January 20, 2018

Looking toward the NFC Championship game on Sunday

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

This Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings go to Philadelphia’s Linkin Park Lincoln Financial Field to play the Eagles for the chance to go to Super Bowl LII. Neither team has ever won a Super Bowl title, and both fanbases are feeling the pressure of “destiny” for this year. The Vikings are the first-ever team to advance to the Conference Championship with hopes of playing the big game in their home stadium. Everyone expects this game to be decided more by the ferocious defences than by any heroics on the offensive side of the ball. At The Daily Norseman, Ted Glover explains why “destiny” is a poor basis on which to predict an outcome of a football game:

What do the Vikes need to do to come home with one more game to play?

Destiny. That’s a dangerous word, and it’s used a lot right now, by both the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles. After the Minneapolis Miracle, it’s hard not to think there’s something special going on in Minnesota right now, yet the Eagles have continued winning without Carson Wentz, and dispatched the defending NFC Champions last week. Both franchises have storied yet unfulfilled histories, and both fan bases firmly believe fate and destiny is on their side this time:

Destiny and fate aren’t going to bring home a win on Sunday, though. Solid, fundamental football will, and if the Vikings are going to get to the Super Bowl, here’s what they’re going to need to do.

Survive the initial wave of emotion. In the aftermath of the Saints game Minneapolis Miracle, a lot of folks asked me who I would have rather the Vikes played, Atlanta or Philadelphia. My answer was and still is Atlanta. Matt Ryan is better than Nick Foles, but the rest of the Falcons team isn’t as good as Philly, and Atlanta would have been a home game. Lincoln Financial Field is going to be a madhouse, and the energy level will be off the charts. The Eagles are 7-1 at home this year, and have scored first five times.

My big worry with this game is that the Eagles will feed off of that, jump out to a quick lead, and then the Vikings will start pressing. Things will then compound and steamroll, and we’ll be in for a long day. Minnesota’s 6-2 road record is impressive, but consider: their two losses came at the hands of two playoff teams, Pittsburgh and Carolina. In both games the home team jumped out to quick leads, and the Vikings could never dig themselves out of a hole.

In all eight of their road games this year, the home team scored first in six of them, and that is something the Vikings must avoid at all cost on Sunday.

But the flip side to that if the Vikings can survive that wave, and maybe get an early lead in Philly, it’s really going to affect that crowd. Look, in some ways, these two fanbases are kindred spirits in terms of their team’s fatalism and belief in being cursed. We don’t boo Santa or throw batteries at him like Philly Fan, but if Minnesota can go up say 10-0 or 14-0 early, that crowd is going to get uneasy. If the crowd can get taken out of the game, they could even start to turn on the home team the later the game gets. That could be an advantage for the Vikings and it might make Philly press, and hopefully things will start snowballing in the wrong direction for them.


Prediction: Last week, I felt supremely confident that the Vikings would handle their business against the Saints, and do it by a fairly comfortable margin. At halftime, I felt like a genius. With 10 seconds left in the game, I was questioning every life decision that brought me to that point in Vikings fandom.

The last time I had that much of an emotional swing in that compressed amount of time was in Afghanistan, in 2001. I’m 100% serious. Now granted, the emotions I felt were kinda sort different (abject misery to pure bliss in 10 seconds vs. stark raving terror, the most relieved I’ve ever been X1000 that I’m still alive, then utter fury at those bastards so let’s bring the bad attitude right f***ng now boys in about half a second), and I never want to go through that kind of swing again.

I won’t avoid it this week either, at least I don’t think so. This game is going to be a nail biter, the two best teams and the two best defenses going toe to toe for three hours. It’s going to come down to the last possession, and someone will make a play we’re going to talk about for years.

Vikes win, 16-13.

Skol. Let’s Bring It Home.

My crystal ball has been cloudy for most of the season, which is why I’m only at number 27 of 98 in the DN Pick ‘Em NFL pool, but I see the outcome a tiny bit higher-scoring at Minnesota 17, Philadelphia 14. I desperately hope we’re both right about the winning team this time around.

Day 5 Cuban Missile Crisis – President Kennedy Considers War

Filed under: Americas, History, Military, Russia, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 9 Nov 2017

On Saturday October 20th, 1962, US President John F Kennedy moves to side more with the hawks advising a forceful response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Meanwhile in Moscow, the Soviets now believe that they deterred the Americans from using force.

