Senatorial gravitas?

I hear Senate incumbent Raphael Warnock (D, GA) says challenger Herschel Walker (R, GA) will not be able to cope with the cognitive demands of being a Senator.

What is Warnock’s opinion of John Fetterman’s Senatorial capability? Was he ever asked?

Should Mehmet Oz have used this tactic against Fetterman in PA?

If not, why not?

Philosophy and English

Long ago, I started at the University of Michigan with declared dual majors of Philosophy and English. The goal was teaching.

Fortunately, I achieved neither a degree nor the vocation. I escaped after my Freshman year. I have no degreed credentials.

My naive intention may, however, explain why I found this thought provoking:
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
—Ludwig Wittgenstein

Juxtapose Wittgenstein’s thought with the currently popular attacks on freedom of speech. Subversion and suppression of speech are WMDs used to confound debate: The evolutionary foundation of intelligent thought.

Debate on meaning is subverted by redefinition of common terms. Discussion of context is verboten. Ad hominemism becomes the handmaid of “cancel culture.”

It’s why the Left is so full of clever people inventing euphemisms. Like “Gender Affirming Care” for mutilating surgery and castrating drugs as a human right for 12 year olds. Like “Cisgender” as a dismissal of someone who identifies as their biological sex. Like “undocumented immigrant” for illegal alien. Like “Our Democracy,” for single party authoritarianism.

Which woodwind would win?

This session, SCOTUS is trying to figure out Sandra Day O’Connor’s best before date for ending affirmative action in college admissions.

In her Grutter v. Bollinger 2003 majority opinion O’Connor wrote:

“…race-conscious admissions policies must be limited in time. This requirement reflects that racial classifications, however compelling their goals, are potentially so dangerous that they may be employed no more broadly than the interest demands. Enshrining a permanent justification for racial preferences would offend this fundamental equal protection principle.

It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education. Since that time, the number of minority applicants with high grades and test scores has indeed increased. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 43. We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.

By next year, when the Court’s decisions in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina are rendered, it will have been 20 years. Close enough for government work.

Plaintiff – Students for Fair Admissions – accurately (according to the NYT) contends in its opening brief:

Harvard’s demerits of Asian-American applicant’s personalities are particularly scandalous and inexcusable. Harvard penalizes them because, according to its admissions office, they lack leadership and confidence and are less likable and kind.

Harvard, of course, does not exist to provide remediation, intellectual skepticism. or training in any of those personality categories. Harvard exists to make sure its endowments persevere. It’s easier for Harvard when everyone thinks the same way.

Here’s a slice from oral arguments on the Students for Fair Admissions’ suits. SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts presses Seth Waxman, the primary attorney defending Harvard.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: — put aside the hypothetical about the African American applicant who’s a legacy. Take two African American applicants in the same category, however you want to take it. They both get or both can get a tip, right, based on their race.

And yet they may have entirely different views. Some of their views may contribute to diversity from the perspective of Asians or whites. Some of them may not. And yet it’s true that they’re eligible for the same increase in the opportunities for admission based solely on their skin color?

MR. WAXMAN: So the — the point is —

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: That was a question.

MR. WAXMAN: No, I know. I’m –I’m attempting to answer your question.

There is no doubt that for –as the testimony showed, that for applicants who are essentially so strong on multiple dimensions, so extraordinarily strong on multiple dimensions that they are sort of on the bubble, that they might –they have a real candidate for admission, African American –being African American or being Hispanic or in some instances being Asian American can provide one of many, many tips that will put you in.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, people say that, yes, but you will have to concede, if it provides one of many, that in some cases it will be determinative.

MR. WAXMAN: I do. I do concede that.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Okay. So we’re talking about race as a determining factor in admission to Harvard.

MR. WAXMAN: Race in some –for some highly qualified applicants can be the determinative factor, just as being the –you know, an oboe player in a year in which the Harvard-Radcliffe orchestra needs an oboe player will be the tip.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Yeah. We did not fight a Civil War about oboe players.

A friend to whom I sent that bit was amused. He commented:
…at least bassoonists were not used as the example!

