There's "whataboutism" that's meant to highlight hypocrisy and unequal treatment (such as what about the number of whites NOT shot by police), and then there's this playground version.
Rudy Giuliani invoked Hunter Biden’s name so many times, he accidentally refers to Tucker as Hunter here pic.twitter.com/ERGQS9GSlX— Acyn (@Acyn) April 30, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
Or, you know, not.
On the latest #LincolnProjectPodcast, Co-Founder @SteveSchmidtSES breaks down the role Trump plays in the GOP and why we can't act like he isn't a power broker in the future.— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) April 27, 2021
Listen here: https://t.co/X1YYLLez3r pic.twitter.com/dO6YlOizNX
Trump struggled to overcome feelings of isolation after leaving the White House in disgrace: report https://t.co/KJ3JT8M3II— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 28, 2021
Trump is still hoping to play a pivotal role in Republican politics, but his political operation at Mar-a-Lago is reportedly consumed with backstabbing and finger pointing.No kidding:"Right now, it's like a daycare if you took all the adults away," one person familiar with the operation told Politico. "There's virtually nobody with organizational skills left."
I'm watching it now and there's not much news to be clipped, which is probably why it took hours for me to hear about it. Just the same ol' tired Trump rants. https://t.co/m3yz3gYsII— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2021
Those rants are not going to provide any political strength much longer. For example:
Anybody really expect Caitlin Jenner to emerge from the chaos of the California gubernatorial recall like the hero driving out of the smoke of the conflagaration, alone alive of all who are left behind?
.@Caitlyn_Jenner is no @Schwarzenegger. She is Team Trump’s handpicked candidate. Anyone selling the idea that she's the way back to power for California Republicans is scamming you.— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) April 28, 2021
I write for @USATODAY @usatodayopinion about the #CARecall https://t.co/5dXHVh2uvT
A) "Eat the Rich and Help The Rest Of Us" is a good political strategy:
Chris Wallace said Biden's speech will be 'popular' among Americans — and Meghan McCain’s husband wasn’t happy https://t.co/aIkSznQEtH— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 29, 2021
Wallace, around 10:16 p.m. eastern time, told his Fox colleagues, "I think this is going to be a popular speech with the American public. He offered a lot of stuff…. from millions of jobs to child care to community health centers. All kinds of stuff. Community colleges. And the other thing that's pretty popular is he said: You're not going to have to pay for it. Big corporations are going to pay for it. People making more than $400,000 are going to pay for it, but the vast majority of people watching tonight aren't. So, offering a lot of stuff and saying you aren't going to have to pay for it is pretty popular."Wallace, who has interviewed Biden on his Sunday afternoon show, continued, "I think they're made a calculation that after COVID, that people have come to have a different feeling about government — that they now feel more trusting and more in need of government. And so, where this might have turned a lot of people off —and probably still will— they believe the majority of people are going to say: the government's here, and they're here to help."
B) The GOP's idea of unity is still “Do what we want to do.”
Ben Domenech, who co-founded the Federalist and is married to Meghan McCain, didn't like hearing a nuanced critique of Biden's speech. Taking a shot at Wallace on Fox News, Domenech complained, "The last time I was on air talking the same time as Chris Wallace about a Joe Biden speech he waxed eloquent about — how it was so powerful and unifying — I don't think that that turned out to be true at all. I think it turned out to be a complete tissue of lies that Republicans rejected. It's not something that actually led to any kind of bipartisanship. I expect the same result from this speech."Yeah, I think Domenech is going to be disappointed:
Wallace was making a Ronald Reagan reference. In the early 1980s, President Reagan famously said that "I'm the government, and I'm here to help" were words to be afraid of. Government, Reagan argued, was the "problem" and not the "solution" — and that philosophy ushered in the era of Reaganomics and trickle-down economics.
Reaganomics and Bill Clinton’s “The era of big government is over” are being buried in the same grave. Joe Biden is shoveling the dirt in even as we speak.
This is a pretty inevitable return to form (George Conway retweeted this, which is where I found it. Conway is a reliable critic of Trump, but he’s no liberal.). What's fascinating is how intellectually bankrupt it is.
Rhetorical bombast coupled with policy lassitude and ineptitude makes today's bureaucratic speak and hard left policy seem moderate or at least normal.— Gregg Nunziata (@greggnunziata) April 28, 2021
To say nothing of pissing away the Senate majority out of personal grievance.
