Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Conrad Black: Evicting Trump Was Clearly A Catastrophe

The best summary of Trump and his presidency I've seen:
   Seven months into the Biden regime, the truism that dare not speak its name is now almost too obvious to bear stating. It was a catastrophic error to evict Donald Trump. No one, and certainly not I, would try to whitewash the stylistic infelicities of Donald Trump. He said many things that were toe-curlingly embarrassing coming from the holder of so great an office. But he proved in government as he had in the private sector that he was capable and forceful, and although he had the terrible handicap of personalizing everything and escalating all disagreements, he had a clear conception of domestic and foreign national interests and pursued them very successfully.
   Despite the frenzied, wall-to-wall, linked-armed international effort to present Trump as a brutal, crooked, moron, he almost eliminated unemployment and illegal immigration, did eliminate energy imports, and by identifying and incentivizing “enterprise zones,” he created conditions in which the lowest 20 per cent of American income earners were gaining income in percentage terms compared to the top 10 per cent on the income scale. President Trump, without demagogy or hyperbole, attracted American attention to the commercial and geopolitical threat from China. He incited NATO to stop sponging off America and raise the national defence commitments to figures much more closely approximating their long-standing promises to the United States. (Canada was one of the most delinquent countries and has been one of the most sluggish to respond-the Trudeau government dissented from and mocked virtually every position that President Trump took and now is probably the most egregious and ungrateful alliance freeloader. Trump was the first U.S. president since Herbert Hoover not to visit Canada while in office.)

Trafalgar: Youngkin / McAuliffe Virtual Tie

Fingers crossed.
But I fully expect NoVa to screw us again.

Monday, August 30, 2021

John B. Judis: How The Census Misleads On Race

I'll just note this bit:
“'Races' are defined not by biology but by cultural convention."
As you know: no. Races are mainly natural kinds, with many sub-kinds. Which kinds people think are significant does change, partially on the basis of factors one can reasonably call social or cultural. White is a funny one, though. Caucasian used to be the more common category in serious discussions. Don't know what happened to that. 
   Anyway. It's always easy to say that a category is "social". Less easy to make sense of such claims. Obama is half black and half white. In such cases we generally say: Eh, you get to basically pick one as shorthand and go with that. Rachel Dolezal isn't black at all. She isn't granted the authority to make the call, because there's no call to make. She's white. Progressive principles, such as they are, entail that RD should be able to make the call, because all "identity" is "identification." Nonsense, of course...but anyway, they just double-standarded their way out of the problem, decreeing her to be a horrible, horrible racist because reasons. So via dumb ideas and irrational exceptions, they managed to at least get things partially right in that case: RD: not black.
   Blah, blah, blah.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Brandon O'Neill Interviews The Great HMD: "Hysteria Has Consumed America"

A Spiked podcast.

Chait: Why The Media Is Worse For Biden Than It Was For Trump

I don't think this is even vaguely true. But, then, I started skimming about a third of the way through. 
Chait used to be really good. Seems to me that he moved significantly left after he got e-mobbed for disagreeing with Saint Ta-Nahisi of Coates.
The media actually participated in a conspiracy to bring down Trump. And it outright lied about him at what seemed like more-or-less every opportunity. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Ready For "Cooling Justice," Soon-To-Be-Sweaty Bigot?

Marin County Delta Variant School Outbreak

Now do it again with a mask...
   This person is a ****ing idiot:
On May 25, 2021, the Marin County Department of Public Health (MCPH) was notified by an elementary school that on May 23, an unvaccinated teacher had reported receiving a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The teacher reported becoming symptomatic on May 19, but continued to work for 2 days before receiving a test on May 21. On occasion during this time, the teacher read aloud unmasked to the class despite school requirements to mask while indoors.
I'm no expert, obviously, but I'm inclined to think that the stupidest part of this is: THIS PERSON CONTINUED TEACHING FOR TWO DAYS AFTER MANIFESTING SYMPTOMS. WTH??? And why is this not being emphasized more: IF YOU"RE SICK, STAY THE HELL HOME. Of course this person didn't realize that it was COVID--BUT THAT DOESN'T MATTER. STAY HOME. Really angrifying. Especially given that this person was unvaccinated.
   But possibly valuable evidence, I reckon.  

“'Inescapable' COVID-19 Antibody Discovery – Neutralizes All Known SARS-CoV-2 Strains" (?)

Big if true.

DC Prep Schools Implement Progressive Indoctrination In Lockstep

Why are you so concerned about this?
It's limited to campus.
It's just a few activists.
It's just a fringe movement.
They just want to tell a more complete story about America.
None of this is really happening anyway.
Conservatives are making it all up.
The real danger is from the right.

The Disaster Of Biden's First 200 Days

So much for the moratorium

Friday, August 27, 2021

Temporary Suspension Of Harshing On Biden

Everybody can see what kind of job he's doing, and more-or-less what's going on in Afghanistan. I'm just going to shut up about him for a bit until the situation at the Kabul airport gets resolved. This should have never happened. But while it is happening I'll just try to hold my tongue.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

13th U.S. Service-Member Dies; Biden: "We Will Not Forgive"

You heard the man.
I hope there are some B-52s being loaded out right now to flatten some ISIS camel-shit huts or what the hell ever those people still have. I hope that, a year from now, the few remaining ISIS fuckwits are reminiscing about the good old days when they used to have camel-shit huts.
"We will hunt you down and make you pay."
I hope those pieces of shit think about that as the try to go to sleep...every night for the few remaining nights I hope they have left to them.

THIS Is CNN: Biden's Afghanistan Prescience

The End Of American Order Is Closer Than Kabul

Like oh, say, Portland.

12 U.S. Service-Members Killed, 12 Wounded In Deadliest Day For U.S. In Afghanistan In A Decade

Trump Anti-Biden Ad

As Insty says: harsh but fair:

"You Do Not Have A Constitutional Right To Refuse The COVID Vaccine"

  The only strong argument here is the Jacobson v. Massachusetts argument, which case apparently established that we don't have a right to refuse the smallpox vaccine. But that's a pretty strong argument--decisive, I'd say, in the absence of some significant counterargument.
   I didn't realize there was a First Amendment argument in play--that doesn't strike me as a sensible argument at all--so I guess their counterargument there is also good.
   I don't have nor deserve a view about this question.


David Rothkopf is an idiot. And so is The Daily Beast, apparently. I'm not even going to link to it. Too stupid.
   Obviously there are dangerous ideas and people on the American political right. Obviously 1/6 was bad, and it was a right-wing event. Obviously MAGA---like right-of-center politics generally--shades off into extremism. 
   This general point can be made in some form or other about basically every political movement and faction, with only the possible exception of some kind of really devoted centrism, I guess. 
(a) It's absurd to think that MAGA is a greater danger to the country than the Taliban--unless, I suppose, you just think that the Taliban isn't much of a threat. Of course that's not Mr. Rothkopf's point. 
(b) It's also a little weird to obsess about MAGA when the left has completely lost its mind, is rampaging across the country wreaking madness and destruction, and when its intellectual vanguard is articulating and propagating even more insane ideas that will not only lead to the destruction of the nation but which aim to do so. Actual hatred of the United States and the West are actual, major components of the weird mishmash of ideas that predominate among leftist intellectuals. 
   So...though I do agree that we should always keep a bit of an eye on the extremes...and though insanity on the right tends to fester until some lone wolf kills a lot of people...that is not in any way the current major political threat to the nation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

MSNBC: With Full Approval, Make Vaccines Mandatory

They sure do like enforcing their preferences.
Of course in this case they could be right.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Supremes Require Biden To Revive Trump's Remain In Mexico Policy

A rare enough thing these days...here in the Bidenpocalypse...

The Left Loves Vaccine Mandates

What the hell is going on with these people?
Perhaps they're right--though I'm skeptical. What's weird is their quasi-religious zeal for this. And mask mandates. And lockdowns. And, well, generally just making others do things they want them to do.