This got me to thinking how Harvard admissions commissars would evaluate woodwind players. Assume equally qualified candidates of the same skin color, sexual orientation, and leftist political views… Only one can be admitted: Bassoonist or oboist? Which woodwind would win?

And what of other woodwinds? I had some thoughts:

First, let’s acknowledge that bassoon or oboe… Roberts is still an anti-woodwindist.

But, a more interesting question arises: Do you get more Harvard admission equity points for a bassoon or for an oboe?

How this could be decided might be partially based on whether the instrument could be used in a marching band – a musical ensemble associated with the military and inextricably bound up with the works of John Philip Sousa.

Sousa is a well known white male and suspected heterosexual, whose patriotism and contribution to martial music remains a threat to our democracy. ‘He’ never declared his preferred pronouns.

So. Oboes in a marching band? Apparently it is a thing.

But a bassoon in a marching band is practically unheard of.

Conclusion: Bassoonists get into Harvard. Oboists do not. But what about… Piccolos, for example? Guidance is needed.

We might take other lessons from this. Trombones, apparently up to 76 of them, seem the most obvious objectionable instruments for their domination of the marching band. Bass drums suffer from oppressive decibels, making them unsuitable for drum circles. These are excluded in this analysis because the Chief Justice has not commented on brasses or percussion.

I’ll suggest the most damaging admissions related woodwind is a piccolo, because they are featured in Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, the National March of the jingoist (etc., etc.) United States.

Piccolos are not up to the 76 trombone pinnacle, but more than one piccolo is not unheard of.

Piccolos have been known to identify as flutes, and in some delusional cases, as bassoons. But, unlike Harvard’s Elizabeth Warren, they have neither high cheekbones nor a family mythology. Nor the compleat disingenuity.

Overall, while I think bassoonist applicants would get more points than piccoloists – for admission to Harvard the better choices might be harp or grand piano.

The broader question applies to all musical instruments, and there is surely a 6 figure diversity department salary for the person who can figure out how to score them on the diversity/inclusion/equity scale. The whole western canon of musical instruments must be analyzed.

Let’s start with this question: To what extent does the instrument feature in white supremacy? And “Are you triggered?” by Bach?

We need to have a “Which musical instrument are you?” quiz. Fortunately, they are all over the intertubes, we just need the Harvard Psych Department to “scientize” them.

@hershblogger

When The Other Club lived at Google, I had for a time, a Twitter account to which each new post would automatically Tweet.

Twitter worked hard to convince me that I wanted nothing to do with it, so I deleted the account. A long ago time now, and I don’t even remember my old handle.

Yesterday I rejoined Twitter as my small note of encouragement to @elonmusk. The entertainment value of the sink is alone worth the price of admission.

This is the first post which (should) automatically appear as a Tweet from the WordPress version of TOC.

Hillary. Projecting.

Hillary Clinton: “Right-Wing Extremists Already Have A Plan To Literally Steal The Next Presidential Election”

If she were serious, and constrained by logic, she would be supporting some voting process which would:

    1) Ensure every voter is a) a citizen, b) who they say they are, c) not deceased, d) registered in a single state (yes, c and d are redundant with b, but Jocelyn Benson isn’t the only Dem SecState who had to be sued to purge voter rolls of dead people);

    2) Ensure ballot integrity. Meaning a) no illegitimate vote (see 1) is counted, b) polling places are closely monitored by both major parties without interference, c) voting machine software is open source, d) no unsolicited mail in ballots are sent (for example, to the P.O Boxes of vacant lots), e) ballot harvesting is outlawed, f) military ballots are counted, if properly postmarked, in any state where the number of military personnel could potentially change the outcome, even when delivered a month after election day.

That would be, literally, a good start on stopping ‘election theft.’ The only thing on that list about which reasonable might disagree is voter ID.

Therein lies a problem. Some of the people putatively portrayed as reasonable by the legacy media (Stacy Abrams, Joe Biden), still invoke Jim Crow laws as a reason to suppress the votes of living citizens by insisting deceased and/or non-citizens have a right to dilute legitimate voter rolls.

We are substantially past the Jim Crow era.

