Monday, August 31, 2015

Ed Kilgore Hearts Political Correctness: If You're Against It, It's Because You Want To Tell Racist Jokes You Racist

Seriously man.
If you're this clueless, you shouldn't be writing about it.
(OTOH, Kilgore is a veritable sage compared to his commenters)

Fred Kaplan: Why The Iran Deal Will And Should Pass

Daggum Gub'mint Taking Our Freedom: OSHA Taking Our Freedom Edition

(via Reddit)

Mt. McKinley / Denali

   Yeah, I figured this wasn't going to go down without a fight...
   I guess I can understand fans of William McKinley being bummed... But a couple of points:
   First, it's merely an official name change. Nothing prevents people from continuing to refer to it as 'Mount McKinley.' Because that's how names work. 'Mt. McKinley' refers to the mountain in question as much as 'Denali' does. If you want to refer to it that way, knock yourself out.
   Second, 'Denali' is a much, much cooler name with a much cooler history than 'Mt. McKinley.' I can't imagine there being any argument about these points from anyone.
   Third, Athabascan is part of our heritage. It's not some alien lingo, in case that's what's bothering people. Though I don't know why it would.
   Fourth, the state of Alaska asked for this change.
   I understand that President McKinley should be honored, but that consideration is outweighed by other considerations. We can--and perhaps should--find a new way to honor him.
  I'll admit that I'm biased here because I've long thought that 'Denali' is just a way, way cooler name.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Defining 'White Supremacy' Downward

   Since it's now an axiom that all white people are racist, what to call actual racists? The SJW / neo- PC answer is: white supremacists! (Here's just one example. They're all over. I started seeing the term getting thrown around by some of the loonier liberals on Inside Carolina, but it took me a long time to figure out what was up. )
   So, yeah. Your grandparents who marched for civil rights? Racist. Your generally good-hearted but slightly racist neighbor? A white supremacist.
   Of course this kind of linguistic bullshit, if it were to stick, would leave us without the resources to conveniently refer to, y'know, actual white supremacists. Like these ignorant jackasses.f
   Inaccuracy and hyperbole are among the PC's favorite weapons.

One Predator of the Big Brown Bat is the Bullfrog

I wouldn't make something like that up.

A Country Called Prison

A review at Reason:
Citizenship in prison nation...most often begins in poor neighborhoods with underperforming schools, abusive households, and easy access to drugs and alcohol. Children in close proximity to the realities of incarceration are more likely to experience it firsthand, the authors continue, since they are often raised in conditions hostile to the learning processes necessary to peacefully and productively engage in society. The prison system as it currently operates does not improve upon or reverse this maladaptive socialization. Instead, Looman and Carl write, the toxic social patterns within prison walls undermine the behavioral learning people need to progress from dependent children into independent adults. Rather than learning how to peacefully associate with different types of people and get ahead in life, inmate social orders often reward the very same behaviors that lead to incarceration in the first place: aggression, deception, drug abuse, and theft.

61% Of Egyptian Girls Age 15-17 Victims Of Female Genital Mutilation (?)

Reddittor adds a caveat about information from Egypt.
1% would be horrific.

Donald Trump's Polling Numbers No Longer Seem To Represent A Bubble Set To Burst

At the Post.
Hoo boy.
Not sure how strong this evidence is...but the mere suggestion makes me queasy. Remember...this is a party that was in love with Sarah Palin.
C'mon GOP. Why you gotta be like that?

Hulk Hogan Wants To Be Donald Trump's Running Mate

This would be great! One of them's an unqualified blowhard with bizarre hair and a cartoonish demeanor who made a living doing something phoney and of no value to society...and the other one...

Well. You see where I'm going with this.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The New New Republic: Anchor Babies Are A Myth...And The Term is Offensive

   I sure do miss the old New Republic...
   Look, you're going to have to choose one. Either there aren't any, or the term is "offensive"*...but you can't have it both ways. I wonder whether we should be "offended" by the use of the term "skin job" to refer to replicants in Blade Runner. I mean, it's clearly supposed to be a derogatory term for androi...uh...differently...uh...human...uh...humans...  So...
   'Anchor baby' is a perfectly neutral, clear, vividly descriptive term. If someone comes to the U.S. in order to have a baby that will thereby be a U.S. citizen, and they do so for the purpose of establishing a toehold in the country, then the baby is an anchor baby. I'm perfectly willing to accept that there is no such thing... I don't have a rooting interest. I just want to know whether it does or doesn't happen to a significant extent. But (a) the term is not "offensive", and (b) it's doubly not offensive if there aren't any of them.
   Really, you can't make up stuff this stupid. 

* the paleo-PC term "offensive" going to make a comeback? Back in the late '80's and early '90's this was the PCs favorite word. Their mantra was "That's offensive." It was sprinkled through their speech almost like some kind of verbal tic. I thought they'd thrown it over for the more generic mantra "that's problematic." (Which really is too bad...'offensive' is a word I can get along without...but 'problemantic' is a handy word when not abused, and I'll hate to have to give it up...)

Call Me Caitlyn Or Else: The Rise Of Authoritarian Transgender Politics

This is one of the best things I've read on this subject.
I think it's basically right on the money.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Failure to Replicate

Aarts et al. describe the replication of 100 experiments reported in papers published in 2008 in three high-ranking psychology journals. Assessing whether the replication and the original experiment yielded the same result according to several criteria, they find that about one-third to one-half of the original findings were also observed in the replication study.
Important result...though, of course, not exactly a stunning one.
(h/t: S. rex)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Current Status of the Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapped By Boko Haram

   This is a story I just couldn't force myself to follow in a rational way. I just kept, as it were, averting my eyes. I'd hear rumor of some promising development, and just let myself think that things had gone in a good direction. I'm irrational like that. Anyway, here's the Wikipedia section on the aftermath. Not good in any way, as everybody but me probably already knows.
   Boko there's a bunch that I'd love to vaporize. I imagine one of the many difficult things about being President is resisting the urge to send in the Rangers.  
   Damn what a world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

David Duke Endorses Donald Trump

I see no reason to say anything at all about this...

Fatal Shooting In Roanoke

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trumpo The Clown's Weird Megyn Kelly Hang-Up

   Dude's anger really is out of all proportion to even very uncharitable views of Kelly's alleged transgressions...  Is he really this easily twisted up? Surely he can't be unused to people pissing him off, can he? People make fun of Trump left and'd think he'd be better at anger management by now.

