Sunday, September 30, 2018
Consequences of the New Justice
Shifting the burden of proof on Senate confirmations, appointments, and elections changes all the incentives for public service. If we are not to evaluate claims on "facts" in order to determine whether the "essence" actually is "real," then what should form the basis of our evaluation? Whether or not we like the accused? Which party does he or she represent, or which party appointed him?
This is not a recipe for justice, but instead an environment for bare-knuckled politics and a breeding ground for a return to Salem circa 1692. Such an environment will repel men and women of goodwill and good character from public service, incentivizing only the most insensitive and impervious personalities to choose to serve. That will lead to even further degradation of public discourse and an erosion of trust in institutions, which will make witch hunts and smear campaigns even more likely.
Does anyone remember what point Democrat Richard Blumenthal sought to make when he began his questioning of Judge Kavanaugh yesterday? Blumenthal prefaced his questions with a citation of the principle falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. The gist of the principle is that if a witness is shown to have lied about one thing, one may infer that a witness lied about everything.
The thoughts of anyone familiar with Blumenthal's own issues with the truth must have wandered, as mine did. It calls to mind the paradox of the Cretan philosopher who posed the proposition that all Cretans are liars (the Epimenides paradox). Senator Blumenthal is such a Cretan.
Friday, August 31, 2018
Jazz Shaw [emphasis added]:
When asked how much housing this new rent control policy would apply to, Nixon and her running mate said basically all of it, including new projects which haven't even been built yet. Their next proposal needs to be a way for the municipal government to force people to go into construction because nobody is going to build any new housing with that threat hanging over their heads.The wannabe Castros pushing single payer will have to include something similar in their bill to force people to become physicians. You know, because health care is a "right."
Saturday, August 18, 2018
The right side of history
Congratulations, Minnesota. You've really dialed yourself in with a winner and yet another rising star of the Democratic Party, I'm sure. And if this is the face of the modern Democratic Party, we should make sure everyone in the country knows about it. Let's see how well that sells in the heartland.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Why all this effort to blame the fans for the series' troubles? Because we must never – ever, under any circumstances – blame Kathleen Kennedy. Kennedy, you see, is woke.More here from John Sexton:
And now we come to the Disney era and what's new this time, as Ben Shapiro points out, is we get to see a bunch of new characters killing the old ones we loved to advance a story that isn't 1/10th as compelling. I don't think people disliked Rey because she's a woman. I think they disliked her because she seemed to know everything without even trying.
For the last 25 years, a huge growth area for American higher education has been offices of "diversity and inclusion," which now provide highly paid pseudo-jobs for many thousands of administrators. At UCLA, the vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion rakes in a cool $444,000, for example.Make sure you read Professor Staddon's article.
Do we actually need any of this, however? In today’s Martin Center article, Duke University professor John Staddon argues that we don't. These make-work offices actually work at cross purposes with education. Their activities are "tangent to the university's core function, which is open and free debate in search of veritas."
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
In fact, not only is the IAT a poor predictor of behavior, the test itself is highly unreliable. As Heather Mac Donald noted last fall in the Wall Street Journal, "A person's IAT score can vary significantly each time he takes the test, undercutting its reliability as a psychological instrument."
Again, you don't say. I've taken the test several times, and apparently my own subconscious varies between woke and bigoted depending on the time of day or the placement of the images.
Yet an immense corporate, bureaucratic, and academic industry has been constructed around the concept of "implicit" or "unconscious" bias. It’s supposed to explain why disparate racial outcomes continue in spite of the fact that measures of explicit racism continue to decrease. It's supposed to answer why police still pull the trigger and shoot unarmed black men.
It does no such thing, of course. Instead, the unconscious-bias industry is a font of bad ideas. It diminishes personal responsibility, renders well-meaning, guilt-stricken Americans vulnerable to baseless ideological re-education, and empowers a corporate and academic elite that is by this point inexcusably rebuking Americans for made-up sins. Moreover, there is something inherently ominous about a corporation (much less the government) attempting not just to correct its employees' behavior but to reform their minds.
Monday, May 21, 2018
I got excited when I heard that all across the country, activists would be "marching for science" today. Promoting, no doubt, information about X and Y chromosomes and the fact that–scientifically speaking–there are only two genders.
These shouldn't be complicated questions if we simply stick to basic and well established medical science. With the exception of a tiny fraction of the population who are born with particular genetic anomalies, there are two genders. They are determined pretty much at conception. It's also true that the state of mental health care in our country is far from ideal and a lot more could be done to treat and hopefully cure people suffering from gender dysphoria. But under the SJW redefinition of gender, the medical profession is being dragged down some dark and very unscientific pathways.
Monday, April 30, 2018
The reason they don't want Alfie Evans to go to Italy is *because* the Italian doctors might be able to do something for him. Imagine the shaken faith among Brits in their own doctors' and courts' judgment if, after essentially sentencing a toddler to death, that sentence was shown to have been in error. The boy needs to die because it's crucially important for their judgment to be vindicated.More here:
That's the most haunting element here, the suspicion that they wouldn't let him go to Rome not because they feared for his quality of life but because they feared for their own institutional reputations. Whether he was suffering wasn’t just debatable, it was debated: The president of the hospital in Rome that was willing to accept him stated that "a positive outcome would be difficult, but the baby’s suffering can be alleviated." If that were true, though — in particular, if the Italian doctors had improved his quality of life — his doctors in Britain would have been lambasted for having tried to condemn him unnecessarily. The question would inevitably be asked whether British medicine in its entirety has been too quick to give up in other debatable end-of-life cases. Faith in its judgment would be badly shaken.