Monday, September 30, 2019

Trump And Ukraine: I Don't Know

I have no idea what to think.
Seems to me that:
1. What Trump said is clearly prima facie cause for concern. It sounds terrible to me.
2. The Hunter Biden situation sounds dirty as hell. As Bill Maher has said, if it were Don Jr., it's all Rachel Maddow would be talking about.
3. But even if both Bidens are dirty, it doesn't mean that what Trump said was permissible.
4. The Dems are hysterical, sprinting blindly from one failed attempt to indict or impeach to another. In fact, they're now hysterical about all sorts of different things--such are the consequences of hysterical religious conversion. The last thing Woke Jesus wants from you is rationality. Russiagate was a loony conspiracy theory that was pretty obviously BS long before the Mueller report came out. Then there's the anti-Kavanaugh farce--ongoing, apparently. Now the headlong rush into impeachment even while Ukrainegate was little more than hearsay. The Dems are primed for hysteria, they're set off by anything, and their most passionate goal is torpedoing Trump.
   That doesn't mean that Trump doesn't need torpedoing--but it does mean that Democratic hysteria about doing so isn't a good indicator that he does. Nor that he's going to get it.
   I generally say: investigate away. I'm more than willing to accept that Trump did something illegal. OTOH investigation itself seems to have become a political tool. See also: the revived Clinton email investigation...
   Both sides are godawful. It's gotten to a point such that it often seems like a coin-toss as to which is worse.
   One thing that concerns me: most people I interact with seem to share in the anti-Trump hysteria, but to be virtually oblivious to the horrifying unhinging of the left/Dems. I can understand recognizing both but judging Trump to be worse. It's much harder to understand being oblivious the patent lunacy that's gripped the blue team.
   But when we actually dig into the details, the accusations against Trump tend to be revealed as bogus. He didn't collude with the Rooskies. He didn't call Nazis "very fine people." And on and on and on... He may be a lout and a loose cannon...well...he is a lout and a loose cannon...but those are different matters.
   But I just don't know.
   It seems like people are doing their normal thing and choosing up sides based on their antecedent preferences.
   The right answer here, however is almost certainly: too soon to tell.

A Short List Of Climate Actions That Will Work

I have no idea whether or not this is reasonable.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Portland Bans Urinals "To Respect Shared Values" (???); Cost: About $200,000,000

Whelp, Parker is right that none of this stuff makes a damn bit of sense.
He's also right that, if we really did face an imminent climate apocalypse, this would be even more idiotic than it already is. But not so much because of the wasted water--more for the wasted money, which could have been used for anti-apocalypse purposes. If, y'know, we did face an ecopocalypse. Which we very probably do not.
Nevertheless, almost any use of the money would have been better than this use of it, since all this did was make people's lives worse...and set the stage for making them much worse in the near future. I'm already not all that wild about having to use the can next to guys. This brave new world, mandated for, basically, superstitious reasons, is some bullshit.

Drumpfff Is Done For This Time? Or Nothingburger Blows Up In Dem's Faces?

Yet again, it's perfectly obvious to everyone who's not a moron that _________...thing is (echoing Peirce on metaphysics) we can't agree on what goes in the blank.
   According to the leftward media, Trump's horrible, horrible guilt couldn't be more obvious; the rightward media tends to disagree, though there are a fair number of never Trumpers there, so there's more disagreement.
   Of course the leftward media is the national media--minus Fox...but not entirely minus Fox anymore... So they have a bigger megaphone. Well, in fact, they're like a nationwide chorus of megaphones. To hear anything other than them, you more-or-less have make an effort to do so.
   And, of course both sides are basically full of it. Few of the people crowing about one conclusion or the other know anything about the law, nor even about what's standard practice for presidents and conversations with other heads of state. I mean...don't get me wrong...I'll be surprised and dismayed if Trump's comments are SOP...but more the latter than the former, really.
   It certainly sounds bad--I don't see how anyone can deny that the comments in the infamous Ukraine phone call are prima facie shocking and appalling. (Joel Willett here agrees that they must be taken seriously. Though I find his consistency ad hominem against Trump to be rather weak. I'm inclined to think that he should have stuck on the first point: Trump knew lots of intelligence types were listening. Because they're always listening.)
   Anyway, and unfortunately: the Democrats have lost their minds, and the GOP has disappeared behind Trump. So I'm skeptical about this being dealt with seriously. The Dems think that everything Trump says is racist (though they've not come up with a single example that doesn't require an intentional misinterpretation) and everything he does--and even things he's been proven not to have done--are impeachable. I keep seeing stuff on the left that lists Russiagate as one of Trump's sins...WTH? They've stuffed their own two-year conspiracy-theory/fever-dream down the memory hole. It's like they are completely oblivious to the fact that they scream wolf! every two weeks and have been wrong every time. This is just another worrisome characteristic of the blinkered left.
   It's possible to get a just/rational outcome out of a rational process even if the players are irrational. And, who knows? We may get one, I suppose. Hope springs eternal.
   Basically, I'm inclined to think that we're still where we were about two years ago: Trump remains a damn loose cannon...a herd of loose cannons...each made of tinier, looser cannons. He has no business within a thousand miles of the Oval Office. That's good reason, to say the least, to want him gone, gone, gone. GONE. Before he accidentally sends the nukes or some such catastrophic thing.
   The most complicating factor, of course, is that the Dems have had a conversion experience, diving into the deep end of a massive pool of crazy. They have, with open arms, adopted a whole host of radical leftist...what? Superstitions, maybe. They've mindlessly decided that huge swaths of what we've laboriously worked out about government and nations and people over hundreds and thousands of years of trial and error should be thrown away on the basis of terrible arguments or no arguments at all.
   But that's not so new. We know about that. It has nothing to do with Trump's guilt or innocence. I continue to hope that this matter will be sorted out on the basis of the truth and the law and reason.
But I have to say, it's hard not to have one eye on the seeming fact that...God help us...Donald freaking Trump has--somehow...come to seem like the least insane option on our political horizon. If he does get the boot--which perhaps he should--I really do fear that we may thoroughly screwed.
   Of course there's a reasonable hope that the Dems--or, at least the eventual candidate--will get all sane after the primaries. But, honestly, I think that's a rather absurd hope. Elizabeth Warren isn't going to give up woke Jesus anytime soon.
   But I guess we can cross that bridge when we come to it.
   Trump's apparent abuse of power is the train wreck before us right now.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Report: Trump Froze Military Aid Shortly Before Ukraine Phone Call

The Trayvon Martin Hoax

Holy crap.
I'm nearly finished with the book, and it really is unbelievable. Or, rather: it's extremely believable, unfortunately. But amazing.
   This is not a terribly well-written book, but that doesn't matter.
   And a lot of its conclusions were right there on the surface of things--I'd like to note that, despite some flack I got over it, and my own self-doubts: my final, settled view of the case was right. Martin did jump Zimmerman, and Zimmerman did act in self-defense. Trayvon's parents lied about many things, but their lies crumble under even minor scrutiny. The media lied in order to spin the story into their Preferred Narrative 1b: Completely innocent black person murdered by evil whitey because and only because he was black. (Matt Gutman seems to have been on the leading edge of that initiative.) It simply isn't what happened--and not even close. The fact that this fairly clear-cut case of justified self-defense was turned by the media into a Patent Instance Of Preferred Narrative 1b is horrifying.
   Of course there's all the semi-easily-available information that the media worked to suppress: the illicit use of years-old pictures of Martin to make him look like a harmless child, his heavy drug use, penchant for fighting, attempts to purchase handguns, and his stealing. And, of course, the characterization of Zimmerman as white rather than Hispanic--Zimmerman himself notes that he was almost named 'Jorge' rather than 'George,' and that, if he had been, he doubts the trumped-up case against him would have been pressed.
   But the real revelation in the book is that the main witness for the prosecution was not who she said she was. Trayvon's semi-gf, Diamond Eugene, who was on the phone with him during the last minutes of his life, was never deposed and never testified at trial...because another girl, Rachel Jeantal, pretended to be her. Unless Gilbert is flat-out lying about a whole lot of easily disproven things--e.g. DNA tests--he really has uncovered an astonishing case of witness fraud.
   And it seems rather difficult to argue with his contention that the prosecutors knew this--they not only knew that Jeantal was not Eugene, they coached her up to pretend that she was. As Gilbert notes, the story was right there for the taking. Why, one wonders, did the news media with all its resources, not figure it out?
   I'm not sure about Gilbert's contention that the Trayvon hoax was a watershed event in recent race relations, setting the stage for Ferguson, and for the Ferguson effect that's been so tragic for black urban communities in particular...but I'm not sure it's wrong, either.
   Maybe Gilbert's wrong about everything...but it doesn't sound that way. Funny that the non-right-wing media is silent about these revelations, no? It seems incredible that this book and documentary could simply be ignored. Presumably if the media could refute it, they'd be tripping all over themselves to do so. The drawing of the relevant conclusion is left as an exercise for the reader...
   (To be painfully clear: I don't have any stake in this. If Gilbert is wrong, I'd be happy to find that out.)

