Saturday, November 18, 2017

Trump's Judicial Appointee Had A Ghostbusting Hobby; The Washington Post And Its Commenters Freak Out

  So...there are legitimate grounds for criticizing this appointment--obviously. For example, Talley has never tried a case. To the layperson, this seems...y'know...really bad... And the ABA rated him unqualified.  (Conservatives respond that the ABA has a liberal bias; which wouldn't surprise me in the least...but I don't know anything about it.)

   But hyperventilating about his ghost-hunting hobby seems like BS to me.
   First, ghostbusting sounds like a blast. I'd totally do it. In fact, a bunch of us back in high school decided we were totally going to do it. (Though, as I recall, it didn't really progress much past a bit of lame chop socky training in the back yard...y' case we encountered "cultists"...)
   Second, nine in ten Americans believe in God and souls and whatnot. Last I looked, there were exactly no openly atheistic senators or congressmen. How is it that Talley's views are supposed to be wildly less rational / less scientific / more outre than those? Because he's agnostic as to whether those souls or spirits or whatever show up in the world occasionally? Which, incidentally, about half of Americans believe. And how many people in the federal judiciary are similarly agnostic on this burning metaphysical issue of crucial political importance?
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

David Kopel at VC: Most Mass Shootings In Gun-Free Nations

Not exactly sure what to make of this argument off the top of my head...but you know how I like arguments that confirm my prejudices...

Person Who Coined Phrase "White Fragility" Is Risible, Racist Idiot

I'm shocked...shocked to find racism going on here

Will A New New Age Attend Postpostmodernism?

Last time the irrationalist Continental mish-mash (postmodernism, poststructuralism, critical theory, feminism, etc.) and its associated illiberal politics (called 'political correctness' at the time) was on the rampage, so was supernaturalism (crystal, chakras, etc...called "new age" stuff at the time).
   So: I wonder whether that'll happen again this time. Will a new new age attend postpostmodernism?

Broadcaster Accuses Al Franken of Sexually Assaulting Her

If she's lying, she's a virtuoso.

The Developing Sexual Harassment Apocalypse

Look: some sexual harassment accusations are false. Of this there can be no doubt. In fact, I suspect that a pretty hefty percentage of them are false. It's a fairly low-cost, more-or-less sure-fire, way to destroy someone's career / life.
   But there doesn't seem to be any way around the conclusion that this shit happens a lot. And a little is way too damn much.
   Nobody that I'm at all close to gives any sign that they do this sort of thing. In fact, they give every sign of not being the sort of person who'd tolerate it for a second. If that's the kind of guy they are, they do a damn fine job of hiding it. And also of not revealing any sign of such assholery in the rest of their personality, either. But obviously my friends aren't going to be a representative sample of dudes. But there are all sorts of guys I've known-but-not-liked that I'd not put it past.
   At any rate, this is all complicated by lots of things. First, that most guys don't do this. So a relatively few guys are victimizing a lot of women. And those guys are often pretty good at evading detection. So most guys don't see this stuff, and can't help but be somewhat skeptical. Also, I think that, since most guys don't do it, when they hear stories of accusations, they can't help but think about themselves being accused--and so the prospect of a false accusation is close to the forefront of their mind. And, again: there probably are fair number of false accusations. And add to that that the radical, vocal vanguard of contemporary feminism is pushing a theory according to which false accusations are good--first they enthusiastically push overly-broad conceptions of sexual harassment and rape, thus intentionally classifying non-harassers as harassers and non-rapists as rapists; second, they deny that false accusations are real and insist that they don't matter.
   But, be all that as it may, there still seems to be an enormous amount of this stuff going on. I really just can't believe it. Where the hell are these guys coming from? Did they not have parents? My folks weren't what you'd call feminists, but they'd have never stopped beating my ass if I'd've ever done something of the kind. And I mean: basically regardless of how old I was. And it never had to be said explicitly, any more than I had to be told explicitly not to commit arson or something. Jesus Christ. This all really is mind-boggling to me.

RIP Academic Freedom: Swedish "National Secretariat For Gender Research" Mandates "Intersectional" and "Norm-Critical" Course Content; Also Judith Butler

This is the single creepiest thing I've ever read about leftist totalitarianism in the Academy.
   On top of everything else, Judith Butler is absolute crap. is most of the rest of the stuff about "gender" (which term means almost nothing anymore). Honestly, Butler's stuff in particular is basically jibberish. There really are courses of study that make people dumber. And I'm not talking about just teaching them falsehoods. I mean: altering the way they think for the worse. And the sort of highly-politicized ridiculousness that has taken over in many American humanities and social sciences--i.e. the sort of thing the Swedes are making mandatory--is that sort of thing. It teaches students to engage in a kind of improvisational free-form interpretation which aims to minimize clarity and logical rigor, aiming always at pre-determined leftist conclusions. Oh: and you gotta drop the right names along the way (Butler, Foucault, and the rest of the usual suspects...).
   Neo-Lysenkoism is a genuine threat to our intellectual future. It's pretty likely that people indoctrinated with such postpostmodern gender nonsense gave us rape crisis hysteria, the inaccurately-named "'yes'-means-yes" policies, the "Dear Colleague" letter and Title IX totalitarianism...and, well, the rest of campus PC-left insanity.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sexual Harassment And Collective Guilt: NYT Edition

