Sunday, January 31, 2021

Glenn Greenwald Explains It All For You

Well, not all...but some important bits. One thing I've noticed since the Dems became more dangerous than the Pubs is that, whereas there are a lot of blue-team types that are pro-Dem, red-team types mostly can't stand the Pubs. It's very common for them to speak of the uniparty, and GOPe and Conservative, Inc. Of course some lefties are way too left for the Dems...which is really scary now that the Dems are too left for the Dems... And I'm sure there are those types, too, on the right. But what I'm saying is: even relatively mainstream red-team types can't stand the Pubs. One way they speak of the conservative establishment is as the shadow of the radical left: following wherever it goes, just about ten years behind, doing absolutely nothing to impede its progress.
   Trump had his pathologies, obviously. But one of his interesting ideas is that it's basically us vs. the ruling elite of both parties. He doesn't articulate his ideas clearly, and, even ignoring that, I'm not sure to what extent this idea is right. But it's eminently worth taking seriously. 
   But right now the progressive left is--by far--the most dangerous faction in the USA. Actual white supremacists--as Greenwald notes--make up a tiny fraction of the country. The term "white supremacy" is in vogue merely because it's worse than 'racist'--and the left, constantly pushing its linguistic mind-control agenda, seeks ever-more-negative dysphemisms for its enemies. Anyway:

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Kerry: Yet Another Last Chance To Stop The CLIMAPOCALYPSE!!!!1111

The "last" chances just keep on rolling by...
   Which is, of course, one way we know they were never actually last at all.
   This one is "last best"--a bit of pseudo-literary flair that's almost always the extent that it even makes sense. But technically it could also be used in the future to deny that this was actually a last last chance--but just a "last best" one. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Did Lockdowns Cause More Deaths Than The Pandemic?


Matt Taibbi: "Suck It, Wall Street"

I don't really understand this so well, but, as usual, Taibbi's worth the read. Sounds to me like Wall Street should, indeed, suck it.

Also, here's what seems like a pretty good explanation from NPR.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Biden Appoints Pseudoscientist To "Top Science Post"

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

More Panic Porn, This Time Re: Overwhelmed Hospitals

Nobody thinks the virus is a hoax--meaning: virtually nobody. They repeat that shit about people thinking it's a hoax in every one of these stories. 
And: the reason people are skeptical about "masking" is that there's no proof that it works. So: they should be skeptical. 

Sinema Is A Hard NO On Ending The Filibuster

Biden Is Much, Much Worse Than I Predicted

So I blew it with Trump in that, in the end, his worst ended up being worse than I'd predicted was likely. But it turns out that Biden, too, is worse than my worst-reasonably-likely-case estimate. I wonder whether Biden's sane supporters are willing to admit that. Watch the video, too--if you can stand it. I couldn't make it to the end.

Scott Atlas: Against Lockdowns

Lockdowns: bad.

Mulvaney/Grogan: Biden Gives Regulators A Free And Heavy Hand

I'm currently sympathetic with the conservative/deregulation side of this disagreement, but...actually don't understand the issues well enough to deserve much of an opinion. If, indeed, the Biden administration intends to throw off the cost/benefit calculations in this way, that would seem to be bad. I understand why one would generally favor not regulating. Not sure why one would generally favor regulating.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Victor Davis Hanson: The River Of Forgetfulness

Before we are all reprogrammed, remember for a bit longer that the reset of memory and truth is not just a political agenda, but a holistic effort to redefine our past, present, and future.


Many conservatives think that America has now lost its final war, the war against progressivism. America is over now. Every major institution is under their control. They control what we can say, and control what will be officially classified as truth... I continue to think that there's a remnant of liberalism out there that won't go quietly into that blue night...but more an more this seems more like an article of faith than anything else.

Angelo Codevilla: Clarity In Trump's Wake

 As usual with Codevilla, I find a lot in here of interest...but can't quite pin a lot of it down.

Gabbard: Brennan, Schiff, Tech Oligarchs More Dangerous Than Capitol Mob

Absolutely, positively, 100% correct.
It's not illegal to be a bigot--heck, I'm not sure it's even illegal to be a libertarian...

Place-of-Discovery Names For Viruses Were Always Fine...Then They Were Briefly THE MOST RAZIZT THING E-VAR...Now They're Cool Again

I disagree with Mirengoff about the reason, though. I mean, it may have been that some people were carrying water for the left's new BFFF, the Chicoms. But also: the left's terminological pronouncements are impressionistic, capricious, and mostly arbitrary. Something strikes some Twitter moonbat as having the wrong ring to it, we can suddenly be inundated with screechy, senseless arguments about why IT'S TOTALLY RACIST, RACIST!!!!1111
   My own university has a poster from the CDC prattling on about "stigma"....a bit of lefty jargon that was suddenly all over the place when they decided 'Wuhan virus' was evil...but then it kinda disappeared. As if the CDC had experts on "stigma"... This is another feature of lefty pseudoexpertise: institutions pretend that their technical expertise in some field gives them special authority to decree PC theories and jargon to be correct. E.g.: brain scientists who allegedly find female-like features of the brains of "transgendered" men and declare that they're really women! But nothing about being a brain scientists gives you any particular authority to speak on the nature of manhood and womanhood. 
   Anyway, as I've said in the past: Wuhan virus, Wuhan virus, Wuhan virus, Wuhan virus.
   Or, in the words of the Hodge Twins: We call it 'Chinese virus' because it's from China.

Prager: The Most Important Question About the 2020 Election

I agree with almost everything about this, and have said similar things here. My only differences with Prager are, first, I'm not merely agnostic about whether the election was stolen for Biden--rather I doubt that it was. I'd bet at least a moderate amount of money that it wasn't. Second, I'd add the lower-than-historically-average rejection rates for absentee ballots to the list of important anomalies. But I very much agree that the moral motive to cheat against Trump would be powerful in someone who believed all the progressive lies about him. In fact, even someone who merely had the true belief that Trump is/was unfit for the Presidency and too much of a loose cannon to be trusted with it would have a fairly powerful motive to cheat. At any rate: extensive investigations are needed. There's crazy afoot on both the left and the right on this issue. On the right, people commonly categorically declare that the election was stolen. On the left, they commonly categorically declare that there is no evidence whatsoever of cheating. In actual fact, we have weak evidence of shenanigans, much of it roughly circumstantial and statistical, and much of that can be explained by Trump's personal distastefulness and unfitness for public office--and by the progressive media's lies about him. Of course there should be investigations--there should be no doubt about that. But there's little reason to think they'll reveal anything earthshaking. 

Noah Carl: COVID-19's Death Toll: A Historical Perspective

It's very bad.
   I've been rather skeptical, but this is a great way to represent how deadly this thing has been. It's been hard for me to get a fix on it against the background of hysteria and other insanity, but this way of representing it really drives home the point. 


You f*cking ungovernable rednecks refused to bend the knee to sufficient depths when we told you to cover up your ugly mugs. So we now decree that you have to wear two masks. Wanna try for three? Of course one doesn't two have to be better! Because 0+0 > 0. It's just common sense. Really, you people are lucky we elites deign to micromanage your lives. What would you do without us?

Dick Morris: Democrats Are The Most Vicious Winners

The Democrats are now a party of anti-liberal extremist. Viciousness is just part of the package:

Your Blue Future: No Biofacts Plz

Ya kinda deserve it, America:

Monday, January 25, 2021

Unity!: Let's All Come Together As One America And Accept The Extremist Progressive-Left Agenda

Biden Takes The Progressive Tack, Fanning Flames Of Climate Hysteria

It's a problem, not a crisis. But fabricating crises is the left's bread and butter.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Stephanopalous Flips His Shit / Whatever Progressives Believe Is Incontrovertible Fact

Jesus Christ.
Althouse is right--Rand Paul in no way "melted down." In fact--I'd add--it was Stephanopolous that melted down, repeatedly insisting that there was no question about election fraud, and no possibility of rational disagreement. Rand Paul make a rational case for skepticism and investigation. We know that state attorneys general and courts made some very bad decisions. But this is the contemporary MSM--they insist that the progressive take on things is incontrovertible fact. and the conservative view is "conspiracy theory."

The COVID-19 Investigation

To be clear: so far as I can tell on the basis of information available to hoi polloi, it's still possible that the batflu was modified in a lab. 

