‘Intervention is essential, but does not signal a socialist state’

Plain-speaking Economics

The coronavirus job retention scheme is the biggest step the Chancellor has taken so far, both in terms of its nature (subsidising the wages of millions of private sector worker) and cost (potentially many tens of billions of pounds). This raises three questions. Is this degree of state intervention justified? What more is needed? And how will all this support eventually be stopped?

The first of these questions is relatively easy to answer. The government has made the exceptional decision to shut down large parts of the market economy to save many thousands of lives. It is only right that this is matched by exceptional policy responses to protect businesses and jobs, and thus prevent a temporary economic shock from becoming a prolonged depression.

The new wage subsidy scheme is cleverly designed. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has argued that it might encourage businesses to concentrate work among a small…

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THE Great Global Warming “Pause”

Climatism

THE Great Global Warming Pause - CLIMATISM


BETWEEN the start of 1997 and the end of 2014, average global surface temperature stalled. This 18-year period is known as the global warming “pause” or “hiatus” and has been the subject of much research and debate in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

THE rise in global temperatures that alarmed climate campaigners in the 1990’s had slowed so much that the trend was no longer statistically significant. This despite one-third of Man’s entire influence on climate since the Industrial Revolution occurring since February 1997.

THE pause took a pause during the 2015/16 super El Niño which was the strongest such event in recorded history and helped to make 2015 and 2016 the warmest years in the modern warm period. However, 2017 witnessed the biggest drop in global temps in recorded history, seen across most data sets, bringing temps back inline with 1997-2014 averages, rendering “the pause” alive and well, to date.

THERE…

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Legal History Miscellany

By Cassie Watson; posted 11 December 2019.

As the current election campaign draws to a close amid increasingly shrill claims and counterclaims, I am reminded of a saying that, while common today, appears to have originated around the time of a much earlier election campaign.[1] In early July 1892 remarks made by “Mr Balfour” — presumably Arthur Balfour MP (1848–1930), then Leader of the House of Commons — were cited by fellow Tories in relation to the three categories of untruths alleged to be inherent in Gladstonian speeches about Irish Home Rule: “lies, damned lies, and statistics.”[2] While the possibility of (another) minority government is one route to pursue regarding this observation,[3] I am more interested in the statistics part of Balfour’s quotation, as the collection, analysis and interpretation of historical data are among the main methodologies utilised by criminal justice historians. The saying itself is now…

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Sex by Deception? Perjury?

Gender Abolitionist

Sex by deception: Legal Case.

I was not intending to blog this case. I  fear the bald facts lend themselves to a curiosity born out of prurience. I myself was intrigued so I am not in any position to judge.  It is merely a natural reaction to the facts, as laid out in the case. Transcript

The bare facts of the case are:2FE8543F-E335-4869-B3A3-16817D7267D1 On reflection, I decided to blog as it raises the issue of Sex By Deception, currently a criminal offence. There is talk about reviewing the law.   Stonewall are one of the organisations lobbying for this:

571C4250-82AD-40AE-89F6-2F8F04CF8517Whilst there could be a progressive case for reviewing  the law around sex by deception (I am thinking of Spy cops) it’s also fraught with risk.  I am mainly thinking of  #CottonCeiling here.  The term #CottonCeiling was coined by a trans porn actor and activist, Drew DeVeux. It describes the “exclusionary”…

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Ireland (part three): Ourselves Alone – Eamon de Valera and the Arrows of Adversity

RGS History

dev 32By 1923, the civil war was over. The anti-treaty forces had been crushed, and the new Free State was established. The civil war left its legacy, though, not least in subsequent politics: the two sides of the civil war gave birth to the two political parties that have dominated Irish politics ever since.

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The pro-treaty side that now governed (above, in 1923) formed a party that, by 1932, had coalesced into Fine Gael. Meanwhile, Eamon de Valera created Fianna Fail (below). It went on to become its largest party in independent Ireland, as it would remain until 2011.

FF 26If de Valera’s conduct in 1921-22 was at best deeply mistaken, and at worst malign, head discovered statesmanship quickly thereafter. Having lost his seat, he contemplated leaving politics. Instead, in 1926, he broke from and effectively broke Sinn Féin. Then, in 1927, he ate his old words about the oath: Fianna Fáil…

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Civil Rights in Song (5): the Politics of the Folk Revival, and the story of Josh White

RGS History

800px-Josh_White,_Café_Society_(Downtown),_New_York,_N.Y.,_ca._June_1946_(William_P._Gottlieb_09091)The day Martin Luther King stood by the Lincoln Memorial and spoke of his dream, also saw some of the great luminaries of the folk music scene of the day. Among those performing were someone most people have probably heard of: Bob Dylan.  I suspect very few have heard of Josh White. But, White’s story, and the story of America’s folk revival, gives us a slice of American social, political and cultural history. It takes us from the dust bowl to New York City, from the White House to the HUAC.