Lindsay Shepherd discovered “that not only are critiques of social justice not taught, they aren’t even to be acknowledged”

Filed under: Cancon, Education, Politics — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

In Quillette, Uri Harris writes about the trainwreck Jordan B. Peterson interview on UK Channel 4 with Cathy Newman, where Newman appeared to be unable to engage with his arguments, as though she was previously unaware of their existence. Harris also briefly touches on the background to the WLU kerfuffle with Lindsay Shepherd which I think explains a lot about how that incident was triggered:

When Lindsay Shepherd was reprimanded last year by three Wilfrid Laurier faculty members for showing her class a video clip from a televised debate on gender pronouns, Shepherd’s professor Nathan Rambukkana wrote an apology drawing attention to his teaching style. He wrote: “[T]here is the question of teaching from a social justice perspective, which my course does attempt to do.”

When I contacted Lindsay Shepherd earlier this month, she told me that she didn’t know Rambukkana taught from an explicitly “social justice” perspective. However, after going through the syllabus, she realised he had talked about it in his Week 2 lecture, and that the reading material that week also mentioned it. Yet even then, she said, she was unaware how loaded the term “social justice” is and how it often aligns with censorship and one-sidedness. Her response when I asked her whether she recognised various social justice terms was:

    My undergraduate degree is in Communication from Simon Fraser University, and the gist of my program was learning about power; mostly power as it manifests in media and media industries. I was very accustomed to talking about feminism, racism, and oppression. Less so the other terms you mention, which I only became more acquainted with in my graduate degree program, and many of them as a result of the Laurier incident — i.e. I was unaware of any substantial critique of intersectionality, gender theory, and critical theory, as we were only taught them from the “social justice perspective.”

Shepherd had lots of exposure to a social justice perspective, but only from within the perspective itself. She was taught social justice beliefs but had never been taught to critique those beliefs. When she came across a professor who did just that—Jordan Peterson—she found it interesting and new, even while disagreeing with him. (She later came to realise he may have been right about the legislation he was criticising.) So she shared a clip of the debate with her students, and only afterwards did she discover that not only are critiques of social justice not taught, they aren’t even to be acknowledged.

The methodology underpinning much of the social justice perspective is known as critical theory. What’s notable about critical theory is that it specifically distinguishes itself from ‘traditional’ theories through its emphasis on criticism. This makes the apparent unwillingness of its adherents to engage with criticism themselves especially noteworthy. When you explicitly emphasise your criticality and base your theory on a commitment to look beneath appearances and see things as they really are, you don’t get to be selectively critical.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: The Consummate Civil Servant

Filed under: Britain, Government, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 3 Feb 2017

From Yes Minister S03E06: “The Whisky Priest”

QotD: The modern English ruling class

Filed under: Britain, Politics, Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

The theme is to understand what has happened to England over the past 20 years. The people who rule us are not socialists in any meaningful sense. Nothing of what is happening to us can be explained in terms of the usual terms of debate used in the 20th century. What we have is a new ruling class. Its core is people whose legitimising ideology is cultural leftism, and who are imposing this via a police state at home and military force abroad. They have merged with a much older corporate elite. They have massively enlarged the military and police arms of the State. Until about 30 years ago, they were denouncing these three forces. But they have now spread their ideology to their former enemies, and thereby cleansed them of evil. They seek absolute and unaccountable power, and the consequent destruction of ancient liberties and intermediary institutions, by insisting on the absolute goodness of their legitimising ideology and the absolute evil of the various “hates” they are combating. They control business and education and the media, and politics and law and administration, and every medical bureaucracy. They are embedded in every main religion except Islam. They are absolutely supreme in every transnational bureaucracy.

As an aside, I suggest that the European Union is evil not because it is run by Frenchmen and Germans, or whatever. Let’s be reasonable – rule from Paris or Berlin would not in itself be catastrophic. It isn’t evil because our own liberal institutions are being destroyed – these have already been destroyed. It is evil because it is another place from which the new ruling class of the English world can exercise absolute and unaccountable power to reshape us as they desire.

A good British example of what is being done to us is the Stephen Lawrence circus. Two men faced 20 years of administrative and legal harassment and media vilification. They were finally brought to trial and convicted on the basis of what looks like fabricated evidence. One of them could only be tried after the very ancient protection against double jeopardy had been stripped out of the Common Law. Had this been done to Sinn Fein/IRA terrorists, there would – rightly – have been howls of outrage. In this case, the entire ruling class set up a squeal of delight. Nothing – certainly not due process or even common decency – can be allowed to stand in the way of crushing racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, or any other excuse for not joining in the Potemkin love feast of the new ruling class.

Other examples are the persecution of Emma West, the persecution of Christian hoteliers who won’t rent out rooms to homosexuals, refusal to let devout Christians foster children, denial of NHS treatment to people who live other than as directed, the attempted use of sporting associations to brainwash the white working classes. These really are all examples of the same war against bourgeois civilisation.

Sean Gabb, quoted in “Wayne John Sturgeon talks to Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance”, Sean Gabb, 2013-08-26.

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