Coach K Wasn't "Rude" To The Student Reporter

Total bullshit. I don't see anything at all wrong with K's response. I guess maybe you could say that he doesn't treat him exactly like a real, grown-up reporter...but, then, he kinda isn't one. Even I'm going to defend K on this one.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Greenwald Via Insty: Reports Of An "Insurrection" Have Been Wildly Exaggerated


Biden And The Blues Begin About-Facing On Some Of Their Kooky Positions

One of the most hilarious is: previously, Trump had botched the COVID response, and every single American death was blood on his hands. Now: there's no way for us to alter the trajectory of the pandemic.
   And: previously: any suggestion (e.g. Cotton's) that troops should be deployed in the face of politically-motivated riots was fascism, and grounds for censorship by the media at the very least. Now, it's crucial to have the Guard in D.C. Like, tens of thousands of them. And in response to mere rumors that righties might assemble. Oh and: they must be vetted in terms of their political views...
   Previously: walls and fences never work and--somehow--are also immoral. Bigot! Now: unscalable fencing is all the rage around the Biden White House.
   But the important point is: no mean tweets!


 Science yet again proves that progressive terminological preferences are science! and, like, super-sciencey and also thereby proves that you are a racist. It's science!, racist! You have to accept it or your against science!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Biden: Is There Anything He Can't Do?:: Biden Turns Racist Betsy Ross Flag Into Wholesome Symbol Of America

 How does he do it???

I didn't watch the inauguration...but word is that everybody stood for the Anthem, too...  Amazing...but not as amazing, when you think about it, as turning a bunch of boys into girls and men into women with the stroke of a pen...

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Trump Leaves The White House Like A Failed Coup Leader

Pretty much right--which doesn't mean there was an attempted coup, nor that Trump led one. But he's sure leaving like one. Dems and the MSM are exaggerating the badness of the Capitol riot by more-or-less the same degree that they minimized the badness of the BLM/Antifa riots--or so it seems to me. I'm not sure how to think about the Capitol riot. It was bad...but "terrorism," "sedition" and "insurrection" seem...not clearly accurate. One thing seems clear: it's not reasonable to "valorize" the BLM/Antifa riots and rioters on the one hand, only to then demonize the Capitol riots and rioters on the other. Both deserve strong condemnation. If I had to make a more fine-grained judgment, I'd say that months of rolling riots with 20-30 times as much murder and $1-$2 billion in property damage--not to mention massive crowds entering residential neighborhoods to terrorize and attack ordinary citizens--well...that's worse. Especially when you add the sustained siege of federal buildings, the taking over of state government buildings, etc. The Capitol riot was worse symbolically...because we just don't care much about miscellaneous federal buildings elsewhere, nor state buildings, ordinarily. I was revolted and outraged by the Capitol riot--but I'm not inclined to spin up fake hysteria about it. The Federal government is strong; the riot was--killings and other deaths to the side--mostly about bruised dignity. The BLM/Antifa riots were much more deadly and much more substantially destructive. Or that's my view of the matter currently, anyway. Unfortunately, it's hard to get a clear fix on all this against the backdrop of highly-politicized media and blue-team hysterics. If we were having a rational public discussion about this, my (tentative) opinion might be different.
   So, coup hysteria aside: Trump's leaving in disgrace, despite a strikingly successful presidency...right up until he lost the election, lost us the Senate, and conferred us to the tender mercies of the progressive left...

Everything Is Racist: NPR On Stephen Miller And *Camp Of The Saints*


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Biden: "We Must End This Uncivil War"

By non-progressives capitulating to progressivism and adopting the policies and worldview of the antiliberal left. 
   I'm very much in favor of civility--and Loesch is right: it's better to aim for civility than unity. 
   Also at the Insty link: Pantyfa attacks Dem HQ in Portland, makes it clear that they hate Biden, too, and that they have no interest in peace.
   Finally: I have no particular interest in making nice with someone who won the Presidency by repeatedly and falsely accusing his opponent of racism. In particular, the repetition of the provably false "very fine people" hoax tore it. And remember: they used their big guns, racism-wise: if they had any actual evidence of racism, they wouldn't have leaned almost entirely on a provably false claim. 
   Oh and: in case you think that was just about Trump, it wasn't. That's exactly what the left will do to you, too, if you cross them. You know that's true. And that's why you probably keep your head down. 
   Thank God we're done with Trump's incivility, though! Because mean tweets are infinitely more uncivil than overt lies and character assassination undertaken with the preferred, approved liberal demeanor.

Biden Signs 15 Executive Orders On First Day

 Mostly bad. Some terrible. My relief at having Trump gone was short-lived. But, hey, no more mean tweets. And I guess that's what really matters.

Trump Gawn

Well, overall I am fairly sure this is bad for the country.
But TBH it'll be nice to be able to relax a bit.

Insty: Gaining Power Hasn't Made The Left Any Less Crazy

 Agreed, but they've been running at maximum crazy-power for years now. It's still possible that they'll throttle back. I'm not saying I'd bet on it--I'm just saying it could happen. OTOH, they've been in power almost everywhere for a long time. It hasn't exactly filled them with benevolence, mercy and tolerance... The vanguard of the left is hopeless. The real question is whether the remnants of the liberal left will start standing up to the radicals. But it's not even clear there is such a remnant--i.e. it's not clear the center-left exists / disagrees anymore. They may have been assimilated.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Trump Authorizes DoJ To Declassify Russiagate Documents

 First good news in quite awhile.

McConnell: Trump Provoked Capitol Mob

Yeah. That's what I'm inclined to think. Or have been, mostly, since the Capitol riot--or SEDITIOUS, SATANIC UPRISING! or whatever they're calling it now.
I basically still think he (irresponsibly and falsely) shouted 'Fire!' in a crowded theater. As I've complained many times, nobody ever uses that analogy right. But I think it's basically apt here. Except in that Trump seems to have basically convinced himself that there was a fire... So he believed it--or seemed to. That's a sort of defense...but since he irresponsibly convinced himself, he's guilty anyway. Just of something slightly different. Such epistemic irresponsibility might constitute an excuse for an ordinary person. But not the POTUS.
   Hubris, among other things. Trump couldn't believe / couldn't admit that he lost. And to Joe Biden! That dude is barely ambulatory. I wouldn't want to lose to him, either. 
   Anyway, as I already said, you can't tell a bullshit story over and over again, with great conviction, about how someone is doing something horrible to the country...and then assemble a hug crowd...and get them all pumped up...and admonish them to be peaceful was once, right? Nah, that's not going to be defensible. 
   OTOH, I suppose, he could respond that it was mostly a couple of crazies and some weird groups no one has identified yet egging people on...and the vast majority of people not only weren't moved to riot, but refused to participate and were appalled when they found out about it. So...pretty thin gruel as incitement goes. And pretty weak-ass effort if it really was supposed to be some kind of coup. I mean...Viking horns guy? Really? The blue team keeps trying on new dysphemisms for what happened. What are they up to now, anyway? What comes after 'treason' and 'coup' and 'sedition'? 
If you explicitly admonish them to be peaceful, and the vast majority complies with your admonishion... Hmm... Well...Maybe not.
   Anyway, Trump's a dumbass and he f*cked up, that's for sure. But now I'm having second thoughts about "provocation"...and "incitement".
   It's him acting crazy that struck me hardest. Seemingly really believing this Total. F*cking. Insanity. about "them" "stealing" his "beautiful landslide"... That's just nuts. Just, plain nuts.
   And, again: I want an investigation. And we already know there were Democratic shenanigans. But that nonsense Trump was spouting...Jesus Christ.
   But, anyway, that's apparently not the sort of thing for which the 25th Amendment was intended, else I'd be tempted in that direction. But if passionately believing crazy falsehoods would trigger it, which contemporary Democrat could last more than a few days in office? So anyway, that's out.
   Anyway, I don't understand the issues well enough to have a firm opinion. I just want some decision that's plausibly reasonable...and for something to happen to derail that big blue train that's bearing down on us.

Secure The Vote

 link.  I agree that we should deal with this before it's an issue. Once such a thing is a hot disagreement, it's too late. My own view is that security / reliability / trustworthiness is more important than increased participation. In fact, I'm actually against any effort to persuade people to vote. Voters are ignorant enough as-is. Non-voters are undoubtedly even more ignorant. If you aren't engaged enough to be motivated to vote, then I don't want you to vote. I also think the Pubs should re-institute voter ID laws as soon as they're back in power, and nix mass mail-in voting in favor of the old system--if you have a good reason to vote via absentee ballot, you can request one.