Cover_of_Francis_James_Child's_''English_and_Scottish_Popular_Ballads''Interest in the traditional music of Europe and America was hardly new. In the later part of the 19th century, James Francis Child was a Harvard academic: he wrote one of the most important studies of Chaucer, for example. What he is perhaps best remembered for is his collection of 305 traditional English and Scottish folk songs, colloquially…

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The Man Who Would Be Queen: Michael Bailey: {Part Three}

Gender Abolitionist

Part 3:  The Man Who Would Be Queen: Autogynephiles.

Having seen many references to this book I have finally got around to tackling it.  The full text is available free  here: The Man Who Would Be Queen

Bailey is clearly fascinated with the topic of transsexualism and immerses himself in their subculture to recruit “subjects” for his research. He is not, at least in this book, concerned with the legislative framework to protect transsexuals. He also or doesn’t examine how any such laws that interacts with those enacted to protect the female sex.  His exposition of the underlying, erotic, motivations for transition does, however, reinforce the need for women’s, sex based, rights.

Bailey, uses prominent researcher Ray Blanchard’s  typology of transsexuals which differentiate between HSTS (homosexual transsexuals) and AGP transsexuals. The wider public, and many commentators, are either ignorant about this typology or reject it. Bailey believes transsexualism could illuminate…

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The Man Who Would Be Queen: Michael Bailey: {Part Two}

Gender Abolitionist

Part 2:  The Man Who Would Be Queen: A reading.

Having seen many references to this book I have finally got around to tackling it.  The full text is available free on line here:  The Man Who Would Be Queen

The author is sympathetic to gay and trans rights,  a lot of his research has a focus on evolutionary theory and adaptive, or maladaptive, responses to the environment.  So expect some evolutionary biology & some interrogation of nature v nurture. There is plenty to challenge long cherished beliefs, both for TransActivists & radical feminists. Since it needs saying in 2019, I don’t agree with every single word!

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My reading is motivated by a concern for women’s, sex based, rights and the premature medicalisation of Gay males. The book doesn’t cover females who transition or theories of the origins of Lesbianism.  He does, briefly, touch on Androphilia (Women who identify as…

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The New Gay Conversion Therapy?

Gender Abolitionist

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. 

Let me state, for the record, I don’t believe anyone has an innate “Gender Identity”.  Gender is a social construct, super-imposed on biological sex to uphold Patriarchal structures.

Gendered expectations  limit and constrain women whilst grooming boys to occupy a dominant role, as men.  Historically, feminists made a distinction between “sex” and “gender” to deconstruct, biologically determinist,  theories of sex differences.  It was never a radical feminist position  that women, or men, were born with a “natural” gender.  (Note to evolutionary biologists. I am not a proponent of blank slate theory.  I am, however, wary when biology is used to justify women’s position in the sex hierarchy).  Feminists dispute that gendered roles  are a natural, inevitable, consequence of our biology. Our Gendered role is distinct from our Biological Sex.

Gender versus Sex discourse is now distorted into the antithesis of a feminist analysis…

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(Almost) Nothing is Truly ‘Natural’ – Part 4

James Kennedy

Cezanne nothing is natural fruit and vegetables painting still life Nothing on this table is natural – not even the fruits. The Basket of Apples by Cézanne

Corn isn’t ‘natural’

In 2014, I created a series of infographics to help convey this message. Corn, for example, used to be a spindly grass-like plant called teosinte, which Native Americans farmed and bred through artificial selection until it resembled the yellow corn of today.

In 9000 years, sweetcorn has become 1000 times larger, 3.5 times sweeter, much easier to peel and much easier to grow than its wild ancestor. In the 15th century, when European settlers placed new selection pressures on the crop to suit their exotic taste buds, the corn evolved even further to become larger and multi-coloured. Corn no longer resembles the original teosinte plant at all.

Watermelon isn’t ‘natural’

Watermelon began as a hard, bitter fruit the size of a walnut. It caused inflammation and had an unpalatable bitter taste. Thousands…

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