserved it in a way. Though they did pull the same lunatic scam on at least two or three other guys, they seem to be pretty good at it.
   Also Title IX makes a predictable appearance. I'm sure it must have done some good in its day, but, whatever else it may have been, it's turned into a weapon put into the hands of crazy, evil and dishonest people, to be used against the innocent.
   Oh and: why did they do it--not for money. They're filthy rich. They did take money, but apparently only in order to harm their targets. According to them, they did it because they're feminists and really hate the patriarchy--not that anything they say can be believed...

"Inspiring Trailer For Movie About Gun-Toting Republican Harriet Tubman"

White Officers Are Not More Likely To Shoot Black Citizens

But, then, we already knew that.

Mate: "These Questions For Mueller Show That Russiagate Was Never The Answer"g

Mate is all over this.

Brandon Morse On Omar and Tlaib Telling People They Should Be Deported

Some interesting stuff here, but I think it's more complicated than Morse makes it out to be. For one thing, Omar is responding to someone who said something about deporting her--and I say that matters a lot. If Smith says "Get deported!", and Jones says "Deport yourself, jackass" in response, I think Jones's response is defensible. There's no such defense of Tlaib, however, it seems. OTOH, she says it of Trump, and he's not an immigrant (and she knows that); I think that's a relevant factor, though not a dispositive one.
   Morse does point out something huge that I completely overlooked: in the offending tweets, Trump is not actually saying Go back where you came from--nor even anything very close to it. What he says is: Go back to your crappy countries, study their governments, then come back and tell us how we should be doing it. That's an absolutely huge difference. It changes things...a lot. [Completely changes them, actually.]
   That means I was wrong when I said Trump's tweets were in the vicinity of the cartoonish anti-immigrant insult Go back to where you came from. They really aren't.
   But...and I just thought of this so I haven't thought about it much...I think that also might undermine the argument that the tweets were racist--if the argument underlying the charge went like this:

     Trump roughly told them to go back where they came from
     That's a kind of anti-immigrant bigotry
     Trump wouldn't have said it if they weren't nonwhite
     The tweets are racist / Trump's racist

But if this is the argument, and the first premise is false, then etc. etc.
   But I reconstructed the argument differently in an earlier post, so I'm not sure how much this matters.

Mueller: Vague Impressions

Just able to catch parts of it.
For the record: I have no idea what's going on.

Antiwhite Racism On The Left?

This is pretty close to overt antiwhite racism. There are ways to dodge the charge...but it's not all that easy. What this woman says is much closer to being overtly racist than what Trump said. What Trump said isn't overtly racist, but requires a hypothesis about his attitudes to support the charge; and that requires a hypothesis about his counterfactual actions. What this woman says is damn close to being overtly racist, and requires a bunch of fairly heavy-duty supplementary premises--working hard to the point of overheating--to make it otherwise. (And her attitudes aren't that unusual among leftier progressives, seems to me.)
   Of course Trump matters more because he's--sigh--the President of the United States... But that's been one of my points all along. The real problem here is that the POTUS has to be crystal clear about not being racist, and has to do so at every point. Maybe progressives wouldn't stretch so hard to pretend that he's obviously racist if they realized that that's not what they need to prove in order to prove that he sucks and shouldn't be president.
   I've noted repeatedly that many progressives are right up front with their antiwhite racism. It's weird because they commonly spin the claims of nonprogressives at 10,000 rpm to make them appear racist...when their own racism is right there, right on the surface, requiring no spinning or hypothesizing--see, e.g., the Sarah Jeong affair. But, of course, they try to deflect this problem by using one of their favorite expedients: simply defining the problem away. It's definitionally impossible to be racist against whites! LOL. It couldn't be more predictable that there is a backlash against such nonsense. But that, too, proves that whites are racist! And on and on...
   And, again: it wasn't always so. There was a time when we had liberals, and the majority of their efforts against racism didn't involve hyperbolic overreactions, hate-crime hoaxes, frantic spinning, hypothesizing, reinterpreting and redefining.
   Not that Trump didn't bring this on himself, because he totally did, of course.

Mueller Testimony: Cline

Pretty impressive.

McWhorter: "'Racist' Is A Tough Little Word"

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of McWhorter. And he doesn't have the slightest inclination to throw around charges of racism indiscriminately. And he is a linguist, of course. So I have more reason even than usual to take his arguments seriously.
   But...I really don't see his main points in this.
   There's no legitimate subjective meaning of 'racist.' It's just not analogous to 'hopefully' in that respect. Though, again, I'm not the linguist here. So I wouldn't put any money on me vs. McWorter in such a case.
   I think we do agree about the claim that the charge of racism against Trump requires a hypothesis about his mental states and counterfactual actions. McWhorter seems to think Trump wouldn't tell four "outspoken," apparently Finish, Congressbeings to go back where they came from...I tend to disagree. First, that's not what he said, and nuance matters here. But it's close enough. Second, I think he absolutely would say such a thing to such imagined people. In fact, now that I think about it some more, I'm sure he would. Which means: I'm sure it's false that he wouldn't. Which means, basically: he's pretty damn likely to do it. What none of us can be sure about is whether he'd be less likely to do so. He might very well be. But he might be isn't good enough to unequivocally call him racist (not: possibly racist...)...especially not in the Washington Post, even in its current degraded state. I have my suspicions about Trump--but, contrary to the way progressives think about such things: suspicions aren't enough.
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Dan Crenshaw: "The Outrage Incentive Is Ruining Our Politics"

