Crooks and Liars want Garland

This is a followup to my last post, with more evidence that to be a leftie is to be a Sociopath.

Crooks and Liars wants Senate Democrats and VP Biden to hijack the Senate and confirm Garland to the US Supreme Court.  Their fantasy:

On January 3, 2017, Democrats will hold the majority in the Senate for a few minutes, until the newly-elected Senators are sworn in. Biden could convene the Senate in those few minutes and call for a vote. The majority could then suspend the rules and vote in Merrick Garland.

The key here is that VP Biden would have to be willing to convene the Senate and recognize Senator Dick Durbin instead of Mitch McConnell. Durbin moves to re-nominate Garland, and Senate Democrats then vote to confirm him. They will have a quorum for those few minutes.

My response:

Please, please do this!

Because the Republican response will be for Trump to nominate, and the Senate to confirm, 4 good, decent Justices who honor the written US Constitution.

No more “swing Justice Kennedy”.

Let me make it simple for you: “if you prick us, we will make you bleed.”

A history lesson:

The Senate Democrat majority Borked in 1987. So when there was a Senate Republican majority under Clinton, they blocked Clinton appointed Judges at will.

Senate Democrats filibustered Judges like Miguel Estrada under Bush. So Senate Republicans filibustered a lot of Obama appointees once they had the numbers to make it stick.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

Waldman … was one of the first to call for passage of the ACA via reconciliation in the Senate after Scott Brown was elected.

ObamaCare has cost the Democrats the Presidency, 12 Senate seats, ~60 House seats, ~1000 of State Legislature seats, and IIRC > 15 governorships. Oh, and through the loss of the Presidency, you lost the chance to take control of the Supreme Court.

And in 2017 it will be repealed.

By all means, PLEASE double down on that history of failure.

Do you have to be a sociopath to be a Leftist?

Wrote this as a comment on discussion in an Ann Althouse post about the Democrat fantasy of Obama recess appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court

As, I believe it was Tim Kaine, pointed out before the election, there’s nothing in the Constitution specifying that there have to be 9 Supreme Court Justices.

So if Obama wants to “recess appoint” Garland, he can go right ahead.

Then President Trump will appoint 2, 3, maybe even 4 new lifetime Supreme Court Justices, and we’ll have to some REAL fun.

I am sadly coming to the conclusion that to be a member of the Left, one must be a sociopath.

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
  • Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
  • Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

It’s that last one that’s the key: It never ever occurs to the Left that they’re creating precedents to be used against them, because they’re the only real people, everyone else is just a bunch of tools to be used.

People who initiate the use of force deserve to have it used against them

Straight up and simple: If you are initiating the use of violence, force, or the threat of violence of force against other people in a political context, you are a Brownshirt, and you have forfeited any moral claims WRT how much force other people use against you.

Who are people who fall under this:

1: Someone who goes to someone else’s event and tries to disrupt it by shouting down people with opposing points of view, or otherwise making it impossible for them to get their message out.

Example: you go to a “Take Back the Night” protest and carry a sign that says “Regret isn’t Rape”. You’re fine. You go there with a loudspeaker and chant “Regret isn’t Rape” over it, drowning out other people? They have a right to stop you.

2: You illegally block a road / street / intersection / highway / whatever. You deserve to be run over. You are trampling over other’s people right to go about their business and ignore you, as such, you deserve to be trampled over.

So yes, “run them over” is absolutely the correct response. We, the decent human beings of the world, have an absolute right to ignore the left wing protestors of the world. If they attempt to force us to pay attention to them, we have the absolute moral right to do whatever is necessary to force them to leave us alone. In the Charlotte case, that means drive straight forward and run over anyone who gets in your way.

Robot babies lead to more pregnancies and more births

Ann Althouse brought some interesting information to my attention

“… but a new study using lifelike simulated babies in Western Australian schools had a surprising result: girls enrolled in the Virtual Infant Parenting Program (VIP) were twice as likely to give birth in their teens.”

Now, the first problem is that it’s a study in the Lancet, so you’re just about guaranteed that it’s crap.

