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System Maintenance
Gregg is doing a little site-fixing. Sorry for the mess! Will post a new post as soon as he gets things back in order. (Should be sometime Wednesday.)

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It's A Long And Whining Road
Do you think you have it tough because your iPhone's a little sluggish? Here's @AskDrRuth. (The "Haganah" reference is about how she worked as a sniper in Israel.)

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 9.08.10 AM.png

As generations of helicoptered kids are coming of age, do you think America is becoming a land of wimps? Or...is it just news from college campuses that make it seem that way?

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Linkston
Reportedly a linky place in Jamaica.

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Childhood Is Now A Punishable Offense
Who here hasn't inhaled helium from a balloon and talked in a cartoon voice?

Valarie Honeycutt Spears, in Lexington Herald-Leader, writes that a 13-year-old boy got suspended from school for it:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky mother says she's upset because her 13-year-old son was suspended from middle school for three days because he inhaled helium from two Valentine's Day balloons he bought at school.

Robert Rodriguez, an eighth-grader at Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, told the Lexington Herald-Leader he inhaled the helium from balloons in class last week because "I wanted a squeaky voice." His mother Tonya Miller said her son merely wanted to sound like the cartoon character Donald Duck, but school officials viewed that as huffing and he was suspended Friday afternoon.

"If the school district considers helium a drug, why are they selling it to our children?" Miller said. "Students were unaware that this was punishable until after my son was suspended."

The Superintendent says there's more to the story. But that seems to be news to the mother. Also, it seems to run contrary to telling her it was "huffing."

Miller said Wednesday after she contacted the news media, school officials said her son was suspended for a safety concern, not a drug offense. Robert said he did not disrupt class when he inhaled the helium.
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Limp
Wet linkrag.

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Social Justice Fundamentalism Poisoning The Minds Of The Current College Generation: Creating A Generation Of Victims
This is crazy social justice fundamentalism -- in which your mom giving you a hug without first asking for your consent (like a guy about to penetrate you is supposed to) is a crime against bodily integrity.

It turns normal young women into the equivalent of trauma victims who cannot be touched without feeling violated. Touched in any way.

There must be a consent pact worked out first: "May I touch you on the arm to get your attention in the loud cafeteria?"

If this is not done -- if consent for an arm touch is not asked for and received (ideally, in writing), it's some kind of junior rape.

The quote from the NYT piece by Katherine Rosman:

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio -- When Soleil R. Sykes took an internship in Washington during her first year as a student at Antioch College, she experienced a bit of culture shock.

She was working at a German think tank and noticed that both in the office and at social events, friends and colleagues were far more casual about touching one another. "At a mixer before a speech, someone would tap you on the shoulder or I would tap someone on the shoulder," said Ms. Sykes, 22, now a fourth-year student majoring in political economy. "At Antioch, people would have asked permission first."

In 1990, Antioch College students pioneered its affirmative sexual consent policy, formulating a document now called the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy. It was mocked by much of the rest of the world. Since then, campuses across the country have caught up. Education about consent is now part of college life.

Now, the current crop of pioneers at Antioch are moving the conversation beyond sex to discussions of consent in platonic touch.

When Alyssa Navarrette, a third-year student who is studying anthropology and art, came home for her first visit after starting college, she was taken by surprise when her mother hugged her.

"If you don't want to be touched and your mom wants to hug you, you should be allowed to say no," Ms. Navarrette said. "It's about having autonomy over your own body."

"It's a framework for how to engage with everyone, on every level," said Angel Nalubega, a 22-year-old fourth-year history major and a dorm resident adviser. "It helps promote respect for all people in the community."

Again, what it seems to help is turning privileged young women, especially, into people who go out into the world feeling like victims about to be violated.

If that sounds a little overblown, here's a quote from the piece:

"...We live in a culture where so many are penetrated physically, emotionally and verbally by anyone at any moment."

We live at a time -- and place, here in America -- in which we ALL are safer and more "privileged" than any other people at any time in history.

Grow the fuck up. A guy at the airport, clearing your tray while you're wearing headphones, who touches your arm is not raping you. He just wants to do his job.

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Advice Goddess Free Swim
It's Saturday night, and I'm super-zonked.

You pick the topics. I'll try to post a piece in the morning.

P.S. One link per comment or my spam filter will eat your post.

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What She Told The FBI
Horrible. A woman gave copious information to the FBI about how dangerous this mass murderer of children was. Just one excerpt from it.

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 9.45.55 PM.pngThe call was made on January 5, 2018, reports the NY Daily News' Chris Sommerfeldt and Jessica Schladebeck:

Following the deadly rampage, FBI admitted it had not passed on details of the woman's call to the Miami field office for consideration.

Read the stuff in that report. How does any person who takes that report or sees that report not immediately get on the phone and take action?

In other absolutely appalling behavior, four armed men -- the armed school resource officer and three sheriff's deputies -- hid behind cars while children were gunned down by a monster with a terrible weapon.

Daily News and Twitchy via @Instapundit

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Lek
Birdylink.

