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14 Jan 18:00

Feminism Does Not Demand Collectivism

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Collectivism: the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it

Individualism: a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control

“But…isn’t feminism collectivist?” As a self-proclaimed libertarian feminist, that’s a question I’m confronted with frequently—and not without some good reason. After all, libertarianism is a political philosophy concerned with maximizing individual liberty, while feminism in its most prevalent form today tends to be heavy on groupthink, government solutions, and prioritizing an alleged greater good over freedom of expression, free association, and personal autonomy.

Yet there’s nothing inherent in feminist philosophy and activism that says it has to be this way. Throughout the history of modern feminist movements, tensions have arisen between individualist or libertarian feminists and their counterparts of more collectivist and socialist bents.

Within these divisions lie disagreements that are prone to plague many movements. Consider a set of related questions: Should social change come from voluntary action or top-down tactics? Can we count on spontaneous order and markets to produce equitable conditions for different groups of people? What is the end goal, actually—equality of opportunity or equality of outcomes? How much should identity matter under the law?

Feminists have also been long divided over questions of womanhood and manhood, femininity and masculinity. Consider another set of questions: Is biology destiny? Are ladies from Venus and men from Mars? Is gender a construct? A binary? Will boys be boys? Can women “have it all?”

To libertarian feminists, the first set of questions is simple. The only way true social change can happen is without the use of government force—i.e., by changing hearts and minds, rather than changing the laws. In policy terms, our goals are to tear down state-sanctioned sexism where it still exists—whether that sexism seems to benefit men or women more—and advocate for systems where sex and gender are irrelevant to how one is treated by agents of the state. Equality of outcomes is an okay thing to desire but not an okay thing to accomplish through legislative fiat (from a moral or practical perspective). While often framed as well-intentioned attempts to correct for historic discrimination, trying to officially give women  a “leg up” over men only winds up enshrining a separate-but-equal status under the law—a status that will backfire against women ultimately.

Considering all of this, our answers to the second set of questions are somewhat irrelevant. Sure, individual libertarian feminists might have strong and differing opinions on them. But when we get the state out of sex and gender, we rightly return these topics to the realms of science, philosophy, business, religion, and personal relationships.

Libertarian feminists might believe sex and gender are separate, the latter a construct, and the former way less formative than it’s often assumed. They may be attached to traditionalist  ideas about men, women, and family structure. They may hold idiosyncratic or no strong views on the matter. Yet what they share is a commitment to avoid making government policy and according rights based on perceived sex/gender differences or lack thereof.

That’s important, so let’s stress it one more time: there’s no “correct” libertarian feminist position on sex and gender differences per se. All that matters for classifying someone as a libertarian feminist is a belief that law and policy should be neutral here.

Certain positions on sex and gender do seem more ideologically consistent with libertarian (or classical liberal) philosophy, however. And to agree on them, we needn’t wade into the nitty gritty of nature versus nurture, current conceptions of transgender identity, or moral theories about the best way to live. All we need is to adhere to a few widely-accepted scientific precepts and the widely observable evidence on this front.

This dictates that even if the majority of men share some trait or aspiration and the majority of women share some opposite trait or aspiration, there will still be large swaths of men and women who do not fall into line with their sex (not to mention the roughly one percent of people who possess biological markers both male and female). Even if most people are comfortable with the gendered expectations assigned to them on the basis of biology and culture, a lot of folks won’t be so keen on them. People with natural predilections toward particular ways may still overcome or subvert them under certain circumstances. And people who accord very squarely to gender and sex stereotypes in some regards tend to still break the mold in some ways.

Since in effect it’s impossible to say whether any particular person will neatly fit into any sex or gender category they’re assigned, the default should be to treat people—in personal interactions, business life, and under the law—as individuals.

There’s really nothing more collectivist than treating someone as simply a representative of their sex or gender. Or, to put it another way: Saying someone must be a certain way, believe certain things, or stay on certain paths because of their biology, or because most people in their identity category seem okay with it? That’s the opposite of an individualist outlook and the opposite of what true feminism stands for.

As a libertarian and someone who firmly believes that politics is downstream from culture, I think that one of the most important contributions of feminism (in all its messy, infighting glory) over the past two centuries has been challenging collectivist notions of sex, fighting for the prerogative of all people to be as “feminine” or “manly” as they like, and fighting for people’s right to live as traditionally or as radically as they would like (so long as they’re not infringing on the rights of others). Unfortunately, progress on this front has often been met with backlash by reactionaries on all sides, accompanied by attempts to control people’s personal relationships and habits if they don’t conform to some progressive ideal and to speed social progress and ladies’ liberation at the expense of other groups and general liberty.

Libertarian feminists—now and throughout history—seek to keep up the anti-collectivist and pro-woman spirit of these earlier battles while rejecting all that other authoritarian baggage. If feminism is “the radical notion that women are people,” libertarian feminism is the even more radical notion that women (and men) are individuals and should be treated as such.

12 Jan 17:51

Bash-5.0 released

by Thom Holwerda
This release fixes several outstanding bugs in bash-4.4 and introduces several new features. The most significant bug fixes are an overhaul of hownameref variables resolve and a number of potential out-of-bounds memory errors discovered via fuzzing. There are a number of changes to the expansion of $@ and $* in various contexts where word splitting is not performed to conform to a Posix standard interpretation, and additional changes to resolve corner cases for Posix conformance. The most notable new features are several new shell variables: BASH_ARGV0, EPOCHSECONDS, and EPOCHREALTIME. The ‘history’ builtin can remove ranges of history entries and understands negative arguments as offsets from the end of the history list. There is an option to allow local variables to inherit the value of a variable with the same name at a preceding scope. There is a new shell option that, when enabled, causes the shell to attempt to expand associative array subscripts only once (this is an issue when they are used in arithmetic expressions). The ‘globasciiranges’ shell option is now enabled by default; it can be set to off by default at configuration time.
10 Jan 03:17

UNC Prof Polls Students and Finds They Fear Reprisals from the ‘Progressive Police’

by Mike LaChance
“This is a disgrace; and antithetical to a classic ‘liberal’ education"
10 Jan 03:15

Blockbuster Russia collusion story collapses, NY Times issues devastating “correction”

by William A. Jacobson

The legacy media has become a disinformation industry.

Manafort didn't try to pass election polling data to the Russians after all, but to the Ukrainians. OOPS.
09 Jan 23:36

Photography: Car and Stars

by remlaps
--- Astronomy photos of starlight reflected on the front of a car --- As promised in my recent post, [Planning ideas for dark-sky astronomy road trips](, here is my first post with some of the cell phone photos from our recent stargazing trip to [Tuckahoe State Park]( in Queen Anne, Maryland. Of the hundred and some photos that I took, these three are probably my favorites. These photos were all taken at about 11:30 pm, just before packing up and returning home at the end of the night. It was @astronomyizfun's idea to get some photos of the stars framed by landscapes before we left. The date was January 5, 2019, and the camera was facing in a generally southward direction. The constellation directly above the the car, in the top third of the photos is the back half of Canis Major, with Sirius out of frame above the photo. According to Google Sky, nearby constellations include Puppis and Pyxis to the left (East) of Canis Major, and Columba to the right (West), but I'm not sure if I'm able to pick those out in the photos. From left to right (east to west), Vela, Carina, and Pictor might also be emerging above the horizon. However, the reason I like these photos isn't really for the sky portion of the pictures, but rather for the reflected starlight on the hood and front windshield of our car. I didn't even know that the reflected starlight was in the pictures until I got home and looked at them on the computer (it obviously wasn't visible to the naked eye). It's hard to judge the angle of reflection with the slanted windshield, but if I'm not mistaken I think I happened to get Orion's knees, belt and shoulders and also Sirius reflected in the windshield in the second and third photos. --- ###### Photo 1 - 11:29 pm (US/Eastern) on January 5, ISO 2700, shutter speed 30 sec.


--- ###### Photo 2 - 11:34 pm (US/Eastern) on January 5, ISO 2700, shutter speed 30 sec.


--- ###### Photo 3 - 11:34 pm (US/Eastern) on January 5, ISO 2700, shutter speed 15 sec.


