December 16, 2004

Outraged Yet?

Note: Some of these links I ran across during the finals crunch and I just haven't had time to put them up. But I still wanted to, because they're that good. Otherwise, mostly current, and generally relevant.

Digby finds the research to back up the general impression that right wing control freaks are the same everywhere, in every culture and continent. A large group of researchers came to the conclusion that the inclinations are as old as our species, and that they can be used to point the way towards avenues of progressive reform.

Barefoot and Naked argues that abstinence only education = murder, noting that self-esteem in young women is inversely proportional to the age of first intercourse. How much education does anyone really need to know that a 14 year old girl who thinks she's worthless is going to have a harder time saying no or insisting on a condom than a well-adjusted 16-18 year old? When like me, you've personally heard a fundamentalist single mom with an oldest daughter who had a baby out-of-wedlock talk about how her 14-year-old daughter needs to show respect to the learning disabled 10-year-old 'man of the house' that is her younger brother, the arithmetic works itself out.

Middle Earth Journal agrees with Bob Herbert, and goes one farther to say that the administration has passed from denial to delusion. Ron, in case you hadn't noticed, it was a short trip ;)

Boffoblog talks a bit about selecting children by gender, touching on the problem this has become in some Asian societies who value boys far more than girls and now have a shortage of girls as a result of being able to sex screen pregnancies. And that's just going to be entertaining as all hell when it all plays out in the world's biggest population centers as they grow into bona fide economic powerhouses. That is, it will be if you're very, very far away.

A Star From Mosul has action movies in her street that Jerry Bruckheimer had nothing to do with, and talks about Islamic duties to one's neighbors. I'd have a hard time carrying any of these out, because I'm an apartment dweller and make it a point never to know my neighbors. But if I did, that sounds kind of nice. Here, Najma posts a series of correspondences with another Iraqi talking about the Iraqis being killed or kidnapped by the resistance, and I would guess, a not insignificant number of opportunistic criminals.

Jesse at Pandagon takes on the conservative tactic of explaining why liberals should love their ideas because they *really* represent progressivism, in this case, regarding Social Security privatization. It's funny, but I seem to remember that just before the election (oh, so many weeks ago...) it was considered the height of paranoia by some to suggest that the president might be thinking about privatizing Social Security.

Scott at Poetic Leanings talks about the bounty of cancer, after having recovered from it in 1999.

Michael Berube on helping fellow Democrats through the next four years, and he talks about how what hard work it is to keep conservatives out of arts and humanities posts which involve low pay and intense scrutinization of mountains of literature that predates their culture war.

DunneIV speaks out in praise of idleness, meditates on the sin of bearing false witness, and worries about another world war. He's not the only one who's worried, though here I guess I should say something stupidly reassuring, like that I'm sure cooler heads will prevail. I guess I just did, but my heart isn't in it. Also, he put up a link a bit ago to a Jared Diamond essay on the worst mistake ever made by humans, which is a debatable but interesting perspective.

Guestblogger Ralph Taylor over at Nathan Newman talks about the death of environmentalism, which is to say the need for it to go the way of the dodo as a powerless single-issue lobby trivializing itself into irrelevance to the great detriment of everyone. He quotes from Adam Werbach of the Apollo Alliance, a group that's working very hard to frame energy independence as a jobs and national security issue.

12thHarmonic: A quarter of bird species endangered, while one in 10 will likely be gone by the end of the century. Just in terms of one of the effects this will have on our world, do you have any idea how many more insects we'll have to contend with if that many birds disappear? The cost in terms of disease epidemics and crop destruction would be epic and staggering. Let me repeat that; Epic and Staggering. And let's not even go into all the plant species that will disappear without birds to spread their seeds around. I just can't believe people don't get what a big deal this is, but it's true, they don't care and no one seems to be able to make them care. But Werbach is right, we simply can't rely on people caring about these things as a point of leverage towards fixing them.

Posted by natasha at December 16, 2004 05:18 PM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |