power and moral hypocrisy, winter snow and pier path wallpaper, the terror odds

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged? New Kellogg School Research Explores ‘Moral Hypocrisy’ in Powerful People

In “Power Increases Hypocrisy: Moralizing in Reasoning, Immunity and Behavior,” researchers sought to determine whether power inspires hypocrisy, the tendency to hold high standards for others while performing morally suspect behaviors oneself. The research finds that power makes people stricter in moral judgment of others – while being less strict of their own behavior.

[   ]…”For instance, we saw some politicians use public funds for private benefits while calling for smaller government, or have extramarital affairs while advocating family values. Similarly, we witnessed CEOs of major financial institutions accepting executive bonuses while simultaneously asking for government bailout money on behalf of their companies.”

“According to our research, power and influence can cause a severe disconnect between public judgment and private behavior, and as a result, the powerful are stricter in their judgment of others while being more lenient toward their own actions,” he continued.

“Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged?” is about as useful a cultural philosophy as the “customer is always right”. The later burns out customer service and sales people whose time and patience is consumed by customers that are frequently impossible to please or who are frequently trying to get something for nothing. Judging people is not only a major sport, it pays extremely well. TV and radio pundits makes millions off-putting injecting the malicious zing in judgmental. They’re far from “fair and balanced”. Fair and balanced is what the public gets from NOW with Bill Moyers. Unbalanced and judgmental gets the ratings just like ranting customers get the attention.

People in power are not the brightest people in society. America’s smartest citizens are people who generally do not make the news – professors, engineers, scientists and writers. But people in power are clever at manipulation and it helps that in some cases people want to be used and manipulated. It’s probably a general human tendency, but very pronounced in conservatives. Idolatry tends to grease the wheels of rationalization. Bush administrations scandals included administration officials in sex and financial scandals, abuse of the Department of Justice and manipulating security related intelligence to sell a counterproductive war. For every lie, scandal and manipulation there were plenty of ordinary people falling all over themselves to echo those lies and make excuses. Anyone running for office knows that scandals have an arch and there are tried and true methods for riding them out. Accusing your critics of being unpatriotic is always a crowd pleaser.

Galinsky noted that moral hypocrisy has its greatest impact among people who are legitimately powerful. In contrast, a fifth experiment demonstrated that people who don’t feel personally entitled to their power are actually harder on themselves than they are on others, which is a phenomenon the researchers dubbed “hypercrisy.” The tendency to be harder on the self than on others also characterized the powerless in multiple studies.

“Hypercrisy” is also exploited to a large degree. Complain that some people are not getting a little more than they deserve, but are benefiting from their power in obscene disproportion to their contribution to society and you’ll be accused, tried and condemned as a person who believes there is a culture war between economic classes. THE TRUTH is you’re just lazy, or dumb, or female, or a non-believer, or short or brown – you must be guilty of some quality that has condemned you to your status. Certainly many people do and should take as much responsibility for themselves as possible, but most of us know that much of what happens to us is out of our control.

“Ultimately, patterns of hypocrisy and hypercrisy perpetuate social inequality. The powerful impose rules and restraints on others while disregarding these restraints for themselves, whereas the powerless collaborate in reproducing social inequality because they don’t feel the same entitlement,” Galinsky concluded.

There is a difference, though it is hard to tell some days, between being a self-righteous whiner seeking special entitlements and insisting on genuine meritocracy.

winter wallpaper

winter snow and pier path wallpaper

It’s another you’ll be attacked by a shark before such and happens story, but I did watch fifteen minutes of news today on tightening your budget after the holidays and some guy’s exploding jockey shorts. A little perspective is in order. The Odds of Airborne Terror

There were a total of 674 passengers, not counting crew or the terrorists themselves, on the flights on which these incidents occurred. By contrast, there have been 7,015,630,000 passenger enplanements over the past decade. Therefore, the odds of being on given departure which is the subject of a terrorist incident have been 1 in 10,408,947 over the past decade. By contrast, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are about 1 in 500,000. This means that you could board 20 flights per year and still be less likely to be the subject of an attempted terrorist attack than to be struck by lightning.

conservative culture club

Surprise! Breitbart’s Big Government doesn’t understand pop culture

On Tuesday, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog got its knickers in a twist over one of the Obama White House’s myriad Christmas trees…The blaring “EXCLUSIVE” led with a blurry photo of a decoupage Christmas ornament adorned with the face of Chinese Communist dictator, Mao Zedong.