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Welcome To Female Competition: Find A Reason The Pretty Girls Should Cover Up
Jennifer Lawrence was criticized by feminists -- as if she were some actressbot with zero agency -- for posing outside in what must have been cold weather in a fabulous and revealing dress.

I'd have done it, too in a -- heh -- hot second, and for the same reasons Lawrence did. (More on that below.)

I once joined two very smart (and hot) guy friends for drinks at the bar by my house. I wore a vintage full-length Halston evening dress -- at about 5 o'clock on a weekday afternoon.

There were people in the place in sweats, sure, and my guy friends were dressed as I knew they'd be -- in everyday guy clothes.

My feeling: Life is short. Fashion's fun. Why dress like you're about to clean out the garage?

In The Telegraph/UK, Helena Horton reports that Lawrence gave the feminist sneerers both barrels, calling them "ridiculous".

The actress defended her right to wear a skimpy Versace dress during a promotional event for the film Red Sparrow earlier this week.

While Lawrence wore the strappy gown, which featured a thigh-high split, male co-stars Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts and director Francis Lawrence were all in multiple layers of clothing, and many pointed out the contrast.

Writer Helen Lewis attracted thousands of retweets when she wrote: "This is such a quietly depressing (and revealing) image. Not least because I've been outside today and it's b----- FREEZING."

Peep Show's Robert Webb tweeted: "To all those saying JL 'chose' to wear that dress: fine but that choice has a context. She could have made a different decision but we can agree on one thing: it's not a decision to which the blokes had to give the slightest thought."

...Lawrence responded to critics in an impassioned Facebook post, writing: "This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended. That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I'm going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for 5 minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.

"This is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism. Over- reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward. It's creating silly distractions from real issues. Get a grip people. Everything you see me wear is my choice. And if I want to be cold THATS MY CHOICE TOO

This might seem like these feminists care about Lawrence and whether she has goosebumps. However, it's really classic female competition. I write about that in this column:

While men will sock each other in the bar parking lot (and can sometimes go back in and have a beer), women engage in what anthropologists call "covert aggression" -- attacks that are hard to pinpoint as attacks, like gossip, social exclusion, and stabbing another woman in the self-worth. ("Stabracadabra!" -- you're bleeding out, but nobody but you can tell!)

Psychologist Anne Campbell, like others who study female competition, explains that women seem to have evolved to avoid physical confrontation, which would endanger their ability to have children or fulfill their role as an infant's principal caregiver. (Ancestral Daddy couldn't exactly run up to the store for baby formula.) So while guys will engage in put-down fests as a normal part of guy-ness, even women's verbal aggression is usually sneaky and often comes Halloween-costumed as compliments or concern: "Ooh, honey, do you need some Clearasil for those bumps on your chest?"

The tarted-up put-down is a form of psychological manipulation -- a sly way of making a woman feel bad about herself so she'll self-locate lower on the totem pole. And because men have visually driven sexuality, women specialize in knocking other women where it really hurts -- their looks. Like those supposedly minuscule boobs of yours. (Right...you'll have a latte, and she'll just have another mug of your tears.)

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Inkolal
It's a town of links somewhere in Eastern Europe.

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No More Child Genital Mutilation: If You Were A Modern Aztec, We Wouldn't Let You Sacrifice Somebody's Baby To The Gods
"Because religion...!" is not an excuse for murder, and I say that as a atheist who believes that people should have the freedom to practice their religion -- until that moment when they start to do something that will cause harm to another person (who is not a consenting adult).

Of course, some people are into "harm," and if they're over 18, who am I to tell them they can't have their girlfriend, oh, bullwhip them upon request?

So, where should we draw the line on what you can and can't do per your religious beliefs? Well, for starters, on unnecessary medical procedures -- effectively mutilation -- of little boys and girls' genitals.

We get all, "Wow, disgusting and terrible!" (and it is) about FGM: Female Genital Mutilation. Meanwhile, some person who's tsk-tsking some magazine article about FGM will step right up to have part of their son's penis whacked off in the name of their religion.

Now, if some tot needs some sort of penile or vaginal surgery for medical reasons, well, have at it. I'll just step out of your way.

But if your ancient religious practice is what's leading you to give your child an unnecessary (and potentially risky -- because all operations come with risk) medical intervention, well, no.

Your child is your child, but they are not a coffee mug or a lamp. You don't own your child. He or she is a person -- one who has a right to bodily integrity, to not have others make decisions for him or her to have body parts hacked off for any reason other than medical necessity.

Iceland is the first country to get civilized along these lines. They have a bill in their parliament that would ban circumcision for non-medical reasons. (They banned FGM in 2005, so it's about time somebody got behind ending the genital mutilation of boys.) At the BBC:

The draft law would impose a six-year prison term on anyone guilty of "removing part or all of the [child's] sexual organs", arguing the practice violates the child's rights.

Jewish and Muslim leaders however have called the bill an attack on religious freedom.
Iceland would be the first European country to ban the procedure.

The country is thought to have roughly 250 Jewish citizens and around 1,500 Muslim citizens.