But this is exactly the problem we find ourselves in: Appreciation for nuance has disappeared in our public discourse. Providing someone even the smallest benefit of the doubt has completely vanished from our list of options. The primary course of action tends to be: Take them as seriously as possible, assume the worst of intentions and label them with the worst of names. And you better do it as quickly as possible. Anything less than that just doesn’t pass muster in our click-driven culture, and you will be seen as complicit. [my emphasis]
One side is currently worse--much worse--than the other in this respect. And you don't need me to tell you which it is. In the past, IMO, it was otherwise. Now, well, it is how it is. Of course these kinds of rhetorical games incentivize straw manning and ad hominems. And that makes public discussions much less valuable--worse than useless in many cases.
   There's no fixing Trump, of course. He's simply too old change. He is who he is. (It's tautology day here at Philosoraptor…) But he's only running the show for another 1.5-5.5 years. (I used to be confident he was a one-termer; but that was before the left completely lost its goddamn mind. Now I expect him to be re-upped as the less crazy of the available evils.) The left can change--and has to. If, that is, the country is to survive. The tide of opinion can turn; liberals might reassert themselves, pushing progressives to the sidelines; progressive millennials are likely to get wiser (hence more liberal (actual liberal) and/or conservative) as they get older, abandoning their current ways. Or they might just get their asses kicked in 2020 and conclude that radicalism is not the road to electoral success. Since almost no one else I know is as gloomy about American politics as I am, I can only conclude that everyone else thinks that at least one of those things is going to happen. And it does seem unlikely that the left can stay as daft as it currently is. A course-correction seems inevitable...but I don't know why I think that. There seem to be forces/mechanisms in play that encourage continued craziness--Crenshaw's outrage incentive being one of them. Another is the one-leftsmanship that drives progressives. If I am left of you, that counts as a kind of win; if I am right of you, that's a problem. There seems to be no internal rhetorical price to be paid for going too far left. In fact, there's dialectical reason to always go leftward, as that counts as outmaneuvering your interlocutor. Criticism will only be external--which means: from the right. And being criticized by the right also counts as winning! And all that's a big, fat blueprint for disaster. Similar things happen on the right, of course...but they seem to have just damn taken over the left. To my mind all that's nearly equivalent to saying that the left (or at least its vanguard, or agenda-setters or public representatives) has been radicalized--which we know to be true.
   Blah, blah, blah.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Most days I get up and just search for 'Trump' news to see what new horrors await me...because I'm like that. This was the second-to-the-top hit this morning. This is one tiny drop the bucket of slops that made me so concerned about the power of the left. It's not major, obviously. But it's just so goddamn idiotic. Relative of Trump gets p0wned by autocorrect! Give me a break.

[Also: her tweet misspelled it? Can you say that?]

Hirono: Democrats Have A Hard Time Connecting With People "Because Of How Smart We Are"

...just stared blankly at the screen at first. But then it occurred to me: strange props to hear for articulating this barely-suppressed presupposition of a seemingly large swath of the progressive left.

Tlaib Calls For $20 Minimum Wage

Serious question: why not $25? Why not $100?

Is It Good To Have Billionaires?

Rhetorical Fads/Tactics For Suppressing Discussion/Dissent

Trump's recent asshattery was, I think, to some extent a tactic to suppress dissent. The right was known for this tactic when I was younger--though even then it seemed a bit anachronistic. At any rate, it was generally the patriotism ploy: if you are (too) critical of the USA, then you hate America/are unpatriotic; and if you hate America or are unpatriotic, then you shouldn't be listened to. In fact, you should STFU. In fact, you should GTFO of the country. Ideally, anyway.
   As with respect to most such things, however, the contemporary left has left the right in the dust. Their current rhetorical tactics for suppressing dissent are far more effective and various than anything I can discern on the right. Part of this has to do with the fact that they control the entire cultural superstructure, of course--so the racism and the torrent of absurdly false accusations of racism that pour from the left get nary a mention, whereas someone on the right who even treads near racist ground gets pummeled--rhetorically and, increasing, physically. I'm not against rhetorically pummeling racists; but I'm against physically doing so (unless, of course, they start which's on...). And I'm against double-standards. Especially absurdly double double-standards...
   But the ascendancy of the left in this respect isn't merely about controlling the culture. It's also about their superior rhetorical methods for stifling dissent. Here are just the ones that come to mind:
  • Bias ad hominems. Why engage with the substance of the opposition? You might lose! Just call them racists--or *ists or *phobes… This puts them on the defensive, shifts the burden of proof onto them, can never be disproven (that's actually a separate tactic...), and discredits everything they have ever said or ever will say. Why work to analyze one argument when you can simply assert You are evil and take that person out of the game for ever and ever? 
  • Arguing that politically incorrect speech is violence. An idea so absurd that it's difficult for the average person to answer. Instead of taking on the burden of attacking liberalism and its broad conception of protected speech, simply argue that the universally-recognized prohibition against political violence rules out certain speech because it causes or even constitutes violence, basically circumventing every rational and important feature of the question. 
  • Employing actual violence against transgressors/heretics/dissenters. Your very arguments are violence. My unprovoked political violence against you self-defense...see?
  • Even better: destroying the reputations and lives of dissenters. It's less distasteful, and accomplishable en masse via social media mobs. 
Read more »

