The free market in science denialism

You know…if you Google “american enterprise institute climate change” you get a lot of hits, useful relevant hits as opposed to ones that just have some but not all of the search terms. In other words there’s something there. The AEI does pay a lot of attention to climate change and it is the kind of attention you would expect – the kind that CEOs and lobbyists for oil companies want to hear and are willing to pay for. It’s one of their areas, and they take an interested position on it. They’re not disinterested scholars, they’re interested propagandists paid by corporations.

Here is Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, on the AEI’s chief climate-denier Benjamin Zycher. [Read more…]

If that’s fantastic, what would execrable look like?

I’m curious about what standards Christina Hoff Sommers relies on to call a piece at “fantastic,” so I’m reading it. That tweet, just in case you don’t believe me:

Christina H. Sommers ‏@CHSommers 3h
Fantastic article by @Nero on #GamerGate, feminist melodrama, lazy journalists. …

I’m finding it not fantastic. I’m finding it very bad. I would find it bad even if I agreed with the politics of it. [Read more…]

14 years old when she was trafficked

The BBC reports on slave brides in India.

The prevalence of gender-selective abortion has, of course, led to a shortage of female human beings. (Ironic, isn’t it. The men don’t want daughters but they do want wives [or female slaves]. Tragedy of the commons – it’s someone else’s job to bear and raise daughters for these men to have.)

In Mewat district in the northern state of Haryana the situation is particularly acute: there are 879 women for every 1,000 men. The national average is 927 women for 1,000 men. [Read more…]

P D James

She’s gone.

James’s apprenticeship in crime fiction became a lifelong commitment, as she came to believe “it is perfectly possible to remain within the constraints and conventions of the genre and be a serious writer, saying something true about men and women and their relationships and the society in which they live”. To suggest that the formal constraints of crime fiction prevent its practitioners from producing good novels “is as foolish as to say that no sonnet can be great poetry since a sonnet is restricted to 14 lines”, she argued. [Read more…]

No unaccompanied women allowed

Petty tyranny in Saudi Arabia. I could also label it everyday misogyny in Saudi Arabia, or minor oppression in Saudi Arabia.

Restaurants in Saudi Arabia have been asked to remove signs which forbid entry to single women, it appears.

The request comes from the kingdom’s National Society For Human Rights, which says the signs on the doors of eateries are “illegal”, the Arabic-language Al-Hayat newspaper reports. A restaurant owner says he put up the signs because of “numerous incidents” of flirting. “We’ll only remove these signs when we make sure such incidents never happen again on our premises,” he told the paper.

[Read more…]

Sommers says feminism=creationism

Sommers is still being a hack.

Christina H. Sommers @CHSommers ·  8 hours ago
Dear liberals, When you side with today’s 3rd wave intersectional feminism, you are siding with the intellectual equivalent of creationism.

Don’t forget, she used to be an academic. There are standards in academia. Academics aren’t supposed to say flagrantly untrue things like that.

And she retweeted this piece of shit –


[Read more…]

Guest post: Meta³ lesson on the history of slavery

Originally a comment by jesse on Guest post: A meta-history lesson on states’ rights.

One of the things about Brazil (and Jamaica for that matter) was that by the time Brazil abolished slavery slaves just weren’t that important to the economy any more, which was smaller than that of the US (in fact it was smaller than that of the American South, I think) in any case. In Jamaica, the slave system was much less entrenched and on it way out by the time they were emancipated in the 1830s (this had less to do with principled British planters and more to do with changes in the sugar market). In Brazil, ironically enough, mismanagement of the local economy by dependence on slave labor and lack of investment in roads and such meant that the whole economy was relatively unconnected to the rest of the world compared to the US. So the market forces that made slavery such a good deal weren’t there as much. Add in the British pressure on the slave trade, and by the 1880s you didn’t have a viable institution anymore unless they did what we did here in the US. In Brazil that wasn’t an option. [Read more…]