The second is that they’re passing around some really noisy data.  This American Life had a segment about robot babies, and the producer of that segment wrote a blog post about the release of the study (which was in Australia vs America for “This American Life”)):

Here are the numbers:

17% of the intervention (robot babies) group had teen pregnancies; while 11% of the control group had teen pregnancies.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to listen in on Dr. Brinkman’s press briefing in Australia last night, and ask her a couple of questions.

The first thing I asked was, of course, motivated by my observations of Rachel: Was there evidence that the simulators made teens interested in becoming moms? Or less afraid of accidental pregnancy?

Brinkman said there was no way to know the answer to this question. The study was designed to track pregnancy, not whether the pregnancies were intended or unintended. But, she added, they did study the pregnancy termination rate in both groups. And the group that got the infant simulators had a 6% lower proportion of abortions, compared with the control group. But, of course, there’s no way to really know if that lower rate means the girls who experienced the infant simulators felt more comfortable with the idea of becoming moms.

I decided to run the numbers myself (it only makes sense to compare the last 4 rows, which are normalized, as opposed to the first 4, which aren’t):

Study Control Compare
Girls 1267 1567
Live Births 97 67
Abortions 113 101
Pregnancies 210 168
Birth Rate 7.66% 4.28% 1.790561792
Abortion Rate 8.92% 6.45% 1.383723929
Pregnancy Rate 16.57% 10.72% 1.545974743
Abortion as % of Pregnancy rate 53.81% 60.12% 0.895049505

So the 17% and 11% are combination of abortion and live births (I wonder if there were any miscarriages?).

Key facts: The girls in the study were 79% more likely to give birth to a baby, 38% more likely to have an abortion, and overall 55% more likely to get pregnant than the control girls.

The only place where the abortion rate went “down” for the study girls was that 54% of the 210 study girls who got pregnant had an abortion, whereas 60% of the 168 control girls who got pregnant had an abortion. With numbers that small, a 6% difference is meaningless.

Personally, I think those girls are discovering that a teenage girl with a robot baby is a lot more interesting, and gets a lot more positive feedback, than a teenage girl with a real baby. But I could be wrong.

Neoliberalism and technocratic managerial competence

Was reading this at SlateStarCodex, and came across the following, wich needed a response:

Sam Bowman’s neoliberal manifesto aims to carve out “neoliberalism” as a particular policy position (instead of just a vague smear) based around belief in markets, technocratic managerial competence, and interest in helping the poor through evidence-based programs.

It needed a response.  Here it is:

Sam Bowman’s neoliberal manifesto aims to carve out “neoliberalism” as a particular policy position (instead of just a vague smear) based around belief in markets, technocratic managerial competence, and the tooth fairy, right?

Because, frankly, believing in the tooth fairy’s a lot more reasonable than believing in “technocratic managerial competence” WRT anything involving the government.

See: the VA killing people, see the NSA getting hacked, see the quality of American Public Education, hell, take a look at ObamaCare Exchanges.

The Insurance companies were at the table as active partners during the writing of ObamaCare. And now they’re taking a major bath on the “Exchanges”.

Then there’s Solyendra, “clean energy”, the Obama 2009 porkulus. For real fun we could discuss US Military procurement.

There is no “technocratic managerial competence” when government is involved. Belief in it is delusional.

Truesdale MACII expulsion, a comment at File 770

In response to this.  We’ll see if I make it through moderation.

Most people seemed to agree that they’d never seen a panel moderator abuse his position to hijack the panel as a platform for his or her own personal agenda.


Then “most people” desperately need to get out more.

I suppose if MidAmericaCon2 hadn’t gone full fascist, “most people” could have looked up Dave and borrowed one of the pearl necklaces so they could have clutched it.

Kicking him out of the Con for “caus[ing] excessive discomfort to others”? That big mean bully! Exposing people to ideas they don’t like! Where did he think he was, a Con panel?

Oh wait, that’s right, modern Worldcon members don’t want to open their minds, or be exposed to diverse points of view. That would be hateful!

Edit: Dave has posted the audio of the panel.  It does not back the claims leveled against him.

