Posted on | August 1, 2014 | No Comments
– compiled by Wombat-socho
72-hour unconditional ceasefire omits all of Hamas previous demands
Uneasy truce in Gaza City
As bulldozers destroy Hamas underground network, IDF sees light at the end of the tunnel
Gas Leaks Trigger Powerful Explosions In Taiwan
Buildings toppled in Kaohsiung; 22 dead, over 260 injured
CDC Director: US Ebola Outbreak “Not In The Cards”
International health experts preparing “surge” into West Africa to fight deadly virus
$16 billion for the VA; highway funding extended through May
THE ECONOMY, STUPID
Asian Crude rades Near Four-Month Low As US Supplies Expand: WTI $98.01, Brent $106.07
Asian Stocks Extend Global Rout Amid Earnings Concerns
Wall Street Plunges, Wiping Out July’s Gains
Dollar Just Off Ten-Month High Before US Job Data
GoPro Reports Wider Loss In First Report After IPO
WWE Signs Historic Multimedia Deal With Rogers
NY Judge Rules US Court Can Search E-Mails In Ireland
Microsoft Security Tool EMET 5.0 Puts Leash On Plugins
Surprise Bidder Enters Battle For T-Mobile
Apple Eliminating 200 Jobs At Beats After Acquisition
BBM Now Available For WinPhone Users
Lester, Lackey deals among 12 completed at Fenway
Did the Red Sox in Trading Day, rearm for 2015?
FAMOUS FOR BEING FAMOUS
Kelly Rowland Talks Pregnancy
“We’re very excited.”
Argentina’s Fernandez Denies Default As Bonds Sink
RBS Expresses Concerns Over Scotland Independence
India’s Demands Block $1 Trillion WTO Deal On Customs Rules
Forensic Investigators Finally Reach Malaysian Air Crash Site
Libyan Hospitals Face Collapse As Asian Staff Flee
Islamic Militias Declare Control Of Benghazi
Imam Of China’s Biggest Mosque Murdered By Extremists
Turks Abroad Begin Voting In Presidential Election
VP Biden Praises Japan’s New Military Policy
Thai Junta Appoints Military-Dominated Legislature
BLOGS & STUFF
Doug Powers: Bloomberg Anti-Gun Group Shoots Itself In Foot
Twitchy:“In The Shadows?!?” Colorado To Issue Driver’s Licenses To Illegals Monday
American Power: Illegal Alien Suspect In USC Murder Wanted By ICE For Deportation; Victim’s Family Fought For Entry Visa
American Thinker: The Three Faces Of Cronyism
BLACKFIVE: Bill Clinton’s Hard Choice On Bin Laden
Conservatives4Palin: Governor Palin Takes On Jesse Ventura
Don Surber: Corporations Aren’t People – Except When They Are
Jammie Wearing Fools: Democrat Fundraising E-Mail Rages Over Republican Fundraising E-Mail – “We’re Still FUMING”
Joe For America: What Will Happen First – Economic Collapse, Or Martial Law?
JustOneMinute: Mickey Strikes Again!
Protein Wisdom: “Are Hostile Blog Posts Key To Dan Markel Murder Mystery?”
Shot In The Dark: Our Gullible Left
STUMP: On Going To The Ivy League
The Gateway Pundit: Obama Halts Visa Applications From Israel
The Jawa Report: Noted Hamas Supporters To Raise Money For “Gaza Victims” At Six Flags Magic Mountain, LA
The Lonely Conservative: Dem Rep Who Co-Sponsored Bill To Impeach Bush Now Claims They Never Tried To Impeach Bush
This Ain’t Hell: Ventura/Janos Not Done?
Weasel Zippers: Wisconsin School Says FLOTUS Lunch Mandate “A Disaster”
Deadline to submit links for the FMJRA is noon tomorrow.
Deadline to submit links for Rule 5 Sunday is midnight tomorrow.
DO THAT TOO.
Nina Burleigh: #WomenAgainstFeminism Is for ‘Pedophiles … Dirty Old Men’ UPDATE: ‘Perverted Rightwing Spite’
Posted on | July 31, 2014 | 84 Comments
Women Against Feminism had, last time I checked, 16,013 followers on Facebook. Its tumblr is constructed of selfies of young women, dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services, holding up bits of notebook paper on which they’ve scrawled screeds against feminism. . . .