Friday, September 27, 2019

Pachelbel's Chicken

George Will: "The Best Antitdote For A Bad Election Is A Better Election"

Agreed...but electing Trump again won't fix anything...and electing a party that has turned into a anti-rationalist cult is just going to make things worse.
This is the Kobayashi Maru, man.
Stop pretending that there's a good way out of this.

Warren: Taxpayers Must Fund "Sex Reassignment" Surgery

Ten years ago, if you'd have said that the Dems would have their current platform ten years hence, Dems would accuse you of spouting some kind of delusional dystopian Republican fear-mongering.
But here we are...
Presumably this means that we will, inter alia, be paying for this sort of genital cosmetic surgery for illegal aliens, too... I suppose it's too much to hope that at least we won't have to pay to mutilate children too young to have any idea what's being done to them...right? Hell, if you'd have, a year ago, said that this would basically be the blue team platform, people might not have believed it.
They've just simply lost their minds.
I'd say that nothing recognizable remains of liberalism...but it's chilling to recognize that isn't so. Contemporary progressivism is like a twisted caricature of liberalism--all the sane and healthy principles have been thrown out, and only victimology and oppression-mongering remains. Oh, and: reversed versions of racism and sexism, like negatives of the older kinds. It's depressing to see how willingly liberalism ceded the field to the most anti-liberal faction we've ever seen. It's much more depressing to recognize that this is not an entirely unrecognizable view...that it may have been latent in liberalism all along...

"Safe Spaces For Me But Not For Thee"

Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla try to save the world with No Safe Spaces.
Yet again: if you'd have told me five years ago that I'd be rooting for that duo I'd have etc. etc. etc.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

ADL Declares OK Hand Sign A Hate Somethingorother

White Supremacists!

...under my bed!

50 Years Of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions

here, via here.

Dreher: Labour Votes To Dissolve Britain

If you think that either of the following is a good idea, you're a lunatic:
(a) Letting noncitizens vote
(b) Opening your borders
If you think both of them together constitute a good idea, you are stark, raving mad.
If the Brits can't survive the New Crazy Left, I don't see us doing so, to be perfectly honest.

When Did Everything Get So Stupid?

I'm going to try to avert my attention from the political situation. Politics and policy in a big, sprawling, evolving democratic republic are going to be difficult even if most everyone is sane, reasonable and smart. There are tough questions and problems that would drive us nuts no matter what we did. But it's the unforced errors that make me crazy. The left going batshit crazy--that's an unforced error. Electing Trump--that's another. We didn't have to do either of those things. But we did. And now these errors occupy center stage. And each side is contributing to making the other crazier. Or so it seems to me, anyway.
What a damn mess.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Larison: "A Flagrant Abuse Of Power"

   When Trump says, “I would like you to do us a favor though,” he is linking the favor to continued U.S. military assistance to Ukraine. I don’t agree with the policy of providing that assistance on the merits, but withholding it and then using it as a bargaining chip in an attempt to get a foreign government to engage in dirty tricks against a political rival is outrageous. It raises obvious questions about other foreign policy decisions that the president has made and whether he has engaged in similar behavior in dealings with other governments.
   Impeachment is the constitutional remedy for such abuses of power. These are exactly the kinds of self-serving abuses that impeachment was designed to check. Abuse of power need not be a crime to be deserving of impeachment, and there is already enough evidence of abuse to warrant finding out just how far the rot goes. Under the circumstances, an impeachment inquiry is entirely appropriate, and that inquiry may bring evidence of more abuses to light. The House should take its time and discover the full extent of the corruption in this administration, and then it should do its constitutional duty.

Turley: "Trump's Ukraine Transcript: Unwise, But No Proof Of A Crime"

Yet for those hoping to find a dead promise or a live Russian in the transcript, they will be disappointed again. The transcript lacks a critical element needed for impeachment, which is evidence of a quid pro quo. Trump never connects the investigation with the roughly $400 million in military aid. While he discusses the aid, he never suggests he will not send it. That does not mean a case for impeachment or criminal prosecution cannot be made. Unlike the prior impeachable offenses suggested by Democrats, this allegation of self-dealing could be both an impeachable offense and a crime, though neither would be easy to prove.

Actual Trumpian Scumbaggery

Wow that guy's a moron.
And I mean: even aside from the scumbaggery of using the leverage of his office against a political opponent, there's the stupidity of it. Moral questions and the honor of the office aside, it's just flaming stupid.
Though, also, there's the fact that even the ordinary things he says sound virtually incoherent. I guess I've gotten used to his speech patterns or something, because it seems a lot worse when you see it written down.
Anyway, also there's the fact that the Democrats were on the verge of impeaching him for something completely made up! What did he think was going to happen if he actually did something? I mean, it's good he's so stupid or he might...I dunno…actually get away with something. This is one of those cases in which the abject idiocy of the thing somehow manages to eclipse even the wrongness of it.
But Jesus Christ. How could anybody think this was ok? The mind, it just reels.
Is this idiot watching too much Fox News? I doubt that even Fox is pushing that stuff...must be more lie reading too much Breitbart or something.
And this is all disgusting and loathsome enough...but...he couldn't wait to do some idiot thing like this until after he won? He kinda could have redeemed himself for embarrassing the country by saving us from Warren...but nooooooo….
What could be worse than a Trump administration? A Trump administration followed by an SJW Warren administration, for the love of God... What after that? A Sauron administration?
Eh well. I guess crooked and dumb is better than crooked and smart, at least.

[Though OTOH, here's how bad the press is: even Reuters lists Russiagate as a Trump administration scandal... The mind, it reels...]

Podhoretz: "Trump Did This To Himself"

Sure seems that way.
Having finally been exonerated (and that, let's face it, he was) of the Russiagate lunacy, it sounds like Trump turned right around and shot himself in the ass.
But, of course, this also sounds a lot like another basically-fictional story that was either made up or wildly spun by the progressive media for no other reason than to get Trump--which is, it seems, their number one goal.
Time will tell, presumably.
I just want the truth to out. Both sides are too stupid and awful for me to have much of a rooting interest in this.

Malone, Wright, and Robinson: "No One Is 'Born In The Wrong Body'"

It's astonishing to me that such a confused idea with such catastrophic practical consequences could take hold--and, indeed, be forced onto society--so rapidly.
One way to understand the "gender identity" confusion is like so: we're often unhappy or uncomfortable with things about ourselves. And often our self-concepts don't match up perfectly with what we're actually like--physically and/or mentally. I commonly use the height analogy: many men wish they were taller, some lie about their height, and some seem to even actually believe themselves to be taller than they actually are. I'm just shy of 6', and I can't even tell you how many guys I've met who claimed to be 6'1" or 6'2" who were notably shorter than me. We could say that such people have different "identities"--e.g. "height identity." We don't do that because it's just not a particularly good way to describe having false beliefs about yourself. And if we did do things that way, it wouldn't entail that we should take "height identity" any more seriously than we already do--that is, describing the situation in that way wouldn't mean that, e.g., "height identity" should replace actual height on drivers' licenses. Your subjective idea of how tall you are--or your wishes about it--aren't as important as and can't replace the actual facts. The point of the term 'gender identity'--like the point of so many leftist terms--is to push an idea: the idea that your wishes and false beliefs are more important than the relevant facts.
   Now, one could argue for such a thing. But the first thing you'd have to do is argue for the proposition that sex is relevantly different than everything else. You'd have to argue that--for some strange reason--your subjective states--your beliefs and wishes about your sex--are more important than the objective facts about it. And look: there's just no way to make that case. It simply isn't going to happen.
   Well, I've said all that before.

Giuliani Pursued Shadow Ukraine Agenda?

The WaPo is now basically a propaganda organ for the Democratic party...but still...none of this sounds very good at all. We have to try to guess what it would look like were it reported by an objective source...but even trying to imaginatively unspin it, it seems bad, bad, bad.
This seems--as I've said before--like exactly the kind of thing Trump might actually do. It's a bit hard to focus on it given the on-going cacophony of crazy coming from the left--but it's not going to surprise me much at all if Trump really did put his foot in it up to the knee this time.

Trump To Release Transcript Of Ukraine Call

Well that escalated quickly...
No, no, I don't mean to impeachment...they've been talking about that nonstop for three a way, we've de-escalated to an "impeachment inquiry"...
But cutting straight to releasing the transcripts...I don't buy the "four-dimensional chess hypothesis"...but damn. If the transcript shows nothing the Dems may finally have gone one crazy bridge too far.
And yet again I marvel at the fact that Donald Trump has somehow turned out to be the less-crazy of the available antagonists.... Truly this is the most ridiculous timeline.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

NYT's Disastrous Summer Of Fake News And Public Meltdowns

When Breitbart is eating your lunch...

What The Hell's An "Impeachment Inquiry" Anyway?

Not an impeachment, right?

The Left Wants You To Eat Bugs

Maybe you're ok with that.

Impeachment Fever--Catch It!

Whelp, here we go...

The Washington Post's Progressive Fantasy World

Behold, the formerly great newspaper.


