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PZ Myers dissects evolutionary psychology: brief, sharp and fabulous

I admit I LOL'd at the part about lighting up "like a Christmas tree." WATCH AND LEARN all IDWs!

The Brian Ferguson Interview

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Charles Murray blows it all up

The main argument - possibly the only argument made by promoters of race pseudo-science - against the claim they are racists is this: they can't be racist because although they believe Black people are innately more stupid & criminal as a group, they believe it is wrong to discriminate against individuals. 

Not only is this racist, it's the legal definition of discrimination.

If permissible discrimination on the basis of race is not systemic racism, then nothing is. Which is exactly Murray's goal - to deny the existence of systemic racism.

Denial of systemic racism is of course the leading race pseudo-science tactic: deny the 400-year-long system of immiseration in the United States, perpetrated against enslaved people and their descendants, a system that is still active now.

The goal is to blame the victims by saying their own genetics are at fault, not systemic racism. 

Charles Murray is awful, but it must never be forgotten that his career of denying systemic racism and promoting race pseudo-science has always been propped up by right-wing plutocrats like William H. Hammett and Charles Koch, and promoted by journalistic hacks like Andrew Sullivan.

If Murray and his enablers could succeed in making discrimination on the basis of ethnicity legal again through race pseudo-science, the result would be continuing immiseration and a vicious cycle: Black people have been systematically immiserated for 400 years, and as a result they have failed to thrive. Take that failure to thrive, use it to justify further immiseration by denying Black people equal job opportunities.

The goal of Murray and his enablers: to maintain a permanent underclass on the basis of race. They are thoroughly evil human beings.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Two charts demonstrating how far-right is the board of advisors of FAIR

When Christopher Rufo announced the creation of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, he claimed it was a coalition of liberals, moderates and conservatives and he illustrated this claim with an image of the FAIR board of advisors.

As you might expect from a cynical, right-wing operative who takes money from Charles Koch, this claim was a big fat lie. The board was very right-leaning then, and it's only become more right-leaning ever since.

Having followed the antics of the Intellectual Dark Web for several years now, I recognized at a glance that the board was packed with members of the Intellectual Dark Web, Quillette authors and other promoters of race pseudo-science, and a little research proved that all current members of the board but one have a connection to at least one right-wing cause or organization.

Then recently, the New Yorker published an article that made it clear that Rufo is probably the Kochtopus flunky of the year, thanks to his cynical and successful efforts to build up the previously obscure "critical race theory" into a Republican target of hatred and hysteria.

New York Magazine also ran a critique of Rufo:

Rufo’s role is clear. He takes critical-race theory as a concept, strips it of all meaning, and repurposes it as a catchall for white grievances. “The goal,” he tweeted, “is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’ We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.” In an interview with the Post, he said the tweet described an “obvious” approach: “If you want to see public policy outcomes you have to run a public persuasion campaign.”

I think it's likely FAIR itself is funded by Koch, considering how many Koch employees are on the board, and also because the one issue that unites the FAIR board of advisors is opposition to critical race theory, as this table demonstrates.

I think it's likely that you don't get on the board of advisors of FAIR unless you vow your undying opposition to critical race theory, but in this table I only included those board members who are on the public record opposing CRT - but I'd be willing to bet that Ajouz, Davis, Hill, Keig and Kors just haven't gotten around to discussing CRT on social media, or I missed their public declarations somehow.

Alexander Lloyd makes clear how important Critical Race Theory hysteria was in his decision to join the FAIR board of advisors.

The closest FAIR has to a liberal is Lisa Feldsher, who is the only board member not in the table. Feldsher does not have much social media presence, but she's not exactly what you would call a flaming progressive. Her political issues are anti-Semitism and the standard right-wing trope, if liberals and Hollywood really cared about social justice they would solve problems even in places where they have no power to make changes while at the same time implying that Islam is the main source of homophobic violence in the world.

I created a second chart, which is less granular than the table. In this pie chart I matched each FAIR board member with one affiliation. Since this web site is devoted to criticizing the IDW, if they are a named member of the IDW, they are counted as IDW even if they have several other affiliations. 

The next tier is a Koch organization affiliation, then a Quillette byline, then a connection to a right-wing organization like The Federalist or they are known for right-wing positions, like Megyn Kelly, Bari Weiss and Andrew Sullivan. 

Finally if they have no other affiliations (that I have discovered yet), they are counted as anti-CRT. Lisa Feldsher is counted as "Other" although I'd bet serious money she also is opposed to CRT.

