Is LGBTQIA the most popular social justice cause because it does not require giving money?

Seemingly at least half of the retail stores in Seattle have an overt expression of support for the LGBTQIA community, e.g., a rainbow flag.

Americans identifying as LGBTQIA are not half of the population, right? Why would stores managed and staffed by cisgender heterosexuals hang rainbow flags outside of Pride Month? Maybe folks in Seattle are unusually big-hearted and sympathetic to the vulnerable and victimized? Evidence against that theory is the enormous population of homeless who wander the streets and receive no assistance or attention from passersby. The good citizens of Seattle will step over a homeless person to get into a Tesla and drive to the rainbow flag shop. I didn’t see any store with a sign admonishing customers to do more or care more for the homeless or the poor.

I’m wondering if LGBTQIA is the most popular social justice cause because there is no obvious connection between saying one is passionate about supporting LGBTQIA and having to donate money. If someone says “I care about the poor” and then buys a Tesla instead of a Honda Accord, a friend might ask “Why didn’t you give $70,000 to the poor and drive a Honda rather than your fancy Tesla?”

Readers: What do you think? Is there another reason for LGBTQIA to have overtaken all other social justice issues in visual prominence?

Let’s look at some photos…

The basics:

Bank of America welcomes the LGBTQIA as long as they don’t have pets with them. (The bank also had an armed guard wearing a bulletproof vest next to the front door, just like in Guatemala.)

Speaking of pets, LGBTQIA dogs are welcome at this vet:

Hungry? LGBTQIA-friendly pizza, Mexican food, and ice cream are available:

Inspired? LGBTQIA-friendly art supplies:

Need to visit a friend? Don’t forget to stop at the government-painted rainbows:

(What if a driver is cited for failing to stop at one of these rainbowed crosswalks? Can he/she/ze/they claim that he/she/ze/they did not realize it was a crosswalk?)

The government uses tax dollars to promote LGBTQIA at the local college and police station:

Record store, indoor cycling, and pinball parlor:

Mathematical proof of LGBTQIA-ness:

A T-shirt for a Pride-filled five-year-old:

Let’s compare this to another social justice attempt. From the Seattle Art Museum gift shop:

A great collection pf literature to be sure, but someone who visited on the morning that I did might ask “If you are dedicated to racial justice, why didn’t I see any black patrons or employees?”

Finally, the obligatory departure images…

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Taxpayer-funded favoritism for one gender

There are approximately 58 gender IDs (NBC News story on Facebook). Yet government officials apparently feel comfortable saying that 1 out of these 58 is more important than the other 57.

Convicted (by NYT and Facebook) rapist and Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh: “I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women.” (NYT)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Justice Kavanaugh made history by bringing on board an all-female law clerk crew. Thanks to his selections, the Court has this Term, for the first time ever, more women than men serving as law clerks.” (Washington Examiner)

Here are the items that were featured in July 2019 at the front of the American Art Museum (Smithsonian, which receives $1 billion/year in taxpayer funds) gift shop:

What else did they have at the museum, you might ask? A 19th century sculpture of sleeping children embracing:

… and they also have another sculpture of two humans embracing. Before you look, see if you can guess to which of the 58 above-referenced gender IDs they might belong…

Louise Nevelson, famous for (a) being a great artist, and (b) explicitly saying “I am not a feminist” (she refused alimony, for example, and one pillar of modern feminism is getting regular paychecks from male former sex partners), is parked in the “Feminism in American Art” section:

And some works that don’t relate to gender ID at all, e.g., Nam June Paik’s Electronic Superhighway.

Circling back to the main topic… why is it okay to use taxpayer funds to promote one gender ID above the other 50+ gender IDs?

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Harvard Economics professor beats the sexual harassment rap

“Star Economist at Harvard Faces Sexual Harassment Complaints” (NYT, Dec 14, 2018):

Before he turned 40, Roland G. Fryer Jr. had earned tenure at Harvard, received a MacArthur “genius” grant and won the most prestigious award for young American economists. He stoked a national debate by concluding that police officers show no bias in the shootings of black men.

But his rapid ascent has taken a troubling turn as Harvard officials review a university investigator’s conclusion that Dr. Fryer fostered a work environment hostile to women, one filled with sexual talk and bullying.