...because she sort of hinted that maybe she might be considering some comments about impeachment after, y'know, some other meetings today and stuff...
Jesus do these people never get tired of embarrassing themselves?
I'm not a huge Pelosi fan, but I do kinda trust her to be level-headed. If she thinks this is impeachable, I'd take that seriously.
Though I do think that the Dems have basically decided on impeachment already as a political strategy (by some) and profession of faith (by others), and they're just kinda waiting on the right opportunity...but this may well be it.
A pox on both your damn houses, as far as I'm concerned.

NRO Editors: It Was Wrong For Trump To Push Ukraine Concerning The Bidens

Right, but I'm not convinced it's not an "impeachable" offense. (Weird grammar, that...)
I'm basically neutral, despite thinking that the Dems winning in '20 would mean going out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Is Climate Hysteria Hurting Kids?

I mean--undoubtedly, some of them.
But do most of them really believe this stuff? I doubt it. I doubt that most adults believe it, either. It's kind of like the Christian apocalypse--believers talk about it--but it doesn't hook up with their practical lives much. So it remains mostly notional..
I'd be more concerned about transgender mythology that does end up interfering with their actual lives in ways that are likely to make them a little batty.
Though...come to think of seems a little weird that both of these bits of progressive religious doctrine have so much potential for affecting kids...doesn't it?
Well, maybe not.
Not sure.

More Dems Back Impeachment Amid Reports Trump Ordered Ukraine Aid Frozen

The Dems have lost their minds, of course, and many of them are committed to impeachment regardless of the facts...but the initial reports do sound pretty freakin' bad. Impeachable? Well, that's a pretty loose category, as I understand it. Anyway, sure sounds like it to a layperson. If, indeed, politics played any role at all in any of Trump's decisions about Ukraine...isn't that an outrage?
   OTOH, as I only realized during the Clinton email scandal, and now say over and over: we do need to know what standard practice is like. I'm basically just assuming (and hoping) that this sort of thing simply isn't done. If I'm wrong about that, it does change things.
   It does sound like Biden and his son are involved in plenty of shady dealings. It sounds disgusting, actually. But, again, to some extent it does matter whether this is just the way things work. And, of coruse: Trump and Biden may both be toast. In which case: Warren or the like, God help us. My nightmare is Warren/Beto.
   OTOH, to some extent we're talking about something like a blind boxing match--or slapfight--between a party that's lost its mind and another that's...kind of disappeared. Aside from Mitch McConnell, I can't really tell you what the GOP is up to. Maybe they're just hunkered down behind Trump, thinking--as I've begun to think--that he may be our only hope against the insanity that's infected the Democrats. Sadly, I know few Democrats who seem willing to withdraw support from their tribe/team. To some extent we can thank Trump for that--he could almost drive almost anybody to the other side, almost regardless of how bad the other side is. But to some extent, political commitments are just subject to inertia. If the things the Dems are currently saying aren't enough to cause people to flee, I'm really not sure what they could say that would be. Perhaps people are hoping that some semblance of sanity will return after the primaries. Or perhaps just: Trump makes walking away unthinkable.
   Another, perhaps even scarier, possibility is: half the country actually thinks that socialism, the Green New Deal, transgender ideology, open borders and nationalized health care are good ideas. I can't even seriously contemplate that possibility this early in the morning.
   Anyway, though I detest the tribalism of politics, and I tend to lean on rules and procedures when things get crazy, and I will absolutely stick to that in this case...and though I'm absolutely on board with Trump being impeached, if appropriate...and convicted if some extent impeachment is, apparently, a political matter. That's not cynical, throw-away, pomo BS--it's something I've heard experts say. And, the way things stand a political brawl between the Dems and the Pubs...I don't see how I can back the Dems. I hold out hope that they'll return to sanity one day...maybe, just maybe, even in time for the election. But if that miracle doesn't happen, then they need, IMO, to be kept as far away from power as possible. I don't see how people who backed Obama on policy grounds in '08 can deny that--Trump's policies are much closer to those than the newly woke/nuts Dems.
   Of course there's good reason to believe that impeachment will help Trump. I still tend to hope that the Dems and Trump will destroy each other in an impeachment battle, and we'll end up with, say Pence--conservative but sane. And it's not impossible that everyone will hate the PC left so much by 2024 that there might be some kind of return to normality.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Less Likeable: Trump Or Warren?

Do the words 'Kobayashi Maru' mean anything to you?

The GOP Should Make Campaign Ads Taken Straight From The "Shut Down DC" Nonsense

These are the shriekiest, stupidest people I think I've ever seen on video. They seem to think that standing in the street in DC is fine, but voluntarily sitting on a van being towed is deadly.
Warning: don't click on that one with the dude in the shorts. That is some Necronomicon shit.

Airstrip One Continues To Fade Away Into The Dystopian Night

The Green Tween Flips Out

Weld: Let's Cut Straight To The Execution

Wow. Didn't that guy used to be at least somewhat sane?
I thought treason was only either "levying war" against us or giving aid and comfort to our enemies?
Every time Trump looks shittier, he looks less shitty by comparison to his opponents.

Schumer Wants A Senate Investigation Of Trump's Call To Ukraine

Wait, whut? 
An investigation? Before impeaching/convicting?
WTF is this??? Due process or something?
Jesus. Yes, let's do this the old fashioned way, with an investigation and due process and a burden of proof and all that Eurocentric kind of thing. Let's even shoot for finding the truth, xenophobic and phallogocentric though that may be...
Honestly, it's like everybody's lost their minds. Doesn't anybody else want to know what realio-trulio actually happened?

Noonan: Why They'll Never Stop Targeting Kavanaugh

Nooners--NOONERS--is now a voice of sweet reason.
I can't even begin to adequately express my bafflement.

Andrew McCarthy: "Breaking Down The Whistleblower Frenzy"


Max Boot lost it some time ago, of course...but the parade of people bending over backwards to make fools of themselves--yet again--really is astonishing.
   It doesn't sound good--in fact, it sounds really bad. If you listen to the media. Which makes everything Trump does sound bad. So...
   Boot's one of those guys who's still trying to pretend that Trump publicly asked the Russians to hack Clinton's emails ("Russia, if you're listening..."). But of course the very fact that so many in the media were and still are trying to pretend that a joke (or, actually, just kind of a funny comment, really) was evidence of "collusion" tells you a lot of what you need to know. For one thing, it tells you that they're not objective. For another, it tells you that they've become so irrational that they can't distinguish actual evidence from a joke. For another, it tells you that they have so little work with that they're clinging to that bit of nonsense.
   These people are off their collective rocker.
   Which doesn't mean that Trump didn't do it, nor that--this time, finally--he deserves impeachment!!!!111 I have no interest in defending the guy if he did and he does.
   But you'll forgive me if I don't come running when the media cries 'wolf!' yet again.

That's unpossible!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Trump Didn't Coerce Zelensky

B-b-but...surely this was yet another the end of Drumpfff?!?!?!?!?!??!!!

Beto Has A Plan

NRA Deems Beto "Salesman Of The Month"

Now that's funny.

RIP Myles Burnyeat

link to Leiter Reports

How DO You Explain The Widespread Sense Of Panic And Doom Amidst Our Relative Peace And Prosperity?

Needless to say, the religious part of the explanation doesn't resonate with me...but it's a great question.
Also: great use of Tolkien quote.
At: Wretchard The Cat; via: Instapundit.

Green apocalypticism is just one of the many analogs of religion on the contemporary progressive left. Others include original sin (whiteness), the allure of dietary restrictions, hatred of apostates, and moral and ordinary ad baculums to coerce belief and conformity. Irrationalism/misology, however, is the most significant similarity.

Skipping "White Privilege" Workshops: Just More Proof Of "White Privilege"?

We're not laughing at you, we're...well...actually we are laughing at you.

The Left Has Lost Its Marbles: Ivanka's Sinister New Do

Worst. Racist. Ev-ar

"Islam Is Right About Women"

"It's ok to be white" really flushed out a lot of crazies...this one's even better. A person in that story claims it's "hate speech"...but why? Which way? Of course she doesn't say... It's actually a hate-dilemma...

Holly Lawford-Smith: "How The Trans Rights Movement Is Turning Philosophers Into Activists"

As I've said many times before: there's nothing particularly feminist about "gender critical" feminist arguments against transgender mythology. Except sometimes some added "men suck" stuff, which doesn't really make an appearance in this piece. These are mostly just the ordinary arguments that everyone everywhere who's ever heard of transgender mythology thinks of pretty much immediately--because they're obvious and right. 

5 Signs You're In The Midst Of A Moral Panic

(via Instapundit)

Biden Illustrates Why The Dems Are Out Of The Running For 2020

This isn't so much about Biden or Warren or Bernie or Harris. This is about ideas. And the ideas that have infected/taken over the left/Dems are crazy. Bernie may be a bit crankier about them--he seems to me to have grudgingly adopted them only because that's what it will take to get elected and strike a blow for what he does care about (i.e. socialism)...while O'Rourke seems to revel in the crazy. But grudgingly or enthusiastically, they'll all push it on the country. Worse: a huge proportion of those swept into government positions with a new Blue administration will be infected by the crazy, and push it. If it were only the front man, it'd be one thing. But it's not just the front man.
   We're not talking about one or two moderately odd or experimental ideas. We're talking about something bordering on mass hysteria.