Monday, July 22, 2019

RIP Mark Kleiman

I e-knew him a little bit back in my enthusiastic liberal days. Smart, interesting nice guy. Very sorry to hear about this.

NYT: Heat Waves Are Getting Worse; National Climate Assessment: Not Really

Miss Michigan Stripped Of Title After "Racist" Tweets

It will come as no surprise that the tweets aren't racist.
I assume that she means that most murders of blacks in America are by other blacks--which is true. A politically incorrect hatefact. Is it also racist to note that most whites are murdered by other whites? God knows. The left just makes this stuff up as they go along. No, wait...I forgot...they already made something up about that: anti-white racism is a definitional impossibility! Voila! When in a bind, redefine! The hijab comment is also obviously not racist--and not even close to it.
   The PC Gleichschaltung is, of course, the totalization of political correctness--its expansion into all sectors of life, so that any deviation from PC dogma in any aspect of your life can be used to unperson you.
   The craziest thing about all this, to my mind, is the fact that meta-level concerns about this pervasive leftist cultification of society elicits barely a peep from the Americans formerly known as liberals.
   Yes, yes, I know: orange man bad. I couldn't agree more. Orange man very bad. That does nothing to mitigate the massive threat posed by the antiliberal progressive left.
   Besides, I thought only whites could be racist? (at least in America...) Eh, it's easy enough to make up some bullshit gothic epicycle to accommodate whatever new ad hoc judgment the folks at the NYT, Vox, etc. might want it to accommodate...

Powerline: "The Washington Post Pounces, Mindlessly"

I don't entirely agree with this, but I largely do. And the Twitter argument is pretty damn strong, given how readily Twitter bans conservatives:
  Trump’s remarks about the four were misinformed and unseemly, coming from a president, but they are not racist. Trump didn’t suggest that the four congressional rads leave America because of their race or national origin. He offered the suggestion because of their hatred, as he sees it (and I do too), for America.
   This couldn’t be clearer. There are other “minority lawmakers” who oppose Trump’s policies. He did not suggest, and has never suggested, that they leave America.
   But don’t take my word for it. Even Twitter didn’t consider Trump’s remarks racist. It found that they did not violate its policy against “hate speech,” much to the chagrin of the Post.
   The Post’s lead story is by Ashley Parker, Rachael Bade, and John Wagner, with “contributions” from Mike DeBonis and Felicia Sommez. It comes in at about three dozen paragraphs. A competent lefty blogger could have cranked it out, solo, in about an hour.
   Which of the three authors wrote that Trump’s remarks are “racist”? We don’t know.* The Post likes it that way. The less accountability, the better for the “Democracy dies in darkness” crew.
   The Parker-Bade-Wagner story isn’t the Post’s only attempt to smear Trump and the GOP over his comments about the four rads. The front page also features a tut-tutting article about how “Republicans [and] business ranks appear to shrug off [Trump’s] remarks.” (quotation from the headline in the paper edition)
   Well, they aren’t trying to build a religion around them, as the Post wants to. Nor should they be.
   On the inside pages, we’re treated to a reminder that “go home” has “long been flung at U.S. immigrants.” But Trump didn’t direct his “go home” statement at immigrants. He directed it at four public figures who, in his view (and mine) hate America. Only one of them is an immigrant.
   Trump’s statement isn’t from the anti-immigrant playbook. It’s from the “America, love it or leave it” playbook.
   This doesn’t mean his statement was appropriate, coming from the American president, but it does mean it wasn’t anti-immigrant. Trump is fine with immigrants as long as (1) they are here legally and (2) they don’t hate America. And only if the former condition isn’t met does he favor deportation.
Seems to me, for reasons I've already stated, that the comments were discrimatory with respect to immigration status. "Go somewhere else" is one thing; "go back to where you came from" is another. Though, needless to say, both are stupid.

