We have a three-year-old who likes the Noah’s Ark story…
Every time I read this I realize that I’m committing the (modern) sin of Gender Binarism.
How would an updated Noah’s Ark story work? How many genders would there be per animal species? Or would the number vary on a per-species basis? Full post, including comments
“If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” was a common expression in New York City during my father’s youth (Great Depression and World War II).
I’m wondering if this way of thinking explains why so many Americans who’ve obtained degrees from elite institutions and earn above-median wages are advocates of socialism. On the face of it, it doesn’t seem rational for people who earn 4-5X the median wage to say that income inequality is a national emergency and to be more enthusiastic about socialism than are people who earn below-median wages.
Pre-2016, my neighbors here in Eastern Massachusetts were upset when politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. would make decisions without consulting them. Since they knew themselves to be the smartest folks on the planet, why wouldn’t President Obama, the Wise One, call them up to ask for advice? Upset turned to rage following the country’s choice of Donald Trump.
What’s even more upsetting than not having one’s desired level of political influence? Not having one’s fair level of financial reward.
In a fair market, someone with a Ph.D. in humanities would get paid more than someone with a high school degree, at least if the Ph.D. in humanities is allowed to define “fair.” Yet an American bond trader with a high school degree can easily earn 10X what a liberal arts professor may earn (100X if we compare to an adjunct!). Thus we come to slightly newer adage: “When the market gives you an answer you don’t like, declare market failure.”
Readers: What do you think? What accounts for people with incomes that are well above the median advocating for “socialism”, which would tend to narrow the income distribution? Could it be rational? As the U.S. population expands and there is a brutal competition for scraps of desirable real estate, for example, will it help the Ph.D. academic to afford a beach house if central planners won’t give the bond trader enough to buy 10 beach houses? Full post, including comments
An MD neighbor had the temerity to put a Trump sign on his lawn back 2016 (error swiftly corrected by righteous neighbors) so I thought it was safe to bring him a Dorco Pace 7 as a gift to free him from supporting Gillette’s campaign for gender justice. Recent text message, appended to a geriatric tennis invitation:
By the way, I like the Dorko [sic] razor very much. It gives a much closer shave than my Gillette. Thank you for introducing it to me.
I had purchased four Pace 7s to give away. From another recipient:
Dorco gives best shave I’ve ever had.
Whether spelled “Dorco” or “Dorko”, I hope that we can all agree this company has suffered in the marketplace due to its name!
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“Microsoft staff are openly questioning the value of diversity” (Quartz) quotes from an internal Microsoft discussion forum:
“Because women used to be actively prohibited from full-time employment many decades ago, there is now the misguided belief that women SHOULD work, and if women AREN’T working, there’s something wrong…. Many women simply aren’t cut out for the corporate rat race, so to speak, and that’s not because of ‘the patriarchy,’ it’s because men and women aren’t identical, and women are much more inclined to gain fulfillment elsewhere.”
James Damore was the Google heretic because he shared the company’s goal of increasing the number of women doing the dreary job of coding, but suggested that they go about the project in a different way. It seems that Microsoft is nurturing actual infidels who reject the entire religion of gender diversity. It is just one step from the above quote to the Harvard undergraduate who told us “I used to want to be an investment banker, but then I realized that I could just marry an investment banker.” (Presumably nobody could survive at the company after asking “Why would an intelligent person want to work 80 hours/week at Microsoft when having sex with two Microsoft employees can yield roughly the same spending power?”)
[Anecdote: Our suburb is packed with women who have elite professional degrees and yet work part-time or do no W-2 wage labor at all. These women worked full time for 5-10 years following the completion of their education and then, as suggested by the Microsoft infidel, decided to “gain fulfillment elsewhere”. Most of their current spending power is derived from the wages of someone else, either a current spouse or a person whom they sued for alimony and/or child support.]
Readers: Measured against the coastal elite pillars of faith, are these Microsoft programmers more severely deviant than were the Googlers who questioned the company’s diversity schemes?
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A friend is an MIT graduate. His son scored 750 math/730 verbal on the SATs, has a perfect high school record, and is a super-nice kid who is passionate about building software. When filling out the application forms, he checked “white male”.
