Monthly Archives: March 2016

Despite this ostensibly being provocative, it won’t be a thing

Cell phone shaped gun.

http://www.startribune.com/entrepreneur-hopes-for-win-with-gun-shaped-like-a-cellphone/374072621/

This won’t sell.  It’s a curiosity piece absent of practical self-defense utility.

The premise is there’s some value in it being mistakable for a cell phone in plain sight amirite….  And we lack for a pistol that does that.

I don’t see that appeal, not with this thing’s deficiencies as a weapon.  IE, it’s a two shot piece, it doesn’t have sights, basically does not have a proper grip…

A derringer is that already, but superior in its form factor deficiencies… is two shot also, but has a proper grip, you don’t have to un-collapse it to shoot….  Now right, a derringer is not mistakable for a cell phone in plain sight.  I question the validity of that as a functional req rather than just say fitting into a jacket pocket pretty well.  Which a derringer does.

Big thing is, no one who really has to maintain a consciousness over their self-defense in public selects a derringer as their weapon.  They select a real handgun, and use their wardrobe to disguise it.

Side note:  a market oddity right now is that the prevailing retail price of a 5 shot Ruger LCP .380 is about $200.  Ruger makes good products, and the LCP is hardly bigger than a deck of cards.

You’re going to lose money on this, aspiring gun maker guy.

Trump is not a man with a pedestrian, 125 IQ

By the way, ‘pedestrian 125 IQ’ is just my idiom for kinda un-exotic smartie-smart people in any crowd, say 85th – 95th percentile types.  I don’t know that I’m pegging the right IQ number… I’m not sure psychology has found the superiority of a numerical range where 125 is the brain I speak of…but you get my drift… Figure a decent elective office candidate is minimally one of these people, you kinda have to be just to be victorious over your intraparty competition.  Ya know we say politicians are dumb but the process is a bit assortative in finding smart people because it’s competitive and prestigious.

So we’re talking smart people.  Trump is minimally smart enough to be what he actually is, but he isn’t as smart as a smart person.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/30/politics/donald-trump-abortion-town-hall/

See this thing that Trump is attempting, using a certain type of celebrity-ness and wealth to do a takeover of the Republican Party and become the President…. it’s doable, (particular with what we understand about GOP voters now…).  But to do it requires mastery for say an additional set of norms and communications, particularly for the say tribal ideology.  That should be no problem for a generically smart 85th percenter attempting this Trump gambit, it would be so easy.  They could do it, could upend the process with some populist bombast while not straying too far from ideological norms or worse, getting lost in know nothing land.

Trump is not one of these people, he doesn’t have the brainpower to master what it would take to complete the thing he’s trying here.

Call the bottom

As a despairing GOPer, I haven’t had much reason for certitude lately, but…. now some things are actually firming up.  Doesn’t mean Hillary won’t be President, course…

Anyway, we’re at peak Trump, now, or were a week ago. It doesn’t get any better for him, now he weakens.

Ted Cruz is the R nominee… 1st or 2nd or 3rd ballot, he’s the guy.

It would seem at this moment there’d be nice advantageous betting market odds on that.

“Real Marxism hasn’t been tried yet” is still a lefty chestnut

Not only “still”, but it seems reinvigorated, and that bugs Chait.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/03/oh-good-were-arguing-whether-marxism-works.html

Which is good, I’m in agreement.  I’ll note there’s not only ‘real Marxism hasn’t been tried” which exists as bad wisdom among those simpatico.  My kids are old enough to glom onto some folk-trope political science that exudates in public schools (probably through the teachers) and I’ve been hearing “Marxism works in theory” a lot again.  I correct my kids when I hear this, cuz no, something that doesn’t work in reality can’t ‘work in theory’.  There is no ‘work in theory’, there’s just ‘theory’, as a matter of knowledge’s scholarly pursuit amirite.   So what you’re doing there is expressing admiration for Marxist ideals, and proper way that’s done is to say the ‘theoretical goals are appealing”.  But I go on then to question the value of feeling that very appeal, what with Marxist egalitarianism being a fairy tale.

Anyway, when Chait isn’t being an obsequious sycophant to the Obama administration, this is his other thing, critiquing the far left and articulating the merits of kinda an “old Democrat Chamber of Commerce / civics class liberalism” over the modern prog / SJ / Marxist movement.  And the critique is say that classical Democrat views on the prosperity, equity, and freedom are pretty sensible and that prog / SJ / Marxist views on same are abhorrent.

I agree.  As wisdom I like  “old Democrat Chamber of Commerce / civics class liberalism” and I hate Marxism.

I don’t think Chait has made it all the way there though in observing the Left’s illiberalism.  With that, he’d do well then to acknowledge how illiberalism has infected the center-left, IE “mainstream” Democrats.

To wit:

*** I look at “democracy” as properly defined by having electoral governance where people vote as much as is practical say.  That’s the Fing definition, expressed in a simple way without looking it up.  The Left has a post-modern, Marxist definition of this word where if you say have among the voters some like-minded people come together to fund issue ads to do some voter persuading… the Left thinks that’s not democracy, IE, its un-democratic and anti-democratic because some people could do that and other people couldn’t cuz money and inequality.  I think that’s crap, but it’s becoming the common use definition of democracy on the center-left too.

