Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Peter Boghossian: Idea Laundering In Academia

God bless Boghossian.
   I've been saying similar things, but I never quite thought of it on analogy to money laundering. That's Brett Weinstein's analogy, apparently--and a pretty good one, I say. (Here's the full text if you can't access the WSJ.)
   One thing I've been saying--and this is less clever and less effective: the humanities and humanities-adjacent social sciences simply don't produce knowledge of the relevant sort. Women's and gender studies is/are the paradigm example(s). They employ a literary/interpretive method, and, to some extent, a historical one. Such disciplines can make historical discoveries. But they don't make science-like discoveries. So while they assert that woman is a social--and not a biological--kind...in fact they insist on it...they do not--and, given their methods, probably cannot--prove it. Even philosophy--which, for all its failings, is something like an order of magnitude less ridiculous than women's studies--basically never proves anything. That is: nothing non-historical outside the realm of formal logic. I doubt that we're doing nothing at all...but we don't typically (or ever?) acquire knowledge of a non-historical, non-logical kind. The arguments for the proposition that woman is a social kind are preposterously weak. Embarrassing, really. (That's one thing philosophers are often reasonably good at--shooting down crap arguments from nearby disciplines.) Pretending that women's studies (etc.) produces knowledge or something like it--something that could plausibly be the basis for public policy changes--is something like a category mistake. It's kind of like thinking that literary criticism of "The New Colossus" could form the foundation for overhauling our immigration system.
   But anyway, the "idea laundering" idea gets at something else as well--that the left bootstraps its way up from activism to pseudoscience. Begin in the '80s by establishing the "x studies" departments, e.g. women's. Women's studies is, of course, really feminist studies. And that's to say: it's a political, activist department. That is: it's not an academic discipline. But, once ensconced, it starts producing pseudo-scholarship--writing with a scholarly veneer that actually has political ends. Activists can then cite the "scholarship," and the circle is closed. Basically, grievance studies fields provide an academic ventriloquist's dummy that will say whatever activists want it to. Imagine him sitting on their knee in his little regalia, spewing nonsense words like "phallogocentrism" and "social construct."
   So, anyway: 'idea laundering' is pretty much right on the money.
   Oh and: it's not just grievance studies. This literary/political method/approach has spread to almost every discipline that you can do without too much math. You'll find such "scholars" in philosophy, history, poli sci, sociology, anthropology, literary criticism...foreign language is now apparently full of it...as is education (an academic slum already)… Sadly, it sometimes seems like the rule rather than the exception.

"Elizabeth Warren's Best Quality Might Be Her Hatred Of Norms"

I can't believe that this is the sort of thing now produced by blue-team boosters.
"Big, structural change" and "hatred of norms."
Either of those should send a rational voter screaming into the night.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Walls Don't Work / Walls Are Immoral

It's one or the other, dipshits.

Facts Are Politically Incorrect: Twitter Says "Trans" Facts Are Politically Incorrect Edition

Liberalism, when we had it, was pro-facts.
Now it's gone, and regressive progressivism rules the culture.
Andy Ngo gets in hot water for tweeting hatefacts.

Political Corretness / Progressivism / Orwellian Leftism Entails Relativism...Or *Some* Kind Of Radical Non-Realism

Man, I sure do hate being right all the time.
   Identity politics decreed that we all get to declare our sex-or-gender* and make it so by fiat. But as lots of people pointed out right away: there's no rational way to limit such a decree to sex-or-gender. If it goes for sex-or-gender, then it goes for race...and Rachel Dolezal, in fact, arrived on the scene right on the heels of Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner. Rational people immediately said: whelp, if you're down with Jenner, then you've got to be down with Dolezal. The progressive left responded: THAT'S DIFFERENT AND IF YOU EVEN SUGGEST THAT IT'S THE SAME YOU ARE A RACIST RACIST!!!!111OOOONNNNEEEEOOOONNNNEEEEOOOONNNNEEEEE
   Rebecca Tuvel made the mistake of pointing out, in print, that the same principles that countenance Jenner's sex-or-gender "transition" countenance Dolezal's racial "transition." The NPCs that control online philosophy discussions nearly got the journal to retract her paper (and basically everyone affiliated with the journal, Hypatia, ended up quitting...though I can't recall whether that was because they were pro- or anti-free-inquiry...). They also inflicted significant psychological stress on her, and could very well have ruined her career. 
   At any rate, it's as clear as it could be that, if you get to declare whatever you like about your sex-or-gender, then you get to declare whatever you like about your race...and any other personal characteristic you'd like: height, weight, age, degree of attractiveness, IQ...you name it. And there's simply no reason whatsoever to limit that to properties of oneself--your height is no less a factual matter than someone else's height. Nor than whether there are trees in Arkansas or how many moons the Earth has. As is so often the case, the progressive orthodoxy is unsane and unstable. I f not artificially limited to the things they want to limit it to, it collapses immediately into absurdity. If so limited, it so collapses a bit more slowly, because it's a bit less obviously daft.
   Since PC is largely an impressionistic game of fashions, whether the UCU is reactionary or visionary can only be determined by whether their declaration catches on. Though, of course, next month's visionary is next year's reactionary. They are definitely in line with the logical implications of transgender ideology...but the Orwellian left doesn't care about that at all. Consistency is the hobgoblin of Westernwhitestraightmale minds. In fact, transgender ideology and much of the rest of Orwellian leftism survives only because it keeps a fairly tight reign on what thoughts are thinkable by its adherents and subjects, and which are discussable. If the relativistic / nonrealistic implications of the view were widely acknowledged, that'd be the end of it. It is absolutely no accident whatsoever that the illiberal left is firmly dedicated to speech-and-thought control. That's such a high-risk, resource-intensive project that no political faction that doesn't need it is going to invest in it. Implications want to be free. Totalitarian thought-police want them contained.

*They're radically confused about that distinction, so they're radically confused about what they're tyring to say dependson our declarations. Or, rather: they're strategically unclear about what they're saying. The ambiguity/vagueness/indeterminacy is largely intentional. Neither sex nor gender (in anything like the formerly-feminist sense) will do. Sex manifestly cannot be changed by thinking or saying--that's empirically provable. If you think you've found someone who can change their sex by thinking or saying it's different, by all means, send them to science. It'll be one of the most amazing discoveries of all time. If 'gender' means masculinity/femininity, then, since those are behavioral things, they can largely be changed by acting differently--even if it's a put-on. You can, with some effort, act more masculine or more feminine. People do it all the time. It's one of the main things feminists used to criticize. You can change your gender--but not by merely saying or thinking. The only things that can be brought into existence and given their properties entirely by saying or thinking are fictions. Bigfoot's reality is entirely dependent upon saying and thinking. To make gender entirely dependent on saying or thinking, it, too, must be a fiction...

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Notorious RBG Back In The Hospital

Here's wishing the very best for her.
It's basically impossible for me to believe I'm typing this, but: I do wish she'd retire. A conservative court could be one of the few things standing between us and total disaster.

Gun Confiscation: Done Been Tried That One Time...

The Orwellian Left Loves Violence And Hates Free Speech: Coulter/Berkeley Edition


John Soloman Contra Lt. Col. Vindman

The Hill has announced that it will review future Soloman columns.
Here's what PolitiFact says about him...should you still care what PolitiFact says.
Here's what Soloman himself says.

Peter Nicholas: The Most Laughably Charitable Take On The Steele Dossier And Fusion GPS You're Ever Likely To Read

Just wow:
  Some important assertions in the dossier remain unconfirmed. No pee tape has surfaced, nor is there any evidence that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague during the 2016 campaign to meet with Kremlin officials and discuss payments to hackers, as the dossier alleged. Fiona Hill, who served on the National Security Council and is the author of a book about Russian President Vladimir Putin, testified in a recent closed-door impeachment hearing that the dossier was a “rabbit hole.” She said it’s possible that Steele might have been “played” and fed “misinformation” by Russian sources. Hill, who left the NSC in July, is scheduled to publicly testify in an impeachment hearing today.
   Still, Simpson and Fritsch argue that the report was accurate in its warnings about Trump’s conduct and Russia’s willingness to undermine Western democracies....
"Some" important assertions in the dossier "remain unconfirmed"...like the utterly f*cking loony pee tape allegation. It "remains," you see, "unconfirmed." Also all the other important bits. They, too, "remain"...and here one feels as if they were straining not to include 'thus far'..."unconfirmed"...
   But, y'know, they got some stuff right about "Trump's conduct"... Like...for example...what? A vaguer claim could hardly be claimed. Also something no one ever doubted: "Russia's willingness to undermine Western democracies." [my emphasis]
   My God. It just will not die. Progressives just will not give it up.
   They live in a web of myths and fantasies. By comparison, Trump--Donald Trump--is an icy-eyed realist.