Mozilla CEO Wants To Fire Employees Who Express Anti-SJW Sentiments On Reddit

   So...this is batshit insane, is it not?
   Talkcrime on the interwebs is now grounds for termination of employment at Mozilla according to CEO Chris Beard.
   I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise after the Brendan Eich incident.
   So neither of the two defenses liberals have used of these wackos  ((a) they're not wrong and (b) they're wrong but they have no influence/power) seems very plausible anymore.
   Oh and:
The Reddit user welcomed Koehler's exit. "Frankly everyone was glad to see the back of Christie Koehler. She was batshit insane and permanently offended at everything," the user wrote. "When she and the rest of her blue-haired nose-pierced asshole feminists are gone, the tech industry will breathe a sigh of relief." It was that remark that appeared to trigger Beard's warning today. "When I talk about crossing the line from criticism to hate speech, I'm talking about when you start saying 'someone's kind doesn't belong here, and we'll all be happy when they're gone.'"
So "When she and the rest of her blue-haired, nose-pierced asshole feminists are gone, the tech industry will breathe a sigh of relief" becomes spun into [her] kind doesn't belong here, which is something something "hate speech."
   This isn't an aberration. This is a paradigmatic strategy of political correctness. It's exactly the sort of thing they did in the '80's and '90's, and it's exactly why sane people (finally!) realized how insane it all was. But here it is again, ascendant...and once again liberals are defending it. And not merely defending it, accepting it. 
   But, hey. Maybe Chairman Beard will be merciful if he's actually able to dox /u/aioyama. Maybe he'll just send him to re-education camp instead of actually terminating him.

A Very Confused Essay About Objectivity In Journalism

"The Myth Of Objectivity In Journalism," by Richard F. Teflinger.
Jeez. This should have been titled "Ten Common Confusions About Objectivity"...or maybe just "Fallacies On Parade." I really hope this isn't representative of what's taught in Comm schools.
I might just use this in my critical thinking class this year.
I'll probably complain about it in more detail at some point...but for now, I merely post it for you to marvel at.

Crass Frat Banners At ODU, And Defining "Harassment" Downward

  The banners were crass, gross, and stupid. But I don't see how they constitute harassment...and they have nothing to do with sexual assault. "Baby girl" here refers to female persons of the age of consent. It's slang, as we know. So only a sophist would try to work that angle. The only people who might be targets of harassment here are parents, I suppose. I mean, the import of the signs is pretty close to:  Bring us your daughters! We're a bunch of loathsome douchebags with money, so we'll be screwing them soon enough anyway...  And, granted, I expect if I were a father dropping off his daughter at ODU, I might be tempted to go slap a punk upside the head... But none of that has anything to do with harassment or assault. Well...except for that part about slapping them upside the head...
   Well anyway. Gross, stupid, lecherous, classless, creepy, and just downright nauseating...but, to the extent that the message is directed at college girls at all, it's an invitation not a threat. It will put off some girls and attract others. The kinds of women it will put off aren't the kind that the frat wants at their parties anyway. Anybody want to take place any bets about whether a frat that hangs such banners will have any trouble attracting women to their parties? I mean...if they're not suspended? Guys who would hang such a sign are probably douchebags of a rather high order. Such guys abound. Some girls don't like such guys. Some girls do. If being an arrogant douchebag actually did revolt all women, I expect evolution would have selected against it by now. But the facts are: many dudes are douchebags, and many girls are attracted to that. It's gross, but it's not illegal. These banners are, basically, the mating call of the douchebag. And it will work a fair bit of the time. If it drove women away, they probably wouldn't have hung it up in the first place.
   So anyway. We can lament these facts...humans are gross in a bunch of ways. But we can't pretend that this is harassment, nor that it in any way expresses any kind of pro-rape message. Guys of this kind may very well be more likely to harass and commit sexual assaults--but that's a different matter entirely.
   This is a pretty typical kind of case these days. Instead of trying to stop actual sexual assaults and actual acts of harassment, the alliance of feminists, far leftists and panicky college administrators goes after something else entirely, pretending that they're doing the other thing. This is bad in virtue of being false and delusional, in virtue of promoting sexual puritanism, in virtue of stifling free expression, and in virtue of just being damn stupid.
   So I guess I'm on the side of the douchebags in this one.

Amanda Marcotte: Still Pushing "Rape Culture," Still Hedging On The UVA/Rolling Stone Gang Rape That Wasn't

   As much as I disagree with Marcotte and people like her, I really can understand getting oneself all twisted up in feminist dogma over rape, sexism and sex-based inequality. They're absolutely maddening. And that's a mitigating circumstance.
   Be that as it may, Marcotte is part of the problem. Or, rather, part of the other problem. Rape is a problem. Rape crisis hysteria is the other problem--a to-some-extent understandable problem, but a problem nonetheless. Rape crisis hysteria is not the solution to rape. Irrationally expansive definitions of rape, feminist fables about "rape culture," legislating/micromanaging people's sex lives, and classifying innocent people as rapists are not reasonable responses. 
  Anyway, among other things, Marcotte is still refusing to admit what was obvious from the beginning with respect to the UVA/Rolling Stone gang rape that wasn't. Writing of some book or other, Marcotte:
This chapter invariably brings to mind the fiasco over the Rolling Stone’s story about sexual assault at the University of Virginia, which was retracted after it was discovered the centerpiece of the story, an alleged fraternity gang rape, was likely fabricated by just such an attention-seeking and troubled young woman, “Jackie.” Perhaps if Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely and her editors had read Harding’s book, they would have spotted the red flags in Jackie’s story.
Um..."was likely fabricated"? American "rape culture," you see, is a definite qualification nor hedging is required... "Jackie"s story, however...well...we'll never really know, will we? Even a confession of lying could be false... Even if we had a videotape of ever room in the frat house, these could be fabricated... Even if...even if...  Standards of proof, you see, are different in such cases... Such credulity is warranted in response to rape accusations that no evidence can ever be sufficient to genuinely defuse it. Listen and believe...and never surrender that belief, no matter what.
   ...Speaking of about the last bit of that quote, eh? If we're supposed to "listen and believe," how is Rolling Stone justified in scrutinizing "Jackie"s story? And, of course: "Jackie" herself bears no responsibility for telling the lies...but that's a well-entrenched part of the official PC mythology by this sense in pounding our heads against that bit...
   Ok, I'm done. I was just following links around and ended up at Marcotte's place, and that always, like totally triggers me with all its like...uh...microaggressions or whatever?...and, uh, paid blogger privilege and whatnot...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rutgers: "There Is No Such Thing As 'Free' Speech" [updated x2]

   So...I'm thinking that maybe we can put to rest the canard that the illiberal left has no power/influence?

