Never Sorry On The Left

Jim Geraghty in The Morning Jolt provides a summary showing how free speech exists for the Left.  He reports:

A lot of right-of-center sports fans don’t particularly like Jamele Hill, the co-host of the 6 p.m. Sportscenter on ESPN, who tweeted Monday that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”
Late last night, she issued the statement: “My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs. My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”

Think about how everyone spent eight years criticizing any mild comment about The Donald’s immediate predecessor.  Mentioning his middle name was verboten.  Now we have The Donald being accused of not just a being racist but a white supremacist surrounded by other white supremacists.  We would like to know who Jamele thinks they are.  Perhaps it is Betsy DeVos who is helping to reinstate due process at colleges for folks accused of rape and provide educational opportunities for inner city children.

Then there is Jamele’s statement.  It sure isn’t an apology.  We’re unsure as to why she thinks they painted ESPN in an unfair light.  She should show her love for ESPN because they didn’t fire her.  We don’t want Jamele fired but we didn’t want Curt Schilling fired either.  After that ESPN said:

ESPN is an inclusive company,” ESPN said in a statement. “Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

ESPN can fire folks as they see fit.  We don’t want to boycott them but their programming is less interesting lately so we watch less of it and rarely visit their website.  We would like them and the press to have some consistency in these situations but that isn’t going to happen.  Jamele deserves the same as Curt under ESPN’s criteria.  We don’t have a solution but it is easy to see why they are in financial trouble and perhaps the market will provide that solution.  Insulting half your audience is never a good idea for a mass marketer.  Doing it at a time when it is easy to cut the cord seems like bad business.  It will take the market awhile but ESPN and Disney will get a response for their behavior.  We do love markets.


The Donald And DACA

The Donald plans to end his immediate predecessor’s (HIP) Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in six months.  It is estimated to affect about 800,000 illegal aliens.  The action by HIP was widely recognized as unconstitutional so The Donald’s wisdom in this action seems obvious.  The crazy reaction it has led to is amazing.  Here was one on my Facebook feed:

Trump needs to be deported–not these aspiring young people. What a CREEP he is!!! And certainly delusional too–as Andy Borowitz so aptly summarizes in this article.  (God help this country with this wacky, cruel, traitor for a president.)

We see there is no evidence that these folks are aspiring.  We see no evidence that they will add to anything other than Democratic vote totals.  We checked out Andy at the New Yorker.  It says it is satire from the Borowitz Report and here is a sample:

“Under this new decision, if you have worked hard, gone to school, and contributed to the country, you face immediate deportation,” one legal expert said. “On the other hand, if you can prove that you have a glaring personality disorder and a flimsy grasp on reality, you can decide the fate of those other people.” [Quotes in original]

It is possible that Andy is making fun of the legal expert but it doesn’t seem like it.  There are six months for Congress to act as only Congress should.  If they don’t act it is unlikely that any large percentage of these illegal aliens will be deported.

The WSJ isn’t much better.  We know that they are open boarders advocates but they should have more respect for the rule of law even when it is the immigration law.  The editors start the second paragraph with:

[The Donald] was at his worst during the campaign when he assailed DACA as an “unconstitutional executive amnesty,” though to his credit he later evinced a change of heart toward these immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Why was this The Donald at his worst?  It is not quite clear but a couple of paragraphs later they admit:

But as a legal matter, they are right that Mr. Obama’s DACA diktat presents legal problems. The Constitution gives Congress the power to write immigration law, and issuing work permits confers a right that is the purview of the legislative branch.

So the WSJ agrees that The Donald and most everyone else is right that HIP’s action was unconstitutional.  The Donald give Congress time to act.  We hope they find some common ground to improve immigration policy and that the executive branch enforces that law.  The Congress needs to find a way to compromise.  It would help the Congress develop some backbone if folks responded more reasonably to events.

Amy Wax And Heather Mac Donald

Over at the NRO Corner, Heather Mac Donald has a nice summary of the attempts to lynch Amy Wax.  Amy Wax and Larry Alexander published an op-ed on the breakdown of bourgeois culture that led to Amy and Larry being called lots of names.  If you haven’t read the Amy and Larry’s op-ed you should.

Sidebar One: The treatment of Amy provides a strong case for tenure.  Amy is a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  End Sidebar One.

Amy and Larry have share arguments and treatment with Charles Murray.  See here for Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) hit piece on Charles.  And here is his charming response to the vile name calling by SPLC.