*** When Chait observes that the Left has devised a speech code to determine when say speech should be free and when not depending on how comfortable or afflicted the speaker or target is…  that’s the establishment of a double standard.  And it’s not really just speech, its everything, and it embraces the OK-ness of denying / delivering justice or freedom based on Marxist class hierarchy and with pursuit of Marxist egalitarianism as ends / means justification.  Which is, ya know, the ultimate get out of jail free card that we already know and love, the “not morally equivalent card” that excuses for Democrats things for which conservatives are castigated.  I’ll give you one that’s timely:  FOIA and transparency.  Ya know, 13 years ago we had the year of the whistleblower in the wake of some 9/11 incompetencies, and what was implicit in the tone of the news reporting and political hyperbole at the time was that a Democrat administration wouldn’t abuse the people that are cogs in the machine that way cuz say their superior sense of fairness and justice…. Not.  This administration is abysmal, and no doubt they feel justified in doing it cuz, ya know, they are the good guys pursuing egalitarianism… IE they’re not the Koch brothers for crissakes amirite?

***That Brazil speech the other day where Pres. Obama couldn’t bring himself to make a stronger case for freedom among “what works” between capitalism and authoritarianism…. That was something, and I don’t think we’re asking for much there, but apparently they’ll be no case made for freedom, not even lip service.  Like I have said, the man has a rather pedestrian 125 or so IQ, one as susceptible to fallacy as any other.

I’m sure it’s an outlier

Vox and Slate have been attentive to a recent observation that the field of psychology research is rife with fraud basically, the tail wagging the dog in terms of what conclusions are drawn from study.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/cover_story/2016/03/ego_depletion_an_influential_theory_in_psychology_may_have_just_been_debunked.html

The ‘tail wagging’ seems rightfully articulated as the old publish or perish motivations of collegiate research faculty.  They exaggerate the conclusions of their study to make a bigger splash on the academic paper circuit. And ya know, probably a trick of the trade is to do it in ways that conform to tribal intuitiveness about the subject matter, and plays to biases.   Bottom line, a zingier research finding enhances prestige, exposes better job opportunities to all involved ($).  … Quite the unhealthy feedback loop there… not a conspiracy, just a ginormous, unholy feedback loop that got going.

I’m just glad researchers who study climate change are immune from that sort of thing, and we can have the rock solid certitude in their findings that we do.

Ironically and unexpectedly: SCOTUS’ liberal bloc makes peace with Heller

Big Fing deal as Joe Biden would say:Ironically and unexpectedly:

“They reasoned that their own landmark decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller andMcDonald v. Chicago were meant to protect even firearms “that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” However, they stopped short of a blanket endorsement of stun guns.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/03/21/supreme-court-stun-gun-second-amendment/76313848/

4 things:

  1. Suggests a 2A protection of personal ‘arms’ that is pretty broad and extends beyond firearms
  2. Suggests that arms don’t have to be understood in terms of militia or military use to be 2A protected
  3. If you’re one of those people that like to say ‘ they were talking about muskets back then….”, that’s a dead argument, not that it wasn’t before
  4. Suggests there may not be much danger to Heller from a Garland nomination…

The game theory of Republican failure over the Garland nomination

Fair to say the Republican explanations for their SCOTUS no-vote is all muddled.  Not that the ‘Biden’ rule and Pres. Obama filibustering Alito and all that other stuff doesn’t represent real hypocrisy… it does… and not that it isn’t worth pointing out… it is, always…..  but Republicans are as usual not winning the rhetorical / PR battle there and such that they aren’t and such that the President after this one probably won’t be a Republican we’re all supposed to fret they’d do worse by not confirming Garland….

Meh.  On questions of state and agency power, there’s no spectrum of jurisprudential perspective on the liberal wing of SCOTUS.  The liberals always affirm it, and will do so in defiance of constitutional reasons not to and in the absence of serious contemplation (it’s fairly well understood now and admitted by Justice Stevens’ himself that Kelo v. New London is built on a faulty reading of precedent.  He say’s it a correct opinion anyway…  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/06/01/why-the-kelo-decision-is-wrong-part-i/…)

So Garland may well be a ‘moderate liberal’ but when the rubber meets the road on decision voting I rather doubt there’d be any difference between him and a radical liberal, whatever that’s supposed to represent.

So we’ve got a constitutional challenge going right now on the Administration’s appropriation of immigration policy in violation of law.  I doubt it matters there whether it’s Garland or someone more liberal, they’ll affirm the Democrat administration.

Gun people worry about Heller…  what will happen is eventually Chicago or DC or NY will repass a handgun or assault weapons ban, and it will go to SCOTUS.  Ibid, it doesn’t really matter what Democrat judge has been appointed to SCOTUS, the liberal hive mind dictates the result.  Either Garland or a Hillary judge will uphold a ban as within bounds of Heller.

Abortion…goes without saying

Broader goals of the progressive project, EPA, etc….  They’ll vote in lock step.

So get back to the real reason Republicans won’t confirm an Obama nominee to SCOTUS …. It’s because Democrats don’t believe in the limiting principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Republicans believe in the Constitution amirite, so the idea was ride out the election season and let a Republican president appoint someone who’ll defend it.  That might not happen as planned eh, but the potentiality of Hillary’s ‘more liberal’ appointment doesn’t make action on Garland urgent cuz…. there’s no practical difference in the way the rulings come down.

Might as well keep riding it out, see what happens, see if you have enough senators left to filibuster in 2017.