   There's a lot that's of concern on that page. Obviously the claim that "There is no such thing as 'free' speech" could actually use a bit of discussion. There's obviously some wiggle room in there...and Rutgers will undoubtedly be doing some mad wiggling in the near future... If pressed, they could deny that they're actually denying the reality of free speech per se. They can claim that they're using an inflammatory-sounding claim to make the point that all speech has consequences. (Actually, that's not exactly true...but certainly a lot of speech does.) But the claim actually seems to be a kind of double entendre, aiming to assert both points.
   Denying the reality of free speech is bad enough...but the emphasis on the consequences of speech rather than its content is almost as worrisome, it seems to me. I'm inclined to think that this is a general problem on the left--a kind of skepticism about or denigration of things like representation, content, intellectual purport and intention, intellectual/scholarly/scientific goals, and so forth and an emphasis on things like tangible harm. The traditional (broadly) liberal view is something like: our intellectual existence and projects are so important that they get presumption. You can constrain speech on the grounds that it causes harm only when the speech does not actually seek to convey content, but itself merely seeks to effect some action in a non-rational way (that's one take on what's wrong with yelling 'fire' in a...well, you see where I'm going with this...) The left, for all it's anti-scientific bent, also exhibits its own peculiar brand of scientism. And prioritizing things like psychological harm over things like the expression of ideas is one manifestation of that...or so it seems to me...  Something like that, anyway.
   In summary, I would like to say: this BS is cause for alarm.

   Maybe I should be worried that I am getting a feel for the SJW / neo-PC mind...but anyway, I figured Rutgers would backpedal on this. Apparently they have, and have deleted the "no free speech" claim from their website. But it was there...oh yes it was:

[update 2]

Reason is also discussing this, and also notes the change on the website.

Trump Widens Lead

When Bush (ultimately '43) was gaining ground in the run-up to 2000, I was all like "Z0MG this is so great he absolutely cannot win the general!!!!1".
So yeah, I learned my lesson there.
Nobody is too stupid nor loathsome nor unqualified to win.
So I'll admit, I'm torn among shadenfreude, sorrow, revulsion, bafflement and concern.
If anybody can help me narrow the field down to two or three of these, please let me know.

Three Americans Who Thwarted Terrorist Attack On French Train Are Knighted

Just about everything about this story is cool.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

RIP Julian Bond

   I've always admired Bond very much. He was particularly important to me as a teenager, especially as a young teen as I was first trying to understand American society and politics. My father--among his other evil and psychopathic characteristics--was a virulent racist. And there was a fair amount of racism in general where I grew up. Anti-black racism was particularly prevalent, perhaps in part due to the fact that blacks were the only non-whites in the area. It always repulsed and angered me, but, at first anyway, I was just a kid and it all rather confused me.
   I distinctly remember the first time I saw Julian Bond on television. He was opposite a high-ranking Klansman, and--as you might expect--just shredded the hell out of him. I particularly remember a point at which some Klan march came up--perhaps the one in Greensboro, NC. The Klansman claimed, at one point, that no weapons had been found. Bond pulls out a list and rattles off all the weapons that had been found...x number of guns, y number of knives, z number of blackjacks, etc. etc.  Not a moment Bond would even recall were he still with us, I'm sure. Not significant compared to the most important actions of a long and consequential career. But I remember standing up and cheering. It was just a beautiful evidential beat-down. It's hard for me to think about that without getting kind of emotional, actually.
   I'd always hoped that I'd get a chance to meet him, and I'm exceedingly sorry that I won't.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Terrorists in France Choose Target Poorly

Props to the USMC.
Could have been very, very bad.

It Seems Likely That Congress Will Approve the Iran Deal

Don't want to prematurely enumerate the G. domesticus ...but this is promising.

Witch Hunt

   A documentary by Sean Penn about the malicious prosecution of 36 innocent people on fabricated child abuse charges in Kern county, CA.
   Mostly by this evil lunatic, Ed Jagels.
   One thing I didn't realize is that apparently this kind of mass fabrication of child-abuse charges began before it all took the even more bizarre turn into "satanic panic." (On which subject, I recommend Satan's Silence by Nathan and Snedeker.)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Julia Serano: "Objections to Political Correctness Just Want to Preserve The Status Quo"

   Anyone who thinks that's true shouldn't be writing about it, because they don't understand the disagreement.
   Objecting to an illiberal, irrationalist, radical, dogmatic movement that seeks to limit the freedom of thought and expression and undermine intellectual autonomy via sophistical arguments, bad philospohy and unbridled mass shaming/ not equivalent to wanting to preserve the status quo. That's just silly.
   There are, for example, many things I'm inclined to change about the status quo. About that general point, centrist liberals and lefty/left-liberal PCs can agree. We tend, however, to disagree about how much needs to change, which parts need to change, and how the change should be effected. PCs are more inclined to want radical change that favors limiting the freedom of thought and expression in order to eliminate expression and beliefs that offend certain groups. Liberals tend to think that my freedom to swing my fist ends where your nose begins; PCs believe something rather more like: my freedom to swing my fist ends where your feelings begin. The PCs tend to be anti-capitalism, whereas liberals tend to be far more pro-capitalism. The PCs tend to subordinate science to politics, accepting e.g. the view that race, "gender" and even biological sex are "socially constructed"--and accepting such views because they are politically correct, not because they are true, supported by the best reasons, or even cogent. And that's not even to mention the close ties between PC and the incoherent mishmash of bad philosophy that invariably comes along with it...
   So, anyway: no. It's absurd to suggest that opposing PC is simply a way to preserve the status quo. Not every way of changing the status quo is rational. Not every way is better--in fact, most ways are worse. One can think that there are good incremental changes that ought to be made while opposing the view that we should scrap crucial commitments to intellectual autonomy and freedom of expression in order to effect radical, poorly-thought-out social changes. 
   In short: the author's thesis is simply and obviously false. Opposition to political correctness is not equivalent to a desire to preserve the status quo.

Big Sibling Is Watching U.: Wash. U.'s "Bias Report And Support System"

Are liberals getting concerned yet?