Janice Turner: "The Cult Of Gender Identity Is Hurting Children"

Everything in this is good, except for the fact that Turner, like many other people, continues to misuse pronouns upon request, referring to a refusal to do so as "misgendering." Problem is, that makes no sense if you reject the rest of transgender mythology/ideology. If you reject the theory, but continue to act and speak in accordance with its dictates, you need some supplementary argument to defend that. You're propping up the error if you speak as if there were nothing wrong with it. If Jenner were a woman, then it's obvious why we'd call him 'she.' Since Jenner isn't a woman, we need some argument for speaking of him as if he were--especially for suggesting that so speaking is obligatory. You can just want to comply, or argue that it's a kind of politeness, perhaps--but you can't have the attitude that Turner indicates that she has--she proudly says that she never "misgenders" anyone, as if to do so were a terrible thing. But there's nothing wrong with refusing to comply with requests to misrepresent someone; e.g. I am under no obligation to comply with your request to speak of you as if you were Asian when you obviously are not.
   But, anyway: aside from that, it's a good piece.

With The Kavanaugh Debacle, The NYT Becomes A Dangerous Misinformation Tool Of The Left

Or disinformation, as Reagan might have said.
(That's one way I first realized that the world had been turned upside down...that I found myself quoting Reagan approvingly.)

Sully On Transgenderism Again: "When The Idealogues Come For The Kids"

Right on the money, as he so often is.
   I semi-deferred to his recent thing on "drag queen story hour," though I remain(ed) skeptical. In this piece he changes his mind and says that new evidence does indicate that this is about "gender" indoctrination.
   Just a reminder that there's a sane, liberal alternative to transgender ideology: the recognition that you can dress and behave however you like regardless of your sex. And you don't need a medical excuse. There's nothing wrong with, e.g., girls being masculine, nor with boys being feminine. But it doesn't change your sex. And 'man,' 'woman,' 'girl' and 'boy' are--undeniably--sex terms. A feminine boy is still a boy. There are exactly no plausible arguments against that fact.
   Sullivan points out something I pointed out long ago--many people have pointed it out: there's a clear repressive, anti-homosexual strand of thought in transgender ideology. A strand that, basically, says: an effeminate and/or homosexual male is really a female (and a masculine and/or homosexual female is actually male). Eventually, when the left flips back on this issue, these are the arguments that will probably be emphasized.
   I don't use those arguments because the left needs to realize that the truth matters. Currently, it only accepts harm arguments--and, really, only ones that concern harm to groups high in the progressive stack. It concerns them not at all that something is false. Thus, though I agree that transgender ideology is likely to harm non-heterosexuals, I prefer not to rely on such arguments. So long as the left is indifferent to truth and falsehood, it can't be reasoned with, except accidentally.

Impeachment Hysteria Yet Again And/Or Still

These people have lost their marbles.
How can they maintain this level of hysteria about so many different things all at once? Global warming!!!! White supremacy!!!!!!! IMPEACHMENT!!!!
   A rational person should acknowledge the information we have right now--which is basically nothing--and recognize that it sounds like prima facie cause for concern. If true. But also: that the MSM is basically the journalistic wing of the Democratic party. The left--which includes the MSM--has shrieked ITMFA!!! since the day after the election--for every reason and no reason at all. How anyone can still take this hysteria seriously is beyond me.
   There's absolutely reason to collect more information. No doubt about that. If the allegations are true, it sounds like something that--depending on the details--might very well be impeachable. So far as I know. As a non-lawyer. And that all means: you've got to have lost your marbles if you're screeching IMPEACH HIM!!! at this point.
   It's like they learned nothing from Russiagate. In fact, if you listen to people like Warren talk, it's as if she thinks that the Russiagate allegations were true. It's as if that great, conclusive, humiliating, public rebuttal never happened.
   I've got nothing against impeaching the guy. Though the really sad thing to me is that both sides can't be brought tumbling down. I sorta think our best hope is: Trump wins in 2020, then quits or gets impeached, and we're left with Pence--conservative, but sane. (The very fact that progressives flip their shit at that suggestion shows that it's not really Trump they're objecting to--it's Republicans/conservatives.) But that's basically a pipe dream.
   Can you really shriek impeachment! at the drop of a hat over and over and over again at no cost? I'm skeptical, I guess.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

"Consensus Grows" Among People Who Know Nothing About The Law That Probably Fake Scandal Is "Impeachable Offense," Bigger Than Completely Made Up Russiagate

When did the left become such a joke?

"Women's Sports Was A Short-Lived Experiment"

Not long after it was created, it's being destroyed by men pretending to be women.
I'm extremely sympathetic.
Though...why does it take arguments like this to expose transgender ideology? Why isn't "it's false" and/or "it's insane" sufficient? Truth simply doesn't matter to the progressive left. Truth is your Western, bourgeois, Enlightenment hang-up, bigot. The only arguments that count involve harm to progressive-approved groups. "No man is female," despite its patent truth, is hate speech. Only harm to women actually matters here...
I mean...harm to women matters to me. And, unlike the progressive left: so does harm to men. But more important than either is: harm to truth.

Tom Nichols: "If This Isn't Impeachable Nothing Is"

Seems to me that the safest bet here is that this is another hysterical bout of TDS in the Russiagate genre. But if it isn't...well, it sure as hell sounds impeachable to me, FWIW. It sounds like the kind of thing Trump might actually do--not just another spittle-flecked "resistance" fantasy. At any rate, it should be taken very seriously. Obviously.

WSJ On Trump / Ukraine

Friday, September 20, 2019

Did Trump Ask Ukraine To Investigate Biden's Son?

Ok now that's plausible.
I mean, it'll probably turn out to be another groundless progressive delusion / pipe dream / product of TDS...but at least it's within the realm of plausibility. It's the kind of stupid BS Trump might actually do. Because I'm not sure he actually knows better.
Though instead of describing this as "another brewing scandal," the authors ought to call it another probably-made-up pseudoscandal...but maybe...

Climate Strike

It's not that I'm sure they're wrong. But I'm pretty sure that some kind of crazy habits of thought have taken over on that end of the spectrum.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Warren Wants To End The Electoral College System

They've all lost their minds.
   At this point, it's looking like there's virtually no chance I'll be voting for the blue team in 2020.
How in the hell did the Dems turn crazy enough to drive me off when Donald freaking Trump is the alternative? I've voted for the Democrat in every presidential election in my entire life.
   This is virtually incomprehensible to me.
   Keep pushing Dems... At this point I'm just going to be sitting the election out. You get about two ticks crazier, and I might not sit it out.
   And if I'm thinking this, then there's one helluva lot of other people thinking the same thing.
   [Oh, and reparations and tearing down Confederate statues to boot... Nice. I'm actually torn on both those issues, but it's getting damn close to the point at which I'm tempted to say that if progressives are for it, maybe I need to be against it...]

O'Rourke's Being Pretty Up-Front About Gun Confiscation

I actually give him points for that. It's crazy and fascistic...but at least he's honest about it. 
Progressivism has lost its mind, and the Dems are now full-bore progressive.

Is "Nature Unravelling"? U.S. and Canada Lose 3 Billion Birds Since 1970

Justin Trudeau Brownface

I really can't stand this guy.
But also: blackface (I had never heard of "brownface") has always just seemed f*cking weird to me--as I've said before, it was kinda hard for me to see what was supposed to make it evil rather than merely stupid. Eventually I figured out that it often was/is a kind of parody of black people--but it seems weird that I had to figure that out on my own. Anyway, we all have our moral blind spots, and I suppose this was just one of mine. It's still not the kind of thing that makes me flip my shit or anything--but I do at least now see what the objection is. This is also the kind of thing such that your average black person has more important/reliable intuitions/reactions than somebody like me. If your average black dude in the street is like WTF???...that matters. 
   So anyway--this stuff wasn't widely-recognized a decade ago. I mean, again, it's always seemed weird to me...but I understand people not recognizing that it was morally reprehensible.
   Anyway, despite my aversion to Trudeau, I think this should be chalked up to an innocent error. Look, dude is SJW all the way down to his ovaries. His PC cred is impeccable. If that guy can't catch a break, then no one can. What's wrong with saying "Hey, he shouldn't'a done that. It's a bit f*cked-up...lesson learned...bad on closed? I mean, look, I'd be happy for him to be thrown out on his ear. But it just seems like an excusable error to me, not some kind of mortal sin.

[Ooooo.K. Well, so much for that. Yer on yer own, JT. I shoulda known better than to tryta defendya, ya ragin' snowflakeya.]