The data make it inescapably clear, that FAIR is a far-right organization, judging by its board of advisors.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

FAIR update ~ a lawsuit, the New Yorker, Megyn Kelly & new members

FAIR has had a fair amount of churn in its board of advisors since the organization was founded in March, so it's no surprise the board of advisors has changed again since we last looked

The board started out with a mere 31 members, but now has 39 and it has consistently added right-wingers to the board, in spite of Christopher Rufo's lie that the organization represents all points on the political spectrum.

But before we review the new board there's headline news in FAIR world. 

To the surprise of nobody paying attention to the legalistic ambitions of FAIR, a member of the board of advisors, Maud Maron, has instigated a lawsuit against the Legal Aid Society for calling her a racist. The Society calls the suit "...a frivolous and misguided attempt to use litigation to harass a nonprofit employer and its employees who have spent their careers advancing social justice causes."

The New Yorker did a profile of Christopher Rufo, the Koch-funded Trump supporter, called How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict Over Critical Race Theory. From the article:

As Rufo eventually came to see it, conservatives engaged in the culture war had been fighting against the same progressive racial ideology since late in the Obama years, without ever being able to describe it effectively. “We’ve needed new language for these issues,” Rufo told me, when I first wrote to him, late in May. “ ‘Political correctness’ is a dated term and, more importantly, doesn’t apply anymore. It’s not that elites are enforcing a set of manners and cultural limits, they’re seeking to reengineer the foundation of human psychology and social institutions through the new politics of race, It’s much more invasive than mere ‘correctness,’ which is a mechanism of social control, but not the heart of what’s happening. The other frames are wrong, too: ‘cancel culture’ is a vacuous term and doesn’t translate into a political program; ‘woke’ is a good epithet, but it’s too broad, too terminal, too easily brushed aside. ‘Critical race theory’ is the perfect villain,” Rufo wrote.

Absolutely cynical, which is what anybody who knows anything about this pack of grifters, race pseudo-science promoters and Trump supporters would expect.

Meanwhile, Megyn Kelly was in the news recently for attempting to downplay the January 6 insurrection:

Conservative journalist and pundit Megyn Kelly is downplaying the seriousness of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, saying national media covering the insurrection that day made the incident out to be worse than it actually was.

"A faction turned," Kelly said during a recent episode of her podcast of the people who gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest the congressional certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory. "But there's no question the media represented this as so much worse than it actually was."

Kelly is the perfect representative of the FAIR board of advisors: conservative and full of shit.

So there are four new members of the board, since last check-in and all four are what you'd expect: right-wingers and "critical race theory" grifters: Yiatlin Chu, Angel Eduardo, Zander Keig and Alan Charles Kors. More details about each below.

FAIR seems to be the Intellectual Dark Web 2.0, with an anti-critical race theory agenda in perfect harmony with the Republican Party.

1. Michael Ajouz - Republican, donated to Romney and Ted Cruz.

2. Ayyan Hirsi Ali - right-wing anti-Muslim and on the Koch payroll via the American Enterprise Institute. Named member of the Intellectual Dark Web.

3. Peter Boghossian recently attacked Pinkerite's founder, has the possible distinction of appearing as a guest more than anybody else on racist Stephan Molyneux's show. Quillette author. Business partner of Christian nationalist right-wing extremist Michael O'Fallon.

4. Liang-Fang Chao - "Computer Scientist" - Critical Race Theory alarmist grifter.

5. Melissa Chen - Quillette supporter.  Writer for conservative The Spectator, Managing Director of Ideas Beyond Borders, which has, on its board of directors - inevitably - Steven Pinker.

6. Yiatlin Chu [new] - Critical Race Theory alarmist grifter and pal of Maud Maron.

7. Daryl Davis - Trump supporter.  Not a Trump supporter, I was wrong about that. It's disturbing that Davis has lent his legitimately good-guy persona to FAIR which is full of rightwingers and race pseudoscience supporters.

8. Angel Eduardo [new]  - fan of free speech grifters, promoter of "cancel culture" panic, published in Areo, Quillette's twin sister. Anti Critical Race Theory.

9. Lisa Feldsher - runs a PR firm with many corporate clients. Fake liberal.

10. Niall Ferguson -  husband of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and right-wing creep, who was involved in a controversy in which he targeted a liberal student, as discussed by Krugman in 2018. Employee of Koch through AEI.