But again, empty phrases substituting for argument. Robin Hood, after all, is a folk hero; not a symbol of dangerous government overreach. Robbing from the rich to give to the poor, or more accurately, to re-establish justice, doesn’t really have a downside; except for the rich. This is not going well for GOP, and I don’t think Trump alone is their problem:
this is some aggressively right-wing framing https://t.co/E4nESxDysY— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2021
I honestly don't need to know what Mr. Pierce said in his post to agree with that tweet. Especially because of this:
The conservatism for which Tim Scott fronted on Wednesday night is an exhausted set of empty slogans that fewer and fewer people believe any more. Culture-war banner-waving is all they have left that has any life in it. https://t.co/caI7Mgi5Ir— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 29, 2021
Please define socialism in both the European and American contexts.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 29, 2021
Show your work. https://t.co/452iaCZ3aK
Being Bad At Twitter is a full-time gig. https://t.co/kRz8kRBOGO— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 29, 2021
Boebert and Greene are the face of the GOP, not Tim Scott. And any GOP opposition to Biden's plans faces the question put to Greene: "Tell the people in your district (or state, for Senators) why child care doesn't help them." Or the GOP could try this:
Tell the people in your district why child care doesn't help them. https://t.co/vnCKupIIt1— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 29, 2021
I think you’re better off talking about Dr Seuss https://t.co/N4lLJaFhEN— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2021
Great @markzbarabak dispatch from Pueblo, CO, an old western steel town that went for Trump in ‘16 and Biden in ‘20 — and, so far, seems pleased with the new “pleasantly boring” era. https://t.co/jmn50TqMuu— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) April 29, 2021
Former President Trump swiping at Pelosi/Harris wearing masks on Fox Business: "It looked like they were choking last night while he was speaking. I watched and I said, they ought to get some air. Nancy's mask was the biggest mask I think I've ever seen... They love those masks."— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) April 29, 2021
"You didn't tell me this would be the world's longest interview," former President Trump says 54 minutes into a Fox Business phoner with Maria Bartiromo this morning.— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) April 29, 2021
Advisers pushed Trump not to comment on Rudy. Trump: https://t.co/xCTPI5YD9Y— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2021
The country is very sane again, I keep hearing. https://t.co/U7R4NseCWR— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2021
Ted Cruz says he's swearing off corporate PAC money after taking around $2.5 million over a decade, calling businesses “fair-weather friends” who “like us until the left’s digital pitchforks come out.”https://t.co/G30gDD9BO9— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) April 29, 2021
Former President Trump says on Fox Business that Senate Republicans should oust Mitch McConnell as GOP leader.— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) April 29, 2021
You are bad at Twitter. Find another hobby. https://t.co/i6cXH6myib— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 29, 2021
That nature is healing. And that the GOP is in a round room, trying to find the corner.
Judge: How does the defendant plead, guilty or not guilty?— Scott Greenfield (@ScottGreenfield) April 29, 2021
Defendant: I plead Biden. Hunter Biden. https://t.co/YnpmKHpMV1
Somehow this happened without Kamala Harris going to the border or giving a press conference, the two things Fox News informed me were critical to solving the "Biden Border Crisis." https://t.co/AJUeZX7mNW— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) April 29, 2021
And his little dog Toto, too!
Did the feds get the RICO chart? https://t.co/xLtiJ9eixa— ProbableCauseHat (@Popehat) April 29, 2021
“I do wonder if Hunter Biden’s gonna be charged” https://t.co/5OcRV05Zyt— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2021
(I remember Giuliani's son (Andrew?) when Rudy was Hizzoner and his kid was prancing about for the cameras at his swearing in or some such occasion, acting just like a privileged brat. The more things change...)
EB: What was your dad's reaction to his former office investigating him?— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) April 29, 2021
AG: They're corrupt! What about [Hunter Biden & others not in SDNY jurisdiction]?
EB: Hunter is under investigation by a Trump US Attorney
AG: Why didn't they take a laptop dad said he gave them last year? pic.twitter.com/CSiK2YTynQ
Florida school worker charged with mass shooting threat: 'Imma shoot up Lauderdale Lakes Middle'.— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 29, 2021
Illinois town suffers three shootings -- in only two hours: report— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 29, 2021
We report; you decide.
Four killed in North Carolina mass shooting — including two police officers: report— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 29, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
So I'll walk through it.
USA:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
It might be disruptive but it doesn't strike at what the team is about.
Kagan hypos coming:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
Email homework answers
Email skip school for skip day
Email that students should skip unless more authors of color in English
Email that students should skip because school homophobic
Tweet that skip because school sucks
So there's where the technology matters: "..more potential for off-campus speech to interfere with on-campus." Why? Because adults are aware of it? I guarantee there was all manner of student gossip on and off campus that the adults were only vaguely aware of, if they were aware of it at all. We knew who to talk to, and who the snitches were. It wasn't air-tight, but off-campus speech had as much ability to interfere with on-campus then as it does now.
USA:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
Also, more potential for off-campus speech to interfere with on-campus.
And Justice Breyer makes my other point:
USA:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
Also, more potential for off-campus speech to interfere with on-campus.