John Tierney: Keeping Pandemic Fear Alive

   Throughout the pandemic, American political and public-health leaders have been following Rahm Emanuel’s classic dictum for power-seeking officials: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Now they’ve adopted a corollary: you never want a crisis to end.
   So they are prolonging the national misery instead of easing it, which could be done with a few simple strategies. Explain to the public that the virus will never disappear but is no longer a mortal threat to the vast majority of Americans. Encourage the minority still at risk to get vaccinated by honestly discussing who is in jeopardy and what scientists have learned about infections. Promote treatments proven to prevent infection and speed recovery while avoiding unproven treatments and mandates that cause collateral damage and generate mistrust. Above all, make it clear to Americans that we finally have reason to celebrate: what once seemed an unprecedented danger is now just one of many pathogens that we know how to live with.
   But the nation’s crisismongers aren’t about to relinquish their hold over the public, so they’ve set new goals that are as unachievable as they are unnecessary and harmful. Making vaccines available to every American adult is no longer sufficient; now the crisis cannot end until the entire population has been vaccinated. Instead of focusing efforts on vaccinating the vulnerable, officials obsess on compelling universal obedience, even if that means squandering vaccines on people who already have acquired natural immunity or are at minimal risk of serious illness.

HMD: Police Aren't The Danger To Urban Blacks

Here's What Newsweek [Not An Actual News Source] Thinks Is Most Notable About FDA Approval Of The Pfizer Vax

"Pfizer Vaccine FDA Approval Strikes Huge Blow to Mandate Resistance" !!!!!!!111111

The left has lost its collective mind.

Biden Administration Is Granting "Silent Amnesty"

With noisier amnesty in the works.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Report Concludes Lab-Leak Hypothesis Is Unlikely

Could be.
This doesn't inspire confidence:
The discussion over the origins of the pandemic have become politicized and heated, and we felt the time was right to take a critical look at all of the available evidence
   Um...yes, it has...almost exclusively by the left in defense of its new BFF, China. Basically non-progressives just wanted the competing hypotheses evaluated objectively, whereas progressives--including, as usual, progressive scientists--just insisted that it couldn't possibly be the politically incorrect hypothesis. But it's hard to tell what's meant by the quote above. If it's saying the opposite...that would be a bad sign.
   Anyway. I'd guess that this is bullshit if I had to guess...but I don't have to guess. 
   And I don't care which hypothesis it turns out to be. I just want to know the fact of the matter.

Coulter: Joe vs. The Swamp

Disturbingly, angrily, angrifyingly reasonable--or so it seemed at 3 am when I read it, anyway.

Yet Another Cost-Benefit Analysis Concludes That Lockdowns Aren't Worth It

Cost up to 10 times higher than benefits.

484 UNC Faculty Petition To Delay Classes

Led by the notorious incompetent and bullshitter, Jay Smith.*
Some faculty here are getting nervous, too. 
Of course they could be right.
But my lead hypothesis is: faculty tend to be the kind of people who are abnormally--and perhaps irrationally--risk-averse. They're mostly lefties, for one thing. Many are women. Few have been in the military. Few have started small businesses...
In short, we're not exactly talking about Delta Force here.
On the bright side, the longer you delay classes in the humanities, qualitative social "sciences," and grievance studies, the better off students are. Many of those classes just make students dumber. 
Maybe we should get scientists back in the classrooms but let the humanists et al. go on leave...possibly, y'know, for good...

Jay Smith is the guy who failed to do his job when he was in charge of a periodic review of the AfAm studies department at Carolina. If he'd done his job, he'd have found that AfAm was running bullshit classes. Later, when it came out that many athletes were taking the classes, he tried to pin it on the sports programs. Despite the fact that the evidence clearly indicates that they didn't know what was going on--and were not supposed to know. They were doing their job and respecting the wall between academics and athletics. 

Masked Schoolkids Sitting Glumly On The Corner

I guess school has started up. I saw a group of kids in masks sitting glumly on the corner, waiting for the bus. They're outside, mind you. But all six or seven of them are wearing masks. In the spring I routinely saw this one kid sitting there, outside, by himself, with a mask on.
Utter f***ing madness.

I Have No Idea What's Going On With COVID

I've almost stopped trying to figure it out.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Bad Amateur Philosophy: John Warner, "The Pitfalls Of Objectivity"

Wow this is terrible.

Turley: FBI Comes Up Empty-Handed In Search For 1/6 Plot

Turley's right, as usual.
An "insurrection" without insurrectionists, sedition without seditionists.

Taliban Mocks/Re-enacts Flag-Raising On Mt. Suribachi

I'm not going to post it.

The End Of Larry Elder's Campaign

Well, that's that.
I feel sorry for the sane people of CA. 'Cause they're probably going to end up keeping the embarrassment that is Gavin Newsom. 
Though we're probably going to end up with McAuliffe again. So I guess we've got no room to talk. Same story both places: a whole state dominated by the stupid, crazy politics of big cities and their penumbras.

Kulldorff and Bhattacharya: The Ill-Advised Push To Vaccinate The Young

This is basically the same conclusion I've reached after my layperson's stumble-bumbling around in the easily-available information. 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Suri Kinzbrunner: "No, the Unvaccinated Aren't Selfish or Ignorant. Here's Why I'm Not Vaxxed"

This is a really good post, IMO...despite the fact that it's at...Newsweek?!?!?!??!???

Thursday, August 19, 2021

From Energy Independence To Begging OPEC For Oil In 8 Months

This is a lot like the border disaster. Trump had the system humming; Biden wrecked it--largely because it was Trump's system. In each case, Biden also had progressive motives--progressives want more illegal aliens and less oil. Especially American oil. Goes like so: less oil > foreign oil > 'Merican oil. So, sure, we want to burn the oil anyway...but at least it's not American oil...
   Incentivize American production and restart the Keystone pipeline. For the love of God.
   The left isn't serious about this stuff. It's all just a primal REEEEE. Until they start lobbying for more nuclear plants (and more fracking for natural gas, actually) they're just not serious. 
   On the bright side, having come to realize that nobody--not even the left--takes any of this seriously, I'm finally going to go ahead and get that big-ass truck I've been wanting... Silver(ado?) lining FTW!
   Incidentally, I do think that we should take climate change seriously. That would mean, inter alia: ending the hysteria and addressing the challenge like adults. It would also mean: the left stops using climate change as a stalking-horse for their unrelated, long-standing policy preferences. And/including: socialism. 
   None of that's going to happen any time soon, though.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Conflict Theory

More social "scientific" bullshit.

Three Words To Defeat CRT: "I Am Non-Racial"

Implausibly Hot Climate Forecasts

Was This Teacher Fired For Assigning Ta-Nahisi Coates?

Can't tell from the story. I went into it ready to be outraged, but, in the end, my guess is that there's a decent chance that he was slanting things leftward. I want to give the benefit of the doubt...but that's the kind of wooly-headed liberal thinking that leads to getting eaten. And to the leftification of all our institutions.

Durham Report + Indictments Actually On The Way?

The Durham report is the nuclear fusion of investigations...always just another x months/years away...

Pence: Biden Broke Our Deal With The Taliban

Big if true.

James Comer: U.S. Hemorrhaging Money From Entitlement Fraud And Waste

Very bad if true.
I never really understood the cases for and against Obamacare. My explicitly-stated view at the time was pretty bone-headed: OK, I won't oppose this expansion of government--but I'll oppose any further major expansions of the welfare state. I still don't have any better idea than that.
So I'm basically sticking to it.
It now seems to me, however, that Dems / the left simply will never stop trying to expand government power. I used to think it was just on the economic side--e.g. expanding the welfare state, higher taxes. And that didn't bother me too much. Now that the illiberal left controls the Democrats--and virtually everything else--it's clear that they also seek to diminish civil liberties. Unless / until the Dems come out from under the thrall of the illiberal progressive left, they're dead to me.
Not to mention: massive welfare state + massive fraud + uncontrolled illegal immigration ==> disaster. 

Afghanistan Exit Debacle: Whose Fault?