The findings, reviewed by The New York Times, found that Dr. Fryer had engaged in “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” toward four women who worked in the Harvard-affiliated research lab he created. In one case, his “persistent and pervasive” conduct contributed to stress that resulted in the accuser’s taking disability leave, the investigator found.

I.e., things were so bad that someone had to be paid for not working.

Cash and sex go together in economics research…

Now 41, he is one of Harvard’s best-paid faculty members, earning more than $600,000, the university’s 2016 tax filing shows. He has brought at least $33.6 million in grants to the university, according to a résumé on his Harvard web page.

Dr. Fryer told a Harvard investigator that any sexual banter in his office was related to his research and “in the spirit of academic freedom.”

Seven months have gone by. Has the guy disappeared? The Harvard web site suggests he is still on the payroll. How is that possible? Nobel Prize winners have been disappeared for far less (e.g., Tim Hunt).

“Complainant Withdrew Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Complaint Against Harvard Prof. Roland Fryer” (Harvard Crimson, April 23, 2019):

A Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination investigation into whether Economics Professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr. sexually harassed and retaliated against a former female employee concluded in February by agreement of the parties, according to documents obtained by The Crimson. … The MCAD closed its investigation after the complainant’s lawyer, Monica R. Shah, signed the withdrawal form on Feb. 4. On the form, Shah indicated that the complainant had reached a “satisfactory settlement” with Harvard, Fryer, and Allan.

I.e., cash was the magic solution for the professor in a discipline that says most problems can be fixed with cash…


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New history of GPS; when $1 device works better than $100,000 receiver

Opening day for EAA AirVenture (“Oshkosh”). I hope to see readers during and/or after my Wednesday talk on helicopter aerodynamics (0830 on Forum Stage 6).

One big theme at Oshkosh is the innovation and excitement in the world of experimental aircraft world compared to the glacial pace of progress in the world of certified aircraft.

The month of June was not exactly a success story for regulation. A certified helicopter that lacked even 1% of the intelligence of a DJI drone was crashed into a building in New York City (NYT). Less dramatically, the FAA-certified GPS ($100,000?) in the Canadair Regional Jet that I used to fly failed due to a software problem (AOPA). Meanwhile, the GPS chips inside phones ($1?) continued to work nicely.

[On nearly the same day that these regional jets were back to using VORs, a Facebook friend linked to a post from The Female Lead:

Of course, I couldn’t resist commenting “She also invented the semiconductor transistor and the silicon integrated circuit.” This was greeted approvingly.]

The FAA became a lot more nimble starting a few years ago regarding the approval of avionics that could make small aircraft safer. So it will be interesting to see this week whether there is more innovation in the kit or certified world.


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Transactional sex around Lake Malawi

As someone who shares a home with African cichlids, I clicked on a headline from NPR: “The Dark Secret Of Lake Malawi”. The story, however, turned out not to be about future aquarium pets:

“Sex for fish.”

That unlikely phrase is used in some lakefront communities in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world where men catch the fish and women sell the catch to local customers.

Or if the supply of fish is low because of overfishing, several women may vie for a fisherman’s catch — and transactional sex may be used as a bargaining point.

The writer does not seem to have researched the question of whether commercial sex is more common around this lake compared to other parts of the same countries.


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Paternal leave increases income inequality?

Back in June, the NYT suggested that moms will be better off if taxpayers and childless workers suck it up to give more paid time off for “fathers”: “Sweden Finds a Simple Way to Improve New Mothers’ Health. It Involves Fathers.”

(Why the headline cisgender-normative assumption (during Pride Month!) that if the first parent of a child is a “mother” then the second parent will be a “father”?)

But which moms?

The study was done in Sweden (by the same author who found that court-ordered child support payments for the mother reduced fathers’ voluntary contributions to the child (monetary and time-invested) in roughly equal measures, thus leaving children no better off financially (and worse off from a personal contact point of view); the NYT did not consider this previous study to be newsworthy). Compared to any other country, the U.S. has a much higher percentage of children who grow up without a father, so maybe it is worth asking “For those children who actually do have a father, what is our best guess regarding the family income level?”

Asians have a low divorce rate and a higher-than-average income, so “Asian and high income household” would be one guess for characteristics of “kid with father”. On the other hand, Asians are not yet a large percentage of the U.S. population. So “White and higher-than-average income” is an even better guess.