Immigration and political reform

Megan McArdle has noticed that the “EU refugees” are bringing a serious problem:

But here’s a piece of information that is not so much interesting as disturbing: Only 27 percent of those refugees are female. In every age group, from nearly every country of origin, women are greatly outnumbered. And the difference is even more pronounced for immigrants from Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Gambia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, for example, sent virtually no women at all. Over all, refugee men outnumber refugee women nearly two to one.

(Bolding mine) Side point: I’d be interested to see the correlation between “law allows polygamous marriages” and “% of women among the invaders ‘refugees'”

After going over why this is a problem, Megan says this:

Unfortunately, at this point there aren’t any good options left. … It could deny the bulk of those applications and send most of those men back where they came from. But that’s unlikely; both EU refugee policy and a lot of the political class are publicly committed to sheltering a lot of these people. It would be difficult indeed to suddenly backpedal on those commitments.

1st thought: I think that pretty much every single problem we’re facing today is made worse by the fact that MeMegan can use the phrase “the political class” non-ironically.  The “singular” political class, that has a set of beliefs distinct from “the people of country ‘X'”.  The fact that the well being and beliefs of “the political class” are inimical to the well being of the rest of “their” societies is almost beside the point.  The major point is that there is no human group that has a monopoly on correct ideas.  But right now their is a set of ideas that have a near-monopoly on political power.

2nd thought: Let me clean up that “explanation”:

The political classes of almost every single EU country would rather see their societies destroyed, than admit they made a mistake by demanding that the EU countries take in those “refugees.”

Do we have any more questions as to why people are rejecting the political classes, and everything they say? To have a functional system, you MUST have a way of recovering from mistakes, In politics, the normal way this is done is to have opposition parties that disagree with each other on fundamental issues, so that when one side fails the other can get elected and fix up the first side’s mistakes. In the EU, this option is not available, as ALL “right thinking people” agree on everything important. Which means that EU is eventually going to end up with “lamp posts” as their corrective measure.

In the US, we’re currently stuck with “Donald Trump” as our corrective measure.

Personally, I’m voting for the lamp posts.

Immigration reform, a response to Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle writes:

How many people should we let in, of what education and skill level? How should we handle marital visas? What tradeoffs are we willing to make between national unity and the humanitarian and practical benefits of migration?

Oh, hear those crickets! No one wants to ask those questions, much less provide answers.

I don’t have numbers.  I’d say: cut current total legal immigration levels in half, and see if we get more “melting pot”, and less “multiculturalism.”  Keep cutting levels until we’re pretty solidly on the “melting pot” side.

But here’s my immigration reform principles:

1: End “family reunion” as an immigration priority and terminate “chain migration”. The ONLY people who get to bring in family members are people who legally immigrated here on their own merit (i.e. didn’t come in as a family member).

Whatever the legality of “birthright naturalization”, no one who gets their citizenship by birth gets to sponsor anyone else. So mommy and daddy are leaving the US, and can either take their child with them, or lose it. In any event non-US Citizens, and legal children US Citizens who do not have legal US Citizen guardians, are not eligible for any sort of welfare payments.

2: All H1B visa recipients must be paid in the US 80th percentile or higher for their field. Companies pay 10x penalty for any pay below that. If an incorrect study is used to establish the 80th percentile level, the company is on the hook for anything 75th percentile and over. Below that, the corporate officers who signed off on the study, and on the pay, are personally responsible, with NO “corporate veil” protection. Accusations of fraud on this front can be made by any private individual, can be carried out as a private action. If successful, the private individual gets 1/2 the fine (instead of the gov’t). In all cases the visa holder gets the other half.

IOW: H1B is for hiring expertise you absolutely can’t get in the US, NOT for hiring cheap workers. If you’re not paying top dollar, then H1B isn’t the right visa.

3: The standard for immigration is “brings benefit to the US.” “Changing the culture of the US” is inherently defined as “harming the US.”  We are not running an immigration system to help the immigrants.  If they think it will help them to come here, they’ll apply.  But acceptance is based on our assessment that letting them in will help us.

