Tuesday, February 28, 2023

last day of February

Had a meeting with the CEO yesterday that involved being driven by my boss out to a company property in Gwacheon, not too far from the farthest point that I've walked to along the Yangjae Creek. We (our company) have a restaurant there. Traditional Korean fare, most of which was okay, some of which was a turn-off (gejang—raw, marinated crab... not my cup of tea), and one aspect of which was absolutely perfect: the grilled beef, which was some sort of steaky, sirloiny cut that reminded me of the tender, juicy beef I'd had at the Camellia buffet in Busan. The chef knew what s/he was doing. 

The meeting we had after the restaurant meal was a drag, but we were done only a little bit after my regular work hours, so I had little to complain about. Lots of projects now in the works, so the rest of the year is going to be busy. We have a national holiday tomorrow (Wednesday = March 1st, when Korea celebrates a declaration of independence from Japanese occupation), so I'm off for a day, then back to the grind on Thursday.

How are you ending your February? Hard to believe we're two months into the new year. I might watch another movie tonight. God knows I have plenty of movies queued up.

"Cocaine Bear": Adam's hilarious review

Just enjoy:

Styx on Scott Adams

Here's Styx's reaction to the Scott Adams kerfuffle:

To answer a question asked by Charles in the comments: is there a link to the Rasmussen survey that provoked Adams's reaction? Yes, there is, but the site is behind a paywall. The Washington Examiner, however, has an interpretation of the survey but shows some raw percentages as well. And lo and behold: 53% of blacks, a majority, say it is okay to be white. I guess Scott Adams must be reacting to the ≤ 47% who think being white is not okay* (Styx says above, and I agree, that "It's not okay to be white" is a racist sentiment**).

According to the Examiner article—and keeping in mind the Examiner is a conservative news outlet—the phrase "It's okay to be white" has a history that associates it with hate groups, although the mantra grew beyond hate groups to become something of a rallying cry for white folks in general. Nobody owns language, and what something means depends on context.

Digging around for the survey—and finding both it and the Examiner article—was educational. It appears that Scott Adams is reacting to what he sees as a discouragingly large proportion of black folks*** who do not affirm that being white is okay. Much depends on how you interpret the stats. As I noted above, a majority of black folks think being white is fine. 

So was Adams justified in thinking he should cut off association with all blacks? Adams called blacks—and he applied this term to the collective—"a hate group." Not only did he say that white people should "get the hell away from" blacks, he also said they should "get the fuck away" (emphasis mine). He further says that he's sick of seeing videos, every day, showing black people beat up non-black people. He has deliberately moved to an area where blacks are not prominent. More: since all he's gotten for his years of effort at trying to help parts of the black community is accusations of racism and bigotry, he has effectively given up.

As I noted in my response to Charles's comment, I'm on record accusing John Derbyshire of being racist after he wrote an article describing a white version of "The Talk." "The Talk" is the spiel that black parents give their children, at some point in the kids' young lives, about the harsh realities of growing up black in America. Derbyshire responded in kind, describing the harsh realities that white people face whenever they're around black folks, essentially telling kids to stay away from black people. (Although his article wasn't published in the National Review, where he was a staff writer, the National Review fired him.) Should I then deem Adams racist as a matter of consistency?

Adams is not doing quite what Derbyshire did. Derbyshire's piece is targeted to a specifically white audience, and he's explicitly advocating that everyone non-black dissociate themselves from black folks. This is the basic reason why I called Derbyshire a racist, and I know many conservatives generally disagree with me: they see Derbyshire as simply spitting facts, as the kids say these days. (I do not. I see what Derbyshire did as toxic.) Adams, however, doesn't enjoin anyone else to do what he did; he's merely talking about his own headspace. To that extent, I can respect the honesty of his feelings, but in the end, I disagree with his shunning of the entire black race in America (I assume American blacks are his sole targets).

Think about the increasing number of black folks who became persuaded to support Donald Trump over the course of Trump's term. Trump enjoyed a higher level of minority support than any other Republican president in history. On YouTube, I've made it a habit to "collect" black-conservative channels: I have a special tag/category into which I file these good people's perspective. Then look at the great black folks, many on the right side of the aisle, who have done and are doing their part to ennoble my country: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, Amala Ekpunobi, Candace Owens, Alonzo Rachel, Diamond and Silk (RIP, Diamond), Kimberly Klacik, Colion Noir, etc. I also think there are plenty of black folks on the left/liberal side who are perfectly decent even if I were to disagree with them about matters of history, the role of government in people's lives, the need for color-blindness ("content of their character"), etc. Denzel Washington is nobody's Republican, last I checked, but he's talked for a long time about the need for black folks to stand up and take responsibility for their lives instead of looking for handouts. Morgan Freeman has admittedly said some batshit-crazy things that might ruffle conservative feathers, but he's also uttered truths that make sense to righties (his famous interview with Mike Wallace, in which he deplores the notion of a "Black History Month," still circulates widely).