As I said: is it disruptive because the adults know about it? Because if I'd flipped the bird at my school with my friends about to laugh at me and cheer me on, but no adults were present, did I make a sound? Did I disrupt anything? An adult present would say I did; no adult present, so did I?
USA:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
Also, more potential for off-campus speech to interfere with on-campus.
ACB:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
Nothing in Tinker says it applies outside school environment. You may have good policy arguments, but I don't see a lot of doctrinal support.
What's your best authority doctrinally?
School:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
The hundred years before...
What about in OUR precedent.
Wrap-up:— Mike Dunford (@questauthority) April 28, 2021
We want a clear line for what can/can't be done, and applying Tinker outside schools is your best bet for that.
(Not the worst argument.)
The Court also held that the students did not lose their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech when they stepped onto school property. In order to justify the suppression of speech, the school officials must be able to prove that the conduct in question would "materially and substantially interfere" with the operation of the school. In this case, the school district's actions evidently stemmed from a fear of possible disruption rather than any actual interference.
So the students could lose their First Amendment rights when not on school property if flipping the bird and swearing about the cheerleading squad can be shown to potentially "materially and substantially interfere" with the operation of the school, or just the cheerleading squad? Because Tinker involved students wearing black arm bands at school to protest the Vietnam War in 1965. The school, the Court found, was only fearful of a disruption; one did not occur. Fear of an outcome is not enough to abrogate First Amendment rights.
How are those facts distinquishable from these? Or are some of the Justices hinting they just want to gut Tinker, because schools rule? Tinker said fear of a bad outcome was not enough; is it now?
*I've since read this whole kerfluffle started because the daughter of a coach showed her the offensive Instagram posting. This is all technology has changed: that adults can't dismiss gossip about what their kids say another kid said so easily. But is gossip off-campus a public school concern?
It's certainly mysterious.
The extended farce that is the Arizona's election “audit” is starting to get to even the clowns doing the bidding of the clowns in the Arizona Senate. Apparently, the secret Ninja skillz of the Cyber Ninjas are beginning to fade. https://t.co/dVLBB1heI6— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 28, 2021
After the ballots were counted, they went to an inspection table with three people. There are many questions about what the workers there were doing and what they were looking for, but here is what we know about what each one was doing:The first person lines up the ballot under a Canon camera hooked onto brackets.The second person lines up the ballot under a device that displays a portion of the ballot onto a computer screen. One of the images displayed on the screen is a filled-in bubble, and it is magnified and examined.The third person holds the ballot inside a box set up on the table. The person takes a UV flashlight and shines it on particular areas of the ballot. As The Republic observed, the ballot was being examined on one side in particular, and the middle.Rumors have spread about the workers checking the ballots for watermarks, but the paper that Maricopa County uses for ballots does not have a watermark. Shortly after the November election, QAnon conspiracy theorists claimed that former President Donald Trump and others secretly watermarked mail-in ballots to prove fraud.A USA TODAY fact check and others found the claims false because mail-in ballots are designed by local governments and ordered from private printers.Another rumor was that workers were checking the ballots for fingerprints, but that has not been confirmed, nor has the idea of why fingerprints would be significant.Asked about the purpose of workers examining ballots with lights, Bennett said, “I personally don’t know.”
The Arizona Democratic Party sued last week to stop the audit. The party contends the hired auditors are violating state elections law in their handling of ballots and other voter information.
Lawyers for the Senate argued their client's audit wasn't bound by state election laws or regulations.
If the audit is not bound by laws and regulations, of what force and effect is it? Sure, the Arizona GOP can use the results to scream about "voter fraud" and other non-existent problems. But beyond that?
Besides, it looks to be an incomplte count; what then?
Ken Bennett, the Senate's liaison for the audit, spoke to the media in a news conference outside the state Capitol for the first time since Friday, but he said he did not know how many ballots had been counted.
“I have an estimate of what the number is,” he told reporters, offering that just shy of 100,000 ballots had been tallied.
While Bennett was unable to provide an exact number of the ballots counted, it was clear looking at the pallets that auditors had hardly made a dent. Of about 46 pallets of boxes, five had been opened, and the boxes on two of the pallets were nearly emptied.
The counting began in earnest about noon Friday. It got off to a slow start as procedures were finalized on the fly and training happened on the spot. Counters had looked at about 150 ballots by 1:30 p.m. that first day.
If the auditors have counted almost 100,000 of nearly 2.1 million ballots as of Tuesday afternoon, that's nearly 5% in more than three days of counting. The auditors have about 19 total days in the coliseum that they plan to work, since they are not scheduling shifts on Sundays.
Bennett said the companies are looking to expand counting hours if possible, potentially moving to three five-hour shifts instead of the original two shifts.
Let's see what Channel 12 has to add to that report:
We learned that just days into a planned three-week audit, there is already a "monumental race against the clock" to complete the hand recount of all 2.1 million ballots.