I don't know enough to draw any firm conclusion. I doubt many people do. I suppose we'll know eventually. The Trump administration made some sort of deal. I wasn't paying enough attention to know whether it was good or bad. I expect that's true of even the vast majority of news junkies. All I really had was a fairly vague conclusion I'd come to a year or two ago: that we needed to actually, really, seriously move toward an exit in the not-terribly-distant future. The only reason I had for that view was that the two parties were playing politics with the decision, and that needed to stop. When either party started seriously talking about leaving, basically citing the futility of the project, the other one would simply articulate the reasons against such a move. Then, when power shifted, the parties would switch sides. Since there were clear reasons for staying, and clear reasons for leaving, and each party only articulated one side of the argument as convenient--usually when eyeing the political payoff that would accrue to the party that got us out--well, that seemed like a blueprint for disaster. 
   The Trumpistas made a deal with the Taliban. Seems like that didn't go so well. Biden extended the deadline for getting out, which basically sounds like the right move now (though making 9/11 the exit date was dumb). I wasn't paying enough attention, however, to know that we were down to 2500 troops, and casualties had been so radically reduced. 
   It did seem to me that we should reassess when the Taliban started blitzkrieging across the country... If they were going to come out in the open, it seemed to me that we ought to take advantage of that. And, of course: try to stop them when the problem became urgent rather than interminably ongoing.
   Again, I wasn't paying enough attention to realize how many American civilians were still in Kabul. At least we should--it seems--have prevented Kabul from falling until we had at least our people out. And that's not even to mention our Afghan allies.
   But, again, that's undoubtedly easier said than done. I imagine large columns of Taliban barreling down dusty quasi-highways, with no civilians in sight... Just send in the A-10s and Apaches! Just wipe 'em out! Ignorance makes everything seem easy.
   Of course the party in power always tries to blame the other guys, arguing that they inherited the disaster from them. Of course the other party always deploys the It Happened On Your Watch argument. It's often unclear who's right--as it is now. Biden did make the most recent bad decisions, however. That matters.
   The fact that even the MSM is revealing a willingness to attribute significant blame to Biden, however, is significant. 
   Politically, I'm happy to see Biden and the Dems further weakened. Too bad the nation has to pay such a high price in the process. I want him weakened enough to throw at least one branch of Congress back to the Pubs next year. Even better would be to see the Dems so weakened that they can't continue to push their radical agenda through in the interim. I'd like to see the administration so discredited that, say, DeSantis can win in a landslide in '24...but not so weakened that Trump can't resist coming back. Speaking purely politically, it doesn't matter whether this is really Biden's fault--so long as he gets blamed for it. I don't like thinking like that. But that's a measure of what desperate straits we're in.
   What I most fear right now is mass murders of U.S. personnel and Afghan allies in Kabul. Or a mass hostage crisis. This is already way too much like Jimmy Carter 2.0 without that too.
   What a mess.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

America's Back!

Not puzzling at all, really.
He means the part of America America's turning to the world...
Y'know what was a lot better than this? Trump making NATO nations pay their fair share. It was reasonable. It was fair. And it was far, far more respectful of our allies--it treated them like adults. 
Biden's a great representative of certain tendencies of the left--nicey-nice bullshit that fails to honestly assert the reasonable interest of ourselves and fails to treat others as equals. Not equals in the bullshit "equity" sense of equals--say (with respect to nations rather than persons) equal in military might. But, rather: being, in some important sense, equally dignified and deserving of respect. 

Whitlock: Self-aggrandizement defines the culture that replaced Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream


Jason Chaffetz: No More Mean Tweets...But The Price Is High

Pretty much exactly what I've been saying:
   A little less than a year ago, a significant number of independent and Republican voters decided to trade bad tweets for bad policy. Today, your Twitter feed is void of President Trump's tweets. But the price was high.
   Gone are the good policies that drove the Trump economy and made the world a safer place. In their place are policies antithetical to prosperity, freedom and security.
   You traded energy efficiency for dependency on the Middle East. Whereas a year ago you enjoyed inexpensive gas, high paying energy jobs, and fewer incentives to entangle ourselves in Middle Eastern politics, today President Biden is begging OPEC to produce more oil. Apparently, his climate agenda can handle more oil production as long as Americans aren't the ones profiting from it.
   You traded an energy pipeline out of Canada for a crime pipeline out of Mexico. Instead of creating jobs for skilled American workers, Biden is creating opportunities for cartels, traffickers and COVID-positive migrants. By the end of 2021, according to New Mexico Rep. Yvette Herrell, the number of undocumented and illegal migrants welcomed across our borders by the Biden administration will be equivalent to the population of her whole state – about 2 million people.
Listen, I understand not being able to vote for the anti-Presidential President. Trump's persona and demeanor were train wrecks. Not nearly as bad as they were made out to be by the despicable MSM...but bad enough to disqualify him for the presidency. He's not the terrible person the press and the left made him out to be--but he doesn't have what it takes to be a representative of the nation. 
   However, you've got to be realistic about you options. I was. A lot of people weren't. The Democrats have been taken over by progressivism, and progressivism is insane. Disastrous policy was unavoidable if Biden was elected. Biden doesn't even matter and never really did. It was always Trump vs. the unhinged progressive left. It was always bad demeanor + surprisingly good policies vs. perfectly acceptable demeanor + catastrophic policies. Biden and the Dems told us what they were going to do. So, little that they have done can surprise you if you were paying attention. Though, as I've said: pessimistic as I was about the prospect of a Biden Presidency, even I didn't realize it would be this bad. I didn't realize he'd advance the cause of totalitarian progressivism so quickly and unrelentingly--e.g. via the war on "white supremacy." And I didn't realize he'd fuck Afghanistan up this bad. I mean...could anyone really have predicted this? We knew he'd push the "Equality Act" and the Green New Deal...those were predictable catastrophes...
   Anyway. Chaffetz is right.

You Shouldn't Fear Climate Apocalypse: Nick Gillespe Interviews Roger Pielke Jr.


Evil Heroes Of The Pomo-Prog Left Go Uncancelled For Crimes The Far Exceed The Left's Cancellation Threshold

The left's cancellation threshold is extremely low for anyone they don't like--or who says or does things they don't like. 
OTOH, they continue to adore Heidegger (actual Nazi), Marx (father of the worlds most murderous ideology) and Foucault (pedophile)--just to name three. Of course they don't dislike Marxist mass murder and oppression...they'll never give up on Marx. Marx is the closest thing to Jesus the illiberal left has. And the sexualization of children is high on the progressive-left agenda--drag queen story hour and dragified children are already being shoved onto the culture. That's also part of what transifying children is about. Progressivism tries to make both cutesy--calling the latter "trans kids." But it's all headed down the same dark road radical leftism always heads down. Anyway: Foucault's probably safe, because they're already queuing up their sexualize children routine. (Sex kids! ?). But there's just no getting around Heidegger's Nazism. They've sort of made the theatrical hatred of Nazis into one of their schticks. Of course normal people hated Nazis before it was cool... With the left it's mostly just schtick. The black get-ups are just a kind of drag for anarcho-communist [bad word deleted]. They're "anti-"Fascist Blackshirts. Yeah, right.
   Anyway. The Nazis didn't have the PR apparatus the commies did, I guess. Despite their roughly comparable evil, the former are beyond the pale for the crazy left, while the latter are not. The only real difference is that commies are lefties and the Nazis are almost always classified as righties...despite being socialists. For my money, the Nazies really were a little more evil, what with the murder factories and all... And what with killing the Jews specifically, which group I've always been a kind of groupie of. But the Gnatzis (pronounced Aldo-Raine-wise) didn't quite have the scope of the reds, so they didn't put up the same kind of numbers. But they did have a kind of quality evil--a kind of really sinister style all their own that legit moves them to the top/bottom of that list.

When You've Lost Chuck Todd...

Is the Afghanistan screw-up really bad enough to change the minds of people partisan enough to (a) have ever thought that Joe Biden was competent and (b) maintained that belief through the last six disastrous months?

News Flash: Nuclear Fusion Only Nine Years Away!