Biden Appoints New "Science Is Real!" Advisor

Could be worse...I'd have predicted Bill Nye.
As you can see from Biden's list of sciencey stuff, by 'science' he means stuff progressives like. I'll bet Merriam-Webster has already changed the definition...

Slow Joe's Inauguration Speech To Emphasize American Unity; He Will Then Repudiate And Undo As Much As Possible Of What His Predecessor Accomplished

Gosh, it's so nice of him to want unity with the treasonous, seditious, racist, deplorable insurgents...right before he nukes as many of Trump's politically incorrect achievements as possible...
   His agenda is utter shit...but, hey--no mean tweets! 

Anti-Trump Inauguration National Guard Theater

Trump--may God, eventually, have mercy on his soul--deserves all the ridicule he gets after the last two months of psychopathy. I expect this to be the end of him, actually. He humiliated himself, and I don't see how someone with his ego can survive that. Though I guess he could use the same superhuman powers of denial that allowed him to convince himself that the Illuminati mind-controlled people into voting for Biden or whatever.
   So anyway, I don't care about that part. This isn't any kind of back-handed defense of Trump.
   It's ridicule of the other side. 
   Massive fencing--though walls and fences (a) never work! and (b) are immoral!...and despite the fact that they can't really be immoral if they don't work--all around the inauguration site. Massive National Guard presence...because somebody on Reddit made a joke about the boog. No, wait: almost all conservatives have been driven off of Reddit. So .win? No...I think they're being driven off .win as we speak... Well, anyway. AND apparently the Guard is being assigned on the basis of political orientation--so units more likely to be composed of mostly Trump voters are allegedly being placed farther away from the inauguration...
   You, ah, realize this is all crazy, right?
   I mean, the Trump riot was crazy, as goes without saying. 
   But this is the other flavor of crazy. It's like the left only has two settings--rabid, shrieky insistence that they are right about everything...and hysterical terror. 
   Of course I'm not saying that all Biden and Dem voters are like that. I suspect--and hope--that most people who voted for Biden did so with great reluctance, but figured him to be the lesser of the available evils. I'm talking about something like the public, collective persona of the progressive left. That quasi-person is crazy as hell.
   Anyway, I expect that this is all intended, in large part, as another bit of political theater to further discredit Trump and the right. LOOK! THEY ARE SO DANGEROUS THAT WE HAD TO...etc. etc.
   OTHO, as the left gets crazier and crazier, and consolidates its near-total control of, well, everything...isolated crazies on the right fester.  And are pretty likely to eventually blow. And, to make matters crazier, they have a tendency to do it--as we've seen over and over--in a way that provides a massive boost to the left.
   Anyway. Maybe this is more than merely Trump-discreditation theater. But it's at least that.

Positive BatFlu News Has Been Buried...But For Mysterious, Inexplicable Reasons, Is Now Being Revealed

I, for one, cannot think of any reason whatsoever that this might be:

But don't stop wearing your mask, citizen! That has not been authorized! Continue to do as you are told until you are told to do otherwise. [And what a coincidence that this would happen just as Cuomo has declared that NY can't stay locked down anymore, and will unlockdown soon. So weird.]

Monday, January 18, 2021

Biden Appointees: "Systemic Racism" A Major Driver Of The Climate Apocalypse

Thing about Trump's crazy is that it was never made official crazy. The very fact that Trump believed it meant that it would automatically be politically incorrect heterodoxy.
Progressive crazy is always made official crazy.
To repeat myself: one way you know climate apocalypticism is bullshit is that even the apocalypticists don't believe it. If you really believed that we faced a "climate emergency," you'd train all your policy firepower on that target. If you really thought we had 10 years to save the world, you wouldn't be screwing around with other problems--not even the Satanic scourge of "systemic racism." Thing is, of course, progressive crises are always just crisisy enough that we don't have time for rational discussion...but not so crisisy as to prevent wasting plenty of resources on other fictional progressive obsessions.

Plato's Wokeon (Or: Orthoxodon): A New Translation Of A Disputed Dialog

Abject Apologies To Dominion Voting Systems Start Rolling In From Conservative Outlets

 Those were of course, the craziest of the theories.

There's As Much To Learn From Trump's Success As From His Disgrace

 More, actually. Especially: the good, commonsense policies and appointments. It's too bad he blew it all to hell in the final two weeks.

Claim Of Massive Biden Ballot Dump In GA "Doesn't Hold Up"

Henry I. Miller: Little-Known Facts About The COVID-19 Pandemic

   If true, a couple of things: 
   First: the pandemic is more serious than conservatives have tended to represent it as being.
   Second: it still seems to me that across-the-board lockdowns are kinda crazy. Still seems like we ought to be focusing on folks who are old-ish and sick-ish. The young and healthy could contribute to that project while mostly getting on with their lives. Depriving them of schooling and early-career jobs is going to have negative repercussions the rest of their lives. Or so it seems from the perspective of a non-expert. 
   Third: I'm still baffled about the vaccines--again, especially when the young are at issue. There seems to be no evidence that they reduce transmission rates. All they seem to do is mitigate symptoms. Which suggests that we may be just creating a lot of asymptomatic spreaders. One wouldn't have to be crazy--would one--to suggest that it's better that infected people manifest symptoms. And if the young tend to socialize more, and are basically not at risk from the thing, why push such vaccines on them? Presumably reducing the severity of symptoms also reduces fatality rates...though I've never seen this affirmed explicitly.
   Finally: rumors of permanent organ (including brain) damage persist. I continue to wonder whether it's concerns about this that is driving what seem like indefensible fears about younger, healthier people getting the thing. 
   It's surprising to me how little sense the official story--as it trickles down to me, anyway--still seems to make. 

Biden Set To Mandate Acceptance of Transgender Mythology In Schools

 The Federalist is nutty when it comes to issues that impinge on religion, but they tend to get the other stuff right. Hey, ever notice how the left goes at young people with all their weird sex stuff? Not only their brainwashing--it's clear why they choose the young for that--but also with respect to the more intrusive and totalitarian of their policies? E.g. making rules at colleges for how people are permitted to have sex? For all Trump's crazy, he wasn't crazy enough to think that there are male women and female men. Transgender ideology and its policy repercussions are progressivism in a nutshell: radical re-engineering of society based on patently false, pseudoscientific, quasi-religious beliefs adopted on the basis of political preference rather than rational argument.

   And, just a reminder: I think that sex-segregation of the facilities at issue is an institution one can reasonably question. Just not by making patently false claims about males becoming girls/women by fiat and whatnot. If we want to seriously reconsider such social arrangements, it's got to be done in a way that's at least f*cking minimally reasonable. But the left knows it can't win the debate if it's conducted reasonably. That's why they decree debate to be "hate speech" and advance their social reengineering plots through e.g. the Department of Education, lawfare, and indoctrination of kids.

   Your blue future, ladies and xirs and xers... 

Biden Set To Do More Damage To The U.S. In One Day Than All Of Trump's Worst Screw-Ups Combined

We are so f*cked:

Crimestop Is A Cornerstone Of Political Correctness

“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”
                                                                                                    -- Orwell, 1984

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Queen's Gambit

We finished watching it last night and thought it was great. Anya Taylor-Joy is an absolute knockout. No matter how much mileage they get out of those eyes of hers you always want more. I never really notice/appreciate sets in period pieces, but man, even I noticed and enjoyed all the late-50s/early-60s stuff. Some of the hotel rooms are nuts. The actual chess content's pretty light--that's really my only complaint. And they're always moving so quickly that it's basically speed chess. But I guess you can't really have a tv show in which everybody just sits around staring at the board for hours.  Anyway. First tv show I've really enjoyed in quite some time, I think.

DoJ Walks Back Ridiculous Claims About "Kill-Capture" Teams At Capitol Riot

 I didn't take those claims seriously enough to even post about 'em.

Dems Take Another Step Toward Open Borders


Here comes the hoarde.

Saturday, January 16, 2021


 The important thing is that you be afraid.

