Fanatics Will Try to Kill Her.

For Shamsia Alizada’s own safety, Harvard should offer her a massive scholarship to study here. Med school here too. Maybe by the time of her graduation, Afghanistan will have gotten to the point where they don’t try to kill intelligent, high-profile women.

Simply the best.

She deserves a big fat tip and she’s getting one.

Donate to Amy McGrath’s Senate Campaign.

She just won her primary.

If Trump won’t leave the WH after he loses, she can bomb him the hell out of there.

Harold Bloom is Giggling in His Grave.

His student, Naomi Wolf, who tried to get major mileage out of claiming Bloom sexually aggressed against her, has been writing really bullshitty books for decades, as UD’s new heroine, New York Times reviewer Parul Seghal, notes. And finally one of them has been pulped.

Wolf is the left’s Donald Trump – a veteran flim-flammer, with his patented brew of insolence, narcissism, self-pity, and mendacity. Moi, I doubt Wolf even penned her last book – the pulped one – because its childish ignorance is the sort of thing you get when you assign the actual research and writing to some hastily assembled slave class and then slap your name on it without bothering to read what they came up with.

Duflo Gets the Nobel

From an earlier post about Esther Duflo:

… She is a world expert on understanding why despite throwing billions at development programmes in poor countries, many fail, and why others succeed. A pioneer in this field, which has only existed for ten years, she has devised a technique to test the effectiveness of anti-poverty programmes through “random testing”, much like pharmaceutical companies test drugs.


Esther married her MIT professor Abhijit Banerjee in 2015.

Whoops. They’re in big trouble. UD assumes MIT has a firm policy punishing student/faculty relationships.

“Remember me!”

Jessye Norman, who has died, sings UD‘s beloved Purcell.

‘Sit down, pay extra to upgrade to business class, or get off the plane.’

Music to UD‘s ears: An ultraorthodox man demands that a woman sitting next to him on an El Al flight move because he refuses to sit next to women. Instead of letting him rant on and eventually force the woman to move, the flight director tells him what it says in UD‘s headline: Fuck off.

As long as Israel’s courts remain real courts (not guaranteed!), her heroine, Anat Hoffman, who with her organization brought the suit that forced gender equality on El Al, will keep winning virtually every case she brings, just the way she won this one.

Hoffman was on this particular plane; she witnessed the exchange.

I was proud to hear the flight director use the exact wording as promised by El Al in court. It was as if she were reading from the verdict itself, stating in no uncertain terms that the in-flight staff would not ask the woman to change her seat. If the staff had acted differently, and if they had, in any way, asked the female passenger to change her seat ‘for everyone’s benefit,’ I would have encouraged her to sue El Al. That passenger did not know it, but she had all of IRAC—a powerful ally—standing behind her.

Before the flight director finally issued an ultimatum to this man, other people on the plane began to pressure the woman to move, practically bringing her to tears. But, as UD‘s beloved Christopher Hitchens used to say, “Enough with clerical and religious bullying and intimidation.”

“Child abuse with a sharp object.”

Ilhan Omar’s brushoff of Maryum Saifee’s urgent and pertinent question about female genital mutilation earned Saifee an NPR interview, during which she pointed out that since plenty of children in Omar’s own district suffer this abuse, it’s kind of rich of her to get all huffy and refuse to deal with the issue. Here’s more of what Saifee said:

[We need to be willing to talk about] misogyny within our own community… [N]obody talks about FGM. [It’s a ].. squeamish topic.

[Also problematically,] it is politicized as an anti-Muslim issue. [But this] doesn’t give the community a free pass not to talk about it. [In any case, FGM is not merely a local issue; it is an international] human rights issue. [It is] systematized child sexual abuse with a sharp object… 

[There’s] very low literacy on this issue, [and people need to be educated about it; silence of Omar’s sort is just the opposite of what’s needed].

Sing it.

I look for my heart
It’s Rapinoe
I lost it to her she’s divino
The day that the final started

‘“She’s a real intellectual,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute, who has worked with Warren and her team on their anti-trust tech proposals.’

The kiss of death for longtime UD favorite, Elizabeth Warren. It’s going to be close to impossible for her to dig herself out of the “she’s an intellectual” hole.

Butterflies – and Kurdish Judges – Are Free.

‘On this day, presiding over [an ISIS fighter’s] trial, [Judge] Amina is wearing a white shirt and jeans with embroidered butterflies — clothing ISIS would have whipped women for wearing in public. She is seated behind a wood and faux-leather desk, which hides her platform heels. The public prosecutor is wearing a short-sleeved shirt.

In the future, Amina says, perhaps they will have judge’s gowns and proper courtrooms where journalists and the public can come all the time.

It’s a shock to some ISIS fighters to be sentenced by a woman. In the self-declared caliphate, women had very restricted roles, requiring them to stay at home unless they were accompanied by a close male relative. According to ISIS ideology, men are not allowed to look at women who are not direct relatives.

“Some of them, when they hear the voice of a woman, they look at the ground,” says Amina. “I tell them, ‘I am talking to you — raise your head and look at the committee.'”

Amina says a female colleague jokes that ISIS fighters thought that, as the Quran promises men who are faithful, they would end up in paradise with dozens of beautiful women to accompany them. “Instead, they look up and see us” in the courtroom, Amina says with a laugh.’

In memory of Agnes Varda…

… the French New Wave director who died yesterday, an essay UD wrote long ago about one of her best-known films, Vagabonde.

In memory of Sarah Auffret…

… killed in the Ethiopian Air crash, excerpts from an interview she gave about her two seasons at Port Lockroy, Britain’s most southerly post office. Auffret was – like so many people on that flight – an adventurer, an environmentalist, and a moralist.

As the sun never sets, days are long, but always enjoyable. The team wakes up around 7 a.m. – my morning alarm was the sound of penguins calling and snowy sheathbills knocking at the window. A typical day during high season very much revolves around ship visits – there would be two a day and sometimes a sailing yacht at lunch time. One or more of us would go on board the vessel first thing for a pre-landing briefing and perhaps breakfast – fans of bacon and eggs were always keen to get on board for this!

… Living conditions are pretty basic – there is no running water, only one gas heater in the team’s living quarters, and you may get one shower a week on a visiting ship if you’re lucky. You also need to be able to live with just a small number of people, yet also be very sociable, as you meet about 300 people a day.

When I left, I really missed the light and the tranquility of the island, and the absence of phones and internet. On base you can be connected to what is actually around you without the constant distraction of the online world.

We know who to thank.

First managing director! First chief economist! Take a bow, DSK.

“Hundreds give blood for the mayor of Gdansk.”

In the city of Solidarity, people come together in an ultimately losing battle for the life of their assassinated mayor.

O powerful western fallen star! 
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night! 
O great star disappear’d—

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