11. Kmele Foster - right-wing, anti Black Lives Matter, on the advisory council of the Koch-funded FIRE.

12. Tim van Gelder - "entrepreneur, philosopher" and fan of right-wing, Koch-funded free speech grifter  Andrew Doyle, a former member of the FAIR board of advisors

13. Samantha Harris - contributor at the Federalist Society, Senior Fellow at the Koch-funded FIRE. Connected to Maud Maron somehow. Author at Quillette. Lawyer of Joshua T. Katz, member of the Academic Freedom Alliance.

14. Jason D. Hill - self-declared conservative, Ayn Rand fan and author at the far-right Federalist. Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, founded by right-wing extremist David Horowitz.

15. Nathan Hoffman - Republican operative working against the public school system.

16. Coleman Hughes - Koch employee via City Journal, Quillette author, apologist for race science.

17. Inaya Folarin Iman - Founder and Director of anti-Black Lives Matter The Equiano Project and along with right-wing IDW member Douglas Murray is a director the Free Speech Union, founded by eugenics fan and Quillette editor Toby Young.

18. Zaid Jilani - former left-winger and author at Quillette.

19. Zander Keig [new] - Conservative.

20. Megyn Kelly - known for saying Santa Claus and Jesus were white when she was a star at Fox.

21. Alan Charles Kors [new] - co-founder of the Koch-funded FIRE.

22. Alexander Lloyd - fan of Quillette and members of the IDW, Bitcoin bro.

23. Glenn Loury - right-wing, Quillette author, Koch-funded.

24. Maud Maroncalled a racist by the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid, then sued them for it.

25. John McWhorter - author at Quillette, supported by Koch via AEI and City Journal.

26. Douglas Murray - named member of the IDW and according to WikipediaHis views and ideology have been linked to far-right political ideologies by a number of academic[10]and journalistic[11] sources. He has also been accused of promoting far-right conspiracy theories,[12][13][14] and of being Islamophobic.[15]

27. Steven Pinker. Of course.

28. Robert Pondescioauthor at The Federalist, fan of the work of Charles Murray, senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at right-wing think tank Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Senior fellow of the Koch-funded AEI.

29. Wilfred Reilly - conservative author at far-right Regnery Publishing - founder William H. Regnery died recently.

30. Ian RoweKoch employee via AEI.

31. Christopher Rufo - rabidly pro-Trump, Koch employee via City Journal. Rufo does not have a byline in Quillette, but predictably, Quillette adores him.

32. Michael Shermer - named member of the Intellectual Dark Web, doesn't believe systemic racism exists, critical race theory alarmist and creep.

33. Abigail Shrier - Quillette author, rabidly anti-trans.

34. Erec Smith - Quillette author and co-founder of right-wing organization Free Black Thought along with Charles Murray apologist Michael DC Bowen and Jason Littlefield, author at Quillette's twin Areo and opponent of critical race theory. Fun fact: Smith, Littlefield and Zander Keig are all in business together in an organization called Empowered Pathways.

35. Eli Steele - Quillette author, Koch employee via City Journal.

36. Andrew Sullivanright-winger, promoted The Bell Curve, race science promoter.

37. Bari Weiss - right-winger, promoter of the Intellectual Dark Web and pals with same.

38. Thomas Chatterton Williams - chateau bouncer, Koch employee via AEI

39. Kenny Xu - Development Officer at Young America's Foundation a right-wing youth organization. Author at the Federalist and the Daily Signal. Trump supporter.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Is Eric Weinstein a crackpot?

 Just last month I called Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying crackpots, and now thanks to this Washington Post article I discovered this substack asking if Eric Weinstein is a crackpot.

Is Eric Weinstein—unofficial founder of the “Intellectual Dark Web,” money manager for eccentric billionaire Peter Thiel, and frequent guest on the Joe Rogan show and other power podcasts, where he’s gained a reputation for brilliance—a crackpot?

Times are tough for the Intellectual Dark Web these days.

Timothy Nguyen explains what a puffed-up, grifting clown Eric Weinstein is.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Trump's Reichstag moment - Pinkerite called it in April 2020

According to a book on the Trump presidency called "I Alone Can Fix It" about to be released:

In the days leading up to January 6, Leonnig and Rucker write, (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark) Milley was worried about Trump's call to action. "Milley told his staff that he believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military."

Milley viewed Trump as "the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose," the authors write, and he saw parallels between Adolf Hitler's rhetoric as a victim and savior and Trump's false claims of election fraud.

"This is a Reichstag moment," Milley told aides, according to the book. "The gospel of the F├╝hrer."

