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Monday, April 05, 2021

 So Men Who Say They Are Women Are Misogynists?

Gotta laugh at the dustup over Mike Huckabee's tweet and the way the liberal media is trying to paint it as anti-Asian.

The former Arkansas governor and brief Republican presidential candidate is facing heavy criticism for a racist and bizarre tweet that tried to take a jab at Major League Baseball and several corporations over Georgia voting laws. But the message that got through was Huckabee’s anti-Asian sentiment at a time when attacks against Asians have become a major issue in the United States.

Huckabee tweeted, “I’ve decided to ‘identify’ as Chinese. Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my ‘values’ and I’ll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain’t America great?”

It was ineptly expressed, but the gag is, if anything, anti-transgender.   We all get that a white man can't self-identify as Chinese and expect to be taken seriously,  However if he were to self-identify as a woman, these days everybody would fall all over themselves in agreement.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The (Paltry) Wages of Wokeness

I've been amused to see the ongoing dustup over Substack.  As our new woke overlords manage to drive out anybody who has ever expressed an unorthodox thought from the mainstream media, a funny thing has happened. All of the legacy media outlets have become boring echo chambers of woke scolds. No surprise, this has led quite a few people to look for other opinions. And it seems that a good number of the unorthodox thinkers have ended up at Substack, where they appear to be making quite good coin.  Matt Yglesias, who had the temerity to sign a letter opposing cancel culture, and was pushed out of Vox for that sin, was offered a quarter of a million to write for Substack, and stands to make quite a bit more.

Apparently the deal is that you can set a certain monthly subscriber fee--typically between $5 and $10.  Substack has offered writers either a straight commission (90% of their subscriber fees) or a fixed amount plus a lower commission.  As it happens Yglesias would have made quite a bit more--well over $500,000--had he taken the straight commission.

Well, you can imagine the reaction from the woke mob.  Here they had routed the evil man from their midst and he landed a job where he's presumably making quite a bit more than he was toiling for Vox.  And he's not alone. Many writers who ran afoul of one PC rule or the other have gone over there. Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, John McWhorter and Jessie Singal among many others have set up their own newsletters.  And Substack is, to be honest, about the only website worth reading these days because of those people.

Of course, the folks who managed to shut down Parler have turned their ire on Substack. Some have called for the site itself to be deplatformed.  Others have tried the concern troll tactic: Did Substack really want to be associated with this bad person?

Now you might be wondering why the wokerati are not flocking to Substack themselves--here's a site where you can get paid directly by the people who like to read your work, cutting out the middleman (the publisher) and getting rich in the process.  Ah, but there's the rub; it turns out that quite a few social justice warriors have tried it and have not been quite as successful as the iconoclasts listed above.  You can see the problem; who's going to pay to read the same stuff they can read in every newspaper and magazine online already? Especially when that stuff comes from people who sneer at you and your opinions.

And meanwhile the layoffs continue, although now they're not just hitting the legacy media outlets, but the "new media" sites like the Huffington Post.

Update: And as if on cue, Medium announces that it will be switching to a Substack-style model.  Note the important hall monitoring, err, journalism that we'll be missing out on:

Those publications have published high-impact work over the years: An investigation by tech publication OneZero into a surveillance tech executive’s attendance at KKK meetings led to his firing, for example.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Glass Houses, Part 1127

Teen Vogue, which manages to combine Marxist theory with $1000 belts, is enjoying its moment in the cancel culture sun. The fashion and beauty and social conscience mag had hired Alexi McCammond, a 27-year-old political writer as its new editor-in-chief. McCammond had previously received criticism and apologized for a few tweets she wrote a decade ago about Asians which were perceived as objectionable (and a few others which were reportedly homophobic, although those particular ones I have not read).

The brass at Conde Nast apparently thought McCammond could be forgiven now that she had repented her mistakes, but not so the rank and file, which revolted.  Reading between the lines, I suspect that some of the opposition to her hiring is based on her relative lack of experience, which strikes me as a reasonable point. However a great deal of attention was again focused on those old tweets, with apparently a senior Teen Vogue staffer named Christine Davitt leading the charge.

