Friday, May 26, 2017

Lesser Angels of Death

Conversations with Mengele's heirs.
Godwin's Law is suspended when the behavior being compared is sufficiently congruent.
  • Medical "professionals"? Check.
  • Subsidized by the State? Check.
  • Human vivisection? Check.
  • Laughing about the dismemberment procedure? Check.
  • Awareness of the moral implications?
Dr. Lisa Harris, the medical director of Planned Parenthood of Michigan:
"Given that we actually see the fetus the same way, and given that we might actually both agree that there’s violence in here. . . . Let’s just give them all the violence, it’s a person, it’s killing, let’s just give them all that."
Check.

One difference: Mengele wasn't doing it for profit.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chaos is not 4D Chess

We will probably never know the truth of any given MSM story about the President, but one thing is clear: There is a continuing pattern of insider leaks followed by deep confusion and contradiction at the White House.

Two very recent examples:

1- President Trump summarily dismisses FBI Director Comey.

POTUS says he did so based on a recommendation from the new Assistant AG. The Veep repeats this claim. The Assistant AG says he made no such recommendation. The President acknowledges the Assistant AG is correct, and he was going to fire Comey anyway. The President then tweets about "taping" his dinner with Comey.

2- The WaPo claims the President told the Russians something he maybe shouldn't have.

The U.S. National Security Advisor says it didn't happen, though he denied things the Post didn't report on and not things they did report on. The President then tweets that he did tell the Russians something, and that he has every right to do that.

Sean Spicer is on both sides of both issues.

Both of these contretemps play out in less than 24 hours.

Is anyone in charge of communications in this White House? Anyone?

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Rocky and Bullsh*t

Teresa Lloro-Bidart is an Assistant Professor in the Liberal Studies Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: “As a feminist political ecologist and multispecies ethnographer, I work in the fields of environmental education, animal studies, and food studies.”

So, naturally, she published When 'Angelino' Squirrels Don't Eat Nuts: A Feminist Posthumanist Politics of Consumption Across Southern California. No, it's not advice to Californians that they needn't worry about squirrels gnawing their brains.

The abstract:
Eastern fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), reddish-brown tree squirrels native to the eastern and southeastern United States, were introduced to and now thrive in suburban/urban California. As a result, many residents in the greater Los Angeles region are grappling with living amongst tree squirrels, particularly because the state’s native western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) is less tolerant of human beings and, as a result, has historically been absent from most sections of the greater Los Angeles area. ‘Easties,’ as they are colloquially referred to in the popular press, are willing to feed on trash and have an ‘appetite for everything.’ Given that the shift in tree squirrel demographics is a relatively recent phenomenon, this case presents a unique opportunity to question and re-theorize the ontological given of ‘otherness’ that manifests, in part, through a politics whereby animal food choices ‘[come] to stand in for both compliance and resistance to the dominant forces in [human] culture’. I, therefore, juxtapose feminist posthumanist theories and feminist food studies scholarship to demonstrate how eastern fox squirrels are subjected to gendered, racialized, and speciesist thinking in the popular news media as a result of their feeding/eating practices, their unique and unfixed spatial arrangements in the greater Los Angeles region, and the western, modernist human frame through which humans interpret these actions. I conclude by drawing out the implications of this research for the fields of animal geography and feminist geography.
Who knew animal geography and feminist geography were different? Isn’t that either speciesist or an insult to squirrel geography? Or both?

Who knew feminist food studies were a thing? I mean, you could probably guess it was, but it sounds like studying whether or not you're ingesting enough estrogen.

You could probably wrap the words “feminist,” and “studies” around any noun, or a random bit of Marxist jargon, and some SJW coddling University has a course in it.

Maybe Feminist Rodent Gormandization Studies:
This course is an intersectional investigation of nutritional consumption patterning of the single largest order of Mammalia. Because of the order Rodentia’s size we know quantitative instances of sexual harassment, rape and transmission of Yersinia pestis far exceed other mammalian orders. Anyone who has observed squirrels chasing each other has witnessed this behavior. Utilizing Martin Heidegger’s original post-modernist contributions to the Third Reich, we will re-theorize the ontological givens of the later ideas of Derrida and Foucault. The course includes lessons in field preparation and recipes for a wide variety of male rodents.