Everything about Women Against Feminism suggests it’s a sock puppet for the aggrieved misogynists and pedophiles of the anti-feminist men’s rights crowd. The main clue is that almost all the women on the site are nubile and posed in ways that fulfill dirty old men’s wildest dreams about pliant young things.
This vile smear is doubly disgusting because of Nina Burleigh’s infamous 1998 comment about the Monica Lewinsky scandal:
“I would be happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob
just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think
American women should be lining up with their
presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude
for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”
So, according to this soi-disant feminist intellectual, it’s perfectly acceptable for a 20-year-old intern to fellate the married middle-aged man who happens to be her boss — Nina Burleigh expressed no complaints about “pliant young things” and “dirty old men” in 1998 — but when women reject feminism’s radical ideology, the only possible explanation, according to Ms. Burleigh, is that these women are sock puppets for pedophile misogynists.
The New York Observer should be ashamed to publish a deranged fanatic as hateful and dishonest as Nina “Kneepads” Burleigh.
UPDATE: The New York Observer‘s current editor, Ken Kurson, is their sixth editor in seven years, and unless Kurson strongly repudiates Nina Burleigh’s reprehensible column, he should be fired immediately. Her deliberate lies are unacceptable.
UPDATE II: The shameless lying hater tells more hateful lies:
— ninaburleigh (@ninaburleigh) July 31, 2014
Did I mention Women Against Feminism has a popular Facebook page?
UPDATE III: Other than (a) fantasizing about providing oral sex for pro-abortion Democrats and (b) telling hateful lies against feminism’s critics, I’m not sure what kind of “feminist” ideology Nina Burleigh promulgates. However, I’ve recently begun a series of essays about radical feminism called “Sex Trouble”:
- July 28: Feminists Against ‘The Unnatural, Yet Universal Roles Patriarchy Has Assigned’
- July 26: Feminists Worry That Disney Movies Are Making Girls Heterosexual
- July 14: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’
Honestly, I had been procrastinating about writing the next long installment in the series, so I’m glad that Nina Burleigh provided this helpful inspiration. Life is good. Hit the tip jar.
Posted on | July 31, 2014 | 14 Comments
Courtesy of @KatherineMiller at BuzzFeed:
Remember: It is Democrats who are currently raising millions of dollars through fearmongering e-mail appeals that accuse Republicans of planning to impeach President Obama. And in June 2008, Dennis Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush, a measure co-sponsored by Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who seems to have forgotten all about that:
I ask my colleagues to oppose this resolution for it is in fact a veiled attempt at impeachment and it undermines the law that allows a president to do his job. A historical fact: President Bush pushed this nation into a war that had little to do with apprehending terrorists. We did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority.
Democrats: No one can ever accuse them of honesty.
Posted on | July 31, 2014 | 2 Comments
– compiled by Wombat-socho
IDF Hits UN School, Market; Palestinian Death Toll Hits 1361
IDF opens fire after taking mortar fire from school grounds
Israel calls up another 16,000 reservists
Turkish PM Erdogan: Israelis surpass Nazi barbarism
Arab leaders, seeing Hamas as worse than Israel, remain silent
Liberia Closes Schools As Ebola Spreads
Peace Corps pulls out of three countries
Russia Scorns Sanctions; Ukrainian Army Drives On
Kiev: No scaling back offensive, but no control of crash site without international help
Democrats brand vote as “political charade”, effort to mollify impeachment firebrands
THE ECONOMY, STUPID
Asian Crude Slips As Traders Discount Russia Sanctions: WTI $99.61, Brent $106.22
Argentina Defaults As Last-Minute Talks Fail
US Economy Grew 4% In Second Quarter
Scripps, Journal To Merge Broadcast Operations, Spin Off Newspapers
Bank Of America Ordered To Pay $1.3 Billion For Countrywide Fraud
Bullish Dollar Retains Bulk Of Gains On US Growth Report
Cortana’s Cute Face Only Has Eyes For China
How To Sideload Apps On The Amazon Fire Phone
Facebook-Backed Nonprofit Brings Free Internet To Zambia
Shazam Launches Its First Desktop App
Supr Mario Fails To Rescue Nintendo From Quarterly Loss
Dodgers streak extends to season-best five games
FAMOUS FOR BEING FAMOUS
Lana Parrilla Gets Married
Evil queen of “Once Upon A Time” marries fiance Fred Di Blasio
Rights Groups Call Separatism Charges Against Uighur Scholar “Ludicrous”
Russian Stocks, Ruble Stronger After EU Publishes New Sanctions
Dozens Feared Trapped In India Landslide
France Evacuates Foreign Nationals In Libya As Fighting Intensifies
Kerry Pushes To Save WTO Deal Before Deadline
Pentagon Restocks Israel’s Ammo Supplies
British MPs Say NATO Unprepared For Russian Threat
ROK’s Ruling Saenuri Party Takes By-elections In Sweeping Victory
19 Drown Off Karachi Beaches After Ignoring Monsoon Swimming Ban
Bolivia Officially Declares Israel “Terrorist State”
BLOGS & STUFF
Michelle Malkin: Want A Real Anti-Poverty Plan? Stop Amnesty Now!