Sidebar Two: When we searched “Charles Murray,” here are partial entries of the first three outcomes after the ads and unconnected items that clutter up the search.
SPLC: using racist pseudoscience
SHAME Profile:Charles Murray is one of the most influential right-wing ideological architects of the post-Reagan era. His career began in a secret Pentagon counterinsurgency
Salon: Big government has created a new lower class of lazy, shifty, low-IQ folks,
A free research project is to investigate the outcomes of search engines when searching political folks.  Do you get equally negative outcomes for progressives?  End Sidebar Two.

Heather concludes with the critical issue:

Now the question is: Where is the rest of the faculty? Rather than taking the safe position of supporting free speech (which the dean has done), how about if someone actually rebuts the charge that to call for a restoration of bourgeois values is to endorse “white supremacy”?

Universities become political piñatas because of the behavior of faculty and administrators.  Both faculty and administrators should be advocates for free speech and academic freedom.  Amy’s dean is doing the minimum.  How come he doesn’t have 100 percent support from the faculty and other administrators?  In addition, some need to have the courage to make reasoned judgments about content.  It is, exactly, what we as faculty are expected to do.  Signing a letter is not a reasoned judgment.  Neither is name calling.

Universities are dying because of our lack of courage.  They are dying first because we get no political support.  We are dying secondly because we don’t work on our mission.  We need to do better.  The actions of the other faculty is enough to make you wonder why we have tenure.  If only one tenured faculty member is willing to stand up to X.  What do we call X?  Fascists seems trite.  We don’t need to agree with Amy but we do need to apply our skills to her assertions.

Hide The Facts!

Michael Barone takes issue with William Saletan’s ideas on manipulating people by hiding facts at the Weekly Standard.  Michael asks:

Should accurate facts be suppressed because stating them will “do a lot of harm”? Yes, writes the thoughtful William Saletan in The Weekly Standard, if the facts are about “racial differences on intelligence tests.”

Michael, appropriately, takes issue with William but he kindly identifies him as thoughtful.  Michael is full of kindness.  In that way it is similar to the memo James Damore wrote.  We expect the same response.  First, Michael says:

[William] seems to assume that if you just don’t write about the well-documented racial differences on intelligence tests, people won’t know they exist. This is just nonsense.

Nonsense is being kind.

[William’s] second assumption is that if people, even smart people, do somehow manage to learn this inconvenient fact, they’re necessarily going to use it to judge individuals. That they’re going to assume that everyone scores about the same as their group’s average, or that no member of the group scores above it.

And I think that’s just wrong too.

It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter if smart people make the wrong judgments.  It doesn’t matter if average people make the wrong judgments.  It doesn’t matter if stupid people make the wrong judgments.  It doesn’t matter if people with with poor math skills make bad judgments.  It doesn’t matter if Neo-Nazis or Antifa members make bad judgments.  It doesn’t matter that some folks are going to make judgments on their own.  Once you start thinking your responsibility is to hide evidence from the public then you start to do all sorts of weird things and lose your standing.  A general example is the the problems of MSM.  A specific example is William.  You now know that he thinks it is his duty to hide the facts from fools like us.

Michael concludes with the real problem:

What it does undermine is the case for racial quotas and preferences. That case relies on the notion, as I put it at the beginning of my Washington Examinercolumn on Damore’s firing, that “a fair society [would] have exactly the same percentage of men and women, of whites and blacks and Hispanics and Asians, in every line of work and occupational category” and “that any divergence from these percentages must necessarily result from oppression.” That’s nonsense, in my view, and ordinary people are not racists or sexists to reject it.

Yup, that would be the only reason to try to obscure the facts.  And, as Michael kindly says, it is nonsense.

MSM And James Damore

The Guardian reports that James Damore is considering legal action against Google.  James was fired because he suggested alternative diversity actions that Google did not want to consider or discuss.  Below we have taken the first two paragraphs of the article and made comments in bold with [].

