Now Passing Looking Glass

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The school bus company requires boys to sit on one side of the aisle, girls to sit on the other side, most likely the result of insurance company lawyers trying to avoid claims of inappropriate touching, sexual harassment or sexual assault occurring on the bus while under the driver’s control which would make the school bus company likely to get sued for failing to protect the students.
Two girls choose to sit on the boy’s side of the bus and won’t move back.  The driver puts them off the bus.  Outrage occurs because the girls claim to be pre-operative transgender boys.  They look like girls, they dress like girls, they act like girls, they flirt like girls . . . but in their secret innermost thoughts, for today anyway, they’re boys.  So asking them to sit on the girls’ side of the bus is a hateful act of gender discrimination . . . which makes the bus company likely to get sued for failing to protect those students.
Thus we see the problem with attempting to establish rules for ordering society based on subjective, secret, ever-changing and unverifiable criteria, rather than based on objective, obvious, easily established criteria.
Joe Doakes

What “duckspeak” is to language, our “elites'” current conception of “gender” is to biology.

And Now From The “It’s Only News If You Haven’t Been Paying Attention For The Past Eighty Years” Department

Pew study shows Democrats get more stressed out over cognitive dissonance over politics than Republicans:

Democrats feel more negatively about talking politics with people who have a different opinion of the president than do Republicans. A large majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents – nearly seven-in-ten (68%) – say they find it to be stressful and frustrating to talk to people with different opinions of Trump. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, fewer (52%) say they find this to be stressful and frustrating.

White Democrats and Democratic leaners are more likely than black and Hispanic Democrats to say it is stressful and frustrating to talk to people with different opinions of Trump. About three quarters of white Democrats (74%) say it is frustrating, compared with 56% of black Democrats and 61% of Hispanic Democrats.

And if you thought the worst offenders were shrieking middle-aged single Whole-Foods-shopping Subaru-driving women with degrees in Political Science from Saint Olaf?

Of course you were right:

Overall, more women (64%) than men (54%) say talking to people with a different opinion of Trump is stressful and frustrating. And adults under 30 are more likely to say they find these discussions interesting and informative than do those 30 and older (42% vs. 33%).

Which proves that my anecdotal observations are just as accurate as science.

Well, no.  Not usually.

But this time, yes.

Because Science!

It’s become something of a low-impact cult on the left to declare oneself “driven by science”.

This “drive” usually manifests less in the form of “being able to develop a testable, falseable hypothesis” or design a valid, controlled course of experiements than in believing Neil DeGresse Tyson is the dreamiest or posting Bill Nye memes on social media, of course.  But to each their own.

Of course, behind all the “I F****ng Love Science” reposts and the articles about those dumb flat-earthers, actual comprehension of science is often pretty weak.

Example:  watch the heads melt when you tell “science” cultists that there is no actual controlled, empirical, scientific evidence that gay people are “born that way”.

(The response is usually a political, not scientific, one; “you think they choose to be gay?  Of course not.   Point is, there are more than one possible answer – and while “Nye-ence” is perfectly fine drawing “scientific” conclusions from political data, science isn’t).

“The Science Has Always Been Settled, Winston”

Netflix edits history – cutting out the part of a 20-year-old Bill Nye episode about there being precisely two genders.

Because science!

(Note for bobbleheads:  It would be appropriate for Nye to explain why he’s reversed course; since he styles himself a “Science Guy”, perhaps he’d include some evidence that led to his conclusion, rather than just a perfunctory flush of the memory toilet.

My Client Is Clearly Delusional

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Plainly, this is a meritless lawsuit, brought by some whiner hoping to strike it rich.  There is no air pollution in Paris.  There can’t be: that’s where the Paris Accord was signed, which eliminated all air pollution and thereby saved the planet from global warming before President Trump condemned us by withdrawing the United States.

If the air in Paris were that bad, they wouldn’t be complaining about who’s still in the “save-the-planet” group, they’d be fixing the problem.

Wouldn’t they?

Joe Doakes

As Glenn Reynolds says, “I’ll believe climate change is an emergency when its advocates start acting like it’s an emergency”.

Following Off The Cliff

When I was a kid, having a tattoo meant that you were either a veteran or had been in prison; it was fairly easy to tell which by the content and quality of the “art”-work.

That’s probably one reason I’ve never succumbed to the trend.