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Richard B. Corradi: Transgenderism And Mass Hysteria


Quillette: Christopher Dummit, "I Basically Just Made It Up: Confessions Of A Social Constructionist"

link, via Instapundit.
Just one guy, of course, but what he says is, well, true.
   I've complained about this many times. The folks in that sector are guided by at least two general ideas/tendencies that--especially together--generate a disaster:
  • [1] The use of an extremely loose interpretive method basically taken from the sketchier, po-mo-ier sectors of literary theory
  • [2] Academic political correctness, i.e. the subordination of rational inquiry to hard-left politics.
The combination of these two things basically generates a kind of "scholarship" that involves an interpretive method so loosey-goosey as to allow even the most ridiculous reasoning (or "reasoning") to pass long as it's in accordance with [2]. That's to say: you can get away with "reasoning" that is about one step above gibberish so long as it eventually wanders around--no matter how implausibly--to a left-friendly conclusion (or "conclusion").
   It's, as Dummit basically says, basically making shit up. And by 'basically' I mean: more-or-less totally. As Dummit points out, it may well start with actual facts, e.g. about history. (Often: atypical factoids, actually.) After that, it's basically just free-association guided by political correctness.
   As I also keep saying: much of the problem is that 'socially constructed' means so many different things that it basically means nothing at all. "X is socially constructed" means everything from We created the physical thing, x, magically with the magical power of our magical social agreement to We made up the word 'x.'  This kind of radical multiple ambiguity facilitates head-spinning motte-and-bailey tactics--which is largely what the view (or, rather: the locution) survives on.
   The other main ambiguity in play is in the term 'gender,' which is also used to mean basically whatever the person speaking wants it to mean. Everything from Sex to...well...everything up to Totally not sex, including Whatever you happen to think more-or-less about your own sex. Again, this facilitates radical inconsistencies and motte-and-bailies galore.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Yet Another Installment In The Made-Up-Psychology-Of-Conservatives Genre

Since progressives can't defend their positions with reasons, they commonly fall back on ad hominems--which is all bullshit like this amounts to. Jesus what nonsense. These people are freaking unhinged. As pissed off as I've become at conservatives over the past 25-ish years, they're nothing compared to what's happened to the left in the past 8-ish years.
And as for chaos: Trump can't hold a candle to the contemporary progressive left. They've gone completely off their rocker. Nobody can really tell what crackpot cause they'll adopt next.

Another Progressive Call To Pack The Court

Jeez these people.

AOC-Style Challengers Looking To Unseat The Dem's Top Brass In 2020?

In case the blue team isn't crazy enough for you now.

Cokie Roberts, Dead At 75

I always liked her.

Merriam-Webster Adds "Nonbinary" Definition Of 'They'

This is stupid, obviously.
I'm not even that opposed to the singular 'they'--but there's no such thing as a "nonbinary" person. A distribution can be "non-binary," I suppose...which would mean, basically: non-bimodal. But not a single person. Someone who actually is neither male nor female is intersexed. There need be--and, in fact, should be--no word for someone who "identifies" as neither--which means: merely says they are. The left, being relativist at its core, doesn't quite reject the idea that saying makes things so. To the left, "identifying" as x merely means: saying you're x. But, since thinking or saying you're an x doesn't make you an x, this is just dumb. Look, you can say that your a rabbit or an asteroid if you want to. That's up to you. It makes you delusional or a liar or some combination of the two...but that's generally your business. Though it certainly doesn't make you an actual rabbit or an actual asteroid.

Best Aftermarket Glock Barrels?

So embarrassing that I've been shooting with a stock barrel all these years...
My Glock is stock as a rock.
Well...Glocks, plural...I've got to be one of the few people on Earth that owns both a 20 and a 29. My first was a 26, but I couldn't shoot that for shit, so I gave it to my brother. Turns out, unsurprisingly, that it wasn't the gun, but user error. Everything was going low and to the left...I just kept adjusting the sight until it was, ridiculously, all the way over to the left. My brother saw me shoot like one mag and said "You're jerking the trigger, jackass." I've always been a weirdly, naturally good shot, but somehow I picked up that habit. Once that went away, I was back to form. And, of course, once you actually start learning stuff and really practicing, it's a whole different world. But my brother also about that time got me my first Glock 10mm...and it was luuuuuuv at first shot. Now my only 9 is a Kahr K9...which, I gotta say, is a damn sweet firearm for a 9mm...

InstaGlenn: Andrew Yang Is Right: To Decarbonize, Nuclear Power Is The Way To Go

Nuclear power is reliable, safe and well understood. If you oppose nuclear power but call climate change a crisis, then you’re speaking nonsense, unless you simply want to reduce energy consumption in America to something like what’s seen in current day Venezuela, in which case you’re just speaking a different kind of nonsense.

Joel Gilbert: The Trayvon Hoax

I read the free Kindle sample of this, and immediately bought it.
If even half of what Gilbert writes is true, this is a bombshell.
   I initially went back and forth, but settled into the anti-Zimmerman camp pretty early on. But eventually I came to the conclusion that Zimmerman's account was more likely to be true than the prosecutor's account. But then there were all the crazy Zimmerman incidents. After them, I decided that they probably constituted better reason to think that Zimmerman was a lunatic than my reasonings constituted for thinking Trayvon was the attacker. So I sorta changed my mind back...but never really quite felt it. To some extent I just didn't want to be one of those people on the Zimmerman side.
   Though I've read a sketchy synopsis, so I kinda know where this is going, the only bits I've actually read thus far show--if true--that neither Zimmerman nor Martin was the person he was made out to be. According to what Gilbert reports, Zimmerman was a good guy, was Martin, really. But he'd recently gone down a very bad road. Furthermore, according to Gilbert, recent events in Zimmerman's neighborhood had been a lot worse than they were made out to be--including a daylight home invasion just a few houses away. Turns out the neighborhood is only nominally "gated." Actually, it lacks a wall along one entire side.
   So I don't know whether any of this is true, but two things are sure:
1. If it IS true, it's a bombshell.
2. If it's false, it'll be easy to refute, and will be refuted very soon.
3. If it's true, there's very little chance that significant malfeasance by the media wasn't a major factor.

Howard Kurtz: "How I Realized The NYT Kavanaugh Story Was A Train Wreck"

   For years I ridiculed the idea of "liberal" bias in academia and the media. (Actually I'd actually still ridicule that charge specifically--as I don't think either institution is liberal anymore, but, rather, illiberal leftist. But it's a spectrum, so.) Years ago, long before the left's recent lurch leftward, the truth about academia finally started to dawn on me. Then I few years back--at the time I still listened to NPR all the time--it began to dawn on my how far to the left Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and the rest leaned. I had to stop listening to them a few years back, as I'd just end up mad and stewing about it. That's a pattern with me--I want to still read and listen to whichever side I think is wrongest at any given time...but if they're too bad, it doesn't so much make me see their point of view as it does just make me madder at them. I'm not proud of that, but it's a fact. 
   Anyway. Then the bias of the media overall started to come into focus for me. Oh, sure, I long ago recognized Fox News's bias. But then the more-or-less equal and opposite bias of CNN, the NYT, and the rest started to dawn on me. Slowly, Fox started to seem almost like a welcome corrective...
   I keep saying that these things "dawned on me" because I can't think of a better locution. That's the way it happened--sometimes in jerky, rapid realizations...but more often gradually.
   Of course I'm wrong a lot, as are the vast majority of us. But I'm sure I'm not completely wrong about all this. By now we have way, way more objective evidence of pernicious bias in the "MSM" than we need.

39% Of Americans Can Name 3 Branches Of Gov't; 22% Can Name 0

Monday, September 16, 2019

C. Blasey Ford's Friend Leland Keiser Doesn't Believe Her

Whelp, that makes at least two of us.

Does The Road To Abolishing The Electoral College Run Through Texas?

Stay strong, Texas. The EC is one of the things standing between us and a dystopian progressive future.

How Black Farmers Were Robbed Of Their Land

This'll break your heart, but there's a happy ending.

A Must-Read: Katherine Kirkpatrick: "How Oregon Built A Transgender-Industrial Complex On Junk Science"

Holy shit.
   It's astonishing to me that the left--obsessed with the hermeneutics of suspicion and quick to trumpet any even imagined confounding self-interest on the part of its political opponents--is completely unconcerned with this.
   Though, honestly, I tend to avoid such "external" arguments, in part because they're so often overblown, especially by the left. Trangender ideology is a train wreck. Any rational person should be able to see that. There should be no need to rely on arguments about hidden economic motives. TI is about as plausible as, oh, say Scientology. Anyone who takes a look--and not necessarily a long look--at it has to see that it's almost entirely nonsense. (Honest question: how long do you think it'll be before you can be fired from a public university for pointing that out?) Experience seems to show that I have a slightly more finely-tuned bullshit detector than most people, fallible though it is. But my God...the radical implausibility of this stuff just hits you upside the head as soon as you hear about it. And it's so weirdly similar to the Satanic Panic! How is it that that social/cultural humiliation was purged so quickly from our collective memory? How is it that we're doing something so bizarrely similar not 30 years later? I honestly would have laughed in your face if you'd have told me about all this ten years ago. (Hell, less than ten, actually.)
   One of the most amazing things in that Federalist piece is the way in which they cooked up the 3% nonsense. The mind, it reels.
   This is why I think political correctness is the most dangerous thing in American (and Western) politics--once you begin to assiduously and systematically subordinate truth and evidence to political dogma--especially wacky, quasi-religious political dogma--things start going to hell fast.