Twitchy: MMFA Attempted Smear Of Fox Gets Debunked By “Commie Girl”
American Power: Amid Ballooning Costs, Billions Raided From Other Programs To Deal With Illegal Alien Invasion
American Thinker: Obama The Blamethrower
BLACKFIVE: Janos The Anos
Conservatives4Palin: “Keep It Right Here On Morning Jew”
Don Surber: Daily Scoreboard, July 30
Jammie Wearing Fools: Top House Dem – Of Course We’re Running On Impeachment, We Have Nothing Else
Joe For America: Ebola Diagnostic Kits Deployed To National Guard In All 50 States
JustOneMinute: Send Out The Clowns
Protein Wisdom: On Impeachment
Shot In The Dark: Democrat Womens’ War On Themselves
STUMP: Checking The Numbers – Decrease In Median Household Net Worth
The Gateway Pundit: Hamas “Humanitarian Organization” Shoots Twenty Antiwar Protesters
The Jawa Report: “Wonder Woman” Actress Gal Gadot Gets 189,560 Likes For Ripping Hamas On Facebook
The Lonely Conservative: “Assume That Future Revisions Of Q2 2014 Data Will Be Lower”
This Ain’t Hell: Walsh Plagiarism – The Fix Is In?
Weasel Zippers: Italian Reporter Leaving Gaza Confirms It Was Hamas Rocket That Hit Schoolyard, Killing Ten Kids
Megan McArdle: Everyone Wins When You Buy A Rotisserie Chicken
Posted on | July 30, 2014 | 45 Comments
Martine Rothblatt (left); Gabriel Rothblatt (right).
Next time Democrats claim that Republicans are “the party of the rich” or complain about millionaires using PACs to funnel big money into politics, just mention this weird story about the Democrat candidate for Congress in Florida’s 8th District:
A congressional candidate in Florida is getting a boost from a super political action committee with one donor, which happens to be his dad.
But there’s a twist.
Gabriel Rothblatt’s father, Martine, used to be Martin Rothblatt before undergoing gender reassignment surgery. She — Martine — founded Sirius Satellite Radio and a Maryland-based biotech company that paid her $38 million in compensation last year, according to Forbes. . . .
Records show Martine Rothblatt contributed $225,000 to SpacePAC last quarter. Additionally, SpacePAC’s treasurer is a former federal regulatory lawyer and now influential attorney associated with United Therapeutics Corp., Martine Rothblatt’s pharmaceutical company.
Federal election laws prohibit super PACs from coordinating with candidates, but the close familial ties in this case could easily complicate those restrictions — and already may have. . . .
Rothblatt is endorsed by the Teamsters, a powerful labor union, and the National Organization for Women, a feminist group. The district includes Brevard and Indian River counties, and parts of Orange County.