In a just world, this would be prosecutable as a war crime – in the war between taste and tastelessness, beauty and ugliness. That war is, thus far, undeclared; it’s an insurgency. The Charlies are, unfortunately, winning.

But many have; some stats say over a third of all adults below the age of 40 have some kind of tattoo or another.   Some have gone completely overboard; men and women with “sleeves” (tattoos running up their arms), college age women with huge obnoxious tattoos covering vast swathes of skin.

Look – a clever, tasteful tattoo here and there can be fun. Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not my style, but knock yourself out.

But there are few things in the world quite as depressing as sitting at the pool and seeing a gorgeous woman in a bikini, looking hand-tooled saddle from neck to waist, shoulder to wrist, hip to knee.

An aesthetic atrocity?  I don’t think I’m overreacting, here.

But let’s forget about aesthetics for a while.   Let’s focus on science.

One thing that’s always skeeved me out about tattoos is that you are puncturing one of your body’s most fragile yet essential organs – one that is designed to protect the rest of your body – thousands of times, and impregnating it with chemicals containing God only knows what.

No, seriously.  We just don’t know what’s in those tattoo inks.

Hey, baby. I’m covered in toxic chemicals, applied by someone whose big goal in life was to be a staff artist at “Heavy Metal” magazine.

FDA has not approved any tattoo pigments for injection into the skin. Tattoo parlors are regulated by the state and city, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require manufacturers to release their ink’s ingredients; doing so could supposedly give away trade secrets.

One yuge takeaway?

An alarming research study recently published by Dr. Bob Haley and Dr. Paul Fischer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas uncovered that the “innocent” commercial tattoo may be the number one distributor of hepatitis C.

And it gets worse.

If you have some bobbleheaded Millennial or X-er in your life who’s contemplating getting this systematic scarring and contamination, send ’em the link.

Orwell Was Right: Part MCMLXXXIV

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New York Times opinion column explains why shutting down conservative speakers on college campus is perfectly consistent with freedom of speech.  The key is the kind of speech being shut down; i.e., speech that offends people.  This is not a new idea, it’s a bad old idea dressed up in fancy new credentials.

You see, some speakers say things that are simply is wrong, like denying the Earth is flat.  We know the Earth is flat, so we know the speaker is wrong.  We’ve told Galileo so, repeatedly, but he keeps speaking the same falsehoods.  Speaking a falsehood once is a mistake but repeating the falsehood after being corrected makes it an intentional falsehood: a lie.  There is no right to speak a lie.  Listening to lies and rebutting them repeatedly is tiresome and serves no public purpose; therefore, prohibiting the speaker from telling his lies is not a violation of his rights.  Free speech, in this analysis, doesn’t mean you can say what you think; it means you can say what I want to hear.

Milton criticized the notion of intellectual “safe spaces” being more important than freedom of speech when he wrote: “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and un-breathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.”  Areopagitica was written in 1644 but the battle is still being waged today.

In Liberal minds, you already are free.  You are free to criticize Trump in any way you choose.  You can express your disgust with Conservatives in words or gestures.  Your choice of interpretive dance to decry tax rate reductions will never be questioned.  Liberals will defend to the death your right to agree with the Narrative in your own special way.

Reminds me of a joke Reagan told.  The American says “We have free speech in America.  I can stand in front of the White House and yell ‘To Hell with Ronald Reagan.’”  The Russian replies: “That’s nothing.  I can stand in front of the Kremlin and yell ‘To Hell with Ronald Reagan’ too.”  He still could, on any college campus.

There was an episode of The Prisoner in which The Village held an art contest, no limits, express yourselves freely.  Every painting and sculpture was an homage to the greatness of the dictator, Number 2.  Nobody thought it the least odd. It was completely sensible that they’d take this opportunity to express their love of Number 2 in their own individual way.

I wonder if modern Liberals could understand the joke Reagan told and that episode of the Prisoner were meant to be ironic, but Milton was not.  Is there that much learning remaining to be found on campus these days?

Joe Doakes

I was in a discussion about evolution with a group of liberals several years ago.  They were all demanding absolute fealty to the theory of evolution.   I asked why.  They responded “it’s just weird that people are allowed to believe things that are such nonsense”.

I replied “What difference does it make if the person refinishing your countertops is a young earth creationist, as long as your countertops get done?”  They phumphered something about it being important that people not completely “deny science”.

To which I responded “Science?  You mean, like brain surgery?   Something none of you “Science-based” people can do, but this utterly faith-based creationist has mastered?   Are you going to lecture him about science, or are you going to get your brain fixed?”