All photos were taken with an LG-G4 cell phone. You can right click and open in a new tab for a better view. Rewards from this post will be shared with the @steemstargazers who attended the road-trip: @astronomyizfun, @cmac, @cmp2020, and myself. --- #####
Thank you for your time and attention.
--- #### Sign up for your own Steem account with this [invitation]( from - ###### As a general rule, I up-vote comments that demonstrate "proof of reading". ---

###### Steve Palmer is an IT professional with three decades of professional experience in data communications and information systems. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, a master's degree in computer science, and a master's degree in information systems and technology management. He has been awarded 3 US patents. --- ###### Steve is a co-founder of the [Steemit's Best Classical Music]( Facebook page, and the @classical-music steemit curation account. | | | | | | - | - | - | - | | **_Follow: @classical-music_** | **_Follow: @classical-radio_** | **_Classical Music discord invitation:** | *Classical Music Logo by **ivan.atman*** |
09 Jan 15:15

Peak what? - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

Peak what?

BP just discovered a billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico

BP’s investment in next-generation technology just paid off to the tune of a billion barrels of oil. BP made the massive 1 billion-barrel discovery at its Thunder Horse field off the tip of Louisiana. Executives are crediting their investment in advanced seismic technology and data processing for speeding up the company’s ability to confirm the discoveries at Atlantis and Thunder Horse. BP says it once would have taken a year to analyze the Thunder Horse data, but it now takes just weeks.

MP: Two words – Big.Data. Oh… and Peak.What?

Related: Obama in 2012……

Peak what?
Mark Perry

08 Jan 19:35

New Video : Accelerating Rate Of Sea Level Fraud

by tonyheller

08 Jan 18:11

4-Year-Olds Are Ready for the World!

by lskenazy

You might not be ready to let your 4-year-old go out and meet the world, but developmentally, they’re ready to do just that, writes Let Grow co-founder Peter Gray, here.

In earlier eras, they started crossing the street at that age, and playing outside with their friends. It’s not ancient history!

A crossing guard in 1938, when kids, not adults, shepherded students across the street.

08 Jan 17:17

Parents Fight to Let Their 8-Year-Old Walk One Block by Herself: Part I

by Lenore Skenazy

This is part 1 of a 2-part story of a frustrated mom and dad who can't believe how hard it is to allow their child to walk home from a weekly appointment. The dad writes: Our 8-year-old daughter has an occupational therapy appointment once a week to  help with minor sensory issues. The appointments are at 

The post Parents Fight to Let Their 8-Year-Old Walk One Block by Herself: Part I appeared first on Let Grow.

07 Jan 21:19

'That's not true': Amazon's Alexa just hilariously interrupted a Qualcomm representative in the middle of a demo at CES (QCOM, AMZN)

by Becky Peterson


Amazon's Alexa interrupted a Qualcomm representative giving a demo at the CES trade show on Monday afternoon in an eerie sign that artificial intelligence really does have a mind of its own.

Reporters at the event tweeted about Alexa's notable interruption, in which the voice assistant reportedly responded to the speaker with "No, that's not true."

The Qualcomm rep was reportedly giving a live demo on how Alexa works with automobiles, and the device did not perform as intended. Semiconductors for cars are a big area of expansion for Qualcomm.

SEE ALSO: SoftBank has slashed a planned $16 billion mega-investment in WeWork after facing objections and will now invest $2 billion

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I cut Google out of my life for 2 weeks, but the alternatives prove why Google is so much better

07 Jan 21:18

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is currently being 51% attacked

by Mark Nesbitt

Deep Chain Reorganization Detected on Ethereum Classic (ETC)

On 1/5/2019, Coinbase detected a deep chain reorganization of the Ethereum Classic blockchain. In order to protect customer funds, we immediately paused interactions with the ETC blockchain.
Updated Jan. 7, 10:27pm PT: At time of writing, we have identified a total of 15 reorganizations, 12 of which contained double spends, totaling 219,500 ETC (~$1.1M). No Coinbase accounts have been impacted by the attack.
We will continue to monitor the status of the network and update this article with the most recent information we have. Current ETC network status can be found here.

Background Info

Page 3 of Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, states the following:

“If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the fastest and outpace any competing chains.”

The “honest[y]” of more than half of miners is a core requirement for the security of Bitcoin and any proof-of-work cryptocurrencies based on Bitcoin. Honest action, in this context, means following the behavior described in the Bitcoin white paper. This is sometimes described as a “security risk” or “attack vector,” but is more accurately described as a known limitation to the proof-of-work model.

Failure to meet this requirement breaks several core guarantees of the Bitcoin protocol, including the irreversibility of transactions. Many other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum Classic, have also adopted proof-of-work mining.

The function of mining is to add transactions to the universal, shared transaction history, known as the blockchain. This is done by producing blocks, which are bundles of transactions, and defining the canonical history of transactions as the longest chain of blocks*. If a single miner has more resources than the entirety of the rest of the network, this miner could pick an arbitrary previous block from which to extend an alternative block history, eventually outpacing the block history produced by the rest of the network and defining a new canonical transaction history.

This is called a “chain reorganization,” or “reorg” for short. All reorgs have a “depth,” which is the number of blocks that were replaced, and a “length,” which is the number of new blocks that did the replacing.

This, on its own, might end up being nothing more than a minor inconvenience. After all, the transactions all still exist, but they might have been put into a different order, perhaps delaying some of them. However, imagine a miner who also owns a large number of coins. The miner could send those coins to a merchant in a transaction, T, while also secretly extending an alternative block history. The miner’s secret blocks do not include T, but rather include a transaction that sends the same coins used in T to a different address. Call that transaction T’. When the miner reveals this secret history, it will contain T’, not T. Because T and T’ attempted to send the same coins and T’ is now in the canonical history, this means that T is forever invalid, and the recipient of the coins sent in transaction T never even received them in the new, now-canonical history. More info on this can be found here.

What we observed

Updated Jan. 7, 10:27pm PT.

We observed repeated deep reorganizations of the Ethereum Classic blockchain, most of which contained double spends. The total value of the double spends that we have observed thus far is 219,500 ETC (~$1.1M).

Timeline of events

  • Late on the evening of Saturday 1/5, our systems alerted us to a deep reorg in ETC that contained a double spend. Our on-call engineers responded to the alert and worked to confirm the report through the night. We determined that we would temporarily halt send/receive interaction with the ETC blockchain in order to safeguard customer funds.
  • This meant that customers who tried to send or receive ETC on Coinbase Consumer or Pro were unable to complete their transactions.
Customers who tried to send or receive ETC on Coinbase Consumer or Pro were unable to complete their transactions starting early Sunday morning, Pacific Time.
  • On the morning of Sunday 1/6 we posted an update on stating (that) “Due to unstable network conditions on the Ethereum Classic network, we have temporarily disabled all sends and receives for ETC. Buy and sell is not impacted. All other systems are operating normally.”
In addition to in-platform notifications, we shared an update via
  • We performed an analysis on Sunday afternoon/evening to confirm the pattern and determine the key details of the double-spend attacks. Beginning Sunday afternoon, we observed 8 more incidents, all containing double spends.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, we did not put up a blog post prior to legal and technical review. A false alarm could have inadvertently caused market instability.
  • On Monday 1/7 morning after legal and technical review, we finalized our public analysis and posted to our blog and social media accounts.

Note: A full blockchain analysis is beyond the scope of this article. Further research into the addresses sending the double spend transactions, the history of sends/receives from the addresses, the block fields such as timestamp, and the subsequent movement of miner rewards from attack blocks may shed light on the threat actor or actors behind these attacks.

We observed the following deep chain reorgs:

  • Common ancestor: 7245623. Depth 4 / Length 7. No double spends were observed in this reorg. We noted that this was a reorg of unusual depth for ETC.
  • Common ancestor: 7248488. Depth 5 / Length 6. No double spends were observed in this reorg. We noted that a second reorg of unusual depth was highly suspicious, but did not necessary indicate an attack as there was no double spend and the depth was still below the ETC confirmation limit for most services.
  • Common ancestor: 7249343. Depth 57 / Length 74. A transaction of value 600 ETC in orphaned block 7249357 was double spent by a transaction in attacker block 7249361**.
We ceased interacting with the ETC blockchain upon observing this reorg. Coinbase was not the target of this double spend and no funds were lost.

