Friday, April 30, 2010

Daryl Davis, a black man with friends in the Klan

YouTube - Paula Zahn Now: Daryl Davis

Don't skip the ending.

eta: Bonus video:

YouTube - FOX & FRIENDS Fox News Johnny Lee Clary and Bishop McKinney

ETA: I swapped out the previous Johnny Lee Clary video with this one. The other's more amusing, but this one seems more objective.

Hispanic Arizonans supporting our new idiot law + stupid teaching law

CUUMBAYA: Notes on polls:
...on immigration enforcement issues, the report says, "Latinos themselves also have differences on these issues, especially between the foreign born and native born. On all three questions, foreign-born Hispanics are more opposed to the stepped-up enforcement policies than are native-born Hispanics. The breakdown is as follows: 83% of the foreign born do not support active involvement by local police in immigration enforcement, compared with 74% of the native born; 84% of foreign-born Latinos disapprove of workplace raids, compared with 63% of native-born Latinos; and 66% of the foreign born disapprove of states checking immigration status before issuing driver’s licenses, compared with 39% of the native born." Let's break that down a little further: if 74% of the native born do not support active involvement by local police in immigration enforcement, and only 75% of the total are native born, then only 55% of the possible Hispanic voters are opposed.
Also, in depressing AZ news: Think Progress : Arizona Expands Its Discrimination: Teachers With Heavy Accents Can’t Teach English, Ethnic Studies Are Banned

ETA: Clarification in the comments from Joel on the poll he used: "...the poll being quoted there is not Arizona specific; I was only trying to see how to get to Rasmussen's numbers without paying the $19.95 to become a premium member with access to the raw data. That Pew study has a lot of fascinating stuff in it, though. "


YouTube - Maggie and Suzzy Roche - "Anyway"
via huladavid, who includes the lyrics in this comment on Dealing with Haters



Douglas Hamilton: A Town Called Marinaleda: "What makes Marinaleda different, indeed from anywhere else in Spain and possibly Europe too, is that for the past thirty years it has been a centre of continuing labour struggle and a place where a living, developing and actual form of existing socialism has emerged. I had the fortune of visiting the town last week and at a time of deep economic crisis and political cynicism I couldn’t have been more impressed by its unique socialist achievements.

update: owl again!

I went for a walk yesterday, and the owl flew past me again, perhaps as close. It must like to sit near the wash.

Later, three javalinas crossed my path.

I'm sorry I won't be able to make the walk again for a few days.

looking for Tea Party racism

I think the Tea Party is seriously misguided, but because I think the people who call the movement racist are equally misguided, here are some videos about blacks and racism in the Tea Party.

From last week, YouTube - Tea Party Racism??:

From September, 2009, YouTube - cnn - tea party racist? not according to lloyed marcus:

YouTube - Video Proves Tea Party Activist Did Not Spit On Dem:

YouTube - Tea Party Protestors are racist? OHRLY?:

ETA: As noted at Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics, their non-Hispanic white percentage is almost identical to the nation's, and their non-Hispanic black percentage is 6%, which seems awfully high if they're really racist.

Dealing with Haters

Tim Ferriss: 7 Great Principles for Dealing with Haters

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jon Stewart and Ken Blackwell, black Tea Partier and candidate for head of GOP

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Ken Blackwell
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

more on B12, plus more links

Vitamin B12: Vital Nutrient for Good Health: "Avoid overconsumption of foods that block vitamin B12 intake or increase the body’s need for the vitamin, such as soy foods and spirulina." And "Taking folic acid without B12 can mask signs of B12 deficiency in red blood cells but will not protect against deficiencies in the nervous system."

If I was a parent, I would do all I could to encourage a kid to be an ovo-lacto vegetarian rather than a vegan. As any number of sites note, in India, before modern sterilization techniques, millions of vegetarians got essential animal-source vitamins and minerals from insect waste and particles in their food.s

May 1 marches around the US for immigration reform. Via Janni Simner.

Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America's New Global Strike Weapon - "The mission: Attack anywhere in the world in less than an hour. But is the Pentagon's bold program a critical new weapon for hitting elusive targets, or a good way to set off a nuclear war?"

Myth Buster: Can You Catch Poison Ivy From Someone Who Has It?

the difference between racists and fascists (the Tea Party)

Anti-racists see the Tea Party as a racist movement, even though Gallup says the Tea Party is 6% non-Hispanic black and 15% other. While I don't know much about that "other" category, 6% black in a country that's 13% black is hard to damn for being racist.

But it's easy to damn for being fascist. Tea Party members, with their love of corporations and government benefits like Social Security that are reserved for citizens of the empire, are fascists.

Yes, fascists can be racists, as the Nazis proved. But the Nazi concept of nationalism was only for white people. The Tea Party has some racist supporters, but given the prominence of people like Lloyd Marcus and Michelle Malkin, it's not racist. Their concept of nationalism is based on the Constitution. If you're homeless in America, they don't want the government to help you, no matter what color you are.

A reminder about poverty in America. According to the US Census Bureau’s Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005, the racial makeup of poverty in the United States of America looks like this:
Asian persons in poverty: 992,856 (2.92%)
Black or African American persons in poverty: 9,168,000 (25.17%)
Hispanic or Latino persons in poverty: 9,368,000 (22.68%)
non-Hispanic Whites persons in poverty: 16,227,000 (49.23%)
ETA: Steve Brust called me on my use of "fascism" in the comments. I partly agreed with him; it may be more accurate to say the Tea Party is reactionary or proto-fascist.

links of the day

Worth reading:

Mind Over Meds - "Leon Eisenberg, an early pioneer in psychopharmacology at Harvard, once made the notable historical observation that “in the first half of the 20th century, American psychiatry was virtually ‘brainless.’ . . . In the second half of the 20th century, psychiatry became virtually ‘mindless.’ ” The brainless period was a reference to psychiatry’s early infatuation with psychoanalysis; the mindless period, to our current love affair with pills."