"'Apologize To America' Trump Tells Four Democratic Congresswomen"

He just can't stop digging.
If anybody owes us an apology, it's that [expletive deleted].
I disagree with the Congresswomen. That's life in the big democracy; disagreement is part of the deal. And I mean I think they are often irresponsibly, stupidly wrong. But this Trump bullshit is out of hand. 
And: did he really say that they owe Israel an apology, too? When did we start having to apologize to other countries?
I don't suppose there's any hope that his bone spurs will prevent him from serving out the second term that the Dems are trying to force on him, eh? I'd take a Pence presidency in a heartbeat (bill) at this point... Or, well...maybe not in a heartbeat...but...I'd take it. 
I don't see how the Dems are leaving themselves anything close to sufficient room to move back anywhere near the center in the general. But I guess that's our best hope right now. Thing is, even if a centrist Dem swept in and won, the crazy is woven through that whole side now. The Pubs' current crazy is at least concentrated at the top. When Trump goes, the Pubs should largely recover, reverting to their normal state of comparatively low-grade nuttiness. I don't know what can save the Dems at this point. They're gripped by a cultish secular religion--it seems to get worse, not better, as you move farther down the chain toward the grass roots. 
Seems to me like we're pretty much screwed.

Nadler: "Very Substantial Evidence" Trump is Gulity of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors"

CNN link so, well, you know...
   Impeach him, then. If it's true, he should be impeached. And convicted. I'm all for it. I used to think it was inevitable when I was afflicted by TDS. Now I think it's unlikely--but I've got an open mind. One thing that's clear: Dems asserting that Trump is guilty of something is utterly worthless a an indicator of his guilt. Progressives saying Trump is guilty of x is as hollow and epistemically worthless as their saying x is racist (*ist, *phobic...). It's kind of pathetic that they're still clinging pathetically to the whole Mueller thing...but predictable, I guess.
   On one side: the loud-mouthed, entirely unqualified, intermittently unamerican, possibly bigoted, narcissistic con man and sometime sexual assailant. On the other, the remnants of a once-respectable party, now gripped by loopy extremism and a cultish obsession with the dumbest ideas produced by the most ridiculous and intellectually weakest sectors of activist academia over the past thirty-odd years...
Goddamn it, America.

Ivanka Trump Got A Politically Incorrect Dog

Because you just make this shit up as you go, apparently the problem with this one is that it's white, you see...
Of course you can always find some moron or other saying some stupid thing or other on Twitter. So it's ridiculous to pretend you know it to be representative. But this kinda does give a little snapshot of the contemporary, carping left...

Sunday, July 21, 2019

"Trump's Racist Tweets"

The WaPo has been cramming 'racist' into their headlines and stories as much as possible over the last couple of days. I actually had a rather hard time figuring out how the tweets were supposed to be racist, though I ultimately concluded that the accusation was plausible. Though, as it turns out, what I'd concluded is completely different than what the Post says.
   Of course this all happens against the backdrop of the rolling national train wreck that is Trump... But also against repeated distortions of what he's actually said--e.g. the blatant lie to the effect that he said that all Mexicans are rapists. (Actually, that one lasted for years, and you can still find people asserting it.) And, of course, more immediately: the four Congresswomen in question had been right in the very midst of flinging absurd accusations of racism against both the Blue Dogs and the Speaker for having the temerity to criticize them at all. They (apparently like many Democrats) seem inclined to believe that any criticism against them by someone white is racist.
   So--as is obvious--Trump's tweets were a train wreck. I find myself using that phrase over and over with respect to Trump. Absolutely unbelievable. What the hell goes on in that guy's head? What he actually wrote was right up next to a bit of cartoon anti-immigrant-ism, that latter being Go back to where you came from. Now, that's not exactly what he wrote, of course. But it was in the vicinity.
   So, basically, Trump expressed something damn close to an anti-immigrant trope. In a sane world, a normal person should be able to do such a thing accidentally, and then say "no--that's not what I mean and I apologize and reject the idea." But (a) Trump doesn't admit error, and (b) he's the president. So such errors are hugely magnified when he makes them. Then, of course, there's the question: to what extent does he actually mean it (whatever it is)?
   One weird thing: after years of pretending that being against illegal immigration is anti-immigration / anti-immigrant per se, progressives finally get something that's plausibly actually anti-immigrant...but they zoom right over it in their rush to get the holy grail of accusations of prejudice: racism...
   I've been thinking about this stuff off-and-on the last couple of days, and it seems to me that the (roughly) anti-immigrant aspect of this is kind of interesting. Suppose somebody said to, oh, say Lindsay Graham: "Go back to Scotland" (or wherever). Or even just "Go to Scotland...ya...Scott..." That's idiotic...but it doesn't have the same shitty zing that it has to tell an immigrant from x to go back to x. Though I'm not exactly sure why. Anyway, it's shitty.
   Though I'm not sure it's really more than a cartoon anymore. Does anyone actually say such a thing? I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say such a thing except in the movies.
Read more »

Friday, July 19, 2019

Moon Landing Like Super White And Male

AOC's Chief Of Staff Accuses Blue Dogs Of...Guess What?; Blue Dogs Bite Back

You'll never guess what AOC's chief of staff accused the Blue Dogs of.
No, go ahead...guess!