Updates as of 10:27pm PT, January 7

  • Common ancestor: 7261497. Depth 44 / Length 54. A transaction of value 26,000 ETC in orphaned block 7261492 was double spent by a transaction in attacker block 7261497**.
  • Common ancestor: 7261603. Depth 35 / Length 44. A transaction of value 52,800 ETC in orphaned block 7261610 was double spent by a transaction in attacker block 7261614**.
  • Common ancestor: 7261647. Depth 8 / Length 9. No double spends were observed in this reorg.
  • Common ancestor: 7261676. Depth 37 / Length 47. A transaction of value 52,200 ETC in orphaned block 7261684 was double spent by a transaction in attacker block 7261690**.

Next Steps

The Coinbase team is currently evaluating the safety of re-enabling sends and receives of Ethereum Classic and will communicate to our customers what to expect regarding support for ETC. Coinbase takes security very seriously. As part of that commitment, we monitor blockchains for activity that could be harmful to our customers and take prompt action to safeguard funds. We want to emphasize to customers that Coinbase strives to be the most trusted and safest place to buy, sell, or store cryptocurrency.

* It is actually the chain with the most accumulated work, rather than the chain with the most blocks, that defines the canonical history. In most cases, these chains will be the same

** The block explorer does not properly handle reorgs and labels the transaction as confirmed. Click on the block to see that the block is orphaned.

This website may contain links to third-party websites or other content for information purposes only (“Third-Party Sites”). The Third-Party Sites are not under the control of Coinbase, Inc., and its affiliates (“Coinbase”), and Coinbase is not responsible for the content of any Third-Party Site, including without limitation any link contained in a Third-Party Site, or any changes or updates to a Third-Party Site. Coinbase is not responsible for webcasting or any other form of transmission received from any Third-Party Site. Coinbase is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by Coinbase of the site or any association with its operators.

Unless otherwise noted, all images provided herein are by Coinbase.

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is currently being 51% attacked was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

07 Jan 20:50

This is what eye witnesses called a 40 year old bearded white man

by DrJohn


Seven year old Jazmine Barnes was shot to death on December 30 while riding in a car with her family.


According to the New York Times, the gunman has been described as a bearded white man in his 40s, who was wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt and driving a red pickup truck at the time of the incident. Police told the Times that they’re still establishing a motive, and have not ruled out the possibility of a racially motivated hate crime.

This was a terrible tragedy, but it was gong to get even worse.

This was the sketch of the suspect:


The recriminations came fast and furious

“There exists no rationale for the attack other than hate,” said civil rights attorney S Lee Merritt in a tweet. Merritt’s office confirmed he is representing the slain girl’s father, Christopher Cevilla. Merritt has also, along with well-known civil rights activist and writer Shaun King, raised the substantial cash reward for information leading to the man’s capture.


Still, Houston-area activist Deric Muhammad can’t help but draw a direct line and wonders if Williams’s shooting were solved, “would Jazmine Barnes still be alive?”

“What are the odds that two black families were fired upon by a white male in a pickup truck within a one-year time span on the same block? We’ve got to call it what it is. Black people are being targeted in this country,” Muhammad told the Houston Chronicle.


The case has attracted national attention. The civil rights lawyer S Lee Merritt, who is representing the Barnes family, and the activist and writer Shaun King have raised a $100,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s capture. As of Saturday afternoon a GoFundMe page had raised more than $67,000 for the family.

“A white male who was a complete stranger to them decides to target their family,” Merritt said at a news conference on Thursday. “We do believe that it was racially motivated in part because our nation at this moment is a highly racially charged society. We’ve seen a rise in hate crimes [according to FBI data] … this particular area of Houston is known for a racial element.”

It kept getting worse

For days authorities have said they were hunting for a white man in a red pickup truck, based on a description given to investigators by Jazmine’s 15-year-old sister, Alxis Dilbert, who was riding in the front passenger seat of her mother’s car when the shooting erupted.

Alxis said during a news conference on Thursday that a red truck pulled up alongside the passenger side of her family’s car before switching lanes to the driver’s side of the vehicle just before gunfire erupted. Alxis and her two other sisters in the car were not injured in the incident.

Alxis said she briefly saw the occupant of the truck and described him as white with blue eyes and wearing a black hoodie.

“It was like a look into his car. You know like you’re driving and you just look into somebody’s car and make eye contact and look back,” Alxis said of seeing the gunman.

Liberal virtue signalling went to DefCon 1


But then suddenly the investigation took “a new direction.”

A Man Has Been Arrested And Charged With The Fatal Shooting Of 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes

A suspect was arrested and charged Saturday with capital murder over the fatal shooting of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed as she was riding in a car with her family in what police described as an unprovoked attack in Houston a week ago.

Sheriff’s officials named the suspect as Eric Black Jr., and said that he was taken into custody after he was identified by a tip. Black admitted to being involved in the shooting, authorities said, and investigators are continuing to look into evidence that could lead to other suspects being charged in the case.

The top picture is of Eric Black Jr- the 40 year old blue eyed bearded white man.

Guess how much interest remains in this story.


07 Jan 20:12

“Many 12-Year-Olds Get Less Independence than 4-Year-Olds Did a Few Decades Ago”

by Lenore Skenazy

Let Grow co-founder Dr. Peter Gray writes a blog called Freedom to Learn at Psychology Today. His most recent post is about the developmental leap kids make at age four, including the one HE made at that age: On a hot summer day, my grandmother told me that it was time for me to take

The post “Many 12-Year-Olds Get Less Independence than 4-Year-Olds Did a Few Decades Ago” appeared first on Let Grow.

07 Jan 20:11

A Helicoptered Young Man Writes to Us

by Lenore Skenazy

From our (electronic) mailbag: Dear Let Grow Team: I just found out about your organization tonight while browsing the internet, and I wanted to send a massive thank you your way. I might have been a little more fortunate than some others in this aspect, but I still think I was a bit of an

The post A Helicoptered Young Man Writes to Us appeared first on Let Grow.

07 Jan 19:06

Transgender nutjob throws hissy fit when clerk calls him sir

by J.P. Travis

I had long hair as a teen & preteen, and as a result I was mistaken for a girl on numerous occasions. I never reacted this way. Not once.

Video: transgender nutjob throws hissy fit when clerk calls him “sir.” How the clerk managed to restrain himself from making a joke after the guy shouted “Clearly I am not a sir!” is a mystery. Because “clearly” the guy wasn’t a woman.

07 Jan 17:59

Is the Window Closing on US Blockchain Leadership?

by William Mougayar
The U.S. should apply a "do no harm" approach and take a lead role on blockchain regulation, says William Mougayar.
07 Jan 17:26

New Attack Against Electrum Bitcoin Wallets

by Bruce Schneier

This is clever:

How the attack works:

  • Attacker added tens of malicious servers to the Electrum wallet network.
  • Users of legitimate Electrum wallets initiate a Bitcoin transaction.
  • If the transaction reaches one of the malicious servers, these servers reply with an error message that urges users to download a wallet app update from a malicious website (GitHub repo).
  • User clicks the link and downloads the malicious update.
  • When the user opens the malicious Electrum wallet, the app asks the user for a two-factor authentication (2FA) code. This is a red flag, as these 2FA codes are only requested before sending funds, and not at wallet startup.
  • The malicious Electrum wallet uses the 2FA code to steal the user's funds and transfer them to the attacker's Bitcoin addresses.

The problem here is that Electrum servers are allowed to trigger popups with custom text inside users' wallets.

07 Jan 16:58

A drug that works differently from all existing depression drugs just got a big boost (SAGE)

by Erin Brodwin


  • On Monday, a new drug for depression got a big lift from positive clinical trial results. Stocks surged on the news.
  • The drug is made by Sage Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company that focuses on brain disorders.
  • Nearly all existing antidepressants, from Celexa to Zoloft, work on the brain's serotonin network. But the drugs fail for as many as 1 in 3 people and take 4-6 weeks to have an effect.
  • Sage's new drug targets a different brain system than these antidepressants. As a result, it appears to work faster and last longer.

A drug that works differently than all existing antidepressants just got a big boost. 