Arias' request for "Pepe" the Revolutionary | Just the Facts: "Toward the end of March, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias wrote a letter to Uruguay's President José Mujica, asking him to follow Costa Rica's example and abolish Uruguay's military (Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948). President Arias made the same plea during his remarks on channel NTN24. 'Why does Uruguay need an army? Who is Uruguay's enemy now? Will it invade Argentina? Will it invade Brazil?,' President Arias asked."

Just the gist, so you don't have to follow the link:

Obama: 'There may not be an appetite' to tackle immigration this year.

BBC News - Brown's 'bigot' remark: It's that sinking feeling: "Research by evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar has found that gossip allows us to connect with others against a third party. Gossip, and any kind of negative comment, always involves a degree of risk because you have to be sure that the recipient of the negative comment will share your view."

Gulf oil spill 'five times' larger than estimated | World news | "US coastguard says 5,000 barrels a day of oil are spewing from a well beneath site of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion"

New immigration law turns Arizona into police state: "Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, not exactly an immigrant advocate, who best defined the already infamous SB1070 as the 'breathing while Latino law.'"

How Much Does Suck? Shows You: "A new site, WTF CNN?, compliments of Breadpig, shows you exactly what world news you’re missing by clicking on CNN. The way the site works is simple: is displayed at the top of the page, and under it, you get a choice of seeing the frontpage from one of the following global news sites: ABC (Australia), Al-Jazeera (Qatar), BBC (UK), China Daily (China), Deutsche Welle (Germany), EuroNews (Europe), France 24 (France), or Reuters (UK). Both halves are shown live, and switching between sites is as simple a selecting the one you want from a drop down menu."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

update: depression, B12, plus an owl and a rattler on our walk

Got a call this afternoon from the doctor's office; my B12 levels are very low. This may explain why I've been feeling a bit depressed and stupid. I got my first shot of B12 today, and will get one every two weeks for the next two months, then will test again. More on this in a moment.

Emma and I went for a walk afterward. As we went through the wash, passing by a tree, an owl that must not have known we were there flew within, I would swear, five feet of me at about head-height Okay, maybe eight or ten feet. But something astonishingly close. I've never had such a good look at a flying owl's butt before, and doubt I ever will again.

And we saw a diamondback in the road further on. We passed well behind him, and we each pretended we did not notice the other. Well, the tongue did flicker to let me know I shouldn't be stupid.

Back to the B12: While it's hard to be sure what the problem is, my quasi-vegan diet is probably a factor, because I think vitamin tablets are a scam and haven't been taking any supplements. Maybe I'll rethink that. But more likely, I'll be more ovo-lacto than I have been. We sometimes care for the neighbor's chickens, and while you could argue that our species has exploited chickens, our neighbor's chickens are not exploited. In my humble, there's nothing immoral about free range chickens. The same logic applies to dairy critters. I may even eat a bit more fish or meat when it's offered at other people's homes.

For more info:

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12:
Strict vegetarians and vegans are at greater risk than lacto-ovo vegetarians and nonvegetarians of developing vitamin B12 deficiency because natural food sources of vitamin B12 are limited to animal foods [5]. Fortified breakfast cereals are one of the few sources of vitamin B12 from plants and can be used as a dietary source of vitamin B12 for strict vegetarians and vegans.
Vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 are involved in homocysteine metabolism. In the presence of insufficient vitamin B12, homocysteine levels can rise due to inadequate function of methionine synthase [6]. Results from several randomized controlled trials indicate that combinations of vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements with or without vitamin B6 decrease homocysteine levels in people with vascular disease or diabetes and in young adult women [59-67]. In another study, older men and women who took a multivitamin/multimineral supplement for 8 weeks experienced a significant decrease in homocysteine levels [68].
Folic acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "A 10,000-patient study at Tufts University in 2007 concluded that excess folic acid worsens the effects of B12 deficiency and in fact may affect the absorption of B12.[124]"

Folic Acid, B12 May Increase Cancer Risk

The Way Up Newsletter - Vitamin B12 / Folic Acid / Homocysteine

Proud to live in Pima County

Ariz. Sheriff Says He Will Refuse to Enforce Immigration Law

links of the day

Hung Like An Angel : Scotteriology (via)

Kathi's Doll House

Electoral dysfunction: Why democracy is always unfair - science-in-society - 28 April 2010 - New Scientist (Thanks, Emma!)

burn the sea

Coast Guard plans to start oil burn this morning | Energy | - Houston Chronicle

Monday, April 26, 2010

poem of the day

After I linked to Catullus 16, Bill Colsher offered another classic poem that would offend puritanical folk: P. Colon. 7511 by Archilochus, whose poetry could kill:
Another reason for leaving his native place was personal disappointment and indignation at the treatment he had received from Lycambes, a citizen of Paros, who had promised him his daughter Neobule in marriage but had afterwards withdrawn his consent. Archilochus, taking advantage of the license allowed at the feasts of Demeter, poured out his wounded feelings in unmerciful satire. He accused Lycambes of perjury and recited such verses against his daughters that Lycambes and his daughters are said to have hanged themselves.
In a time when soldiers were expected to return with their shield or on it, Archilochus was refreshingly sane:
Some barbarian is waving my shield,
since I was obliged to
leave that perfectly good piece of equipment behind
under a bush.
But I got away, so what does it matter?
Life seemed somehow more precious.
Let the shield go; I can buy another one equally good.

"Israel’s Holy War" by Martin E. Marty

From Sightings, a weekly newsletterd from the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School:

Israel’s Holy War
-- Martin E. Marty

In eleven years of weekly Sightings I can’t find that I ever commented on “public religion” in Israel. The U. S. is usually in our sights, and we are aware of participation in or leadership of holy wars by Hindu militants, Muslim extremists, Buddhist monks, and Christian forces around the world. Israel, a close ally and, religiously, a kin, must have flown under the radar here, because it is on page one or in prime time almost daily, and religious themes – for example, Gush Emunim in support of illegal settlements – are prominent.

