There are a couple of good people in Poli. Sci., notably John Hibbing and Kevin Smith, but also some complete lunatics.
The ObamaCare jobs lost archive
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
had enough time on their hands to create tumblr blogs of the horror and stock them with pictures.
And to add to the ridiculousness, Massachuestts, a state entirely populated by eunuchs and steatopygian Brunnhildes, wants to outlaw it. Well, if you could elect Elizabeth Warren to the Senate, there are probably no limits to your stupidity.
OK, I've officially had enough. As of today, I am the patriarchal cisprivileged heteronormative white male oppressor you perpetually aggrieved sociopaths have for far too long accused me of being. If I'm going to be smeared with it, I'm going to do it. Whine at me, complain at me, and you're loudly going to be countered in the most snarky and demeaning way I can waste 5 seconds on. Which, as my wife will occasionally admit, but only occasionally, because she hates to encourage me, is Caro's acid strength. (I never snark at my wife, because she's not a raving harpy.)
Oh, you might say, what has changed? Well, actually, hard though it may be to believe, 90% of the time, I swallow hard and say nothing. No longer. Tell me what I can say, tell me what I can wear, or otherwise act like an officious santimonious twit, and I'm going to use my white male heterosexual cisgendered privilege to get in your face. Deal with it. Or as we in the oppressor business say, don't start a fight you can't finish.
And by the way, I'll spread my legs as wide as I want to, and then increase it a bit to piss you off. If you're uncomfortable, lose some weight in that overpadded arse. Kim Kardassian's (heh)freak husband may like them gynormous, but normal men don't. Word: 'Big Bottom' wasn't a love song, it was comedy.
And it you had to look up Caro's acid, you're a ditz.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Despite attempts from the left at fudging the issue ("it's an Anglo Saxon vs. Continental Europe thing"), there is wide consensus Professor Glover's GMO position led to her ouster.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Saturday, November 8, 2014
if you'd all just shut up we could leave
month after month for 23 years
in this stuffy low-ceilinged-room
I've sat and listened to you drone
and sometimes I confess droned on myself
and if we ever had anything to say by now we've said it
and if anyone of us had gotten any wiser in that quarter lifetime
then he'd know at least one thing which is to
shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Anyway, the gubernatorial campaign here mercifully steered clear of social issues, as did most of the national campaigns. In fact, I don't even remember the issue of gay rights coming up. I'm sure Pete pays lipservice to the standard GOP 'marriage should be between one man and one woman' boilerplate, because this is, after all, Nebraska; but I also know his sister is gay and that he's basically a libertarian conservative.
In any case, the election had its usual contingent of social media leftist twits, carpeting the standard election hashtags with cretinous slogans and having absolutely no influence on anyone at all. But, despite their complete and ignominious defeat in Nebraska, the struggle continues, man! So one of them just posted this.Sir Peter Forbes Ricketts, who happens to be Her Majesty's Ambassador to France (The HMA in his Twitter handle is a big clue). Sir Peter might be quite surprised he's against gay equality, since of course gay equality is most certainly the position of HMG. I've no idea what he thought about this tweet, except it probably reinforced a prejudice that all Americans are lunatics.
So, if all this social media stuff is a Millennial thang, how come Millennials don't seem to be able to do it very well? I suspect it's just that they really can't do anything very well. In that case, I'm going to increase the storage capcity of my bunker to two years, because heaven help us all when this lot have to run the world without mommie's help.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
So it would be logical that I join Audubon, right? When I moved to Nebraska, I considered doing that. I looked up Wachiska Audubon, on the proto-internet. What I found is that it was an active chapter, which scheduled a lot of night meetings. But not to hunt for owls. Wachiska Audubon's primary focus seemed to be human population control.
Now you might argue, and they do, that humans affect birds (indisputable) and that reducing the number of humans increases the health of the bird population (very disputable). But when a birding organization takes a position on human population growth, it first of all excludes those of us who don't see human population growth as a major problem (IMHO, the best way to limit population is grow the economy). And second of all, there are lots of organizations dedicated to limiting human population growth already, and if those float your boat, you can join them instead of Audubon.
But that's not how it works. Being a mere birding club is not good enough for some people. I call it the totalizing impulse; the temptation to make every interest, every avocation, every activity part of one great scheme to Save the Planet. It's consumed most nature-oriented organizations. Audubon is now about Saving the Planet. The Nature Conservancy, which once had the very admirable mission of buying private land and setting it aside for wildlife, is now about Saving the Planet. The Sierra Club, which used to be about creating and maintaining a trail network, is now about Saving the Planet. I'm tempted to see in all of this a manifestation of O Sullivan's Law
Any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over timeThe Left cannot leave anything alone. The most innocuous club, be it dedicated to needlepoint, or model airplanes, or birds, must be coopted as part of the great totalitarian endeavor.
So what set this off? Ben Sasse, Nebraska candidate for Senate, did not fill out a voter survey sent by the League of Women Voters. LWV is a classic example of O Sullivan's Law in action. Founded in 1920 as an organization to register women to vote, it still calls itself 'non-partisan', but has gotten deeply into public advocacy in areas that have nothing at all to do with exercising the franchise. It's most notorious intervention to date was a vicious attack ad run against Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, which used a young girl with asthma as a vehicle to assail Brown's position on the EPA regulating CO2 emissions (which, of course, don't cause asthma.) Factcheck.org called the ads deceitful. LMV's incredibly contorted excuse was that increased CO2 increases plant growth, which increases pollen production, which aggravates asthma. On this basis they should oppose planting trees.