Kenan Malik: Free Speech In An Age Of Identity Politics

   I say this is good.
   I'm not sure there's a lot that's new in it, but it states something like the traditional case clearly:
   Let me finish, then, by remaking the case for free speech as a universal good.At the heart of the argument for censorship as progressive, and of the giving of offence as a cultural and moral wrong, is, as I have suggested, the belief that a plural society places particular demands on speech, and that speech must necessarily be less free in such a society. For diverse societies to function and to be fair, so the argument runs, we need to show respect not just for individuals but also for the cultures and beliefs in which those individuals are embedded and which helps give them a sense of identity and being. This requires that we police pubic discourse about those cultures and beliefs both to minimise friction between antagonistic cultures and beliefs and to protect the dignity of those individuals embedded in them. As the British sociologist Tariq Modood has put it, that ‘If people are to occupy the same political space without conflict, they mutually have to limit the extent to which they subject each others’ fundamental beliefs to criticism.’
It’s an argument that seems to me fundamentally to misunderstand both the nature of diversity and the relationship between pluralism and free speech. When we say that we live in a diverse society, what we mean is that it is a messy world out there, full of clashes and conflict. And that is all for the good, for it is out of such clashes and conflicts that cultural and political engagement emerges. Or to put it another way, diversity is important, not in and of itself, but because it allows us to break out of our culture-bound boxes, by engaging in dialogue and debate and by putting different values, beliefs and lifestyles to the test.
But the very thing that is valuable about diversity – the cultural and ideological clashes that it brings about – is precisely what so many people fear. Diversity may be a good, they argue, but it has to be policed to minimise the clashes and conflicts and frictions that it brings in its wake. The imposition of moral and legal restraints on being offensive is one form of such policing.
I take the opposite view. It is precisely because we do live in plural societies that we need the fullest extension possible of free speech. In plural societies, it is both inevitable and important that people offend the sensibilities of others. Inevitable, because where different beliefs are deeply held, clashes are unavoidable. Almost by definition such clashes express what it is to live in a diverse society. And so they should be openly resolved than suppressed in the name of ‘respect’ or ‘tolerance’.
One bit in there that I've argued for before is, I think, rather important: diversity is not good in itself. It is, rather, instrumentally good. For one thing, multiple perspectives help us avoid the siren song of the echo chamber. For another, awareness of different ways to live our lives makes more different options real for us. Of course these are actual goods only within the constraints of universalism. Another bit, though, that I've never thought of before is this: "...the very thing that is valuable about diversity – the cultural and ideological clashes that it brings about – is precisely what so many people fear." That is: political correctness elevates "diversity" to a good in itself, and it simultaneously attempts to squelch all disagreement. However diversity is not an end in itself, and it is instrumentally good only if disagreement flourishes and is valued and is used as a stepping-stone to improvement.
   Anyway. Worth a read, I say.

North Carolina's Step-By-Step War On Education

Not good.

Actual footage of the NC GOP attack on education.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Man Guarding "Muslim-Free" Gun Range In Oklahoma Accidentally Shoots Himself

Not making this up.

(via Reddit)

The Stupidest Thing You'll Read Today: "White People Need To Open Themselves Up To A Particular Type Of Wounding"

   This would be hilarious if it weren't so damn creepy and pathetic.
   It's all there..."white supremacy," "deconstruction," "privilege"...
   I mean should skim over this lunatic screed. Not only is it important to realize how utterly insane the SJW's / neo- PCs are becoming...but it'd also be good to keep this in mind. After the political correctness insanity of the '80's and '90's became public enough to be smacked down, liberals who had gone along with it claimed that, basically, it had never happened. Currently, as I've noted, we're seeing the "PC is just politeness" and "PC is just respectful language" memes being spread around. But this kind of lunatic jeremiad is nothing of the kind. How about this gem?:
At its core, our proposal is simple. White people need to open ourselves up to a particular type of wounding to genuinely understand and then work toward racial justice. Our comfort and privilege generally keeps us from incurring these wounds naturally, and thus they must be sought out, disseminated, and used to motivate action.
   That's not even the creepiest bit of this sophomoric, racist, lunatic manifesto. Of course the author, one Jesse Benn, isn't exactly calling for actual physical violence against whites... The "wounding" he's calling for--explicitly, anyway--is psychological/emotional. That's twisted enough...but one thing about these idiots is that they just keep looking for more and more radical things to say about how terrible "whiteness" is...hence they keep sidling right up to positions that suggest that, just maybe, something more overt and physical might be, y'know, a good idea... 
   As for the bizarre locutions and forms of argument...well, this is a paradigm example of someone who's been educated in something like an English department somewhere, in which the Continental Jumble of bad philosophy and pseudophilosophy reigns unchallenged. 
   And jebus...if these people are going to say 'deconstruct' all over the damn place, they at least need to learn that the term does not mean "take apart"...
   It's not that I think that these people are actually going to start shooting white people... That's not the point. The point is that this utter bullshit--part pseudointellectual tripe and part psychotic political extremism--is currently running free, almost entirely unopposed by liberals. At lest conservatives are calling bullshit on it...cold comfort, really... That will probably just prompt liberals to circle the wagons around this nonsense.
   And that's not even to engage with the content of this hogwash, such as it is... 

PC Attempts to Define "White Supremacy" Downward

   I started seeing shrieky liberals and leftists throwing around the terms 'white supremacy' and 'white supremacist' when they actually seemed to just mean '(white) racism' and '(white) racist' a couple of months ago. I finally figured out that this is the newest bit of neo- PC / SJW hyperbole/inaccuracy. I mean, they've been arguing incoherently for a couple of years now that non-whites cannot be racists because they've decided to try to make 'racism' mean something that has nothing to do with individual beliefs and intentions and everything to do with "structural" facts about a society. Of course that's nonsense. For one thing, 'racism' already has a clear and important meaning. For another, this is merely the latest in a string of maneuvers the left has attempted to try to trick people into thinking that non-whites are never racist. Why, back in my day they tried arguing that all hatred by non-whites against whites was justified because it was invariably caused by white racism--ergo it wasn't racist. False, of course...but at least it glances off of the truth in a way that makes it infinitely superior to simple attempts at re-definition...
   At any rate, the PCs love terminological/semantic warfare, and the newest trend seems to be an attempt to pretend that (white) racists are white supremacists. I've seen it in discussion forums, but here's the first semi-reputable place I've seen it used. Amanda Marcotte, once again on the cutting edge of incoherent left-wing political nonsense...
   But racism by whites isn't the same as white supremacism / supremacy. Anybody who knows anything about such matters knows that. I grew up around a fair number of white racists, and I can't think of one who was a white supremacist...even though, come to think of it, I'd have a hard time spitting out a definition of 'white supremacist'... Certainly few of them were anything like Klansmen or skinheads or members of the Aryan Nation... They just ("just"!) didn't like nor respect black people. That's very bad, as goes without saying...but it's not as bad as being in the Klan. More to the point: it's not the same kind of thing as being in the Klan...
   The neo- PCs / SJWs think that everything is racist, and "everyone's a little bit racist"... So they need a new word for people who actually are racist... And so the terminological escalation continues, and "white supremacy" gets defined down. This is rather similar to what they've been pushing with rape, now that they want regrets (by women...not by men...) weeks or months down the road to count.
   It's been sobering to see how docile liberals have been in all of this. Newspeak is upon us, and almost nobody on the leftish bit of the spectrum seems to care even a little.