Ahead of a November pro-Trump "Million MAGA March" to protest the election results, Milley told aides he feared it "could be the modern American equivalent of 'brownshirts in the streets,'" referring to the pro-Nazi militia that fueled Hitler's rise to power. 

Pinkerite was sounding the alarm about Trump's re-election campaign as early as July 2019, especially with the Republican party's connection to grifter and Quillette team member Andy Ngo and his lawyer, Republican committee woman Harmeet K. Dhillon but I didn't use the term "Reichstag fire" in reference to Trump until April 2020.

On his show yesterday, Colbert referred to Trump, flat-out, as a "fascist." Nobody except MAGA freaks miss Trump, but there is nothing quite like Trump to bring out Colbert's comedic genius.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Right-wing race-monger Razib Khan testifies: getting cancelled is no big deal

I had the misfortune of thinking about the race-obsessed, history-denyingright-wing Razib Khan recently because it came to my attention that "The New Liberals" - funding source unknown - had promoted Khan by interviewing him for its podcast. 

The audio clip included with the promotional tweet expresses to perfection what an utter asshole Khan is, especially on the issue of race. 

Khan's voice is as obnoxious as his politics so I have transcribed the audio for you, dear Pinkerite reader, but I won't pretend it wasn't an awful experience:

Ultimately like I know people in Academia who talk about like systemic racism and prejudice and all this stuff, I just say like it's really easy, all you need to do is minorities that you think should have these jobs, you guys just need to like draw straws and one out of five of you resign and free up the positions, hire somebody of color, and we're all good, right, it's a simple thing to do, but they never do it, do they? They don't make the hard decision, I told an acquaintance of mine who wanted to talk to me about racism and I just got sick of it, and I was just like, well what you need to do is give your son's inheritance to a Black family. If you're talking about wealth and equality right now, he needs to be poor, and make his own way, and they need to have money, so just do it. And the person flipped out at me. Cause they just wanted to talk. And I'm just not super interested in talking. I am a non-white person. I don't need to be talked to about racism all the time. It's not interesting to me.

Listening to that clip... I didn't think I could have a lower opinion of Khan, but wow, those supremely obnoxious words plus that obnoxious voice is a powerful combination.

Talking about racism isn't interesting to him, claims Razib Khan, and he denies the very existence of systemic racism, but he has been obsessed with race and genetics, for a long time

You have to wonder what possible acquaintance of Khan's, who isn't already a flaming race-obsessed rightwing stooge, would try to talk to Khan about race. 

I checked out Khan's substack to see if he is still obsessed with race, and of course he is. It seems to be the one thing he cares about more than anything else in the world. 

But I found something worthwhile on Khan's blog. I found Khan testifying that getting "cancelled" is absolutely no big deal

Of course I also had to endure Khan's prose, which is always awful, as well as his bloated self-regard.

Testify, race-monger:

Six years on, I cannot think of a single person I value or a single place I’ve wanted to be that I no longer have access to because the New York Times deemed me beyond the pale. There are a boatload of fascinating, principled people in America and beyond who don’t care who the 21st-century New York Times thinks is pure enough. I’ve recorded podcasts with dozens of them. Thousands more give me their emails and pay me good money to tell them data-backed stories about the history of the human race on Substack.

I doubt the people who pay Khan good money do it for the alleged "data-backed stories about the history of the human race" but rather, for Khan's right-wing race-mongering. 

While reading, I was also reminded of another facet of Khan's personality, his cowardice, when he refers to Jamelle Bouie without naming him:
Cathy Young is buddies with Khan & a shitty person
It’s a funny commentary on our times that one of the people they say was most rabid behind the scenes about protecting the readership of The New York Times from a dangerous mind like mine, has since joined The New York Times. Does America feel safe now, buddy?

There's a reason the people who hire Khan are generally right-wing extremists like the publishers of the racist Taki's Magazine - they don't care about literary qualities, they care that he's conservative and promotes race pseudo-science. 

But like people on the Koch dole, like the equally obnoxious Cathy Young (Khan's buddy), they imagine they have careers because of their intellectual and literary excellence.

But back to Khan's testimony. I was recently talking about Jamelle Bouie's role in keeping Khan off the NYTimes and my small part it in. So it's good to know that, in spite of the constant whining about cancel culture, in every conceivable media outlet, by Khan's friends like Steven Pinker and Pinker's toady Jerry Coyne, an enterprising right-wing race-monger can still make a good living saying supremely stupid, obnoxious things, even without the imprimatur of the New York Times. As Bari Weiss can surely tell you.