Aaron Mate: Killer Post On The Sondland Testimony--"Impeachment Non-Bombshell"

Dunno about the "endangering Dems in 2020" bit...but what he says is exactly along the lines of what I've been thinking--which is, again, to some extent based on the better conservative analysis I've read: this is basically Russiagate 2.0:
   When questioning began, Sondland made clear that Trump never told him that the military funding was contingent on investigations. In fact, he said that Trump never mentioned that military funding at all. The idea that it was conditioned on the investigations did not come from Trump, but, as Sondland explained, from his own interpretation “in the absence of any credible explanation” for why the money had been frozen.
   Asked by Representative Adam Schiff whether “the military assistance was also being withheld pending Zelensky announcing these investigations,” Sondland replied: “That was my presumption. My personal presumption based on the facts at the time. Nothing was moving.” He then told Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman the same thing: “President Trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the meetings. The only thing we got directly from [Rudy] Guiliani was that the Burisma and 2016 elections were conditioned on the White House meeting. The aid was my own personal, you know, guess.” And yet again: “Nobody told me directly that the aid was tied to anything. I was presuming it was.”
None of it sounds good...but it's easy to make something sound bad on the basis of hypotheses predicated on blue-time-friendly views of Trump. Honestly, it all sounds like what I heard in the media and among my cohort about Russiagate: it's all so obvious...here's what one would hypothesize based on my hatred of Trump and unreasonably low opinion of him...and so on. OTOH, I semi-share those views of Trump, and my gut says I shouldn't put any such thing past the guy.
   OTOOH: even if he's a bad guy, is he really incompetent enough to risk something like this to nuke a guy who may not even be the nominee, and who seems to be doing a pretty good job of nuking himself? I'm willing to believe Trump is awful...but is he really that devoid of tactical cunning? Not even cunning...but...something even less sophisticated than that?
   I dunno, man. I am not ruling this all out, but I'm also not buying it yet. It just seems like it's the same basic shit over and over again with the blue team these days--and I don't even mean that Ukrainegate is Russiagate part whatever-two-is-in-Rooskie. I mean: everything is racism...over and over and over again...even when it obviously isn't, even when it's clearly refuted. Hate crime hoaxes...over and over and over again...even when it's an obvious hoax...even when it's clearly proven to be. Argument by redefinition of words...over and over and over again...no matter how loony... Maybe this is just too broad a conception of similarity. Even on a narrower conception: it's enough that it's always Trump must be impeached...over and over and over again. I was on that side for the first year-or-so of this administration. Now it all just seems pretty transparently kooky to me most of the time.

Where To Go For Objective Analysis About The Trump/Dems Political War?

I'm kinda at a loss. I trust Jonathan Turley. Also, Reason doesn't like either side, so they can be pretty good...though it's not really their kind of thing. In particular, I trust the Volokh conspirators...but they're a microcosm of Reason...it's not their thing. There's some good stuff at The Hill, IMO. I do find good stuff at Legal Insurrection...but they're obviously not vaguely neutral. Aaron Mate at The Nation did about the best Russiagate reporting and analysis that I know of--so props to The Nation for that, whatever I might think about their other stuff. I tend to think that I can sift better stuff out of the right-wing media than the left-wing media currently...but there's some of my own bias in there driving that judgment, undoubtedly. OTOH, objective data shows that the left has radicalized--and IMO radicalization is nearly equivalent to a loss of objectivity. So I guess there's that.
I dunno, man. I'm kinda at a loss.

Redstate Says Basically What I Said About The Horowitz Report

They said it first, but I just now read it.
   To be clear: I've got no interest in spinning this. The report finds what it finds, and, barring really obvious errors or cheating, we should accept its conclusions. But I guess I do think that it's obvious what our concerns should be at this point--and the fact that we arrived at these conclusions independently says at least something. It's a given that the MSM will spin everything in the blue team's favor. And that they're very likely to try to "get out in front of the story" and "frame" it in a blue-team-friendly way. That really can't be denied. But that also could be an accurate way of representing it. There's always been some skepticism on the right about Horowitz--and much more faith in Durham's honesty and objectivity. But I don't know enough to have an opinion about it. In the absence of any particular reason to doubt Horowitz, I presume he's trustworthy.
   Of course we should all breathe a massive sigh of relief if there's no widespread, egregious "deep state" shenanigans. I certainly will. But the fact that the blue-team media predicts it isn't much reason to believe it.

Horowitz Investigation Expected To Find That Genesis Of Crossfire Hurricane Was Defensible

Another nauseatingly blue-biased story (red team concerns about the origins of the probe were concerns about a "conspiracy"...a theory about a conspiracy, I suppose one might say... ). But I hope it's right, of course.
   As I've been saying: if the red team is right about this, too...this, the most extreme and unlikely of their suspicions...on top of everything else they've been right about with respect to Russiagate etc....it would be game, set, match, tournament and whatever comes after tournament. If they're wrong, this is kinda like they're less nutty, less-obviously-insane, mini-Russiagate. The "deep-state coup" theory has always been pretty damn unlikely--not as unlikely as the Trump-the-Roosky-spy theory--but still pretty nutty.
   So, if Horowitz has, indeed, found that Crossfire Hurricane was not prompted by an intentionally-misused Steele Dossier, some small degree of balance will be returned to the Force. Though...I don't think the Post ever actually said that was the finding... The Steele Dossier could have been misused, but there still could have been an evidentially sufficient predicate for the investigation.
   Anyway, to be clear, if this story is accurate, it would seem to undermine the craziest extension of the origin-of-Russiagate theories--to wit, that this would all lead back to Obama. I've never thought that was vaguely plausible, as probably goes without saying.

WaPo/Biden: Invesgigating Burisma = "Going After Biden's Son"

Remember when the Washington Post was a great newspaper?
Was I just wrong about that, too?
Imagine if it were Trump's son getting $50k/month for doing something for which he was unqualified. Imagine how different those headlines would be.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Adam Serwer on Stephen Miller's Alleged White Nationalism

Not very good.
   Lots of allegations, almost no quotes at all. Repeats some lies and might-as-well-be lies about Trump. As for outright lies, there's "Trump wouldn't rent to black people." Tantamount to a lie is the suggestion that advocating the death penalty for the young men involved in the Central Park jogger rape/assault/attempted murder was racist. (Lurking behind that lie is the lie that they were just innocent kids.)
   Serwer is a hack, of course, and the case he makes against Miller is laughably weak. That Miller has a partially-Jewish background doesn't even slow him down--he dismisses it as evidence against his thesis in one sentence.
   Maybe there's a case to be made against Miller. But Serwer doesn't make it.

"Frankenstein Hack Job": Regretting "Sex Change"

Of course changing someone's sex is impossible. Though now they've built some newspeak into the name of the procedure. Last I heard it was now called "gender reassignment" or "gender affirmation." Both are, of course, misnomers. The most accurate term would be something like "simulated sex-change."

Public Schools: PC Indoctrination

Turning Progressives Into Trump Voters

This is, of course, basically where I am now...except I've never been a "progressive"...and I'm not a Christian. But, y'know, except for those things...

Fiona Hill

Whelp, I don't know what to make of this.
I feel a little disoriented reading it, actually.
I'm blurring her into the blue team, I suppose...and I know I've said this too many times, but: it's kinda freaking me out that people keep saying (or suggesting) that it's Trump and the right that are nutty and addled by conspiracy theories and otherwise disconnected from the truth. I mean...Russiagate is/was a gigantic conspiracy theory that consumed the left for three freaking years...and it was conclusively disproven...and they still haven't quite shaken it. There's significant reason to believe that they're still overblowing Russian "interference"...which wasn't so much interference in our election as in some political advertising.
   In fact, this Post article seems about par for the course: deeply immersed in a partisan view of the facts...while decrying such things...with the suggestion that it's a problem exclusive to the red team.
  But I don't even know anymore, man.

Sondland: Advantage, Blue Team?

There's way more than reasonable doubt about his story, but this seems to have turned into a somethingburger.
   I have to say, it sounds pretty implausible to me that everybody would be in on such an obviously wrong (and illegal?) caper...and that they'd risk so much to "get" such a weak, precariously-placed frontrunner. When said frontrunner is 77 and his health seems dicey. And his own Ukraine troubles may come to light on their own.
   Anyway...seems like we've mostly got Sondland's reports of his own inferences at this point. Given the anti-Trump hysteria loose in the land, I'm kinda skeptical. The front page of the WaPo every morning looks about a half-notch away from declaring Trump to have been proven guilty...but the facts never quite support their prima facie message/attitude.
   I'm too busy to pay close attention to what's going on, and I stopped paying for the Post on principle, so now my access to it is less convenient. So I really just can't tell what's happening. I get the sense that Trump's being railroaded by the Dems and the media, but it also seems that more than a few pieces of an at-least-plausible picture are on the table. Seems an awful lot like Russiagate thus far--long on accusations and Orange Man Bad, short on proof.
   I don't see any alternative to wait and see.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Taffy Holden, The Accidental Lighting Pilot

Leftist Political Violence: Berkeley/Coulter Edition

Buttigieg May Not Be Crazy

I kinda like that guy. I have kinda averted my eyes from his positions because what little I know about them makes him seem like, in fact, just another loony far-left new new Dem. But, just as a dude, he seems pretty solid to me.