...The Nordic Jewish Communities issued a statement condemning the ban on "the most central rite" in their faith.

"You are about to attack Judaism in a way that concerns Jews all over the world," the open letter reads.

Oh, bullshit.

P.S. Though I'm an atheist, I'm Jewish. Being against circumcision is about leaving little penises unmutilated. I will defend your right to do all sorts of ridiculous stuff for religious purposes that does not involve knives slicing into toddler flesh for no fucking medical reason.

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Linkwash
I ate the last hog, in the form of strips of crispy bacon.

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Does Discrimination Cause Poor Performance In School For Black Kids From Impoverished Families?
Walter Williams doesn't think so. He writes in his emailed newsletter (which Reason Foundation's Manny Klausner sent me):

Putting greater emphasis on black successes in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is far superior to focusing on grievances and victimhood. Doing so might teach us some things that could help us today. Black education today is a major problem. Let's look at some islands of success from yesteryear, when there was far greater racial discrimination and blacks were much poorer.

From the late 1800s to 1950, some black schools were models of academic achievement. Black students at Washington's racially segregated Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, as early as 1899, outscored white students in the District of Columbia schools on citywide tests. Dr. Thomas Sowell's research in "Education: Assumptions Versus History" documents similar excellence at Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School, Atlanta's Booker T. Washington High School, Brooklyn's Albany Avenue School, New Orleans' McDonogh 35 High School and others. These excelling students weren't solely members of the black elite; most had parents who were manual laborers, domestic servants, porters and maintenance men. Academic excellence was obtained with skimpy school budgets, run-down buildings, hand-me-down textbooks and often 40 or 50 students in a class.

Alumni of these schools include Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice (Frederick Douglass), Gen. Benjamin Davis, Dr. Charles Drew, a blood plasma innovator, Robert C. Weaver, the first black Cabinet member, Sen. Edward Brooke, William Hastie, the first black federal judge (Dunbar), and Nobel laureate Martin Luther King Jr. (Booker T. Washington). These examples of pioneering success raise questions about today's arguments about what's needed for black academic success. Education experts and civil rights advocates argue that for black academic excellence to occur, there must be racial integration, small classes, big budgets and modern facilities. But earlier black academic successes put a lie to that argument.

In contrast with yesteryear, at today's Frederick Douglass High School, only 9 percent of students test proficient in English, and only 3 percent do in math. At Paul Laurence Dunbar, 12 percent of pupils are proficient in reading, and 5 percent are proficient in math. At Booker T. Washington, the percentages are 20 in English and 18 in math. In addition to low academic achievement, there's a level of violence and disrespect to teachers and staff that could not have been imagined, much less tolerated, at these schools during the late 1800s and the first half of the 20th century.

Many black political leaders are around my age, 81, such as Rep. Maxine Waters, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Jesse Jackson. Their parents and other authorities would have never accepted the grossly disrespectful, violent behavior that has become the norm at many black schools. Their silence and support of the status quo makes a mockery of black history celebrations and represents a betrayal of epic proportions to the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors in their struggle to make today's educational opportunities available.

I was exhausted last night, so I only posted the post and not my comment on it, but I'll comment now.

Walter Williams points out that being poor and black has not kept black people in generations past from making great successes of themselves. Williams does not explicitly mention what I believe is the root of the problem.

In short, what previous generations had that current generations lack is intact families. I've read the Moynihan Report, but I've gone beyond that. From talking with Sarah Hrdy, Daniel Nettle, and other anthropologists as well as understanding "Life History Theory," I believe that the 70 percent out-of-wedlock birth rate of black women is a huge problem causing huge problems in black children.

In the past, even if maybe one child on a block or a few children in a neighborhood were raised by single parents -- including single mothers after a father died -- there weren't vast numbers of children raised by single parents. There was, very importantly, stability that comes from having an environment populated by family units -- intact family units, sometimes with mother, father, and a grandmother in the home.

"Life History Theory" is a scientifically-supported theory about how organisms react -- adaptively -- to risky, unstable, and even violent environments. If you are likely to die young, it is adaptive to mate faster (be promiscuous) and take risks (including being violent) in a way it is not in more stable environments.

Too many children of black parents are now growing up in unstable environments, largely -- I believe -- due to a lack of fathers in many homes in a neighborhood. (By the way, you can per, Judy Stacey's research, have a two-parent family with two same-sex parents, and have the kids turn out really well -- but it helps if those kids are not growing up in an unstable environment due to many other children being from single-parent families and promiscuous and risk-taking because of it.)

Just to be clear, the effect we're seeing in the black community, from all the children growing up without the stability of a family environment, is not a black thing. Any children raised this way, in this sort of environment, are likely to have the entirely adaptive reaction to a risky, unstable environment.

To read more on Life History Theory (and automatic "fast" or "slow" adaptive strategies that are triggered), see Marco del Giudice's excellent scientific papers and book chapters here.

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Does Discrimination Cause Poor Performance In School For Black Kids From Impoverished Families?. « Previous | Home | Next »

Limp
Link with a bad knee.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg On The Due Process That Went Missing For Men On Campus
People -- mostly women -- have come after me in most vicious ways on Twitter for calling for due process for those accused of sexual assault or improprieties on campus or elsewhere.