The stress was so acute that an executive with the company overseeing the hand count collapse, according to Cyber Ninjas' attorney.
"In order to complete this audit in the limited time remaining," attorney Alexander Kolodin told the court, "Mr. Kern has been working back-to-back 20-hour days … even passing out on the floor."
Roopali Desai, representing the Arizona Democratic Party, later responded:
"Mr. Kolodin is admitting that the workers are sleep deprived and rushing to meet an artificial deadline. That ... does not instill confidence in the voters of Maricopa County."
The source of the stress became clearer later in the day, at Bennett's news conference.
The audit has hand-counted almost 100,000 ballots, he told reporters.
Putting the current rate at 50,000 ballots a day, the audit volunteers would have to count more than 140,000 ballots a day every day through May 14 to finish the hand count.
The Senate's rental of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum audit site ends May 14. The venue is booked for high school graduations the following week.
Working 20 hour days, they can manage to count (and do what else? That part is still weird) 50,000 ballots a day. They need to triple that rate to finish by May 14. So, will they work 60 hour days? Or will they end up counting just 900,000 ballots, or only 43%? And what will that tell them about the Maricopa County vote?
Besides party affiliation, what do former Senator Loeffler and former President Trump have in common? Oh, that's right: they're both rich white people who've never held public office before and don't understand how the democratic electoral process works.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler is asking the Attorney General to investigate Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, echoing some conspiracy claims made about the SOS.— stephen fowler (@stphnfwlr) April 28, 2021
Loeffler openly worked to undermine confidence in the election and lost her runoff partially because of it. #gapol pic.twitter.com/grhi4dhKG6
5) The Republican-controlled State Elections Board made emergency rule changes for secured, 24/7 video-recorded drop boxes that most counties used.— stephen fowler (@stphnfwlr) April 28, 2021
There's no evidence of any fraud with sending out absentee applications to all active voters.
Stephen Fowler has a complete response to each of the points Loeffler makes in her letter (which Raffensperger, the SOS of Georgia, calls "laughable"). I recommend the entire thread, if you're interested.
7) Former Sen. Loeffler, I'd like to introduce you to... the State Election Board, which is literally meeting at this moment to hear cases from 2020 and other elections.— stephen fowler (@stphnfwlr) April 28, 2021
Loeffler either has no idea how any of this election stuff works or is banking on Republicans not either. pic.twitter.com/t9vOZKafLf
I made pretty much the same point on "NextDoor" (until the thread was shut down). Nobody responded.
Please explain, with examples, what critical race theory is.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 28, 2021
Show your work. https://t.co/okLMPZxMbB
I'm a fairly plugged in political observer, which is to say there are certainly things that slip my notice. But what in the hell is James Carville talking about?
Carville: "I’m a supportive, ardent Democrat. But the English faculty at Amherst has too much power in this party. They really do. And they come up with all of these different things...Biden gets a congratulations: he stays out of that."— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) April 28, 2021
Watch it all:https://t.co/JNiCbCjU1O pic.twitter.com/2HCQ3WTyeh
I might be wrong, but I don't think the top story of today is the Democratic Party's problem with what James Fcking Carville think is "wokeness."#MorningJoe— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 29, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Clearly Buden has failed to unite the country that government is bad, not good.
Boebert is like hell no we will not lower prescription drug costs https://t.co/d29tBziNOM— rabia O'chaudry (@rabiasquared) April 29, 2021
Or address why government should serve rich people.
when you’re dreaming about Cancun pic.twitter.com/nFva4LBCkj— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2021
somebody edit some sad music over this shot of Rick Scott pic.twitter.com/KGO34JksVi— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2021
And no love for the former guy? What kind of Presidential Address is this?
Is Ted Cruz crying? pic.twitter.com/JpwHC6uOJd— Acyn (@Acyn) April 29, 2021
After all, he said he’d unite the country; Republicans didn’t.
who can forget the wonderful period of bipartisanship and unity that preceded President Biden? pic.twitter.com/fDO4a9pnIh— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2021
Only 85%? Why can’t Biden unify the country?
Biden pushed a Robin Hood message in national address -- and 85% of viewers approved: report— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 29, 2021
With an attitude like that, he’ll never unify anybody!
Pres Biden w/ blunt message: "Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate & fears that have pulled us apart? America’s adversaries, the autocrats of the world, are betting it can’t. They believe we are too full of anger & division and rage. ... We have to prove them wrong."— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 29, 2021
We got Andrew?
Never bet against a man acting according to his nature https://t.co/q7y6qZlSQS— VealBeerHat (@Popehat) April 28, 2021
Rudy Giuliani deleted his tweet saying he would speak live on WABC at 3 pm ET. So much for that, I guess.— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) April 28, 2021
And what does this mean?