"Born This Way" Transgender Ideology Is Already On The Way Out

Actually, I think this dude has a somewhat interesting point or two. Being a man still entails being male, as being a woman entails being female. So, y'know, whatever it is he's talking about, it's not being a woman per se...though he might very well be accurately describing some characteristic (or at least common) experiences of being a woman. Sound more than merely consistent with things I've heard actual women say.
   But the most important thing is that the "born in the wrong body" theory/story/"narrative"...to which we are all expected to make obeisance...is far from the only theory of this stuff. In fact, it's basically the least plausible theory one could realistically dream up. It's not even accepted by all transgenders. And there are accounts other than Chu's. of course.
   Again: the creepiest, most worrisome thing about this whole transgender thing is how easily leftish Americans bent the knee to an obviously insane, but politically correct, falsehood.

Yet Another "Hate Crime" Hoax: Syracuse Edition

Yeah, my attitude is the same as Reynolds's: the prior probability that this sort of thing is a hoax is extremely high. As the right likes to point out: the demand for "hate crimes" exceeds the supply. So it's a seller's market. Progressivism is built on a web of conspiracy theories and other fables and fictions. Finding actual instances of "white supremacism" is kinda like glimpsing the work of the devil--just assume there's likely a better explanation. And hoaxcraft ought to be the first thing you think of.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sondland "Blows Up In Republicans' Faces"

Didn't see it, but sounds pretty bad for the red team.

Snowflakes Whine About Obama's Criticism Of The Left

Somebody's fee-fees have been boo-booed...
If you thought Obama was a good president, then you basically can't think that contemporary progressivism constitutes a reasonable option.

Sondland: There Was Quid Pro Quo

Sound like a pretty plausible story to me...though the discrepancies are, obviously, grounds for doubt. 

NYT "Cancel Culture" Parody Video

   First, the terms 'cancel' (used in the relevant way) and 'cancel culture' are stupid and annoying. I mean, the terminological annoyance is nothing compared to the lunacy of the relevant phenomenon. But still.
   Anyway. This kind of nutty PC dogpiling, the "social media" version of the two minute hate, is psycho, of course. Like the rest of the PC package. But damn, that video just isn't funny. It's forced and artless, as if the NYT decided that it was obligated to do something to criticize the totalitarian left while that's still permissible...and it came up with this. The video equivalent of "Political correctness, amirite?"
   Extremist crazies just aren't funny. I mean...they're funny in that they're large, slow targets of ridicule. But they aren't any good at producing their own intentional humor. The PCs are no better at it than the Moral Majority was. In the Great Chain of Humor, the PCs lie somewhere between the Khmer Rouge and the NRC. Which is probably why the left can't meme, incidentally. Which I used to think was just a funny insult...but it turns out to be actually true. There's no better illustration of all these points than Warren's cringetastick "meme team." Yeesh. Damn. Even if you loathe these guys, that's painful.
   I actually think this is more than an incidental point. There's something weirdly important and instructive about humor. The humorlessness is itself humorous, and humor often tells us something--or points (and laughs) at something we can't quite articulate.
   Anyway, I should give the NYT props for trying, and I do. 'A' for effort. I'm glad to see some indication that the facts are becoming less easy for them to ignore.
[Note: I couldn't actually finish watching the thing. Maybe it gets funny in the second half.]

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Blasey Ford Nominated For UNC Distinguished Alumna Award

One of the biggest problems with progressives is that they have broken bullshit-detectors.

RIP ACLU: Blasey Ford Gets Their "Courage Award"

To be fair, there is, of course, a small chance that she was telling the truth.

Trump Lowers Refugee Cap

I'm inclined to be against this, though I'd need to learn more about it.
   Part of my reason for opposing mass economic illegal immigration is that, were we to get it under control, we could consider taking in more political refugees. Many such programs are plagued by fraud, and progressives basically try to max out every such program while loosening up the restrictions. So maybe that's what the administration is reacting to. But, overall, I tend to be in favor of erring on the side of helping out political refugees. Historically, we've taken in a ton. I'm absolutely open to arguments for cutting back, but I haven't heard any. 100,000/year is a helluva lot, though.
   Anyway, I'd like to hear the arguments. I doubt that we'll get the straight dope from the MSM, but eventually a rationale should emerge. I'm particularly skeptical about cutting down on refugees who helped us out in Iraq.


Why yes, I am ashamed to have posted this.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Hong Kong Protesters' "Little Stonehenges" Impede Police Cars

You gotta love those guys.
(via Insta-Glenn)

Stacey Abrams: "The Electoral College Is Racist"

Because everything is, so...
Not content to re-engineer the country's demographics in order to assure a permanent Democratic majority, they also want to make sure that retrograde flyovers like ND, SD, WY and AL can be completely ignored from now on.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The PC Cult Controls Ed Schools, Administrations, and Your Kids' Education

Your kids are being indoctrinated by the moral and intellectual equivalent of Scientology.
Maybe complaisance isn't the very best orientation you can come up with under such conditions.

Matt Welch: Democrats Are Conjuring Up New 'Rights'

The First, Second, and Fifth Amendments are, needless to say, anachronistic and need to go. You have no right to freedom of thought, let alone speech, let way alone self-defense, bigot.
But you apparently do have a right to change your physical characteristics merely by saying so, to "free" college, to live in somebody else's neighborhood whether you can afford it or not, and...to live close to work? Seriously? Where do they come up with this shit? There's really not much further to go, and they show no sign of slowing down. Soon enough they may discover a right for other people to live in your house. Which...blows right past the Third Amendment, actually. Loopy tyrannical government: it's not just for quartering soldiers in your digs anymore...
I swear to God the Democrats did not used to be insane.
Why is everybody acting like this is normal?
We are way, way, way beyond $%&@ing normal. At some point even progressives are going to have to acknowledge the giant jackass in the room. And I don't mean Trump. Different jackass completely.

Sully Is On-Target, As Per Usual

Honestly, how much crazier can progressivism get?
Unfortunately, I predict: probably significantly crazier.
When even the more independent-minded people I know are willing to mumble and hand-wave and talk themselves into basically ignoring stuff like this...well...that is not what you'd call a good sign.
Trump 2020 might slap some sense into them...or it might just make them crazier. God knows.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

"Transgender" Mythologists Flip Out At Hillary

She didn't genuflect at their alter, so they lost their shit.
   It annoyed me that she used that ridiculous "life experience" line. "Life experience" has nothing to do with whether you are a woman or not. If it did, then e.g. Wonder Woman wouldn't be a woman. And, as I've pointed out many times, if you try to build experiences of discrimination (or "oppression") into the essence of womanhood, it means that feminism is trying to rid the world of women. Which isn't the crux of the problem, it's just a consequence of it.
   This stuff is completely batty and everyone who isn't brainwashed by the left knows it. Perhaps some men feel like women--it seems possible (though it's unlikely to be widespread). But feeling like x doesn't make you x. How is it that things like this even have to be said? When did things become so unhinged that it has become necessary--not to mention impermissible--to note that thinking doesn't make things so?

Rabid Anti-Barr Stuff

Wow, this is just nuts.
They seem to be spazzing out about the whole thing. Some of it I don't understand, but some is really obvious. E.g. this is one of the passages to which they object:
Unfortunately through the past few years we have seen these conflicts take on an entirely new character. Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch and his administration. The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law.
But Barr is right on the money there, and I'd think you'd have to be pretty far gone not to see that. What the hell is even the objection? The unitary executive stuff may be wrong, but it's hardly some nutty theory out of left field--so far as I can tell, anyway.
   Progressivism has totally lost it. They seem to think they get to get rid of anybody they want to just by screeching impeachment!
   Also, I have to say, it's pretty amusing to hear progressives accusing the Federalist Society of being "radical." They're too far right for me. But, again, at least they're still engaged in the same basic project, unlike the contemporary left.

Obama Warns Dems About Their Extremism

Help us, Obi-Wan Obama, you're our only hope.

Barr's Comments To The Federalist Society

Historically, of course, I haven't been to wild about the Federalist Society...but since the radicalization of the Dems, they look like saviors now. I've also never been naturally inclined toward a more powerful executive...but I don't know enough about it to deserve an opinion. Barr's comments are extremely interesting...but see previous comment. He's certainly right about the contemporary left, though.
   Apparently progressives were up to some of their antics outside, dressing up like their favorite teevee shows, giving out bitchy "menu"s, and playing Christine Blasey Ford's testimony on a jumbotron...which I guess means they can watch it more than once and still believe it...which...freaky...
   I might not agree with the Federalist Society about a lot, but at least we're still playing the same game, living in the same world, working for the same general ends. They may be wrong, but at least they're not nuts. Sad days when that's something to be grateful for, but here we are.