The response had something to do with me being a misogynist or something.

Overpowered By Smug

In one of the most glorious moments in the history of cable television, the late Christopher Hitchens told Bill Maher’s audience – basically the same species of smug droogs that dutifully clap on command, just like Jon Stewart’s and Steven Colbert’s and Samantha Bee’s audiences, and those at pretty much every other liberal Bread and Circus show.


SHOW MORE

Hitchens didn’t stanch the wave of smug liberals – indeed, they’ve only gotten worse since they’ve been relegated to the minority.

The left’s trait – condescend first (often, lately, by smugly wrapping themselves in a “scientific” banner that few understand and fewer still earn – has been most egregiously on display in last weeks’ flap over Bret Stephens’ apostasy on climate change.

David French on the Smug Liberal plague and Stephens:

Let’s be clear about what Stephens actually said. Here’s his summary of the current state of climate science: While the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities. That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future. Here’s the translation: Science teaches us that humans have helped cause global warming, but when we try to forecast the extent of the warming and its effects on our lives, the certainty starts to recede. In addition, the activism has gotten ahead of the science. Indeed, Stephens even quotes the New York Times’ own environmental reporter, Andrew Revkin, who has observed that he “saw a widening gap between what scientists had been learning about global warming and what advocates were claiming as they pushed ever harder to pass climate legislation.” Not only did the “hyperbole” not “fit the science at the time,” but — Stephens writes — “censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.” As if on cue, parts of liberal Twitter melted down. Stephens was instantly treated as, yes, an imbecile and a deplorable. Not only did the vast majority of commentators ignore his argument, they treated it as beneath contempt.

I have yet to have a liberal at any level answer this question for me:

Let’s say, for purposes of argument, that global warming is exactly what the Warmist faith says it is.  OK – so why is “turning the keys to the entire world’s economy over to the people who’ve made the Congo a massive lake of blood” the only possible solution?

I think i know – but I don’t think they do.

Liberals?  Sound off!

Blinded By “Science”

I sort of cringed when I watched the “Science March” – because “Science” is being dragged down the same Orwellian linguistic rathole that has claimed so many other once-useful/meaningful words.

At one point, science meant “You have a theory.  You frame a hypothesis.  You come up with experiments that can disprove the hypothesis.  You publish the theory, the hypothesis, the experiments, and the results, with an aim toward allowing other scientists to check your work and see if your results could be repeated.

Today?  It’s just another word for peer pressure (from the left).

Ben Shapiro on the appearance of the loathsome Bill Nye at the marches:

But this is demonstrative of the Left’s take on science: Science is actually just the name for anything the Left likes. Worried about the humanity of an unborn child? Concerned that fetuses have their own blood types and their own DNA? Stop it! You’re quoting science, not Science™! Wondering how it is that a genetic male is actually a woman? You’re worrying about science, not Science™!

This is the dirty little secret of the Left’s sudden embrace of Science™ — it’s not science they support, but religion. They support that which they believe but cannot prove and do not care about proving. Bill Nye isn’t interested in a scientific debate about global warming — how much is occurring, the measurement techniques at issue, the sensitivity of the climate to carbon emissions, the range of factors that affect the climate. He wants you to accept his version of the truth — not just that global warming is happening, but that massive government intervention is necessary in order to avert imminent global catastrophe.

Worse?  This is just one front in the battle for something more important than science – the battle for the language itself.

And the good guys are losing that one, too.

The Pool

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The theory of diversity holds that by adding more viewpoints we get a better result, regardless of how smart the individuals holding those viewpoints are.  Diversity increases group intelligence.

 In practice, if you want a smarter group of people, add smarter people.  Diversity dilutes group intelligence.

 This is not news, it’s confirmation of what we already knew from anecdotal evidence. Adding more people to a committee does not increase committee intelligence, it just takes longer to get nothing done.

 It’s settled science.  You’re not a science denier, are you?

 Joe Doakes

To the left, “settled science” means “comports with our  narrative, so shut up”.

Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We took very precise, very careful climate temperature measurements that did not show the result we wanted, then ran them through a black box that nobody understands and we cannot replicate.  And what do you know, now the results DO show the result we wanted.  You can’t deny science.  

 Joe Doakes

When you politicize science, you don’t get scientific politics;  you get politicized science.