On campus, Title IX -- as interpreted by the frankly evil Obama era "Dear Colleague" letter and the financial blackmailing of colleges and universities that didn't comply -- led to an environment in which campus kangaroo courts prevailed. The accused were not allowed the basic rights in the Constitution and American jurisprudence -- resulting in the ruin of many men's education and lives.

Jeffrey Rosen interviews Ruth Bader Ginsburg at The Atlantic, and asks her about this:

Rosen: What about due process for the accused?

Ginsburg: Well, that must not be ignored and it goes beyond sexual harassment. The person who is accused has a right to defend herself or himself, and we certainly should not lose sight of that. Recognizing that these are complaints that should be heard. There's been criticism of some college codes of conduct for not giving the accused person a fair opportunity to be heard, and that's one of the basic tenets of our system, as you know, everyone deserves a fair hearing.

Rosen: Are some of those criticisms of the college codes valid?

Ginsburg: Do I think they are? Yes.

Rosen: I think people are hungry for your thoughts about how to balance the values of due process against the need for increased gender equality.

Ginsburg: It's not one or the other. It's both. We have a system of justice where people who are accused get due process, so it's just applying to this field what we have applied generally.

On a side note, I think her response here is utter crap:

Rosen: Some women also fear backlash. They worry that women may have less opportunity for mentorship at work because guys are afraid of interacting with them. Is this valid or not?

Ginsburg: Well, let me ask you--as a man--do you think that you will be hesitant to encourage women because of the #MeToo movement?

Rosen: On the contrary, I have felt, like many men, sensitized to the plight of women by hearing these stories and it seems like an entirely salutary thing.

via @theFIREorg

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Oh...Is That A Live Cockroach Crawling Out Of Your Ear?
It's annoying to have one's reading on a website interrupted with one of those "Sign up for our newsletter!" popups with some stupid crack like, "No, I'd like to remain a dumb fuck."

But at least they're giving you an article to read -- in an otherwise civilized manner.

And then there's this...

Two words at any link I've clicked on that make me want to hunt the perpetrator down, duct-tape them to a chair in storage closet, and release 12,000 live cockroaches. pic.twitter.com/Vfki2bEbq8

— Amy Alkon (@amyalkon) February 18, 2018
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Linksploitation
Shaaaffft!

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Can Ron Rosenbaum Have One Of Your Kidneys?
I learned, to my dismay, last year sometime, that my sweet, talented, and brilliant author and magazine writer friend, Ron Rosenbaum, -- @RonRosenbaum1 -- needs a kidney.

(Picture of Ron and a review of his most recent book here.)

Ron doesn't like to ask people for minor favors, so I figured he'd have a really hard time with the, "Got an internal organ I could have?" thing.

So, bossy broad that I am, I said, "I'll ask for you! Just tell me when."

Well, now's finally the time.

So, here goes: Ron Rosenbaum is a candidate for a kidney transplant and needs a live donor. Are you the one?

Email Jack Shafer for details: shafer.politico@gmail.com

And please feel free to share this on social media.

Kidney donation? Maybe you've never given it any thought. Well, you're in luck.

My friend Virginia Postrel gave one of her kidneys to Sally Satel. She wrote about it in Texas Monthly in 2006, "How and why I became an organ donor -- and how I kept people from talking me out of it."

Until last November, I'd never thought about being a kidney donor. I hadn't known anyone with kidney disease, and like most people, I hadn't filled out an organ donation form when I'd gotten my driver's license. I'd never even donated blood. That all changed after I ran into a friend and asked, "How's Sally?" I got an unexpected answer: "She's. . . all right," in a tone that made it clear she was most definitely not all right.

Sally Satel and I have been friends since 1997. We're kindred spirits -- strong-willed, intellectual iconoclasts who are a bit too ingenuous for our own good. But she lives in Washington, D.C., where she's a fellow at a think tank, and I live in Dallas. We almost never see each other and communicate mostly by e-mail. We follow each other's work but don't share our day-to-day lives. Last fall, no one would have called us close.

So I had no idea Sally's kidneys were failing. She needed a transplant, our friend told me. Otherwise, she'd soon be on dialysis, tied at least three days a week to a machine that would filter poisons from her blood. For someone who prizes her independence and freedom of movement as much as Sally does, dialysis would have been a prison sentence.

With no spouse, children, siblings, or parents to offer her a kidney, I thought she must be desperate. I knew the chances of getting a cadaver kidney were low, although I didn't realize how truly miniscule: More than 66,000 Americans are on the waiting list for the 6,700 or so cadaver kidneys that are available each year. Just thinking about her situation made my heart race with empathetic panic.

"Maybe we can do something to get Sally a kidney," I said. It probably sounded as if I were proposing a publicity campaign. After all, she and I and our mutual friend are in the persuasion business: We write books and articles and have lots of press connections. What I really meant, though, was "Maybe I can give Sally a kidney." At the time, it seemed like a perfectly natural reaction.