So to my mind, you can't just write off the entire black race—a race that is troubled, yes,**** but that has given and still gives so much to the American cultural fabric. Such an action—writing off a whole race—is an extreme overreaction, and while I respect the deep hurt that Adams is expressing, I hope he comes around to seeing that he's wrong on this matter, that black folks, taken as a whole, are not irredeemable. I also respect the responses by Black Conservative Perspective and Styx, both of whom go right to the double-standards accusation (which is also legitimate). Their arguments have merit, too. My point, though, focuses specifically on Adams: he might not have "pulled a Derbyshire" by telling everyone to turn their backs on the African-American community, but he still had to ignore a mountain of evidence to arrive at his extreme conclusion. Note that Black Conservative Perspective himself seems to support Adams's attitude. That's evidence in my favor right there.

Here are some snippets from the Examiner article:

Voters are not buying into “woke” racial politics and anti-white attacks from liberals, according to a new survey on the simmering “it’s OK to be white” pushback.

In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey shared with Secrets, 72% agreed with the statement, “It’s OK to be white.” Even a majority of black people, 53%, agreed.

What’s more, when asked if voters agreed or disagreed with the statement, “Black people can be racist, too,” 79% agreed, including 66% of black people.

The survey appears to be a blow to the narrative in the liberal media and Hollywood that white people are the only racists and that being white is something people should be ashamed of.

The statement, “It’s OK to be white,” was first pushed on right-wing websites and then picked up in speeches by influencers. It has since been decried as a hate chant by the Anti-Defamation League.

In the last week, for example, Portland, Maine, has seen protests against a former city council candidate's OK sign.

The Rasmussen survey showed that most think nobody has the market on racism and that there is a lot more open-mindedness on the topic than the media would make you believe.

In its analysis, Rasmussen said:

"Support for 'OK to be white' crosses political lines. Majorities of Democrats (51%), Republicans (73%), and those not affiliated with either major party (52%) strongly agree that 'It’s OK to be white.'"

This article leaves me to wonder why Scott Adams reacted as strongly as he did. He's already announced that his words have effectively destroyed his career as newspaper after newspaper has dropped his comic strip Dilbert. Adams says most of his income will be gone soon. One way to look at this is to say it's the cancel culture at work. But I can't help thinking that Adams quite unnecessarily did this to himself, and my fear is that people will interpret Adams's words as some sort of incitation when he was clearly just expressing his own perspective. When it comes to race in America, things often quickly (and stupidly) get out of hand.

ADDENDUM: a commenter at Instapundit writes:

Every city in America has predominately black neighborhoods. Vanishingly few white liberals actually seek to live in those neighborhoods.

They don‘t raise their families there.

The only thing Scott Adams did was say out loud what all liberals do.

That's a more sympathetic attitude than my own. But there may be some truth to it, at least as concerns the behavior of certain white liberals.

A scan of the rest of the comment thread for this post shows almost nothing but sympathy for Adams from the Instapundit commentariat.

ADDENDUM 2: anticipating an objection: yes, Adams does offer "advice" to white folks to stay away from black folks. Does this count as incitation? I'd still say no; the guy is just expressing his opinion about how to handle the situation, and his solution, far from being violent, is simply to retreat, whatever that might mean for other white people. I still don't agree with the extreme, across-the-board tenor of his perspective, but he has a right to his opinion.

ADDENDUM 3: PJW weighs in on the controversy:


*I use the less-than-or-equal-to sign because the number of blacks thinking whiteness is not okay could be less than 47%. If the survey included a "neutral" option, some or many people could have selected that.

**Note that this doesn't work both ways. "It's okay to be white," taken in the most literal way, is a positive statement affirming that being white isn't bad. "It's not okay to be white" is a racist statement because it denigrates an entire demographic. We can get into the question of the "It's okay" expression's history—specifically its association with white supremacy—but the fact is that the term has evolved beyond that into what I would consider a fairly timid affirmation of one's own ethnicity, assuming the person uttering the sentence is white. Compare "It's okay to be white" to "Black Power," "Black is beautiful," etc. Viewed in that light, does "It's okay to be white" sound even remotely emphatic?

***In his video, Adams says, "...almost half."

****What race/ethnicity isn't troubled to some degree?

Monday, February 27, 2023

you heard about the whole "Get away from black people" thing?

Scott Adams is in hot water for responding to a survey in which a significant proportion of black people said "It's not OK to be white." Adams concluded that, with that much animus everywhere, one should "get the hell away from black people." This frank response to a frankly racist sentiment ("It's not OK to be white") strikes some as only logical, but others see it as outright racist, confirming the thoughts of the "not OK to be white" crowd.

Substack: Schrödinger's Russia Paradox

Is Russia weak or strong?

The government and media want you to believe both at the same time.


I was trained to think of McCarthy as toxic. Is this a "stopped clock right twice a day" moment? Or was he really on to something? I mean, people like AOC don't hide the fact that they're socialist these days.

got a good laugh out of this

Ah-hwunn... ah-twooo...

Firing squad is quick and humane, but lethal injection is arguably quieter.

I'm sure some idiot thinks this is racist.

"One of Gavin's teeth"—but still a cool thing to do despite the misspelling.

This cracked me up.

There's a constructive use of AI: create an intelligent, robotic Squirrel Defeater to defend your bird feeder.

