Monthly Archives: May 2014

Let Me Be the First to Welcome Nick Wade…. (UPDATE 5/11/2014)

….to the Loyal Order of Unrepentant Racists and Koch-Bought Right-Wing Tools.

Since you know that’s what’s going to happen here in about five seconds.  From the Wall Street Journal (via Vox Day):

[Scientific] orthodoxy’s equivalent of the Nicene Creed has two scientific  tenets. The first, promulgated by geneticist Richard Lewontin in “The  Apportionment of Human Diversity” (1972), is that the races are so close to genetically identical that “racial classification is now seen to be  of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance.” The second,  popularized by the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, is that human evolution in everything but cosmetic differences  stopped before humans left Africa, meaning that “human equality is a  contingent fact of history,” as he put it in an essay of that title in  1984….

At the heart of [Wade’s] book, stated quietly but with  command of the technical literature, is a bombshell. It is now known  with a high level of scientific confidence that both tenets of the  orthodoxy are wrong.

Oooh, that’s gotta smart.

Too bad for Wade that he’s merely a science writer for the New York Times.  Given his employers, I’m sure he’s impeccably Correct in all his personal opinions.  That won’t save him from the Committee of Public Safety, though; mere genetics can’t possibly compete with Science!(tm), and Everybody Knows that race is literally skin deep, because Science!(tm).

So welcome to the club, Nick.  I think you’ll find that, though the checks from the Koch Brothers aren’t quite as generous as you’ve been led to believe, we make up for it by having kickass barbecue.  Don’t worry about the nuances of the secret handshake; that’s really just for the tourists.  We’ll get you set up with a loaner gun and an infield pass to Talladega here in just a sec.  Welcome to the dark side.

 

UPDATE 5-11-14: Yup, he’s gone.  Because Science(tm).

UPDATE #2:  Or maybe not.

“I retired from the Times about two years ago. There’s a stupid story you may have seen in the blogosphere. It is completely untrue. The writer just made that up. The fact that he saw the words ‘former Science editor’ in the piece I did in Time. He assumed that I had been fired by the Times. There is nothing to the story at all.”

Ah well.  If it ain’t true now, it will be soon enough.  But for now, Nick, you’ll have to go through the hazing like the rest of us.

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Why I Ban People

All the bloggers here set their own comment policies.  I think I can speak for all of us when I say that nobody likes banning people — it’s very easy to abuse that power, and pretty soon all you’re left with is you-go-girls, which is the high road to leftism.  But sometimes you have to.  F’rinstance, if this idiot meandered over here:

I don’t know what to think. The movie [Bernie, starring Jack Black] made me feel sympathy for [convicted murderer Bernie Tiede], but I also think he wouldn’t have been released from his life sentence if he was black. Since our system is inherently racist, we must abolish the death penalty.

He’s not facing the death penalty. And he’s white.

We all know liberals don’t read too good (repeat: Tiede was not sentenced to death), but that’s not the case here.  Since we read good, we know that the commenter knows that Tiede is white and sentenced to life, not death.  Two possible explanations here:

1)  They “read” conclusion-first.  It’s almost Pavolvian.  They read far enough to grok that the article is related to crime and punishment, and — ding! — they start typing about the racist, racist death penalty.  (Rule 1 of Larry Correia’s Internet Arguing Checklist, for those keeping score at home — “Skim until Offended”).

Bookworm does a great job running down the numbers if you actually want to engage this type of person — the racist racist death penalty, of course, isn’t.  But what’s the point?  They’re in spambot mode.  The comment reveals that Our Better knows full well Tiede is white, and isn’t facing the death penalty.  But they want to “discuss” the racist racist death penalty anyway.

They’ve got their Deflector Shields of Righteousness charged up to full power.  That armor’s too strong for blasters; we’ll have to use harpoons and tow cables.

Luke-Snowspeeder2 2) What we’re really fighting here is doesn’t take place in the realm of thought.  It’s para-thought.  Notice that the comment starts with “I don’t know what to think.”  Now, why would that be?  Our Betters always know what to think — avoiding the burden of independent reasoning is half the draw of liberalism (lecturing others on Proper Thoughts is the other half).