Now, I’m going to get to Martine Rothblatt’s genuinely weird biography in a minute, but first, here’s a report from local newspaper columnist Russ Lemmon about the “infestation” of campaign signs for Gabriel Rothblatt that covered the 8th District:
As I noted last week, Rothblatt sent me an email in May and he said the signs were put out by SpacePAC, a political action committee that is supporting his campaign. He said election laws prohibit him from having contact with SpacePAC.
I said it was a lame excuse, as he surely knows someone who knows someone who could get the word to SpacePAC.
Which inadvertently set the stage for a humorous email from Curtis Carpenter:
“His excuse that it’s a Political Action Committee that is responsible for their placement might almost be believable except for the fact that his parents founded the PAC!”
Yes, it’s true.
SpacePAC was formed by Bina and Martine Rothblatt, according to the website spacepac.us. (Some interesting trivia from the website: “The Rothblatts created Sirius XM satellite radio in 1990.”)
During our initial email exchange, Gabriel Rothblatt didn’t say a word about his parents’ involvement in SpacePAC. I told him that was a pretty big omission on his part.
“The May conversation was brief and any number of topics could either be considered an omission, or just not relevant to a brief directed response and reserved for a still anticipated in-person conversation,” he said Thursday via email.
Seriously? I’m thinking he should have given disclosure of the SpacePAC relationship a much higher priority.
First, does anyone believe that Gabriel Rothblatt is not “coordinating” with a PAC whose sole contributor is his . . . er, ex-father?
It appears the SpacePAC exists solely as a single-donor money-funnel with the goal of electing Martine Rothblatt’s son to Congress. There’s your grassroots party of the working-class “little guy,” eh?
Now, let’s examine the bizarre biography of Martine (neé Martin) Rothblatt: It’s wrong to call him/her Gabriel Rothblatt’s “mother,” because it appears that after undergoing sex-change surgery in 1994 at age 40, Martin/Martine remained married to his/her wife, who is the mother of their four children, Eli, Sunee, Gabriel, and Jenesis. So I guess that means Martin/Martine is a translesbian.
In 1995, Martine Rothblatt published The Apartheid of Sex: Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender, about which we read:
Rothblatt makes a case for the adoption of a new sexual model that accommodates every shade of gender identity. She reveals that traditional male and female roles are dictated neither by genetics, genitals, nor reproductive biology, but rather by social attitudes that originated in early patriarchal cultures and that have been institutionalized in modern law, and she calls a new acceptance of human sexuality in all its prismatic variety. . . .
Arguing that “the legal division of people into males and females is as wrong as the legal division of people into black and white race,” Rothblatt, an attorney and transsexual, is a proponent of “transgenderism,” which she characterizes as a grass-roots movement whose guiding principle is “that people should be free to change, either temporarily or permanently, the sex type to which they were assigned since infancy.” Using a provocative reinterpretation of historical and legal issues, feminist thinking, and scientific research to defend her belief in continua of sex, gender, and sexual identity, Rothblatt sometimes seems unclear of her intended audience.
Yeah, whatever. And if you think that is weird, try this:
In 2004, Rothblatt launched the Terasem Movement, a transhumanist school of thought focused on promoting joy, diversity, and the prospect of technological immortality via mind uploading and geoethical nanotechnology. Through a charitable foundation, leaders of this school convene publicly accessible symposia, publish explanatory analyses, conduct demonstration projects, issue grants, and encourage public awareness and adherence to Terasem values and goals..
So here’s your Gabriel Rothblatt campaign slogan:
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) July 31, 2014
Posted on | July 30, 2014 | 34 Comments
From Beca Grimm (@becagrimm):
— dj crumple chin (@becagrimm) July 30, 2014
Have I ever mentioned my insanely obsessive curiosity?
When something catches my attention, it is my habit to research the topic within an inch of its life, pursuing random footnotes and the biographical details of the authors of the works cited in the bibliography, in order to satisfy my maniacal desire to know.
Do not tell me your opinions. Tell me what you know — give me facts, quotes, something genuinely useful to me as knowledge.
