Day: July 14, 2018

Ireland’s Fossil Fuel Divestment is Meaningless

Green Jihad

Irish lawmakers have positioned Ireland to be the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels. According to the The New York Times, legislation was passed Wednesday in the country’s lower house of parliament, the Dail, requiring Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund to sell off its holdings in fossil fuel companies as soon as is practicable.

As The Times points out, the Irish environmentalist group, Trocaire, has been supporting the bill and called it both substantive and symbolic while Ireland’s Green Party called it a historic day on Twitter. However, what is largely left out of the press’s reporting shows that the proposal is meaningless.

According to The Financial Times, included in the bill are exemptions for fossil fuel companies that are declared to be in compliance with Ireland’s climate objectives. The legislation also includes exceptions for exchange traded or hedge funds which were added as…

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Fist fights broke out in the sociology department hosting this PhD over the ethics of the field research (wanted to avoid response bias)

From and

There were also social costs. The research occurred in the middle 1960s before institutional review boards were in existence. The dissertation proposal was reviewed only by Humphreys’ Ph.D. committee. Only after the research had been completed did the other members of the Sociology Department learn of it. A furor arose when some of those other members of the department objected that Humphreys’ research had unethically invaded the privacy and threatened the social standing of the subjects, and petitioned the president of Washington University to rescind Humphreys’ Ph.D. degree. The turmoil resulted in numerous other unfortunate events, including a fist fight among faculty members and the exodus of about half of the department members to positions at other universities.

There was considerable public outrage as well. Journalist Nicholas von Hoffman, who was given some details of the case by one of the angered members of the Sociology Department, wrote an article about Humphreys’ research and offered the following condemnation of social scientists: “We’re so preoccupied with defending our privacy against insurance investigators, dope sleuths, counterespionage men, divorce detectives and credit checkers, that we overlook the social scientists behind the hunting blinds who’re also peeping into what we thought were our most private and secret lives. But there they are, studying us, taking notes, getting to know us, as indifferent as everybody else to the feeling that to be a complete human involves having an aspect of ourselves that’s unknown.” (von Hoffman, 1970).



ICE, ICE, Maybe: Democratic Members To Vote Against Their Own Bill To Abolish ICE

Republicans called the bluff of three members and actually put their bill to abolish ICE on schedule for a vote. Reps. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Parmila Jayapal of Washington, and Adriano Espaillat promptly declared the vote a stunt and said that they would vote against their own bill.


imagesWe previously discussed the irresponsible proposal to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) by a rising number of Democratic members and leaders. It is the Democratic version of the equally irresponsible proposal from Republicans to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Internal Revenue Service.  This type of demagogic call however was answered this week when the Republicans called the bluff of three members and actually put their bill to abolish ICE on schedule for a vote.  Reps. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Parmila Jayapal of Washington, and Adriano Espaillat promptly declared the vote a stunt and said that they would vote against their own bill.

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Discerning the obvious: “Desert Island Economics”

Taking Sides

Source: Existential Comics

Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard are free market, capitalist libertarians. They essential believed that we would be the most “free” if nothing interferes with property relations, free enterprise, and the ability to make voluntary agreements. They don’t believe the government or public should be able to take property from the wealthy elite and redistribute it, because they got that property through voluntary transactions.

Communists like Karl Marx or Rosa Luxemburg, on the other hand, wished to abolish private property altogether. Private property, as distinct from personal property, is the machines, land, and tools used to produce modern life. Personal property are items used for personal use. So private property is something like a factory, and personal property is something like a toothbrush. Marxists believe that owning the means of productions (private property) was illegitimate, and used to extract surplus labor value from the workers.

So in…

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Scarlett Johansson vilified for playing role of trans man in a movie, columnist fired for defending her

Why Evolution Is True

As reported in multiple venues, actor Scarlett Johansson, set to play a transgender man in an upcoming movie, has been vilified for what I guess can be called “gender appropriation”. How dare she, ask the critics, take a role that could be played more “authentically” by a genuine transgender man? As the New York Times reports:

Scarlett Johansson faced a storm of criticism this week after it was reported that she would play a transgender man in a movie, a year after she drew scrutiny for taking on a role that was originally Japanese.

The newly announced film, “Rub & Tug,” is based on the real-life story of Dante “Tex” Gill, who ran a string of massage parlors that were fronts for prostitution dens in the 1970s and ’80s.

The online backlash was led by transgender actors, who argued that such casting decisions take opportunities away from members of…

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