Lukianoff and Haight: The Coddling Of The American Mind: Doubts

Though I'm glad to see these guys on the case, as I've already said, I'm not whole-heartedly behind their view. One thing I'm skeptical of is the explanation of "vindictive protectiveness" in terms of helicopter parenting. In a section titled "How Did We Get Here?," they write:
...the answer probably involves generational shifts as well. Childhood itself has changed greatly during the past generation. Many Baby Boomers and Gen Xers can remember riding their bicycles around their hometowns, unchaperoned by adults, by the time they were 8 or 9 years old. In the hours after school, kids were expected to occupy themselves, getting into minor scrapes and learning from their experiences. But “free range” childhood became less common in the 1980s. The surge in crime from the ’60s through the early ’90s made Baby Boomer parents more protective than their own parents had been. Stories of abducted children appeared more frequently in the news, and in 1984, images of them began showing up on milk cartons. In response, many parents pulled in the reins and worked harder to keep their children safe.
Could be. But it's a pretty speculative stab at an answer. It's a perfectly fine hypothesis...but it's false to say that the answer "probably" involves this stuff.

Trump Worth Less Than If He'd Just Invested In The S&P 500?

Are E-Cigarettes A Gateway To Regular Cigarettes?

   I thought of the same test Drum did...but he actually, y'know, did it. He checked out the numbers. Anyway: no.  Or, to be more precise: probably not.
   For the record, heavy smoking grosses me out, and I'm no fan of the tobacco industry. But I'm also against liberal neo-puritanism. I probably smoke about a pack a year...and, as with most casual smokers, my tobacco consumption is always alcohol-related. I'd like people to stop with the pack-a-day's dumb and gross. But it's not the worst thing in the world, and tobacco, used in non-addictive/pathetic ways is just not such a big deal. The anti-smoking jihad annoys me more than smoking does.
   Though all the folks who throw their butts on the ground can seriously go to hell... I saw a dude yesterday at a stoplight discover that his lighter was dead, and he threw the lighter out of the window. Can you believe that shit? I was getting out of my car to "give him his lighter back" when the light turned and he drove off. Asshole.

Another Bomb Threat Disrupts Another GamerGate Event

   As Cathy Young notes, when a mass shooting threat caused the cancellation of a talk by Anita Sarkeesian, the NYT deemed it front page news..."...and insinuated, with no evidence, that the threat came from someone 'allied' with the GamerGate movement." The two Gamergate events disrupted by bomb threats within a year? Not so much...
   In general, I've refuse to insert such qualifiers/assurances because I think it's absurd that liberals have to ante-up before they can say anything that might get them excommunicated...but: yes, of course I realize that online harassment is a problem, in particular for women. It's nutty that anyone would deny that--and nutty that anyone would be thought to deny it because they argue that the charges against GamerGate are largely trumped-up.  I don't actually follow the GamerGate stuff that closely, but by chance early on I happened to stumble on links to the posts by Zoe Quinn's former boyfriend about her infidelity and mistreatment of him. Now...if even half of what he wrote is true, Quinn is an asshole of cosmic proportions--a liar and a cheater who spouts SJW cant about consent and justice, but who in actual fact treats people like shit. But Quinn's execrable mistreatment of her boyfriend carried no weight with the SJW (now anti-GG) crowd... Instead, her boyfriend's agonized public comments on 4han were deemed "slut shaming." Granted, some people did apparently sieze on the she's-a-slut angle...but that was in no way the point of her bf's posts. She wasn't being "shamed," and the message wasn't that she was a "slut." At least not by her bf, and not by the majority of people commenting on his posts--the majority that I saw, anyway. She's a terrible person who cheated on and emotionally abused her former bf...and his posts were an outpouring of clear and undeniable emotional pain. But these folks have an array of little defense/anti-defense mechanisms that mean that they never have to admit error...though if those with whom they disagree attempt to defend themselves, it shows an even more profound level of guilt...
   Compare, for example, the treatment of ZQ's bf to the treatment of the author of this piece. Quinn's bf posted an expression of his sadness to an obscure forum. "Anonymous" actually published an essay (to "Thought"Catalog, admittedly...hardly The Atlantic...) with the actual intent of spilling the beans on the guy in question. Of course the guy's an asshole, as many were quick to point out. But Quinn is apparently even worse. At least they're in the same general category. I don't recall a massive backlash against Anonymous's slut-shaming of her hero/paramour...
   Young claims that the coverage of GamerGate may have been the most profoundly one-sided journalism that she's seen in her entire career. I don't have a lot to compare it to, but there's no doubt that it's been terrible.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Violent Crime--and Reducing The Prison Population As An End In Itself