"Crying 'Whataboutism' Doesn't Make The Left's Support For Rioting Go Away"

Again, the actual, grown-up term for "whataboutism" is 'tu quoque.' Tu quoque is a type of ad hominem argument. Commonly, it's a kind of consistence ad hominem. Although people often call it "the ad hominem fallacy, not all ad hominems are fallacious. Many ad hominem arguments are valid (and sound)--especially in cases of testimony. If I expect you to take my word (i.e. testimony) for something, then certain ad hominems will be valid--e.g. if you accuse me of being a liar, or of being ignorant of the matter about which I speak. One is apparently supposed to be guilty of "whataboutism" if one deploys a consistency tu quoque against someone. 
   My general view about such arguments is that they often grind to a stalemate on account of being insufficiently clear. If the right's argument were this:

    The left defended/praised the BLM/Antifa riots 
    The Capitol riot was defensible/praiseworthy

...Well, that seems to be an invalid argument. (Non-deductively invalid, I mean. Obviously deductive validity isn't at issue here.) 
   OTOH, if this is the argument, it may be valid:

    The left strongly defended/praised the BLM/Antifa riots
    The left strongly condemned the Capitol riot
    The two are too similar to sustain such disparate judgments
    The left's judgments about the riots are inconsistent

 Well...that's a pretty strong/valid (again: non-deductively valid) argument. Is it sound? Well, the first two premises are true. Everything really turns on the third premise. Which I think is true--or true enough to do the trick. But: reasonable people disagree about it.
   At any rate: usually people aren't quite sure what they're arguing in cases like this. They often don't have determinate intentions/beliefs. 
   My own view is that the Capitol riot was disgusting, crazy, and ostentatiously f*cked-up. But there seem to have been a wide range of people and, hence, aims and intentions. Some were just stupid and pliable. Some had genuinely nefarious aims. Some were leftist agents provocateurs. Some seem to have been rightist APs. Some were let in by cops. Some broke in. Some forced their way in. What happen ought to be strongly condemned...but, as usual, the left seems to be exaggerating the wrongness of the thing and using it for political ends. It's not that the right doesn't do such things--it's just that the right is so powerless and voiceless that it basically spends all its time playing defense. 
   The BLM/Antifa riots were far more substantively destructive. And the left has perpetrated and/or defended just about all the components of the Capitol riot: they've attacked and occupied government buildings, used violence to achieve political ends, mounted organized opposition to governmental authority, undertaken acts such that deaths were foreseeable consequences of those acts, destroyed property, desecrated symbols of the country...and done it all for false reasons. 
   Now, of course, one act can be worse in virtue of combining many such elements into one. 
   And arguing that the left is being inconsistent does not necessarily excuse the Capitol riot. But the following is a reasonable position:
The Capitol riot was very bad, but we're not yet sure exactly what happened, nor sure how bad it really was. The left seems to be exaggerating its badness--likely for political ends. The left, now being radical, has a penchant for inconsistency. It is not reasonable to "valorize" the BLM/Antifa riots and hyperbolically condemn the Capitol riot. The fact that the left is so often inconsistent about such things--and permitted to be inconsistent--is the source of much contemporary political irrationality. Some degree of consistency is required.
   None of this rolls Trump into the picture...but I've got stuff to do, yo.

[Oh, and: none of this takes into account the argument that the left, basically, created conditions under which riots came to be considered not merely possible and not merely permissible, but downright laudable...]

Biden Assistant AG Pick Wrote That Blacks Are Superior To Whites B/C Of Neuromelanin

Even Newsweek has to concede this one.
   Her defense is apparently that the piece was a kind of reductio ad absurdum/parody of The Bell Curve...which is misrepresented at length in the Newsweek piece as per usual... There's no link to the Clarke piece, so I haven't read it yet. At any rate, Newsweek concludes with a standard PMSM "fact"-checking move: having marshalled evidence that the charge against Clarke is true, they conclude that it's "mostly true." 

Funny How Cuomo Et Al. Have Decided, A Week Before Biden's Inauguration, That Now It's Imperative To Reopen

People on the right predicted this a long time ago. 
Progressives and the MSM have--undeniably, I'd say--fanned the flames of COVID hysteria. Basically from the beginning. Or, anyway, as soon as the MSM stopped derisively dismissing it as just a cold. They've used every low-down, despicable tactic to undermine Trump. Exaggerating the danger and harm of the Wuhan virus is in no way beyond the progressive left--which is, of course, not to say that everyone on that side of the fence participated, nor would do so. 
   But, one way or another, many, many folks on the right long ago floated a test of the hypothesis: that if Biden won, the hysteria would let up and blue states would start re-opening. 
   So was this a conscious strategy by the left? Perhaps to some extent and by some people--e.g. Cuomo. More commonly, though, it's likely just the result of bias, which distorts one's whole way of seeing such things. Progressives are already more risk-averse than conservatives. They believe Trump to be the devil, and see everything he does through that lens. It's very common in lefty comments sections to see people saying that Trump is responsible for all batflu deaths in the USA. Do they really believe that? They really sorta do. To some extent it's belief, and to some extent it's more like attitude: they see everything Trump-related as bad, horrific, dangerous. Not that Trump didn't give them plenty of ammunition with his chaotic claims during his daily batflu briefings. Because, lord, he sure did...
   But anyway. We are getting more evidence now that lockdowns aren't worth it. So the case is somewhat fuzzy. Though such information has been available for months now...
   I suppose one could say: now that Trump is decisively defeated, it's safe unlock...
   But who knows? I'm not objective about all this either.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Gleichschaltung Watch: Petitioning Harvard To Revoke Trumpista's Degrees

Trump's narcissistic insanity not only brought out the crazies on the right, it's provoked a kind of Operation Warp Speed of political correctness. More and more informal resources are being deployed to punish politically incorrect thought, speech and action. Not to deflect justified criticism of that disaster...but the backlash from the PC left is going to be much, much more destructive.

Lockdowns: No Benefit?

link.  I had tentatively concluded that they'd have benefits, but those would be outweighed by the costs. Of course we don't really know yet.

WSJ: COVID-19 Death Toll Even Worse Than It Looks

Big if true.

Incidentally: if this is right, my hunch was wrong. I thought the conservatives were right and that this was being over-hyped. I still wonder whether it's helpful to measure its deadliness in terms of death rather than quality-adjusted life-years, given that the deaths are so heavily skewed toward the very old. Nevertheless, looks like I was wrong. Also this looks like a big strike against the conservatives in the great wrongess battle with progressivism.

Et Tu, Fitbit?

Gone to Google.  Lovely.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

More Evidence Of Agents Provocateurs At The Capitol Riot

 Curiouser and curiouser.

World's Oldest Cave Painting Discovered In Indonesia

At least 45,500 years old!
This thing is cool. First, it's just good. Second, the artist seems to have basically signed it with his handprints! (Of course it could have been someone else.)

Juliette Kayyem: How MAGA Extremism Ends

Completely unhinged.
How you get Trump is being crazier than Trump.

Pelosi: 2016 Election Was Hijacked

That's different!

Yet More Antiwhite Racism On The Left

 It's barely even worth commenting on anymore. Of course the traditional view that everyone ought to be treated equally and that racism is bad no matter which group it's directed at...that's, like, super-racist.

Does The Timeline Show That Trump Wasn't Responsible For The Capitol Riot?

   Of course the MSM has no interest in this story. Their goals are: get Trump; get more power for the blues. They have no interest in the truth. 
   I've seen some MSM stories now shifting to the Trump's been doing this for months! strategy--presumably in anticipation of the timeline argument getting out of the box. They seem to be thinking a move or so ahead.
   I've begun to doubt the strength of the argument attributing causation of the riot to Trump's words at the Ellipse. Personally, I'm more concerned about his crazy conviction. He has been saying this loony shit for weeks. And it really is totally nuts. My sense is that this isn't going to turn out to have been Trump's fault--proximately speaking, that is. He has been saying this crazy crap for weeks...but that's not going to hold up as incitement. People had too long to think about it. So their reason had plenty of time to intervene between Trump's words and their actions. Add that he didn't say anything at the Ellipse that will amount to incitement--and that he specifically admonished them to be peaceful---once--and that's going to be an end on it.
   But the real problem is that this crazy belief has taken hold all across the right that election shenanigans have basically been proven. It's been kinda scary to watch this conviction take hold--not so much because of the danger it poses, but rather just because it is so. damn. nuts.