The resemblance with Matt Gaetz is striking https://t.co/CNoMyi28gZ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 28, 2021
/2 First let's review what a federal search warrant means. It means that the feds provided a sworn affidavit to a magistrate judge showing that there is probable cause to believe these specific locations have evidence of a specified federal crime.— VealBeerHat (@Popehat) April 28, 2021
And, you know, since this is also true:
/13 Because Rudy is a lawyer, technically, we also know that the warrant required high-level approval. This could not be just some local AUSA power tripping. This went up the chain and got approved.— VealBeerHat (@Popehat) April 28, 2021
So screw Andrew.
Trump’s stooge Bill Barr blocked this very warrant to search for and seize evidence of Clown Rudy’s crimes on behalf of Trump. What a difference a principled and independent Attorney General makes!https://t.co/KcOIukLTbI— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) April 28, 2021
(That attorney-client privilege argument can be sorted out in court. That is a reason for the high-level approval of the search warrant, though.)
Feds raided Rudy Giuliani's Manhattan home and office "at dawn" Wednesday in search for electronic devices, his attorney Bob Costello confirms in lengthy statement.— Chris Sommerfeldt (@C_Sommerfeldt) April 28, 2021
Costello claims the devices are "replete with material covered by the attorney-client privilege." pic.twitter.com/M9mqvYHNtK
The "wild claims" have a legal nomenclature: it's called "pounding on the table." Works, sometimes, with juries; but there isn't a jury yet. Just pisses off judges. And giving away the game? Really not the mark of a top-flight criminal defense lawyer.
Aside from the Biden diatribe, Costello is confirming a rather important detail — that the search warrants executed today pertain to "an alleged incident" of Giuliani failing "to register as a foreign agent."— Chris Sommerfeldt (@C_Sommerfeldt) April 28, 2021
(Goldman was majority counsel in Trump's first impeachment trial.)
This makes sense because, during the Ukraine impeachment investigation, we obtained draft retainer agreements between a Ukrainian official and Toensing and diGenova that Giuliani brokered. https://t.co/XT3GN674Ym— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) April 28, 2021
(We lost so much in November.)
why isn’t mr. Biden doing a post yet on how “sloppy Rudy Giuliani is in big trouble. Raided! He was so nasty to me and my beautiful boy (innocent! Check tape). Too bad!”— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) April 28, 2021
(He rescued children from a burning building! He gave a gunshot victim his own blood, right there on the street! He opened the vein with his teeth! He kissed babies! He petted dogs!)
Portion of a long statement released by Rudy Giuliani's lawyer Bob Costello: pic.twitter.com/YNF78Rnos0— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) April 28, 2021
(Yeah, this is kind of a Big Deal.)
Hold the phone -- FBI now at Victoria Toensing's house. Lawyer, wife and partner of Joseph DiGenova, same circles as Rudy and Trump. This has the hallmarks of a bigger day at DOJ. And she's probably not expecting it, unlike Rudy— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) April 28, 2021
“Siri, can a former President pardon his henchmen?” pic.twitter.com/bsFsHEnKb7— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 28, 2021
In case you, like Rep. Boebert, hadn't heard (what does her staff do all day?):
To own the libs, you must first learn how to own yourself. pic.twitter.com/wKGwCjLyfy— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) April 27, 2021
Why do I think Boebert wasn't part of these discussions?
The NY Post runs a fictional cover story, creates GOP outrage, gets debunked by the Washington Post, takes story offline for hours, puts story back online with its central allegation removed but no official correction.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 27, 2021
Story on today in imaginary news: https://t.co/UirnBnFvVC
And a timely reminder that the wages of covid are not "death or complete recovery." Somthing that is true of almost every infectious disease for which we find we need a vaccine.
NEW: Top White House officials, including Ron Klain, Steve Richetti & Louisa Terrell, have quietly been meeting on the Hill and over the phone with GOP senators who drafted a counterproposal to Biden's infrastructure plan, multiple sources tell @axios https://t.co/dQvqAyCVp6— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) April 28, 2021
Biden admin has a message for Democrats -- 'Eating the rich is popular — so act like it': report— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 27, 2021
"Eat the rich, help the rest of us" sounds like a pretty good political platform to me.
Eye-popping numbers on how much families will save under Biden's universal pre-school proposal— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 27, 2021
I am certain, if everyone could see the Earth floating just outside their windows, every day would be #EarthDay.— Michael Collins (@AstroMCollins) April 22, 2021
There are few things more fragile or more beautiful than Earth, let’s work together today and everyday to protect our home. pic.twitter.com/XJO3RSJczw
Now, you may complain that this is not what you mean by “existence”. You may insist that you want to know whether it is “real” or “true”. I do not know what it means for something to be “real” or “true.” You will have to consult a philosopher on that. They will offer you a variety of options, that you may or may not find plausible.