Jenna Stocker: Minnesota's Twin Cities In Freefall

But useful.
What we have here is one of the sub-laboratories of democracy implementing progressivism. What are the consequences of instantiating the relevant bits of the progressive worldview? What if the insurgents in our cultural civil war were to win? After over a year of implementing the theories of BLM and that aspect of the progressive left, we have an answer. If you want to know, look at the before-and-after versions of Ferguson, Portland, San Francisco...and Minnesota's twin cities...
Any reasonable person who seriously considers the proposals of the progressive left can predict--with great confidence--where they will lead. Experimentation is not actually necessary in some cases. I know what will happen if I drop and anvil on my foot. There's really no reason to do the experiment. Same with defunding the police and all the rest from the progressive left.
If you aren't convinced, and you need to know the outcome of actual experiments...you're in luck. 
Because places like the twin cities have run the experiments.
Progressivism leads to disaster. It drastically erodes public safety. It makes the afflicted cities less, not more just. It has undeniable bad consequences and no obvious good ones. And, in case such things matter to you: it's black neighborhoods that have born the brunt of this.
Of course extremists generally and the extremist left in particular never admit(s) error. So, when faced with refutation, they usually do one of three things: (a) reassert the theory at a higher level (szienze is razizt!!!); (2) invoke an ad hoc hypothesis to explain away the evidence (the violence was caused by the pandemic! Magically!); or (3) invoke skepticism: we can't be entirely certain that progressive/BLM policies caused the massive surge in violence. Of course the latter requires inconsistent invocation of skepticism. If they were to invoke it consistently it would undermine their own core positions--we can't be absolutely certain that blacks are killed disproportionately by cops; we can't be certain that it's because of racism; we can't even be certain than any blacks at all are ever killed by cops... You can't use skepticism to defend a positive position.
Well anyway.

Will The Dems and the Left Return To Moderation And Sanity?

I think about this all the time. Is there any possibility of the Democratic party returning to the relative sanity of, say, the Clinton administration? Or even the 2008 version of itself that elected Obama? 
I used to think the answer was yes
I now doubt it. 
I still think it can revert back in the direction of the mean.
But I now doubt that they will ever completely shake the illiberalism that has so possessed the party.
We used to have an advantage over much of Europe--or so I thought--in that we didn't have a permanent, extremist, leftist faction. 
I'm inclined to believe that we have one now.
I fervently hope I'm wrong.

John Tierney: The Panic Pandemic

Much of this seems pretty much right to me.

BLM Poisons A Young Athlete's Mind

I tend to avoid arguments about psychological costs and benefits. BLM has been a disaster for the USA mainly because it's a terrible organization with terrible goals and it's been wildly successful. It's central claim is, roughly, that racist cops are committing mass murder against black Americans--basically mowing them down in the streets. This claim is wildly, ridiculously, absurdly false. It's provably false. It's proven false. This seems to have done nothing at all to slow the momentum of BLM. The contemporary progressive left is a rolling train wreck of insanity. In terms of rational criticism, it's such a target-rich environment that it can overwhelm our argumentative defenses. But, were I asked to pick out a few instructive cases to represent the overall tendency of progressivism, this is one I'd pick out: a view built on an empirical claim that was easily refuted, but such that the refutation has had pretty much exactly no effect at all on its political and rhetorical success.
   Now all that leaves out some practical consequences--which I tend not to focus on. First, BLM has advanced the long-standing leftist project of de-policing, decarceration, and, basically, the normalization of criminality. This has led to skyrocketing violent crime rates, including murder rates. And, if you care about such things: mostly affecting blacks. Black lives do not matter to Black Lives Matter. This couldn't be clearer.
   Furthermore: BLM falsely aims to convince black Americans that their country hates them--and is killing them because of it. And it's mainly their white fellow citizens. The point is to increase conflict, create crisis, benefit activists groups like BLM by increasing their power, status, and fundraising ability, and bring about progressive cultural change. The cost--instilling hurtful/harmful false beliefs in black Americans--they judge to be acceptable. Which is despicable.

Internal Immunity vs. Mucosal Immunity

Interesting if true.

Monday, August 16, 2021

"Biden Had No Good Options In Afghanistan"

That seems undeniable to me.
But the question is: were there no options better than this thermonuclear train wreck?
The answer might possibly be no.

These Are The People To Whom We Tried To Bring Modernity And Democracy

 Pretty depressing all around.

From The People Who Brought You The Orderly Exit From Saigon...

 ...here's our orderly exit from Kabul:

DHS Dropped 40k COVID-Positive Illegal Border-Crossers In U.S. Cities

Honestly, the Dems just make no sense at all anymore.

Carl On Murray On Hughes('s Podcast)

I agree with Carl, and said so many times in a bunch of posts from years ago that I'm too lazy to look up. 
I've said this to the colleagues with whom I can have rational discussions, as well.
We used to have a kind of gentlemen's agreement: we'd keep doing some affirmative action, and not mention IQ differences between groups, and just muddle on through. 
But the left has now openly adopted the assumption that the only possible explanation of group differences is oppression. Patently absurd and easily refuted--but, then, the left doesn't care about evidence and truth. This assumption is part of what drives their "equity" / force-equal-outcome agenda. 
The progressive left is, of course, locked in doublethink. To some extent they actually believe their own bullshit--but willful suppression of cognitive dissonance...and flat-out lying...are there to take up the slack. 
Under these conditions, to hold up our end of the gentlemen's agreement aforementioned is tantamount to suicide--and will lead to the destruction of the nation. 
Now we have no real alternative to discussing "the science"--though, in this case: the actual science science.
Hughes is great, but he's wrong and Carl is right about discussing race and IQ: it's probably inevitable now, and was probably inevitable all along. And it's unlikely to be disastrous. Group differences are mere average differences. And a higher IQ doesn't make you a better person. I have a higher IQ than most people--and look at what a train wreck I am... 
Anyway. I've discussed this in detail long ago. In fact, not to blow my own horn, but I was way, way ahead of a whole lotta contemporary discussions of this stuff. 
Anyway. Even if the topic of group IQ differences was eternally avoidable before the Great Awokening Unhingening, it's not avoidable anymore.
Which is why Charles Murray's new book is so important, incidentally.

Taliban Seize Afghanistan

Reminiscent of the progressive takeover of America...but with fewer riots.

Noah Carl On The Follow-Up Lancet Lab-Leak Letter

Both letters are absolutely shameless, PC/Lysenkoist, anti-scientific bullshit.
This sort of pseudoscientific nonsense is why rational people--especially non-progressives--are more skeptical about expertise. There is so much blatant leftist bias every damn time expertise and political/cultural disputes intersect that it has become clear that progressive experts have taken over most institutions, and they are basically incapable of objectivity. Or, rather: they reject objectivity and truth as ideals. It's part of the leftist worldview that leftist dogma and the triumph of the leftist worldview takes precedence over truth. I actually think that leftist (and extremism generally) tends to attract people who are inclined to be less objective. So actually I think it's a combination of natural inclination and bad, irrationalist principle. 

Noah Carl: How Common Is Long COVID?

Maybe not very.

 There's more pure biography in this than I was really interested in. But it serves as a mostly-indispensable background for conveying Horowitz's insights about the left, gained over most of a lifetime mostly spent on the left. Born into a communist family, and coming to maturity as a leftist intellectual, it was--and I had never heard any part of this story--the murder of an acquaintance, Betty van Patter, by the Black Panthers that functioned as a wake-up call to him. Horowitz already smelled a rat on the left by the time of the brutal murder of van Patter, but he remained "in denial" as we now say, mostly stifling his doubts out of solidarity. Also fear. Fear of being killed by the Panthers--who seem to have killed a helluvalot of people--and fear of being unpersoned by the left--a tactic they're using to great effect currently. But the murder forced him to stop making excuses and face the facts--the left was unhinged and cultish--sound at all familiar?--and, as Bobby Seal later admitted, the Panthers were little more than extortionists, gangsters, and murderers. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Richard Hanania: Why Is Everything Liberal?

Not at all sure this is right, but it's interesting.
Scott Alexander's usually really good, but the long quote from him at the end doesn't resonate with me after just a couple of readings. But, then, I'm way tired right now.

Afghanistan Debacle: Don't Ignore CIA Intelligence Failures

Sound like there's plenty of blame to go around.
The worse the intel, the less blame goes on the Biden administration. (And, of course, the less there is to try to shift to Trump.)
I don't know who deserves the most. Maybe we never will.