Progressivism In Yet Another Nutshell: The Psychotic Persecution Of Kyle Rittenhouse

It really doesn't get much crazier than this.
These people will pursue you to the ends of the Earth, using every means they can muster to make you miserable. This is the prosecutorial equivalent of Antifa throwing shit on its opponents. Rittenhouse was trying to do good, and he acted entirely in self-defense. It's all on video. It could not be any clearer. The people who assaulted him, and whom he shot, were violent rioters with criminal histories including sex crimes. Wisconsin prosecutors are trying to make it illegal for him to drink...and to make the 'ok' sign...which is a joke that originated in the hysterical left-wing effort to make everything racist. 
   The reason I and 74,000,000 other Americans voted for Trump is that, loony as he is, he's less abjectly insane than the rationality-destroying mind-virus that's taken over the left. Or was, anyway, until he lost. Now he's moved into just-about-as-crazy-as-the-left territory.
   Few people even understand what the Proud Boys really are. I certainly don't. They seem to aim mostly at opposing Antifa violence. They're on the right, but they're multi-racial...making media accusations of "white supremacy" implausible. Oh and: the media, being a wholly-owned subsidiary of the progressive left, calls everyone who disagrees with it a "white supremacist" you can basically divide through by such accusations.

[Note the deceptive wording of the story: KR made a handsign "adopted by some white supremacist groups." That's true...ish. What happened was that the hysterical left tried to make the OK sign into something then people like me started flashing it around specifically to make fun of them. Then--we're told--some racists did the same now we're supposed to consider the gesture racist. 
These people are completely off their collective nut.]

A Wee Reminder: Left-Wing Riots Are Mostly Peaceful Protests; Right-Wing Riots Are White-Supremacist Insurrections

We swim in a sea of propaganda.

Trump Admin Misses Deadline To Deliver Apportionment Numbers

 I don't understand this very well, but I'm inclined to agree with the administration, largely because I think it would add incentives for states and localities to discourage illegal aliens from settling there. The Democrats' way of doing this basically defrays the cost of illegal immigration. And, as for there being 11 million illegals in the country: contra Brookings, that's the low-end estimate. But, of course, any desire to enforce immigration laws of any kind is now racist, as you know.

TX Voter-Fraud Arrest


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Trump Message On Capitol Riot


Meredith Bragg: The Case For Impeaching Trump


Carolina 81 - Syracuse 75

 Nice work Heels.

Trump Impeachment 2.0

 Trump may deserve it, but the Democrats are insane.

Even Snopes Can't Bring Itself To Say That Trump Incited The 1/6 Rioters

Snopesian summary:
Q: Did Trump tell protestors to storm the Capitol?
[Reviews facts, which clearly show the answer is no]
Conclusion: "Mixture"
Of course, where Trump is concerned, "mixture" means: no. That's as much of an admission as he's ever gonna get. They wiggle out by basically saying that interpretations are "subjective" and, well, who knows?

Blue Destruction Commences Even Before They Officially Take Power

 RIP electoral college, RIP America.

Next stop, D.C. statehood?

Questions About The Trump Riot Timeline

 I don't have a view about all this. Though: I can tell you it's not a 45-minute walk from the Ellipse to the Capitol. Google maps says 35 and they run a bit long. OTOH: crowds, so. People could have left the Ellipse halfway through Trump's speech and hoofed it to the Capitol...still a bit fishy. Worth investigating, especially when conjoined with expert testimony that Antifa was present...but without more thought and evidence, I don't know what to make of this stuff.

Betsy DeVos And The Poisonous Politics Of Malice She Endured

Up is down, night is day, left is right...the problem with American education is Betsy DeVos...the solution is Educrats, indoctrination, and teachers' unions...

NPR: 1/6 Capitol Riot "One Of The Darkest Days In American History"

Look, I'm appalled by the riot and the rioters.
But this just seems like nonsense to me. 
"One of" the how many "darkest days in American history"? 
Surely not ten. Not twenty. Not 100. Probably not 500. 
Without even thinking about it anyone should realize that this is a history that includes Pearl Harbor, Wounded Knee, Spotsylvania, 9/11...limiting this to "days" is already weird. It rules out extended tragedies like slavery and the American Indian genocide...but anyway...the San Francisco earthquake...the opening day of the Battle of the Bulge...again, this is without even thinking about it. 
Look, I'm disgusted by what happened. And it's got to be digested. But I don't see how anyone can seriously say--without a lot more thought--that it was "one of the darkest days of American history." 
I mean...the Battle of Long Island??? Freeman's Farm? Germantown? All 150+ days or whatever at Valley Forge? That's just a few from just the Revolution.
NPR is crap. And politically-biased crap.
Which is--again--not to excuse what happened on 1/6.

Turley: Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance

Not sure what to think about this.
   Trump and the right have absolutely flipped their lids over the loss of the election. They are--or seem to be--absolutely certain that the election was stolen. I've admitted from the beginning that there's prima facie evidence of chicanery. But what we've really seen is a deluge of seemingly weak evidence that's often debunked straightaway. The MSM bears some of the blame for refusing to even take the question seriously and merely doing their now-ordinary thing: declaring anyone who refuses to immediately reject the insta-orthodoxy to be stupid, redneck conspiracy theorists. This leaves people who are genuinely unsure few good options...
   But still: the Trumpian right has now lost its mind, too.

Ian Miles Cheong Explains It All For You

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Your Blue Future: Notorious Racist Sarah Jeong Labels Anti-Antifa Journalist Andy Ngo "Real Threat," Urges Twitter-Censorship

 Presumably I don't have to remind you that these people are crazed totalitarians.

Aaron Mate: Rundown Of Open Questions About The Anti-Trump Russiagategate Conspiracy

 Mate has done absolutely fantastic work on this.

ET Interview With Japanese Journalist About Capitol Riot: Antifa APs Present, Active

 link.  She also has a kind of objectivity about the matter that it's difficult for us to have.

Michael Yon Says Antifa Agent Provocateurs Clearly Instigated Capitol Storming

I respect this guy. He has an absolute shit-ton of experience with antifa, and was there on the ground at the Capitol. I made fun of the pantyfa agent provocateur hypothesis...but this video actually makes me think that the hypothesis is extremely plausible and should be a main focus of investigation. I beseech thee to watch this before it's taken down:

Monday, January 11, 2021

First-Hand Account Of The Capitol Election Protest

 Valuable context.

Actual Climate Hysteriac Pronouncements, 1970-Present

Sen. Ron Wyden: The Capitol Riots Prove That We Have To Strengthen Our Democracy. That Begins With Voting Rights.

Bullshit from beginning to and, according to me...but what do I know?
Coupla things:
   The push for D.C. statehood is off and running. Another immovably blue state would be a disaster. Also: there are reasons D.C. isn't in a state, dumbasses.
   As for "every American" voting: I don't want every American to vote. Of course the Dems will make this racial--they now make everything racial. But (a) if someone doesn't care enough to do what's required to vote, then I'd rather he didn't. And, as should go without saying: regardless of race. And (b) I'm inclined to think that reliable and trustworthy elections are more important than making it so easy to vote that even the disengaged and apathetic do so. Reinstate I.D. requirements, and stop mass-mailing unrequested absentee ballots.

Cuomo/NY Throwing Away Vaccines Rather Than Vaxing People Out Of Turn

When They Admit It, Believe 'Em

 DeBlasio admits he wants to take your money and give it to other people. (Which isn't "re"-distribution, because there was never any distribution, only earning/acquisition.) Reminds me of Biden and Beto admitting they want to seize our firearms. At least they're being honest about their hopes and intentions...that's worth something...

Biden-Harris Doing Basically What Trump Did: Spreading Provably-False, Violence-Conducive Lies

These lies, about race and the BLM/Antifa riots, are probably the most destructive kinds of lies one could currently tell. I mean, right now, around the election, Trump's are probably more dangerous. But in a broader sense of  'right now'--about 2018 on--the lies about race are probably the most dangerous and destructive. The blue team just keeps promoting these extremely volatile lies, pushing and pushing and pushing. It's the left's crisis --> change strategy.  Come to think of it, that's not too far off from what Trump was doing...

Althouse: If Trump Knew There Was A Plan To Storm The Capitol, Then He Incited

 Seems reasonable to me. Mmm...on second thought, maybe not. Just knowing that someone posted that tweet might not be enough. But--not a lawyer. I am inclined to agree with McCarthy, though: doesn't seem like incitement is the relevant standard here. 