On the other hand, we are not past ballot fraud. Technology and the relaxing of ballot verification have made it easier than ever. No one worried about ‘election theft’ would countenance it. Much less promote it.

I won’t go into the simple utilitarian argument that voter ID is a much smaller threat to the Republic (it is not a Democracy) than violating the other restraints I have mentioned. You could look this up and form your own opinion.

Given Hillary’s history, do you think her advice is credible? Or is it partisan political maneuvering and personal spite?

Let’s hear your proposal, Ms. Rodham. Does it involve Sid “Vicious” Blumnenthal as Federal Election Czar?

The pre-theft of election plots, like suppression of the Hillary email story, and the Hunter Biden laptop story, is left to another post.

You can mock City Hall

A guy named Anthony Novak made fun of the Parma (Ohio) Police Department by creating a parody Facebook page mocking the official police website.

The Parma constabulary took a dim view of Novak’s efforts. So, after consulting the city’s “law director,” they arrested him (Novak) for “illegal use of a computer to disrupt or impair police functions.”

A jury of his peers acquitted Novak of the charge.

If you aren’t pretty certain you grasp the definition of ‘parody,’ now is the time to look it up. Something the Parma city scions seem to have neglected: Novak has sued the city for violation of his Constitutional rights.

Win or lose that suit, he has proved the police disrupted and impaired their own function by arresting him. For speaking.

So far, though, he hasn’t been allowed to present his case. There’s this thing that encourages city “law directors” to take legal risks organizations vulnerable to Constitutional strictures would avoid. It’s known as “qualified immunity.”

According to a district court, with concurrence from the Sixth Circuit, Novak is not allowed to have this question adjudicated. He is not entitled to seek remedy because qualified immunity protects public officials from lawsuits when they violate a federal right unless “the unlawfulness of their conduct was clearly established” at the time they acted.

The First Amendment clearly established Novak’s right to parodize the local constabulary in 1787. That is his opinion, anyway. And mine. And the jury’s. The case is going to the Supreme Court.

The Onion has filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the suit. I think the Babylon Bee is consistently more creative, but The Onion got its mojo back on with this brief. It’s 23 hilarious pages. Courtesy of the Institute for Justice

Top notch and worth the time.

Vote NO on Michigan Proposal 2

It Destroys Michigan’s Election Integrity

An email from The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC).

The deceptively positive sounding “Promote the Vote 2022” is the campaign behind Proposal 2. It a dark money-funded attempt to write many of the worst things about the 2020 election disaster into the Michigan Constitution. This will result in making unsupervised voting, restricted election audits, and third-party funding of elections permanent in Michigan.

Here are just a few of the awful provisions contained in Proposal 2:

  • It would make the now infamous ballot drop boxes permanent, taxpayer-funded, and everywhere. This will make illegal ballot harvesting and ballot trafficking even easier! And it will cost your township or city to install and to monitor these boxes — more of your tax dollars!
  • It would let people vote without photo ID. One of the biggest problems in 2020 will never be fixed.
  • It would restrict election audits to government entities only. Sorry, no independent audits by concerned citizens allowed.
  • It would allow funding of — and thus control of — elections by outside organizations directed by billionaires.
  • It would promote and facilitate unsolicited absentee voting — perhaps THE biggest single problem in 2020. When a state is awash in mail-in ballots, the job of the fraudster is much easier.
  • Please consider the consequences — this would be the end of free and fair elections!

    VOTE NO on Proposal 2.

    Please share this with family and friends.

    Proposal 2 does promote voting. By making it easier to cast illegal votes. It makes fair and free elections impossible.

    The wording of Proposal 2 is highly deceptive:

    Proposal 2 would amend the state constitution to add provisions regarding elections. This amendment would recognize the fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct. Require military or overseas ballots be counted if postmarked by election day. Provide voters right to verify identity with photo ID or signed statement. Provide voter right to single application to vote absentee ballot in all election. Require state funded absentee ballot drop boxes and postage for absentee applications and ballots. Provide that only election officials may conduct post-election audits. Require nine days of early in person voting. Allow donations to fund elections, which must be disclosed. Require canvass boards certify elections based only on the official records of votes cast.