Kimball: The Price Of Having A "Normal" President

As I've pretty much been saying all along: we had a choice between:
(A) Anti-Presidential demeanor + good policies + significant accomplishments
(b) Acceptable demeanor + undoubtedly terrible policies + ???
We have enough evidence now to conclude that electing Biden was a terrible mistake--as was clear from well before his election. Though I'll give Biden supporters this much: no matter how bad you thought Biden would be--and I had little doubt he'd be terrible--he's been worse than anybody could have reasonably predicted.

The Moment The Facts Broke Through The Media's Propaganda Forcefield Around Biden?

"Biden Has Been On The Wrong Side Of Almost Every Foreign Policy And National Security Issue For The Last Four Decades"

So don't act surprised--about his general foreign-policy competence, that is.
“On a personal level is he a friendly guy, but he has empirically had poor judgment particularly on foreign policy...the examples are numerous."
The specific events in Afghanistan can reasonably surprise you--at least if you, like me, are pretty ignorant about such stuff.
People--including me--wanted an exit strategy, and to move more resolutely toward said exit. But I certainly didn't realize we were talking about an immediate collapse. I doubt many people did. 
Did the Biden administration? 
If they didn't, and if this comes as a surprise to even the majority of experts, then that's one thing.
But if this was widely foreseen and the administration should have known, then that's a different thing. 
I don't want to be unfair to Biden and the Dems. 
But this sure looks like yet another in a long list of major-league fuck-ups, and we're only about six months into what's...well...starting to look like it's gonna be a long four years.
Easy to kibbutz, of course.

It's Over: Afghan President Flees The Country

What a disaster.

I'm going to start trying to look on the bright side: at least the red team should take both houses of Congress in '22.

Wilfred Reilly: The Assault On Empiricism

Right on the money on just about every point.
   Not sure why the picture is of the Proud Boys...they've got nothing to do with this. But obviously not the author's doing.
   Reilly could have gone on and on. Transgender ideology is probably the most anti-scientific idea to have actual policy consequences in my life. It's far, far less scientific than Intelligent Design theory--and that's saying a little something. IDT can come in scientific forms. (In fact, Young Earth Creationism isn't necessarily unscientific--it's just falsified by the fossil record.) Climate apocalypticism doesn't seem to be consistent with "the science"--but at least that's a more difficult issue, so it may have plausible deniability. "Social constructionism" in general is probably pseudoscientific--though, again, there are ways of cashing it out that can make it about nothing more mysterious than the social causation of ideas and institutions...
   But, anyway: good essay. Props to Reilly for it.

Biden Proven Wrong Again As Helicopters Land On U.S. Embassy Roof

He's turning out to be the Bill Kristol of Presidents.
   I did not realize there had not been an American casualty in Afghanistan in 17 months.
Had I know that (and, of course, it's my fault that I didn't; that's a big thing not to know) I'd have been less sanguine/positive about this withdrawal than I've been for the last couple of months.
   I did/do want us to get out. But I did not know that Saigon II: Apoplectic Boogaloo was a real possibility.
   In addition to all the other ways in which this is bad, there's this symbolic stupidity, too: Biden set 9/11/21, the 20th anniversary of 9/11 (obvs) as the target date for being gone. 
   So that'll make it exactly 20 years between the Taliban's two biggest wins. They'll probably make it a national holiday. I certainly would if I were them. I expect a bloodbath already. With, probably, an extra-special mondo bloodbath on 9/11/21. Maybe they'll behead a hundred people who helped the Great Satan, or burn some people in cages. Or rape a bunch of children and goats. You know--Taliban stuff.
   This really is the stupidest goddamned administration I've ever seen in my life. It's just terrible at everything. Scratch that--it's pretty good about not shitting the Twitter bed every night like Trump did. They might actually ruin the country...but it's a relief to be free of Trump's lunatic verbal excretions. So that's something I guess.

Afghans Tell Of Executions, Forced Marriages In Taliban-Held Areas

There was never much doubt that these would be consequent on our leaving. 
I didn't realize this, though:
The deal reached last year by the Trump administration and the Taliban, under which the U.S. agreed to withdraw its forces, didn’t spell out any human-rights standards for the Taliban to follow. The group, however, promised to seek a peaceful settlement and a negotiated cease-fire with the Afghan government.
   This is appalling...but insisting on human-rights standards would have been futile. So I'm not actually sure how genuinely appalled to be, realistically speaking. 
   This is going to be a bloodbath. As usual, most of the killing will be against men. Women will face an arguably worse fate. Children, too, if we're to believe what we're told about the Taliban.

B-52s Heading To Afghanistan To Bomb Our Own Leftover Planes?

Probably to take out the airfield, too, I guess.
I favored leaving.
It didn't have to be like this.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Biden Admin Flees Afghanistan, Abandoning Our Friends and Dishonoring The Nation

Too dishonorable and irrational even for Bill Kristol.
But no mean tweets so

Biden Admin To Leave "Core" Diplomatic Staff + Combat Forces To Protect Them At U.S. Embassy In Kabul???

So, presumably they know something they're not telling us...because this sounds idiotic and like it will be a fucking disaster:
   President Biden has just sent combat forces back into Afghanistan to evacuate American civilians at the embassy and Afghans who have assisted us in the war effort. The 3,000 American forces will then presumably shoot their way out as they depart.
   Inexplicably, we will leave a "core" diplomatic staff and U.S. combat forces to protect them. The Biden administration believes the Taliban will leave these Americans alone, because they want world approval.
   The Biden administration is living in a fantasyland if they think this is going to end well. But when it comes to Afghanistan our political and military leaders have been living in fantasyland for years.

Massive Earthquake Hits Haiti; Thousands Feared Dead

Judge Orders Biden To Resume "Remain In Mexico" Policy

Bits of good political news are few and far between these days.

Roger Pielke, Jr.: Climate Change Is Real--But It's Not The Apocalypse

IMWO this is right.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Mayorkas: "We're Going To Lose" The Border Crisis

Trump had this under control.
Biden undid it.
Now it's a goddamned catastrophe.
The same PMSM that shrieked bloody murder if more than two conservatives dared to get together in the same room...and that made up idiotic reasons for asserting that the BLM/Antifa riots could never, ever spread the Wuhan virus, no matter what! ...says not a peep about tens of thousands of illegals carrying the virus across the border.
If the Democrats aren't voted out of office for at least the next decade, there's no hope for America.
Add up all the damage Trump did to the country in four years, Biden's already topped it. And I mean even if you don't figure in the good that Trump did--which was significant. If you can think of one single good and significant thing Biden has done, you're ahead of me.
But, hey, at least no mean tweets. So I guess it all evens out when you think about it...

You Can't Screw Up A Country This Bad Unless It's On Purpose

As I may have mentioned:


 Somewhat NSFW, ya pervs:

A CALL FOR THE "DESUPERIORITIZATION" OF PHILOSOPHY!!!!!11111 And Also The De-Straight-White-Dude-itization Of It 'Cause Straight White Dudes are EEEEEEEEEEVILLLLLLLL

Western analytic philosophy has been running itself down for only about 100 years now... 
If you wanna talk about an inflated self-concept, go check out those recent Continentals like Foucault and who-not that you-all love so much...
There are lots of reasons why philosophy shouldn't regard itself as superior. And those reasons have already been largely acknowledged. Except, again, by philosophical leftists who think they should run the fuckin' world...
But anyway: that straight white dudes have mostly done it isn't one of those reasons.
You morons.

Sailor: Arguing With The Inarguable

Races are natural kinds--biological kinds, to be more specific.
They give us different average and extreme abilities--different strengths and weaknesses.
Progressives outright deny this undeniable fact.
In fact, they defame anyone who dares speak it as racist (!!!!!1111). (But, since they call anyone who disagrees with them about anything a racist, this really shouldn't matter all that much.)
The main point: that the left is devoted to political correctness, the subordination of facts and reason to leftist dogma, is beyond any doubt.
The PC left is basically a cult of unreason.