Exactly how I developed this habitual hyper-curiosity is a long story. Remember that the Internet did not become a mass phenomenon until I was in my mid-30s, so that by the time I first logged onto the Web, I’d spent more than three decades seeking knowledge in books, magazines and newspapers. Young people — i.e., anyone under 30 — can scarcely imagine that world, where you couldn’t just Google up anything you wanted to know, where being knowledgeable required one to commit facts to memory, to develop skills and habits of checking indexes and bibliographies and learning how to cross-reference sources. At any rate, the development of my mental habits occurred before there was an Internet, and the advent of the online world provided a sort of turbo-boost to my pre-existing curiosity, and the effect is this: My mind is crammed with facts, and I am unable to break the habit of acquiring new facts, so that there is a somewhat disorganized encyclopedia inside my mind, to which I add new information every day.
The name Inga Muscio rang no bells for me, and because I’ve spent the past six months immersed in a study of radical feminism, the fact that I did not recognize the name of this feminist author led me to do some quick research: Here’s her Wikipedia entry, here’s the “About” page of her blog, here is her personal FAQs. You can take the time to scan those pages, and you will then know as much about Inga Muscio as I do. Why would I ask you to undertake that research?
In college, a friend who didn’t shave her armpits lent me her copy of Inga Muscio’s feminist treatise Cunt: A Declaration of Independence. Paging through it instantly gave me a ton of great ideas, like supporting female-run businesses and LGBT rights and checking out my vagina with a compact mirror. Then there were some I wasn’t immediately sold on, like abortion via reflexology and, more specifically, using menstrual blood as plant fertilizer. . . .
Read the rest of that, if you care.
My insane curiosity kicks in: Who is Beca Grimm? It was easy enough to learn she is a music journalist who was living the dream in Brooklyn, N.Y., but is now moving to Atlanta. What I wanted, however, was the specific context of the phrase, “In college …”
Where did she go to college and when?
The green movement has recently become one of nation-sweeping proportions. Vegetarianism is strongly linked to environmentalism because abstaining from ingesting meat greatly helps our planet. . . .
Of course, one of the most popular reasons people boycott meat is in support of animal rights. Although the meat industry has improved somewhat since the times of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” what with the growing popularity of free-range options, there are still an astounding lack of ethics. . . .
Let’s not be too critical of Beca’s collegiate output, eh? The relevant point is that when she refers to her college days, Beca is a 27-year-old talking about what she did when she was 19 or 20 or 21. One wonders what other books she read in college, or what books she has since read, but somehow this one book gave her “a ton of great ideas” — e.g., gazing at her genitalia with a mirror — and thus Inga Muscio’s Cunt can be described as a formative influence on Beca.
OK, then: Vegetarian environmentalist animal-rights feminist.
Am I the only one who notices how many young people seem to care more about their beliefs and attitudes than about knowledge?
That is to say, despite their intelligence, their sense of themselves is almost entirely about membership in an ideology/identity group — to which they give a cult-like loyalty — and they never pursue knowledge except to reinforce their own beliefs. This is not merely intellectual sloth, but deliberate self-imposed ignorance. They are determined to know nothing outside the confines of their own narcissistic identity bubble, and are therefore so ignorant that they have no concept of how much they don’t know.
It is impossible to educate self-absorbed people who lack curiosity. “Checking out my vagina with a compact mirror” is a perfect metaphor for the lives of this hopelessly ignorant generation.
Posted on | July 30, 2014 | 12 Comments
– by Wombat-socho
This has been an exciting month for me, what with the launch of The Last Falangist and all, and I would like to thank everyone who read Stacy’s excellent review and plunked down their $1.99. Forty of you did so, and another couple of folks borrowed it, some of you even posted glowing reviews on Amazon, and I am very grateful to all of you.
I am also, of course, grateful to everyone who bought stuff through my Amazon links here on the site. It’s interesting to look at the monthly report and see what people like to shop for. Most of what people buy from my links are e-books; I guess that’s not too surprising since they’re relatively inexpensive and provide instant gratification. Top seller this month (so far) is Andy Weir’s The Martian with ten copies, followed by Sarah Hoyt’s short story The Price of Gold (seven copies) and her novelette The Big Ship and the Wise Old Owl tied with Christopher Nuttall’s The Trafalgar Gambit at three copies apiece. People also seem to like Tom Kratman; his new The Rods and the Axe sold a few copies, and someone picked up its predecessor Come and Take Them as well.