In results from its latest clinical trial on Monday, the drug, called Sage 217, appeared to relieve symptoms of post-partum depression in a sample of roughly 150 women. Made by pharmaceutical company Sage Therapeutics, the new drug candidate acts on the brain’s gaba system, in stark contrast to all current medications for depression. Those drugs are called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and effect the brain’s serotonin network.

Sage's stock surged accordingly, rising from roughly $97 per share to almost $150 per share.

Some early research suggests it may even be possible for patients to go several weeks without taking the drug — as opposed to being tied to a daily pill. And analysts say the results suggest the drug would also be a good candidate for people with regular depression, also known as major depressive disorder, as well as those with post-partum depression or PPD.

Experts who study depression told Business Insider they'd been cheered by earlier study results on the drug, which suggested it could offer patients relief in a different way from current treatments.

Read More: The biggest healthcare investor conference starts on Monday — here are the top 5 areas we're keeping an eye on

The latest results bolster that analysis, they say, making the new drug potentially appealing for many patients.

However, although the drug appears to be a big innovation in several ways, those experts say it's worth noting that it would likely not work as a sort of one-and-done treatment in the way Sage CEO Jeff Jonas described over the summer

Why Sage's new drug could be a game changer for people with depression

man silhouette alone sunrise sunsetAnalysts, scientists, and clinicians agree that Sage's new drug could be a game-changer for the millions of people who live with depression and don't get results with current treatments.

For its latest study, researchers concluded that Sage-217 worked fast and well, noting that most patients observed a relief in symptoms as early as three days into the treatment. Those results were maintained for at least a month.

"In our view, these data not only provide a more commercially viable product for post-partum depression, but should also further increase investor confidence in the ongoing Phase 3 trial in the broader population of patients [with major depression]," JPMorgan analyst Cory Kasimov wrote in a note

A drug that works fast and lasts is something that most patients with depression have never seen. For all of the hope that drugs like Celexa and Prozac have inspired, they don't work for as many as one in every three patients. 

In addition, the drugs — which target the brain's serotonin system and are thus known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) — take roughly 4-6 weeks to work.

That's not quick enough for patients with severe depression and suicidal thoughts, according to Cristina Cusin, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard University who specializes in severe depression. 

By contrast, Sage's drug appears to take an effect as quickly as two weeks into treatment — not as fast as rapid-fire anesthetic drug ketamine, but significantly quicker than all existing approved antidepressants.

Read more: A 'party drug' with potential to be the next blockbuster antidepressant is edging closer to the mainstream, but it could set you back $9,000

Wall Street analysts say they see a huge market potential for the new drug.

Latest results are 'a best case scenario' for the new drug

The results the company released this morning "represent essentially a best case scenario," for the drug, wrote JPMorgans' Kasimov.

Others agreed.

"The possibility of having something that impacts the Gaba system is attractive because if you were to launch it tomorrow, there’s likely going to be lots of patients who’ve failed with anything that’s available," Paul Matteis, the managing director of biotech research with brokerage firm Stifel, told Business Insider in December.

Plus, the drug may not require patients to take it daily, at least according to both the latest study and a series of preliminary results from the company's clinical trials.

That's something that Matteis said sounds like it would be "preferred by most patients than having to take something indefinitely."

That optimism is what Sage CEO Jonas was likely alluding to when he made his comments about Sage-217 over the summer, Matteis said. 

In June, Jonas said Sage-217 had the potential for patients with depression "to feel well within days, with just a two week course of treatment — similar to how antibiotics are used today."

Shortly after he made that statement, the company's stock surged.

Yet instead of taking the drug only once, most experts say patients would likely need to take it "episodically" — meaning as frequently as once a month. That's still a big change from the way current antidepressants are administered, and could be a significant boost for patients, said Matteis.

"Any paradigm-shifting drug is going to have some nuances that, I don’t wanna say are scary, but are counterintuitive to the current therapy model."

SEE ALSO: A Silicon Valley VC in the hottest area of healthcare explains what it looks for in new startups aiming to disrupt the $35 billion addiction market

DON'T MISS: A Pfizer-backed startup is growing 'mini brains' to create new drugs for schizophrenia and autism

Join the conversation about this story »

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07 Jan 15:24

Hansen’s 1988 Predictions Redux

by Willis Eschenbach
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach Over in the Tweeterverse, someone sent me the link to the revered climate scientist James Hansen’s 1988 Senate testimony and told me “Here’s what we were told 30 years ago by NASA scientist James Hansen. It has proven accurate.” I thought … huh? Can that be right? Here is a…
07 Jan 15:19


by cmp2020
*This is my first original short story for Steem* --- ### Reflection One cold December night, almost late enough to be considered morning, a man walked down a street in Philadelphia. He seemed to whimper with each step, questioning how this could have happened to him. He reflected upon his life. His pristine marriage, the birth of his beautiful baby boy, followed by his beautiful daughter. This evening, he had awoken to see them be taken from him. He thought he could remember quite clearly what the man who had taken them looked like, yet he could not think straight enough to form a complete picture. Perhaps he had had too much to drink, perhaps he just didn’t care to remember straight. Either way, he walked the streets in order to find this man. Men of this caliber are the only ones on the street at this time of night. Men of despicable character. He paused, and remembered when his son had first cried. Not the tears of a baby, but the tears of a blossoming man. He and his wife had had a huge argument over finances which ended in threats of divorce. His son witnessed the whole thing and wailed at the thought of divorce. A virtue which every man should keep, yet this man was too blind to realize this at the time. He thought of how, at the age of nine, his son had been twice the man he was because of values such as this. Youthful innocence is a virtue in itself. Now, the man shuddered after realizing he had watched his son cry for the last time. ###### Image Source:, License CC0 Public Domain
The man came to a train station, where he and his family had traveled on numerous occasions. He remembered a trip they took to a little town in Pennsylvania called West Chester. He recalled that this trip had represented the crowning moment of his family life. Not one member of his family felt discontent, and everyone was happy in the moment. However, the moment was invented to change and his family’s happiness had ended at this train station -- where reality inevitably sets in. The man gazed across the tracks. The faint light of the approaching train revealed a shadowy figure whose features were barely recognizable. The figure stood with a posture that suggested he too felt depressed about where his life had come to. As the light grew, the man realized that this figure had been the man in his house earlier this evening. The man shouted something which was inaudible due to the approaching train, at the very same instant, the figure shouted something which was also inaudible. The man, frustrated at the sight of the murderer who had taken all that was precious to him, allowed anguish to get to him. As he stood, he contemplated jumping. He did not necessarily want to die, he merely did not want to live knowing of what could have been. As the train got closer and closer, he decided that this figure should know how he had destroyed his life. At the very last possible moment, the man jumped, and to his astonishment, so too did his faint reflection across the tracks. Thanks for reading this! See you later! (Note) In order to encourage meaningful feedback on the platform, I will check comment trails of users who leave superficial comments (ie "Awesome post," or "Upvoted.") and will mute any users who exhibit a pattern of leaving "spammy" comments.
07 Jan 15:19