One can begin catching up on holy war in Israel in Eyal Press’s notice of four books on the subject in the April 29th New York Review of Books. The book titles are revealing: Israel and Its Army: From Cohesion to Confusion; Soldiers’ Testimonies from Operation Cast Lead, Gaza 2000; Israel’s Religious Right and the Question of Settlement; and Israel’s Materialist Militarism. Press supplements these with his own reporting. The authors are consistent in noting that the IDF, Israel Defense Forces, is infused and in some outfits virtually taken over by non-secular officers and enlistees who make no secret of their intent to replace “Just War” with “Holy War.”

In language that recalls the religious rhetoric of Lieutenant General William Botkin, who regularly framed contemporary American military ventures as Christian holy wars, or Air Force Academy leadership that wanted to Christianize our warrior efforts, militants in IDF leadership echo an invited rabbi who “cast the Gaza war as a battle between bnei ha-or – the children of light – and bnei ha-hasheh – the children of darkness: “In Hebrew literature, this is an eschatological war, a messianic war.” The religious nationalism of the Orthodox after the Six-Day War in 1967 has been replaced by hard-line religious conscripts, according to Press.

Senior military officers tell the International Crisis Group that they will not help evict illegal settlers from “Jewish land” that “is promised to us by the Bible, by God,” as one of them said. “This ideology is the backbone of the army, and so I will not obey such an order.” Some observers – including Stuart Cohen, author of Israel and its Army, mentioned above – believe that the threat of insubordination is overblown, and that cooler heads in the military and government find strategic ways to “cool it” when the scene is dominated by hot-heads. Higher officers get lessons on how to handle outbursters who can quote Scripture against the more political and disciplined religious leadership.

No one, however, foresees a future in which religious, in this case messianic, influence will not be growing; such forces make any diplomatic moves toward peace vulnerable. The author tells how after November 25th and the announcement of a ten-month freeze on settlements, some settlers torched and desecrated a mosque, “part of a new strategy to exact a heavy ‘price tag’” for any measure they deem detrimental. Followers of Rabbi Kook and other Gush Emunim leaders who called for disobedience to uncongenial orders grow in number and power.

Progressively replaced by holy warriors, the “just-warriors” lose influence. It is hard to see how diplomatic and conciliatory calls and practices stand a chance in this “take no prisoners,” make-no-compromises, setting. We are used to hearing messianic, Raptural rhetoric by American Protestant Zionist allies of the Israeli militants, but their power has been limited by their distance from the scene. The people being noticed by Eyal Press are up close, so the risks are higher, the scene dangerous.


Martin E. Marty's biography, current projects, publications, and contact information can be found at

Columns may be quoted or republished in full, with attribution to the author of the column, Sightings, and the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

is Little House on the Prairie racist?

To my amazement, a surprising number of people say Little House on the Prairie is racist. When they cite a specific example, they choose this paragraph:
Mrs. Scott said she hoped to goodness they would have no trouble with Indians. Mr. Scott had heard rumors of trouble. She said, "Land knows, they'd never do anything with this country themselves. All they do is roam around over it like wild animals. Treaties or no treaties, the land belongs to folks that'll farm it. That's only common sense and justice." She did not know why the government made treaties with Indians. The only good Indian was a dead Indian. The very thought of Indians made her blood run cold.
They ignore this paragraph:
Pa said he didn't know about that. He figured that Indians would be as peaceable as anyone else if they were left alone. On the other hand, they had been moved west so many times that naturally they hated white folks.
What they don't understand is that Pa is a voice of moral authority in the book. He not only says Indians are the same as whites, he says the hatred of some Indians is perfectly natural given the way whites treated them.

Context matters.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

does anyone have figures on the racial mix of the tea party?

My googling is failing me. Here's what I've got so far:

According to a CBS poll: "According to the poll, 95 percent are white, they are just as likely as Americans overall to have college educations and to make over $50,000 a year."

via Cuumbaya, a CNN poll seems to say (on page 5) they're 80% white, 2% African American, and 10% Latino, but if I'm reading that right, what're the remaining 8%?

ETA: via medievalist, a later New York Times/CBS News Poll: National Survey of Tea Party Supporters gives 89% white, 1% black, 1% Asian, 6% other, and 3% refused.

ETA 2, via serialbabbler, from Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics:

Profile of Tea Party Supporters -- Areas of Similarity to National Adults

interview with Vince Stone, artist for Captain Confederacy

Vince Stone (‘Captain Confederacy’ artist) | "Lessons learned from Star Trek? Be open to different experiences, be tolerant of others and if that doesn’t work – launch photon torpedoes!"

does anyone know when the new AZ law requiring citizenship papers goes into effect?

I hear it'll be in 90 days from signing, and then it'll be postponed due to legal challenges. But I want to make plans for that day. My current thought is to start by going down to the police station and asking to be arrested because I don't have any proof that I'm a citizen on me. I've never managed to be arrested in any of my previous protests.* Maybe this'll be the day.

* I did get questioned by the secret service once, but that was because we were near a presidential speech, and I was sixteen and dumb enough to say to a friend, "Man, this would be a bad place to joke about killing the President." My friend laughed and agreed.

And the SS swarmed in.

They were very civil. Asked us a couple of questions, then dispersed. But I've always been amazed at how quickly they appeared out of nowhere. My guess is we looked like freaks (long hair, jeans, etc.), so someone aimed a long-range microphone our way as I asked the question.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I am so seeing this!

YouTube - The Karate Kid - Official Trailer 2 [HD]

Quibble: it appears to be an awesome piece of American jingoism. 'Cause I know how Hollywood works. The American kid will whup Chinese butt. Using a black kid for that is no different than using David Carradine.