MIT rejected him.
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Back in 2014, I wrote about Oberlin College setting up special dorms for students with darker skin and/or less family money.
Much funnier is this recent video (not de-platformed by YouTube/Google yet!) of white Columbia students singing the praises of separate but equal.
[Video source: a deeply closeted Harvard professor (thus far he has managed to conceal his sinful thoughts from colleagues and administrators).] Full post, including comments
“Brunei’s Royal Barbarity and Hypocrisy” is from the New York Times Editorial Board:
The oil-rich sultanate imposes harsh Shariah law on its subjects, while members of the royal family enjoy lives of conspicuous luxury.
Brunei’s cruel, inhuman and degrading penalties are not a relic of history, like the sodomy laws that stayed on the books of American states well into the 20th century, but the whim of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, who has ruled the Lilliputian nation since 1967 and ranks among the most ludicrously wealthy people on earth. He has long pushed his predominantly Muslim nation toward a conservative and restrictive form of Islam, and he first announced the new penalties — which, in addition to death by stoning for gay male sex, include amputation for theft and 40 lashes for lesbian sex — six years ago.
Besides the barbarity of the penalties, there is the danger that the law could nudge neighboring Islamic giants Malaysia and Indonesia toward tightening their own national or regional versions of Shariah laws targeting homosexuals.
The biographies of the authors do not suggest any expert knowledge of Islam or Shariah law. What qualifies these folks to tell Muslims in Brunei how to organize their lives in accordance with Islam? Is this “Amerisplaining”?
Also interesting… “The U.S. Immigration System May Have Reached a Breaking Point” (nytimes), from the same newspaper that said, three months ago, Donald Trump had manufactured a crisis. Now it seems that the “crisis” started five years ago:
The very nature of immigration to America changed after 2014, when families first began showing up in large numbers. The resulting crisis has overwhelmed a system unable to detain, care for and quickly decide the fate of tens of thousands of people who claim to be fleeing for their lives. … The country is now unable to provide either the necessary humanitarian relief for desperate migrants or even basic controls on the number and nature of who is entering the United States.
Trump is on the wrong track, as usual:
Mr. Trump has insisted on simply trying to stop people from getting into the country in the first place — a policy of deterrence that not only has failed but has made the problem worse.
Only a rookie would try to stop people from crossing the border into the U.S. by trying to stop them from crossing the border! Full post, including comments
“Piper’s financial ties to anti-gay Brunei stir up controversy, with Harris caught in crossfire” (Florida Today):
Vero Beach-based Piper Aircraft Inc. has become embroiled in an international controversy, as a result of its ownership by the government of Brunei, which has just implemented a harsh new law that punishes sex between men and adultery with death by stoning.
Jackie Carlon, senior director of marketing and communications for Piper, said that, while “the shareholder of Piper Aircraft is the ministry of finance of Kingdom of Brunei,” and “we’re very, very aware of” the policy in Brunei, “I can’t control what they do in their country.”
Carlon said Brunei currently doesn’t profit from Piper’s business, but rather reinvests the profits back into the company.
I.e., so far this has been a money-sink for the Sultan. Surprise, surprise! (Who told him that general aviation would be a good investment? That Piper had already gone bankrupt twice in its history so plainly a third bankruptcy was impossible?)
Cirrus, the market leader in family-sized aircraft, was formerly owned by the First Islamic Investment Bank, ultimately renamed Arcapita, “the premier source for Shari’ah-compliant alternative investments” and “a global leader in Islamically acceptable alternative investments.” It is unclear if Arcapita maintained traditional Islamic views regarding sexual activities. Cirrus today is owned by the Chinese government, basically, and China does not comply with U.S. standards regarding, for example, same-sex marriage (Wikipedia).
Maybe the answer is to pay up for an Embraer Phenom 300? The company is Brazilian, part-owned by the Brazilian government, and same-sex marriage is available in Brazil (Wikipedia). If you’re passionate about flying and matters LGBTQIA, but approximately $10 million short of the $10 million necessary for a Phenom 300, Cessna is owned by Textron, which earned a perfect score in the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (“Rating Workplaces on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equality”). New and used Cessnas are available to suit nearly every budget. Full post, including comments
“‘Women Here Are Very, Very Worried’: Afghan women used to be championed by almost everyone. Now they’re all but forgotten.” (nytimes):
It was once a prominent and bipartisan cause: the liberation of Afghan women from the tyranny of the Taliban.