Gilbert T. Sewall: "How Modesto Became An American Dystopia"

I'm not sure what to make of stuff like this.
It does, however, strike me as being the sort of thing progressives should at least read occasionally and think about. The mad dash to dissolve the culture and tear down...what? Social guard rails? Guide rails? Is that a thing?...comes at a price. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Climate Hysteriacs Get Carried Away

No, no, no.
You can't become so hysterical as to say that it's already too late! Jesus, did you not get the talking points? It doesn't do any good if it's too late! If it's too late, then it makes no sense to implement all the progressive programs like "free" college and "free" housing and socialism and gun control and white men suck. Jesus, even I know that much--it's always got to be ten years away. Not so far off as to allow people to actually think about it, nor not freak out, but not so soon as to make it impossible to implement the wish list. Ten years is just about right.

Respect For a d00kie: Plumb3 In The Rangers

Super cool.
I thought he'd have more success in the league, but this is waaaay cooler.

Racial Resentment As Pedagogy:

Behold, the plague of bullshit in Academia:
This weekend, more than 14,000 academics will gather in Toronto to share their research for the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference. In past years, I’ve documented the focus of AERA academics on matters that seem only obliquely connected to curriculum, instruction, and policy. It looks like more of the same this year, from the symposium on “Liberating Oppressed Ontologies and Cosmologies for Transformational Praxis” to the paper “Queer Evolution: (Re)invigorating Environmental Education through Queer Interpretations of Evolutionary Onto-Epistemological Choreography.” But this year’s conference has especially lofty ambitions. Under the title Leveraging Education Research in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence, the event’s promotional poster features a lighthouse inscribed with the words “Trust, Integrity, Methodology, and Reliability,” which looks out over a sea of “Post-Truth, Propaganda, and Fabrication.”

New Kavenaugh Allegation: Alleged Victim Has No Memory Of Alleged Incident

Well, there ya go.
I'm kinda embarrassed at having fallen for that.

Harris Calls for Kavenaugh Impeachment, Castro Calls For Investigation

Another Sexual Misconduct Allegation Against Kavenaugh

Ok, I really didn't believe C. Blasey Ford. But I didn't see a lot of reason not to believe Ramirez--and this sounds a lot like her allegation.
Also, even under the prevailing conditions, if enough such allegations stack up, it becomes less rational to doubt them.
"#MeToo" madness, however, does matter. And the left has made it clear that it's willing to use such allegations as political weapons, truth be damned. That's what it does with accusations of racism, to take the paradigm example.
I really don't want to have been wrong about this, needless to say.

Althouse On Reich's TDS: Dems Should Find "A Candidate Who Isn't Scarier Than Trump"

Well, that basically summarizes my current view.
Reich says Trump is terrifying and unstable and getting worse. Althouse responds that he actually seems to be calming down--which I hadn't thought of, but seems right to me. Then:
Reich's imaginationland is pretty weird. But I guess articles like this need to be written. There's a market for it. I wonder how big, though. Personally, I've never liked Trump (other than that I enjoy his humor and jolliness), but the Trumpophobes are worse — more "seriously, frighteningly, dangerously unstable." They'd do better to settle down and work on getting a Democratic Party candidate who isn't scarier than Trump.
Trump scares me because I'm not sure what he might do. The newly-progressive Dems scare me because I do know what they'll do. Trump scares me because of his personal attributes. The Dems scare me because they are religious zealots--or, rather, they're all running for chief prophet of a completely insane new religion. It's the religion--the idea--that's scary. Of course it's scary that they all some combination of actually believe it and are willing to pretend they do. But I'd bet that a lot of them would be ok if they were preaching to a different choir, in a different church.

Alexander William Slater: "Why Progressivism Wins"

Interesting and fairly plausible, but I haven't thought about it much.
My pet hypothesis / partial explanation is: it encourages acceptance and suppresses dissent rather as Christianity does, by running a kind of moral ad baculum: If you don't accept the view, you're evil. Failure to accept the position doesn't just make you wrong, or lead you into error. Rather, criticism and disbelief are morally wrong in themselves.
Then of course you add the ordinary ad baculum: criticize or reject progressivism and we will make your life miserable. 
Fear of being seen as evil (or, as what's currently thought to be worse: racist) and of actually being evil combine to suppress dissent and fuel acceptance. It's a powerful combination.

An Argument Against The Institutional Neutrality Of Libraries

   Such arguments seem weak to me, as do these in particular. But some of them are worth considering. I think there are unavoidable matters of degree in play, and favor erring on the side of institutional neutrality. I don't know the details of this case, so I can't say much about it. Libraries, like many other institutions, seem to have been colonized by the progressive left, and so seem to have the attendant tendencies. I'm not sure why the author thinks that closing the libraries on the day of the protest was...well, I'm not sure what she's saying, exactly. She seems to argue that libraries shouldn't be institutionally neutral about such cases, and that closing them was some sort of expression of such neutrality. It sounds as if the idea was really that the rally was going to be violent or elicit violence. In that case the question of whether to close them seems orthogonal to the neutrality question.

Progressives Don't Believe Their Own Climate Hype (The GND Alone Proves That), So Neither Should The Rest Of Us

Obviously they don't.
In fact, as I've argued for awhile now, the "Green New Deal" itself proves that--as do the admissions of its creators.
So let's figure out some rational, moderate way forward.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

In Memo Veritas

God Bless Andrew Sullivan, Again

That guy's great, as you know.
On the NYT "1619 project": It's shit.
On drag queens: Well...I have no doubt he know more than I do.
On Brexit: not unreasonable, and it's a democracy, you realize.

Beta Is A Disaster For The Gun-Control Movement

Anybody who'd seriously consider that crack-brained phony THEY'RE WRONG THAT'S WHAT.
   Over the longish run, I've been ambivalent about additional gun-control measures. I suppose my view currently is: no freaking way. Not while the left is rabid, that's for sure. If/after this dies down and some semblance of sanity returns, we can think about it. But that has to be done in light of the recognition that the left does periodically go insane, and that influential sectors of the left absolutely positively will never be satisfied until they've taken our firearms. Thanks, incidentally, to Beta for making that even clearer than it used to be.
   Also, phony is kind of a cheap insult. It gets flung at almost everybody at some time or other. The right called Obama a phony, and I think that was extreme BS. I think that guy was pretty up-front about who he is. I like him--maybe you don't--but I don't see how anyone can think he isn't pretty open about who he is. But Beta's a phony. It's just true, ergo I say it. Actually, he's so lame that it may be better that he's a phony. I'm actually not sure which would be worse: being authentically Beto, or not being, but thinking that being Beto is something worth aspiring to. Yeesh. 
   And, sure, he only said that he fantasizes about taking our ARs and AKs...but c'mon. Can we not pretend that things would stop there? Handguns kill a whoooole lot more people than MSRs. And you know how the left operates. Even if they did magically take away everyone's MSRs, they'd almost immediately argue: Hey, we took away MSRs...and handguns kill lots more That's the fundamental logic of the left: always push leftwarder.

O'Rourke Loses His Mind About Race At Dem Debate 3

   Wow that guy is an idiot.
   Kind of hard to believe that this NYT 1619 nonsense may actually have legs. But, then again...not hard at all giving what fertile ground the progressive left is for stupidity. It seems to take root and flourish there at the drop of a hat...or seed...or however you finish a thought like that.
   And racism is "endemic" to America? In which common sense of 'endemic,' one wonders?
   We used to have something called "liberalism." It wasn't perfect, but it generally wasn't batshit crazy, either. Gosh, I miss those days.
[Oh, and I almost forgot: racism is "foundational" to America. If, y'know, you date our founding from an event that had nothing to do with its actual founding... These people really do hate the U.S. Jingoism is just about equally unlovely, as goes without saying. But those aren't the only two options, as should go without saying.]

George Packer: "When The Culture War Comes For The Kids"

This is really good.

Does The New Head Of The DCCC Think Men Shouldn't Run For Office?

   The real problem isn't so much this kind of occasional stupid comment. The real problem is that these are the kinds of ideas that are currently motivating the progressive left. This particular idea--preventing or impeding male candidates from running for office--may not have quite burst out into the open yet. But no one could pretend to be particularly surprised if it did. This sort of comment may as well be a "trial balloon," even though I doubt that's how it was intended. It's certainly been discussed. And it's the kind of idea that might well grip the contemporary left by next month or next year. It could be the We're gonna take your AR-15 of 2020. Or of October 2019. God knows. And that's kind of the thing: contemporary progressivism is already gripped by innumerable flat-out insane ideas. In away, the question is just: which new ones will it add in the relatively near future? Because we absolutely know there will be more. There is no chance whatsoever that it's going to stop here; no chance of some kind of dawn of sanity on the left.
   Though also: the problem isn't so much that there is a list of particular nutty ideas that have gripped the left. The problem is that some kind of general tendency of thought has come to predominate over there, and it's largely the source of the insanity. It's not like they just went around randomly picking up a bunch of harebrained ideas. It can't be random. Something about progressive thought creates or constitutes a tendency to adopt these ideas. Whatever it is, it obviously isn't good.

Friday, September 13, 2019

So O'Rourke Is Going To Try To Take Away Our AR-15s...