   To a layperson, this is a bizarre article.
   I'm often puzzled by those who write as if reducing the prison population is an end in itself. I seems obvious that the war on drugs is based on a lot of confusions and mistakes. Drug policies should be loosened up as much as possible on libertarian principles that liberals and conservatives generally share--though it seems foolish to think that all drugs, even the most dangerous and addictive, should be legal. I'm all for listening to arguments for reducing sentences on property crimes...though without hearing specifics, I'm not in a position to have any real thoughts. And it should be clear that something has to be done to reduce the brutality of prisons in general--which my friend Peter the Public Defender has described to me as "monster factories"... It seems insane to group non-violent prisoners with violent ones. often comes across articles that speak as if we should be reducing prison populations simpliciter, and without regard for alternatives, consequences, and questions about the actual actions of prisoners. The article linked above seems to be of that genus. It suggests that we need to consider reducing sentences for violent offenders. Now...if violent offenders are being given sentences that are unreasonably long...e.g. life sentences for extremely minor assaults...then yes, that should be rethought. But without some reason for believing that the sentences are disproportionate to the crimes, the call for shorter sentences for violent criminals--merely in the name of reducing prison populations--seems crazy. It's rather like a call for reducing the number of people being treated for cancer...but by kicking some of them out rather than curing them.
   None of this is to say that it wouldn't be good to have a go at rethinking alternatives to prison... However, one does worry that there's an irrational liberal agenda in the background here. I often see statistics about U.S. incarceration rates cited as if they were in and of themselves conclusive evidence that the system is unjust and irrational. Such statistics seem to me to be prima facie reason to think that something is amiss...however, if the U.S. has more violent crime, then one would expect that it would have more violent criminals in prison. And lowering prison populations, while desirable, is not more important than lowering violent crime rates.
   A recent personal experience has smacked me upside the head with the irrationality of the legal system... So I'm all on board with concerns about innocent people being convicted of crimes. But that isn't the concern in this article.
   At any rate, this is a debate I've merely glanced at in I'm not asserting that there's anything deep in what I'm saying. I'm really just saying: the nature of the debate at the level of op-eds is worrisome. Given the resurgence of a nutty left, and its current influence on American liberalism, I think we've got to keep our eyes on such issues. Liberals have, curiously, often seemed more compassionate toward criminals than victims...except with respect to certain types of crimes. So I'm wondering whether it might help to note that we're talking, inter alia, about shorting sentences for rape and hate crimes merely because we don't like the idea of having so many violent criminals in prison. Oh and, incidentally, murderers, too...
   Obviously I'm worried about convictions of innocent people, and worried about unjust sentences, and worried about putting non-violent criminals with violent ones, and worried about the corporatization of prisons, and all those obviously worrisome things. And it'd be nice to not have to spend so much money on prisons.
   But the view that we need to let violent criminals out of prison merely in order to have fewer people in prison seems utterly nuts.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lukianoff and Haight: The Coddling Of The American Mind:

something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.
I'm not wild about psychologizing the problem in the way L and H do, but I'm glad to hear that they've teamed up on this problem.

Jimmy Carter

I really admire that man.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fertility Clinics Destroy Embryos All The Time; Why Aren't Conservatives After Them

This seems like an argument worth taking seriously. Roughly:
Many conservatives are against abortion.
Those conservatives are typically not against destroying fetuses frozen in fertility clinics.
So (plausibly?) Those conservatives actually aim at controlling women's sex-related actions.
Or something like that.
Given conservatism's history of sexual puritanism and sexism, the conclusion is far from implausible on independent grounds.

Dear Jeb: The Iraq War Was Not A "Good Deal"

   Bush made a rhetorical/tactical error by using the phrase 'good deal.' Normally, it's be sophistical to exploit such a slip-up...except that this rhetorical/tactical error is a rhetorical/tactical error because that's exactly the measure we should be thinking about. We ought to ask about the costs and benefits of the Iraq war. Was it, in fact, a good deal? Well, there is simply no plausible way to argue that the war was worth it. The Iraq war did more harm to the U.S. than the 9/11 attacks. But that's not actually the important comparison. The important comparison is: the Iraq war did more net harm to the U.S. than any even vaguely plausible follow-up attack could have done. It was basically the worst thing we could have done in response to the attack. We would have been much, much, much better off piling up $2-3 dollars and setting it all on fire. We'd have been immeasurably better off doing nothing at all in response to 9/11. (And, for the record, I'm far from being a pacifist...) We would have--from a fairly crude utilitarian perspective--been better off having nuked a small American city ourselves.  

   The stupidity of the Iraq war basically cannot be exaggerated. My sympathies lie so strongly with the hapless Dems that I tend to torture myself most elections trying to see something I'm missing that might ought to nudge me farther in the direction of Republican candidates... But here's more-or-less a line in the sand for me: if a candidate won't admit that Iraq was a mistake, s/he's not even an option as far as I'm concerned. And not just a given-what-we-know-now mistake. Rather a damn-how-did-we-not-see-it-then? mistake. And that having been said...I now wonder whether Clinton's ever admitted that it's the latter, and not just the former...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Philadelphia: A History Of Political Correctness: 20 Years After Penn's "Water Buffalo" Incident

Among the many important points here: contra the latest trendy confusion-trope: political correctness is not "just about being respectful/polite."

Laura Kipnis on Her Title IX Inquisition, How Campus Feminism Infantilizes Women, LarryFlint, And Other Stuff

   This, at Reason tv, is really interesting.
   Hey, Kipnis is cool and sharp. I hadn't heard her talk before. Weirdly, her comments on Larry Flint and Hustler are particularly interesting. Yeah, Hustler is groooooss...but that's a kind of data point in her discussion. Her stuff on the Title IX inquisition has been great, but I'll admit, I didn't expect her to be this interesting...because I thought I'd read that she was in SComm. Turns out she's actually in the department of radio, tv and film.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jeb: The Real Mistake In Iraq Was Leaving

Welcome To the Police State: Woman Says Gas Station Strip Search Was Like Sexual Assault

Very, very, very much like it if her account is anywhere in the vicinity of the truth. Like, indistinguishable from it, in fact.
And this may actually be a pattern with Texas law enforcement.
[Both links via Reddit]

Anne Rice Mentions The Neo- PC Thought Police

On Facebook, via /r/books.

Dozens Of Retired Generals And Admirals Back Iran Deal

The GOP is nuts on this. 
There's no better deal to be had.
"Get a better deal" is not a plan.
Military action is out if we reject the plan.
Military action is out anyway given that we exhausted our military, our coffers, our moral authority, and our international support on Bush's ill-fated Iraq adventure.

Armed Citizen / Wingnut Militia Group Shows Up In Ferguson, MO

This seems like an open-and-shut case until you read of people saying that the presence of these guys makes them feel safer... Still, overall, it's rather difficult for me to believe that this is the best idea ever.

