“I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.”


I’m in transit with spotty internet access, but clearly we need a thread to discuss the horrific race crime in Charleston. I’m dismayed that not only was this an act of premeditated, racially motivated murder, but the media is slow to even consider that the white perpetrator was a terrorist and a racist (would you believe I’ve even seen the excuse that he had ‘black friends on facebook’?)

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Even Libertarians can smarten up


I remember Rush in the 1970s — I even have a couple of their albums (in vinyl, so no, I haven’t listened to them in probably 30 years), but they always annoyed me with that selfish Libertarian pseudo-intellectual crap.

In the Seventies, Peart rankled the rock press with an affinity for libertarian hero Ayn Rand — he cited her “genius” in liner notes, and critics promptly labeled Rush fascists. Rush’s breakthrough mini-rock opera, 1976’s 2112, is, in part, a riff on Rand’s sci-fi novel Anthem. There’s nothing wildly controversial about 2112’s pro-individuality message: It’s hard to imagine anyone siding with the bad guys who want to dictate “the words you read/The songs you sing/The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.” But Rush’s earlier musical take on Rand, 1975’s unimaginatively titled “Anthem,” is more problematic, railing against the kind of generosity that Peart now routinely practices: “Begging hands and bleeding hearts will/Only cry out for more.” And “The Trees,” an allegorical power ballad about maples dooming a forest by agitating for “equal rights” with lofty oaks, was strident enough to convince a young Rand Paul that he had finally found a right-wing rock band.

But now…

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Gender Workshop: I used to be okay with a “witch hunt” or two

Gender Workshop, as ever, is brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood Crip Dyke.

There’s been much talk over the last few years about witch hunts. Targeting Dawkins. Targeting Shermer. Targeting Hunt. Targeting anyone who happens to sit near Adria Richards. And though I think it is far from a witch hunt to be criticized by a lot of people, even by a lot of people at once, because your comments or behaviors merited criticism, for a long time I merely rolled my eyes at the inevitable, defensive backlash: “Witch hunt!”

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I am going back to Eugene!


I love Eugene — lovely place, great school, good people — and I’m flying back there, leaving tomorrow and staying for the weekend, for a science conference and to meet with old friends. It’s got all the best stuff: copacetic venue, interesting subjects (zebrafish!), nostalgia, wonderful people (the zebrafish community is exemplary that way), and best of all, I don’t have to work! I’m chairing one of the sessions, apparently, but otherwise I have no obligations other than to learn and enjoy myself.

It’s perfection.

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That’s a slightly better apology


Tim Hunt was chastised by his hosts at the Korean meeting of the World Conference of Science Journalists, and he replied with a slightly better apology.

The federation asked for an apology. And got one almost immediately. Hunt wrote that he regretted his “stupid and ill-judged remarks.” He added: “I am mortified to have upset my hosts, which was the very last thing I intended. I also fully accept that the sentiments as interpreted have no place in modern science and deeply apologize to all those good friends who fear I have undermined their efforts to put these stereotypes behind us.”

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Still pondering commenting rules


I’ve been considering all the suggestions in the commenting changes thread. One thing that is obvious: We have a problem, Houston.

But it is also true that I feel a hesitation to post because I will be considered an outsider and not worthy of acknowledgement or response.

Broken Things

Hi – another extremely-long-time lurker, very infrequent commenter here. I don’t have any solutions, but reading this comment thread made one problem very obvious: when people ask for more charity, less hostility and knee-jerk dismissiveness, several regular commenters respond as if they’d been told to stop saying fuck.


I’m another very, very longtime lurker who has commented only a few times. I almost always agree with PZ and the majority of usual commenters, but I’m still really afraid to comment here and be ripped to shreds by the very people I admire so much. I commented the other day one minor criticism of something PZ said, and suddenly I’m “ranting” and “slamming” and being condescended to about whether I read the OP. I’m afraid to go back and see what other responses I got. I love reading this blog, but it’s true that it’s not welcoming to people who aren’t regular commenters.

Dingo Abbie

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