My God.
I just keep thinking back to election night 2016, and think that, had someone told me that in 2.5 years, the Dems would have so completely lost their minds that Donald freakin' Trump would start to look like the lesser evil... I'd have laughed my ass off. There's just no way I would have believed it.
And yet, here we are.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dem Debate

Ok, I really just can't listen to O'Rourke.
Jesus Christ that guy is full of shit.

Transgender Converstion Therapy Linked To Psychological Distress

So why is this sort of therapy considered permissible by the cultural powers that be, but conversion therapy that aims to turn homosexuals heterosexual is out? Sexual preference has to be a lot, lot easier to change than sex...which is, after all, completely impossible to change at our current level of technology. People have been modifying their sexual preferences largely by force of willpower for, well, ever... As just about anyone who's monogamous can testify. You could try saying that their preferences don't change, they just control them. Certainly that's a lot of what happens, but not all of it. Another part of the phenomenon involves just directing your attention away from temptation, which is, basically, diminishing your own desire for sex with other people.
   Not saying that gay conversion therapy is a great idea--don't have an opinion on it, really. Though mostly I'd rather that everybody could be happy with who they are (within reason) in that way. Just saying that, as is so often the case, our cultural overseers have an inconsistent position.

[Looks like Reynolds and everyone else got this backwards; it's alleged that trying to get people to accept their sex (i.e. their biology) is what's alleged to cause the harm. Which is much less plausible--but, hey, could be.]

Joel Kotkin: "Common Sense Vs. Climate Hysteria"

Count me in:
  Common sense is really what we need. No amount of virtue-signaling by governments, celebrities, royalty or the media can make up for the fact that virtually all growth in greenhouse gases comes not from the West but from China, easily the world’s champion emitter, India and a host of poorer countries. Driving a Tesla or Prius is not going to change much, and many green-backed policies, such as in Germany and California , have done little, if anything, for the climate, but have succeeded in hurting middle- and working-class people far more than the affluent.
   Given these realities, the logical course is to focus an intelligent economically sensible transition to a lower-carbon economy while pushing for resiliency measures to deal with the possible results of higher GHG emissions. Rather than seek to turn people into insect eaters and permanent apartment dwellers, perhaps we should push for measures in the new infrastructure bill before Congress to bolster coastal defenses, underground power lines, improve dams and water systems.
   The future belongs not to the most self-righteous but the most adaptable. This is gradually taking root in the policy discussion. After years of opposition, some environmentalists now accept that poorly managed forests in states like California must be trimmed to forestall massive firestorms. Others propose more expenditure on coastal walls, dispersed power systems, desalination plants and better storage of water.
   The Netherlands provides a compelling role model here. After experiencing a massive flood in the 16th century, the Dutch embarked on a successful and extensive expansion of coastal berms to prevent future floods and bolstered their economy ever since. In contrast places that failed to address climate-related risks led to the decline of numerous cities in ancient Mesoamerica, the Indus Valley, Cambodia and, more recently, New Orleans.
   Ultimately, the climate issue can be best addressed not by fueling anxiety but by adopting a practical and economically feasible approach. Quasi-religious hysteria may provide meaning for activists, but given the global nature of the problem, we need to address it not with panic but reason, and careful consideration about consequences, something in all too short supply today.
I'm in no way inclined to ignore the threat and do nothing. But I've begun to think that AGW hysteria may be a bigger threat than AGW itself. This is kind of a pattern on the contemporary left; I think something similar about diversomania in academia.

"Genderless" Penguin To Be Raised By Same-Sex Penguin Couple At London Aquarium

None of this makes a single bit of sense. It's an embarrassment that the public mind has degenerated to a point such that this is taken seriously enough to not be laughed out of the goddamn room...but here we are.
It's all so idiotic that it's a huge mistake to dignify it with criticism...but I can't resist saying: one prominently stupid aspect of such things involves the diligent campaign by the left to confuse the sex/gender distinction. When feminism and the left benefitted tactically from sticking to the distinction, they stuck to it. Now that they've gone "trans" and, hence, benefit from confusing the distinction, they confuse it. In fact, they basically now say whatever they want to say about "gender," using the term to mean three or four different things (including just: sex)...or, just as often, to mean nothing at all. In this stupid story we get all sorts of stupid confusions, including: (a) confusing the sex/gender distinction, ergo (b) confusing sex with gender, ergo (c) ending up with the belief that penguins have gender, and (d) thinking that gender is something which is somehow real, yet also fictional--because if it comes and goes just by saying so, then it's a fiction, and (e) ending up, apparently, with the view that the penguin's sex is indeterminate...and (f) indeterminate simply because the aquarium doesn't reveal it.
Find something stupider than this--I dare you.
Yet the progressive left, our new cult/religion/superstition also continues to see itself as the faction of science.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Beta O'Rourke Thinks Living Close To Work Is A Right, Wants To Micromanage The Demographics Of Your Neighborhood

The Dems are routinely saying things that are crazier than anything Trump has ever said...but since they say it with the right demeanor, and they're on the right side (of history...), it's ok. 
O'Rourke is so full of shit I can't bear to listen to him for more than the 30 seconds it usually takes to hear a new reason to revile the guy.
Compare Trump's hurricane dipshittery with Beta's bullshittery; the latter is spewing climate totalitarianism--because a th' glob'l warmin' 'n' whatnot; progressives should get to tell you that you have to build low-income housing in your neighborhood. Oh, and also, it's a right anyway. That's blatant totalitarian stupidity...but it's consistent with progressive superstition, and fuck you and your neighborhood, bigot. People have a right to live there whether they can afford it or not. So the gub'mint gets to shoehorn them in with your tax $$. Complaining is hate speech, bigot...

28% Of Democrats Say It Should Be Illegal To Join The NRA???

Rasmussen, but still... Half that would be insane.

Trump Fires Bolton

Well praise Jesus.

Sheila Jackson Lee Introduces Restrictive Gun Legislation

A non-starter, one hopes.

Cory Booker Introduces Legislation That Requires Gun-Owners To Get A Federal License Every Five Years, Apply To Purchase Each Gun, Submit to Fingerprinting, Background Check, Etc.

I trust this has no chance of passing the Senate.

Why It's Currently Difficult For Me To Read Progressive Publications: The Nation / Naomi Klien / GND/"Eco-Fascism" Edition

Look I still do read them...but currently they usually just fan the flames of my outrage.
Naomi Klein Knows a Green New Deal Is Our Only Hope Against Climate Catastrophe    When I spoke with Naomi Klein in August, it was day 13 of Greta Thunberg’s transatlantic crossing on the Malizia II, a zero-emissions racing sailboat. Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who doesn’t fly because of the carbon impact, was making her way to Manhattan for the UN Climate Action summit. Klein’s new book, On Fire: The Burning Case for the Green New Deal, opens with a portrait of Thunberg and a discussion of the youth climate movement. For decades, Klein writes, children have been used as mere rhetorical devices in the discourse of climate change. We have been implored to act on climate change for the sake of “our children.” But, as Klein told me, it is “obvious that this has not worked to inspire decision-makers to do what was necessary.” Now, young people are no longer content to be treated as tropes. “They are speaking and striking and marching for themselves, and they are issuing the verdicts about the entire political class that has failed them.”
   The essays collected in On Fire also come together around a central verdict: that the climate crisis cannot be separated from centuries of human exploitation. Colonialism, indigenous genocide, slavery, and climate disruption all share a history. Not only did these historical processes establish the extractive industries that have led to climate change, but they established an extractive mindset, “a way of viewing both the natural world and the majority of its inhabitants as resources to use up and then discard,” Klein writes. Climate activism must fight both. We need a “shift in worldview at every level.”    For Klein, the Green New Deal represents precisely this. Formulated by climate activists and proposed by representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey, the Green New Deal offers a way to transform our infrastructure at the scale and speed required by climate change while simultaneously transforming the economic model and underlying worldview that has caused it. Detractors may call it a random laundry list of progressive initiatives, but for Klein the brilliance of the Green New Deal lies in its supposition that its initiatives—from renewable energy to universal health care—are anything but unrelated. Ecological breakdown and economic injustice are inextricably linked. The solution must be holistic. The Green New Deal offers a way both to “get clean” and to “redress the founding crimes of our nations.”
I would like to stress, as Joe Bob Briggs would say, that I am not making this up.

Tom Tomorrow: President Trump vs. An Asteroid

The NRA Is Not A Terrorist Organization

You may hate the NRA--I haven't been a regular member since our folks signed us up when we were kids, and haven't been a member at all since the Clinton administration--but it's preposterous to even suggest that it's a terrorist organization.
There are plenty of reasonable grounds on which to criticize the NRA. Why are progressives so addicted to hysteriperbole?

Head of NWS Leads Standing Ovation For Staff Who Corrected Trump Re: Dorian Hitting Alabama

Presidenting is hard.
If you're making mistakes on gimmes, you probably can't handle the hard stuff.

Are "Gender Activists" Losing?