The missing link: Tiede is gay, or at least claims to be.  So he gets victim bonus points (needless to say, all criminals are Victims of Society).  But: he’s white, and we all know that whites get unfair breaks in the racist, racist justice system, especially in gay-bashin’, black-killin’ Texas.  There’s really no way to square that circle, so Our Better up there will make it about the death penalty, even though Tiede wasn’t sentenced to death.  We can “discuss” the death penalty ad infinitum, because that’s safe.  Since Tiede was never in danger of being executed for his crime, Our Better up there can easily set up one of those “heads I win, tails you lose” situations by making it all about the death penalty.

Oh, you think Tiede should have been executed for premeditated murder?  Homophobe.  You think the Texas officials made the right call releasing him?  Racist.

1) is a conscious coping strategy.  The commenter is just your garden-variety virtue junkie, cruising conservative blogs for a quick fix.  2) is a diseased thought process, well beyond our capacity to fix.  This kind of person needs professional help.  If you engage them, you’ll spend hundreds of comments trying to tow-cable the discussion back to Bernie Tiede, the white guy who is not being executed.  Unless you’re a professional therapist, this won’t work, either.

Save a few hours of your life.  Ban ’em.

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Things I Wish Liberals Understood: Predictions vs. Wishes

[Actually, a lot of conservatives I know have trouble with this one, too.  It’s a symptom of the modern narcissism epidemic.  But since the leftist worldview actually requires it, let’s talk about them].

whistle-manziel02-brownsIn case you don’t follow the NFL: that guy up there is Johnny Manziel, a.k.a. “Johnny Football,” a rather polarizing young quarterback from Texas A&M who was just drafted by the Cleveland Browns.  Debate over which team should draft him, and why, went on for some months.

The sides in the debate were quite interesting.  It seems that there’s quite a few folks out there who can’t separate these three propositions:

  • 1) I think a team should / should not draft Manziel
  • 2) I think that team will / will not draft Manziel
  • 3) Boy oh boy, I sure hope that team drafts / does not draft Johnny Football!!!!

They’re not mutually exclusive, of course.  I could be of the opinion — and lots of folks were of the opinion — that drafting / not drafting Manziel is simultaneously their team’s best move, the most likely outcome of events, and the most emotionally satisfying result.  What’s really fascinating, though, is when they conflict.

Fr’instance:  I thought the Browns should take him, but wouldn’t.  When I expressed this opinion to some fellow sports fans down at the bar, some folks nodded in agreement… but others gave me blank stares, and still others got quite upset.  Talking to those two latter groups, I realized with growing shock that they really couldn’t separate the three in their minds.  If I think they should take him, that must mean I want them to, which means – swillogistically — that I believe they will.  Should-but-won’t is unpossible.  It’s the law of the excluded middle or something.

[And it works the other way, too.  I was really, really hoping the Cowboys would take him, because all decent people hate the Cowboys and the endless clown show of Manziel in Dallas would be more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  But I thought they shouldn’t, and wouldn’t, and those same folks didn’t grok that either].

All this is meaningless, because hey, it’s football.  Whether this particular kid is any good as the Browns’ quarterback means nothing — the earth keeps turning, the national debt keeps piling up, and he’s a millionaire either way.

But the emotional logic is fascinating, isn’t it?  And, naturally, it applies to politics too.  I can’t seem to convince people that I don’t want American fascism, no matter how many times I state it.  Any time I express my opinion that I think it’s coming, I immediately get accused of pulling for the Nazis.  Or accused of calling Barack Obama / Mitt Romney / Hillary Clinton / pick-your-GOP-’16-nonentity a Nazi.

So, too, with “Enlightenment values.”  I’m a big fan of representative government, for instance, as are all conservatives of my acquaintance.  Heck, a lot of liberals are.  The difference being, the conservatives of my acquaintance realize that lots of people aren’t.  That the default setting for a great big honkin’ slice of humanity is to knuckle under to a (hopefully benevolent) dictatorship.  It’s hard to look at, say, Chechnya and conclude anything other than: they don’t want their “freedom,” if that word actually means anything in that context.  Ditto Latin America and Africa.  There’s lots of chatter on the “dissident right” that e.g. Nigeria is a squalid, terrorist-plagued shithole because of genetics.  But cf. the Balkans above.  They’re white as you please — they’re literally Caucasians — and it’s just as bad.