What you should look out for in the Winter Night Sky

by astronomyizfun
Winter has firmly settled upon the Northern Hemisphere. As everything transitions into the dark and cold season we will see many changes. Non winter oriented trees will become completely leaf-less, rain turns to snow, and the air is cool. But something else also changes as we enter this time of the year, the sky shifts around throughout the year to have different things show up at certain times. And the Winter happens to contain some of the best things out there. So here are a few of them. -Naked Eye Stuff The Winter is definitely not lacking in impressive constellations and bright stars. Among the top ten brightest stars that can be seen North of 30 degrees, 6 of them are primary winter stars, with 2 for the Summer, and 2 spring stars. And on top of the stars of the winter being intrinsically brighter, they also appear to shine more due to the lack of humidity that comes with cooler air. But again, the winter stars are also just intrinsically brighter. One reason for this is because when facing out of the Milky Way, we look directly into the Orion arm, a close region of star birth. So there are a lot of super bright stars within a close proximity. (Toms eye on the sky) Needless to say, the winter has plenty of beautiful stars and constellations. Without question the best of them is Orion, comprised of three fairly bright stars in a row making up the belt, and two very bright stars, one red, (Betelgeuse), and one blue, (Rigel). But Orion is just one of many distinct constellations standing out this season. Others like Gemini, Auriga, Canis Major, and Canis Minor just to name a few. What really stands out about naked eye stargazing in the winter is the variety of bright stars concentrated within one area. Bright stars are beautiful because they are uniquely colorful. Rigel has a strong blue hue, Betelgeuse is dim red to contrast, Capella is a distinguishing yellow, Pollux has a nice orange, and Procyon is piercingly white, perfectly balanced in between yellow and blue. And among all the colorful bright stars Sirius stands out as a more classic looking star with its light blue coloration. But it shines so enormously bright it ranks as the brightest star outside our solar system. And it really deserves that title, the word comes from the Greek word for scorching. The star shines twice as bright as the runner up star Canopus, and 4 times brighter than Arcturus, the seconds brightest star visible north of 30 degrees. (Orion constellation, ESO) -Telescope Stuff At this point I've probably gone off on some tangent about the Orion Nebula at least once every 5th article. It is unquestionably the pinnacle of Winter sky telescope objects. Bright and colorful, any telescope of 4 inches or more should be able to see it in decent conditions. Orion nebula by Astrobackyard But there's more, along with Orion the Winter sky harbors a few other nebulous targets. The Crab nebula is a famous example. It's a bit tough to see in light-polluted region, but when it is visible it usually appears as a small oval with a few tendrils going out and all over. But of course what makes it special is that it isn't just any normal nebula, it's a remnant from a supernova that was first spotted nearly a thousand years ago and recorded by ancient Chinese astronomers. Who described it as a "guest star". It now stands strong as an 11 light year long explosion of cosmic proportions. The crab nebula, Espenak, Although they can both be seen by eye, the Beehive cluster and the Pleiades cluster are best viewed with binoculars or a telescope. The Pleiades is the most famous open cluster of all, a few stars by eye will turn into a dozen through binoculars, and hundreds through a telescope. A few bright blue stars make up the main light output, there's also a nice little chain of five stars lined up like one of those 2D quick bird drawings, like a check mark with equal sides. The Beehive cluster is a bit wider, hosting dozens of stars with one particular star outshining the rest by a solid margin, the famous Aldebaran-- a red giant placing as the 14th brightest in the sky. And just to keep the star thematic going, the star known as Castor is located in Gemini and is actually a total of six stars. Yes you read that correctly, six. However only two provide most of the luminosity, but those two can easily be resolved when viewed with at least 70x magnification. And when talking about the more challenging things. The Horse head nebula and flame nebula can be tricky. The horse head in particular is a tough one because it is comprised of cold gas, thus not glowing. But there is a background of glowing gases. Giving it a remarkable appearance. Travis Rector, National optic Astronomy observatories Along with that, the winter has two famous galaxies sitting right next to each other. They are pretty much the only of their kind though since galaxy season is in the spring. But m81 and 82 sit close to one another both visibly and in real life. They are also rather close to us, just over 10 million light years.One is a typical spiral, and the other is a irregular spiral that is also undergoing a starburst phase, meaning it is creating stars very quickly. Espenak, So get your gloves on, wrap up in numerous layers, and don't ever forget your hat, we've got some sky searching to do.
07 Jan 15:18

Planning ideas for dark-sky astronomy road trips

by remlaps
--- *Things to think about when planning a road trip for dark sky astronomy.* --- Living in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States makes it difficult to get decent views and photographs of the stars, so five steemizens in south-eastern PA have begun planning road trips for stargazing and to get photographs of the stars under darker skies. Yesterday was our second trip. (for some more info about our first trip, see [The Striking Skies Above Cherry Springs]( For more about light pollution, see: [What's that on the Horizon?: A brief explanation on light pollution. ]( and [Light Pollution]( ######

Original photo by the the Steem Stargazing Team from south-eastern PA
The five of us were all set to go to [Cherry Springs State Park]( yesterday for some dark-sky astronomy and photography. Unfortunately, it's a five hour drive, and the sky condition forecast for Cherry Springs included more clouds than any of us would have liked to see before committing to spending 10 hours in the car for the day. We had agreed on a go/no-go decision at 11am, but by 9:30 it was apparent that the night in Cherry Springs was expected to be a mix of clear, "mostly clear" and "partly cloudy" skies, so we started thinking about other options. Of course, we could have risked it, or we could have postponed the trip, which was the original plan, but after some web searches we happened to notice that there is another dark-sky site about two hours away that had a forecast for clear weather conditions. The sky darkness wouldn't be quite as good, but that doesn't matter if the stars are obscured by clouds. One of us had already made other plans, so our number was down to four. The remaining road-trippers reclaimed a couple hours of our day, and later in the afternoon we headed off to [Tuckahoe State Park]( in Queen Anne, Maryland. Three of us are novice astronomers (@cmac, @cmp2020, and @remlaps). The fourth (@astronomyizfun) has been a hobbyist astronomer for several years. All four of us are photography novices. But we're having fun learning about this stuff one trip at a time. I guess we'll all be writing about the trip and sharing some of our photos. As the driver and coordinating parent, one of the things I'm realizing is that for these trips to be a success, there is a lot to learn in addition to photography and astronomy. in this post, I'm going to start focusing on some of the logistics. I'll also talk about the bits and pieces that I'm learning about dark-sky cell phone astronomy. It's an interesting challenge because (1) you can't really practice effectively in between trips; and (2) you don't know how your pictures come out until you get home and see them on the computer. ### Scheduling You'll want to schedule your trip for a time when the moon is at a minimum, so it doesn't interfere with star visibility, and you'll schedule your departure time to arrive, roughly, around sunset. This information can be found on the web site []( Also, on our two trips, we've found that it has been effective to stop for dinner while enroute, somewhere close to the destination. (And yesterday, I had a Hardee's hot ham and cheese sandwich for the first time in 20+ years! That was a nice bonus.) ### Trip Planning: What to bring Of course your needs may vary, but here is the packing check-list that @cmp2020 and I used for yesterday's trip: 3 tripods 2 cell phone cameras 1 regular camera 1 tablet 1 reading glasses 2 red-lights 2 hats 2 gloves 2 neck-wraps 1 cooler w/ drinks 1 directions print-out 2 charging bricks 1 plug-in charging cable 1 usb cables for car 1 toilet paper Also, @astronomyizfun brought a telescope, stand, cell phone adapter, and accessories. If you have a pair, you might also want to bring binoculars. A couple of these items are worth discussing: **regular camera**: The camera that I brought turned out to be worthless because I didn't know how to manually adjust ISO and shutter speeds (and it may not be possible). It had a "night portrait" and "night landscape" mode that I hoped would fit the bill, but they did not. You'll want to make sure that your camera can be adjusted to shoot in *really dark* conditions, and that you know how to do it. **red-lights** Especially if there are going to be other people at your destination, you should use as little light as possible and only light with red lenses, because the red colored light doesn't cause the eye's pupil to narrow, so it won't impair anyone's ability to see under dark conditions when the light goes out again. We haven't moved up to this level yet, but ideally, we should even cover phone and camera screens with some sort of red light filters. **tripods** You're going to need shutter speeds from 10 to 30 seconds, so you won't be able to hold the camera still enough with your hands. A tripod is an absolute necessity if you're planning to take dark-sky star photos. **cell phone cameras** You'll need a camera app that lets you adjust ISO and shutter speeds, and you'll need to know how to use it. **toilet paper** In case of emergency. Most of these sites probably have "port-a-potties", but they might not be stocked. ### Lesson Learned: Choose the location last As described in the introduction, our plan was to go to Cherry Springs, and we hadn't considered any other possibility. This led to uncertainty and disappointment when the weather forecast was on the fence between good conditions and bad ones. What we found is that there are half a dozen and more dark sky locations within a 5 (or so) hour radius of our homes. Including sites we've already visited, from our starting location, some possible sites are: - [Cherry Springs State Park (PA)]( - [French Creek State Park (PA)]( - [Sproul State Forest (PA)]( - [Raystown Lake (PA)]( - [Laurel Hill State Park (PA)]( - [Belleplain State Forest (NJ)]( - [Tuckahoe State Park(MD)]( - [Spruce Knob Mountain (WV)]( We'll need to record travel distances and darkness scores for these sites - and others - and then on the day of the trip we can factor in distance, darkness and weather. Hopefully, that way our 11:00 am decision won't be go/no-go, but instead we'll merely need to choose a location. ### Lessons Learned: Contact the destination ######


Original photo by the the Steem Stargazing Team from south-eastern PA

Open in new tab for better view.