Pr0n: Either (a) Evil or (b) Noble

Once again the loony left somehow manages to make the loony right seem basically reasonable by comparison.

Benghazi Benghazi BENGHAZI11111111

Man, the right just cannot unflip its shit about Benghazi. They are still riding that horse.
Also, apparently Benghazi (had it gone down as the right thinks it did) would make any lesser alleged mistreatment of an ambassador inconsequential. Not that I think that either of the ambassadors in question was mistreated by the administration, since I don't think Stevens's death was the administration's fault.
Also, is Trump suggesting that Yovanovich is responsible for things being shit in Somalia and kinda shit at least in Ukraine? What am I saying? Of course he is. How long have things been shit in Somalia, anyway? Forever, I guess. But maybe not.

Peter Boghossian: "Welcome To Culture War 2.0"

Obviously I'm in the vicinity of Boghossian on this stuff.
   There are details with which I'd quibble, though I'm not sure he's wrong. Does the progressive left--the NPCs / SJWs / illiberal left...whatever we call them--reject the correspondence theory of truth? Well, they sort of reject realism, and the relationship between realism and CTT is tight enough to make his way of putting it reasonable. Not sure disagreement on that score wouldn't be quibbling. 
   I hesitate to identify the other side mainly with "intersectionality." Intersectionality seems to me to constitute a rather minor plank in their platform. And it's a plank that doesn't fit very tightly into the platform. There's no doubt in my mind that they themselves will jettison it at some point. In five or ten years the wokest among them will proclaim that this or that pet oppression is first among equals; it will become chic to say that feminism is fundamental, or that racism is the foremost of all the -isms, and intersectionality will become passe. When your view makes no sense, it's all about the fads and fashions. And really: there's absolutely no reason to think that someone who's concerned about racial discrimination should pretend that being overweight is just as tough as being black, nor that you can't address race without addressing weight. Anyway, there's no good name for the crazy left--I myself prefer 'neo-PC' (which also has the advantage of being abbreviated NPC). But that's a barely-consequential terminological matter.
   As for Boghossian's more substantive point: I absolutely agree and have said so many times, for a long time, and I've believed it since the paleo-PC outburst of the late '80s: the PC left is less-liberal than most of the American right. The American right, including the religious right, doesn't reject liberalism broadly construed, and doesn't reject realism nor reason. Political correctness and the anti-liberal left are extremely radical. Their philosophical views are cracked, and their political views are on a fairly short and direct road to tyranny/totalitarianism. Which is why it drives me crazy that liberals flock to the PC left whenever it rises (awakes?) from its grave to...I dunno, stalk the land and feed on the flesh of the living or whatever. I'm not interested in making this into a working metaphor.
   Anyway, the point is: those guys are really, really crazy.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Scott Jennings: "Day 1 Of The Impeachment Hearings Was A Lost Day For The Democrats"

The opposing teams are seeing all this very, very differently.

Politicizing Medicine and Psychiatry: Commuinism and Transgender Ideology

The first error: accepting patent falsehoods as truths (or pretending to do so...or half-doing so...)
The second error: dogmatically refusing to honestly question those beliefs.
The third error: institutionalizing your dogmatism by trying to stop others from questioning them.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

NPR Soft-Peddles Aztec Human Sacrifice

Because, y'know: non-Western indigenous culture 'n' stuff...
Using pronouns correctly: the moral equivalent of genocide. Actual genocide: not for us to judge about, really...

Transgendered Athletes Joined Her High School Track [Team]

Not actually her team, it seems. Rather, they began competing in her events--and, of course, they can't be beat...because they are dudes.
Notice how we went from "transgender women" to "transgender females" which is, if anything, even more patently false than the first thing.

Boy, it's really weird that institutionalizing patent falsehoods, dogmatically insisting that they're true, and deploying unhinged social pressures to semi-criminalize dissent would lead to bad consequences.

Is Trump Catching On With Suburban Women?

Could be.
But presumably what matters most is that the Dems collectively are kicking his ass with that demographic group. How much of Buttigieg's support is going to go to Trump when he drops out? I'd guess it'll basically all go to whoever the blue team's front-man ultimately turns out to be.

Hanson on the Orwellian Jacobins

Victor Davis Hanson, one of many dudes I used to deride, at American Greatness, one of many publications I used to deride:
  We are also well beyond even the stark choices of 1972 and 1984 that remained within the parameters of the two parties. In contrast, the Democratic Party as we have known it, is extinct for now. It has been replaced since 2016 by a radical progressive revolutionary movement that serves as a touchstone for a variety of auxiliary extremist causes, agendas, and cliques—almost all of them radically leftwing and nihilistic, and largely without majority popular support.
   When Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a number of Democratic presidential candidates sympathize with the New York subway jumpers who openly threaten the police, then what or who exactly is the alternative to such chaos?
   When the media proves 90 percent partisan according to its own liberal watchdog institutions, or reports things as true that cannot be true but “should” be true, what are the forces behind that?
   When the violence of Antifa is quietly—or sometimes loudly—condoned, who are those who empower it and excuse it?
   If a late-term abortion results in a live baby exiting the birth canal only to be liquidated, who exactly would say that is amoral?
   If the leading Democratic presidential candidates openly embrace the Green New Deal, reparations, abolishing the Electoral College, welfare for illegal aliens, open borders, amnesties, wealth taxes, a 70-90 percent income tax code, Medicare for all, and legal infanticide—what is the alternative vision and who stands between all that and a targeted traditional America? [my emphasis in bold]
Someday, I expect them to get back between the ditches. But as for now, they're a crazy, hard-left, Orwellian, antirational cult that advocates policies that will wreck the nation. You've gotta be absolutely batshit crazy to make Donald Trump, narcissist and reality-show con man, into the least catastrophic of the available options.
   Davis nails the terminology: they're Orwellian Jacobins.

Right And Left Live In Different Worlds: Impeachment Edition

On the left, as always, the walls are closing in...
On the right, it's a laughable cringefest of a show trial that's already basically failed, and will probably throw 2020 to Trump.
Honestly, the annoying "different worlds" locution really is apt here. As I think it's become in general.

Realistic Idealism

For the record, I haven't given up most of my central ideals. But I've come to see the contemporary left as even more opposed to them than the right. For example, I think democracy needs reasonably open, honest, and rational public discussions of policy-relevant issues. I think the liberals, when we had them, were less inclined to lie and distort the issues than the right--especially when the religious right was ascendant. But I think that the vanguard of the contemporary left includes an influential intellectual sector that rejects both truth and rationality as Western, male, white, etc. And I think that contemporary progressives live in a web of fantasies and myths (as I often say). The center and center-right is where, IMO, rational discussion and open inquiry is happening currently. It hasn't always been that way. It won't always be that way. But if you think that the left is somehow, magically, always right and always rational and always best...well, that's delusional. There's absolutely no reason to believe that the left is always the more rational faction. It's no coincidence that the end of the spectrum that's most radical at a given time is also most irrational.
   Progressives, for example, have convinced themselves that immigration--no matter how much and no matter what kind--is pure win for everyone involved. Only conservatives are willing to admit that immigration comes with costs and risks. You don't have to give up your vision of America as a place that welcomes immigrants...but you do have to be realistic about the costs and risks, for the love of God... It's insane to risk the nation--our nation--that's the best hope of the world because you are too politically correct to face the fact that massive immigration comes with costs and risks.
   They've also convinced themselves of that about "diversity" generally. That goes hand in hand with their refusal to face its costs, and that with their refusal to permit criticism of the idea.
   You can be idealistic, and keep certain ideals as long-term goals...but that doesn't mean it's rational to ignore their costs and risks. Not every ideal can be rationally implemented immediately. Sometimes a long-term goal would be disastrous if implemented immediately. Or unthinkingly.
   Blah, blah, blah.

"Bernie Sanders' Immigration Plan: What Happens On Day 2?"

This seems reasonable to me.
I'd more concerned about the expansion of DACA and TPS than Lester is, but I'm sure he knows about 1,000 times more about it than I do. And I'm all for making the system more humane--though I disagree that Trump has made it inhumane.
   I agree that an end to deportations would be insane. (Lester says something weaker than that.) And bringing in "climate migrants" is total lunacy--two insane progressive causes intersecting. Presumably those are people who have been displaced by AGW...of which we could identify about zero currently, and for however long a Sanders administration might last.
   To my mind, the main point is a bigish-picture one: the Dems have succumbed to progressivism, and progressivism is committed to basically taking down all barriers to immigration. The particular contours of Bernie's plan doesn't matter all that much--we know that the goal will basically be increasing mass immigration, both legal and illegal.
   It barely matters who the Dem candidate is going to be. We already know, basically, what the platform is going to be like. And if you look at it at all objectively, you should be able to see that it will be disastrous. You may think that Trumpo the Clown is worse--that's largely a "judgement call." But if you don't see how daft the Dems have become, you're missing basically the biggest political development in a generation.

Daniel Henninger: "The Take Down Trump Project"

In my current view of the matter, this is basically right on target.