Usually when someone is seriously ill, all you can do is lend moral support and maybe cook some meals or run a few errands. Nothing you do will make that person well. But if you donate a kidney, you can (with the help of a team of medical specialists) cure her. Who wouldn't want to do it? I had no idea what a strange thought that was.

Nor did I sort through my motivations. I've spent a good bit of my life trying to save the world, mostly by working to beat back bad government policies, including some that would have stifled medical research. But even when your side wins, the victory is incremental and rarely permanent. And people of goodwill dedicated to the same good cause can be awfully contentious about how to achieve their goals.

In this case, there was something reassuring about the idea that the benefit wouldn't depend at all on my talents, persuasiveness, or intellect. It would be simple. All I had to do was show up. In middle age, I've realized that I can't save the world. But maybe I could save Sally. Someone had to.

The rest of the piece details what the whole procedure is like.

PS When Sally came on my podcast, just before air, I had to mention it: "I just wanted to give a little wave to my friend Virginia's kidney."

She laughed.

Again, if you might even consider doing this for Ron -- a seriously awesome thing to do for another human -- please email Jack Shafer at the address above.

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Stinky
Linkberger. Apparently, a cheese.

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The Wholesome Business Of Selling Sex
From Wikipedia on Prostitution in New Zealand:

Prostitution (sex work), brothel-keeping, living off the proceeds of someone else's prostitution, and street solicitation are legal in New Zealand. Coercion of sex workers is illegal.

Corazon Miller writes for the New Zealand Herald about how it plays out:

A light-filled ensuite, painted white walls, cream-coloured lounge suit, kitchen, large double bed and blue and yellow themed decor are far removed from the shady black and red interiors of brothels typically seen on the big screen.

Murphy says the light and airy decor is part of her mission to bring prostitution into the open.

It frustrates her that many still frown upon sex workers and their clients. In her experience the men who come to her are "decent human beings" looking for sex, intimacy and female companionship.

"[Paying for sex] is something that is frowned upon in some circles, but I don't see why it should be," she says.

"Why shouldn't a man want sex? Why shouldn't a man want intimacy?

"And if for whatever reason he's not able to have that in the rest of his life - perhaps it's a marriage that has gone stale, or perhaps he's just very busy and doesn't have time for a girlfriend - why do we view that as being abusive or predatory?"

Murphy has strict rules around whom she will employ - she views prostitution as a valid career and won't consider anyone who is taking desperate measures.

"First of all a drug-free workplace.

"Second, hiring girls who genuinely enjoy sex and are doing this of their own free will, not because they are in any kind of desperate circumstance, or ­because they are trying to work out some sort of abuse issue."

Reread this bit that Maggie McNeill -- "overeducated and unrepentant whore" -- highlighted in a tweet:

"Why shouldn't a man want sex? Why shouldn't a man want intimacy?

"And if for whatever reason he's not able to have that in the rest of his life - perhaps it's a marriage that has gone stale, or perhaps he's just very busy and doesn't have time for a girlfriend - why do we view that as being abusive or predatory?"

Exactly. Why do we?

We sure shouldn't.

Oh, and here's how it plays out when sex work is no longer a crime -- as in New Zealand:

"Today you have sex workers who are confident interacting with ­police and know they have rights and that gives them a sense they are not ­isolated and disconnected. "I don't want to say it's all pleasant, lightness and pleasure, but for some people they are really happy, others say they can't wait to stop."

via @Maggie_McNeill

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Kitty Linker
Photo by Gregg Sutter. See my caption below the photo.

Frightening cat that paw-pounds on his door every morning, knowing Gregg is pushover for anything with paws.

My name is "Schpreckles," and I will eat your soul. pic.twitter.com/K6FiSbnOQL

— Amy Alkon (@amyalkon) February 18, 2018

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The Hurt Feelz Approach To Science: NLRB On Damore's Google Memo
Unbelievably, the US National Labor Relations Board has declared parts of fired Google employee James A. Damore's memo "discriminatory." From Ars Technica's Sam Machkovech:

In explaining the board's reasoning, NLRB member Jayme Sophir points to two specific parts of the controversial memo circulated by Damore in August: Damore's claim that women are "more prone to 'neuroticism,' resulting in women experiencing higher anxiety and exhibiting lower tolerance for stress" and that "men demonstrate greater variance in IQ than women."

Sophir describes how these gender-specific claims resemble other cases decided by the NLRB that revolved around racist, sexist, and homophobic language in the workplace. She says that specific Damore statements were "discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, notwithstanding [his] effort to cloak [his] comments with 'scientific' references and analysis, and notwithstanding [his] 'not all women' disclaimers. Moreover, those statements were likely to cause serious dissension and disruption in the workplace."

This claim -- that women are more prone to "neuroticism," one of the five (or sometimes six) dimensions of personality, is not scientifically controversial. Nor, for example, is the observation that there's greater variance in male IQs. Men, more than women, fall at the far ends of the bell curve.

From the NLRB memo:

I want to make clear that our decision is based solely on the part of your post that generalizes and advances stereotypes about women versus men.