Well, you can probably see the fly heading rapidly towards the ointment, even if you didn't click on the link yet.  Turns out that Davitt herself has a problem with tweets that have not aged well.  Ouch!  Live by the cancel culture, die by the cancel culture.

 I want to say that kids should be forgiven most sins, but it looks like we are headed in the opposite direction. These days they probably need to be counseled on how to avoid expressing themselves on the internet until they are in their 30s.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

 Is Andrew Yang Facist-Adjacent, or Fascist-Adjacent-Adjacent?

That seems to be the point of this rather silly article at Politico.

Yang told Dave Rubin — whose podcast The Rubin Report has interviewed white nationalists, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, anti-Islamic activists and anti-feminist media personalities — that he “came of age during the first Clinton term” and considered himself a Democrat.


Yang also made appearances on The Ben Shapiro Show, The Joe Rogan Experience, and Tucker Carlson Tonight to promote his candidacy. By then these shows had built a reputation as highly critical of progressive policies and “woke” culture — a viewpoint that had built them a collective, nationwide audience of millions.

 At a guess, Yang probably also appeared on Rachel Maddow and El Chapo Trap House as well.  An unknown candidate like him has to find a way to get his message out somehow.  

This used to be called "guilt by association", but of course here it's not guilt by associating with someone objectionable, but by being interviewed by someone who once interviewed someone objectionable.  Mike Wallace interviewed a lot of bad people on 60 Minutes, does that mean we can't associate with Mike Wallace? Well, yeah, he's dead, but when he was alive?

They go on to point out some of the non-progressive things he said on those shows. This part made me chuckle a bit:

As he and Rubin discussed automation, Yang said, "If you take these people who are working in fast-food restaurants — and these jobs get automated away — and in my mind they should be automated away. Trying to preserve these jobs is not where we should be going."

I'm sure he meant to say that they will be automated away, not that they should be. That's a business decision with quite a few variables and of course saying those jobs should go comes off heartless which is why we get this silly back-pedal:

He told POLITICO that he would only support automating those positions if the affected workers had better job alternatives.

If the affected workers had better job alternatives, they'd presumably be working at them, right?


Monday, March 15, 2021

 The Awesomeness that is Joe Biden

Is it too early to suggest that he be added to Mount Rushmore?  That he replace Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on our currency?  That we update the Pledge of Allegiance to include "One nation, under Joe Biden...?"

I get that to the media, Trump lowered the bar so much that almost anybody would be acceptable and that's the platform Biden ran on--the acceptable candidate.  But since the election a lot of pundits and headline writers seem to have lost all grip on reality and are acting like love-struck teenagers, going on and on about what a great human being he is.  Some embarrassing examples:

Biden Chooses Prosperity over Vengeance

Distinguished Pol of the Week: No progress was possible without Biden  Granted, that's Jennifer Rubin, so no particular surprise coming from the WaPo's well-trained "conservative."

7 Takeaways fom Biden's Covid Speech Doesn't sound that bad until you start reading it:

The return of empathy: Biden made a single gesture in the speech that demonstrated the empathy he operates with vis a vis the lives lost to this pandemic. He pulled a card out of his jacket pocket -- which he said he keeps with him wherever he goes -- and read off the exact, up-to-date number of Americans who have died from the coronavirus. (That number is more than 527,000.) Yes, of course, Biden did that for dramatic effect. But it worked. And it drove home the idea that this is a leader who keeps those who have died from the pandemic close to his heart -- literally. It also provided a not-so-subtle contrast with Trump's overt politicization of the virus and those who succumbed to it.

Joe Biden is a Transformational President 

Biden, Champion of the Middle Class, Comes to Aid the Poor

SNL, comedians are struggling to parody Biden

Yeah, I mean who could parody Biden and his story about the near battle with Corn Pop, and the Black kids who marveled at the blond hair on his legs?

