Real Seattle pride

He would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those pesky kids.

Today, Seattle Proud Boy Zac Staggs attempted to infiltrate the #ClimateStrike march in black bloc gear, but was reportedly identified immediately under his mask and got beat up… at an event organized by high schoolers.

Good on the Seattle antifa for catching out this clown…and the high school kids who exposed him.

Note also what the “Proud Boy’s” right foot is stepping in. So appropriate!

The Pragerization of YouTube

I’ve been naughty and haven’t made any YouTube videos in a while (I have to change that, if only I had time), but would you believe I still get comments on stuff I made months ago? Here’s a recent comment made on my video about Jordan Peterson’s PragerU video on those darned liberal arts universities. It’s all racist talking points while accusing Democrats of being racist, but of course they wander all over the place with all kinds of random boogity-boos.

Why does school cost so much? Gov offers more loan money to students who have no business being in school. Then what does the wonderful university do? Yep you guessed it raise tuition. The whole alt right dog whistle thing is a low blow, so far from the truth. Why do some left Leaning universities like Berkeley try and ban Ben Shapiro? Does he have alt right dog whistles lol 😂. Mr. left professor how many genders are there? Another question do support or oppose the death penalty? Are you pro choice or pro life? Those two questions can tell a lot about someone. The left has done more harm to this country then good. Democrats and slavery, kkk, Jim Crow. Once the blacks switched parties in the thirties it’s been all down hill. The more black government officials at the county, city levels the more corruption. Teachers unions have ensured the black inner kids a horrendous education. That fucking pisses me off that unions and make no mistake they give more campaign money to democrats and it has caused inner city schools to be horrible. I’m sorry I don’t care as much about men and women transitioning into whatever they want to be called as much as Obama did. When Obama and his education secretary saw how bad things were they said they needed to act. Well still waiting President Obama! Let’s be perfectly honestly the Left doesn’t care about black kids if they did there would be vouchers and choice. The thing is everybody knows what needs to happen but it would cost the Democrats dearly at election time. I say once and for all stop oppressing black people.

So much incoherence and contradictions! I should whip up a video about how there are far more than two genders, to pick just one example of its nonsense.

My little video focused on just one collection of bogus claims by one cranky Canadian fart, but PragerU is a far more poisonous set of lies than that…and yet somehow they’ve avoided the mass demonetizations that afflict my liberal friends, or even the raving right wing nutcases. Money greases a lot of wheels at Google, I guess. Rather than wasting a lot of time on this one fool’s comment, I’ll just point you at this recent analysis of PragerU.

It’s not enough to just say that PragerU isn’t an actual university. It’s outright propaganda, and those appearing on the channel are propagandists.

As an institution, PragerU has proved to be toxic, and it should be best understood as — as its “About Us” page notes — a “digital marketing campaign.” If one of Prager University’s goals really is to “[make] the world a better place, five minutes at a time,” it deserves a failing grade for its current output.

Neither Jewish, nor Christian, nor Western. Ben Shapiro is just full of…

I hate reading essays that I mostly agree with, but are poorly written and completely miss the most important point. I opened up this one because of the title: Ben Shapiro Is On The Wrong Side Of History. Then I find nothing but shallow nitpicking and a tendency to overlook the big flaw.

Here’s his summary of Shapiro’s recent book, which he promises to examine from a philosophical standpoint.

Ben’s proclamation at the start of the book is essentially this: reason alone, absent of God’s moral law — and more precisely — the absence of Judeo-Chrisitan [sic] moral law dooms our world to live in a meaningless abyss. Ultimately, he thinks without this it means the doom of society.
He also wants to argue our toxic political climate and divide can be boiled down to our societal rejection of these Judeo-Christian values.

Nowhere in this essay does he evaluate those critical words, “Judeo-Christian values”. What are they? Why is Islam excluded from the Abrahamic tradition? How do we decide whether a society is actually following these ill-defined moral laws? Shapiro just thoughtlessly assumes that his definition of what is moral is universal and historical and right and proper, and this essayist just goes along with him and assumes “Judeo-Christian” is a real thing. It’s infuriating.

He quotes from Shapiro something he says “essentially sums up his reasoning”.

“The USSR rejected Judeo-Chrisitan[sic] values and Greek natural law…and they starved and slaughtered tens of millions of human beings. The Nazis rejected Judeo-Christian values and Greek Natural law, and they shoved children into gas chambers.”

But he doesn’t follow through! Is not killing millions actually part of this fiction called “Judeo-Christian values”? The holy book they share praises war and slaughter, and has many examples of the same. The people who are historically Christian, and that belong to that similarly vaguely defined concept of “the West”, also murdered millions. Was King Leopold of Belgium “Judeo-Christian”? How about the British in the Opium Wars, or during the conquest of India? How do you then justify excluding Nazi Germany from the ranks of “Western Judeo-Christian” nations?