These women were championed by an array of strange bedfellows: feminists like Eleanor Smeal, celebrities like Lily Tomlin and stalwarts of a conservative administration like Laura Bush and Dick Cheney.
In the early days of the invasion, the world heard vivid stories of the changes the war had brought. Women could walk freely outside their houses and put on makeup; girls could go to school. It was a narrative that helped buoy public support for the fight in Afghanistan and deflect criticism about American empire.
Nearly two decades later, Afghan women are all but invisible to an American public thoroughly weary of the war.
A lot of new classes of victims have been discovered right here in the U.S. since 2001. For example, the NYT was recently running stories about Federal employees victimized by getting 35 days of paid time off in exchange for a delayed paycheck (one of my friends is a senior FAA employee; he said that he enjoyed his vacation trips to Arizona and Europe during the shutdown). Human sympathy and attention are not unlimited. If paid-late-for-not-working Federal employees are front-and-center victims then Afghan women cannot be front-and-center victims.
Example: “As Shutdown Drags On, Some Step Up to Help Unpaid Federal Workers”:
Predictions of pain that had been theoretical, or theatrical, in shorter shutdowns are now a reality for around 800,000 federal workers, scattered through states red and blue.
“The public does not realize the impact that a shutdown has on the F.B.I. or on our families,” a bureau official wrote in an email this week to supporters of the nonprofit Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.
Readers: What do you think? Is there something special about women in Afghanistan, or is it simply that the victims of 2001 must yield mindshare to the victims of 2019? Full post, including comments
How to handle the public relations challenge of operating a new two-pilot two-jet-engine airliner with a safety record far worse than that of a 50-year-old single-pilot piston-engine plane such as the Cessna 402 (when used in airline service)? United Airlines seems to have found a way. From a friend on Facebook:
I ❤️ #United #LGBTQ #nonbinary
(Over a link to “United Becomes First U.S. Airline To Offer Nonbinary Gender Booking Options”)
What did the database programmers at United accomplish?
The U.S. airline will offer multiple gender options for customers booking flights, including M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed) and X (unspecified). United added that the title “Mx.” also will be available for travellers to select.
The gender option chosen by the passenger must correspond “with what is indicated on their passports or identification” in order to satisfy the Transportation Security Administration, United said. Anyone regardless of identification can choose the title “Mx.”
For whom can this work as a practical option, then?
More and more states have added gender options on identification. Oregon, California, Arkansas and Washington state currently offer a third gender option on birth certificates, while Washington, D.C., offers a third gender option on driver’s licenses. Most recently, the New York City Council announced it will offer “X” as a gender category for people who don’t identify as female or male.
What about for international travel? The U.S. Department of State offers a helpful page for those transitioning from one officially recognized “sex” to another. On the other hand, it seems that male/female are the only options. From “Victory! State Department Cannot Rely on its Binary-Only Gender Policy to Deny Passport to Nonbinary Intersex Citizen”:
The State Department denied Dana’s passport application because Dana could not accurately choose either male or female on the passport application form, and the form does not provide any other gender marker designation.
This is the second time Zzyym has won against the U.S. State Department for denying them a passport. In November, 2016, the same district court found the State Department had violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act and ordered the department to reconsider its binary-only gender policy.
The State Department doubled-down on its discriminatory male-or-female-only policy to deny Zzyym a passport, leading to today’s ruling.
So the nonbinary traveler making a domestic connection before an international flight would need a reservation with two genders: X for the domestic leg to correspond to the driver’s license and M or F for the international leg to correspond to the passport.
Backing up a bit… if the airline’s record must correspond to the gender stated on the passenger’s ID, did United have any choice but to task its database programmers with this project? Wouldn’t every airline have to invest in updating its systems to the modern world of gender-on-a-spectrum if the governments issuing IDs are changing their policies? So the PR folks at United are possibly even more brilliant for getting positive press for an expensive IT project that they were forced into doing.
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