In a situation like this, gallows humor is the only humor.

Photoshopped or not? Either way, still funny.

I'm always looking for introvert tips.

for my buddy Mike

My buddy Mike wrote me a long email in which he talked about, among other things, the crab economy out on the west coast. Specifically, he mentioned Dungeness crabs, which are also mentioned in this very crabby, very appetizing video.


Watch the following short video (uploaded 14 years ago!):

How much of that did you catch? I'm ashamed to say I caught none of it, making me an unobservant boob. (Aside: I've never seen "whodunit" spelled with two "n"s before, even though two "n"s would make phonetic sense.)

Woody Harrelson on SNL... uh-oh

I don't think Woody Harrelson—a famously huge advocate for weed and for hemp products—is anyone's idea of a conservative. But he may have bought into the idea that Big Pharma, pandemic or not, might not be your friend, and he seems to have pushed some of those talking points during his monologue as host of Saturday Night Live:

Harrelson reminds me of nothing so much as a relic of the Hippie era. This could be why some might stupidly misread him as a rightie: in the Sixties, the liberals were anti-government and pro-free speech—the exact opposite of what they are now. Harrelson hasn't changed; everyone around him has. I like Harrelson as an actor. I have no idea how I'd view his politics (probably dimly), but I bet he and I could chill by the side of a pool and enjoy a decent barbecue.

ADDENDUM: the video shows the media misspelling "vaxx" as "vax." Get it straight, guys.

finally, a worthwhile use of AI

Yes! SpongeBob reimagined as dark fantasy:

Sunday, February 26, 2023

more leftist hypocrisy on display

Here's Liberal Hivemind (sic) on how most of today's left has done an about-face since ten or so years ago. The video shows clip after clip of Democrats spouting Trumpian talking points. But in the Age of Wokeness, Dems have to toe the far-left line, so they can't talk like this anymore. They're too afraid to.

To be fair, though, the right has done its own 180, and this is why I see the fashionable labels—left/right, Dem/GOP, lib/con—as increasingly meaningless. And this is the sort of logic that has led to so much "Uniparty" talk: it's all the same party pretending to be two different parties, shifting with the winds and showing no backbone at all.

in which I learn about "mad honey"

Here's a look at an export from Nepal called "mad honey," a type of honey that has psychotropic properties. The video notes that Korean tourists, in particular, flock to Nepal to buy this honey. I tend not to like mind-altering chemicals of any sort; it's probably a control thing. But, hey—you do you if you're into this kind of experience.

Given the shape of the cliff-clinging beehives that the video shows, I have to wonder whether these are the same as the hives that we see in Jon Favreau's "The Jungle Book."

rumor: John Fetterman brain-dead

WARNING: this is very much a rumor, so nothing that follows should be considered legitimate journalism. (Not that anything I do here qualifies as legitimate.)


Fetterman Rumored Brain-Dead as Dems Attempt to Avoid Special Election

(Ben SellersHeadline USA) A viral tweet from John Cardillo, a former NYPD officer turned conservative radio host and social-media influencer, called for an investigation into whether Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., may be clinically brain dead as Democrats engage in a cover-up to avoid a special election before August.


Cardillo’s tweet made a significant splash on social media, garnering more than a million views and 18,000 likes as of Saturday night.

However, Headline USA was unable to verify the accuracy of either claim—that Fetterman was clinically brain-dead or that an Aug. 18 deadline would allow far-left Gov. Josh Shapiro to avoid calling a special election.

Headline USA reached out to both Cardillo and to Fetterman press secretary Joe Calvello, and we will update with any response.

Pennsylvania law stipulates that a special election must be held “at the time of the next general or municipal election, occurring at least ninety (90) days after the happening of such vacancy.”

Fetterman’s near-fatal stroke was widely concealed by and later downplayed the media during his senatorial race last year, enabling him to handily defeat celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz on the strength of early mail-in balloting before the two had even debated. 

How will the Dems wriggle out of this one? If Fetterman actually dies, they're not going to be able to hide that. I know the Dems had been grooming Fetterman's wife to perform his duties, i.e., a vote for Fetterman last year was a vote for his wife... so will she be carrying on as lieutenant governor assuming the Dems succeed in hiding Fetterman's condition until past the time for a special election? So many questions. Meanwhile, the corruption is just no longer surprising. I'd be happy with torching everything about our electoral system at this point.

From the same article:

Likewise, many have suspected that if John Fetterman were incapacitated then Shapiro might appoint his wife, Gisele, to fill the spot.

While Gisele Fetterman has appeared to take an exceedingly active role in her husband’s campaign and governing, she seems to have had considerably less interest in his recovery process.

That last dig is a reference to Gisele Fetterman's having taken her kids out ziplining in upstate New York. I can't blame a mom for wanting to show her kids a good time as a way to get their minds off their dad's condition, so I dismiss this last accusation as petty.

ADDENDUM: then again, Gisele also took her kids to Canada. The optics here are not good.


If you're still arguing that there was no significant election fraud, I want whatever drugs you're using. There should be, at this point, no question about extensive fraud.


As a commenter pointed out: British royal family.