Into The Leftist Upside-Down: "How The Rise Of White Identity Politics Explains The Fight Over Critical Race Theory"

So lemme get this straight....identity politics takes over the American left and turns it into, basically, a cult..which proclaims at every opportunity that all whites are racist...in fact, necessarily so--racist by definition. And necessarily--by definition--no nonwhite person can possibly be racist...no matter how...well, racist he might be. Whites--especially white men--are proclaimed to be the root of all evil in the nation and the world. And one of the main goals of the left is now the elimination of so-called "white privilege"...which really means: refusing to allow whites (especially men) to succeed and enjoy the fruits of their success. Then a slight variation on these crackpot ideas--CRT--takes over K-12 education...and now people--people of every race--find their children being indoctrinated with a theory that makes Scientology seem, y'know, maybe all that nuts by comparison.
   At this point, people--again, people of all races--put their collective goddamned foot down...
   And the left shrieks RAAAACISM!!!!111111...
   ...which it shrieks every time anyone opposes anything they do, anyway... So you have to be particularly clueless to take said shrieking seriously.
   So somehow, you see, the unhinging of the now-totalitarian left is...all the fault of white guys again...
   This is what the unhinged left calls "blaming the victim"...but double standards are kinda their forte.
   Michael Tesler is this joker's name, incidentally.
   In fact, of course, white people are mostly just being forced to--grudgingly--recognize that, if they can't beat the anti-liberal lefties with the tried-and-true tools of colorblind liberalism, they will likely have to play the bullshit identity politics game themselves. And that means developing white race-consciousness. Which the vast majority of us do not want to do. As I may have mentioned, white race-consciousness has a rather bad track-record. But if it's (i) that or (ii) refuse to fight back in the race-war that the IDP left is trying to foment...well, we're going to have to take a chance on (ii). If the raceocracy is instituted, we really have no option but to play the game to win. So let's hope that's not what it comes down to. 'Cause that'll be the end of America as we know and (some of us, anyway) love it.

U.S. Saw 2-Decade High In Border-Crossings In July

For all Trump's crackpottery, he probably didn't do anything that harmed the nation as much as even just this one, single policy disaster.
Each illegal alien who enters the U.S. seems to cost the nation about $8k/year just in terms of dollars. (FAIR's estimate--might be high.) That's not including the additional burden/danger associated with COVID. The financial cost isn't the main cost, of course. Not even close. 
Imagine that a faction were trying to destroy the country without overtly blowing things up or launching a coup. How many tactics would be more effective than opening the border to a flood of illegal, mostly-poor, unassimilated immigrants? Especially ones who don't speak the language and don't necessarily share the politically-relevant dispositions of the populace? And, icing on the cake: during a pandemic. And: refusing to test them. And: then distributing them around the country.
We have an extremely generous legal immigration system. Almost certainly too generous. But the progressive Dems refuse to even operate within the bounds of that system. 
If you think it's a coincidence that many among their intellectual vanguard are open about wanting to re-engineer and/or destroy the U.S....well, you're probably wrong is what.
Of course, raising objections to this madness means that you're an anti-immigrant, racist, xenophobic "white supremacist"... When in fact you're just sane.

Why The Taliban Is Kicking Ass; Can Things Be Turned Around?

Taliban Take Kandahar, Prepare To March On Kabul

I don't understand this enough to deserve an opinion, really. 
It's seemed to me for a couple of years now that we weren't going to be able to turn the region into anything like a decent modern state. So we'd have to either basically stay forever or leave. I no longer think we can democratize everybody. So I've thought, for awhile now, that we should probably leave. 
I do wonder whether we couldn't maybe shift gears a bit that the Taliban is on the march and wipe out some columns from the air. Now that they're out in the open, why not kill as many of them as possible and make them think twice about the blitzkrieg strategy? 
But, in general, it seems that the Afghans aren't going to stand up in sufficient numbers to defeat the crazies--ever. So our options are really (i) leave the region--or "country" to its fate now or (ii) leave it to its fate later. It's terrible. But--and, again, I'm speaking as an ignorant layperson--there are some problems we just can't solve. It's like we tried to go back in time and make the people then more like us. It might have worked--but it didn't. 
I shudder to think what life is going to be like under the Taliban for the people of Afghanistan. Though, for all I know, not all that much worse than it seems anyway.
I guess the point is, sort of: I do think we need to start moving toward the exit in a determined way--and not just Oh, y'know, someday... But it's not clear to me that we ought to do it like this. This seems like a real turning-point. Now that they're out of their hidey-holes and less mixed-in with civilians...wouldn't it be possible to at least send out the A-10s and Cobras and wipe out some big groups of them? I just don't know enough to know.

[Oh. WSJ EB says that Biden pulled out all our air power. Well that does not sound like it was a very good idea.]

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Dems Panicking About DeSantis

Here's yet another anti-DeSantis screed by the blue team.
Special bonus factoid: Howard Dean is still alive. Who knew?

Ayanna Pressley: "Social Justice Is Infrastructure"

VDH: "Woke" Nonsense Is Warping Everyday Life

Newnewspeak: "Global Heating"

'Cause 'global warming' just wasn't prompting the kind of hysteria they want.    link

1.5 Cheers For Matt Yglesias For Trying

Yglesias seems to be coming around slowly to a better bearing...but he still just--somehow--doesn't understand the insanity that has gripped the left. 
It's right there to see... But to see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle...
He's worried because he--ZOMG!--admits that Trump is not actually a fascist!!!111oneone
He wants a carbon tax. And I don't rule that out. Mostly because it falls below the level of discrimination my rudimentary understanding of economics allows me to rationally make. So we kinda agree on that I guess. Though I'm skeptical about it, and he doesn't seem to be.
The really depressing bit is the comments. Which isn't unusual. 

"Human Milk Feeding"

Newnewspeak, latest fact-obscuring innovation.

New Statesman: "Why Only Radical Social Transformation Can Avert A Climate Catastrope"

Tail wags dog.
   I don't think you can understand this debate well without understanding that leftist social revolution is, as per usual, the left's real goal, and climate catastrophism is a mere means. 
   In case you hadn't heard, the new IPCC report replaces RCPs with a new "narrative" (God I hate that term) "framework" that combines possible climate scenarios with social ("justice") options:
The five Shared Socio-Economic Pathways (SSPs) used by climate modellers to predict the future temperature of the earth were first published in 2013. They are, in summary: (SSP1) the world goes smoothly, collaboratively and enthusiastically green and more socially just; (SSP2) the same but too slowly; (SSP3) the world system breaks up into competing regional powers, with each country prioritising its own growth and energy security; (SSP4) global inequality dominates, with high social unrest and poor progress on decarbonisation in the developing world; (SSP5) hyper-neoliberalism, where we just burn carbon and rely on the market, and economic development, to curb population growth and (eventually) find a geo-engineering solution for the burning planet.
You really just can't make this stuff up...
   Here's another 'graph for your consideration:
I think we should reject Climate Bolshevism for the same reasons that we should reject Leninism: it didn’t work. After just three years of War Communism, the Bolsheviks had to lead an organised retreat back to market socialism, only by now they had destroyed all vestiges of workers’ democracy and spontaneous self-organisation.
The reason we should reject "Climate Bolshevism" and Leninism is: they probably won't work. Not their injustice, insanity, and utopian inhumanity... Nope. I mean, if Leninism worked, it'd be just peachy! But, sadly, no. They'll just lead us back to "market socialism" or, worse, the dreaded neoliberalism (dun dun duuunnn...
   Jesus, these people.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Jeffrey H. Anderson: Do Masks Work? A Review Of The Evidence

Michael Shellenberger: Why I Am Not A Progressive

Most of this describes me, too, and several people I know.
I'd summarize like so: progressivism is illiberal utopianism, and utopianism entails totalitarianism.
To zoom in on perhaps the most crucial bit: political correctness--progressive utopianism subordinates evidence and reason to utopian dogma.
And, hence: progressives live in a web of lies and delusions woven from groupthink.
Most progressives I know are either (a) progressives by default, or (b) liberals who let either inertia or distaste for the right or both take them into an alliance-by-silence with the illiberal progressive left. One smart, reasonable progressive fried of mine recently admitted to me that she didn't actually read newspapers or keep up with current events, she basically relies on her friends to tell her what's going on. I now suspect that's not as uncommon as I'd have guessed. 
The farther you go right on the spectrum, of course, the more problems you run into, too. Some are the same (groupthink, dogma, inertia), some are different (overt religious irrationalism as opposed to politics that resembles religion). But right now--the crazy on the left is the dominant form. By far. The crazy isn't symmetrical. The right isn't the ultimate root of all evil. I usually don't add this because part of the problem, IMO, is that most people I know can't criticize the left without trying to ground it all in criticism of the right. In fact, most can't criticize the left at all. Unless it's to criticize it for being insufficiently, aggressively leftist.