A lot of scientists, for example, subscribe knowingly or unknowingly to a philosophy called “realism” which means that they believe a successful theory is not merely a tool to obtain predictions, but that its elements have an additional property that you can call “true” or “real”. I am loosely speaking here, because there several variants of realism. But they have in common that the elements of the theory are more than just tools.
And this is all well and fine, but realism is a philosophy. It’s a belief system, and science does not tell you whether it is correct.
Sabine Hossenfelder: Does The Higgs Boson Exist*
I would not equate philosophy with a "belief system," especially since most people think of belief and faith as synonyms, and faith, as William James quoted the apocryphal school boy defining it, is "believing something you know ain't so." Yes, realism is a philosophy. So is science, as Kuhn pointed out (nothing Hume hadn't already said, and his philosophy was empiricism, the philosophy that is the very framework and construct of science). But don't tell a scientist that. It makes them as upset as pointing out to a "believing Christian" that their Christianity is a theological construct. I got tired of having that conversation, and finally figured out it's really not up to me to change minds on the subject. Or even to explain myself.
And no, science doesn't tell you a philosophy is "correct," for the same reason Godel's theorem of incompleteness established that Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica couldn't establish a set of mathematically based equations which would answer all philosophical propositions: because a formal system (like science) can always generate questions to which that system cannot provide answers. So philosophy can't answer all of your questions, either; but it can answer questions science cannot. But that doesn't make philosophy a "belief system," either. And belief is not contrary to science.
I heard an interestingly simple (probably too simple) explanation of the multiple-universe theory of phsyics, the one from which popular culture drew the idea that every action, every decision, creates a new universe in which that decision was not taken, or was made another way. I can't do the physics justice at all, or the math; and I may even have the details of the explanation (this was on "This American Life") completely correct as read, either. But basically mathematics has established that, at the quantum level, particles (something, anyway) go in two directions at once. Let's say opposite directions. So let's say the particle is in motion, strikes an object, and that collision redirects the direction of the particle. But the same particle goes in two directions, at the same time; without splitting or reproducing or fragmenting or any change in the physical state of the particle. That part is key: the particle is unchanged, but the particle goes in two directions at once. This, you understand, is established by the mathematics of quantum mechanics.
So, the story continues, a particle accelerator was set up, and particles hurled at the speeds necessary to observe this quantum level phenomenon, but the particles didn't cooperate. They went in only one direction; not two. One way, or the other; not both/and. A small group of physicists (not a majority, reportedly) decided the solution was that, in another universe, created at the moment the particle struck, the particle went in the opposite direction. It was, it seems, the only way to preserve the math. Which had to be right, so something wholly apart from human experience must have happened.
Which sounds like a faith claim to me. Indeed, I can't find an argument that distinguishes it from one; well, not a sound argument, anyway.
Back to the Eddington, Section IV
The mathematical theory of structure is the answer of modern physics to a question which has profoundly vexed philosophers.
"But if I never know directly events in the external world, but only their alleged effects on my brain, and if I never know my brain except in terms of its alleged effects on my brain, I can only reiterate in bewilderment my original questions: "What sort of thing is it that I know" and "Where is it?"
C.E.M. Joad, Aristotelian Society, Supp. vol IX, p 137
What sort of thing is it that I know? The answer is structure. To be quite precise, it is structure of the kind defined and investigated in the mathematical theory of groups.
It is right that the importance and difficulty of the question should be emphasized. But I think that many prominent philosophers, under the impression that they have set the physicists an insoluble conundrum, make it an excuse to turn their backs on the external world of physics and welter in a barren realism which is a negation of all that physical science has accomplished in unraveling the complexity of sensory experience. The mathematical physicist, however, welcomes the question as one falling especially within his province, in which his specialized knowledge may be of service to the general advancement of philosophy.
The phrase "if I never know my brain except in terms of its alleged effects on my brain" vividly, if not altogether accurately,* describes the conditions under which we labour. But it is not very alarming to the physicist, whose subject abounds with this kind of cyclic dependence. We only know an electric force by its effects on an electric charge; and we only know electric charges in terms of the electric forces they produce. It has long been evident that this is no bar to knowledge; but it is only recently that the systematic method of formulating such knowledge in terms of group-structure has become a recognized procedure in physical theory.
* A more accurate form would be: if I never know any brain except in terms of its alleged effects on a brain." [N. B. Eddington's footnote, not mine.]The bewilderment of the philosophers evidently arises from a belief that, if we start from zero, any knowledge of the external world must begin with the assumption that a sensation makes us aware of something in the external world - something differing from the sensation itself because it is non-mental. But knowledge of the physical universe does not begin in that way. One sensation (divorced from knowledge already obtained by other sensations) tells us nothing; it does not even hint at anything outside of the consciousness in which it occurs. The starting point* of physical science is knowledge of the group-structure of a set of sensations in a consciousness. When these fragments of structure, contributed at various times and by various individuals, have been collated and represented according to the forms of thought that we have discussed, and when the gaps have been filled by an inferred structure depending on the regularities discovered i the directly known portions, we obtain the structure known as the physical universe.