So, our government's body is actually making its finding on the potential for hurt feelz. Did the scientific findings disturb some simpering Sallies, or might they disturb them?

I'm embarrassed to be included simply by being a woman, lest somebody infantilize me accordingly.

Of course, there are individual differences in people; the memo Damore wrote talks about the ways, for example, that women generally are. This -- realizing how many women are -- is extremely helpful information. Why wouldn't it be, assuming you understand that there are individual differences?

Ultimately, from my read of Damore, he's a good-hearted dude who thought, "I'll just put out the science and make things better!"

He didn't realize how strongly ideology tops science in one of the top tech companies in the world.

Let's play a little game along the NLRB's decisional lines:

Here's a generalization: Men are vastly more likely to get prostate cancer than women.

Here's another: Women are vastly more likely to have ovaries.

Discriminatory! Constitutes sexual harassment! "Nothwithstanding" my effort to cloak my comments in "basic physiology."

Are we seeing how wildly ridiculous this is?

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Minsk
A linktown in Eastern Europe.

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It's Okay To #FreeTheNipple As Long As You've Got Saggies, Not Perkies
I joke that most of the people you see at the #freethenipples rallies are those whose nipples (and all the rest) you'd really rather they keep under wraps.

Feminists, meanwhile, are right behind any woman being all body proud -- providing her body isn't the sort considered hot by most men.

Accordingly, there's been a push in the UK from feminists to get rid of the "grid girls," hotties employed for promotional tasks by various sports. Like Formula One racing.

These women are earning a living -- perhaps sending themselves to school, paying their rent, supporting their children...but feminists want to put them out of a job because they aren't okay with them earning a living through their looks. Nuh-uh, not okay.

Brendan O'Neill has a piece about this in Penthouse/Australia -- "Fun Police Kill Off Grid Girls -- just another casualty in the war on harmless fun:

A curious thing happened online last week: young women were subjected to vile abuse and yet feminists didn't come to their defence.

The women were branded "dumber than dogshit", "bimbos", "dangerous". And yet feminists didn't kick up a fuss. Despite having spent the past five years going on about how terrible it is to be insulted by oafish men online, feminists kept strangely schtum about this particular war of words on women.

How come? Why the sudden collapse in the sisterhood's stand against abuse? Because the women being targeted were the wrong kind of women.

They are immoral women, bad women, undeserving of support from the prim, well-bred women who make up much of modern-day feminism.

Yes, these were the grid girls and darts girls -- the glamorous models who bring sass to Formula 1 and darts by looking attractive and happy.

Or who used to, rather. They've now been unceremoniously dumped after the overlords of these sports decreed that they were "inappropriate".

...As British darts girl, Charlotte Wood said on TV: "I thought feminism was meant to help us... I feel like we're having our rights taken away."

Charlotte hit on something incredibly important: modern feminism, an increasingly posh, stiff, censorious affair, is not really about helping women. In fact, if any woman makes a choice feminists disagree with, they'll be thrown under the bus.

One more reason I call myself (and am) a humanist -- and not a feminist.

I'm for individual rights -- of all people, including those who don't have a vagina.

This includes the right of grid girls, sex workers, and all other workers to exchange whatever work they want for whatever money they want for it with other consenting adults.

via @YeyoZa

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Link Angeles
I couldn't resist -- answering a question on Next Door about our LA city council "representative":

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 7.14.14 PM.png

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Time To Stop Trying To Shove Women Into STEM
If you are somebody miserable in the job you're doing, there's a good chance you're in it because you thought you should be -- because your parent was a lawyer and you thought you had to do that, too, just to name one example.

Now, it pays to do something that's practical -- a career in which you can earn a living so you won't be living on a sheet of cardboard on the corner.

But there's this big push to get girls into STEM -- while there's no commensurate push to get women into oil rig work, no complaints that there aren't enough women hanging off the back of garbage trucks.

I think girls -- and boys -- should be shown all sorts of possibilities for their lives early in their school experience. It's sometimes important to encourage a kid to try something they think they might not be good at. However, I don't think kids should be pushed to, essentially, take one for the team careerwise -- which is how I see pushing girls into STEM when it's really not their thing.

STEM fields are terribly hard. If you don't really, really want to be there, well, you're not going to do so well -- and there's a good chance you'll be miserable in a way that leaks through to other areas of your life.