“I Will Gladly Present You The Data Next Tuesday, If You Accept My Conclusion Today”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When you read a science report claiming that 2016 was the hottest year on record, you might expect that you will get numbers. And you would be wrong.

 “Note to the New York Times: ‘trouncing’ and ‘blown past’ are phrases appropriate to sports reporting, not science reporting. Except that no sports reporter would dare write an article in which he never bothers to give you the score of the big game. . . . It’s almost like they’re hiding something. And that is indeed what we find.”

 Summary: Increase is one-hundredth of a degree but the Margin of Error is a tenth of a degree. So it’s all bullshit.  No, worry, these are “alternative facts” but since it’s the Left doing it, that makes it alright. 

 Joe Doakes

Narrative Uber Alles.

Unsettled Science

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New article in Nature says the Earth is getting greener, more plants sucking more CO2 out of the air.
The article mentions that elevated atmospheric CO2 explains some of the greening but carefully avoids linking CO2 levels to temperature. But if green plants suck CO2 out of the air, then shouldn’t global greening lower atmospheric CO2? And if global warming is caused by CO2, which more plants are now sucking out of the air, shouldn’t that mitigate global warming?
I wonder if the computer models used by climate scientists incorporate enough CO2 reduction due to global greening?
Joe Doakes

The models do what they’re told to do.

Failure Is A Green Orphan

Ten years or so ago, when Germany embarked on a trillion-dollar campaign to phase out fossil and nuclear power and replace it with wind, the Greens, the Climate-Change Mafia and the media – along with a whooole lot of Green Energy scammers – applauded like Comintern members at a Stalin speech.

Today?  Crickets.

The government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to the report. By 2019, this policy would cause a massive reduction of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity compared to the end of 2015’s capacity.
“The domestic market for many [wind turbine] manufacturers collapses completely,” Julia Verlinden, a spokesperson for the German Green Party, told Berliner Zeitung. “With their plan, the federal government is killing the wind companies.” Verlinden goes on to blame the political influence of “old, fossil fuel power plants.”

They can “blame” the fact that “Green energy” is not economically sustainable.

At all.

Settled Science

When I was a kid, the world’s social justice warrior crowd warned us that the world was headed for inevitable catastrophic famine.  Some of the very voices behind “global warming” today – Paul Ehrlich springs to mind – warned (and profited greatly from warning) us that India would be down to under 100 million people by 1990, and that Africa was going be pretty much revert to nature, its human inhabitants all starved out.  Even the US was going to be the subject of “inevitable” food riots by the mid-eighties.

Naturally, the only possible remedy was to socialize the world economy.

Today?

People are wondering with a straight face if we have “too much food”, as the world has more overweight than malnourished people for the first time in history.

I fully expect to see a Kyoto Treaty for fat, sooner than later.

Extreme Measures

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It occurs to me that the Obama administration may be quietly supporting a Final Solution to global warming.

World population increased from 2 billion in 1950 to 7 billion today.  All those extra people exhaling carbon dioxide, raising cattle that produce methane flatulence, heating their homes with natural gas, driving cars, charging their iPhones with electricity generated from burning coal . . . they all contribute to global warming.  Hey, Liberals are right, global warming IS produced by mankind: the world simply has too many people emitting too much carbon.

It wouldn’t, if we could reduce world population back to 1950 levels.  But how would we do it in a politically acceptable way?  No Blood For Oil is still a favorite Liberal hymn.

If we support policies that undermine world-wide oil prices, the economy will collapse in oil-producing countries, leading to mass starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we release terrorists from Gitmo and also foment insurrection in Arab countries, civil war will break out leading to bloodshed, disease and starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we unleash the Ebola virus in Africa and the Zika virus in South America and warn women not to get pregnant for three years, we reduce the birth rate below replacement level, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we let felons out of prison and decline to prosecute killers based on color, thousands will die in inner cities, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for wealthier Americans.

Europe is getting ready to eliminate millions of asylum seekers.  North Korea is making noises – maybe a major war on that peninsula will draw in some neighbors to die fighting?  And how are things between India and Pakistan right now, any chance they might massacre a few millions of each other’s citizens for us?

Genocide could turn out to be nicely guilt-free, as it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity to survive global warming.  Settled science, doncha know?  Maybe President Obama really will halt the rise of the oceans and begin the heal the planet.  Boy, would I have egg on my face.

Joe Doakes

Omelette/eggs.  Just saying.