The reflected starlight is pretty cool.
Once we settled on Tuckahoe, I called the park ranger's office to see if they could tell us where to park and how to find the best viewing areas. It was Saturday, so when I got voice mail, I didn't expect to hear back from anyone in time for our trip. Boy was I wrong! I missed his name, but the park ranger was tremendously helpful. He called back, and told us where to park and find an open field for viewing, and he even called back when we hadn't arrived by 6pm to tell us where he'd be leaving our park astronomy permit, and offered to let us call back if we had any questions. We took him up on that and called back to make sure we were going the right way when our search for the park office seemed to last too long, and also to ask if there was any hunting in the vicinity. (we saw people with lights nearby and didn't want to get shot!) Most of these trips will be on Saturdays, and you might think that you won't get hold of anyone on week-ends, but you never know until you try. ### Lessons Learned: Not all dark skies are the same Three of us went on our Cherry Springs trip last summer, @astronomyizfun, @cmp2020, and myself. On that trip, the only cell phone that could get decent pictures was mine, and the ideal settings seemed to be 2700 ISO with 15 or 30 second exposures. I used ISO/2700 and 15 second shutter speeds last night at Tuckahoe, and my pictures are still much brighter than they were at Cherry Springs. I haven't seen @cmp2020's pictures on a computer yet, but from a comparison on our phones, it seems like his cell phone was capturing better images. His maximum ISO and shutter speed were ISO 800 with 10 second exposures. I look forward to comparing our pictures when he gets his uploaded. As an example, here are photos of the north star, side by side, from Cherry Springs (left, ISO 2700, 30 sec) and Tuckahoe (right, ISO 2700, 15 sec) ######

Original photos by the the Steem Stargazing Team from south-eastern PA

Open in new tab for better view. ### Conclusion Each time we go, we learn a little more about how to make a trip successful. In this post, I posted some of the things we've learned about scheduling our trips, what to bring, choosing a location, and some tips to be able to get star photos with a cell phone or digital camera. The rewards from this post are being divided evenly among the Steem Stargazing Team members who attended yesterday's road-trip: @astronomyizfun, @cmac, @cmp2020, and myself. --- #####
Thank you for your time and attention.
--- #### Sign up for your own Steem account with this [invitation]( from - ###### As a general rule, I up-vote comments that demonstrate "proof of reading". ---

###### Steve Palmer is an IT professional with three decades of professional experience in data communications and information systems. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, a master's degree in computer science, and a master's degree in information systems and technology management. He has been awarded 3 US patents. --- ###### Steve is a co-founder of the [Steemit's Best Classical Music]( Facebook page, and the @classical-music steemit curation account. | | | | | | - | - | - | - | | **_Follow: @classical-music_** | **_Follow: @classical-radio_** | **_Classical Music discord invitation:** | *Classical Music Logo by **ivan.atman*** |
07 Jan 15:18

Report on the State of the Nullification Movement

by Mike Maharrey

It’s one thing to have lofty goals. Achieving them takes more than strong rhetoric. You have to have a solid, actionable strategy.

In response to the hated Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson used the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 to lay out the principles of nullification. But the resolutions themselves did not nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts. Instead, Jefferson and Madison first created a framework for future action.

On November 17, 1798, one week after passage of the Kentucky Resolutions, Thomas Jefferson sent a draft to James Madison, along with a letter. He wrote:

“I inclose you a copy of the draught of the Kentucky resolves. I think we should distinctly affirm all the important principles they contain, so as to hold to that ground in the future, and leave the matter in such a train as that we may not be committed absolutely to push the matter to extremities, & yet may be free to push as far as events will render prudent.”

Jefferson and Madison stated their principles, justified their actions, and then left the door open to proceed with a practical strategy they could adapt as circumstances evolved.

At the TAC, we try to follow this blueprint. We always keep the ultimate goal in front of us, but we act strategically when and how specific situations allow. It’s a balancing act – always keeping in mind that you don’t achieve radical change by abandoning radical principles.

William Lloyd Garrison took a similar tack in his battle against slavery in the U.S.

Garrison ranks as one of the greatest abolitionists in American history, and he understood this strategy too. He steadfastly stuck by his call for absolute and immediate emancipation of all slaves.

While it seems absurd to our 21st-century sensibilities, total abolition of slavery was an idealistic, radical, extremist position in the mid-1800s. Principled abolitionists were generally reviled, even in the North. The broader abolitionist movement was dominated by pragmatists content with modest policy changes here and there. A lot of them were merely jockeying for political power.

Garrison would have none of this. He believed slavery should end immediately, and he constantly said so. He wasn’t concerned about winning a popularity contest or convincing people he was properly mainstream. He unapologetically wore a badge of radicalism. He unwaveringly pursued the ideal.

But Garrison wasn’t just running around like a proverbial bull in a china shop. He had pragmatic reasons for maintaining his hard-core stance. He recognized that by pushing for the ultimate goal he was more likely to reach it.

“Urge immediate abolition as earnestly as we may, it will, alas! be gradual abolition in the end. We have never said that slavery would be overthrown by a single blow; that it ought to be, we shall always contend.”

Garrison understood that if he started by seeking half-measures, he would never end up with anything more than half-measures. He warned, “Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

Economist and political philosopher Murray Rothbard put it this way in A Case for Radical Idealism:

“William Lloyd Garrison was not being ‘unrealistic’ when in the 1830s he first raised the glorious standard of immediate emancipation of the slaves. His goal was the morally proper one, and his strategic realism came in the fact that he did not expect his goal to be quickly reached …

Gradualism in theory indeed undercuts the goal itself by conceding that it must take second or third place to other non- or antilibertarian considerations. For a preference for gradualism implies that these other considerations are more important than liberty.”

At the TAC, we always keep the Constitution and liberty as our core objective. But we also recognize that it will take a series of small victories to reach our ultimate goal.

We’ll never abandon our radical idealism. But we will always work strategically, step-by-step, to achieve those objectives.

This report tells the current story of our efforts.

Available formats (right-click to download)

07 Jan 04:31

PLOS ONE: women are privileged across the West

by Luboš Motl
You must have met one of these unhinged loons (sometimes calling themselves "feminists") who claim that women are being discriminated against.

Every sane person knows that in almost all the Western countries, it's the other way around. Authors from the Universities of Missouri and Essex, Stoet and Geary, have embraced this question as a serious one, performed a massive statistical analysis, and published the results:
Men face MORE discrimination than women according to new research (RT, pop summary)

A simplified approach to measuring national gender inequality (PLOS ONE)
Basic Indicator of Gender Inequality, BIGI (detailed website of the authors)
Data (a list of countries)
Instead of "the Global Gender Gap Index" which is a crackpots' quantity that only allows the result "women are being discriminated against" and that treats the sexes asymmetrically from the beginning to the end, the authors have defined a simpler index BIGI (Basic Indicator of Gender Inequality).

The quantity is designed to give a specific quantitative meaning to something that may be described as a
measure [that] is based on sex differences in the opportunity to lead a long healthy and satisfied life that is grounded on educational opportunities.
What are the results?

Here you have the absolute value of the gender gap in countries of the world:

Click to zoom in.

In 91 countries that they probed (whose total population is 6.8 billion people), women are better off; in 34 countries, men are better off. The first group – where men are being "discriminated against" – includes the bulk of the Western civilization, Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, post-Soviet countries, Iran (!), Saudi Arabia (!!), South Africa, and many others.

It's easier to enumerate the countries where men enjoy net advantages: India, China, much of the rest of the Muslim world (but note the shocking Saudi and Persian results above), most of Africa (not South Africa), Nepal, Peru, Tajikistan, and... Israel and Italy.

Israel, Italy, Central and Northern Europe, Canada, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and China are among those that are close enough to parity – so their "signs" are somewhat random. But as the map above shows, the anti-male results in the U.S., Russia, Brazil are not negligible and they are comparable to the pro-male advantages of India or African countries.