The UniParty's $1.2 Trillion + $3.5 Trillion Progressive Spending Spree Is Terrible

Of course I've got no relevant expertise here, but this seems right to me--though I'm unsure about the claim that the "infrastructure" bill makes the terrible "climate-change" social-reengineering bill more likely to pass. But if it does, that's very bad.

Koonin: Climate-Change Report Brings Flood Of Hyperbole

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Lomborg: Global Warming A Problem, Not A Disaster

Like some others, BL has praise for AR6. His criticism is directed at others--e.g. the UN and the media:
   Fitting the apocalyptic narrative many have spun lately, the always-breathless Guardian literally summarized this scientific report as finding mankind “guilty as hell” of “climate crimes of humanity.” (Needless to say, the report never says any such things.)
   UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the findings a “code red for humanity,” saying we can only avert catastrophe by acting in the next couple of months. Of course, the United Nations has a long history of claiming catastrophe is right around the corner: The first UN environment director claimed half a century ago that we had just 10 years left, and the then-head of the IPCC insisted in 2007 that we had just five years left.
The apocalypse deadlines keep passing, and the new deadlines keep getting shorter--a couple of months! Just enough time to pass the plan for socializing the economy disguised as the "Green New Deal" disguised as an infrastructure bill!

Sky News' Andrew Bolt Gives The Straight Dope On Climate Change And IPCC's AR6


Gerard Baker: Fideistic Climate Apocalypticism And The PC Destruction Of Journalism

My title, not his.
Since somebody else writes the titles for op-eds anyway, I decided I could do better.
   My concern is with the way these topics are now almost universally reported by the news media. “Reported” is a misnomer. They aren’t facts; they are sacred revealed truths, unchallengeable arguments invested with epistemic certainty and moral clarity.
   Journalism is no longer about trying to tell us what happened; it’s about telling us what we must believe, on pain of moral peril. On every major topic—climate, Covid, race relations, electoral law—almost every story blares out at us with censorious didacticism, the journalist’s smug disdain for the unbelievers pouring through the prose.
   News stories are not really covered in the old sense these days. The editors and reporters simply cull from the innumerable events around them those that fit the prevailing narrative and make sure they include a healthy dose of moral prescription.
   In its heyday journalism demanded skepticism and curiosity. The good reporter doubted whatever he was told, even what time it was. He’d weigh competing accounts and explanations and actively seek out alternative versions. Read the bios of great reporters from the past and they’ll be scattered with adjectives like ornery and insubordinate.
   The modern journalist is different. His primary ambition is to be part of the expert class, to identify as a member of the cultural elite, happily swaddled in all their shared nostrums. He’s most content when he’s wagging a finger at the selfish fools who continue to doubt climate extremism, express skepticism about vaccines, or deny their innate white sinfulness.
   His virtue thus signaled, he luxuriates in the knowledge that he’s on the side of the chosen ones. It’s just a pity it’s no longer journalism.

The problem is that the MSM is controlled by the PC/promo/progressive left--and they don't care about facts and evidence. They care about power--both as an end in itself, and as a mean of enforcing their dogma on the unbelievers. 

Political Correctness: Stifling Debate About: Kids And Transgender Ideology

And: institutional capture of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Europe is backing off of the insanity. 80% of the AAP's members want to re-evaluate its full-throttle, politically-motivated, pro-trans-mythology position. But the leadership won't even let opposing views be represented at its conferences.

WSJ: A Climate Of Catastrophe

The Editorial Board remains a voice of sweet reason on this topic:

   Keep in mind that the IPCC report is a political document. It is intended to scare the public and motivate politicians to reduce CO2 emissions no matter the cost, which by the way the report summary never mentions. No less than Al Gore admitted this on PBS in October 2018 when the IPCC issued an interim report: “The language the IPCC used in presenting it was torqued up a little bit, appropriately. How do they get the attention of policymakers around the world?”
   Torqued up is right. The U.N. Secretary-General called the new report a “code red for humanity.” And someone at Reuters actually wrote this sentence: “Further warming could mean that in some places, people could die just from going outside.”
   If they really believe this, the policy response has failed miserably. Politicians have spent trillions of dollars subsidizing renewable energy with no effect on climate. Nuclear power, which would sharply reduce CO2, is taboo among the greens. Innovation in developing low-cost natural gas, which substitutes for coal, may have done more than any government policy to reduce U.S. emissions. Yet President Biden wants to crush the gas industry with regulation.
   The IPCC report doesn’t justify putting the U.S. economy into the hands of government. A sensible climate policy will continue to monitor trends, while allowing a free economy to find solutions and build the wealth that will allow for adaptation and amelioration if the worst happens. This lacks the drama of the Apocalypse, but it will better serve the world.

Your Tax $$ At Work: Biden Admin Hires "Influencer" To Promote Vaccines


Is it possible to de-vaccinate?

Monday, August 09, 2021

Michael Mann Issues Traditional "Last Chance" Climate Warning

Yet another last chance warning about the IMPENDING GLOBAL INFERNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Roger Pielke, Jr.: Sane Thread On Climate Change

link    Some good people and points in the comments, too.


"The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk," said Guterres.
These are lies. 
Normally I'd throw in a disclaimer about my lack of anything even remotely like expertise...but these are just flat-out lies. They are not true. Not even remotely. 

TREMBLE IN FEAR AND ELECT DEMOCRATS!!!!111: Tremble In Climate Fear Variant

SEE THE FLAMES???!!!!!???!!!!?
Y'know...unless America passes the GND and spends more trillions on community gardens and imprisons Donald Trump and defunds the police and elects some more Dems preferably AOC or similar...

It's not that I think it's impossible for this bullshit to be true. Of course it's possible. It's more like: if you still believe these people, your bullshit-detector is broken. The UN, the NYT, and the rest of the Blue Team are building a rhetorical, political case for policies they already wanted anyway--which case is NOT, so far as I can tell, clearly supported by the preponderance of the evidence.
   And, of course, this is just the most recent in a long line of CLIMATE APOCALYPSES THAT ARE GOING TO KILL US IF WE DON'T PROPITIATE GAIA. BIGOT.
   I could be wrong, as goes without saying.
   But the UN and the NYT are so utterly full of shit about this that you just can't both be rational and take them seriously.

[Oh. It's the AR6. Not just some "MAJOR NEW UN CLIMATE REPORTZ"!!!!  I mean...that's more important, but I'd forgotten that was due to come out. Nothing unexpected here. I simply assumed it'd be more spittle-flecked apocalypticism, no matter what.
Which doesn't mean that I have any real understanding of any of this.]