I wish Khan would get the word out to the other members of the Quillette/IDW industrial complex, that getting cancelled is no big deal because Angel Eduardo was just being promoted by The New "Liberals" for whining about it.

It seems that Eduardo is the latest edition to the the right-winger-packed Board of Advisors of FAIR

I will have plenty to say about that clown car soon.

Friday, July 9, 2021

American Renaissance still loves Claire Lehmann's Quillette

Which makes perfect sense, as Quillette has always been a promoter of race pseudo-science, very much like American Renaissance, per the Southern Poverty Law Center (my highlight):

Founded by Jared Taylor in 1990, the New Century Foundation is a self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites — although in hifalutin language that avoids open racial slurs and attempts to portray itself as serious scholarship. It is best known for its American Renaissance magazine and website, which regularly feature proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists. The foundation also sponsors American Renaissance conferences every other year where racist "intellectuals" rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.

Here we see Steve Salerno gloating along with Claire Lehmann because she wasn't "cancelled" after she made an international ass of herself with her evidence-free attacks on Sha'Carri Richardson and Florence Griffith-Joyner.

American Renaissance liked Salerno's thoughts on race so much it posted excerpts from his Quillette article. 

Steve Salerno, Quillette, May 10, 2018

At that time the number was 7. Since then, the number has risen to 25

Of course Lehmann and her followers would claim that Lehmann is "uncancellable" when nobody ever expected her to be cancelled. She's always been known as a sleazy, shameless "journalist" dedicated to promoting racist beliefs.

How could she be cancelled? She founded Quillette and the people who support it do so exactly because it gives them race pseudo-science extreme enough to find favor with American Renaissance, while still managing to claim respectability thanks to its association with mainstream media people like the media's favorite sacred cow and "celebrity intellectual" Steven Pinker. 

Her unapologetic racism likely makes her funders, including right-wing plutocrat Mark Carnegie, love her even more.

If American Renaissance hasn't been "cancelled," why would Claire Lehmann be?

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Best title of the year: why Quillette sucks

 At Boing Boing: Why Quillette sucks

Lehmann's clueless vulgarity was such that even right-wingers cringed at her tweets. The New York Times' Jamelle Bouie, certainly not among them, remarked that it'd been a while since he'd seen "Twitter unite against a single person like it has united against the Australian caliper magazine lady."

She did have a defender, though, in the form of commentator Dave Rubin, who (while careful to distance himself from her) suggested that she should sue someone who had called her website, Quillette, a "white supremacist blog". While Rubin's proposal is legally illiterate, it did strike me that the casual invocation of "supremacist" obscures what Quillette's all about, the culture that eats its strategy for breakfast. It's not just the distinction hinted at by Bouie, between the Calipers racists and the Hoods racists, but the peculiar culture of self-serious, middle-class, constantly sneering Britishy media people who think things are just absurd.

I'll note here that Jamelle Bouie was instrumental in preventing Razib Khan, race pseudo-science hawker and friend of Claire Lehmann from getting a gig at the NYTimes by publicizing Khan's race statements - and Bouie linked to my personal blog which had a post from 2013 which presented quotes from the first incarnation of Khan's Gene Expression web site.

I mentioned this later on Twitter, while criticizing racist Bo Winegard and his promotion of race science, and Claire Lehmann had a meltdown, although, as is her habit, she wasn't concerned with accuracy - I never said I got Khan fired.

Which ties into another aspect of the Boing Boing piece:

The "intellectual dark web" of free-speech absolutists, as it was self-defeatingly named, is a regular source of legal threats and covert (if perhaps naive) support of authoritarian personalities and institutions. The "censorship" they complain of often amounts to mere criticism, experienced by their giant egos as injury. But the formal state-backed censorship they threaten to use themselves is all too real. Lehmann herself once threatened to sue someone for "defaming" Quillette because it's "going to be fun".

I wrote about Lehmann's threatened lawsuit, mentioned above, in a two-parter: How conservative and white supremacist is Quillette?

I don't know if I buy the emphasis on a British/Commonwealth point of view the article has. The Intellectual Dark Web, closely tied to Quillette, is mostly Americans.

The most important journalism concerning Quillette has yet to be written, which is the article examining, in depth, who funds Quillette.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Quillette founder Claire Lehmann continues to make a name for herself...

...as a lying, shameless racist.

And since this blog is called Pinkerite, we must remember that Steven Pinker and Claire Lehmann have a warm mutual admiration society.

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