I very much doubt it.
I can't resist saying again: one of the craziest things about all this to my mind is that there seems to be an obvious and rather conservative (not in the political sense) equality argument to be made to the effect that if women can wear dresses to work, then men can wear them, too. There are obvious counterarguments, but it's not clear that they're sufficiently strong to win out. Nothing about that equality argument requires accepting any of the extravagant and implausible arguments of transgender ideology. If the Supremes give some kind of imprimatur to TI in the upcoming Harris funeral homes case there'll be no denying that the country's gone bonkers. It's the fact that we have to worry about something like this that makes me think that we'd be better off with a too-conservative court right now.
   It's depressing, of course, that the ACLU has been hijacked by the illiberal progressive left. But that sort of thing seems to be happening all over the place.

Monday, September 09, 2019

How Ignorant Am I To Not Have Known That The Aral Sea Has Basically Disappeared?

Kinda ignorant? Normal ignorant? Super-duper ignorant?

Spencer Case: Beyond The Hypatia Affair: Philosophers Blocking The Way Of Inquiry

Case is right, yet again.
In fact, there's really no doubt that he's right. No offense to Case, but basically every even vaguely objective and rational philosopher who's thought about this stuff for more than five minutes already recognized most of his arguments long ago. But he's one of the few with the guts to articulate them in public. Arguments in support of transgender mythology, and in favor of its suppression of philosophical discussion, are embarrassingly bad. It's not as if they're subtly flawed, and are understandably fooling people. They're patently shitty, but philosophers are afraid of the left--and the feminist and quasi-feminist left in particular.
   Anyway, good on Case. The emperor hasn't a stitch of clothing on, and it's an embarrassment to philosophy that contemporary philosophers are so easily cowed. I've seen a lot of embarrassingly terrible arguments come and go in contemporary philosophy, but the arguments propping up transgender mythology take the cake.

Peter Wehner: "Trump Is Not Well"

This hits reasonably close to the mark, IMO--though it's marred by significant TDS.
It includes some of the standard canards--e.g. that Trump mocked a disabled guy's disability. That, like "All Mexicans are rapists" and Some Nazis are good people is clearly BS.
   And I have no idea whether Trump should be classified as mentally discombobulated. But he shouldn't be president. It does become difficult to distinguish extreme epistemic crapitude from mental illness. But either's sufficient to make someone unfit for the presidency.
   Of course the problem goes from bad to unsolvable when the other side has lost its mind and says patently crazy things routinely and with a straight face. The Green New Deal is bad science fiction, and if 1/3 of it were implemented, it would destroy the world. And haven't they all said they support it at this point? Our only hope is that they're lying. The blue team has so lost its mind that an overt, gibbering con man with a screw loose now counts as a viable option.
   So...I think Wehner's basically right. But let's not ignore the other half of the horrible, depressing picture.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Did Christine Blasey Ford's Laywer Say That Part Of CBF's Motivation For Her Accusation Was To Protect Roe v. Wade?

CBF was pretty obviously full of it. I happened to think, the other day, about all the Democrats running around saying that she seemed soooooo credible...when she actually seemed just the opposite. I don't really think you can glean all that much from demeanor...but hers was freaking awful. But did her lawyer recently admit that she was motivated to accuse Kavanaugh by a desire to protect Roe?
Well, what she said seems to be ambiguous, as between:
  • (a) CBF was totally telling the truth, but might not have come forward with her accusation if not for her concern about Roe
  • (b) CBF was totally making it all up, and her only motive was to protect Roe.
   Obviously (a) is the less-bizarre interpretation. Even if (b) were true, there's no way that her lawyer would say it in public. Conservatives are grasping at shadows of straws on this one.
  I mean...I do think that may have been what motivated CBF...but there's just no way that's what her lawyer was saying.

Ann Coulter: "We Don't Trust You"

When Ann Coulter--Ann Coulter--starts cleaning your clock, it's time to reassess on a fairly fundamental level. Ann Coulter for the love of God!
  Naturally, therefore, my first instinct was to assume that our shared respect for process and decency remained. But I now realize that's wrong.
   In 1994, nearly 60% of Californians voted to deny government services to illegal aliens. Proposition 187 was approved 59% to 41%, with the votes of 56% of African Americans, 57% of Asians -- and even a third of Hispanics. It won in every county of California except San Francisco. In heavily Latino Los Angeles County, Proposition 187 passed by a 12-point margin.
   Liberals said: No problem, we'll take the case to a left-wing, Carter-appointed federal judge who will overturn the will of the voters! District Court Judge Mariana Pfaelzer held that the perfectly constitutional law was "unconstitutional" and, today, California taxpayers are forced to spend billions of dollars on food, housing, education, health care and prison cells for illegal immigrants.
   In 2008, Californians voted against gay marriage. Again, this was California -- not South Carolina -- and voters decided, 52% to 48%, that "marriage" is not between a mailbox and a chimpanzee, a rhododendron and refrigerator, but only between a man and woman.
   Liberals said to themselves: No problem. We'll just find a gay district court judge to overturn the vote. This will be a piece of cake.
   They also said, Not only are we going to reverse the vote, but we will name and shame the people on the other side (except African Americans, who voted overwhelmingly for Proposition 8, much to the embarrassment of progressives). People found to have donated to the marriage initiative would be driven out of their jobs, fired from high-tech firms they founded, and chased from Mexican restaurants.
   Apparently, everyone born in the last 5,000 years, right up until June 26, 2015, was a hateful bigot.
   Since the 1980s, nearly every time Americans have been allowed to vote on illegal immigration, they've opposed it -- denying government services to illegal aliens, denying bail to illegal aliens, imposing English language requirements, allowing police to request documentation from suspected illegal aliens and on and on and on.
All of these democratically achieved results were met with rage, insults, prejudice -- and often a court overturning the vote.
   This culminated in 2016, when Americans decided to make an utterly preposterous candidate not a mayor or congressman, not even a governor, but president of the United States based on his promise to deport illegal aliens and build a wall.
   We know how that turned out. (Don't weep for Brexit voters. Britons have only been waiting three years to get what they voted for. We've been waiting decades.)
   It's not the underlying issue in any of these examples that's the problem -- it's the flouting of the democratic process. I'm not saying: We trusted you and got a bad result. I am saying: We trusted you, but you abandoned the Constitution and the law to get the result that you could not win honestly.
Specifically, her point is that we know we can't trust them with respect to firearms. And we know this because we know we can't trust them generally. Sad to say, I'm not at all sure she's wrong.

Antifa Calls Daryl Davis A White Supremacist

The better angels of my nature--such as they are--rebel against this thought...but, really: antifa needs a big, fat punch in the big, fat mouth. Needless to say, I recognize that they have the same right to free speech that sane and rational people have...because that's one difference between me and them. But's tempting...
   Daryl Davis is a certified hero of mine, as I've mentioned here and there. Because the Klan is another group that triggers my punch reflex--but not Davis's. Or at least he's good at controlling it. Dude deserves mad respect. He's genuinely making he world a better place, by pulling actual white supremacy (not the made-up stuff) up by the roots. And fuck "Anti"fa totalitarians if they can't see that--as, of course, they can't. Because they're psychotic morons.
   Maybe this will help people see that the Klan and antifa are on the same side in the most important ways--the side of antiliberal authoritarian/totalitarianism. They're in agreement in the important ways--they're really just quibbling over details.
   [Oh: and don't miss that the "anti"-fascists were there to protest an event called "Ending Racism." That's just perfect.]

Do Trump Rallies Increas "Hate Crimes"? And By 226%???

You don't have to do any science to recognize that the answer is no...but somebody did, anyway.
I say again: with all there is to criticize about the real Trump...why does the left insist on this sort of nonsense? I guess the answer is: generalized hysteria...the same sort of delusional dogmatism that leads them to think that slavery is the sine qua non of American history, that we live in a "rape culture," and that there are white supremacists behind every bush.
I swear to God we used to have actual liberals, and they were not insane.
[via Instapundit]

"Straight Pride" Parade Is TEH WHITE SUPREMASY!!!!

Because, of course, everything is.
   A "straight pride" parade is silly. (Though so's a gay pride parade, actually...) The group that organized the thing is called Super Happy Fun America. And Milo was the grand marshal. Look, that's just funny, I don't care how you look at it. Antifa, the totalitarian Marxist-anarchist gang, showed up and physically attacked people. Because that's who and what they are. AOC is raising money to defend them...because she, too, is against the First Amendment.
   Behold, the contemporary progressive left. There's just no way to pretend this is the fringe anymore.
   Of course the thing had nothing to do with "white supremacy." That's just the new automatic screech that leftists emit when others don't do as they demand. Look, call it "homophobic" if you least here some minimal case to be made for such a charge. But "white supremacist"...that's just laughably stupid.
   And: funny how only actual white supremacists were white supremacists five years ago...but now everything is. What's more likely? That suddenly everything transformed into white supremacy? Or that a stupid terminological fad has swept through the intellectual and moral desert of the extremist left...which we already know to be addicted to linguistic fads? I suppose you could say: everything's always been white supremacy! But the crazy left just noticed! If you were completely delusional you could say that, anyway...
   First everything was racism. Now everything is white supremacy. It obviously won't stop there, because the left is addicted to this kind of terminological foolishness. As I've asked before: what next? Everything is slavery? I don't see why not. The paleo-PCs were actually a bit more radical in this respect--they used to say that everything they were against was "(a kind of) genocide" or "(a kind of) rape." Maybe the NPCs will take up that quirk again.