Taibbi: The Ukraine "Whistleblower" Isn't A Real Whistleblower

Is Stephen Miller A White Nationalist?

Not likely, but possible.
   The SPLC is, of course, a perfectly unreliable source. And AOC's opinion counts for almost exactly nothing. But even still, it's a reasonable question.
   Basically nothing that's blared from the MSM yet proves the case--nor does it come close to doing so. The Pope has, basically, called for open borders. And that would be a catastrophe for Europe and the U.S. I haven't read Camp of the Saints, but it's actually pretty highly-regarded just as dystopian sci-fi. I ought to (and might) read it, just to see what's really up with it. Referring to it while making the case against open borders is, obviously, not inherently bad nor racist. And Miller makes a perfectly reasonable point about the Soviet flag. As for the point about TPS, I suppose I don't see what the fuss is about that.
   Remember, progressives think that anyone who is in any way against any form of immigration, legal or illegal is racist. This is well-established. Also beyond doubt is the fact that progressives will spin anything as racist that can possibly be spun that way--unless it's said by someone they have an interest in defending.
   And: every one of their accusations against Trump that he said something racist have turned out to be bogus.
   But, again: none of that shows that Miller isn't a white nationalist.
   However, none of the evidence proffered shows that he is, and that's what's decisive. It doesn't even come close. Everything he's said is perfectly consistent with him basically being Trumpian--roughly, a civic or constitutional nationalist who believes that open borders would be disastrous, and that many aspects of the current system are being abused.
   And, of course: the way the progressive game is played is: if they want to get you, they go through everything you've ever written, including outliers, including in anger, and they find anything that can be spun as racist (etc.). Of course, there will always be something for anyone. Then they declare that even the most outlandish interpretations are basically incontrovertible evidence.
   We absolutely, positively, can't have actual white nationalists in power. There's no disagreement about that. But the left's strategy on this is beyond any doubt: anyone who wants any sort of immigration controls of any kind--by Western countries, anyway--will be portrayed as a virulent racist.
   Honestly, given how utterly disastrous that view and the attendant rhetorical chicanery is, I think we should be a lot more worried about that than whether Stephen Miller has unimpeachable attitudes. Immigration insanity is real, it's being pushed hard by progressives, it would lead to catastrophe, and like the rest of progressivism, it comes along with a kind of self-sealing defense tactic: no one is permitted to disagree with it nor criticize it. Anyone who does is a racist.
   If Miller's a racist, get rid of him. But also absolutely, positively oppose progressivism with all your might as well. Miller's the smallest of potatoes compared to the other guys.

Sanders Panders To AOC Crowd

"Schiff's Lead Witnesses Have No Real Evidence--And Neither Does He"

A Second Phone Call Suggests Possible Trump Shenanigans

The Post is a propaganda organ for progressivism at this point, giving a wildly spun version of events at the Democrats' entirely one-sided show trial...or show pseudo-trial. But this pattern--carefully-selected though it is from the available mass of dots--doesn't look good. I can't tell what to think really because the process is so rigged, and the media is so partisan. I guess all of this is supposed to fire up the base and persuade the uninformed...but what it means for me is that evidence that might convince me were it the output of a good procedure (and objective reporting) is, instead, suspect to the point of being almost valueless. The rightosphere's version of what's going down is exactly the opposite of that of the leftosphere...but the latter includes the mainstream media, so its megaphone is an order of magnitude louder.
   What we're getting is an extremely partisan spin on a carefully-selected subset of dots, and we're being told that we need to connect them in a pre-determined way. The diagram that emerges from that isn't nothing...but any such diagram has to be viewed with extreme skepticism. Until we get fair hearings and an objective investigation, I gotta say, I'm not sure any of this, bad as it sounds, ought to persuade us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Is E-Verify Ineffective?

Well, Politico says so. But, OTOH...it's Politico...
Also, as one commenter points out: the argument of the piece largely depends on evidence from states where its use isn't mandatory.
On the one had, this provides part of another argument for more border barrier.
Politico argues:
   E-Verify simply does not work. Its systematic design flaws make the program destined to fail. Congress has never seriously debated E-Verify – its reauthorization by this November provides a golden opportunity to reexamine this program in light of all of its failures. Fixing the legal immigration system by allowing more low-skilled workers on temporary visas and green cards will remove the need for E-Verify entirely. After all, if workers can come legally then they won’t come illegally.
   That’s the only way for Congress to permanently fix the problem of illegal immigration. In the meantime, Congress should scrap E-Verify, stop pretending the system could ever work and go back to the drawing board.
That's way too hasty, and in line with Politico's general bias. They certainly don't establish that E-Verify can't work, especially if it's mandated nationwide. Nor do they in any way show that more temporary visas and green cards are the only ways to fix the problem--not even close. But it's one option worth considering--and it's in no way inconsistent with more border barriers and/or E-Verify.

NYT On The Impeachment Hearings

   On the bright side, at least they do--seemingly grudgingly--represent the GOP's side of the argument, to some extent. It's not terribly complete nor objective, but they sketch it, at least. Objectivity's hard, and I don't blame them for not getting it exactly right...right (objective) by my lights, anyway...
   But they always err on the same side of things...well...since they helped herd us into the Iraq war, anyway...
   I haven't gone back and gone through the Ukraine call transcript with the care I ought to have. But I think it's fairly clear that:
1. It sounds terrible when (dishonestly) edited in the way we first got it.
2. It sounds waaay less terrible--but still not great--when read in full.
My own new-ish view of these things (adopted during the Clinton email scandal) is less clearly right: I don't think laypeople are in a very good position to judge these things, because we just do not know what such calls and such diplomacy are normally like. It doesn't look great to me--though it also doesn't look obviously damning (as the dishonestly-edited transcript did). But for all I know, diplomats with hundreds or thousands of hours worth of this sort of thing under their belts might say That's outrageous!...or might say...Meh...more-or-less bidness as usual.
   And, of course, both sides are bloody awful.
   Trump is...Trump. With all that entails. He's both sloppy and clueless enough to make such an error inadvertently, and loony and crooked enough to do it on purpose. Or so it seems.
   And the Dems have completely lost their goddammn minds, and have already cooked up one entirely fabricated, fantabulous, conspiracy theory that rabidly consumed them for two years. And did it for blatantly political reasons. And as soon as that turned out to be 100% hoaxtastic, they spit out this one without even missing a beat. I almost think we should laugh this one out of the room without even thinking about it, just because of that. Well, if it weren't so important, anyway.
   And the Trumpistas think that this is mostly a distraction to draw attention away from the fact that the DoJ is about to drop a bomb by revealing how dirty Russiagate: Origins really was.
   My guess, at this point, is that, basically, the conservatives are right yet again. Which should come as no surprise, given what we've seen over the past 5-ish years. Progressivism is unhinged--and now it's taken over the Democratic party. Why would it surprise anyone if they're wrong yet again? At any rate, I rather suspect that the red team is also right that this is largely intended to distract from the firestorm that's going to result from the Barr investigations. It sounds like there may be criminal charges against Comey and at least one other person.
   But obviously I could be completely wrong. If Trump hasn't done anything incredibly stupid and impeachable yet, I'd be pretty surprised.
   I do think it's pretty significant that Pelosi seems to be laying low on this one.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Is this right?
  Representative Adam Schiff said in a press conference, “These open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves and also to learn firsthand about the facts of the president’s misconduct.”
   There are several problems with this statement. First, Schiff is already characterizing the outcome of the investigation. As the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he serves as a key arbiter of the inquiry under the resolution. As such, he is in a position that demands an unbiased irreproachable ethic in evaluating requests for subpoenas and testimony. Any judge in a similar position would be required to recuse himself with even a hint of the pure bias Schiff has displayed, including coordination with the Ukraine whistleblower and other actions.
   The Democrats do not even pretend that their impeachment game is fair or actually about fact finding. This is simply about using a grant of power in the Constitution arbitrarily and politically, outside the bounds of due process and the purpose of that authority. Although the House does have the “sole power” of impeachment, that is a grant of jurisdiction, not a license to proceed on purely partisan motivation. Article One must work coordinately and not inconsistently with Article Two, which provides the legal basis upon which a sitting president may be impeached.
   Second, Schiff demonstrates this is all about media play in the court of public opinion. Americans have no power or role in an impeachment proceeding. The drafters of the Constitution intended the impeachment and removal process to be exercised only when there was sufficient evidence that the subject of the impeachment had committed a legally qualifying offense. This is not about whether impeachment is popular in the polls or whether a majority of Americans prefer it. Transparency in the context of this quasi judicial process is to provide fundamental fairness and due process for the president. Why are the Democrats so hellbent on blatantly refusing to allow Republican subpoenas and witnesses?
   It is because it is a sham. Yet the Democrats are openly admitting that their goal is to try this in the media and attempt to dishonestly convince us that somehow we too should hate Donald Trump. They are hoping to convince us not to vote for him. That is not a legitimate or constitutional purpose of an impeachment.