Sex differences researcher David C. Geary and social scientist Gijsbert Stoet write at Quillette:

We've recently found that countries renowned for gender equality show some of the largest sex differences in interest in and pursuit of STEM degrees, which is not only inconsistent with an oppression narrative, it is positive evidence against it.18 Consider that Finland excels in gender equality, its adolescent girls outperform boys in science, and it ranks near the top in European educational performance.19 With these high levels of educational performance and overall gender equality, Finland is poised to close the sex differences gap in STEM. Yet, Finland has one of the world's largest sex differences in college degrees in STEM fields. Norway and Sweden, also leading in gender equality rankings, are not far behind. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as this general pattern of increasing sex differences with national increases in gender equality is found throughout the world.20

...We believe that with economic development and advances in human rights, including gender equality, people are better able to pursue their individual interests and in doing so more basic sex differences are more fully expressed.22 The differences in STEM are related in part to student's personal and occupational interests and relative academic strengths. Sex differences in occupational interests are large, well-documented, and reflect a more basic sex difference in interest in things versus people.23 Men prefer occupations that involve working with things (e.g., engineering, mechanics) and abstract ideas (e.g., scientific theory) and women prefer working with and directly contributing to the wellbeing of others (e.g., physician, teacher). The sex difference in interest in people extends to a more general interest in living things, which would explain why women who are interested in science are much more likely to pursue a career in biology or veterinary medicine than computer science.24

Programs designed to steer women into inorganic STEM fields would in effect steer these same women away from the life sciences. Such programs would, in our opinion, only be justifiable if women are not provided a fair opportunity to pursue inorganic STEM fields (for which there is no good evidence). The main argument from gender activists is that inorganic STEM fields are a better choice for women either because these jobs lead to higher incomes or that there is a labor market demand for them. Both arguments are fundamentally capitalist and dehumanizing in the sense that considerations of personal interest are overridden by considerations of societal demand. This is ironic, given that the agenda arguing for more women in STEM seems most popular among left-leaning people.

In any event, on top of differences in career preferences, there are important and largely overlooked sex differences in relative strengths in reading, mathematics, and science.25 Students who are relatively better in reading-related areas (e.g., literature) than they are in science or mathematics, independent of their absolute level of performance are more likely to pursue college degrees in the humanities and enter non-science occupations. The reverse is true for students who are relatively better in science and mathematics than literature.26 This is where the results from Finland and elsewhere make sense. Although Finnish girls perform as well or better than Finnish boys in science, the gap is even larger in reading. The result is that more Finnish girls have relative advantages in reading than science. Most adolescent boys in contrast are relatively better at science or mathematics than reading, independent of their absolute level of performance. Individuals with this academic profile are likely to enter STEM areas, either as research scientists or technicians, and there are more boys than girls with this pattern throughout the world.

During my senior year of high school, my mom enrolled me in computer classes -- DOS and COBOL, I think (though I might not be remembering right) -- in the local community college. I hated them and probably would have preferred being dropped off in a shallow grave filled with live cockroaches to being dropped off at OCC (Oakland Community College) a few days a week.

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Linknuts
Ballnuts.

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Jordan Peterson On The Disgusting Racism Behind The Concept Of "White Privilege"
The idea of collectively held guilt is reprehensibly ugly and "dangerous" -- the stuff of the Kulak mass murders in Russia, to name one example, says Jordan Peterson.

He and I have a similar view on "safe spaces."

If you are so emotionally fragile -- so debilitated by information that makes you a little uncomfortable -- that you need a safe space, the institution you should be in is not an educational one.

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Linkspacious
Complete with jetway.

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The Authoritarian Twisties -- Never Knowing Which Way You'll Be Ordered To Live
It's hard to know which way you're supposed to bend over for the well-meaning authoritarians.

In California, "affirmative consent" demands that you must look for (and ask, to be safe) for explicit consent -- awkward and unsexy -- every time you want to make some different kind of sex move. (Note -- important for later in this blog post -- that does mean that women are allowed to say no.)

Here, from a Cathy Young piece, is California's "Yes Means Yes" law -- for California college students:

"Affirmative consent" means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. ... Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.

Cathy explains:

SB967 requires colleges and universities to evaluate disciplinary charges of sexual assault under an "affirmative consent" standard as a condition of qualifying for state funds.

But for Utah sixth graders, things are a little different. There, writes Sarah Young in the Independent, girls must say yes if boys ask them to dance at a school shindig. That's right. Girls get no say in whether they dance with a boy:

Natalie Richard, from Utah, was speaking to her sixth-grade daughter about the upcoming Valentine's Day dance at her school, Kanesville Elementary, when she was told about the controversial rule.

Her daughter explained that teachers had told the students, aged between 11 and 12, that they had to say "yes" when someone asked them dance.

In disbelief, Ms Richard said that she must have misunderstood what they were saying.

However, after speaking to the school she soon realised that the statement was accurate.

"The teacher said she can't. She has to say yes. She has to accept and I said, 'Excuse me'," Ms Richard told Fox 13.

Shocked by the policy, the mother took her concerns to the school principal but was simply told that that's just how they organise their dances.

Lane Findlay with the Weber School District confirmed that it is in fact a rule, but added that it's meant to teach students how to be inclusive.

Yes, in Utah, it's "must consent" -- teaching girls that they get no agency, no choice. All in the name of "inclusiveness."

This reminds me of the mistaken notion that having good manners just means sucking it up when you're abused. Um, no. That's agreeing to be a victim -- and I suggest you have none of that.

That doesn't necessarily mean you let somebody shape who you are -- that you go as ugly as they do. But it means you don't just go silently and acquiescently when somebody tries to push you around.

Personally, I like to go badass on at least some of these occasions, if not most.