In other news: we're in big trouble. Regardless of what happens to Trump. the antiliberal left is now free to rampage across the land. My view about the two sides is that the left infiltrates institutions and slowly destroys the country...and the right snaps every now and then and does something f*cking insane (see, e.g.: James Alex Fields. Also: storming the Capitol). These acts increase the power of the left. Cycle repeats, worse each time.

Althouse: The 7 Most Violence-Inciting Statements In Trump's Speech To The Crowd On January 6th

   I'm doing this because I realized I wasn't seeing quotes from Trump, just assertions that the speech was an incitement and cause-and-effect inferences based on the sequence of events: He spoke and then they acted.
   There are places where he clearly talked about a peaceful protest march. He says: "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." And: "So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue... So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue."
   Just because Trump is acting crazy, don't forget that the MSM is the propaganda arm of the Blues. They've basically done nothing but lie about him for 4+ years. We're basically hearing reports from crazy people about a crazy person that the crazy people hate. 
   None of the statements Althouse identifies seem--intuitively--to amount to incitement. And that seems to be what reasonable lawyers are saying, too. McCarthy says--and this seems reasonable to me--that that's true, but not the relevant standard. 
   I still think that--for once!--Holmes's "shouting fire in a crowded theater" analogy is actually applicable. The shouter in the analogy doesn't directly incite people to rush, panicked, for the exits. He doesn't say "Everybody rush the exist right now! Trample others if necessary!" Rather, he (in effect) knowingly makes a false empirical claim that will give rational people incentive to rush the exits. That's what Trump did, isn't it? If the election is being stolen, the republic being destroyed, the Constitution being shredded...isn't the rational reaction violence? This is the sort of thing that worried me about conservative claims that Obama was intentionally destroying the country: it seemed to provide people with rational grounds for violence. 
   Note: this is also what the media, academicians, the activist vanguard, and other idea-mongers on the left did/are doing to black America and white Pantyfa types: they repeat the provably-false claim that racist police are routinely murdering black men. If you believe that, then, yeah, I don't see that mass rioting is an irrational response.
   OTOH, though...Trump specifically instructs the crowd to be peaceful...though one might wish he were clearer about that. Back to the analogy: what if I spend an hour elaborating on the story about the theater fire. I believe it--but irresponsibly. I am in a position to know better. What I DO know is that there are reasons to suspect that there could be a fire in the projection room. But I tell the audience that there IS such a fire, and I spend an hour talking about how we're all f*cked if we don't get out of here fast. Along the way I say things like "now let's be orderly as we leave" or whatever... 
   And, of course, the blue team spent all summer defending the BLM/Pantyfa riots, arguing that violence was as American as the Boston tea party, and generally egging them on. So that's a difference.
   But the real topic here is Trump. I'm willing to buy the no incitement argument. But I don't think that's the only question here. 
   And anyway, I'm now more interested in the epistemic issue of Trump's immunity to counterevidence and refutation.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Trump's Conviction That He Won Is Impervious To Evidence

 There's a helluva lot of that goin around on the right right now. I've never seen anything like it.

Dems Will Move To Impeach Trump

Current attitude: uneasy possible agreement.
I haven't listened to his entire speech before the riot--and I think it's important to hear it. What a clusterfuck. I still kinda think that if Trump had shown some hint of contrition in the Go Home video he'd have a much better chance of avoiding this. That video was cracked.

Symbols / Substance

I was reflecting today about what a stupid jackass I was to trust Trump. Which led me to think about how agonizing it was to first think about the possibility that I might even have to for him. I came to a point at which I it seemed to me that the reasons for doing so were too strong to dismiss...but actually voting for him seemed unthinkable. Of course I was thinking I'd have done better to have kept that in the unthinkable category--and voted for nobody.
   Then I reflected on the reasons that seemed compelling to me...and reflected on the fact that the vast majority of the reasons were anti-Democrat reasons. I still think progressivism is the most dangerous major political faction in America in my lifetime. And it's obvious that progressives now control the party.  And so really, even knowing what I know now, the choice would come down to defending the substance of the republic: the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Sixth opposed to its symbols. Desecration and disrespect of the symbols are serious matters. But it can't compare to the destruction of the substance. As repulsive as Trump and (a tiny minority of) his supporters have acted, I have no doubt about which of the two--Biden or Trump--would do the most to protect the Constitution. The progressive assault on the First, Second, and Sixth Amendments has been underway for quite some time now, and there is no doubt, in general, what progressivism has in mind for them. And that's not to mention the importance of appointing (roughly) textualist judges. Nor to mention how crucial it is to have viable borders and immigration controls. 
  I've said that I feared Trump because I didn't know what he'd do. But I feared the Democrats because I do know what they'll do. 
   But I have to say that it's actually more complicated because what I saw coming out in Trump since the election--but never so clear as on Wednesday--is generally the same kind of crazy that makes progressivism so dangerous--the acceptance of patent falsehood as truth. Once you cross that line, everything is permitted. Freedom is the freedom to say that two and two make four. Contra Orwell, it isn't true that if that is granted, all else follows. But if that isn't granted, there is no freedom and no reason.
   Trump hasn't accepted any outright contradictions like some women are male. But he's accepted the myth of the stolen landslide with the same kind of dogmatic, evidence-free fervor that progressives have accepted some women are male. And both of those beliefs require the believer to give free reign to his doxastic preferences. There's just no evidence for the myth of the stolen landslide. And I want an investigation of the election! It's a sign of Trump's unhingement that he couldn't even be content with saying that he won by a little bit. Only a landslide'll do for The Donald.
   As it always has, our options came down to (a) a nut and (b) the doddering front-man for a political faction that has basically lost its collective mind--or that is helmed by people who have. We can also say that the choice was between a conservative liberal and a former liberal now in the thrall of illiberal leftism. I've thought for about two years now that Trump's bafflingly good policies and appointments more than made up for his marginal stability, and he still came out far preferable to what we can expect from the blues. But seeing him assert the myth of stolen landslide with the same degree of certainty I might have in saying The sky is blue... That was creepy as hell. Some people don't even seem to blink at such a thing...but you've gotta draw the line somewhere, and if you don't draw it there, there's really nowhere to draw it at all.
   That's all I got.

Summer: AP: Don't Say 'Riot,' Say 'Protest'; Now: TREASONOUS SEDITIOUS INSURRECTION!!!!

I don't have a lot of inclination to defend the Capitol rioters--though I do think that some people who don't normally show a lot of sentimentality about America and its symbols are a lot more outraged by this than would be predictable from their past words and actions. I think outrage is fitting in this case. But it's also obvious that extra outrage is being produced/play-acted for political purposes. The degree of outrage infecting the left is clearly inconsistent with their excuse-making and heroification of riots....oh...wait...mostly peaceful the summer. AP, among others, said we shouldn't use the word 'riot,' and shouldn't even focus on the riots. Instead we should focus on the underlying grievance. Because something something "stigma" or something. The left, unsurprisingly, turned on a dime about this on Wednesday. Though I do find a lot of the outrage somewhat insincere, I'm not focusing on that. I'll just point out again that the cases are similar enough (ignoring Trump's role) that there's no way to justify the heroification of one and a total freakout about the other. Anyway:

McCarthy On The SSCI Trump-Russia Report

Every now and then you still run into some Russiagate dead-enders who vaguely wave at the SSCI report as some kind of evidence that, in the end, we DID prove that Trump was colluding with Russia. No. Not in any way true whatsoever, as you may recall. Not even close. It doesn't even undermine the Russiagategate theory that Dems colluded against Trump. Which they did...

Support Grows For Trump Impeachment Over Capitol Riot

Well this is gonna be great.

COVID: 2.5 Million Years Of Life Lost In The U.S. Alone?

Jesus Christ. Not quality-adjusted years...but still... And this doesn't seem to take into account years lost as a result of lockdowns. An average of about 13 years lost per person who's died!  I don't know why we don't see a lot of these much more informative measures in the media.

Lockdown Harms 10x Greater Than Benefits?