The Deep State Is A Conservative Conspiracy Theory ----> The Deep State Is Heroically Saving Us From Trump

This Is Progressivism: Nuremberg Trials For "Climate Criminals"

She's just an actress, but there's little doubt that quite a few on the left would agree.

If They Don't Believe Their Own Climate-Change Hysteria, Then We Don't Have To Believe It Either

A Tectonic Demographic Shift Is Under Way; Can America Hold Together?

On the bright side, I guess this means that some progressives are admitting this is a big damn gamble. On the not-bright side, the author seems to have convinced himself that the only danger springs from conservative bigotry and petulance. On a different kind of not-bright side, he doesn't even consider the possibility that gambling with the very existence of the nation might be a really #$%&ing stupid thing to do. But that is, of course, one of the biggest kinds of rational blind spots of progressivism (and, to a slightly lesser extent, liberalism). If you recognize that a certain course of action could lead to disaster, then for the love of God, throttle back on it at least temporarily, at least until you have a better understanding of the risks. Don't just plunge on, dogmatically, full speed ahead. This really isn't rocket science.

The Deep State Is A Conservative Conspiracy Theory --> The Deep State Is Heroically Saving Us From Trump

Boy, that was fast:

There May Be Nearly 30 Million Illegals In The U.S.

2-3 times the most commonly-reported number.

Orwellian Left Flashback: Prosecuting Climate-Change "Deniers"

"Researchers Say"...


Former Chair Of Earth And Environmental Sciences At Penn: Climate Change Hysteria Is A Bogus Semi-Religion

Geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack - Former chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania:
Giegengack laments "the enormity of the hubris that leads us to believe that we can 'control' climate by controlling anthropogenic emission of CO2."
"If anthropogenic CO2 is contributing to climate warming now under way, nothing we are doing, or contemplating doing, can have any measurable effect on that warming."
Global Warming/Climate Change has evolved into "a semi-religious campaign advanced by well-intended people who feel, deep in their hearts, that they are 'saving the planet.'"
"It beggars the imagination to assert that the natural factors that drove the warming trend from 18,000 years ago to ~300 years ago (with some unexplained temperature reversals) abruptly stopped operating at the end of the Little Ice Age to accommodate our political need to attribute climate variability to human industrial activity."
"Today’s climate is close to the coolest it has been in 540,000,000 years, and the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is close to the lowest it has been."
"Climate models are instructive, but they lead to scenarios, not predictions. They can be manipulated to yield desired outputs."

Lots Of Income Inequality, Little Consumption Inequality

Important if true.
But how much of this is due to less saving by the less-wealthy?

You'd Think That "National Period Day"...

...would be run by people who at least knew the bare minimum about menstruation.
E.g. that men don't do it.

Supreme Court Seems Inclined To Let Trump End DACA

I'm not in favor of ending DACA--though maybe it can be used as a bargaining chip. And so long as progressives keep pushing more and more irrational immigration policies, we might have to fight back however we can.

Bernie: "Mandatory Buybacks" = Confiscation ---> Unconstitutional

Bernie again makes a case that he may be the least-cracked of the blue options.

Monday, November 11, 2019

George Lakoff: "Why Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech"

This is amazingly bad even by Lakoffian standards.
And needless to say, reading Lakoff's post had some kind of effect or other on my brain. And that may have some kind of bad consequences or other--who knows? Ergo his post should be illegal.
   And, as always: "hate speech is not free speech" is solecistic...or involves something like a category mistake or something. It's analogous to "hateful action is not free action." Or, well maybe it's just false.

Jennifer Rubin: Ukrainegate Is The Biggest Scandal Since Russiagate!!!111

So far, it mostly sounds like blue-team hysteria and wishful thinking yet again. But I'm happy for there to be an investigation. It's not going to surprise me a whole lot if Trump actually did something wrong at some point. Thus far we seem to basically just have Vindman reading something in the NYT and then telling Ciaramella about it. Maybe they should see whether Christopher Steele can dig something up...

Eugene Linden: "How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong"

Everybody panic, we're all going to die right away.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Dagfinn Reiersoll: "Climate Change: Assessing The Worst-Case Scenario"

Much less catastrophic than the hysterical left would like you to believe.

Don't Let The Fact That Epstein Didn't Kill Himself...

...distract you from the fact that jet fuel can't melt steel beams...

Jose A. Cabranes: "Higher Education's Enemy Within"

He's onto something we've discussed here before.
   First, colleges and universities have subordinated their historic mission of free inquiry to a new pursuit of social justice. Consider the remarkable evolution of Yale’s mission statement. For decades the university said its purpose was “to create, preserve, and disseminate knowledge.” The language was banal enough, but nevertheless on the money. In 2016, however, Yale’s president announced a new mission statement, which no longer mentions knowledge. Instead, Yale is now officially “committed to improving the world” and educating “aspiring leaders”—not only through research, but also through “practice.”
   Second, American colleges and universities have been overwhelmed by a dangerous alliance of academic bureaucrats and student activists committed to imposing the latest social-justice diktats. This alliance has displaced the traditional governors of the university—the faculty. Indeed, nonfaculty administrators and activists are driving some of the most dangerous developments in university life, including the erosion of the due-process rights of faculty and students, efforts to regulate the “permissible limits” of classroom discussion, and the condemnation of unwelcome ideas as “hate speech.”
But I think he fails to recognize how much the faculty contributes to the problem. Progressive faculty who argue against free speech (and other unfashionable, actually-liberal commitments) are a dime a dozen.

CDC-Driven Anti-Vaping Hysteria Debunked

Climate Hysteria: They Don't Believe It, So We Don't Have To Believe It

These are not the words of someone who thinks we have one decade to avoid certain doom.


This sum is so vast that it almost doesn't mean anything to me. 
Also, I understand nothing about health-care policy.
Those reasons alone are reasons not to support such a plan. Though also reasons not to vehemently oppose it. But this is a reason: it's a $52 trillion pig in a poke. I'm not trading my private health insurance for that. What I have now is pretty damn good. And I absolutely will not gamble with it on the off chance that this boondoggle might possibly turn out to be better than pretty damn good.
I reluctantly semi-supported Obamacare, but said: ok, but that's it. I'm not supporting any more huge-ass government programs. It hasn't even been ten years, and now we're told that the program the Dems begged us to support is crap. So what we need is a shit-ton more of the same! An even YUGER one!
I could be convinced to change my mind. But I don't think anyone should support such a thing without seeing some heavy-duty arguments for it. Honestly, it seems unlikely to me that very many people understand the situation well enough to make it rational to support something like this.

Eric Ciaramella

That's the name we're not supposed to say or type or else.
That's E-r-i-c C-i-a-r-a-m-e-l-l-a.
That's two 'e's, two 'r's, two 'i's, two 'c's, two 'l's, three 'a's and an 'm.'

Is "OK Boomer" The N-Bomb Of "Ageism"?


Don Surber: Impeachment Is Not Why Democrats Will Lose

This seems just about exactly right to me.
   As dumb, boorish, unlikeable, embarrassing, antipresidential and truth-averse as Trump is, his platform is pretty normal. A repellant guy who, for example, wants reasonable enforcement of immigration laws is immeasurably better than someone with the right manners who wants more-or-less open borders.
   Demeanor matters. A lot, in my opinion. And Trump's is such that he's basically out of the running...unless he is running against a party that's totally cracked. And, barring some kind of miracle happening in the next six months or so, that's what's going to happen.
   When Trump was elected, I thought: Whelp. This is just about the worst thing that can plausibly happen to us politically. I was foolishly optimistic.

Bullshit Watch: Tyler Anbinder: "Trump Has Spread More Hatred Of Immigrants Than Any American In History"

The fact that the formerly great Washington Post would even print such utter bullshit provides some measure of how far it's fallen. First and foremost: an essay on immigration that basically refuses to acknowledge the distinction between legal and illegal immigration simply can't be taken seriously. Not to mention one pushing such a brainless and scurrilous charge. There's really no reason to go beyond that point. Trump has said over and over again that he pro-legal-immigration--as is virtually everyone. If you have to lie about that point, you don't have an argument. This sort of bullshit is one of many reasons to think that progressives favor open borders--they covertly classify opposition to illegal immigration as opposition to immigration tout court. By simply refusing to recognize the most important distinction in the discussion, they clearly indicate that they consider immigration laws illegitimate--to have and enforce immigration laws is to be anti-immigration. To be against illegal immigration is to be against immigrants. These aren't small errors. These are massive, obviously, consequential sophistries that make the essay utterly worthless. It's propaganda. It doesn't merely fail to support its conclusion, it provides yet more evidence--as if we needed it--that progressivism left reason and logic far behind.
   It's barely even worth mentioning Anbinder's repetition of the "all Mexicans are rapists" libel--though Anbinder leaves out the "all" and settles for falsely asserting that Trump said that "Mexicans are rapists." He adds a new twist on another lie, claiming that Trump "calls...Latinos...animals." Were we as sleazy as Anbinder, we could say: this shows that he thinks that all Latinos are members of MS-13... There's also this not-even-amazing-by-this-point bit of bullshit:
And he argues that even the U.S.-born children of recent immigrants — if they are part of ethnic, religious or racial minorities — are not real Americans, as he suggested when he tweeted that four congresswomen of color should “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
There's just about nothing accurate in that paragraph.
   I didn't even finish the thing. It's appalling.
   If you have a case of any kind, you have no reason to rely on such outrageous sophistry.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Warren: "Black Trans And Cis Women And Gender-Nonconforming and Nonbinary People Are The Backbone Of Our Democracy"

I see that Pandering Loon stalks endorsements this morn.