In the end, of course, this will hurt LWV. Instead of having a distinctive and noble mission, it becomes just another generic red/green advocacy group. And there is absolutely no reason why a conservative or libertarian should treat it otherwise.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
In court Friday, deputy district attorney Joni Leventis said, according to a court transcript, that she had closely reviewed the evidence from police, and had interviewed the woman who initially reported the rape. “I’ve had several discussions with her about those events and we’ve concluded that Mr. Quillin did not commit any sexual assault on September 27th, 2014. And I would add that Jane Doe is in agreement with that conclusion that we have come to,” Leventis told the judge. Leventis also told the judge that there had been no indication that Quillin had been responsible in any way for the woman’s intoxication.
Too bad Mr. Quillen's name is all over the internet now. Even though his arrest records will be expunged, any future potential employer will find him in a Google search and likely rule him out immediately. He will live with this false accusation the rest of his life. And his accuser, who one is led to believe accused someone of rape, watched him charged, and then decided he didn't, will face no consequences at all.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Leslie Dach (I like to call him Papa Dach) is a long-time Democrat operative who also lobbied for Walmart. Presumably as a reward for his help in 2008, the Obama administration hired him as a 'counselor' at HHS and his son Jonathan Dach as a volunteer staffer in the White House. As an advance-man for the President's ill-fated trip to Colombia, Baby Dach had a prostitute stay in his room overnight. So did a bunch of Secret Service agents. They were fired. The White House denied all involvement by its staff. Baby Dach wasn't fired; instead, he's now under federal contract with the State Department, working for, wait for it...
The Office of Global Women's Issues! (rimshot)
Well, he's certainly had experience with global women!
BTW, Mama Dach, whose actual name is Mary Dickie (the laughs keep coming), is on the far left, Papa Dach next to her, and Baby Dach on the far right.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
The idea that one should obey revelation-based rules obviously was not popular during the Enlightenment, and 18th century thought took two tracks. One was Kant's, which sought to found deontological ethics on reason, and led to the categorical imperatives, the most famous of which is 'Act as though the maxim of your actions could be a general law', or as my mother (knowing nothing of Kant) put it "What would happen if everyone did that?" There are all sorts of criticisms of Kant, and attempt to build on or modify his ideas; my own experience is that raw Kantianism leads to a set of rules that are incredibly strict.
The other great thread is utilitarianism, which essentially says one should act to maximize the overall happiness, or good, or something, of the universe. There are of course all sorts of problems with this too. Is happinees necessarily a good thing? After all, a well-supplied drug addict is happy. How can you define good in utilitarianism in a non-circular way? How do we know if animals are happy, and is their happiness to be given equal weight to ours? If we knew killing a baby Hitler would spare 50 million people, should we kill baby Hitlers? But my own view is we can solve most of these problems sufficiently. The one insurmountable problem, in my view, is the impossibility of the utilitarian calculus. It is simply impossible to forecast the long term results of any action, even to some acceptable degree of probability.
It is probably fair to say most deontologists are on the right, and most utilitarians on the left. The reasons for that are pretty obvious, so I won't belabor them. Because of what I view as the fatal flaw of utilitarianism, I am sort of a half-hearted Kantian, partly by upbringing, partly because I see little practical alternative, being an atheist.
That's all background; here's the point of this post. Climate change is a case study in why the flaws of utilitarianism cause its adherents to become deontologists. Climate change is happening, because we are collectively pumping large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. I happen to think the short term consequences of this will be overall benign, but it's hard to say that about the long-term consequences; it will take an awful lot of carbon-dioxide-bestowed goodness to offset drowning the coastal regions of the earth. So what, ethically, should one do?
Oh, oh, I know, says the utilitarian. Institute policies to push us away from fossil fuel use. Stop the atmospheric CO2 increase! Problem is, we can't actually do that. We can reduce our own production of CO2, at some considerable cost to ourselves (a utilitarian evil). But there is no indication enough of the world will do the same. China will say it will, but it won't. India simply refuses. If we lower our consumption of fossil fuels, that will simply increase the supply, lower the price, and incentivize consumption elsewhere. It's depressing but entirely reasonable to predict humans will continue to consume fossil fuels, regardless of long term consequences, until the last readily available fossil fuels are used up. At that point, we are seriously screwed. Another problem with utilitarianism; sometimes you can't do anything to increase the good of the universe.
How does the utilitarian answer that? He/she says we should do it anyway, to show 'leadership'. Maybe if we do the right thing, others will follow. it will at least give us the moral standing to pressure them to follow. I think that's deluded. India has all sorts of good moral arguments why it should continue to grow, and self-interest will cause it to pick its own, over ours
So, in the end, utilitarians are forced to argue that we should limit CO2 production, because it would be good if everyone did it. Kant stirs in his grave and murmurs "By golly, that sounds familiar!" (Auf Deutsch, natürlich). Welcome to the categorical imperatives, boys and girls, and get out your reading glasses. The Critique of Practical Reason is heavy going, but you'll get through it; if everyone did, the world would be a better place.