No “Cisgender Straight White Males” Wanted: DNC Posts Job Notice That Excludes Heterosexual White Males


imagesAn official at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has posted a help wanted ad for its technology department that seeks the best candidates unless they are heterosexual white males.  The alleged email from Data Services manager Madeleine Leader was express and open about her prejudice against straight white males but neither the DNC nor Leader felt obligated to respond to the controversy.  The story was reported from the Daily Wire.

I have written to the DNC to try to get a comment.

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The Case Against Education – Bryan Caplan–updated with Japanese evidence

Utopia, you are standing in it!

Bryan Caplan  says that:

When you actually experience education, though, it’s hard not to notice that most classes teach no job skills.

The labour market heavily rewards educational credentials even though academic curriculum is seriously disconnected from the jobs people actually do.

The best explanation for this strange fact is that education is a strong signal of pre-existing worker productivity.

Caplan argues with annoying persuasiveness that education signals desirable employee traits such as intelligence, conscientiousness, conformity and a willingness to learn boring things:

  • Most education is for sending a signal to employers that you can jump through hoops to show off your IQ, work ethic, and conformity.
  • Schools and universities do not to produce wisdom, information, critical thinking or human capital.
  • Subsidising education creates an arms race of credentialism as each student attempts to acquire more and more education than their rival job applicants.

His particular focus is the educational…

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Does addiction and mental illness dull responses to incentives

I found the chapter in Tullock and McKenzie’s book on token economies in mental hospitals to be most enlightening in regard to addictions and mental illness clouding judgement.

The tokens in a token economy were spending money at the hospital canteen and trips to town and other privileges. They were earned by keeping you and your area clean and helping out with chores at the mental asylum.

The first token economies were for chronic, treatment-resistant psychotic inpatients. In 1977, a major study, still considered a landmark, successfully showed the superiority of a token economy compared to the standard treatments of these type of psychotic inpatients.

Experiments which would now be unethical showed that the occupational choices and labour supply of certified lunatics responded to incentives in the normal, predictable way. For example, tokens were withdrawn for helping clean halls and common areas. The changes in occupational choice and reductions in labour supply was immediate and as predicted by standard economics.

Some patients would steal the tokens for other patients, so the tokens were individually marked. The thefts almost stopped. Crime must pay even for criminally insane inpatients. Kagel reported that:

The results have not varied with any identifiable trait or characteristic of the subjects of the token economy – age, IQ, educational level, length of hospitalization, or type of diagnosis. Most people age out of addiction to drugs or to alcohol.  By age 35, half of patients with active alcoholism or addiction diagnoses during their teens and 20s no longer take drugs or drink:

The average cocaine addiction lasts four years, the average marijuana addiction lasts six years, and the average alcohol addiction is resolved within 15 years. Heroin addictions tend to last as long as alcoholism, but prescription opioid problems, on average, last five years. In these large samples, which are drawn from the general population, only a quarter of people who recover have ever sought assistance in doing so (including via 12-step programs). This actually makes addictions the psychiatric disorder with the highest odds of recovery.

Studies of demand elasticity normally find that consumption of hard drugs is quite sensitive to price. Addicts respond to incentives, in particular, to price rises by cutting back on their drug taking.

At the beginning of this century, the Dutch government controlled the opium market in the Dutch East Indies–nowadays Indonesia–for several decades. This state monopoly was called the opiumregie. Using information gathered during the opiumregie, this paper estimates price elasticities of opium consumption. It appears that short-term price elasticities of opium use are about -0.7. Long-term price elasticities are about -1.0.

BBC News report on Gaza tunnel equivocal about its purpose

BBC Watch

On October 30th the IDF carried out a controlled explosion on a cross-border attack tunnel running from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

“The military said the tunnel had been under surveillance for an extended period of time and was under active construction at the time of the demolition.

The tunnel, which the IDF described as a “grave and unacceptable violation of Israeli sovereignty,” started in the Gazan city of Khan Younis, crossing under the border and approaching the Israeli community of Kibbutz Kissufim, the army said.

“The tunnel was detonated from within Israel, adjacent to the security fence,” the military said in a statement.

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the tunnel was approximately two kilometers away from the Israeli kibbutz. […]

The demolition was carried out near the fence separating Israel from Gaza.”

In the hours that followed it emerged that a number of operatives from…

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More on the free speech survey: Microagressions

Why Evolution Is True

Earlier today I discussed the upcoming Cato Institute/YouGov survey of Americans’ views on free speech as reported in The Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf—data that I didn’t find terribly heartening. It turns out that the same survey asked questions about statements considered by many colleges as “microaggressions”. In a related Atlantic piece, “Who is competent to decide what offends?” Friedersdorf summarizes these data separately, though the final report hasn’t yet appeared.

Friedersdorf isn’t an opponent of teaching students arriving at colleges about different cultures. Rather, he objects to the teaching of “cultural competence”: that is, giving messages to students about how to behave towards members of different groups. Here’s what Friedersdorf considers acceptable teaching:

A sound approach to teaching “cultural competence” might inform by exploring the history of blackface; or why Sikhs carry a small knife; or common challenges that orthodox Christian students experience on secular campuses; or the…

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Paris Will Reduce Temperatures By Only 0.17C–Lomborg


By Paul Homewood

Various claims have been made about the effect that the Paris Agreement would have on emissions and global temperatures.

The most authoritative analysis came from Bjorn Lomborg in November 2015, just before the Paris Agreement was signed:


Lomborg’s paper, it should be noted, was fully peer reviewed and published the Global Policy journal.

Lomborg’s blog summarised his findings:

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BBC Discover Paris Agreement Was Worthless After All!


By Paul Homewood

h/t HotScot


In its annual review, the UN says the gap between carbon cutting plans and the reductions required to keep temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius is “alarmingly high”.

Pledges made so far cover only one-third of the cuts needed by 2030 to keep below that goal, the review warns.

Even if all the promises are kept, temperatures might still rise by 3 degrees by 2100.

However, cost-effective options are available that can close the gap.

The UN has published an annual analysis of emissions every year since 2010.

This year’s instalment re-iterates the point that current pledges are insufficient to keep within the temperature limits agreed in the Paris climate pact….

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Seven Reasons the EU’s Use of the Precautionary Principle is Misguided

The Risk-Monger

This blog was originally published on 7 February 2011 and is part of the uploading to the new blog site. The original title was “What is wrong with the Precautionary Principle?” and includes a long comment with an excerpt from an article I published many years ago In the last six and a half years, nothing has changed in the EU process to alleviate my earlier concerns … to the contrary, the precautionary principle has become even more misused by activist opportunists.

This is the first of a two-part blog – in a few days, I will suggest a viable policy alternative to precaution.

The EU’s use of the precautionary principle has become counter-productive – a tool manipulated by cunning political interests resulting in increased environmental-health risks. Its very raison d’être, to restore trust in science, has been turned on its head by activists and functionaries in the European Environment Agency…

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Making progress on housing?

croaking cassandra

I’ve been quite sceptical that either side of politics –  whichever group of parties won the election – would address the fundamental distortions that have rendered urban land and houses so expensive.  After all, successive National and Labour-led governments had enabled us to get, and overseen us actually getting, into this mess.  And for anyone looking to the minor parties, New Zealand First had previously been part of, or supported, governments of both stripes, and the Greens –  with a taste for rapid population growth and restrictive planning laws –  didn’t seem any more hopeful.   Neither the Prime Minister nor the Leader of Opposition, before or after the election, seemed interested in seeing lower house prices.

An optimistic supporter of the Labour Party yesterday put it to me –  it was Reformation Day , and the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing his theses to the door of the church…

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