Male W&L Student Expelled In "Gray Rape" Case Can Sue The School

   As derangement about rape spins completely out of control on the left, we get this. This is like a paradigm of what's wrong with campus rape crisis hysteria. Start with yet another shady, dangerous concept obviously intended to yet again expand the boundaries of what gets counted as rape ("gray rape"). Add some jealousy, irrationality, and vindictiveness. Add to that the rape crisis complex, including counselors steeped in rape crisis ideology. Top with administrators who are not only petty functionaries mindlessly devoted to going along with the prevailing insanity as the path of least resistance for the institution...but also often true believers in the prevailing madness themselves... The result is downright kafkaesque
   This radical, irrational lunacy cannot flourish without support--or at least indifference--from liberals, especially campus liberals. This is, in fact, entirely a creation of the left. There's no way to pin this one on conservatives. Sadly, liberals are no better at criticizing the left than conservatives are at criticizing the right. And, as in the early stages of PC Wars Episode I: The Farce Awakens, liberals seems to still be averting their eyes and mumbling excuses for these lunatics. And that has to stop.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Political Correctness Is Not "Treating People With Respect"

   This is a common tactic among radicals--when challenged, back-peddle. Characterize your extremist, counter-intuitive position as nothing but some uncontroversial home truth or other... See? No one but a monster could possibly disagree with this...
   Political correctness is not and has never been the view that we should treat people with respect. If that's the view you mean to defend, then you are not a defender of PC. I was tempted to write "PC is not merely the view that one should treat people with respect..."  The suggestion being that PC dogma demands that we go far beyond that, inter alia treating people with kid gloves. But then I realized that one can plausibly argue that PC does not entail that we should treat people with respect at all. Rather, it infantilizes people, demanding that we treat them (well...everybody but evil straightwhitemales) like fragile little flowers that are incapable in living in a normal world of adult people who do not always bend over backwards to avoid every conceivable chance of bumping someone's fee-fees.
   So no. PC is not merely not merely the view that we should treat people with respect. It's not at all the view that we should treat people with respect. To treat people with respect is to treat them like reasonable adults. Nobody thinks you should be an asshole to people. But nobody needs the PC language cops to tell them that.

Wikipedia Watch: Left Bias In The "Political Correctness" Entry

   Well, here is approximately the most biased entry I've ever seen on Wikipedia...and I'm seeing more and more left bias there. My jaw literally dropped when I read that section on PC in the '90's.
   Among other things, Wikipedia characterizes PC as a liberal position, whereas I'd say that support for it stretched from the lefter reaches of liberalism to the radical left. I've always considered it more of a radical leftist view...but liberals do have to accept a fair share of the responsibility for it. Liberals are certainly not currently flocking to beat back the newly-emergent variant of this virus...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Obama Stands Up To AIPAC On The Iran Deal

IMO: it's about time.
I would say that I'm fairly well-disposed toward Israel...or at least not, overall, ill-disposed...but I am rather strongly anti-AIPAC.

Vanity Fair: Tinder And The Dawn Of The Dating Apocalypse


I am so obviously getting old...

SJW Watch: The University of New Hampshire Attempts To Regulate Student's Vocabularies

   Wonder whether this stuff is getting nutty enough for mainstream liberals to admit that there's a problem. 
   Aside from the language policing itself, we even get two screwy SJW buzzwords in the setup: "microaggression" and the ubiquitous "problematic." 
   Of course the situations they seem to have in mind aren't aggressions at all, "micro-" or otherwise. The phrase they seem to be searching for is "minor annoyance..." But then we're really not talking about something here that's reasonable to even be discussing... This isn't just a quibble with annoying terminology. Rather, as is so often the case, the terminology serves a purpose. It is specifically constructed to import a presupposition into discussion--that using a word that might possibly annoy someone else is an act of aggression. And that, of course, is nonsense. 
   The liberal view used to be: your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. Now it's rather more like: your right to swing your fist ends where a bunch of nutty, perpetually-aggrieved, illiberal/far-left activists masquerading as scholars imagine that someone's nose might conceivably be.
  If these people were simply shrieking into the internet void, that would be one thing...but they aren't. They're only powerful in one institution in the real world...but that's universities, and that's an important one. If such language-policing were being promoted at universities at the behest of the far right...well...that's really not even remotely conceivable, is it?
   Sigh. I've fantasized about how much we could improve things if American conservatism became sane... Instead, I'm now dreading how much worse things might become if liberalism goes insane too...

Sunday, August 09, 2015

RIP Donald Trump's Political Aspirations: The Megyn Kelly / Blood Remarks

   Is anybody really all that surprised about this?
   I mean, Trumpo the clown is a buffoon. He's also an asshole, and an asshole with a schtick: being an even bigger asshole. So...even though this is a level of assholery rather beyond what I, at least, had come to expect from the least in's not really on a whole different level... It's basically a difference in degree and not in kind.
   I'm really eager to see new poll numbers, because I'm interested in what percentage of the GOP base is just fine with that kind of sexist bullshit.
   But, one way or another, that's it for Trumpo's hopes of making balloon animals in the Oval Office.
   Oh and: yeah, I think it's plausible that Fox went after Trump. Starting off with the question about supporting the eventual candidate was really notable. And yeah, Kelly was pretty tough at some points--but good on her for that. That was her solemn responsibility. Freaking Wallace was, I thought, tougher on Trump than Kelly. All three did a pretty good job IMO.

The Republican Debate: Mindless Impressions

   I was tired and cranky when it was on, and just couldn't get myself to watch the whole thing. But I finally got myself to do it.
   I probably think what lots of people with my general political orientation think. My mindless, gut-level impressions: Trump is a buffoon, and not a serious contender in the long run. Huckabee is nuts, but pretty likable. Cruz is really nuts and not at all likable. Rand Paul is a libertarian. Carson is...probably an excellent surgeon. Christie is Christie, for better and worse. (To be honest, I'm kind of prejudiced against people with that kind of accent. I'm not proud of that fact, and I hope to work my way out of it some day. But there it is...) Walker is basically Damien, Omen 2015. Kaisich, Rubio and, God help us, Bush all came across as pretty reasonable. (Johnny Quest hates Rubio. I see him as a lesser evil. He doesn't bug me that much. Every time JQ goes off on him I pretend to reflect thoughtfully, and then say "that's racist." This has made for some fun times here at the institute...) (Oh, she also really, really hates Walker, but we're more-or-less in agreement about him.) (Needless to say, we both hate the hell out of Trump...)
   If I were forced to bet I would, with a heavy heart, bet that one of these dudes is going to be our next president...

Friday, August 07, 2015

The DEA Admits That Weed Is Safer Than Heroin

This is your brain on dogmatism...

Wikipedia Watch: "Indoctrination"

What do you make of this?

A University Re-Education

(Warning: It's The New York Post. Caveat lector...)