The computer engineer fired by Google
[A good start] 
for suggesting women are less suited to certain roles in tech and leadership
[Nope. It is about overlapping distributions with different means.  He does say that the percentages by gender and race can be different because of mean differences.]
is considering taking legal action against the company.
[That’s what they report]
James Damore, a chess master who studied at Harvard, Princeton and MIT and worked at the search engine’s Mountain View HQ in California,
[We didn’t look these things up but we accept them]
caused outrage
[Boy did he ever!]
when he circulated a manifesto
[Well, yes it is a written statement by James outlining his views.  We see manifesto as akin to fascist in terms of its negative connotation.]
at the weekend complaining about Google’s “ideological echo chamber”
[Yup.  The evidence, his firing, confirms he was right.]
and claiming women have lower tolerance of stress
[The whole point of his memo was that populations can have different means but substantial overlap.  James said that women, on average have more openness, extraversion, and neuroticism.  The latter causes them, on average, to have higher levels of anxiety.]
and that conservatives are more conscientious.
[Don’t worry he said lots of negative things about conservatives.  What he did actually say (p. 8) is that Google should stop alienating conservatives because viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important, conservatives need to express themselves, and conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, part of the Five Factor model that James uses elsewhere.]

It seems to us that The Guardian missed the most pro-conservative point in the memo when James went the full George Will and said that viewpoint diversity is (arguably, he hedged) the most important.  Every progressive should be aghast at that statement but we have not seen mention of it.

James, we predict, will get enough money from Google that he doesn’t need to sue The Guardian.  Of course, his relationship with the paper is different than with Google so his opportunity is not as great but they are clearly part of the echo chamber he wants to have a discussion with.  It is unfortunate that they do not want to have a discussion with him.


Diversity Again

Mike Wilbon is upset about an election.  No, not that one.  Tiger Woods was left off the list of 50 greatest black athletes as voted on Survey Monkey.  Tiger’s greatness is not in question.  Tiger, Jack, and Bobby are the three greatest golfers.  We will wait while you decide the order.

OK.  Mike says, “But it ain’t a credible list of the greatest [black athletes] if it doesn’t include Tiger.” We agree on greatness so Mike has decided that Tiger is black.  It is a binary choice and we would vote the other way unless given criteria.  Tiger, as Mike says, calls himself “Cablinasian.”  It means he is multiethnic.  Since he is half asian then he is less than half black and we would think that (at least half) would be the criteria.  If you go by the old Jim Crow criteria of one drop then he should be on the list.  Tiger surely is the greatest asian golfer of all time.

The good news is that many of the challenges of diversity will go away as folks become more multiethnic.  It can’t happen too soon.

Bias By Viewpoint

James Damore, the fired Google employee, tries to identify biases by viewpoint in his email that led to his firing.

Sidebar: Part of the title of the cite above describe the email as “An Anti-Diversity Screed.”  It is not Anti-Diversity as it tries to find ways to increase diversity.  It is not a screed as in a ranting piece of writing.  Since screed also includes a lengthy discourse and the email runs ten pages then it might sneak in as a screed but it is the opposite of a rant.  It is a plea to be rational in augmenting diversity  End Sidebar.

James tries to identify biases of the left and right.  Below is his analysis of the biases of the left and right and the text that follows from the email.

Left Biases

  • Compassion for the weak
  • Disparities are due to injustices
  • Humans are inherently cooperative
  • Change is good (unstable)
  • Open
  • Idealist

Right Biases

  • Respect for the strong/authority
  • Disparities are natural and just
  • Humans are inherently competitive
  • Change is dangerous (stable)
  • Closed
  • Pragmatic

Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

You can decide if James is a man of the left or just trying to curry favor with the left as almost all the biases on the left are positive and the majority of biases on the right are negative.  Certainly compassion for the weak, change is good, open, and idealistic are positive attributes.  Whereas alleged conservative biases: Authority, change is dangerous, and closed are certainly negative.

A great book would be (please cite us but no need to send a check) to examine postulates and biases of the left and right.  We don’t have the time or inclination to write it.  Metaphysics just doesn’t interest us that much.

In the two paragraphs below the lists, James tells us he is trying to reason with the authorities at Google using evidence.  As we would expect, it didn’t work.

The nature of biases is that we don’t notice them.  Thus, both the left and the right commonly accuse the other of being impervious to facts.  The outcome with James would suggest that at least one of the groups is correct.  [Yes we are scoring points.  We agree that both sides can be guilty of ignoring the facts.]  The larger point, however, is “You’re biased!” is a good way to start a fight but a bad way to start a discussion.  Even though James said you’re biased in the kindest and gentlest way by giving the left nicer biases than the right he still started a fight that he could not win.  It is unfortunate that James was figuratively burned as a heretic.  We do need a discussion about how the means of genders and races can be different.  Otherwise, the liberals in Silicon Valley and academia will continue to bang their heads against the walls of statistics and get nothing more than a headache while the liberals in government will give folks headaches.