Jeb! On Omar And "Send Her Back"

Jeb! gets it right:

Trump Issues Tepid/Lame/Half-Hearted Disavowal Of 'Send Her Back' Chant

Trump now says that he wasn't, like, super-duper wild about the "Send her back" chant:
   Not exactly the most inspiring rejection of the sentiment one can imagine...and couched in more claims about how AOC et al. ought to love their country more. Pretty thin gruel as such things go, I'd say. Much better than nothing...but not nearly as good as what's wanted.
   He's also obviously bullshitting about it, saying e.g. that he rushed to talk over the chant. He could easily say "Damn...that caught me off guard. I was on a roll. It made me uncomfortable, but it wasn't until later that I really realized how bad it was. I'm sure the crowd didn't literally mean that we should actually send her back to Somalia, of course. But still, it's not the kind of thing we say, even unseriously." But...that's not how Trump works.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

CNN's "Trump = Racist" Propaganda Backfires

How long can the left's lunatic obsession with racism last?
   The hypothesis that Trump's a racist is exactly that--a hypothesis. It's sustained largely by (a) the left's obsession, and (b) distorting the things he actually says. It's not the most ridiculous hypothesis I've ever heard--but it's not the most plausible one, either. There are all sorts of nonwhite people that Trump's fine with. He apparently dated a black woman for something like two years--not what one would predict from a racist...though, of course, part of the left's self-sealing lunacy is that nothing that counts against the charge of racism is permitted into evidence. In fact, it's part of leftier doctrine that one is obligated to acquiesce to any accusation of racism; denying you're a racist is exactly the sort of thing a racist would do, racist. And heaven help anyone who says anything like "some of my best friends are nonwhite." That's basically proof that you're racist! Even if some of your best friends are nonwhite? So...that doesn't count against the accusation at all? If your wife is nonwhite? Your kids? If you are nonwhite? Does anything count as evidence against an accusation of racism? Again: one view on the left is: no.
   Consider the case of AOC et al.--the ridiculously-named "squad" (sometimes said to be short for "circular firing squad"...which would be non-ridiculous, if true). Trump didn't pick out four people and group them together. They showed up on the scene as a group. If he'd picked out four people to criticize, and they were all nonwhite women, that would be some support for the hypothesis. But he didn't. Furthermore, there are plenty of reasons for Trump--and even for a normal person--to criticize this group. They're daftly progressive. It's not as if they're walking along being perfectly reasonable, and Trump just started criticizing them for no apparently reason. Just four ordinary centrists, makind their own business...when suddenly... Again, were that so, there'd be grounds for suspicion. But when there's a group of lame, hyper-progressive Congressbeings who criticize everything right of the very far left...and who have drawn the ire of many conservatives...there's simply not much room for the racism hypothesis to do any work. Trump criticizes everybody, especially Democrats and progressives. These Congresswomen are the most prominent and most progressive group of Dems right now. They criticize him and his policies and the country more-or-less is the racism hypothesis required to explain why he criticizes them? There's nothing mysterious or unexplained about his criticism. Unless you see racists behind every bush...
   Furthermore, when everyone who criticizes them in any way gets called a racist--and that includes Nancy Pelosi--then there's already plenty of reason to discount such accusations.
   Trump's got a lot of faults. And the whole chant thing deserves serious criticism. But it deserves serious criticism--not some boilerplate accusation of racism.

Dreher: Trump Summons Demons

   Tonight at a rally in North Carolina, the President of the United States criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar, which he is certainly entitled to do. But listen to the crowd: “Send her back! Send her back!” Did he try to stop them? Of course not.
   Where does he think this is all going to go? This is horrifying. Republican members of Congress need to stand up right now and say that this is unacceptable behavior in a president, whipping up a mob like this.
   This is why I say that there’s no telling who’s going to win in 2020. Trump is unhinged. Omar and the Squad deserve strong criticism, but Trump can’t restrain himself from going too far. I have said for some time now that as bad as Trump is, I believe that putting Democrats in power would be worse, solely because of what it would mean for laws and policies that are important to me. But this degrading demagogic behavior is exactly the kind of thing that would flip me to the other side. There are things worse than a president who is radically pro-abortion, opposed to religious liberty, and favoring open borders. It’s having a president who recklessly endangers the lives of people for the sake of winding up a mob.
   The truly psychotic thing about Trump is that he doesn’t have to do this! It’s easy to fight the radicals of the Squad without resorting to this kind of thing. In fact, he is winning on the politics of Omar & Co. But that’s not enough for him. You’ve got to wonder if he’s some kind of sadist.
   Where does this cycle stop? I don’t see how it fails to end in violence. Or rather, let me revise that: not end in violence, but cross the threshold into retributive violence. Antifa has been pushing for that on the Left. And now, on the right, we have the man with the biggest megaphone in the country leading a mob in chanting for the expulsion of a political opponent — a US citizen! — from the country. I reject most everything that Ilhan Omar stands for, but this is degrading, disgraceful behavior from an American president.
He goes on, as I do elsewhere, to cite Orwell's Two-Minute Hate.
The more I think about this, the angrier I get.
I doubt that he even anticipated the chant; but, now that it's happened, there's no going back. Because Trump never admits error. That's something like his analog of the left's relentless drive leftward.