Or consider the left’s endless race/class/gender tripe.  It’s not self-aggrandizing in any material sense; most proggies are lily-white heterosexuals and their expressed ideals would, if implemented, actually screw them over.  It’s easy — and fun! — to write that off as liberals being notso-hotso with the logical reasoning, but I don’t think so.  I see it as yearning for the Middle Ages.  If you’re not sure what you are — if you have no core identity, but must constantly define yourself negatively against some public example — then the feudal pyramid is the ultimate in psychic security.  Everybody is exactly what they say they are and nothing else, and you can tell in a glance where anyone fits in.

And that’s ok.  All of us want something like that sometimes.  Lots of people join the military for precisely that reason.  It’s a natural human impulse, and it’s the default setting for quite a few people.

It’s only the proggies, though, who feel the need to shoehorn it into some kind of “logical” political agenda.  They like policy X, and they like group Y, and therefore policy X must be good for group Y.  That would be bad enough, but it gets so much worse when you try to conduct foreign policy that way.  They like protests, and they like “democracy,” and wouldn’t it be great if the Arab Spring led to democracy?  Therefore it does; it’s unpossible that they could “vote” for a bunch of Islamist butchers who are worse than the previous thugs.  Or: they like Twitter, and they don’t like Russians in the Ukraine, and since they can be tweeted into conformity, so too can the Russians.  They want it, and they think it’s the right thing to do, and therefore it must happen.

Personally, I’m hoping Johnny Football works out in Cleveland.  God knows they need something to get excited about.  But they aren’t in a position to screw over the globe if their wishcasting is wrong.

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“Settled” Science?

Hey, whaddaya know, Obama lied about that, too.

Claiming that global warming is reversible is the carrot to the warmists’ stick. But it’s just not true according to their own scientists. They say that warming is here to stay and that it’s going to get worse. Obama should not be given a free pass saying otherwise to justify his policy preferences.*

He shouldn’t, but of course he will, because all politicians lie, or something.  I’m sure Our Betters will be along shortly to explain that obviously this isn’t Politicizing Science, because only rightwingers do that.

 

*[Emphasis added]

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Maybe We Got ‘Em Demoralized

Words of wisdom from Pvt. Hudson.

indexVia Stacy McCain, Rob Long asks, in re: the administration’s endless, inept lies about Benghazi:

Why does this work? Or, alternatively, does it work?  My concern here is that our side tends to look at something utterly indefensible like this — “controversializing” a genuine news story — and say, “This won’t work.” Or: “This shouldn’t work.” Or: “This wouldn’t work if we all kept Tweeting about it.” But for now, at least, it’s working. Why? . . .

I think the answer is: Demoralization.

You see it a lot among losing regimes at the tail ends of wars.  After 1942, I’m told, the most popular wisecrack in Japan was that the glorious victories of the glorious Imperial Army got so much bigger and more glorious the closer they got to home.  The people know they’re being lied to, but they also know it doesn’t really matter.  They’re too busy battening down the hatches for the inevitable Occupation to worry much about truth in reporting.

Yeah, there are always zealots — and right there the kamikazes might’ve done us a favor, if you think about it — but these days only the very nuttiest of the fightin’ fightin’ nutroots is out there trolling blogs, trying to claim that Obama shrunk the deficit or that there’s a much freer market in healthcare now.  The shape of the coming catastrophe is becoming clear to all but the very dimmest.  In the face of that — if I may borrow a phrase — what, at this point, does it matter what lies the administration is telling this week?

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George Will says what we’ve been saying for a while now

George Will in an interview.

The IPCC prodced a report. The New Yorker … which is impeccably alarmed about global warming … the writer being their specialist, began her story something like this:

In a report that should be but unfortunately will not be viewed as the final word on climate science …

Now just think about that. “The Final Word” in microbiology? “The Final Word” in quantum mechanics?

There’s no “Final Words” in science.

Yes, “Final Words” are for politics.

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