Sanity's anathema to contemporary public deliberation and discussion. Sexual harassment's a problem. It'd be really good if we could have less of it. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it's not an easy problem to fix. We've already got some terrible solutions in place--e.g. policies that make a "hostile environment" completely subjective, purely in the eye of the beholder, entirely a matter of ungrounded feelings, unconstrained by reasonable person standards. That's just about the worst imaginable response. 
   And now we've got: collective guilt for all men because of the actions of some. Sometimes that's said explicitly; other times it's just suggested. The latter is actually worse. 
   Oh, and don't forget:  no woman has an obligation to speak up, as she may face retaliation for doing so. All men, however, have an absolute obligation to speak up...and must be made to fear the repercussions of not doing so. Without double standards, these people would have no standards at all.
   Thing is, you could say something reasonable about all this; you don't absolutely have to be crazy. Though at this point, I think we have to admit that going to crazy extremes is like crack to the progressive left. They almost can't even be blamed for it. They just can't help themselves.
   It's more than understandable that women don't immediately and always go public with such accusations. These guys are sneaky shits; they know what they're doing. They survive on plausible deniability and the threat of retaliation. And I think that men do have a special obligation to intervene--preferably by knocking a m*ther f*cker on his ass--if they see this sort of thing. But I think this, in part, for decidedly un-PC reasons: men, in general, do have something of a special obligation to defend women. Feminism invokes this intuition when convenient, eschewing its other implications. But I think we all know it's true. 
   But even aside from that: third-party interventions are good for a lot of reasons. For one thing, it's no longer he-said/she-said--now it's two to one. For another, third parties are often more objective, hence their word matters more, evidentially speaking, than that of either of the interested parties. So, yeah, people should intervene. Especially male people. (That is: the people formerly known as men...)
   However, we need to put our collective foot down about this we-want-men-to-be-afraid psychopathy. It's typical PC/progressive insanity, and it has to be slapped down with extreme prejudice. If liberal feminism existed it'd come down on such a line like the very fist of God. But these are the progressive left's true colors: it just doesn't have it in it to simply want the good. It can't manage to try to help women without using the opportunity to harm men. It really does have to be opposed by every reasonable means. 
   I refuse to believe that the only two options are tolerate harassment of women and use this as an opportunity to harm men. Again: this is about reasonable people of both sexes fighting against two insane extremes. It's not a complicated point.

Shep Smith Debunks The Uranium One Story; Fox Viewers Pissed

I haven't had time to do more than skim the news since the beginning of this semester...but this sure does sound like an open-and-shut case.
   Of course, if BenghaziBenghaziBenghazi has taught us anything, "open and shut" means: we might get away with a mere year of investigations.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We're All Rape Culture Or Something; Something Something Patriarchy, Something Something All Men

Well this is idiotic.
   The progressive left really has gone off the rails. In terms of sheer delusional dumbness, it may very well be worse than the right at this point:
   The scope and the pervasiveness of this culture of abuse and our roles in perpetuating it—and not “our” as in men collectively but ourselvesspecifically—has resulted recently in a reflexive and unwieldy and messy and self-conscious excavation of memories, relationships and interactions: a digging that has intersecting intents. It’s reconciling with what you might have done—and might currently be doing—to prevent from doing it in the future. And well, it’s asking yourself, “How fucked up am I?” Which, expressed another way, is “Wait ... should I be worried about this avalanche too?”
   The answer, of course, is hell fucking yes. We are all complicit. We are all agents of patriarchy, and we’ve all benefitted from it. We are all active contributors to rape culture. All of us. No one is exempt. We all have investments in and take deposits out of the same bank. And we all need to accept and reconcile ourselves with the fact that, generally speaking, we are trash.
There's no reason to refute something this stupid in detail. It's just the same old PC bullshit slightly recycled and pointed at a slightly new topic. There's no "rape culture," there's not "patriarchy," we're not all guilty. You asshats might be guilty of doing or promoting or protecting this bullshit, but I'm not. And if you are, then yeah, you're trash. But the vast majority of us aren't. You may benefit from it, but most of us don't. Jesus. You have to be flat-out ******* stupid to believe this nonsense. Honestly. When you hit this kind of stratospheric level of shitheadness, I'm not going to even dignify it with a response. It basically refutes itself. Anybody who's not deluded by the cult of PC can see that this isn't even vaguely true. Not that this sector of the left cares about that anymore.
   Think about what drives the left's compulsion to selectively employ collective guilt...their eagerness to / obsession with assigning collective guilt to men (and "the whites," of course...) It really has become the flip side of the worst part of the right.
   And you know what? The progressive left deserves Trump. Hell, if I had to choose between them and him...I'd probably choose him. He's considerably less stupid, less delusional, and less morally rotten. Think about how scary that is.