4: Positive assessments are “useful job skills” (merely having a college degree doesn’t count) and “brings lots of money to invest in the US.”

5: “Unwillingness to assimilate to US cultural norms” (think “go Red Tribe!” here, not SF / LA / NY cultural “norms”) is a major down check.  If you want to keep your old culture, stay in your old country.

6: No “sanctuary cities” may receive any Federal funds.  For anything.  Education, law enforcement, grants, health care, doesn’t matter.  If you’re not willing to help arrest and deport every single person here illegally, no Federal $$$ for you.

That seems like a good start.  And I bet we would get 70%+ support for just about every one of those.

Masking sex of people in technical interviews find no bias against women

There’s a site,, that facilitates companies doing technical interviews, as well as apparently working to help people improve their technical interviewing skills. They tried an experiment where they masked people’s voices during the interviews, so interviewers couldn’t know if they were interviewing men or women.  The results are hilarious.  Their response is even funnier.

First, this is what happens during normal non-masked interviews:

Specifically, men were getting advanced to the next round 1.4 times more often than women. Interviewee technical score wasn’t faring that well either — men on the platform had an average technical score of 3 out of 4, as compared to a 2.5 out of 4 for women.

And this is what happens after the interviews:

As it happens, women leave roughly 7 times as often as men after they do badly in an interview.

And these are the results:

Contrary to what we expected (and probably contrary to what you expected as well!), masking gender had no effect on interview performance with respect to any of the scoring criteria (would advance to next round, technical ability, problem solving ability). If anything, we started to notice some trends in the opposite direction of what we expected: for technical ability, it appeared that men who were modulated to sound like women did a bit better than unmodulated men and that women who were modulated to sound like men did a bit worse than unmodulated women. Though these trends weren’t statistically significant, I am mentioning them because they were unexpected and definitely something to watch for as we collect more data.

So, far from being sexist, technical interviewers range from unbiased to slightly preferring women over men.  Which, being in the technical fields myself, is exactly what I expected.

But what’s really, amazingly funny is their “happy place”:

Once you factor out interview data from both men and women who quit after one or two bad interviews, the disparity goes away entirely

But we’re told that women drop out at 7x the rate of men after a poor interview.  So to translate your sentence into something realistic: “After we got rid of a significant number of poorer performing women, and almost none of the poorer performing men, what was left was a pool of people who performed roughly the same.”

Let me express it for you in mathematical terms:

The standard deviation between women is less than the standard deviation between men. This means that in any “pool” where entry requires above average performance on characteristics whereon average men do at least as well as women do (and intelligence is such a case), you will find more men at the positive extremes than women.  So in any environment where honest evaluation takes place, men will do better than women, and will succeed more often than women.

Now, you might want to claim that it’s better to have more “women in tech”, even if that means having dumber, less qualified programmers who write worse code. And if you want to make that argument, I’ll be happy to listen and respond.

But can we please drop the fantasy that there aren’t “enough” women in STEM because of sexism?

Our FBI at work

The Observer has an article about the Orlando Islamic terrorist attack that just begs to be mocked.  Since they require Facebook login to comment, I’ll do it here instead

That said, the FBI’s initial investigation into Mr. Mateen lasted ten months and included placing informants close to him while tapping his phones. This was not just box-checking. The Bureau learned that he was angry and confused, eager to affiliate himself—at least in his own head —with any jihadist groups that were enemies of the United States.

Hmm! Someone who is “eager” to affiliate with anti-US terrorist groups? Gee, nope! No problem here!

He came across as a delusional wannabe, not a bona fide terrorist. Significantly, the FBI concluded that Mateen’s workplace outbursts, which had a pronounced Islamic bent, were caused by “co-workers discriminating against him and teasing him because he was Muslim.”

Significantly, the FBI was greatly interested in justifying and excusing support for Islamic terrorism, and desperate to find “Islamophobia”, but utterly uninterested in actually protecting America from murderous Islamic terrorists.

Got it, thanks!

Here’s a thought: A man who rapes women “because women have teased him for being male”, is a monster.  A Muslim who engages in terrorism “because people have teased him for being Muslim”, is a monster.