Tuesday, May 03, 2016


Monday, May 02, 2016

Reason: The Fourth Amendment and the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

Behold, the "USA Freedom Act":
   Yet the FISA court still grants general warrants — look where you wish and seize what you find — exposing our innermost thoughts to the prying eyes of the intelligence community in direct contravention of the Fourth Amendment.
   Enter the USA Freedom Act. One of its selling points to Congress was that it would permit the FISA court to appoint a lawyer to challenge, hypothetically, some of its behavior. The court recently made such an appointment, and the lawyer appointed challenged the policy of the National Security Agency (NSA), the federal government's domestic spying agency, of sharing data it acquires via the unconstitutional FISA warrants with the FBI. She argued that the data sharing goes far beyond the stated purpose of the FISA warrants, which is to gather foreign intelligence data from foreign people, not evidence of domestic crimes of anyone whose emails might be swept up by those warrants.
   The challenge revealed publicly what many of us have condemned for years: The NSA actually makes its repository of raw data from emails and text messages available for the FBI to scour at will, without the FBI's obtaining a warrant issued by a judge pursuant to the Fourth Amendment.
   In an opinion issued in November but kept secret until last week, the FISA court rejected the hypothetical challenge of its own appointee and ruled that the NSA could continue to share what it wants with the FBI.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The More Of These "Progressive" Anti-Clinton Arguments I Read, The More Pro-Hillary I Become

YMMV, needless to say.

UNC AFAM Scandal: The Robesonian Calling the N&O On Its BS

   Dan Kane and the N&O saw a chance to strike a blow against Carolina, and have been hawking and spinning the AFAM scandal for five years. The N&O's dishonest coverage seems to also have been a major source of the false information we see repeated ad nauseam by CNN, ESPN, etc.
   (Kane, incidentally, has recently been busted for getting information from NC State fan's twitter accounts if you can believe that...)
   This is the part where I'm expected to restate the obvious...that obviously need not be restated: the AFAM scandal was bad. Bad, bad, bad.
   But it was an academic scandal, not an athletic scandal. Even Wainstein, who tried hard to make it about ASPSA, could only find tenuous apparent reasons to place the blame there by leaving out crucial information.
   Too bad about that Pulitzer, Dan...

Trump Supporter Attacked By Crowd For Wearing Hat

Imagine such people having political power...

(via /r/socialjusticeinaction)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Peer-Reviewed: Real Abstracts of Academic Bullshit

Cruz's Father Wants Theocracy In The U.S.

   He also says that God told Heidi that Ted should run. Oh and:
That Rafael Cruz should cast his son's presidential campaign as a divinely inspired endeavor is not surprising. For years, he has been a freelancing evangelical who has promoted an extremely fundamentalist version of Christianity and decried those, including other Christians, who do not share his religious views. He has called for fundamentalist Christians to gain control of most aspects of American society, and he has issued a series of controversial statements blasting President Barack Obama, gay rights activists, and other spiritual enemies. As Mother Jones first reported, he called Obama an "outright Marxist" who "seeks to destroy all concept of God" and urged Americans to send him "back to Kenya."
   That piece is worth a read. It's pretty alarming. I expect there must be some exaggeration in there...but even if there's a lot, Cruz Sr. is still loony as hell.
   As Corn notes, the father doesn't necessarily speak for the son... But someone should obviously ask him about his degree of agreement with pops. 

No Trump

The Great Man has decided not to come here after all. Ah well...

A Tale Of Two Pepper-Sprayings

   So I heard about this crap and decided to Google it. Two events:
1. Anti-Trump protester pepper-sprays a mother and her two daughters (eight and eleven).
2. Pro-Trump dude (not a protester per se) pepper-sprays a teenage girl...after she punched him. She later accused him of groping her first.
   The former act is obviously more outrageous...but it's being swamped by the latter in the news. So...any hypotheses about why that is? Anybody?  Anybody?
   Could it be the groping charge? Because you know that's false, right? I hope you don't have any doubt that that's just made up. I mean...it could be true...but it isn't. Or so I'd be willing to bet. False charges and other similar hoaxes are known tactics of the far left.
   So here's probably what happened: verbal altercation, anti-Trump protester punches Trump dude, someone pepper-sprays her. Meh. I'm not actually too upset by that...
   (...except insofar as I've wondered whether we'd eventually see a general lowering of the threshold for the use of nonlethal weapons...that's cause for concern... Though pepper-spraying someone is probably safer than punching them, actually.)
   Anyway...I'd certainly have thought that the unprovoked pepper-spraying of two little girls would capture more column-inches than the other case, which is plausibly characterized as self-defense. Just one case. But it's seemed to me that there's a general media bias against Trump and his bunch.
   Is this the place where I'm obligated to say, yet again, that I loathe Trumpo? Maybe I should just make that the blog header...

Actual Published "Scholarship": Pilates is Racist


Honestly, the stupid really is off the scale here. We make fun of this crap on the right--e.g. as it appears in creation "science"--but those people typically need dedicated journals to get published. The Journal of Dance Research may be laugh-inducing....but I'll bet it counts as a legitimate journal for...y'know...dance...um...science or whatever... And this is a fact about contemporary academia: there are all sorts of fields in which you can get published for producing sophomoric, free-associative. political bullshit masquerading as scholarship...so long as it's left-friendly. (Whiteness bad...gender...heteronormative...colonialism...privilege...take the buzzwords, mix and match, conclude oppression...voila! "Research"!)
(On the bright side, "phallogocentric" seems to have inexplicably fallen out of favor...)