Thus, the NYT proposed extra benefit targeted at women who happen to live with the father of their children turns out to be a benefit primarily for richer whiter women. Thus the newspaper that regularly decries income inequality ends up promoting a policy to increase inequality!

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Where does all of the soccer money go if not to the teams?

“Revenue Disparity Explains Pay Disparity Between Soccer World Cup’s Men And Women” (Forbes):

The men still pull the World Cup money wagon. The men’s World Cup in Russia generated over $6 billion in revenue, with the participating teams sharing $400 million, less than 7% of revenue. Meanwhile, the Women’s World Cup is expected to earn $131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-22 and dole out $30 million to the participating teams.

The male/female/Iranian pay disparity isn’t as interesting to me as what happened to $5.6 billion ($6 billion minus the $400 million paid out to men’s teams). Someone other than the teams (management, owners, and players?) ended up with more than 93 percent of the revenue? Can this be true? Why wouldn’t the teams start their own league and bypass the folks who are skimming off 93%?

Maybe Forbes is being sloppy? And it is players who are getting 6.7 percent of the money while team owners and managers get most of the remainder?


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Why is the U.S. doing well in women’s soccer?

Some American women’s soccer players are in the news lately. They hate Donald Trump and are winning matches against Europeans.

The U.S. has never won a men’s World Cup (our dismal record).

Why is the women’s team able to prevail over other countries?

[Also, if the teams are drawn from citizens of the respective countries, shouldn’t the populous countries such as China, India, and the U.S. have a huge advantage? Why would the Netherlands or Sweden have a chance?]

Finally, what stops a country from sending in what had been their “men’s team” and saying “all of these players now identify as ‘women'”? How competitive would the 20th place men’s team be against the top women’s team? Has there ever been a soccer equivalent to the various tennis battles of the sexes? (a Chinese female star prevailed over Novak Djokovic in one of the last three matches)


  • a post quotingThe Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq: “He was starting to get pissed off about the world’s stupid obsession with Brazil. What was so great about Brazil? As far as he knew, Brazil was a shithole full of morons obsessed with soccer and Formula One.”
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LGBTQ+ as a hierarchy

Pride Month is over, but I am not quite ready to return my attention to Black Lives Matter and other social justice causes.

From a deeply closeted New York Deplorable (she runs a small business and therefore is unable to cheer for bigger government and higher taxes with appropriate enthusiasm):

I couldn’t help noticing that the purportedly Native American Two Spirit is at the bottom and therefore implicitly inferior to all of the white European ways of being LGBTQIA+ that are above. Also, Intersex is two notches better than Nonbinary. Who made that decision?

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Is it okay to take down our Pride flags?

June is nearly over and, with it, Pride Month.

On June 1, a church in nearby Concord, Massachusetts added a Pride flag of equal size to their permanent Black Lives Matter flag (parishioners are so interested in black lives that they elected to live in one of the whitest towns in the U.S.!).

Can they take the flag down this evening? If so, why? Is the LGBTQIA lifestyle something to be proud of only 1/12th of the time? If the point of Pride Month is to demand additional rights and privileges for Americans who identify as LGBTQIA, why is it okay to shelve those demands until June 2020? “The Struggle for Gay Rights Is Over” (Atlantic):

Identifying as gay, bisexual, trans, or “queer”—anything but straight—is, in some milieus, a new marker of cool. In one recent survey, less than 50 percent of 13-to-20-year-olds (all part of Generation Z) identified as “exclusively heterosexual.”

But if the goal is to drive this number down to 0 percent, why is it okay to put the campaign on hold for 11 months?

More importantly, is it okay to go to Chick-fil-A tomorrow? (Maybe they should have said that they were closing on Sundays during June in observation of Pride Month?)

[Finally, why is it okay to have equal size flags for Pride and Black Lives Matter? Have the legal wrongs suffered by LGBTQIA Americans been equal to the wrongs suffered by African Americans? If so, shouldn’t there be reparations for Americans who identify as LGBTQIA or descendants of deceased Americans who identified as LGBTQIA (NYT, below, says “maybe”)? If not, shouldn’t the Black Lives Matter flag be larger or flown in a higher position?]


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