Saturday, March 06, 2021

 It's Not That Muddled

You're just muddle-headed.  An Asian-American writer at the New Yorker covers the 'Muddled' History of Anti-Asian violence.  Not you might assume that given the personal history, the writer is against it, and he is--mostly. When the anti-Asian violence is coming from police, he's on the front lines:

At the time, I was a college student at Berkeley. A few days after the incident, a friend and I procured a megaphone and stood on the steps of the campus plaza, shouting to passersby about Kao’s death.

But if the violence comes from other racial minorities, not so much:

Calls for more protection in Asian neighborhoods struck critics of police brutality as the wrong answer; in particular, Kim and Lee’s so-called bounties were perceived to undermine the efforts of Asian-American organizers already working toward community-oriented solutions to public safety. Villainizing the suspects, at least two of whom were Black, seemed to play into racist narratives of inner-city crime.

Okay so he's just establishing his woke bona fides.  But amazingly, he even goes beyond this:

Calls to center and protect Asian “elders” drew criticism for playing into a respectability politics that casts a kindly grandma or grandpa as a sympathetic, innocent victim. I saw someone on Instagram acerbically wonder whether these were the same elders whom we had recently been urged to lecture about their racism?

Yep, it's okay to beat up old folks because they were probably racist anyway, don't fall for that "kindly grandpa" routine.


Sunday, June 07, 2020
Five Thirty Eight claims to have settled the debate:

Who was better: Montana or Young? Both won championships, and both have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The matter is made more difficult because we lack play-by-play, air yards charting and yards after catch data for that era, which would make the analysis more robust. But since legendary coach Bill Walsh ultimately had to choose between the two of them, so will we. Let’s wade into the all-time stats of two of the greatest QBs in football history.
Curiously, though, they don't do much wading at all into the stats.  Suffice to say that they conclude that the legendary coach made the wrong decision:
 Young’s career stats — Elo, passer rating, adjusted yards per attempt — are superior to Montana’s.
That's true with one small qualifier.  Young's career regular season stats are indeed superior to Montana's.  Steve out-dueled Joe in completion percentage, yards per attempt and touchdown percentage. Montana eked out a .001% win in interception percentage, but overall Young's passer rating of 96.8 is quite a bit higher than Montana's 92.3.

Ah but what about the postseason?  The writer comes up with an excuse for the Niners not winning as many Super Bowls under Young as they had with Montana:

The obvious answers are the Cowboys and the Packers. Both teams ascended at different times in Young’s career and became massive obstacles for the Niners to overcome, particularly in the playoffs.
Fortunately, Joe Montana's 49ers never had to contend with anything comparable to the Cowboys and Packers, they had paper tigers like Joe Gibbs' Redskins, Bill Parcells' Giants and Mike Ditka's Bears.

In fairness he also goes to a lot of effort to prove that Young had lesser teammates around him than Montana, and particularly a lesser defense.  Let's grant that as well.  But how about if we look at Young and Montana's own postseason statistics to see if we can find any other clues as to why Joe had more success:

Name Comp Att Yds TD Int Comp % Yds/Att TD% Int% Rate
Young 292 471 3326 20 13 62.0%        7.06 4.2% 2.76% 85.8
Montana 460 734 5772 45 21 62.7%        7.86 6.1% 2.86% 95.6

 Nope, can't see any reason there, other than that Montana flipped around every statistic--he has a much better passer rating, a better completion percentage, more yards per attempt for a higher TD%, although he did throw interceptions at a slightly higher (worse) clip.  Note as well that Montana has a higher career postseason passer rating than his regular season one, while Young's passer rating is quite a bit worse in January than in the regular season.

If we can look at the stats and see that Steve Young was a better regular season quarterback and college quarterback (the writer briefly compares their undergrad careers), why can't we look at the stats that tell us quite glaringly that Montana was a better postseason quarterback?  Isn't that just as important if not more important than the regular season, particularly for a top-flight team like the Niners?


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