Little girls should be taught that they get to choose what they do and with whom.

The idiot administrators who think they're teaching kindness should be fired immediately.

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Linkamentary
Dr. Watson is around here somewhere.

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Here Comes Peter Outrage-tail!
I've come to believe that the insane level of outrage hunting we see -- and the OMG! THIS IS LIKE HITLER! -- is a thing that allows people to feel they're doing something productive (while doing fuck all other than giving somebody a hard time for something ridiculous.

This thought was prompted by THE most ridiculous thing -- people going all "storm the movie studio gates and burn the place down!" (basically) because as AP put it:

Peter Rabbit' filmmakers apologize for insensitively depicting a character's allergy in the film--a portrayal that prompted an online backlash.

Oh, for fuck's sake.

The story:

Sony Pictures says Sunday in a joint statement with the filmmakers that "food allergies and are a serious issue" and the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way."

In "Peter Rabbit" which was released this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. The rabbits fling the fruit at him in a scene and he is forced to use an EpiPen.

The charity group Kids with Food Allergies posted a warning about the scene on its Facebook page Friday prompting some on Twitter to start using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit. The group said that allergy jokes are harmful to their community and that making light of the condition "encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously."

Here's one of the nutcases -- and then Albert (@spaycemunkey), whose response I just loved:

I almost died from food allergy induced anaphylactic shock and I think the people freaking out about this are out of their minds. I'd honestly rather die of anaphylaxis than live in the hypersensitive, watered down feelings-before-fact world they want to create.

— Albert (@spaycemunkey) February 12, 2018

Marie Bourgeois -- right on with "grievance collector":

i can see my sister responding like this. she is a bit of a grievance collector :)

— marie bourgeois (@mmbtox) February 12, 2018

My response:

"Grievance collector" is right. I have ADHD. My boyfriend teases me: "Do I have your divided attention?" I love it! The woman who edits me calls me "Stalin" and says, "Where's the document, whore?!" I love it. We have fun.

It's both good and bad that there are no longer gatekeepers. Good because Princeton prisses are no longer the only ones who get a platform. Bad because any idiot can spout off and get the modern equivalent of irate French revolution peasants to build a pyre and burn down the person to dares to make a fucking joke.

Yes, society is real fucking fun these days.

I'll pass -- and continue being a fierce PC-challenging provider of outrage fodder for the lazy pussies who express offense at any comment more weighty than "please pass the salt."

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Minkey
Pick your own nits -- or be a monkey mensch and groom a friend.

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Big Thumb: Google Has A Less Modern Work Environment Than Little Old Me
I work over Skype three (short) days a week with my part-time editor and for about half an hour one day a week with the grammar ninja who copyedits my column. I have seen each in person probably fewer than six times over the years. Of course, I have no need to indoctrinate them in AmyAlkonthink.

And that's what separates me from Google -- uh, among a few other things (starting with bajillions of dollars).

Tom Foremski writes for ZDNet that Google doesn't allow telecommuting. In fact, they're investing billions of dollars into office buildings.

Google is a surprisingly old-fashioned company since it insists on keeping its workers in its environments for as many hours of the day as it can -- developing among other things: remote working technologies such as Google Hangouts, Google Docs, Sheets, and Google Drive.

With such powerful collaborative telecommuting technologies why isn't Google eating its own dog food? Why is Google insisting on bussing its Silicon Valley workers in daily three-hour-plus commutes between its Mountain View HQ and San Francisco?

Google has said that it has tested the productivity of remote teams and on-site teams and found no difference in performance. So why are there no telecommuting jobs at Google?

There is only one reason Google insists on its workers being under its control: keeping them separate from non-Google environments as much as possible with the aim to create company culture and prevent conspiracy.

...Cities need to ask Google why it doesn't allow telecommuting and insist it is vital to stemming commute times for everyone; and it is vital to fighting division in their neighborhoods. The same should be asked for all the other giant employers, imho.

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Sphlinx
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty...

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The Death Of Individualism -- It's Gotten Its Start On Campus
Andrew Sullivan has a piece in NY Mag that starts out with the question some ask, why we should care what's happening on campus: "These are students, after all. They'll grow up once they leave their cloistered, neo-Marxist safe spaces. The real world isn't like that. You're exaggerating anyway. And so on."

Sullivan explains how this poisons the waters of the culture at large:

When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based "social justice" movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well. If elites believe that the core truth of our society is a system of interlocking and oppressive power structures based around immutable characteristics like race or sex or sexual orientation, then sooner rather than later, this will be reflected in our culture at large. What matters most of all in these colleges -- your membership in a group that is embedded in a hierarchy of oppression -- will soon enough be what matters in the society as a whole.

And, sure enough, the whole concept of an individual who exists apart from group identity is slipping from the discourse. The idea of individual merit -- as opposed to various forms of unearned "privilege" -- is increasingly suspect. The Enlightenment principles that formed the bedrock of the American experiment -- untrammeled free speech, due process, individual (rather than group) rights -- are now routinely understood as mere masks for "white male" power, code words for the oppression of women and nonwh