The methodology is surely not unique and you could probably get substantially different results with different methods and criteria. But I do think that there's a lot of truth about their BIGI score. In particular, I do agree that Italy is one of the old-fashioned, politically incorrect, European countries where men are still assumed to be in charge and there's nothing wrong about it. To some extent, it's also true in Israel. Really poor countries including India and black Africa still have the old-fashioned anti-women bias. Almost the whole rich world has switched to the discrimination against men.
04 Jan 21:57

CNN reporter asks brother of American detained in Russia about his anti-CNN posts

What possible connection to Paul Whelan's detention is his belief that CNN disseminates fake news? 
04 Jan 21:06

Hansen Prophecy Update

by tonyheller

Ten years ago, the Democrats’ leading climate prophet forecast an ice-free Arctic by 2018.

The Argus-Press – Google News Archive Search

Here is today’s update of his prophecy fulfillment.

Spreadsheet       Data

04 Jan 21:03

Windows Sandbox is a safer way to run programs you don't trust

by Rachel England

h/t Roumen.ganeff.

Downloading and running an unknown .exe file can be fraught with terror -- or at the very least, a whole lot of a faff as you're required to set up a clean installation of Windows on a virtual machine. Now, Microsoft is introducing a new solution tha...
04 Jan 18:58

Chuck Todd Devotes an Hour to Attacking a Strawman

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

or, All Credentialed Journalists are Sex Abusers

Meet the Depressed host Chuck Todd, sans brain.

Chuck Todd, on a recent episode of Meet the Press, highlighted the issue of global warming and climate change. He unapologetically made it clear that he wasn’t interested in hearing from people on the opposing side of the scientific issue, stating:

“We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not.”

This is what’s called a “strawman” argument, where you argue against something your opponent never even claimed.

I cannot think of a single credentialed, published skeptical climate scientist who doesn’t believe in the “existence” of climate change, or that “the Earth is getting hotter”, or even that human activity is likely a “major cause”. Pat Michaels, Richard Lindzen, Judith Curry, John Christy, and myself (to name a few) all believe these things. That journalists continue to characterize us as having extremist views shows just how far journalism has fallen as a (somewhat) respectable profession.

What if I claimed that all journalists are sex abusers? Of course, no reasonable person would believe that. Yet, I would wager that up to half of the U.S. population has been led to believe that climate change skeptics are “deniers” (as in, Holocaust deniers), about whom journalist Ellen Goodman said 12 years ago,

“Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers”

At least my hypothetical claim that “journalists are sex abusers” is statistically more accurate than journalists’ claims that we skeptical scientists “deny” this, that, and the other thing (for those allegations, see Mark Halperin, Matt Lauer, Tom Brokaw, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, Michael Oreskes, and others).

The fact is that even if humans are, say, 60% responsible for the warming of the global ocean and atmosphere over the last 60 years (which would be consistent with both the UN IPCC’s and Todd’s phrasing), the lastest analyses (Lewis & Curry, 2018) of what this would mean leads to an eventual warming of only 1 deg. C from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 (we are currently about halfway to that doubling). That’s only 1/3 of what the IPCC claims is going to happen, and an even smaller fraction of what the ratings-boosting extremists who journalists like to trot out will claim.

A Nuance Chuck Todd is Ill-Prepared to Discuss

Journalists are notoriously under-informed on science issues. For example, let’s look at the claim that recent warming has been human-caused. It is easy to show that such attribution is more faith-based than science-based.

Between 2005 and 2017, the global network of thousands of Argo floats have measured an average temperature increase of the upper half of the ocean of 0.04 deg. C. That’s less than 0.004 C/year, an inconceiveably small number.

Significantly, it represents an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the climate system of only 1 part in 260. That’s less than 0.5%, and climate science does not know any of the NATURAL flows of energy to that level of accuracy. The tiny energy imbalance causing the warming is simply ASSUMED to be the fault of humans and not part of some natural cycle in the climate system. Climate models are adjusted in a rather ad hoc manner until their natural energy flows balance, then increasing CO2 from fossil fuels is used as the forcing (imposed energy imbalance) causing warming.

That’s circular reasoning. Or, some might say, garbage in, garbage out.

The belief in human-caused warming exceeding a level that what would be relatively benign, and maybe even beneficial, is just that — a belief. It is not based upon known, established, and quantified scientific principles. It is based upon the assumption that natural climate change does not exist.

So, journalists do a lot of talking about things of which they know nothing. As Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz said in 1939,

04 Jan 18:29

How One State Helped Desegregate the U.S. Military

by Patrick McKnight

On July 26, 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981 abolishing discrimination “on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin” in the United States Armed Forces. This action eventually resulted in the desegregation of the United States military. Historians praise Truman for his foresight but generally ignore that state action that preceded and drove this change.

EO9981 reads:

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.

African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans, and Asian-Americans, had already made incredible contributions to the United States military prior to 1948. The general public has become increasingly aware of these achievements through popular films such as “The Tuskegee Airmen.” Likewise, Americans are becoming familiar with the history of the Navajo Code Talkers, the Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the 65th Infantry “Borinqueneers.” Regardless of one’s views about America’s foreign policy, the United States Military is an organization where people of any background can be judged by their individual merits.

Much modern scholarship has celebrated the role of this “stroke of the pen” executive order in contrast with the more gradual pace of legislative and judicial action. Other scholars have focused on the role of civil rights groups such as the League for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation.

What is truly remarkable is the extent to which historians have ignored the real story surrounding the events leading up to Executive Order 9981. It is a story that does not fit comfortably within the traditional narrative about the Tenth Amendment as an ally of Jim Crow. Much like when the Northern States used nullification to reject Fugitive Slave Laws prior to the Civil War, this forgotten historical drama illustrates how States can use the Tenth Amendment to fight federally-mandated racism. This forgotten story does not begin in the South, the Supreme Court, or the White House; it begins in the armories of the New Jersey Army National Guard.

In 1947 New Jersey approved a new Constitution which included the following language:

“No qualified person shall be denied any civil or military right, nor be discriminated against in exercise of any civil or military right, nor be segregated in the militia or in the public schools because of religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin.”

The federal National Guard Bureau had recently organized a new unit in New Jersey, the 372nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery group entirely of black soldiers. Clearly, this new unit was illegal under the New Jersey Constitution.

The New Jersey Military Affairs Committee, New Jersey Governor Alfred E. Driscoll, as well as the commanding and adjutant generals of the New Jersey National Guard all pushed back against the federal government.

On Oct. 24, 1947, Gov. Driscoll announced the new unit would not be composed on the basis of race and that any segregated armories would be integrated immediately.

On Dec. 3, 1947, Driscoll stated, “All of our citizens must be given the opportunity to enlist in the New Jersey units of the National Guard and participate in any of its activities for which each individual is considered qualified.”

This was in direct violation of the official War Department policy of the time that “negro manpower will be employed in negro regiments or groups, battalions or squadrons, troops or batteries.”

Over the next several months Driscoll, along with generals from the New Jersey National Guard, engaged in a fascinating back and forth with the National Guard Bureau, Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal, and the Secretary of the Army Kenneth C. Royall.

Noteworthy is the exchange between Driscoll and Royall in January and February of 1948.

“Your telegram which I have just received does not suffice for my wire to Secretary of Defense,” said Driscoll. “It will be necessary for any National Guard units placed under the supervision of New Jersey authority to comply fully with both the spirit and the letter of our constitution.”

It was only under increasing pressure from New Jersey that President Truman announced he had “instructed the Secretary of Defense to take steps to have the remaining instances of discrimination in the armed services eliminated as rapidly as possible,” on Feb. 2, 1948.

On Feb. 7, Royall replied to Gov. Driscoll.

“I recognize the importance to a sovereign state of a constitutional provision such as yours, and I have determined that for the present, Army militia units of New Jersey, if otherwise qualified, will not be denied Federal recognition on the ground of non-segregation.”

The New Jersey Department of Defense published General Order Number 4 on Feb. 12, 1948, stating: “no qualified person shall be denied any military rights, nor be discriminated against in exercise of any military rights, nor be segregated in the militia because of religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin.”

On March 17, 1948, the newly created United States Air Force also formally gave in to the New Jersey Constitution’s anti-discrimination provisions.