Friday, November 08, 2019

VA Dems To Confiscate Firearms From Law-Abiding Owners?

Obviously it's in the works.
The only question, rather obviously, is whether they think they can get away with it.
(1) This is what the Democratic party has become.
(2) I'm absolutely done voting for them, and am going to start contributing to the Pubs for the first time in my life.
(3) I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'll almost certainly be joining the NRA again soon.
Our folks signed us up as kids, but then it changed from a sportsman's organization to...well...what the hell ever they are now. I joined for one or two years when that was the only way I could join the only gun club for 50 miles. I don't like the NRA. But I like tyrannical, totalitarian gun-grabbers even less.
You assholes want Trump 2020?
Because this, by God, is how you get Trump 2020.

Sean Spicer's Dancing Is "Militaristic" and "Untruthful"; PC + Pomo --> The Current, Crazy Left

I've said this many times, but: the combination of postmodern free-form interpretation and a leftist politics that provides non-optional political conclusions for every endeavor yields this kind of grotesque insanity. Over and over and over.

Meghan Murphey "Trans Rights, Voter Wrongs"

The "trans" shenanigans at the Dem debate were mega-cringe.
Couldn't happen to a more deserving party.

Richard Fernandez, "What's To Blame For Transgender Epidemic Hysteria?"

Well, as I've been saying, it's obviously mass psychogenic (aka mass sociogenic) illness. Aka epidemic hysteria. Aka mass hysteria.
This one isn't complicated.

Richard Fernandez "How The World To The Dark Tower Came"

The Washington Post's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Week

The formerly great newspaper

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Whistleblower's Attorney In 2017: "Coup Has Started"; "Imeachment Will Follow Ultimately"

Well, obviously that could mean anything...

Cringe Overload: Warren's Meme Team

My God...it's full of cringe...

Behold, The Vanguard Of The Social Justice Left

NSFW (naughty language)
They're not just wrong, they're diametrically opposed to what's right.
Meditate on this fact: Barack Obama is a dangerous reactionary by the lights of the vanguard of the progressive left.

Precise Number Of Men Who Have Ever Menstruated:

Climate Hysteria Is A Leftist Stalking Horse

Including socialism, vegetarianism, and all that other social "justice" stuff.
This is all so cringily, eye-rollingly transparent that I almost can't believe it's taken seriously. As usual, it's not the hard left that I blame--they're trapped in cult-think. But less-radical progressives and the remnants of liberalism out to be able to see through this nonsense. I realize that politics and religion addle people's brains...and a political religion / religified politics...whew...a radioactive combination...but still... Are their bullshit detectors just flat-out broken?? I guess that's part of what groupthink does to you--creates a blind spot in your bullshit detector.
   Basically nobody on the left is acting like we actually have ten years to save the world. People who really believed that were true would not cram shit like "indigenous rights" and free housing into their plans. They certainly wouldn't be putting $$ into mitigating the effects of climate change. They'd be trying to put every possible resource toward eliminating the causes of it. They certainly wouldn't be arguing, for example, for a semi-open southern border. In fact, they might close it off completely--because every person who moves out of third-world poverty and into evil capitalist American prosperity suddenly expands his carbon footprint something like twenty-fold. And they wouldn't be buying $15 million mansions on the beach. In fact, they wouldn't be buying $15 million mansions at all...
   If even they don't even believe it, we needn't believe it.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Majority Expects Trump To Win In 2020

Neither yay nor boo
Both yay and boo
Damned if we do
Damned if we don't
We're so screwed

Dems Ride Big Money To Control Of VA General Assembly

So Is It Gun Confiscation For The OD?

   I've simply assumed that there aren't enough extremist Dems in the General Assembly to pass Northam's crackpot gun confiscation scheme--which includes a ban on possession of any firearm with a capacity of more than ten rounds, if you can believe that. But God knows the way things are going on the blue team. I'd also been assiduously averting my mental gaze from the polling numbers. That worked out great.
   Was I stupid for supporting and working for and contributing to the blue team for all those years? Eh, I've got enough to worry about now without worrying about that. It seemed like a good idea at the time. What with the Gingrich revolution, the recount debacle of 2000-1 and the Iraq war, I think it was a solid decision to back the other guys, who have--or had--a pretty good record of keeping the crazy at arm's length. The pendulum has swung the other way, as pendula do. It's the way of things. And, of course, there's Trump. A whole new kind of crazy on the red team. So even when it would be the easiest thing in the world to be the sane party, the Pubs can't manage it. The mind, it reeleth.
   Well, there's always West Virginia...

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Dems Projected To Get The Trifecta In The OD

Apparently flipping both the House of Delegates and the Senate.
I would have considered this good news even five years ago...but that was before the Democrats went insane. I expect the next two years won't be pretty, but they may overreach and we may get a correction in '21. Or we may just be a blue state for the foreseeable future, ruled by our NOVA overclass. Though maybe the Dems will come to their senses, unlikely as that may seem right now...

It's Not OK To Be White

As we all know.
Jonathan Turley makes sense, as usual.
Unlike him, though, I have no problem with the signs. If it's ok to be white, then it's ok to say that it's ok to be white. In fact, given the hegemony of the illiberal left on campuses, the signs are not merely ok, they're good. The vanguard of the left does not think it's ok to be white, as is obvious. They're about as openly racist as you can get. That point needs to be made over and over. And they'll make it themselves by flipping their shit over completely innocuous signs.

What Could Be Nuttier Than 62% Of Trump Supporters Saying That Nothing Could Change Their Minds?

70% of Trump opponents saying that nothing could change their minds.
Yeah I don't even know what to say about this.
Oh, wait. Yeah I do. You're all nuts.

The Democrats Just Accomplished Something The Republicans Never Could...

...they made me vote straight-ticket Republican.
May God have mercy on my soul...

Trump Withdraws U.S. From Paris Climate Accord

I neither have nor deserve a settled view on this.
   I'm skeptical about climate hysteria on something like a meta-level: I don't understand anything about the science, of course, and I accept the view that the best someone like me can do is accept the consensus of experts...but I also know that the left occupies and influences the sciences and social sciences wherever they intersect with political, social and cultural concerns (see e.g.: gender/transgenderism and race). There's also plenty of evidence of consensus-mongering--exerting nonrational/illegitimate pressure on climatologists to go along with / exaggerate / strengthen the consensus. And of lying about the consensus (97% of climate scientists agree...!). Ever notice how science is fallibilistic...until it comes to progressive dogma? Then, suddenly, there's an awful lot of "settled science" laying around... What I see of the public face of climate science looks a lot like what it looks like when the left has seized the reins of a discipline. Suddenly such disciplines have absolutely proven an awful lot of really implausible things...
   We could easily start moving toward lower-cost, low-risk/low-regrets measures that lower pollution generally. On the other end of the spectrum is the Green New Deal, which is batshit crazy and never going to happen. As I and others have noted, not even progressives believe climate hysteria--if they did, the GND would not be packed with climate-irrelevant programs. Obama certainly doesn't believe it, else he wouldn't have bought a $15 million mansion on Martha's Vineyard. Since no one really believes it, and there's exactly no chance of us being carbon-neutral in a decade, we could, instead, get serious and start making cautious and cost-effective progress toward reasonable, low-regrets, achievable goals.

Progressive Totalitarianism At The University Of Minnesota: Say What You're Told, Bigot

Progressive dystopianism on the march at the University of Minnesota.
They only reason this sort of thing isn't already the law of the land is that progressives lack the power to make it so. You know as well as I do what will happen if they ever get the power. 

More On Obama vs. The NPCs

Obama is a liberal.
Neo-PC/SJW/progressivism is anti-liberal.
C'mon, man...stop with the half measures...give 'em both barrels.

Sunday, November 03, 2019


Well, first off: unsubstantiated.
But, second: er...how is it that they know what they used to cut through it? I mean, if it really was a Sawzall, I reckon there'd be spent and broken blades left behind...so...could be. It's knowable.
But, third: who, exactly, thought that the thing would never be breached? The point of any such structure is to make it more difficult to get through. There's no such thing as making it impossible.
There's been a steady stream of delusional anti-barrier propaganda since the beginning. It's possible that this is true...but religious anti-barrier zealotry of the left makes me skeptical about anything they say. I expect there are also delusional pro-barrier zealots on the right...but I haven't run across any. Mostly, people on the "right" (where I suppose I am now that the left has zoomed leftward) just want something that works. On the left, this has been turned into some sort of transcendent moral crusade. Walls, as you know, never work! They are evil! And we should build bridges instead of them!