Still, it looks like the awesome will outweigh the jingoism.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Back from the doc. He thinks the blemish on my cheek is natural, but he'll have a dermatologist look at it. I talked over my depression concerns. He doesn't think there's anything to support St. John's Wort, flax seed oil, or 5-HTP*, but he thought there might be something to the B-12 theory, so I gave blood and will get the result in a week. In the meantime, I'll continue to research this and walk a little more often. (And get back to my ukulele therapy. Hobbies do seem to help enormously.)

* For the folks these things work for, I'll note that the doc didn't dismiss them out of hand. He just said none of the best studies have shown anything conclusive. I think if they're good for you, cool.

A Desk That Allows You to Stand or Sit - makes me want a high-tech desk. I'm still using my old Ikea desk that I turned into a standing desk a few days ago. I moved a tall chair next to it so I can switch between sitting and standing in an old tech way. I would include a picture, but the system isn't ready for primetime yet: it's an inch or two lower than would be ergonomically sound, making me feel like the typist equivalent of guitar players and gunfighters who sling their weapons low. Still, I like it.

The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation (Thanks, partly_bouncy!)

Hey There Cthulhu

Hey There Cthulhu: The Photomontage Video

something for Shakespeare lovers

Converse - Shakespeare from a Post-Colonial Perspective - Dr Priyamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Malcolm X liked whites who were socialists, plus thoughts on class and race

Capitalists who say Malcolm X/El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz's rejection of racism was due to his embrace of Sunni Islam ignore this quote:
“Most of the countries that were colonial powers were capitalist countries, and the last bulwark of capitalism today is America. It’s impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism. You can’t have capitalism without racism. And if you find one and you happen to get that person into conversation and they have a philosophy that makes you sure they don’t have this racism in their outlook, usually they’re socialists or their political philosophy is socialism.” —Malcolm X / El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
Anyone reasonably familiar with Malcolm X knows he had harsh words for capitalism:
“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

For those who say I "don't believe in racism": I've never denied that racism exists. I've never denied that institutional racism exists. I've bled from the blows of racists; it would be hard for me to deny racism.

My attempt to see what's due to class and what's due to race does not set issues of race apart. It sets racial issues within issues of class. As Thandeka says in The Whiting of Euro-Americans: A Divide and Conquer Strategy: "...we must not forget that white racism was from the start a vehicle for classism; its primary goal was not to elevate a race but to denigrate a class. White racism was thus a means to an end, and the end was the defense of Virginia’s class structure and the further subjugation of the poor of all "racial" colors."

It's true that I can't agree with anti-racists that racism lies everywhere. Thandeka is right when she says that anti-racists "make an erroneous assumption about the nature and structure of power in America." Indeed, my greatest complaint with anti-racists is their inability to answer this question about power that I've asked several:
For years, I wrestled with whether Malcolm X was right when he said you can't have capitalism without racism. Clearly, liberals and conservatives are working desperately to create capitalism without racism. But I've finally come to see that Malcolm X was right: if you don't redistribute wealth, the distribution of wealth will be racially disproportionate. If you do redistribute wealth, capitalism ends. It's a Catch-22 that anti-racists ignore. Do you have an answer?

poem of the day

Catullus 16 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Recommended for anyone interested in obscenity or free speech.

ETA: NPR on Naughty Catullus Poem: Alea Redacta Est - Arts Desk - Washington City Paper: "All Things Considered bleeped five Latin words."

if you meet any birthers, plus Jon Stewart gets down

I'm posting this because my state may pass a requirement that all candidates for President prove they were born in the USA. (How do we invite the UN to liberate Arizona?) For semi-sane birthers who use when it validates them: Barack Obama Birth Certificate. For brave birthers who are not afraid of the reality-based community: Born in the U.S.A.

On a totally different issue, the insanity of Fox News. (Hmm. Not totally different. Fox could send one of their propagandists to view Obama's birth certificate if they actually wanted to provide their audience with facts.) If you're in a hurry, skip ahead to about 6:00:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Went to the Pima County Fair on Sunday. Yay! Goats rule. Didn't go on any rides: too expensive. Also, my general take on midway rides is amazement that people will pay to do things I would pay not to do. But I love watching—it was great seeing Larry get shot into space.

Made an appointment with the doctor for Thursday. Also, took the Automated Structured Interview for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale with Atypical Depression Supplement today; got a 9, which seems about right. That's "mildly to moderately" depressed.

In googling this, I've found suggestions that homocysteine levels may be a factor in depression. I'm taking folic acid on my doctor's advice; that may've lowered my depression a bit, 'cause I think I was more depressed last year. Hmm. Will biochemistry become my new obsession?

Also I modified my desk so it's a standing desk. Haven't decided whether this is a good idea, but I definitely move around more.

last useful links: Israel, world population myth, political assassination

On Israel:

I highly recommend Shlomo Sand's The Invention of the Jewish People. I thought I knew Israel's history fairly well, but one fact especially surprised me. Sands is quoted in Shattering a 'national mythology' - Haaretz - Israel News: 'I started looking in research studies about the exile from the land - a constitutive event in Jewish history, almost like the Holocaust. But to my astonishment I discovered that it has no literature. The reason is that no one exiled the people of the country. The Romans did not exile peoples and they could not have done so even if they had wanted to. They did not have trains and trucks to deport entire populations. That kind of logistics did not exist until the 20th century. From this, in effect, the whole book was born: in the realization that Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled.'

Juan Cole has a nice summary of facts everyone interested in Israel should know: Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelist. Also, Al-Khalil/ Hebron and Jerusalem Protests Point to the Dangers of Nationalizing Sacred Space, some background on a worrisome development. And a good look at The Map: The Story of Palestinian Nationhood Thwarted After the League of Nations Recognized It.