   I'm seeing more and more evidence that a lot of the liberal/leftist indoctrination that seems to be happening at many universities is coming from orientation and residence life staff rather than faculty. Needless to say, there's nothing wrong with actual discussions of lefty concepts like "rape culture" and "privilege" in classes, so long as the professor remains at least minimally objective. The problem with many of the programs in question is that a certain not-at-all-clearly-true theory is being pushed on unsuspecting people who aren't even yet college freshmen. A cluster of extreme, flawed theories is being presented--or so it seems--as if they were obviously true and uncontroversial. If we're getting an accurate picture here, what's going on is leftist brainwashing. My naive younger self thought that liberals and university professors were the kinds of people who were against all brainwashing... There's no doubt in my mind that campuses would explode if right-wing brainwashing were to be implemented... But it seems to be rather difficult to incite any outrage about lefty brainwashing. My cynical older self is starting to think that liberalism may not be what I thought it was... 

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The GOP Debate

Whole lotta crazy goin' on...

[Wow. Ted Cruz really likes Jesus...]

Reason: College Codes Assert That (Metaphorical) Color Blindness Is A "Micro-Aggression"

   The SJW / neo-PC left is largely nuts.
   That shouldn't be too controversial by this point.
   Liberals have been defending them largely by conceding that point, but asserting that they have no power/influence...
   ...which is, by now, clearly false.
   The far left tends to ensconce itself in academia, where it will be tolerated--in fact, fact, enthusiastically promoted/assisted. From that salient, it can influence a particularly important/vulnerable segment of the population. And that's what's happening.
   Look, it's not that every single point in these handouts is utterly daft... Some of them touch on things that people might want to think about and/or discuss. However...: the general tilt is toward the crazy, and more like indoctrination than discussion. A whole package of nutty left theories and talking points is being shoved down the throats of college students. Often freshmen, who are often particularly easy to bamboozle and bully. And it's often being done by places like "residence life". At least if it were done in the classroom, students might be on their guard...but it's being slipped in as if this stuff should just be taken for granted as the uncontroversial baseline by civilized adults.
   This is insanity, it's wrong, and liberals need to start taking it seriously.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Japan Pushes Universities Away From Liberal Arts

This sounds ominous.
Other link.

Anti-Firearm Propaganda At the Washington Post: "Watch What Happens When Regular People Try To Use Handguns In Self-Defense"

Wow this is bad.
It's based on this study...also bad.
This BS isn't even worth taking seriously. Here's the first sentence of the executive summary:
This study was tasked at making a determination as to what the quantity and quality of firearms training was required of citizens in the United States to safely carry and, if need be, use a firearm in a stressful situation for self defense.
This seems to have been written by junior high school students...  Then there's the following, bolded and enlarged:
Legislators and public policy makers must stop denying the reality that carrying and possibly using a firearm is the same as riding a bike and that once you learn you are ready for the Tour de France or the Olympics.
Unless I'm missing something, this says the opposite of what the authors want it to say...  Together these two sentences constitute about 10% of the executive summary...and the rest isn't much better...

I'm not one to deny that the U.S. has a serious problem with firearms. Incompetent propaganda isn't going to help solve it.
Christopher Ingraham and the Post should be ashamed of themselves.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Reason: The Mindlessness Of Donald Trump (And What It Reveals About The GOP)

My guess is that this might very well be pretty right.

"The GOP Field's Calculated Crazy Talk"

How does Rubio saying that Obama has no "class" count here? I mean, it's a really stupid and...well...classless...thing to say...but I don't see how it can count as crazy-talk... It certainly doesn't stack up very well in comparison to the stuff from the other guys...

Gingrich Warns Of Power Of "Oligarchs" Like Kochs, Soros

I'll be damned.

Ted Cruz On Global Warming: "Full-On Denial"

Whelp, there's this...

Monday, August 03, 2015

Indiana Clears Planned Parenthood In Fetal Tissue Investigation

Maybe American conservatives can go back to fretting about death panels now

"Everything Is Problematic": Jonathan Chait Nails Neo- PC Again

To say 'facepalm' would, of course, be to discriminate against those with no palms and/or no face(s)

Bullshit Watch: 10 Nordic Principles For A Hyperconnected Planet

Is Brontosaurus Real(ly Back)?

Maybe not.
Me, I'm kinda skeptical.

Leiter: Implicit Bias, Stereotype Threat, and The Empirical Literature

Leiter hits the high points on the Sesardic and De Clercq paper "Women in Philosophy: Problems With The Discrimination Hypothesis."
There are lots of people in philosophy with a heavy commitment to the discrimination hypothesis. We've all just accepted that hypothesis fairly included...despite the fact that it doesn't really cohere very well with my actual experience...
So this stuff is all very interesting and deserves a lot of attention.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Brian Leiter and Joseph Heath on "Me Studies"

   I actually think these guys go a little too easy on their targets...  And Heath is under the mistaken impression that political correctness is on the decline in academia...largely because he seems unaware that (a) it's rather recently resurgent and (b) it now goes under the label "social justice (warrior...ism?)" So, yeah..."political correctness" so called isn't that common anymore...but that's a merely nominal point...
   Heath is right--and I've long argued for this claim--that there are radicalizing social pressures in the politicized sectors of academia. These pressures make you're not radical enough basically the only acceptable criticism. Heath thinks that "jerks" also tend to voice criticisms to the effect that the relevant kind of oppression isn't real...  All I can say is that I've never seen such criticisms in academia...
   Some of what has prompted this is the fact that the grad student who leveled insane Title IX-related charges against Laura Kipnis at Northwestern was a philosophy student... Ugh.
   I used to think that philosophy was better than most of the humanities and social sciences at resisting the insane left...  But I'm far less confident now...
   At any rate...and sorry for the hasty writing and bad organization: Heath gets something really, really right with the "Me studies" thought:
[S]ome people take the advice, to “follow your passion,” as an invitation to choose a thesis project that is essentially about themselves. For example, an old friend of mine in Montreal studying anthropology wrote her Master’s thesis on, I can’t remember the exact title, but it was something like, “Negotiations of difference in Quebecois-Jewish couples on the Montreal Plateau.” At the time, she was living with a Jewish guy on – you guessed it – the Plateau. So she basically wrote an MA thesis about issues in her own relationship. This is classic “me” studies....
I think this is roughly the same phenomenon that leads to things like feminist metaphysics. People come into philosophy, they're interested in metaphysics and they're interested in feminism...and then we end up with a sub-sub-sub-area of metaphysics that makes basically no sense at all...
   Finally, as for the dust-up over this between Leiter and Yap: Leiter is right, Yap is wrong.