I'm in no way convinced this is true, but I'm rather fed up with progressives deploying their now all-purpose "follow the science" line on it when it seems clear to me that the case for lockdowns is unproven. And in the absence of proof, f*ck your lockdowns.
   I'm among those who fear Americans are turning into sheep. If it weren't happening intellectually, politically and culturally I might not worry about it too much in this context. But it is, so I do. I really am willing to do my part for the public good. But I'm not willing to be bossed around by bullshitters. Neither should you be.
First, some background into the cost-benefit analysis. I discovered information I was not aware of before. First, framing decisions as between saving lives versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy. There is a strong long-run relationship between economic recession and public health. This makes sense, as government spending on things like healthcare, education, roads, sanitation, housing, nutrition, vaccines, safety, social security nets, clean energy, and other services determines the population well-being and life-expectancy. If the government is forced to spend less on these social determinants of health, there will be ‘statistical lives’ lost, that is, people will die in the years to come. Second, I had underestimated the effects of loneliness and unemployment on public health. It turns out that loneliness and unemployment are known to be among the strongest risk factors for early mortality, reduced lifespan, and chronic diseases. Third, in making policy decisions there are trade-offs to consider, costs and benefits, and we have to choose between options that each have tragic outcomes in order to advocate for the least people to die as possible.
In the cost-benefit analysis I consider the benefits of lockdowns in preventing deaths from COVID-19, and the costs of lockdowns in terms of the effects of the recession, loneliness, and unemployment on population wellbeing and mortality. I did not consider all of the other so-called ‘collateral damage’ of lockdowns mentioned above. It turned out that the costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can. It is important to note that I support a focused protection approach, where we aim to protect those truly at high-risk of COVID-19 mortality, including older people, especially those with severe co-morbidities and those in nursing homes and hospitals.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

"Hang Mike Pence" Trends On Twitter

Conservatives lost it fast. For a couple of years now they've been markedly less loony than the progressive left. When I first started hanging out over there seriously I was struck by how much less doctrinaire and nutty the conversations were, how much wider the scope of ideas and positions could be discussed, and how much funnier they were. Sure, they had their problems. But they were nothing compared to the shrieking, rabid insanity on the left. Things started getting rockier as the election rolled around. I saw a lot of certainty expressed about Trump winning. Then he--seemingly--lost. Then came the deluge of reports of puzzles and anomalies. By this week, you could look straight down post comments places like Instapundit and see near-uniform expressions of certainty that the election had been stolen. I was one of the few to argue that--though I was suspicious enough to want an investigation--I doubted it'd change anything. And, I said, we certainly had no right to claim that Trump had won simpliciter. The most we had were some prima facie grounds for suspicion, some hearsay, and some statistical peculiarities--some of which could be explained away pretty easily, and some of which were readily debunked. I got a lot of responses claiming that I was an idiot. I got a couple that just said 'liar.' I was once told that we saw the election theft "with our own eyes." 

My own view, often expressed here, is that we can't take anything like this for granted after Russiagate. But that there's a world of difference between We need an investigation and They stole it.

But it's too late now. People's pride and emotions are engaged now. People have said Trump is good or its near-equivalent with too much certainty and gusto to backtrack on that now.

Message Posted On Common App

 link. As a friend of mine said: it's never too early to teach a lesson to the insufficiently woke.

Some Capitol Police Did Let Protestors In

DeVos: Controversial Legacy, Soon Reversed

What she's done for universities has been absolutely fantastic. I've said in the past that (up until 1/6/21, anyway) DeVos alone was worth the price of Trump. Four more years and she might have saved Western Civilization...
   I don't understand school choice well enough to deserve an opinion, but I know about the university issues.  
   Here are some of DeVos's horrific crimes against humanity:
Her most lasting legacy may be a sweeping directive governing how schools handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment. Those rules, which give more due-process rights to the accused, will be difficult to unwind, though President-elect Joe Biden has said he will try.
She also used executive authority to roll back Obama-era guidance on affirmative action, and to require college campuses to recognize free speech rights.

   Obviously a monster. 

"Whiteness Is At The Core Of The Insurrection"

Sounds like 100% bullshit to me--but YMMV.
   If it's true that police used violence against black protestors more often than white protestors, the obvious explanation is that BLM/Antifa have often been violent riots, whereas pro-Trump demonstrations have so seldom been riotous that even the USCP didn't think they needed to bring in the Guard. The circumstances involved are so different that it's extremely difficult to generalize from them. We're really looking at a one-off case on the one hand and a long succession of cases on the other. 

Turley: Trump's 1/6/21 Actions Not Impeachable

Again, my ignorant, non-expert judgment: Turley's arguments seem weaker than McCarthy's. As for which course of action--impeachment or not--is wiser...I do not know.

McCarthy On Impeachment

Seems reasonable, as usual:
   The president was utterly irresponsible in his demagoguery. He plainly intended for thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol to create political pressure on Vice President Pence and congressional Republicans — i.e., to induce them to take what would have been lawless procedural steps to invalidate electoral votes that states had cast for President-elect Biden. There is no evidence, though, much less proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that Trump intended to instigate the Battle of Capitol Hill. He did not want anyone to be physically injured, let alone killed.
   Yet the issue in impeachment is not criminal liability. As we extensively covered a year ago, impeachment concerns what Hamilton described as political offenses that call into question fitness for high public office. On that standard, the president’s incitement is indefensible, both for the undermining of our constitutional system that it promoted and the carnage it caused — however unintentionally. As someone who contended that the Ukraine kerfuffle was partisan theater masqueraded as impeachable offenses, I must say that this incident, to the contrary, is undeniably impeachable.
   Nevertheless, I haven’t called for the president to be impeached and removed. Instead, to repeat what I said in the column linked above, while I would never argue that what he’s done is not impeachable, it would be a mistake to launch an impeachment now. There are only eleven days left in the president’s term. More important, removing him at this stage would gratuitously fan the flames of societal division that have intermittently exploded into violent rioting for the past year. Beyond that, I’ve opposed the caprice of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump because that procedure is reserved for grave medical conditions that render a stricken president unable to perform his duties. That is not our situation.

My emphasis. I'm inclined to agree with both conjuncts. The Dems are like a crazy D.A. that's repeatedly conspired against an innocent man...who then does something who then does something genuinely illegal on the way out of state. 

Dems Try Impeachment...Again

In my ignorant and by-now-virtually-worthless not-even-vaguely expert judgment, after having thought, over succeeding days, that this was a good idea, then a bad idea...: I don't know. After four years of irrationally (and in some cases, apparently, illegally) plotting against him, finally he's done something that strikes me--intuitively and no more--impeachment-worthy. 
   Seems like a Kobayashi Maru to me. It seems outrageous to let a President get away with something so insane. OTOH, after four years of irrational, partisan efforts to destroy him, this now can't but be seen as a continuation of that pattern. 
   OTOH, given that the progressives and Dems have done almost all the same things--some to a much more destructive degree--this threatens to constitute implementation of a double-standard. Progressives/leftists have stormed buildings on Capitol Hill (e.g. during the Kavanaugh hearings), have engaged in activities tantamount to a coup (Russiagate), have engaged in violent, sustained riots across the country, burning and laying extended siege to state and federal government buildings, have established what they have declared to be other countries ("autonomous zones"), have called for insurrection against the government, have physically attacked lawmakers...all with the support (or at most lukewarm opposition) of progressives and Democrats. 
   So I don't know.
   I suppose my ignorant, intuitive preference is: force Trump from office and then, finally, hold the left to the same standards. But (a) that second part simply isn't going to happen--the progressive left is in charge, and their power has just been massively increased. (And this isn't even their final form...) And (b) if you think the Trumpistas are pissed now, just wait until they try to remove him. I'm inclined to think that that latter type of consideration shouldn't count... But, practically, do we really want to turn up the heat right now?

Heather Mac Donald Gets It Exactly Right Once Again: The Capitol Riot And Its Context

 I have nothing to add to this.

A Kind-Of Symmetry In Trump's Term Of Office; and: "If We Nominate Trump We Will Get Destroyed..."