Racism and UnAmericanism, Overt and Hypothetical

The left's racism is overt: White men suck and whatnot. The mainstream right's alleged racism is mainly hypothetical--with the left doing the hypothesizing. Opposing open borders is racist because...hypothesis: anyone who does oppose them does so because they don't like nonwhites. (Actually, it's worse than that: it may just be a definition: roughly 1/3 of Democrats say (according to one poll I just read but don't feel like looking up) that any criticism of nonwhites' political positions by whites is racist...) The left just comes out and says racist shit about whites--and they praise each other for it. The mainstream right doesn't do that. Their alleged racism is always attributed to them by the left, on the basis of hypothetical beliefs that hypothetically motivate their positions. And, of course: it's not possible to disagree with the left rationally and on principle. It's always racism or some analog of racism.
   With respect to unAmericanism in the news, the situation is roughly flipped: that AOC et al. are un- or anti-American is a hypothesis, based on their frequent, often nutty criticisms of the U.S. OTOH, the unAmericanism of Trumpistas chanting "send her back" (of Omar, who is from Somalia) is overtly unAmerican. No hypothesizing is required. It's all right there, right on the damn table. It's not possible not to just see it.

Andrew Sullivan Is Exactly Right About Immigration, Illegal And Legal

In my current opinion, Sullivan is exactly right below:
   But somehow the courts have decided that you qualify for asylum if there is simply widespread crime or violence where you live, and Ramirez was also going to use that argument as well. A government need not persecute you; you just have to experience an unsafe environment that your government is failing to suppress. This so expands the idea of asylum, in my view, as to render it meaningless.
   Courts have also expanded asylum to include domestic violence, determining that women in abusive relationships are a “particular social group” and thereby qualify. In other words, every woman on the planet who has experienced domestic abuse can now come to America and claim asylum. Also everyone on the planet who doesn’t live in a stable, orderly, low-crime society. Literally billions of human beings now have the right to asylum in America. As climate change worsens, more will rush to claim it. All they have to do is show up.
   Last month alone, 144,000 people were detained at the border making an asylum claim. This year, about a million Central Americans will have relocated to the U.S. on those grounds. To add to this, a big majority of the candidates in the Democratic debates also want to remove the grounds for detention at all, by repealing the 1929 law that made illegal entry a criminal offense and turning it into a civil one. And almost all of them said that if illegal immigrants do not commit a crime once they’re in the U.S., they should be allowed to become citizens.
   How, I ask, is that not practically open borders? The answer I usually get is that all these millions will have to, at some point, go to court hearings and have their asylum cases adjudicated. The trouble with that argument is that only 44 percent actually turn up for their hearings; and those who do show up and whose claims nonetheless fail can simply walk out of the court and know they probably won’t be deported in the foreseeable future.
   Immigration and Customs Enforcement forcibly removed 256,086 people in 2018, 57 percent of whom had committed crimes since they arrived in the U.S. So that’s an annual removal rate of 2 percent of the total undocumented population of around 12 million. That means that for 98 percent of undocumented aliens, in any given year, no consequences will follow for crossing the border without papers. At the debates this week, many Democratic candidates argued that the 43 percent of deportees who had no criminal record in America should not have been expelled at all and been put instead on a path to citizenship. So that would reduce the annual removal rate of illegal immigrants to a little more than 1 percent per year. In terms of enforcement of the immigration laws, this is a joke. It renders the distinction between a citizen and a noncitizen close to meaningless.
   None of this reality was allowed to intervene in the Democratic debates this week. At one point, one moderator tellingly spoke about Obama’s record of deporting ” 3 million Americans.” In that bubble, there were no negatives to mass immigration at all, and no concern for existing American citizens’ interests in not having their wages suppressed through this competition. There was no concession that child separation and “metering” at the border to slow the crush were both innovated by Obama, trying to manage an overwhelmed system. Candidates vied with each other to speak in Spanish. Every single one proposed amnesty for all those currently undocumented in the U.S., except for criminals. Every single one opposes a wall. There was unanimous support for providing undocumented immigrants immediately with free health care. There was no admission that Congress needed to tighten asylum law. There was no concern that the Flores decision had massively incentivized bringing children to game the system, leaving so many vulnerable to untold horrors on a journey no child should ever be forced to make.
   What emerged was their core message to the world: Get here without papers and you’ll receive humane treatment while you’re processed, you’ll never be detained, you’ll get work permits immediately, and you’ll have access to publicly funded health care and a path to citizenship if you don’t commit a crime. This amounts to an open invitation to anyone on the planet to just show up and cross the border. The worst that can happen is you get denied asylum by a judge, in which case you can just disappear and there’s a 1 percent chance that you’ll be caught in a given year. Who wouldn’t take those odds?