Apparently I’m not the only one who likes protein bars around here; someone ordered a box of LARABAR Alt Bar, Cinnamon Apple Crisp and some other Larabar products as well, and we also moved a box of Odwalla Super Protein 2-Ounce Bar. Good eats at a good price!
Major thanks to whoever ordered New MTN Gearsmith Heavy Duty Adjustable Cast Iron Chrome Weight Dumbbell Set. It is so metal, and no doubt will do your body good. Also on the fitness front, an Adidas Flat Bench. Quite the bargain!
Finally, I can’t thank Stacy McCain enough for giving me the opportunity to mongle links and make the occasional semi-coherent post here. The man is a public benefactor, taking in strange crypto-Jewish marsupial sorts and giving them a place to blog, to say nothing of doing an outstanding job pimping my book. He is truly the last champion of Conservative Gonzo Shoe Leather Journalism loose in the land, and you should definitely HIT THE FREAKING TIP JAR!
Posted on | July 30, 2014 | 78 Comments
Before starting this discussion, permit me to point out that no entrepreneur in conservative online media has been more successful than Michelle Malkin, who launched two digital start-ups — HotAir.com and Twitchy.com — and subsequently sold these Internet properties to Salem Communications for sums rumored to be seven figures each.
The knowledge that this woman’s phenomenal intelligence and hard work have been handsomely rewarded in the marketplace of ideas casts an important light on Issie Lapowsky’s Wired.com article:
Shortly after Kathryn Tucker started RedRover, an app that showcases local events for kids, she pitched the idea to an angel investor at a New York tech event. But it didn’t go over well. When she finished her pitch, the investor said he didn’t invest in women.
When she asked why, he told her. “I don’t like the way women think,” he said. “They haven’t mastered linear thinking.” To prove his point, he explained that his wife could never prioritize her to-do lists properly. And then, as if he was trying to compliment her, he told Tucker she was different. “You’re more male,” he said.
Tucker didn’t need to hear any more. “I said, ‘Thanks very much,’ walked out, and never spoke to him again,” she recalled earlier this year, as part of a panel discussion on “fundraising while female” at the annual Internet Week conference in New York.
It was one of many stories shared during a panel that painted the tech world as a place that—for all its efforts to push into the future with apps and gadgets and online services—is still very much stuck in the past when it comes to attitudes involving gender. Rachel Sklar, founder of Change the Ratio, an advocacy group for women in tech, shared the story of an investor who said he doesn’t invest in women he doesn’t find attractive. Another gave women in the audience a tip for pitching VCs: “Wear a wedding ring.”
As unsettling as they were, these stories only begin to describe the obstacles facing women in the tech world. We’ve all seen the numbers. According to a recent report . . . only 13 percent of venture-backed companies had at least one female co-founder. In the software sector, women-run businesses accounted for just 10 percent of all venture capital deals. . . .
You can read the whole tendentious thing, which is a typical example of how feminists argue: Cite some statistics, tell a few anecdotes and — voila! — they’re victims oppressed by the patriarchy. To dispute their claims just proves you’re a sexist, and so skeptics are either smeared or intimidated into silence.
The core of the feminist argument here is a simple fallacy, the belief that every kind of “inequality” must be the result of unfair discrimination, so that merely by showing a statistical disparity, they believe they have exposed “social injustice.”
This is an absurd species of bad logic. It depends upon the credulous belief, the unstated premise of the syllogism, that male sexism is such a powerful force as to triumph over the profit motive of investors in a market economy. Such feminist claims furthermore depend on another unstated premise, namely that perfect parity — where participation in every field of human endeavor, at every level, is exactly proportional to the general population — is the natural, normal or most desirable state of affairs. Only if one accepts that dubious egalitarian premise is there any reason to believe that the high-tech sector is plagued by wrongful sexist discrimination.
The different proportions of employees in various career fields — whether we analyze the workforce by sex, race, age, nationality, religion or any other factor — may have any number of explanations without prompting a legitimate claim of unfair discrimination. Even where one can cite anecdotal evidence of prejudiced attitudes (e.g., sexist remarks made by investors or executives), it does not follow from such examples that this prejudice is the cause of the statistical disparity. In fact, one can plausibly argue that causality runs in the other direction, and that sexist attitudes in male-dominated career fields are simply a reflection of the fact that most people in these fields are male, so that the normative expectations are expressions of commonplace male attitudes.
