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Category Archives: Human rights

Coming out as a feminist

UPDATE 9 am, Saturday, May 7: Another round with Matt (see comment below), another unnecessary reassurance for Offended White Males: yes I completely agree that nobody is automatically guilty or evil based on their gender and race.

Jessica Mack from the great blog Gender Across Borders, interviewed me on feminism in development yesterday, find it here. I had never voiced before what I said in the interview. Some were pleasantly surprised, a few forgot to include the word “pleasantly.”

One commenter…

Also posted in Aid policies and approaches, Women and gender | 31 Comments

How the South was Lost

Vivek Nemana is an economics graduate student in New York University and a student worker at DRI.

UPDATE: Art Carden makes an important emphasis regarding this post and contibutes an ungated link to his paper. See comments/bottom of post.

Last week marked 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War. Victory for the North meant more than the preservation of the Union. It meant that slavery could no longer continue as a viable…

Also posted in Academic research, History | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Libya: Never say never again

News update Saturday 9 am: Western allies dither while Qaddafi invades last rebel stronghold. Was the agreement on the no-fly zone so easy because it would be too late and so wouldn’t actually happen?

BREAKING NEWS 2:30pm: Obama announces US will help enforce UN resolution on no-fly zone on Qaddafi: not alone but as part of European and Arab coalition, and with limited objective of protecting civilians.

Readers of this blog know that this author is…

Also posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Congressional Muslim Terrorism Hearings: the Mathematical Witness Transcript

UPDATE 11am response to commentator: is there an association between inability to understand Bayes’ theorem with ethnic prejudice?

UPDATE 3:30PM explaining risk of false positives to congressmen and commentators

Congressman Chairman: Muslims! Terrorists! Muslims! Terrorists!

Witness: Let A be the event of terrorism, and B be the event of Muslimism. Then P(A|B)≠P(B|A)

Congressman: What are you talking about?

Witness: You seem to be confusing the probability that a Muslim person will be a terrorist with…

Also posted in Metrics and evaluation, Satire and parodies | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Who is qualified to be self-righteous about liberty in other countries?

In 1845, a Virginia man gave his daughter Jane Cox a 15-year old slave named Susan White as a wedding present.

Susan White had a daughter named Susan Brown in 1856, who also became a slave for the Cox family.

After Emancipation, Susan White and her daughter Susan Brown left the Cox family to seek free employment. They could not find any, so they came back to the Coxes to work as domestic servants.

This picture…

Also posted in History | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Er, Yes, Madam, Muslims do want liberty

There is a common view that Muslims don’t share the values of liberty and democracy, as expounded by, say, to take a random example, Michele Bachmann from a few years ago.

Do recent events vindicate those who had already argued there was a universal hunger for liberty? One of them was Michael Novak, who says today in a Wall Street Journal oped  (gated, sorry) today:

{There was} the slumbering yet restless desire for liberty

Also posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news, Language, Stereotypes | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

A tragic sexual assault becomes pretext to insult both women and Muslims

Update Sunday 2/20/2010: good stories in NYT today: Reporting While Female and Why We Need Women in War Zones

One of my favorite blogs, the awesome Wronging Rights, does the definitive take on the Lara Logan story, a CBS reporter who was sexually assaulted on one of the violent days during the Egypt uprising:

The internet, it appeared, was largely in agreement: what happened to Logan was terrible, but hardly surprising

Also posted in In the news, Women and gender | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Abraham Lincoln in Egypt

Today the doubts begin on whether there will be a happy democratic outcome in Egypt. There are no guarantees.

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. His most famous words also addressed doubts about democracy. Could American democracy survive a civil war? Could it make a transition from half slave and half free to emancipation?

our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are

Also posted in Democracy and freedom, History, In the news | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Liberated Egyptians: you’re welcome!

Clive Crook’s blog notes the following story from Politico:

the Obama administration finally notched a foreign policy victory with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to resign and turn over power to top military officials…

“Great news for the administration/president,” said one senior Democratic official who asked not to be named. “People will remember, despite some fumbles yesterday, that the President played an excellent hand, walked the right line and that his statement last night

Also posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Egypt is Free!

That is what the people in the streets are chanting as the seismic news of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation spreads.

I have goosebumps. Regardless of what the future holds, this is a historic moment. This is a moment to celebrate the remarkable achievement of ordinary multitudes of Egyptians who wanted their inalienable rights, that all individuals are born free and equal.

To close with the words of the Arab poet Abul-Qasim al-Shabi (1909-1934) (previously quoted…

Also posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news | Tagged | 30 Comments