Eddington is going after empiricism, specifically Hume's empericism, though he may not know it. Hume posited what I call, living in the 21st century and not the 18th, the TV set theory of consciousness. That is, Hume says since we cannot directly observe consciousness, we cannot really know what it is. And since empiricism won't allow of the 'ghost in the machine' (a criticism of Cartesian dualism, not an explanation of it), how can the input of the senses be observed? Hume says the input of the senses themselves are human consciousness, because those inputs are sent to the brain where they are...well, received. And being received they are turned into knowledge; they are understood; simply by being received (perceived) in the brain. Which seems to be like saying the TV is running in the empty room with no one there to watch it, but still the signal translated into sound and pictures is perceived by....what, exactly? How does the room know what is on the TV? How does it understand? Where is the interplay of memory and sensation that empiricism (going back to Locke) argues is the source of our knowledge and understanding (trying to abandon the original dualism of Plato, to whom Cartesian dualism is indeed just a footnote).
Eddington, I have to point out, sidesteps Hume by going back to Descartes, essentially. "I think, therefore I am" requires a pre-existing consciousness which can do the thinking. How that consciousness is able to think, what materials (I use the term metaphorically) it uses to build knowledge, was a problem that vexed both Plato and Locke (and Hume). Plato posited a soul that had the knowledge but, in another 21st century metaphor, had its hard drive fragmented by existence (i.e., birth) and lost access to the data stored there. It's still there, but education is a process of recovering it (this does lend itself to ideas about reincarnation, but we don't need to go there). Locke tried to throw that out, and posited a tabula rasa (a metaphor but also a construct; a floor wax and a dessert topping) upon which experience writes, and the collection of these experiences becomes consciousness. But if that were so, babies would take decades to learn language (where would they start to understand those sounds were words, were ideas, were language with a vocabulary and a grammar?). Instead, they do it in a period of months. (Plato would say they can do this because they recover the knowledge, but that hardly seems satisfactory.) The analogous process is music: a rare few children can play music from a very, very young age. Others, introduced to music, take to it like a duck to water. Still others have no musical ability at all, or what they do have takes immense training to bring them barely to competence. But any child, absent physical impairment, can take up language in very short order, and while music is complex at one level, simple at another, there is no known human language any less or more complex than any other.
So how do we learn it so quickly? Especially when only some of us are good at math, or music, or science? But all of us can communicate (the fundamental purpose of it) in a language?
The starting point of physical science is knowledge of the group-structure of a set of sensations in a consciousness.
Eddington avers he means the "logical starting point," but his logic presumes a fact not necessarily in evidence. What is consciousness? How do we define it? Must it be apparent to us? It is, in common parlance, something we can lose; but when we say that, we expect it to be soon regained. What, then, of coma patients? Until we had a concept for them, an idea of the comatose state (which science defines, but not that well. Heartbeat? That was one. Now it's "brain activity." But we only mean electrical activity. And science doesn't get the final word. Recall the poor young woman who, 20 years ago, was in a vegetative state. Science said her brain had liquefied. Her family insisted she was still alive, still had "consciousness". It was a heartrending case, but the legal issues were real: who gets to decide? You may say she didn't want to live that way. But without consciousness, did she have any wants? And is consciousness lodged in the brain? Where? What is it, from what does it arise, where does it come from, where does it go? Aren't we back to the "ghost in the machine"?) was impossible to imagine.** Rather, I suppose, like understanding how a particle can be driven into going in two directions at the same time. If a comatose patient never regains "consciousness" (this time the state of being awake, responsive, able to at least respond to verbal stimuli), have they lost it forever? We don't know in every case, which is why we keep comatose patients "alive" for as long as possible (by 'alive' I mean do what is necessary to sustain physical life functions). To do otherwise would be to destroy their consciousness; and by that we mean kill them.
What, then, of Alzheimer's patients? I've seen them in such a state they cannot respond to any stimuli, except apparently the stimuli of being alive. Do they still have consciousness? It is not one we can reach, by any means. But we do not kill them, either. We care for them. We let them reach a natural (as opposed to induced) death. Maybe we even stave that off as long as possible; maybe not. But do they still have a consciousness? Or is it merely a by-product of brain function, and a brain so severely impaired by the physical processes of Alzheimer's is incapable of creating or sustaining it? If so, the mystery is not solved: how does this 'consciousness' come to be so complex, so fundamental to human existence? How does it acquire language? People rendered unconscious have been known to babble in languages they have studied, if they are multi-lingual; or to recite familiar prayers automatically. Are consciousness and language inextricably linked? Well, how else do we know consciousness, except through language? And yet we don't consider those shorn of language, or who were never able to develop it, as having lost consciousness and therefore identity, humanity, even knowledge. I've known severe autism patients who display knowledge of a sort, even though they have no language skills at all.