On population:

"The Coming Population Crash": The overpopulation myth - Nonfiction - "Global environmental problems are not, and will not, be mainly a problem of overbreeding Indians or Africans. First, their birthrates are coming down fast, with Indian women, for instance, having fewer than three children on average today; and even African women have falling fertility. And secondly, because overbreeding -- in the sense of women having more than replacement levels of children -- is almost entirely in countries with a very low per-capita footprint on the planet. For instance, the carbon emissions of one American is the same as that of 20 Indians, 30 Pakistanis, 40 Nigerians and 250 Ethiopians. If, as economists suggest, the world economy will grow by 400 percent by 2050, then no more than a tenth of that will be a result of population growth. The issue is consumption, and that puts the onus right back on the conspicuous consumers to do something about their economic systems, not least before more developing countries follow the same model."

On political assassination:

Schneier on Security: The Effectiveness of Political Assassinations: "...killing leaders of a religious terrorist group seems to increase the group's chances of survival from 67 percent to 83 percent."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

quote and links of the day

“Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.” —Thomas Paine

Poverty: Half The World Lives On Less Than $2.50 A Day | NEWS JUNKIE POST: "In 1998, $8 Billion were spent to buy cosmetic products in the United States, $11 Billion to buy ice cream in Europe, $12 Billion to buy perfumes in Europe and the United States, $17 Billion for pet foods in Europe and the US combined, $ 50 Billion to buy cigarettes in Europe, $105 Billion to buy alcoholic drinks in Europe, $400 Billion to buy narcotic drugs worldwide, and $780 Billion were spent in military expenditure globally. In comparison, according to Anup Shah from Global, the cost to achieve universal access to basic social services in all developing countries would be as followed: $ 6 Billion to provide basic education for all, $ 9 Billion to bring everyone water and sanitation, $ 12 Billion to provide reproductive health care for all women, and $13 Billion for basic health care and nutrition."

Cherie Priest: Panty Raid

Via Amy BlackCondomania Online | "Who dat" with the largest penises in America?: "Blue States vs Red States: Blue States' Average Penis Size is Bigger!" The data base: "27,000 men in 70 countries" The spectrum suggests that democratic socialists have the largest penises and right-libertarians have the smallest, but without more data, people should stick with what's known to be true: Republicans have smaller penises.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

updates on brains

First, many thanks to the folks offering comments on the previous post.

Mickbic recommended Why Psychiatry Needs Therapy -, which is well worth reading, as are the comments on the article and Letters to the Editor: Your Diagnosis of Psychiatry Is Wide of the Mark - I think the author is taking a more temperate position overall than some readers do; taking drugs for your brain should not be done casually. (Says a guy who did his share of mescaline and LSD in the '70s.) Still, I think the right thing to do is to try the experiment if the doctor approves, and if I don't see an improvement, I can quit. While I worry that I won't be in a position to be objective, I can trust other people to tell me if they're seeing an improvement or not.

A couple of people (Pamela and Kevin) pointed out that Louann Brizendine's work may not be all it could be. See Language Log: The male brain.

Via Blue Jean, an interesting article on Serotonin here. If it applies to me, it's very mild. I just feel, well, foggy and scattered and lacking in purpose.

ETA: Emma thinks Shorter is an "old fogy." I didn't mean to side with him; the responses create a dialogue, not a chorus.

thinking about drugs for depression

Emma and one of my best friends both do drugs to treat depression—effexor for Emma, ativan for the friend. I've always been a bit leery of using drugs for psychological issues, but I'm a pragmatist. In both cases, the results have been good. Emma says she had her brain back after three days of doing effexor. The friend is writing again.

So I'll be calling our doctor on Monday to find out what I can do. I feel a bit like a fraud or a failure, since the world is sufficiently unjust that some depression seems like no more than a sane* response, but I've been having trouble focusing on doing anything meaningful, and that must change.

* A comment I made recently: "I'm giving up on sane. I'm joining the rest of the human race." That isn't actually true. I'd like a drug that'll help me focus so I can be more effective in my attempts to do my bit within this madly greedy world.

watch out for this scam

I just got email from a friend:
This had to come in a hurry and it has left me in a devastating state. I'm in some terrible situation and I'm really going to need your urgent help. Some days ago,unannounced,I came to visit a resort center in Drayton, Scotland Road Industrial Estate, Dry Drayton Cambridge England, UK..but I got mugged by some hoodlums and lost all my cash,credit cards, I'm financially stranded right now and my return flight leaves in few hours time but I need some money to clear some bills, I didn't bring my cell phone along since I didn't get to roam them before coming over. So all I can do now is pay cash and get out of here quickly.I do not want to make a scene of this which is why I did not call my house,this is embarrassing enough.I was wondering if you could loan me some cash, I'll refund it to you as soon as I arrive home just need to clear my Hotel bills and get the next plane home, As soon as I get home I'll refund it immediately. Write me so I can let you know how to send it.
It's a common scam. Someone hacked her email account and wrote to everyone in it.

PS. As Emma says, "Friends don't let friends use Microsoft Outlook."

ETA: Medievalist explains:

This particular scam starts with an email asking you to verify or reset your Facebook password, with an embedded script that sends the login to a scammer.

They then try gmail, hotmail, etc. using the login for FaceBook

They then contact everyone in your online email account asking for money because you're stranded.

Three things to learn:

1. Ignore password requests in email. No one legit cares about your password. Admins don't need a password.

2. Don't use the same login everywhere. Use a complicated password--try a line from a song, altering it with slightly different letters, numbers and punctuation marks, or just shift your fingers one key to the right on the keyboard, and type as you would.

Both Windows and Mac ( have utilities to create good strong passwords, and to track them, and even encrypt them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm glad I didn't buy an ipad today

I went to the Apple Store intending to buy an iPad today. We shouldn't spend money now, but I looked at the numbers of people buying it (500,000), and I thought about the ebook market, and I concluded I should get one for the sake of the small press we're starting (for Shadow Unit and our stuff that's out of print).

But when I got down there and played with it, well, it was just a toy.