I don’t have any problem with vilification of tree rats, and I don’t even care what color they are, but it would be far kinder just to shoot the buck-toothed vermin than to appropriate them into a new feminist victim cadre.

My problem is that red, gray or black, all of them eat my birdseed - when not scrabbling on the skylights seeking entry to my attic where they plot to chew on my electrical wiring. I have gone to considerable, and non-lethal, time and expense to dissuade them from these activities, but for those who persist, the western, "modernist human frame through which I interpret these actions" is a 3x9 Tasco. If they insist on suicide by bird feeder, it’s within their reach.

And don’t get me started on chipmunks.

It takes an extremely wealthy and decadent society to provide gainful employment for such persons as Ms. Lloro-Bidart. There are many other things you could say about such a society based on her example. None of them good.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Rehash and Retain

Well, the House passed a bill related to Obamacare. Now it goes to the Senate.

I look forward to the Senate's interminable, agonizing pomposity while Senators express their angst over doing something they've been promising for 7 years. The doing of which doesn't even fulfill the promise.

Added to this will be the sublime pleasure of President Trump's feckless tweeting about legislation he doesn't understand, while mismanaging a process of which he is ignorant.

My joy about the inevitable House/Senate conferences to reconcile what's been passed by the House with the dog's breakfast the Senate will produce is inexpressible.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Dystopian Sweepstakes

George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World have recently experienced a surge of interest. It's not clear if they're being read as cautionary tales or as procedure manuals, but there are certainly some current-event parallels to be found - Antifa thugs violently suppress speech and Facebook serves as Soma - but these dystopian visions are yet a long way from reality.

There is another tale that is an unambiguous representation of Progressivism: Kurt Vonnegut's 1961 short story Harrison Bergeron (full text).

Bergeron is a short story about equality, where equality means that if everyone can’t have something, no one will be allowed to. The opening paragraph:
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
Two recent headlines could have come straight from the story:
UK Student Group: Ban Cheering, Clapping So Deaf Are Not Excluded

Berkeley Removes 20,000* Free Online Videos to Comply with Insane Department of Justice Ruling

I am empathetic to people who are deaf, blind, lame or otherwise disabled, but the logical extension of these idiocies is that we're all forced into sensory deprivation tanks to float quietly without giving offense, until we starve to death.

Monday, May 01, 2017

A fake news retrospective

It's May Day in the latest era of fake news. The confluence of a peak in the MSM prevarication cycle and the annual celebration of Communism makes it appropriate to celebrate the most accomplished journalistic liar of modern times - and his employer.

No, not Walter Cronkite, Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, or even Dan Rather; it's Walter Duranty.

Working for the New York Times, Duranty won a 1932 Pulitzer prize for his coverup of the mass murder of ten million Ukrainians by Iosif Dzhugashvili, known to his friends (like Duranty) as Joseph Stalin.

Duranty set the tone for the long march of Communism apologists. True to the tradition, the Times is at it again.

A cynical nod toward pseudo-federalism

It's not the Freedom Caucus preventing repeal, it's GOP "moderates" and the President.

The New GOP Health Care Bill Shows Republicans Have Given Up on Fully Repealing Obamacare
Republicans in Congress have given up on fully repealing Obamacare.

Instead, they have decided they want to leave pieces of it in place, along with a system of tweaks and opt-outs that require federal permission and may never be used. And even that may be too much for some GOP moderates.
"GOP moderates" = Democrats Light.

The Freedom Caucus has been blamed for blocking repeal of Obamacare. President Trump said they would "hurt the entire Republican agenda." They were pilloried as "extreme right wing" by the press.

It turns out they're the only ones who want to keep the promise of Obamacare repeal.

It turns out Trump is the cuckservative.