Gov. Driscoll later reflected on the historical significance of these first federally recognized military units saying, “That this provision in our basic charter is working smoothly in the National Guard throughout the State, is due entirely to the intelligent understanding of the problem on the part of all our citizens, regardless of color.”

Several more months would pass until President Truman finally signed the executive order destined to become remembered by history books and newspaper editorialists as a watershed moment for racial equality. The real history is more complex and centered around the constitution of a small state standing alone against the power of the federal government.[i]


For more information click HERE.

[i] New Jersey’s original Constitution in 1776 was also noteworthy. This Constitution made New Jersey the only State to grant unmarried women and property-owning African-Americans the right to vote, although these provisions were eventually rescinded by 1807.

03 Jan 18:48

Consensus? 500+ Scientific Papers Published In 2018 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm

by Kenneth Richard

In 2018,  over 500 scientific papers were published that cast doubt on the position that anthropogenic CO2 emissions function as the climate’s fundamental control knob…or that otherwise serve to question the efficacy of climate models or the related “consensus” positions commonly endorsed by policymakers and mainstream media sources.

More than 500 scientific papers published in 2018 affirm the position that there are significant limitations and uncertainties inherent in our understanding of climate and climate changes, emphasizing that climate science is not settled.

More specifically, the papers in this compilation support these four main skeptical positions — categorized here as N(1) – N(4) — which question the climate alarm popularized in today’s headlines.

N(1) Natural mechanisms play well more than a negligible role (as claimed by the IPCC) in the net changes in the climate system, which includes temperature variations, precipitation patterns, weather events, etc., and the influence of increased CO2 concentrations on climatic changes are less pronounced than currently imagined.

Solar Influence On Climate (103)
ENSO, NAO, AMO, PDO Climate Influence (22)
Modern Climate In Phase With Natural Variability (8)
Cloud/Aerosol Climate Influence (4)
Volcanic/Tectonic Climate Influence (3)

N(2) The warming/sea levels/glacier and sea ice retreat/hurricane and drought intensities…experienced during the modern era are neither unprecedented or remarkable, nor do they fall outside the range of natural variability.

No Net Warming Since Mid/Late 20th Century (36)
A Warmer Past: Non-Hockey Stick Reconstructions (76)
Lack Of Anthropogenic/CO2 Signal In Sea Level Rise (16)
Sea Levels Multiple Meters Higher 4,000-7,000 Years Ago (18)
Nothing Unusual Occurring With Glaciers, Polar Ice (33)
Polar Bear (and other) Populations Not Decreasing (10)
Warming, Acidification Not Harming Oceanic Biosphere (10)
Coral Bleaching A Natural, Non-Anthropogenic Phenomenon (2)
No Increasing Trends In Intense Hurricanes/Storms (8)
No Increasing Trend In Drought/Flood Frequency, Severity (7)
Global Fire Frequency Declining As CO2 Rises (2)
CO2 Changes Lag Temperature Changes By 1000+ Years (3)

N(3) The computer climate models are neither reliable or consistently accurate, the uncertainty and error ranges are irreducible, and projections of future climate states (i.e., an intensification of the hydrological cycle) are not supported by observations and/or are little more than speculation.

Climate Model Unreliability/Biases/Errors (27)
No AGW Changes To Hydrological Cycle Detectable (6)
The CO2 Greenhouse Effect – Climate Driver? (12)

N(4) Current emissions-mitigation policies, especially related to the advocacy for renewables, are often ineffective and even harmful to the environment, whereas elevated CO2 and a warmer climate provide unheralded benefits to the biosphere (i.e., a greener planet and enhanced crop yields, lower mortality with warming).

Failing Renewable Energy, Climate Policies (17)
Wind Power Harming The Environment, Biosphere (19)
Elevated CO2: Greens Planet, Higher Crop Yields (20)
Global Warming Saves Lives. Cold Kills. (9)
Global Losses/Deaths From Weather Disasters Declining (2)

In sharp contrast to the above, the corresponding “consensus” positions that these papers do not support are:

A(1) Close to or over 100% (110%) of the warming since 1950 has been caused by increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions, leaving natural attribution at something close to 0%. “The best estimate of the warming due to anthropogenic forcings (ANT) is the orange bar (noting the 1𝛔 uncertainties). Reading off the graph, it is 0.7±0.2ºC (5-95%) with the observed warming 0.65±0.06 (5-95%). The attribution then follows as having a mean of ~110%, with a 5-95% range of 80–130%. This easily justifies the IPCC claims of having a mean near 100%, and a very low likelihood of the attribution being less than 50% (p < 0.0001!).”

A(2) Modern warming, glacier and sea ice recession, sea level rise, drought and hurricane intensities…are all occurring at unprecedentedly high and rapid rates, and the effects are globally synchronous (not just regional)…and thus dangerous consequences to the global biosphere and human civilizations loom in the near future as a consequence of anthropogenic influences.

A(3) The climate models are reliable and accurate, and the scientific understanding of the effects of both natural forcing factors (solar activity, clouds, water vapor, etc.) and CO2 concentration changes on climate is “settled enough”, which means that “the time for debate has ended”.

A(4) The proposed solutions to mitigate the dangerous consequences described in N(4) – namely, wind and solar expansion – are safe, effective, and environmentally-friendly.

To reiterate, the 500+ papers compiled in 2018 support the N(1)-N(4) positions, and they undermine or at least do not support the “consensus”A(1)-A(4) positions.  These papers do not do more than that.   In other words, it is not accurate to claim these papers prove that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) positions are invalid, or that AGW claims have now been debunked”.

There were just over 500 papers published in 2016.  Skeptic Papers 2016

There were just under 500 papers published in 2017.  Skeptic Papers 2017

Between 2016 and 2018 there were about 1,500 peer-reviewed scientific papers published that support a skeptical position on climate alarm.

Below are the three links to the list of scientific papers for 2018 as well as an outline to their categorization.

Skeptic Papers 2018 (1)

Skeptic Papers 2018 (2)

Skeptic Papers 2018 (3)

1. Climate Change Observation, Reconstruction (189)

No Net Warming Since Mid/Late 20th Century (36)
A Warmer Past: Non-Hockey Stick Reconstructions (76)
Lack Of Anthropogenic/CO2 Signal In Sea Level Rise (16)
Sea Levels Multiple Meters Higher 4,000-7,000 Years Ago (18)
Nothing Unusual Occurring With Glaciers, Polar Ice (33)
Mass Extinction Events Caused By Glaciation, Sea Level Fall (3)
Antarctic Ice Melting In High Geothermal Heat Flux Areas (2)
Abrupt, Degrees-Per-Decade Natural Global Warming (5)

2. Natural Mechanisms Of Weather, Climate Change (152)

Solar Influence On Climate (103)
ENSO, NAO, AMO, PDO Climate Influence (22)
Modern Climate In Phase With Natural Variability (8)
Cloud/Aerosol Climate Influence (4)
Volcanic/Tectonic Climate Influence (3)
The CO2 Greenhouse Effect – Climate Driver? (12)

3. Unsettled Science, Failed Climate Modeling (161)

Climate Model Unreliability/Biases/Errors (27)
Urban Heat Island: Raising Surface Temperatures Artificially (5)
Failing Renewable Energy, Climate Policies (17)
Wind Power Harming The Environment, Biosphere (19)
Elevated CO2: Greens Planet, Higher Crop Yields (20)
Polar Bear (and other) Populations Not Decreasing (10)
Global Warming Saves Lives. Cold Kills. (9)
Warming, Acidification Not Harming Oceanic Biosphere (10)
Coral Bleaching Is A Natural, Non-Anthropogenic Phenomenon (2)
No Increasing Trends In Intense Hurricanes/Storms (8)
No Increasing Trend In Drought/Flood Frequency, Severity (7)
Natural CO2 Emissions A Net Source, Not A Net Sink (5)
Global Fire Frequency Declining As CO2 Rises (2)
CO2 Changes Lag Temperature Changes By 1000+ Years (3)
Global Losses/Deaths From Weather Disasters Declining (2)
No AGW Changes To Hydrological Cycle Detectable (6)
Peak Oil As Myth (3)
Miscellaneous (16)