When these fragments of structure, contributed at various times and by various individuals, have been collated and represented according to the forms of thought that we have discussed, and when the gaps have been filled by an inferred structure depending on the regularities discovered i the directly known portions, we obtain the structure known as the physical universe.
Do we? And how do we know that? I mean in the philisophical sense of what knowledge is; I mean in terms of epistemology. Because frankly, even in Eddington's description, I can't separate it from a description of a belief system.
It's not just the philosophers who are bewildered.
*I am aware I've jumped past the question of existence that begins this quote. You don't even want to get me started on the question of existence, though
**Is consciousness even lodged in the brain? We say so, but we also speak of the heart (the Greeks thought it was the liver) as the place where emotions reside. That's metaphorical, of course; we know better than that. But we think consciousness is in the brain because if we damage the brain, the individual can lose the ability to communicate. If you can't communicate, do you still have consciousness? Are you trapped in your body, then? That was a popular vision of some story telling (Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun springs to mind), and the fear of being "trapped" in your body prompted a lot of support for euthanasia. Certainly death is the final loss of consciousness, and beheading is the ultimate separation of body and brain. But is death because the seat of consciousness is lost, or because of the physical shock and inability of the body to sustain functions after such a trauma? If we don't know what consciousness is, how can we be sure where it is?
Responses to this case will be the usual either/or focused on the ability of students to speak in public, and the ability of public schools to respond to that speech. What won’t be considered is the effect of a ruling in the school’s favor, on other schools.
The Supreme Court is hearing argument this morning in an important case about schools' authority to regulate off-campus speech that disrupts the school environment. The briefs are superb and worth reading. Exemplars of good legal writing. https://t.co/InSfybSyDk— Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) April 28, 2021
I mentioned the local school board election yesterday. Early voting ended that day, and turnout so far is probably 3 times what it was 2 years ago. It seems to be Trump supporters (or that type), urged on by fears of Critical Race Theory and unions, but mostly driven by the loss in November, and a need to recover some of their power in a county that has gone blue. The school board is a race they can control, or at least agitate turnout over.
The culture war fights the GOP has been waging against Biden have moved from the realm of things with a nominal basis to being completely confected https://t.co/9WKswTuThG— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 27, 2021
This stuff is shaking out at the extremely local level, which means it won’t last much longer.
After the traumas of the past four years, I still marvel at the night-and-day differences.— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) April 27, 2021
Even looking only at Trump’s first 100 days — and not what followed in the next 1,361 days — the comparison is lopsidedly, preposterously tilted in Biden’s favor. https://t.co/w5NkpFpuVY
Now do Tucker Carlson.
The only news value in Trump’s statement about the Oscars is that it’s the latest illustration of how the leader of one of our two political parties is totally unhinged— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 27, 2021
I honestly believe more people know what Carlson says because of Twitter than because of cable TV. I'm glad he didn't quote Trump's statement, which really doesn't bear repeating nor is it worthy of any publicity. But Carlson is still happy that you spell his name right.
The sad irony is that by promoting vaccine hesitancy, Tucker Carlson is impeding the push toward herd immunity — and achieving herd immunity would mitigate the need for masks https://t.co/ZJHJQ3zpMU— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 27, 2021
(Well, and TR, whom Hemingway wanted to emulate.)
After eight years of being kept secret, a video obtained by @mikespiesnyc shows NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and his wife hunting elephants. His wife, Susan, kills an elephant, cuts off its tail, holds it in the air, and shouts “Victory” @teamtrace @newyorker— David Rohde (@RohdeD) April 27, 2021
After LaPierre’s first shot wounded the elephant, guides brought him a short distance from the animal, which was lying on its side, immobilized. Firing from point-blank range, LaPierre shot the animal three times in the wrong place. Finally, a guide had the host of “Under Wild Skies” fire the shot that killed the elephant.
For three decades, LaPierre has led the N.R.A.’s fund-raising efforts by railing against out-of-touch “élites” and selling himself as an authentic champion of American self-reliance and the unfettered right to protect oneself with a gun. But the footage, as well as newly uncovered legal records, suggest that behind his carefully constructed Everyman image, LaPierre is a coddled executive who is clumsy with a firearm, and fearful of the violent political climate he has helped to create.
I don't think most people would get past the idea of shooting an elephant to get to how badly LaPierre did it.
Honestly. I hope the court rejects the NRA's bankruptcy petition and the vultures pick at the carcass for years to come. It’s the least these monsters deserve.