And the store was packed with hipsters and yuppies in clothes that cost more than mine.

And I started thinking about how $600 could change a poor person's life.

And I walked out.

When I got back, I saw this: Apple App Store Bans Pulitzer-Winning Satirist for Satire | Epicenter |

We'll probably get our work into the Apple Store. But we don't need an iPad to do that.

what does "more educated" mean?

After observing "more educated" folks at the ends of the conventional US political spectrum, especially anti-racists on the left and Tea Partiers on the right, I have to conclude that "more educated" means "more indoctrinated."

ETA: Inspired by the headline Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated.

andropause and the male brain

Andropause is a relatively new and controversial word. The simplest definition of it makes sense to me: as men age, we change. Having a word for those changes seems useful.

And being aware of andropause is another reason for me to exercise a little more and eat a little more conscientiously.

The Author Speaks: Explaining, Understanding Men - Interview With Dr. Louann Brizendine, Author of 'The Male Brain' - AARP Bulletin Today: "I’ve become much more forgiving of men. I grew up in the feminist movement, at UC Berkeley, in the 1970s. Our view of men was pretty negative at the time. They were the enemy. That tonality has really softened in me because of what I’ve learned through my research. You want to see the world from the perspective of the people you love. And for mothers of boys, or for grandmothers of boys, the brain science can help us move in that direction."

Book Excerpt - ‘The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think’ - AARP Bulletin Today: "Why men may become more patient, doting as they age"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

a little more on Huey Long

I was wondering if Long was racist, which, I grant, is a tricky call to make in Louisiana in the '30s, which was a mighty racist place. I conclude he wasn't. In addition to doing a lot to help the poor in general, there's this:
Long implemented an adult literacy program in Louisiana that largely served African-Americans, despite the racism of the overwhelming white majority.
But the most thorough response I found is at Perspectives on Huey Long - The Politics of Racism, which concludes:
In 1934, the Klan’s “imperial klonvocation” in Atlanta denounced Huey Long for having “an un-American attitude” toward “authority.” When the organization’s leader vowed to campaign against Long, Huey responded from the Senate press gallery, “Quote me as saying that that Imperial bastard will never set foot in Louisiana,” and suggested that the man risked receiving a taste of the Klan’s own treatment by leaving the state with “his toes turned up.”

Huey Long, the Union Party, and Share Our Wealth

Huey Long, Louisiana's Kkngfish

EVERY MAN IS A KING-Huey P. Long The Kingfish Legend

From Share Our Wealth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe key planks of the Share Our Wealth platform included:
  1. No person would be allowed to accumulate a personal net worth of more than 100 to 300 times the average family fortune, which would limit personal assets to between $1.5 million and $5 million. Income taxes would be levied to ensure this. Annual capital levy taxes would be assessed on all persons with a net worth exceeding $1 million.
  2. Every family was to be furnished with a homestead allowance of not less than one-third the average family wealth of the country. Every family was to be guaranteed an annual family income of at least $2,000 to $2,500, or not less than one-third of the average annual family income in the United States. Yearly income, however, cannot exceed more than 100 to 300 times the size of the average family income.
  3. An old-age pension would be made available for all persons over 60.
  4. To balance agricultural production, the government will preserve/store surplus. This is made so no food is wasted.
  5. Veterans are paid what they are owed
  6. Education and training for all children to be equal in opportunity in all schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions for training in the professions and vocations of life.
  7. The raising of revenue and taxes for the support of this program was to come from the reduction of swollen fortunes from the top, as well as for the support of public works to give employment whenever there may be any slackening necessary in private enterprise.

Bonus: Randy Newman - Kingfish

seeking a fair world: world gross domestic product

Between 2000 and 2008, the world's GDP effectively doubled, going from 32 trillion to 60.6 trillion. Depending on your definition of fairness, in a fair world, either of the following would have happened:

1. Everyone's wealth would have increased equally.

2. The gap between rich and poor would have narrowed.

Instead, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow.

ETA: Here's an article covering the same time period: Gap Between Rich And Poor Growing - CBS News: "Gap Between Rich And Poor Growing Study Of Global Income Inequality Shows U.S. Middle Income, Poor Falling Further Behind Since 2000"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Matthew 27:24-25: anti-Jewish or anti-rich? Take two.

Bill Colsher left a few comments on Matthew 27:24-25: anti-Jewish or anti-rich? arguing that the crowd of Jews who took responsibility for killing Jesus in Matthew 27:24-25 wouldn't have been rich. I went to leave a long comment in response, but Blogger had some kind of meltdown, so I'm making my reply a new post now.

Basically, Bill points to the gospels' claim of an otherwise historically-unknown custom of freeing a prisoner. The crowd chose a rebel called Jesus Bar Abba (Jesus, son of the Father) rather than the healer, Jesus of Galilee. Bill notes that the crowd would be likely to choose someone who walked the walk (the rebel) over someone who talked the talk (the healer).

He also notes

At it's largest, there were about 10,000 in an empire of 60,000,000. If Jerusalem had as many as 65,000 inhabitant (I think your 25K number is way low), you're looking at about 11 equestrian families, maybe a few more since it was a regional capital.

Those guys (at least the ones who were not also part of the political classes) would have kept FAR away from anything involving local politics.
Bill, yep, if there were two Jesuses there, the rich would most want to get rid of the "walk the walk" guy because he's the greater immediate threat, but you could argue as easily that the crowd would prefer to free the healer. After all, both Jesuses lost, and the healer lost just for talking, while bar Abbas is presented as a thug.

But I think the gospel writers were confused, that there was only one Jesus, because the healer Jesus was constantly talking about being a son of the father ("Abba"). As you note, there's no example anywhere of Jerusalem's leaders giving the crowd an opportunity to pardon anyone. The story of two Jesuses is just odd. Wikipedia points out two more problems with the story: "The corresponding verse in Luke (Luke 23:17) is not present in the earliest manuscripts and may be a later gloss to bring Luke into conformity.[6] The gospels differ on whether the custom was a Roman one or a Jewish one."

