Hold My Beer: It’s greatly to his credit…

In my last post, I mentioned (inter alia) that the Physiocrats gave us the phrase “Laissez Faire Economics” through their policy guiding advice against regulations of the trade in grains, flours & breads that were intended to stop hunger. Despite riots in the spring of 1774 and again, more notably, in the spring of 1775*1 (the latter of which*2 were both serious enough and of such obvious focus and origin that they were named Les Guerres des Farines), the Physiocrats argued against regulations and social services that would prevent flour shortages and, as a last resort, simply pass out food to the people when shortages did occur. An individualist capitalist analysis made the authors sure that the wealth of the nation – the wealth of the king – would be increased if only the government could see fit to scrap regulations of the agriculture trade and harden their hearts to the temporary consequences of their wealth-building policies. The Physiocrats didn’t want their gloriously perfect economic regime to be destroyed by such human failings as pity or empathy. Riots? Pshaw. “Laissez faire, laissez passer” they told the King’s government: “let them happen, let them pass by”.

Stabilization: bad. Unbridled self-interest: good.

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Is it okay to wax nostalgic for Marie Antoinette?

While a number have agued that Marie Antoinette has been unfairly maligned, it’s my rather historically-uneducated opinion that any damaging stories likely misrepresent her more in degree than in kind. After all, historical facts include her incredible luxuries and the wealth that she lavished on the gardens and palace of Versailles – wealth that had to come from somewhere – and not only Antoinette’s public campaigns for food-charity (before, after, and during les Guerres des Farines) and opposition to the new economic ideology described at the time as “laissez faire, laissez passer” and remembered today as “laissez faire economics”.

The previously dominant economic ideology of France was one that demanded royal regulation of and intervention in the markets for necessities, in particular those for flour and for finished breads. Les Gendarmes (“Les gens d’armes” or “men at arms”) of the day carried the name contemporary French police forces still use, but they were more properly understood as a civil service with broad responsibilities including, but not limited to, keeping the peace. The security of French persons was understood, quite obviously, to be as threatened by hunger as much or more than it was threatened by violence, and les gendarmes, acting on behalf of the king, had for centuries acted to make sure food was shared during famine and to prevent price gouging.

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Hold My Beer: Sean Spicer Edition

Best Twitter response to racist, ignorant Sean Spicer’s callousness and othering?

The close-to-perfect tweet by Joe Walsh @WalshFreedom gets us nearly there:

@pepsi and @united: There’s no way anyone could have a worse PR nightmare than what we had.

Sean Spicer: Hold up. I got this.

But it could have been note-perfect if only it had ended

Sean Spicer: Hold my beer.

Oh, but wait!

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When do we take them at their word?

 

Sean Spicer:

I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad [sic] is doing … there was not in the — he brought them into the Holocaust center, I understand that, but I’m saying in that the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down, to innocent, into the middle of towns, it was brought, the use of it,

Steve King:

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

Emphasis mine.

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The Domesticated Press Kicked Out of the White House

There has been a great deal of talk lately (in some circles, anyway) about the White House press corps and how its makeup is being changed by the inclusion of “media outlets” (some no more prestigious or reliable than the blog you’re reading now) that would have had no hope of being credentialed under previous administrations, even if they had wanted to be. No one questions that the relationship of this White House to the press is different than that of previous administrations. And with right wing media outlets and “media outlets” appearing to attend press conferences primarily to cause left-wingers to misuse the word “performativity” there is also little question that the White House press corps has been reduced to a joke. [Read more…]

For Your Enjoyment: Oops, He Did It Again

And I thought it was mere cynical humor. I’ve been tipped off about another PZ Myers prediction, this one even more specific. In his 2013 post, “Some people are born for twitter,” PZ says:

[S]ometimes [Twitter is] a good way to reveal the idiocy of bubble-headed celebrities. Case in point: Donald Trump.

You know where this is going.  [Read more…]

For Your Enjoyment: PZ the Prophet

I was trying to look up something about Reynolds High School, b/c reasons, and came across this old prediction by PZ over at Pharyngula:

I predict that by 2020 the Republican establishment will be plucking up dying earthworms on the sidewalk after a rain and running them for high office as intellectual superstars.

In light of recent developments, I don’t know whether to praise him or bury him.

 

And now, the research…

So believe it or not, there are people for whom the detailed analyses of articulate, accomplished cultural critics are insufficient. For these folks, even when a well-reasoned argument is presented in an engaging, accessible manner, such as on youtube, questions can occasionally remain if the conclusion of the critic is that sexism may very well be present in video games. Moreover, some will maintain, even if some eensy, weensy bit of sexism did – entirely by accident – creep into one of their favorite video games, such artistic sexism has no impact on the real world. It’s just a game! Just make believe! Just art! Why can’t you let it go?

Well, for those people who absolutely must have the peer reviewed research, one man at Iowa State University did not let it go, and his findings will amaze you all – number 6 even surprised Pervert Justice!

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Well now, here’s where I’m just guessing….

So, reading Science Daily*1, as I do from time to time, I picked up on an article about a very early jawed vertebrate. The newly identified critter is a late Silurian (Upper Silurian) fish that appears to date to Lau event and/or the period of recovery immediately after the Lau event (423 Mya).

None of that particularly escapes me. However, the article, which you can see here, included a graphic of the holotype fossil, and the graphic’s caption puzzled me. Perhaps you, dear reader, can help me out of my befuddlement.

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Steve King targets WHOM, exactly?

While I know that this topic has been covered elsewhere on FtB, I couldn’t help noticing something that others had not yet mentioned. Steve King’s racism about “our babies” caused him just enough political discomfort that someone in the media decided to take his racism halfway seriously. The Hill decided to ask some follow up questions, but missed out on the single most obvious follow up presented by King’s self-defense.

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