Another massacre, another charade – The Washington Post

As for the only remotely plausible solution, Obama dare not speak its name. He made an oblique reference to Australia, never mentioning that its gun-control innovation was confiscation, by means of a mandatory buyback. There’s a reason he didn’t bring up confiscation (apart from the debate about its actual efficacy in reducing gun violence in Australia). In this country, with its traditions, public sentiment and, most importantly, Second Amendment, them’s fightin’ words.

Source: Another massacre, another charade – The Washington Post

BIll Nye vs Ken Ham – YHWH vs Sophia

On Tuesday 4 Feb Bill Nye the Science Guy will discuss evolution with Creation Museum founder Ken Ham.  On one level it will be an exchange of views on the origins of the earth and life on it but it will also be a classic throw down between the creator god YHWH and the goddess of Wisdom, Sophia.

James D. Fearon: Anarchy is a Choice: International Politics

“That’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh we like it!” – Professor Fearon basically argues that the big western powers need anarchy in the world to prevent democracy.  The pols and the banks who own them know the numbers.  There are way more poor brown rabble on earth than pale penis people.  If the ragamuffins get calm and start feeling secure they will inevitably start questioning the system and demand a more equitable distribution of the worlds resources.  THAT can not happen.  So the US and its alies start wars to facilitate their gobbling up of money, resources and the routes to them.

In 1996 professor Fearon and Prof. David Laitin co-authored a study of inter-ethnic cooperation in post colonial Africa and post-Soviet eastern Europe.  They showed that following rituals of reconciliation cessations of violence continued in 64% of the civil conflicts studied as as opposed to a 9% rate of violence cessation without rituals.

James D. Fearon: Anarchy is a Choice: International Politics.

What We Think vs How It Is

In addition to being kinder and gentler than we think, the United States  is much less fair.  This is beautiful, disturbing information.  The great news is that there is grand wealth here waiting to be usefully deployed.  The Gini index (no relation to Al) measures national wealth distribution.  By the Gini scale there are lots of models to study of countries whose national wealth is more smartly and effectively spent.  The US could join the list.  We could lead the world in fairness!

Ezra Klein has also written about this video.

via Wealth Inequality in America – YouTube.

Rape is the US down 80% since 1979


Screenshot “The Better Angels of Our Nature Why Violence Has Declined” ©2011 Steven Pinker

Statistics Show Drop In U.S. Rape Cases – Washington Post 6/19/06

“Overall, there has clearly been a decline over the last 10 to 20 years,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. “It’s very liberating for women, in terms of now being able to be more free and more safe.”  

The Decline of Rape – LA Times 02/08/07

The U.S. Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey (considered our best measure of crime because its anonymous surveys capture offenses not reported to police) reports that rape has been falling dramatically for decades. The first survey, in 1973, estimated that 105,000 females, ages 12 to 24, were raped that year. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the survey was expanded to include sexual assault and attempted or threatened offenses. Even so, the latest survey (in a young female population 1 million larger than in 1973) reported that 30,000 females, ages 12 to 24, were raped and 60,000 were victims of attempted rape or real or attempted sexual offenses (including verbal threats) in 2005.  

The Startling Decline in Rape – Washington Monthly 6/3/11

This is an astounding decline, but I don’t know of any reason to doubt the accuracy of the numbers. The National Crime Victimization survey is conducted twice a year, with a sample size of 134,000. Rapes reported to the police have been shrinking more slowly than survey-reported rapes, and actually rose from 1979-1990, consistent with other data showing an increasing willingness of victims to report having been raped.

Rape in Chicago Down By 60% since 1999 –

US Crime Rates 1960 – 2011 (reported only)

Index of Crime in the United States 1979 – 2007 – (reported only)

National Crime Victimization Survey rape statistics 1979 (Google search)