No Safe Spaces

Did You Know That The Greensboro Massacre Spawned The Alt-Right?

Of course nobody knows that, because it isn't true. I thought Politico had basically kept its wits about it. I guess not.

What Do You Call Someone Who "Tastes A Little Human Flesh"?

A $%&*ing cannibal...WTH else would you call 'em?
Also note: dude is willing to become a cannibal "in order not to appear overly conservative."
You see, if you have a choice between (a) becoming a cannibal and (b) appearing overly conservative, you ought to go with (a). Go with (a), and at least you'll still have a twitter account.
   Also: once you've crossed the Hey, guess I'll taste a little a' that there long pig dividing line...hell, you might as well pig out, chief. As it were. You're already...well, you know what you are. In for a penny, in for a pound.
I swear. to. God. people didn't used to be this loony.

Still More Propaganda Pushing Race Nominalism

   Lysenkoism drives people absolutely batty. They just cannot let this go. They just keep rehashing the same fallacious arguments over and over and over again. It's bloody pathological. It's always the same incoherent mishmash of: the continuum fallacy, Lewontin's fallacy, some kind of straw man to the effect that the only way races can be natural kinds is if there are exactly five of them that are exactly like the ordinary American view of race....and, of course, some crucially ambiguous term like 'socially constructed' that allows equivocation as necessary. Oh and, of course: the occasional dark suggestion that believing races to be natural kinds makes one a Kloset Klansman.
   Race nominalism is driven by left-wing politics, not philosophical or scientific reasoning. And left-wing politics has basically become a religion. Progressive anthropologists are no more going to give up insisting on race nominalism than Christian theologians are going to give up on the trinity.
   In actual fact, races are natural kinds, with the major groupings being pretty much like the ordinary person thinks they are--plus a whooole lot of sub-groupings and sub-sub groupings. Of course the boundaries are fuzzy--but thinking that means the kinds aren't real is the continuum fallacy. Of course the fact of such real biological groupings has nothing whatsoever to do with any view about superiority or inferiority. That's a completely different set of ideas. Rational people keep different ideas separated. PC leftism--a variety of irrationalism--holds that scientific questions cannot be separated from their imagined political consequences...which is, of course, why science must bend the knee to politics. That's a cornerstone of the primitive, prescientific PC/progressive worldview. Which is too big a can of worms to open here.

Seattle Schools: Math Education Is Racist

One hardly even bats an eye at such insanity anymore.

Who Will The Media Promote Next?

Pelosi Tries To Get The Candidates To Throttle Back

Not that I think it'll do any good.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

George T. Conway III: "Unfit For Office:"

"Trump's narcissism makes it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the presidency in the way the Constitution requires."
I say again: criticize the real Trump, not the straw-Trump fever dream of howling progressives.
And this...does seem like a legitimate criticism of the real Trump to me.
It's overblown, and there's significant bullshit and cheating at points...in fact, significant chunks of it just have to be thrown out. It also, frankly, seems more than a little obsessive.
Furthermore, it's easy to find progressive shrinks willing to say just about anything about Trump.
But...even given all those things...even were we to throw half of the thing out...it's a pretty good accounting of the things about Trump that those of us who think he's unfit for office think make him unfit for office.
Conway's wrong to insist that it's undeniable that Trump is incapable of doing the job. But that's his obsessiveness (or whatever it is) talking. The point, IMO, is that we have plenty of reason to think that he simply isn't up to the job. We certainly can't be sure that he won't do something dangerous or catastrophic. And that's enough. IMO anyway. That guy just shouldn't be anywhere near actual power.
And look--I think Conway's cracked for thinking that Trump is a sociopath. But just forget that part.
It's the seeming narcissism that is most striking.
Of course I think we face a choice between a loud-mouthed, narcissistic con man who might incinerate us all...and a high priest of an illiberal, antirational secular cult to be named later. Eh...the priest is TBA...we know the cult. Oh and: said priest will sweep thousands of deacons and acolytes and minor cultists of various kinds into the bureaucracy with him...or her...or xir. As I've said many times, I don't know which is worse. And it freaks me out that so many people I respect seem completely blind to the insanity of the cult. Sometimes I feel like I'm among the pod people.
But none of that means that the idea of Donald Trump as president doesn't freak me the @#%& out. Because it does. It does.
OTOH, as I've said, it matters that his policies are not bad...and often good. And have turned out to be way better than what we can expect from the cult.
But anyway...
At least this Conway piece, for all its hyperventilating and hyperbole, is generally criticizing the more-or-less real Trump. And that's scary.

Whistleblower Won't Testify???

At what point do Dems admit that this is all fishy as hell?

The Deep State: From Conspiracy Theory to Savior Of The Nation

Really, no one would believe you if you made up this story arc.

Antifa Are Terrorists / They Attempt To Terrorize Andy Ngo

Those are pictures of Ngo's face they're wearing as masks.
   Look: you can't reason with people who'd do something like this. And it's not as if this is the only grotesque, bizarre, insane thing they do. We're talking about a political faction that's adopted a bunch of ideas and principles and goals and modes of reasoning that constitute something like a deranged collective mind. They're already pushing for totalitarian laws where they think they have a chance to pass them. They use social pressure based on heinous false accusations...well, basically as their main and most beloved tactic. They use physical violence when/where it's tolerated by the authorities and they can get away with it. And now they've basically decided to emulate horror movie psychos.
   These are not normal people, they're not good people, they're not exactly sane people. I expect that there's no effective way to oppose them that doesn't involve at least a certain amount of defensive violence. To be clear: using offensive violence is right out for all the normal, sane, civilized reasons. But many people are also often hesitant to use violence even defensively. You-all may need to get over that.

Turley: "Democrats Doth Protest Too Much About The Durham Investigation" *

Jonathan Turley is the voice of sweet reason. If not for him and a very few others like him, I'd have lost it by now. 
That post is right on the money, by my lights.
Behold, I quote!:
   As I have previously discussed, Mifsud remains mired in controversy. The Maltese academic appeared to have ties to the Russians and seemed eager to tell former the Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had hacked the Clinton campaign emails. Mueller reported that Mifsud lied repeatedly to investigators but, curiously, did not pursue criminal charges. That has fueled speculation about the true controllers of Mifsud, and Durham could put that controversy and many others to rest.
   There are legitimate questions about the Obama administration looking into Trump associates. Those questions are magnified by the shocking bias of key players in the Russian probe, which led to the dismissal of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and FBI agent Peter Strzok. The Justice Department inspector general referred prior allegations involving officials like McCabe for possible criminal charges, a referral rejected under the attorney general. It is bizarre for Democrats to argue that key officials referring to “insurance policies” against a Trump victory should not concern the public or warrant finishing the Durham investigation.
   That is why this investigation within an investigation can produce the most revealing moments. One does not have to believe that there is “something rotten” in the FBI to support the completion of the Durham investigation, from which many are unlikely to emerge unscathed. But the increasing protests over his work only heightens suspicions, and that is exactly why we need more disclosure than drama from Washington.
The MSM pumped up Russiagate for more than two years, and released a steady stream of misinformation, always, always, always pointing in the same direction. Russiagate was front and center for all that time. Many progressives insisted that it was obvious that Trump colluded...there was simply no other possible explanation of his actions. Then Mueller reported that there was no there there. There was some confusion at first, of course...some tried the THE RUSSIANS MUST HAVE GOTTEN TO MUELLER, TOO line on for size...but that was apparently too crazy even for them. Then they shifted their attention to BARR LIED HE WASN'T ACTUALLY EXHONORATED...eventually, of course, they settled for basically flushing the Mueller report down the memory hole...and continuing, basically, to believe the collusion story...
   Now cometh equal and opposite investigations...and they're given only the bare minimum of attention...except insofar as they're derided as based on conspiracy theories and declared threats to the republic.
   If you're looking for something to be concerned about, look no further than the radically differential treatment of these two stories.
   Progressivism is, perhaps, a victim of its own success--not that it doesn't have plenty of vices. But, having taken over the entire cultural superstructure, it is locked into the groupthinkiest groupthink I've ever seen outside of religions that are technically religious. It's already plagued by irrationality and magical thinking...but, having taken over all the institutions that are supposed to provide checks against groupthink and other errors, it's become absurdly easy for progressives to ignore or discount information that they don't like.
   I saw in the NYT the other day that one of their in-house op-eders ran some kind of Who's the worst Trump appointment? survey. Apparently Barr "won" and it wasn't close. Maybe keep that in mind after the dust settles on all this. It may end up being a really telling data point.

* Yeah, yeah, 'doth' is singular. I'm willing to look the other way.