   This is in a new century when the U.S. is trying to absorb the largest wave of new immigrants in our entire history, and when the percentage of the population that is foreign-born is also near a historic peak. It is also a time when mass immigration from the developing world has destabilized liberal democracies across the West, is bringing illiberal, anti-immigration regimes to power across Europe, and was the single biggest reason why Donald Trump is president.
   I’m told that, as a legal immigrant, I’m shutting the door behind me now that I’ve finally made it to citizenship. I’m not. I favor solid continuing legal immigration, but also a reduction in numbers and a new focus on skills in an economy where unskilled labor is increasingly a path to nowhere. It is not strange that legal immigrants — who have often spent years and thousands of dollars to play by the rules — might be opposed to others’ jumping the line. It is not strange that a hefty proportion of Latino legal immigrants oppose illegal immigration — they are often the most directly affected by new, illegal competition, which drives down their wages.
   I’m told that I’m a white supremacist for believing in borders, nation-states, and a reduction in legal immigration to slow the pace of this country’s demographic revolution. But I support this because I want a more successful integration and Americanization of immigrants, a better future for skilled immigrants, and I want to weaken the populist and indeed racist movements that have taken the West by storm in the past few years. It’s because I loathe white supremacy that I favor moderation in this area.
   When I’m told only white racists favor restrictionism, I note how the Mexican people are more opposed to illegal immigration than Americans: In a new poll, 61.5 percent of Mexicans oppose the entry of undocumented migrants, period; 44 percent believe that Mexico should remove any undocumented alien immediately. Are Mexicans now white supremacists too? That hostility to illegal immigration may even explain why Trump’s threat to put tariffs on Mexico if it didn’t crack down may well have worked. Since Trump’s bluster, the numbers have measurably declined — and the crackdown is popular in Mexico. I can also note that most countries outside Western Europe have strict immigration control and feel no need to apologize for it. Are the Japanese and Chinese “white supremacists”? Please. Do they want to sustain their own culture and national identity? Sure. Is that now the equivalent of the KKK?
   Again: glad to see others catching up and recognizing that progressives are on a trajectory toward de facto open borders--and that this would be, basically, the end of the USA. Like Sullivan, I support our generous legal immigration policies--though I am inclined to think we'd be better off throttling back on the numbers a bit. I'm way willing to change my mind on that--it's just my current, relatively ignorant, inclination.
   The most important point is: here as everywhere else, the left has suppressed rational discussion by automatically labeling anyone who dissents from the most extreme leftist position a racist. This has to be crushed. It's likely what has led to the left's headlong rush to the left: no progressive can long resist the pressure to move to the leftmost position, as anyone anywhere else is called the magic 'r' word. So long as this general tactic/tendency is permitted to succeed, we are guaranteed to plunge over the leftward cliff to disaster.

Conservatives Condemn "Send Her Back" Chants

Could this constitute the emergence of an effort to put the brakes on Trumpian excess?
And, as I've made clear: I think unAmerican is the crucial point here.

"Send Her Back" Chant Video

Jesus Christ.
Whelp, just when the Dems were beginning to look like they were being sunk by their own comes Trump. Can he just not stand to see anybody crazier than him? He had a chance to throttle back and let the initial stupidity of his tweets get lost in the slipstream of the 24-hour news cycle...but nooo…. Instead, he decided to "double down" as we are now say all the time... This chanting is chilling, IMO. And him standing up there cavorting to it, Mussolini-like... Goddamn I can't stand that guy. He is bad news. You just don't know where he's gonna go from one day to the next. I have little confidence that he won't just snap in response to something and go down a very dark road--or move down it by increments out of a refusal to ever goddamn admit he was wrong about anything.
(Not that the MSNBC clown show is all that much better. Their quick, clumsy dismissal of the antisemitism concerns that swirl around Omar...Jesus.)
I'm about to say some very bad words if I don't end this right now.

Drum: "Are Democrats Now The Party Of Open Borders?"

Of course this has been evident to me for five years or more. The left has become predictable in certain ways. They begin by making arguments that don't quite add up without some loony, radical-left unstated premise or premises. Then they move--sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly--toward explicit acceptance of the premise(s). They're unpredictable in that new issues/causes will suddenly crop up, seemingly out of nowhere. They're predictable in that, once they do, the orthodoxy moves leftward.
I respect Drum a lot. I think he's best on the wonkier, chartier questions. I think his time at MJ has put pressure on him to keep his head down about the left's headlong rush leftward. I'm glad to see him mention this, finally. I didn't have the heart to look at the comments...which become horrifyingly irrational whenever he has the temerity to step too far out of line.