Now, I hate arguing with people who generally know a subject better than I do, but I'll continue to think the crowd was primarily rich or paid by the rich for these reasons:

1. The Romans weren't popular. They were only loved by the rich Judeans who adopted Roman ways, the ones who exercised nude and cut their hair and wore their clothes in Roman fashion. After all, Jesus’s revolt happened during a time of many revolts, near that of Theudas, midway between that of Judas the Galilean in 6 AD and the First Jewish-Roman War from 66-70 AD. Most Jews wanted the Romans gone just as most Iraqis and Afghanis want the US gone.

2. From every historical account, Pilate was a brutal governor. Even if he staged some kind of show to get some of the local Jews to take responsibility for killing a rebel, he was not hesitant to kill. He didn't seem to learn from his mistakes--he was finally recalled for being too harsh to the locals.

3. Far from wanting to seem non-political, the rich people of Jerusalem would've wanted to show their loyalty to the empire.

4. No empire worth its name lets the locals fuck with bankers or tax collectors.

5. If the Romans spared Jesus, they knew he would pull the same shit again.

6. The crowd probably was a mix, ranging from the children of the rich (think of the university kids who protest both for and against wars) and crazy people and people who just wanted some excitement and people whose allegiances were with the rich because they worked for rich people and people who wanted to suck up to the Romans and maybe people who had been paid by the rich to make a show of Roman loyalty. But the only people who benefited from killing Jesus were the rich who allied with Rome. To the people, Jesus was Robin Hood or Dick Turpin, not someone who deserved death.

Basically, if you're trying to imagine the crowd calling for Jesus's death, think of who shows up for Tea Party events. Sure, they're not all rich. But most of them are richer than the general population, and what they're advocating only benefits the rich.

ETA: The Tea Party isn't a perfect example of rich people demanding things that will benefit them. See Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics and Who Are the Tea Partiers? But they're a very good example of people being directed by the rich: Corporate Lobbyists Raising Money For Tea Parties.

Dropkick Murphys - Worker's Song (with lyrics)

Dropkick Murphys - Worker's Song (with lyrics)

poem of the day

Explosion at Winco No. 9 by Diane Gilliam Fisher


More info: Sustain

Class struggle and the invention of race

LENIN'S TOMB: Class struggle and the invention of race: "...until the 1660s, Africans arriving in the US were not hereditary bondsmen but were indentured labourers much as their European counterparts were. Thus, no pre-existing racial prejudice could account for the differences in treatment that later emerged. Racism was an after-the-fact ruling class strategy to justify segregating and enslaving African American labourers."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

one last Space Babe from Planet Comics

A Farewell to Blogging?

Of course not.

But I'll blog less and focus on original posts now.

Emma and I walked a mile up Douglas Springs Trail yesterday. The desert is astonishingly green this year, and full of flowers.

A gila monster briefly shared the path with us. I doubt its walk has anything to do with its name, but it should: it lurched as if it pretended it was crushing Tucson underfoot.

yes, Jesus was a socialist

"Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor" equals "From each according to ability, to each according to need."

The first bit is Jesus, taken from Matthew 19:21, which is more famous than Luke 12:33: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." (The King James Version: "Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.")

The second bit is Louis Blanc. Wikipedia has a good article on the history of the phrase:

Although Marx is popularly thought of as the originator of the phrase, the slogan was common to the socialist movement and was first used by Louis Blanc in 1840, in "The organization of work", as a revision of a quote by the utopian socialist Henri de Saint Simon, who claimed that each should be rewarded according to how much he works.[citation needed] The origin of this phrasing has also been attributed to the French communist Morelly,[4] who proposed in his 1755 Code of Nature "Sacred and Fundamental Laws that would tear out the roots of vice and of all the evils of a society" including

I. Nothing in society will belong to anyone, either as a personal possession or as capital goods, except the things for which the person has immediate use, for either his needs, his pleasures, or his daily work.
II. Every citizen will be a public man, sustained by, supported by, and occupied at the public expense.
III. Every citizen will make his particular contribution to the activities of the community according to his capacity, his talent and his age; it is on this basis that his duties will be determined, in conformity with the distributive laws.

The phrase may also find an earlier origin in the New Testament. In Acts 4:32-35, the Apostles lifestyle is described as communal (without individual possession), and uses the phrase "distribution was made unto every man according as he had need"[6]:

32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35. And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Another Kick-Butt Space Babe from Planet Comics

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Space Babe!

Planet Comics did a lot of women-in-peril covers*, but this one's great:
*ETA: as in, women who need to be saved from a threat.

ETA 2: And by "but," I meant this isn't one of those covers. Sheesh. Writing is hard!

Matthew 27:24-25: anti-Jewish or anti-rich?

My favorite gospel is Luke's for a lot of reasons. Until today, one was that it doesn't include a version of Matthew 27:25, the line that has been used for centuries to justify horrors against Jews. Here's the King James Version:
24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
I've known forever that the line can't be a condemnation of all Jews:

1. Though the speakers are called a multitude, they're not everyone in Israel or even everyone in Jerusalem. They're just a blood-thirsty mob, maybe a hundred people, perhaps a couple thousand at most. Given that Jerusalem was a city of 25,000 to 70,000 people at the time, that's an awful lot of Jews who didn't take responsibility for killing Jesus.

2. If you're a literalist, the line only covers two generations, the speakers and, presumably, their children who have somehow agreed to the deal. After all, God doesn't punish kids for their parents' sins. (Deuteronomy 24:16: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." Ezekiel 18:20: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.")

So who are these people who accept responsibility for the death of Jesus?

This morning, I realized the obvious: they're the rich. They're the people who are threatened by a man whose advice for being perfect is to sell all you have and give the money to the poor.