I wouldn’t argue that the Nazis were moral in the slightest, but they were definitely part of Western Civilization (is Shapiro going to argue otherwise?), they were definitely Christian, and the Germans are definitely rooted in Western/Christian philosophy — in fact, contributing largely to it — so how does that ignorant twerp get off claiming that Nazi philosophy was a rejection of the social values of a culture they were strongly part of?

Maybe a better approach would be to note that being Christian, Jewish, or Western does not make one good, by any means. That is the deep hole in the middle of Shapiro’s assumptions.

I am disappointed in Marv

Marv hadn’t heard of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire until now.

There is something deeply wrong with American education when one of the most important labor tragedies in our history isn’t taught any more. Should we also let him know about the Haymarket riot, the Colorado labor wars, the Imperial Valley lettuce strike? That it was routine to call out the national guard to beat workers into submission? I suppose we’re going to have to roll back the tape to Peterloo, or earlier.

Do listen to the video, though. Elizabeth Warren does explain it all…and also explains how corporate interests have spent a lot of money to bury their shameful history. That’s one thing the bad guys have always had, more money than the people they’re exploiting.

But that’s all in the past, right? It’s not as if millionaires and billionaires are buying our government today, right?

To influence the court’s composition, Whitehouse said, a combined $34 million in “dark money” went toward both blocking President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and confirming President Donald Trump’s two Supreme Court picks, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

In a follow-up to the legal brief, Whitehouse in a Sept. 6 Washington Post op-ed described the money as follows:

“One unnamed donor gave $17 million to the (Leonard) Leo-affiliated Judicial Crisis Network to block the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland and to support Gorsuch; then a donor — perhaps the same one — gave another $17 million to prop up Kavanaugh.”

It sure would be nice to elect a president and congress who opposed corruption, rather than welcoming it, as Moscow Mitch and Trump have done.

How’s MIT doing lately?

MIT seems to be having a bad day week month year, and new horrors keep tumbling out all the time. Thanks, Jeffrey Epstein, the one good you did in your life was to make corruption visible!

  • You know, Richard Stallman has always been an egotistical jerk, so he had to poke his head up and demonstrate it once again. His latest is to claim that Epstein’s “harem” — I guess that’s his word for “victims” — were “mostly willing”. Ugh. You aren’t helping, rms. Crawl back into your hole.
  • Joi Ito pressured other faculty, like Naomi Oxman, to participate in rewarding Epstein for his “anonymous” gifts, and they in turn pressured their students to create and send gifts to him. What’s interesting is that the students were the ones to immediately question the whole process, and to feel guilty about succumbing to pressure afterwards. I guess MIT hadn’t had enough time to pound the ethics out of them yet.

I’ve noted elsewhere that the rich get richer, and colleges with already massive endowments tend to be the recipients of more corrupt gift giving…so they inherit all the filth that comes with the filthy lucre. I suspect our small liberal arts colleges would be just as guilty if billionaires were trying to impress their peers by giving us money.

Cheese it, they’re on to us!

Uh-oh. Kerry Roberts has noticed.

A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says he supports getting rid of higher education because he argues it would cut off the “liberal breeding ground.”

Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield called for eliminating higher education while speaking about attending a recent abortion legislative hearing on his conservative radio talk show on Sept. 2.

Roberts specifically called out one activist who testified in favor of protecting abortion rights. He asserted without evidence that the woman’s beliefs were a “product of higher education” and claimed that getting rid of higher education would “save America.”

Yep, he’s right. The kind of conservativism he thinks would “save America” can only thrive in ignorance, so getting rid of education would lead to fewer liberals and progressives, fewer ideas, less progress, more stupidity. If that’s what you want, his formula would actually work!

Concentrated comeuppance!

A lot of bad guys have been getting exposed lately. It won’t make a bit of difference, but it’s as if a few journalists are waking up to their job and deciding to do it, so I’ll take it.

  • Alex Pareene shreds Mitch McConnell. Sure, it’s an easy target to reveal that the manifestation of evil in Republican politics is pure evil. If you want to understand why Moscow Mitch is a special evil, though, this is a good and through place to start.

    McConnell has built a GOP machine that is as immune as it can be to the ballot box, because he is smart enough to know that Republicans cannot, as currently constituted, win fair elections often enough to retain power.
    But by choosing incredibly canny battles—his relentless attempts to first upend even the possibility of campaign finance regulation and enforcement, and then to pack the judiciary with right-wing ideologues—McConnell has enabled the conservative movement to dominate American politics long after its tenets are fully rejected by the majority of the electorate.

  • Maybe he is not as powerful, but Scott Adams is the worst blogger (I like that title because it means I don’t hold the record.) The article makes plain his weird contradictions: the popularity of Dilbert rests on the fact that both office drones and bosses like it — it simultaneously tells workers that their lives are miserable, but that you have to suck it up and obey anyway. His blog is a bizarre exercise in phrasing all of his predictions so that either way they turn out, he can claim he was right all along. And how can you be a champion of the working class while defending Trump? Answer: he doesn’t actually support the working class.

