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Some delicious Glass Candy to get you through your Wednesday night:



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On the heels of my latest McArdle FAIL post, I thought you might enjoy a little illustration I put together to show why McMegan’s preferred style of “thinking” can be problematic:

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I am really starting to enjoy the bountiful cornucopia of blog posts detailing what an overly excitable, fact-challenged fraud Megan McArdle is constantly proving herself to be.

Here’s McMegan getting really worked up about an author’s comparison of humans to bonobos:

“For example, like a lot of evolutionary biology critiques, this one leans heavily on bonobos (at least so far). Here’s the thing: humans aren’t like bonobos. And do you know how I know that we are not like bonobos? Because we’re not like bonobos. There’s no way observed human societies grew out of a species organized along the lines of a bonobo tribe.” (emphasis in original)
Here’s the author’s retort:
Got that? Humans aren’t like bonobos because we’re not like bonobos. No way! So there! Case closed.

In addition to this somewhat embarassing “reasoning,” it’s pretty clear Ms. McArdle hasn’t read even the first half of the book very closely. Pages 77 and 78 contain a table listing some of the major similarities between humans and bonobos, many of them unique to these two species. Hard to imagine how she managed to miss that. In the discussion of her article, she flatly states that chimps are genetically more closely related to humans than bonobos are, which is not only just plain wrong, it’s something we explain very early in the book (along with a graph, no less, on p. 62).

Agree with our thesis or disagree with it, nobody who knows anything about primatology would argue that chimps are genetically closer to us than bonobos are (they’re equidistant) or that humans and bonobos don’t have a great deal in common—particularly in terms of our sexual behavior and anatomy. (The table appears below.)

How anyone continues to take McMegan seriously is beyond me.

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Gee, with stats like this, one might almost think that Republicans are stirring up fears about a flood of smelly brown people flooding over the border for political gain!

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This is a super-fun rant against the Murdoch-fueled bile being pumped out daily about all those lazy, shiftless unemployed people who are causing all of our woes:
So here’s my wish for Rupert Murdoch, and it’s not all that my heart wishes for him, but some things shouldn’t be said aloud. I want him to walk in the shoes of the unemployed for 100 weeks, but with only 26 weeks of unemployment insurance. I want him to have no way to pay for food, and for him to be passed over for every job applied for, day after day after painful day. I want him to lose his car, his home, and his dignity. I want him to sit in a bureaucrat’s office and apply for emergency food stamps, aid for the children, Medicaid benefits and place himself at the mercy of others, who may or may not be merciful.

I want him to rot from the inside out from the constant anxiety of having to wonder if he will ever reach the age where he can claim Social Security benefits — benefits HE paid for. I want him to lie awake at night wondering where he can go to collect aluminum cans and glass bottles to turn in for the recycling money so he can bring home groceries that night.

I want him completely humbled and humiliated, to be prostrate before the government agencies he so sneeringly dismisses, to know what it is like to have nothing, not to be able to rely on anyone, and when he is so low there isn’t a lower place to go besides hell, I want to lean over and whisper in his ear, “This is all your doing. You, and you alone, are responsible for it.”

And then I want him to rot in the hell he made for himself for all eternity, while his remains are picked apart by conservative vultures.

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Joel Brinkley writes in the SF Chronicle:

Western forces fighting in southern Afghanistan had a problem. Too often, soldiers on patrol passed an older man walking hand-in-hand with a pretty young boy. Their behavior suggested he was not the boy’s father. Then, British soldiers found that young Afghan men were actually trying to “touch and fondle them,” military investigator Anna Maria Cardinalli told me. “The soldiers didn’t understand.”

All of this was so disconcerting that the Defense Department hired Cardinalli, a social scientist, to examine this mystery. Her report, “Pashtun Sexuality,” startled not even one Afghan. But Western forces were shocked – and repulsed.

For centuries, Afghan men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a boy lover. Literally it means “boy player.” The men like to boast about it.

“Having a boy has become a custom for us,” Enayatullah, a 42-year-old in Baghlan province, told a Reuters reporter. “Whoever wants to show off should have a boy.”

[..] In Kandahar, population about 500,000, and other towns, dance parties are a popular, often weekly, pastime. Young boys dress up as girls, wearing makeup and bells on their feet, and dance for a dozen or more leering middle-aged men who throw money at them and then take them home. A recent State Department report called “dancing boys” a “widespread, culturally sanctioned form of male rape.”

So, why are American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud pedophiles, certainly more per capita than any other place on Earth? And how did Afghanistan become the pedophilia capital of Asia?

Sociologists and anthropologists say the problem results from perverse interpretation of Islamic law. Women are simply unapproachable. Afghan men cannot talk to an unrelated woman until after proposing marriage. Before then, they can’t even look at a woman, except perhaps her feet. Otherwise she is covered, head to ankle.

“How can you fall in love if you can’t see her face,” 29-year-old Mohammed Daud told reporters. “We can see the boys, so we can tell which are beautiful.”

Even after marriage, many men keep their boys, suggesting a loveless life at home. A favored Afghan expression goes: “Women are for children, boys are for pleasure.” Fundamentalist imams, exaggerating a biblical passage on menstruation, teach that women are “unclean” and therefore distasteful. One married man even asked Cardinalli’s team “how his wife could become pregnant,” her report said. When that was explained, he “reacted with disgust” and asked, “How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean?”

That helps explain why women are hidden away – and stoned to death if they are perceived to have misbehaved. Islamic law also forbids homosexuality. But the pedophiles explain that away. It’s not homosexuality, they aver, because they aren’t in love with their boys.

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Thanks for all the well-wishers who sent me healing vibes through an unpleasant bout of mystery sickness.  I am pretty much out of the woods and started up again today on Nicorette to keep me off the cigs.

For a bit of fun, here’s a couple M.I.A. videos to enjoy:



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