Benjamin Kerstein: Watching America's Crack-Up

Very much worth a read, IMO.
I've lost so much of my objectivity that I don't much know what to think anymore.
   But seems to me that Kerstein is--and this is common--trying to make both sides out to be equally crazy and equally responsible for the current mess.
   Of course I don't see things that way, for reasons I state and restate obsessively--so I won't do so again now. 
   I'm not sure it's profitable to try to figure out exactly which side is crazier, when the sides are divided up as we traditionally do, at any given moment. Though I also think that the people I tend to read and know and hang out with have a deep and false assumption that conservatives are deeply bad, and always either wrongest or threatening to be. The left tends never to accept outright criticisms, outright arguments that it's just wrong about x or y. Rather, it tends only to accept arguments of the forms:
You're doing something that will help the right.
You're right, but your means are ineffective/counterproductive
You're not far enough left.
   So I do think it's important to recognize that the left has gone insane, and now threatens to destroy the country--and to do so without turning it into yet another argument against the right. And given that the right is always assumed to be the worse of the two sides, I find it tedious to refuse to acknowledge when the left is worse. By, e.g., pretending that both sides are equally crazy. Thus it's always: the right is worse...or the two sides are equally crazy. 
Funny how those are the only two options.
   I do admit that bad shit is happening on the right. But I don't thin it's even vaguely plausible to say that QAnon somehow balances out the cult of Woketarianism. QAnon isn't threatening to destroy Western civilization... Unlike the vanguard of Woketarianism, it certainly doesn't aim that that, at least. "Common Good"ism is a strange development...though, honestly, not something even most conservatives know anything about. Who is unaware of BLM, climate apocalypticism, Woketarianism, transgender ideology, or the resurgence of Democratic sympathy for socialism?
   Well, anyway. There's lots of bad shit going down. I can agree with Kerstein on that much. 
   And perhaps his most interesting point is his lead one: the continued existence and flourishing of the USA is not a foregone conclusion...

Sunday, August 08, 2021


An oldie but a...well...baddie.

Saturday, August 07, 2021


The stupid...it buuuuurrrrnnnssss.....
   No thanks to the Mystic for inflicting this on me. It'd be like a 5 minute read if I hadn't had to read one graph, storm around ranting and raving, read another graph, repeat...
   This would be a great example for a philosophy of science class. When you are in the grip of a stupid theory, perfectly ordinary facts can seem inexplicably puzzling. (Conversely, facts that ought to puzzle you can seem unremarkable.)
   I mean, what could possibly explain the astonishing fact that algorithms that are good at detecting biological characteristics of humans--but incapable of detecting anything else--are extremely good at detecting race? 
It's a fucking mystery!
I guess we'll never know...

Carlson Interviews Victor Orban: Very Much Worth Watching

Very much worth watching, that is, if you are as ignorant as I was (am?) about Orban. I've read things in the MSM painting him as an evil, reactionary autocrat...and, despite knowing what I know about the MSM, I tended to guess that there must be significant truth in it. I know that Hungary under Orban has passed legislation that sounds sketchy. But the guy comes across as extraordinarily smart and reasonable in this interview. If he's bullshitting, or an evil, reactionary autocrat, I couldn't detect any signs of it in this one interview.
   Interview starts at 3:00. Orban's most interesting and important claim--which is similar to points I've made, FWTW--hits its stride around 5:00, but the whole thing is worth watching. The point is: the progressive left's post-national and post-Christian aspirations (and one might say: post-European, or even post-Western) is extraordinarily risky. No one knows what the outcome of implementing this vision will be. But it's risky. So every country has the right to make its own decision about whether it will take that risk. And Hungary has declined. This is a very simple and straightforward argument, and I think it's exactly right. This is gambling with our very civilization. In my view, it's a very bad bet because it's been poorly thought-out, and we have everything to lose. If you live in Somalia, betting the future of your nation on one roll of the dice might make sense. It does not make sense if you live in Hungary--or the USA. Incrementalism is the only thing that make sense in such cases. And I won't even say "IMO" about this. It's the only thing that makes sense. At worst, cautious incrementalism delays changes that it would be better not to delay. The worst case for radical, non-instrumental change is the destruction of society and the culture. Even short of the worst-case outcome, incautious, poorly-thought-out radical chance can still be disastrous. See, e.g., the French Revolution. See also: the entire history of communism.

Jenkins: Does The U.S. Want The Lab-Leak Truth?

Interesting historical parallels here.
   I've made the comparison to Obama insisting that "Islam is a religion of peace." There may be truth in that--I don't know. There's clearly some falsehood in it. And practical considerations are clearly in play--it's a way to keep moderate Islam on our side in a kind of alliance against violent Islamic extremism. 
   Do we want the truth about COVID origins?
   I say: yes and no. Of course we want the truth, for the reasons we always want it. But also: we don't want to know because it would seem to force us toward a confrontation that would be inconvenient at best and catastrophic at worst.
   Overlaying all this is the bizarre condition of current American politics, in which an extreme leftist worldview inclines toward hyper-criticism of America and the West, and hyper-defensiveness about other countries and cultures--except, y'know, Israel. And to some extent, Russia. 
   The background here is the long-standing clash of tendencies between left (including liberals, in this case) and conservatives. The latter tend toward exaggerated pro-American, pro-Westernism. The former tend toward the opposite in each case.

Friday, August 06, 2021

Youngkin Makes A Move

Maybe these three words will win it for him: "It's your money."
I'd also lean on these four words: "It's me or McAuliffe."

Actual Justice Warrior: The Young Turks Want YouTube To Ban Tim Pool

TYT is a train wreck. They exemplify something about the progressive left that I can't really articulate--they're some kind of paradigm or something. They're definitely loony dogmatists...that's easy enough to grok. But, man...there's just something about their demeanors... They're really gross. As is their guest. These people aren't even exactly censors at heart. Totalitarianism is in their hearts...but it's also on their sleeves.
AJW is on target, as usual. Dude is great:

Malone and Navarro: Biden Admin's Misguided and Deadly Vaccine Strategy

I don't know enough to even know whether there's an obvious response to this, but it sounds, prima facie, extremely reasonable to me. There're a lot of interesting arguments in there, but this is the most interesting:

   The most important reason why a universal vaccination strategy is imprudent tracks to the collective risk associated with how the virus responds when replicating in vaccinated individuals. Here, basic virology and evolutionary genetics tell us the goal of any virus is to infect and replicate in as many people as possible. A virus can’t efficiently spread if, like with Ebola, it quickly kills its hosts.
   The clear historical tendency for viruses crossing over from one species to another is to evolve in a way that makes them both more infectious and less pathogenic over time. However, a universal vaccination policy deployed in the middle of a pandemic can turn this normal Darwinian taming process into a dangerous vaccine arms race.
   The essence of this arms race is this: The more people you vaccinate, the greater the number of vaccine-resistant mutations you are likely to get, the less durable the vaccines will become, ever more powerful vaccines will have to be developed, and individuals will be exposed to more and more risk.
   Science tells us here that today’s vaccines, which use novel gene therapy technologies, generate powerful antigens that direct the immune system to attack specific components of the virus. Thus, when the virus infects a person with a “leaky” vaccination, the viral progeny will be selected to escape or resist the effects of the vaccine.
   If the entire population has been trained via a universal vaccination strategy to have the same basic immune response, then once a viral escape mutant is selected, it will rapidly spread through the entire population – whether vaccinated or not.
   A far more optimal strategy is to vaccinate only the most vulnerable. This will limit the amount of vaccine-resistant mutations and thereby slow, if not halt, the current vaccine arms race.

They also sort of whiz by the vicinity of an argument I'd like to hear a response to: if you think that the Emergency Use Authorization is sufficient to give us practical certainty that the vaccines are safe, shouldn't you be committed to basically changing the whole system of FDA approval so that what we now call EUAs become the standard, normal type of authorization? That is: if EUAs are good enough to make vax "hesitancy" irrational--irrational enough to warrant anger and ridicule--why do we use longer, slower, more expensive approval processes at all? OTOH, if EUAs aren't good enough to be relied on as the ordinary standard, on what grounds do progressives declare that vax hesitancy is irrational? Not to mention: that you shouldn't be allowed in the grocery store without them...not to mention that they should be legally mandated? (!!!)

Strong Jobs Report

Finally, some good news.

Hirsanyi: Progressive Claims To Protect Us From "Disinformation" Are Ploys To Promote Censorship Of Non-Progressive Views


Progressivism is illiberalism. As such, it values acceptance of its dogma more than it values rational and open debate--if it even values the latter two at all. Liberalism (broadly construed) aims to reach truth--which it believes to be the positions it accepts--via rational and open debate. It tends to value the process over its output and, hence, energetically protects free speech and inquiry. Progressivism's strategy is to deploy a vast array of debate-stifling tactics (ad hominem character assassination, narrowing legal speech protections, assertions that debates are already been settled in their favor, mob intimidation and violence). In short: liberalism (broadly construed) aims to foster debate and win with arguments. Progressivism aims to stifle debate and win via nonrational methods.