We might expect that women seeking employment as construction workers or long-haul truck drivers would face a certain amount of prejudice in those overwhelmingly male trades; it does not follow from this fact, however, that prejudice against women explains why there are so few women carpenters, bricklayers or tractor-trailer drivers. There is a chicken-and-egg question of causality involved, and if truck drivers are (a) mostly male and (b) given to “sexist” beliefs, we cannot presume that (b) is the cause of (a), nor can we rule out the plausible alternative (c) that most women simply aren’t interested in driving big rigs.
It is impossible to overlook the fact that these types of “diversity” claims — where a perceived shortage of women or ethnic minorities in some field is treated as a problem of unfairness or discrimination — are only ever made in relation to career fields that are relatively lucrative or perceived as prestigious. No one has ever cited the percentage of women (or Chinese or Latinos, whatever) employed as short-order cooks or retail clerks as evidence that there is discrimination in these low-paying, low-prestige jobs. Nor is the disproportionately large number of African-American players in the NBA claimed to result from anti-white prejudice, because success in the world of professional sports ultimately comes down to who can best play the game. Where we find claims of discriminatory unfairness, or laments about the lack of “diversity,” are in high-paying office jobs generally requiring a college education and where the superiority of merit between different employees is difficult for any outsider to judge.
Notice that the people who are most involved in pushing these discrimination/diversity claims are usually employed in exactly these kinds of office jobs. They are lawyers, journalists, academics or non-profit activists — college-educated people employed in fields where it is hard to say that judgments of merit are entirely objective. If a certain lawyer is appointed to be a federal judge, for example, the fact that this attorney is qualified, having a diploma from a good law school and having been successful in private practice, does not mean that he is the most qualified candidate for the job. There may be many thousands of lawyers in America whose qualifications are at least as good as the lawyer appointed to the federal bench, but (a) many of those lawyers have no interest in serving as a judge, and (b) even if they were interested, most don’t have the political connections needed to attract the attention and support of those who decide which candidates the president will nominate for a vacancy in the federal judiciary.
By the same token, whatever the criteria by which one judges a journalist, a professor or a non-profit activist, it is very difficult to say that questions of absolute merit in those fields can be determined by strictly objective standards. A reporter who wins the Pulitzer Prize, for example, can usually be presumed to be one of the best practitioners of the trade. However, Janet Cooke of the Washington Post won the Pulitzer for a series of articles later revealed to have been fabricated, and Pulitzer winner Rick Bragg resigned from the New York Times after being accused of ethical lapses. One could examine the other occupations of diversity-mongers — in academia, for example — and produce similar instances that indicate the absence of an absolute-merit standard.
We return, then, to the alleged discrimination against women in the computer technology field, as described by Issie Lapowsky. Here we need not speculate endlessly about the standard of merit. Ultimately, the market determines whether a technology company succeeds or fails. High-tech start-ups are notoriously risky investments; for every Google or Facebook that turns into a gigantic money-maker for investors, there are countless ventures that implode in a matter of months or which, like Salon.com, seem to stagger along in zombie fashion because “investors” have a non-monetary motive to keep losing money year after year.
Investors and executives in high-tech firms have every possible incentive to attract the very best personnel available. If qualified females are being discriminated against, so that less-qualified males are employed or promoted, then companies could gain a competitive advantage by hiring and promoting women who are victims of discrimination at other firms. Therefore, if the lack of “diversity” in high-tech is the result of unfair sexist prejudice, some companies must be cutting off their noses to spite their faces, forgoing opportunities for profit in the process. Ultimately, then, these sexist firms would lose market share in comparison to companies whose employment practices are based on standards of absolute merit, and firms that hire and promote qualified females would gain economic benefit from their wise policies.
The fact that this has not happened — that the most successful firms in this highly competitive field are founded and managed by men — would logically seem to be adequate evidence that unfair discrimination is not the norm in high-tech. But if feminists cared about logic and evidence, they wouldn’t be feminists, would they?
keep looking »