Trump Rally Crowd Chants "Send Her Back" Of Omar

This shit is 10,000 goddamn miles over the goddamn line. The racism charges were mainly--though perhaps not entirely--bogus. But this! This is off the charts unAmerican. This is some 1984 shit.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Jindal: Trump's Foes Are Crazier Than He Is

I'm afraid this is basically right.

Nolan Rappaport: "Immigrant Advocacy Groups Shouldn't Be Opposing Trump's Raids"

   The Republicans won't support a legalization program until illegal immigration is under control — and that can't happen without unrestricted interior enforcement.
   The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) established a legalization program that granted lawful status to millions of undocumented aliens.
   The legalization program in IRCA was based on a bi-partisan, wipe-the-slate-clean deal: Legalize the undocumented aliens who are already here in return for enforcement and border security measures that will prevent a new group of undocumented aliens from taking their place in five or ten years.
   But the 2.7 million aliens who were legalized under its provisions in the late 1980s and early 1990s were replaced entirely by a new group of undocumented aliens by the beginning of 1997. Its strongest enforcement provision, employer sanctions, was not fully implemented, and the border was not secured.
   The Republicans have not forgotten IRCA.
   When the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) objected to it because he thought it repeated the mistakes that were made with IRCA by not adequately addressing interior enforcement.
   ... President Barack Obama focused his immigration enforcement program primarily on aliens who had been convicted of crimes in the United States or who had been caught near the border after making an illegal entry.
   During his administration, once an undocumented alien succeeded in reaching the interior of the country, he was home free. It was extremely unlikely that he would be deported unless he was convicted of a crime.
   In addition to being a pull factor that encouraged illegal immigration, this made border security more difficult by providing a strong incentive for aliens to persist in attempts to make an illegal entry.
   Controlling alien admissions is a core element of state sovereignty. The Supreme Court has held that Congress has absolute authority to control immigration by establishing laws governing the admission, exclusion, and deportation of aliens.
   This authority is meaningless if the laws that Congress passes are not enforced in the interior of the country.

Ilan Omar Refuses To Denounce Al Qaeda (?)

She's right on this one. 
Demanding that someone denounce some obviously psychopathic group is an affront. It suggests that they might support them, and it's a power play to show that you can make them dance to your tune. So, yeah, she refused to denounce al Qaeda--but not in a way that indicates support for them. Rather, in a way that indicates that she thinks support for them is beyond the pale. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

PC Totalitarianism Now A Bit More Total: Merriam-Webster: Hey, Don't Listen To Us About Word Meanings...What Do WE Know?

So here we have a dictionary basically saying that its definitions can't be trusted if people--and let's be means conservative/liberal/non-progressive people--deploy them against progressive positions.
The litany of moronic arguments they give is astonishing even to me...and I've seen some shit, man... Here are the arguments, slightly modified for clarity, with the suppressed conclusion stated explicitly at the end:
  • Dictionaries can't settle arguments about the meanings of words
  • Lexicographers can only tell us what words mean
  • They can't tell us how some people may feel about their meanings
  • Using facts about meanings may not convince irrational people
  •  [Therefore: conservative arguments from word meanings are unsound]
So Britt Hume (who I don't care for, in case that matters to you) p0wns some progressives by pointing out that the shit they keep calling 'racism' is not actually racism; and he shows this by simply posting the actual definition of racism--which is the same as the ordinary, common-sense view of racism. Merriam-Webster has no stake in this argument; but, because the Gleichschaltung mobilizes every part of the cultural superstructure against thoughtcrime, factcrime, and wordcrime, it sticks its oar in...basically saying Hey, when it comes to word meanings, don't listen to us! We're just Merriam-Webster dictionary...what do we know? The point is, in fact: All we can tell you is what words actually mean...but what's important are the feelings of leftists! Don't let scientific lexicography get in the way of political correctness! So what if 'dog' means dog and 'tree' means tree?...feelz > reelz #WokeWords #FactsAreFascist #GaslightingFTW
Thing is, many of their points are true--e.g. dictionaries can only tell you what words actually mean in the language...they can't tell you how Susie Snowflake feeels about them. And there is, of course, no guarantee that you can persuade someone to use words correctly merely by proving to them what the correct usage is. What's really messed up about the M-W "tweet" (curses be upon Twitter for all time etc. etc.) is that the tone of the thing shows that they think they are scoring against Hume--when, in fact, they do no such thing. Despite their anti-Hume tone, what they tweet basically comes down to: He's right, but fat lot o' good it'll do him against the moonbats...
For you youngsters out there, I say again: liberals used to be the more reasonable ones. The crazification of the left is something that happened slowly--then quickly--over the past ten-ish years. The last five-ish years in particular have seen the American left completely lose its mind. It was not always thus...