(via /r/socialjusticeinaction)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Trump Targets Bernie Supporters

Well this is getting interesting

Protesters Again Try to Disrupt Trump Rally in CA

   As for the question who's currently worse, Trumpo the Clown or the anti-Trump left?...  Well...the anti-Trump left seems to be routinely trying to disrupt Trump rallies and prevent him from speaking...not to mention destroying public property and attacking people... Both parties are extreme assholes as far as I'm concerned... But the forces of trumpery aren't trying to deny anyone their First Amendment rights in a widespread and systematic way. And that makes the anti-Trump left the bigger assholes at the moment.
   Am I missing something here?
   The lefties haven't brought out their giant puppets though... So I guess they're not at LEFTCON 1 / IMF-levels of frothiness yet... So I guess that's something.

FIRE: DOJ: Title IX Requires Violating First Amendment


After proclaiming itself to be a “blueprint” for all schools, the Departments’ May 9, 2013, letter to the University of Montana states that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’” including “verbal conduct” (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an “objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation.” If the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished. 
In an April 22, 2016 findings letter concluding its investigation into the University of New Mexico’s policies and practices regarding sex discrimination, the Department of Justice doubled down on the unconstitutional blueprint language. DOJ flatly declared in that letter that “[u]nwelcome conduct of a sexual nature”—including “verbal conduct”—is sexual harassment “regardless of whether it causes a hostile environment or is quid pro quo." 
The blueprint requires university staff to relay all sexual harassment complaints to a Title IX Coordinator, who must keep records of the complaints indefinitely, even if the alleged speech is obviously protected by the First Amendment. Further, every case must be investigated by the school. In some circumstances, universities may even punish a student before he or she is found guilty of any offense.
Holy. crap.

California Anti-Trump Rally Turns Violent

   One thing the Trump candidacy has done: it's helped expose certain types of crazy on both ends of the spectrum. The left seems to be more prone to revealing its extremism like so. It looks like Trump is going to win the nomination. It's a safe bet that the crazy left will engage in even more ostentatious displays after that happens. From an abstract perspective, this should teach us more about the lefty fringe. But from a more practical perspective...it's just going to push more people to back Trump. Trump's supporters also include people willing to use violence, as we've seen...so perhaps it will all balance out on the practical side...but my prediction is that the anti-Trump hysteria will be the more flamboyantly repulsive. Trump's supporters have been willing to throw punches (including sucker punches, the wimps)...but so far mostly when their rallies have been infiltrated and disrupted. The anti-Trump protesters have been willing to march to Trump rallies, prevent supporters from attending those rallies, infiltrate with carefully coordinated plans to prevent the rally from proceeding...and now, we see a bit of property-destruction and, apparently, violence. And that's independent of the efforts on campuses to prevent Trump supporters from expressing their support.
   I've not been too worried about Trumpo because I haven't thought he could win...but there are few things that repulse middle America like the full-bore crazy of the lefty fringe in full-on look-at-me protest mode...so...if that were to get bad enough...well...I'm not sure how to finish this sentence...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cruz: Alliance? What Alliance?

Soooooo.....  What's going on?

Boehner on Cruz: "I've Never Worked With A More Miserable Sonofabitch In My Life"

ho lee crap:
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told an audience at Stanford on Wednesday night, according to the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

What Is It With Beyonce Worship?

I don't get it. Neither does Drum.
One of the things I noticed when I used to frequent Metafilter--as it started becoming Tumblr for grownups and every thread that had anything to do with anything social/political began spiraling into uber-PC lunacy--was the shrill insistence among the social justice crowd that Beyonce Knowles is a genius. A GENIUS. I'm not a fan, so the worship was puzzling. But what was really puzzling was the crazed fervor with which they demanded that the alleged genius of a very poppy pop star be acknowledged. Maybe it's just that everything that is not forbidden is mandatory to those people...who knows? But this thing about Chris Hayes is in a similar vein. But Twitter in and of itself is already a bizarre thing. So I guess we shouldn't be too surprised about it being weird.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Does Race Matter In Police Shootings?

Maybe...and maybe not in the way we think...
Not just a single experiment, either...though the three studies in question are all by the same group, so that matter.
These results will be damned interesting/surprising if they hold up.

Behold, The Campus Left On Free Speech

FSM preserve us
CHS and Milo, tirelessly defending the true and the good...

Catfishing the Banner-Chasers

   The release of the amended NOA--in which men's basketball is never named--was sweet.
But this...this was perhaps even sweeter.
   GDTBATH...bad day to be an ABCer...
   The AFAM scandal is gut-wrenching if you're a Tar Heel... But four years, rabid State and Duke fans--backed by the N&O and CNN--have been spinning everything wildly to try to convince the world that the Dean Dome must be razed and the earth salted. I'm happy to see that their vindictive hopes raised so high and then dashed so mercilessly. This was something that was done to men's hoops, not done by men's hoops. Nyang'oro and Crowder were wrong, wrong, wrong to do what they did... But what they did was run shitty classes--classes that were available to all students. Shitty classes are available at every university. (Some more than others...) These were extreme examples of shitty classes, but the difference is one mostly of degree. If you want to hear my screed about the prevalence of shitty classes, I'll be happy to emit it. But it's a different topic. It's a much bigger problem than the UNC AFAM scandal..
   (Well...women's hoops is s special case...that all looks awful, and I'm not sure how that is all going to shake out. Women's hoops is probably toast, frankly...)
   Nobody in men's hoops, nor in football, knew what was going on in AFAM. There's a firewall between academics and athletics, and for good reasons. It's athletics' job to take what academics gives them without question. This is an academic scandal, SACS has already spoken, and has already hit Carolina hard. Men's hoops is an irresistible target to other fans...but that's sports hate that's mutated into actual hate talking. In fact, this just isn't a story about Carolina basketball.