Pretty weak similarity, but it struck me that basically the first idea Trump promoted upon taking office was that nutty, obviously false shit about the number of people at his inauguration as compared to the number at Obama's. The (let's hope) last major idea he's promoted is the nutty, obviously false shit about the number of people who voted for him as compared to the number that voted for Biden. (Not that I think it's impossible that there were enough shenanigans to shift the results to Biden. Rather, I think it's basically impossible that Trump won in a landslide. And very unlikely--but not impossible--that he won at all.)
   The media tried to spin up that first bit of patent bullshit/lying into a theory that Trump was some kind of relativist based on one slightly unclear claim by Sean Spicer (or Kellyanne Conway?) about Trump looking at "alternative facts." What was meant was that Trump was looking at different facts--or, better, different evidence. There's no doubt about this, as I said at the time--when I still loathed Trump. It was a straight-up piece of bullshitting. It had nothing to do with any kind of weird metaphysics or epistemology. But it foreshadowed the current insanity. Trump isn't lying about the vote--not so far as I can tell. He seems to have genuinely convinced himself that the won. People convince themselves of falsehoods all the time...just not usually so blatantly, nor so publicly...nor as President... 
   That sort of thing is a huge red flag. As I also said at the time, if you're willing to commit yourself to insisting that p is true when everyone can see that p is false, God knows what you're willing to do when the facts are unclear. Too bad I didn't listen to myself on that point... 
   There are two kinds of things to think about here: first, what to think about Trump and his actions and their consequences in and of themselves. Second, what to think about the largely comparative situation we're in with respect to our politics and the culture "war." I have no interest in diluting criticism's of Trump's 1/6/21 debacle. It was a shitshow of biblical proportions. I even briefly thought impeachment might not be irrational. I actually kinda still think that invoking the 25th Amendment isn't the nuttiest idea I ever heard. I think you can argue that Trump believes something patently irrational, and that that can count as a kind of insanity.
   OTOH, I'll also just gesture at the comparative situation too: very little about what just happens does much to change my view of overall predicament. Trump's always been a nutty wild card, and Trump losing was always the danger zone. We still have delusional, radically partisan media that is fanning the flames of hysteria in such a way as to benefit the extremist left that now rules the culture, all our institutions, and the Democratic party. Leftist crowds have rioted--far more, and more destructively. They have stormed federal buildings, burned them, and laid siege to them. And they have been heroified for it--whereas the reaction to the much tamer 1/6 riots has been just the opposite. The left believes far, far more delusional things than Trump and the Trumpistas believe. And, whereas the latter delusions are mercilessly derided by the powers that be, it's those powers themselves that propagate and enforce the former delusions. The left's delusions are official, orthodox, delusions, that the left is busy ensconcing into schools, universities, the bureaucracy and the law. The right's delusions are heterodox, outlaw delusions. As absurdly repulsive as 1/6 was, it really can't stack up against the ongoing anti-reality, anti-American project of La Resistance. Which, note, is a defense neither of Trump nor of the 1/6 rioters.
   Finally, though I dislike counterproductivity arguments, note that our illiberal elites argued that the BLM/Antifa riots were just and admirable, and so we must accept the policies and worldview of the rioters--which just happen to be consistent with the policies and worldview of the progressive elites. Now they are using the 1/6 riot to argue that we must reject the policies and worldview of those rioters...which again means advancing the views of the illiberal elites. Trump and his cohort are being permanently banned not just from Twitter and Facebook, but, apparently, from email accounts as well. This ramped up the conservative exodus from Twitter to Parler...but Google and Apple immediately announced that they were banning the Parler app from their platforms. Thus the illiberal constriction of speech advances apace. (And, amazingly, this happens to also squelch some of Big Tech's competition.)
   To quote the prophetic words of Lindsey Graham: "If we nominate Trump we will get destroyed...and we will deserve it." The worst-case has come to pass: Trump has imploded and, in doing so, left the anti-liberal left stronger than it has ever been before.
   Thanks, Trump! And thanks to all of us shitheads who supported him.

Friday, January 08, 2021

House To Introduce Articles Of Impeachment On Monday

The Democrats are unhinged.
This is the only way I can think of to redeem Trump and pull victory against the cult from the jaws of defeat.

Lying Liars: Police Tougher On Capitol "Insurrection" Than On BLM/Antifa Rioters

 Lying, lying liars.

And idiots.

Academia's Reaction Two Two (Sets Of) Riots

Universities are now sending out hand-wringy responses to the Capitol riot, reaffirming commitment to peace and democracy. Which is good. The Capitol riot was reprehensible in the extreme. I don't think it portends any greater crisis--but it was more than bad enough in itself. 
   However, this riot is being treated very differently than the interminable, much more practically devastating, BLM/Antifa riots of the Spring and Summer. In that case, my university and most of the departments in the humanities and social sciences issued hyperventilating, garment-rending open letters affirming their anguish--and their alleged guilt. Those riots were not objects of condemnation; rather, they were taken to be righteous expressions of outrage--and universities responded by throwing themselves prostrate and professing their unforgivable complicity in "systemic" racism. 
   This despite the facts that:
(a) Both riots were thinly-rational responses to falsehoods propagated by authorities
(b) The BLM/Antifa riots were far, far more destructive--leading much more directly to something like 30 deaths, the alleged establishment of alien states and governments within the USA, and $2 billion worth of damage.
   The Capitol riot was much worse symbolically--and symbols matter. It was more of an affront to the nation generally and those of us at a distance. But I'll bet whatever you want that the BLM/Antifa riots were more traumatic and costly to the individuals involved. The Capitol riot was not what we might call a tangible threat. It didn't include the kinds of vicious assaults that the BLM/Antifa riots included, no one tried to burn down the Capitol building, at lease some of the rioters were permitted entrance by the USCP...and the majority of the violence was constituted by (questionably-justified) killing of a protestor--whereas BLM/Antifa were largely treated with kid gloves. 
   Whereas tearful adulation for the spirit of the BLM/Antifa riots was virtually de rigueur, I can guarantee you that anyone so rash as to defend the Capitol riot in any way will be taking his career in his hands. The former are unquestionably noble and good; the latter unquestionably ignoble and bad.

Nat'l Assoc. Of Realtors May Kick Members Out For Private "Hate Speech"

Your blue future, my friends. And another battle won largely via language--specifically the term 'hate speech": see final sentence.
   The sweeping prohibition applies to association members 24/7, covering all communication, private and professional, written and spoken, online and off. Punishment could top out at a maximum fine of $15,000 and expulsion from the organization.
   Mary Wagner, a Buffalo real estate agent who is white and lesbian, says the move, announced in November, fits her vision for creating a fairer society. She predicts thousands of complaints this year, given the realtor association's enormous size and the overheated climate of social media.
   “I was thrilled to hear it,” Wagner said in a phone interview. “I think it’s long overdue.”
   NAR’s decision, allowing any member of the public to file a complaint, has alarmed other real estate agents, and also some legal and ethics experts, who say the hate speech ban’s vagueness is an invitation to censor controversial political opinions, especially on race and gender. While that’s not the association’s stated intention, the skeptics say their fears are justified by the hyperactive “cancel culture” online that has jettisoned hapless workers for posting “all lives matter” and objecting to gay marriage.
   “The dam has broken and other organizations will look at this,” predicted Robert Föehl, a professor of business ethics and business law at Ohio University.
   “If this is good for real estate agents, why not attorneys, why not doctors?” Föehl said. “They’re going to be pressured to do what NAR has done. And that pressure is going to be very real, because what organization wants to argue they should allow hate speech by their members?”  [Emphases mine]

*Actual* Trump-Supporters Stop Antifa False-Flaggers From Damaging Capitol?

Ok, at first I pooh-poohed the idea of an Antifa false-flag operation. For one thing, wingnuts have a tendency to offer that explanation way too much. But then I saw the by-now-well-known video of a group of rioters breaking into the Capitol building via a window. I've watched quite a few pro-Trump protest videos, and these guys...well....they certainly don't scream Pantyfa...but they don't seem quite like pro-Trump-protest types either. Certainly the destruction of property is atypical. The guy chanting "kill 'em...kill!" seems like a pretty artless bit of false-flaggery... They do wear camo rather than black...though no vaguely plausible false-flaggers would wear black... At any rate, I characterize those guys as suspicious
   But here's a much clearer case. Here's a case of someone smashing a (multi-thousand-dollar, incidentally) window. The actual MAGA crowd identifies him as Pantyfa and tries to stop him. One guy finally tackles him, drags him away from the window, and fights with him. Gateway Pundit used to be reliable in the sense that basically everything he published was rubbish...but he really turned around a couple of years ago, and now often publishes accurate stuff. At any rate, in this case, the video's right there for your consideration.
   Andy Ngo--who everybody acknowledges to be, basically, the authority on the subject--says that, in the video he's examined, the people in the Capitol building don't look like Antifa to him. OTOH, I think it was Ngo himself who later identified footage of one know radical, violent BLM "activist" in the building. I read somewhere else that Viking-horn guy is a lefty. In general, many of the people in the building don't look like paradigmatic pro-Trump protestors to me...but, then, it's pretty likely that they're not paradigmatic ones...