That realization helped me make sense of another of the Bible's problematic passages, Exodus 20:5-6:
5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
The children of the rich tend to be rich. They accept the unjust privileges that the Bible opposes, so even though they're born into their parents' sin (literally, "error" or "missing the mark"), by failing to share the wealth, they accept their parents' sin as their own.

But some of them will be able to change their ways and join the "thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

The greatest of which are to love God and love people.

Which you demonstrate by sharing.

O my brethren and sistren, here endeth the sermon.

Researching this, I came on this:

Joseph Telushkin wrote: "...the word 'antisemitism' was created by an antisemite, Wilhelm Marr [in 1879]. Marr's intention was to replace the German word Judenhass (Jew-hatred) with a term that would make Jew-haters sound less vulgar and even somewhat scientific.... Throughout history, antisemitism has been directed against [the religion of] Judaism and its values. ...Until about 1800, the societies in which Jews lived were generally piously Christian or Muslim, and so antisemitism focused on Jewish concepts of God and law. In the last two centuries, during which nationalism became a dominant value in the Western and Arab worlds, antisemitism increasingly focused on the Jews' peoplehood and nationhood."

"Antisemitism" has always bugged me, because technically, semites include Christians and Muslims. I'll try to use Judenhass or Jew-hatred from now on.

The best short article about politics I've read in weeks or months

Ill Fares the Land - The New York Review of Books. Trying to quote any is tough, but here are two nice bits:
If it is to be taken seriously again, the left must find its voice. There is much to be angry about: growing inequalities of wealth and opportunity; injustices of class and caste; economic exploitation at home and abroad; corruption and money and privilege occluding the arteries of democracy. But it will no longer suffice to identify the shortcomings of "the system" and then retreat, Pilate-like, indifferent to consequences. The irresponsible rhetorical grandstanding of decades past did not serve the left well.
Social democrats, on the other hand, are something of a hybrid. They share with liberals a commitment to cultural and religious tolerance. But in public policy social democrats believe in the possibility and virtue of collective action for the collective good. Like most liberals, social democrats favor progressive taxation in order to pay for public services and other social goods that individuals cannot provide themselves; but whereas many liberals might see such taxation or public provision as a necessary evil, a social democratic vision of the good society entails from the outset a greater role for the state and the public sector.

Understandably, social democracy is a hard sell in the United States. One of my goals is to suggest that government can play an enhanced role in our lives without threatening our liberties—and to argue that, since the state is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, we would do well to think about what sort of a state we want. In any case, much that was best in American legislation and social policy over the course of the twentieth century—and that we are now urged to dismantle in the name of efficiency and "less government"—corresponds in practice to what Europeans have called "social democracy." Our problem is not what to do; it is how to talk about it.

context matters: Rachel Maddow on the Acorn Tapes

I don't hate rich people

A friend was reading a story I'm working on and one of his notes was, "Wow, you really hate rich people!"

I don't. I hate hierarchy. Transcending your class is damn near impossible: if that wasn't true, humans wouldn't tolerate class systems. I hate hierarchy because the privileges of the rich are built on poverty and cheap labor, but I can't hate the individuals who benefit from institutional injustice. They mean well. They do the best they can within the limits of what their class expects of them. Hell, many of my favorite people are rich—including the one who gave me that note.

As I was thinking about this, I came across an article that might help explain why I have a problem with hoarding wealth: What Gives? - Los Angeles magazine: "In a city packed with millionaires, it should be easier to raise money for the poor"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sky Mall Kitties

YouTube - Sky Mall Kitties (via A Tiny Revolution: Five Dollar Friday)


Op-Ed Columnist - The Sandra Bullock Trade - "The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. According to one study, joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income. According to another, being married produces a psychic gain equivalent to more than $100,000 a year." (via Tennyson McCalla)

The essay's not completely trustworthy because it's by David Brooks, who hasn't managed to share his wealth for the general happiness, but overall, it's a decent look at what makes us happy.

No, that list isn't for everyone.

Yes, it's another reason why it's wrong to prevent any adult from marrying another.

I will quibble with his numbers. Emma's worth mega-bajillions a year.

ETA: I do wonder if Brooks will dare review The Spirit Level. The happiest nations are those with the greatest level of economic equality.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We did not turn

From Will Shetterly - snapshots of life so far

ETA: We were very tempted, but it was getting dark, and we had miles to go.

Emma Bull and Ellen Kushner 1985 World Fantasy Convention

From Will Shetterly - snapshots of life so far

photo by Beth Gwinn

information, not news

More Than Enough Hours in Every Day - Opinionator Blog - "Carol Worthman, an anthropologist at Emory University, interviewed a group of researchers who had studied the nighttime patterns of ten non-Western populations, including the Ache foragers in Paraguay and the Swat Pathan herders in Pakistan. She draws a picture that has little in common with our own rigid notions of what constitutes perfect sleep. While we engage in what she calls the “lie down and die model,” confined to our beds for a fixed block of time, people in traditional societies sleep in groups and drift in and out of slumber depending on what’s happening around them. That could be anything from listening to an impromptu concert to engaging in a ritual dance. Worthman speculates that age-related variations in sleep may have been vital to survival; by staggering sleep throughout the night, someone was always on guard."

What happens when the government subsidizes the pill for teenage girls? - Barking up the wrong tree: "the subsidy significantly decreased the abortion rate by about 8 percent. Furthermore, long-term access decreased the likelihood of teenage childbearing by about 20 percent. However, there is no significant effect on labor supply, marriage, educational attainment or welfare take-up."

Study warns more senior citizens will become homeless: "According to the NEAH report, the top cause of senior homelessness is job loss."

A Tiny Revolution: Support The Troops? I'm not breaking my "no news" policy; this is from 2006. It's a useful look at what war does.

ETA: No, war doesn't do this to everyone involved in a war. But it always does it to some. Any thinking person who starts a war knows this.