    It seems counterintuitive that Scott Adams, defender of the common office drone, would ally himself with a billionaire whose catchphrase is “you’re fired,” but there are strong parallels between the two. For one, they both make you dread reading the newspaper. Neither is willing to acknowledge the real causes of the American worker’s declining fortunes, choosing to pin it all on the idiosyncrasies of office culture or the existence of immigrants. Most importantly, Adams and Trump both offer the working class cheap, stupid, and forgettable entertainment that placates dissatisfaction for a moment before a swift return to late-capitalist dread. We deserve better.

  • Politico is an annoying online magazine, because while they’re generally on the side of the villains of the Right, every once in a while they publish a long piece tearing into the excesses of the far right. Like incredibly blatant evangelical charlatan Jerry Falwell Jr. Do you really want to know how corrupt, decadent, and greedy Falwell is? Then buckle up, because this is a long, jaw-dropping ride through all the perfidy. Tea is served.

    In interviews over the past eight months, they depicted how Falwell and his wife, Becki, consolidated power at Liberty University and how Falwell presides over a culture of self-dealing, directing university resources into projects and real estate deals in which his friends and family have stood to make personal financial gains. Among the previously unreported revelations are Falwell’s decision to hire his son Trey’s company to manage a shopping center owned by the university, Falwell’s advocacy for loans given by the university to his friends, and Falwell’s awarding university contracts to businesses owned by his friends.
    “We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge fund,” said a senior university official with inside knowledge of Liberty’s finances. “We’re not educating; we’re buying real estate every year and taking students’ money to do it.”

I know. McConnell, Adams, and Falwell will still have all their money and influence, but it’s nice to see someone spell out how wretched they all are now and again.

Bonus! Jacob Wohl has been charged with a felony. Maybe he’ll go to jail! Nah, rich white Republican fraudsters only get a little pat on the wrist.

Welp, looks like capitalism broke another scholar

It’s a tragedy, but increasingly common. Evgeny Morozov rages against the culture that fostered Epstein, Ito, and the association of science and money.

Is it so surprising, then, that when a colleague cautioned Ito against meeting Epstein – who used to list his interests as “science and pussy” – Ito described him as “really fascinating”? Brockman, for all his realism about low intellectual standards of the tech community, also couldn’t resist Epstein’s charms, describing him, in an email to me, as “extremely bright and interesting”.

If the “third culture” is so much more sophisticated than its predecessors, how come most of its card-carrying members – famed scientists-cum-brands, courtesy of the Brockman empire – got caught up in the Epstein mess? It’s not uncommon for intellectuals to serve as useful idiots to the rich and the powerful, but, under the “third culture”, this reads like a job requirement.

Are the costs of living with this culture – eg the prostitution of intellectual activity at “billionaire dinners”– worth it? And can we still trust what the leading intellectuals of the “third culture” actually have to say, given, also, what they have to sell?

The answers to these questions are self-evident. And yet, while it’s easy to attack the rotten apples such as Ito or Negroponte, a more radical transformative agenda should ask for more: close the Media Lab, disband the Ted Talks, refuse the money of tech billionaires, boycott agents like Brockman. Without such drastic changes, the powerful bullshit-industrial complex that is the “third culture” will continue unharmed, giving cover to the next Epstein.

It’s time to get radical, I agree. But shutting down the old avenues of support is pointless without alternatives. Science ought to be maintained by government support, and you ought to mistrust the bilge that relies on a billionaire’s largesse…especially when that billionaire doesn’t read about or care about science, except for the prestige it grants them. Of course, how do I explain to my university administration that I’m rejecting a million dollar grant because I think the donor is a parasite? (Note: Purely hypothetical. No million dollar offers are knocking at my door.) The people who benefit most from these cash prizes are the donors, who get to pretend to be contributors to science when all they’ve done is successfully undermined egalitarian mechanisms for promoting good science. Like these people:

One of Brockman’s persistent laments was that all the billionaire techies in his circle barely read any of the books published by his clients. Not surprisingly, his famed literary dinners – held during the Ted Conference, they allowed Epstein (who kept Brockman’s Edge Foundation on a retainer) to mingle with scientists and fellow billionaires – were mostly empty of serious content.

As Brockman himself put it after one such dinner in 2004, “last year we tried ‘The Science Dinner’. Everyone yawned. So this year, it’s back to the money-sex-power thing with ‘The Billionaires’ Dinner’.” Was “the money-sex-power thing” that very potent “new mode of intellectual discourse” promised by the “third culture”? If so, we’d rather pass.

Also…TED talks are terrible. One in a few hundred might be informative, but most are exercises in formulaic hype.

I sure am triggered and owned!

This is Laura Ingraham sucking on a plastic straw stuck in a piece of red meat imbedded with incandescent light bulbs. In order to own the libs.

I am rather surprised at the astounding success of our plan to get conservatives to do incredibly stupid, pointless things in public. Be sure to let them all know how much your feelings have been hurt by these performances! Maybe they’ll escalate. I sure am glad that no one told Laura that there are regulations about contamination of meat that we’d hate to see violated, and that libs think it’s a bad idea to smash those light bulbs and put broken glass in your cheerios.