Does India Want Out Of The Pak FA Program?

Kinda looks that way.

Drum: Sessions Is Right About Violent Crime Spike

Some on the left (e.g. the Brennan Center) have been denying this--e.g. arguing that it's isolated a few big cities. E.g. Moskos has been all over that, though. 
   The obvious hypothesis is: the Ferguson effect. Is that it? Maybe. Maybe not. This is a question we should be able to answer...but IMO political bias is typically more powerful than scientific methods. We could, theoretically, figure it out...but we probably won't. Because figuring it out would require political objectivity and intellectual honesty.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Crazy Vanguard Of Contemporary Feminism: Hatin' On Taylor Swift Edition

There's nothing in any way surprising about feminist attacks on Taylor Swift...who, I must admit, I don't really know from Adam. I don't think I could name a single one of her songs. So anyway, I'm not exactly a fan or anything; I've got no bias in favor of defending her.
   I'm in the majority in the U.S. in that I am an egalitarian about the sexes, but I don't categorize myself as a feminist. Last I checked, even the majority of female college students don't think of themselves as feminists. The vocal vanguard of feminism has gone off the rails--it's not liberal, but PC / illiberal progressive. As such, it viciously enforces its orthodoxy--i.e. viciously punishes apostates.[More to the point: it viciously punishes even tiny and/or imaginary deviations from its ever-changing, highly impressionistic doctrinal fashions.]
   I know many people have warm, fuzzy feelings for the old feminism, and for the term 'feminism.' [I do too, incidentally.] And many don't want to surrender the term. I get that, and I'm not saying that my way of going is better. And under certain conditions, depending on what's meant in a given conversation, I'm willing to back them up and defend the view that today's unhinged, anti-liberal, irrationalist "feminism" isn't real feminism. But to the extent that's just a semantic dispute, it's not so much worth having. One of my main reasons for choosing the other route is that calling oneself a feminist is de rigueur in academia and polite middlebrow society. (So, of course, the ambiguity becomes very important.) At any rate, part of my refusal to say I'm a feminist is a result of its being declared mandatory.
tl;dr: don't tell me what to do. First-world anarchism FTW, baby.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Virginia And New Jersey Elect Governors Totally Lacking Reality-Show Experience

Thursday, November 09, 2017

The Mary-Was-A-Teenager Defense Of Roy Moore

Feminists Encourage False Accusations of Sexual Harassment: Jessica Valenti Edition

The feminist fringe argues--on flimsy evidence--that there are few false accusations of sexual harassment. However, they're now starting to argue that there ought to be more. Why? Because they're a weapon against men (aka TEH PATRIARCHY). In case you doubt that the feminist fringe sees this as a zero-sum game that's boys v. girls, I give you the habitually nutty Jessica Valenti. The hard left tends to see everything through the lens of power, not principle. That's the mindset that gives us identity politics generally. They think that the patriarchy is a coalition of all men against all women--so of course they think it's ok to falsely accuse men of sexual harassment. It's not a matter of individual guilt--it's war. Taking out one soldier is as good as taking out another.
   And no, I don't think they believe that 100% and all the time. But I think they don't 100% not believe it, and never.
   It's sane men and women against the assholes/psychos and the unhinged feminists. That's the way it's always been, and that's the way it always will be. Best not to forget it.

Thou Shalt Not Have Sex With 14-Year-Olds: The End Of Roy Moore?

Unproven accusations...though corroborated by at least some evidence. Moore apparently has a history of pursuing young girls. Apparently the age of consent is 16 in Alabama, however, and apparently all the other informants were above that age.
   Anyway...stay tuned. I'm concerned about the nation slipping into a "listen and believe" mentality...but I don't know what else to say about that.

Trump's Voter Fraud Commission Sued By One Of It's Own Members, Alleging Lack Of Transparency

This is just not good.
I seem to be pretty much alone among quasi-liberals (or whatever I am) in that I'm not in-principle opposed to this commission. I'd like to get the question put to rest, and I think it'd be worth a fair amount of money to do so. But this news bodes ill.

Lefties Shriek At Sky On Anniversary Of Trump Election

   Now you're not even trying to not be weird and gross.
   You should sit at home and get drunk while forlornly thumbing through your pocket Constitution like normal people.