“Of course, Mao has his place in the White House,” Big Government wailed about the [Great Christmas Ornament Scandal], taking the Obama-as-socialist meme out for a yuletide spin.

Except, it wasn’t exactly Mao. It was Andy Warhol’s “Mao.”

The image is one of a very large series of silkscreen paintings and prints the late Pop artist made of Mao. Warhol’s parody transformed the leader of the world’s most populous nation into a vapid superstar — the most famous of the famous. The portrait photo from Mao’s Little Red Book is tarted up with lipstick, eye-shadow and other Marilyn Monroe-style flourishes.

The precise source of the Warhol ornament is not known. But Warhol’s Maos are in art museum collections from coast to coast, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago (whose painting most resembles the ornament image) and both the County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum has several.

I’m not a Warhol fan so it pains me to some degree to give him credit for something. By making Mao just another colorful little toonish figure he deflated the man and his followers.

Big Government’s Breitbart does not know much about art or culture – poor guy, but that’s fine. People have different interests. Thou he should brush up on his ethics – they are a form of applied values. Helping to perpetuate a fraudulent scheme involving partisan actors and manipulating video is borderline, if not out right criminal.

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as glaciers recede and disappear, 2010 and still searching for the elusive fair minded media

park path

Glacial watersheds may contribute to oceanic food web

A study recently completed in the gulf coast of Alaska by federal and university researchers has found that as glacial ice disappears, the production and export of high- quality food from glacial watersheds to marine ecosystems may disappear too. This trend could have serious consequences for marine food webs.

The study, “Glaciers as a source of ancient and labile organic matter to the marine environment,” was recently published in the December 24, 2009, issue of the journal Nature.

The research, which was conducted on 11 coastal watersheds in the Gulf of Alaska, has documented an interesting paradox with important implications for coastal ecosystems. “Glacial watersheds comprise 30 percent of the Tongass National Forest and supply about 35 to 40 percent of the stream discharge,” says Rick Edwards, a coauthor on the study. “These watersheds export dissolved organic matter that is remarkably biologically active in contrast to that found in other rivers. Generally, scientists expect that organic matter decreases in its quality as a food source as it ages, becoming less and less active over time.”

But the dissolved organic material discharged from the glacial watersheds in this study was almost 4,000 years old; yet surprisingly, more than 66 percent of it was rapidly metabolized by marine microbes into living biomass to support marine food webs, adds Edwards.

…The quality of the dissolved organic matter is so high that 23 to 66 percent is used by marine micro-organisms and incorporated into food webs supporting higher organisms.

As glaciers recede and disappear, the input of this valuable food source will decrease with unknown impacts on productivity of marine food webs.

If science deniers do not or chose not to understand global warming, imagine trying to explain the importance of 4000 year old left overs. Alaska’s fisheries continue to decline in quality and quantity which has means a steady decline in fisheries income and employment.

sometimes locks are pointless

Auld Lang Syne: Farewell to another decade of “liberal media bias”

Not surprising. A survey conducted by the liberal media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, which focused on the first two weeks of February 2003, found that of 393 people interviewed on-camera for network news reports about the war, just 17 percent of them expressed skepticism about the looming invasion. This at a time when polling showed that approximately 50 percent of Americans had doubts about the planned war. And according to figures from media analyst Andrew Tyndall, of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC, and CBS from September 2002 until February 2003, almost all the stories could be traced back to sources from the White House, the Pentagon, or the State Department. Just 8 percent of the television news reports were of independent origin.

It was starting in 2003 that we learned the term “military analyst” was just a synonym for reads conservative faxes on air for fun and profit.

getting on the science denial bandwagon, winter barn wallpaper, shirt tales

Science denial is on the rise

From evolution to global warming to vaccines, science is under assault from denialists – those who dismiss well-tested scientific knowledge as merely one of many competing ideologies. Science denial goes beyond skeptical questioning to attack the legitimacy of science itself.

Recent foment over stolen e-mails from a British research group inspired an American creationist organization to pronounce that “a cabal of leading scientists, politicians, and media” has sought to “professionally destroy scientists who express skepticism” about climate change. The Discovery Institute usually uses this kind of over-the-top language to attack evolution, so it was remarkable to see it branch out to climate-change denial.

Frequently this denialism is mixed with religious beliefs. Which serves to act as both a shield from criticism and conveniently avoids having to provide any rational empirical evidence for the denialism – I have a right to believe whatever I please and anyone who disagrees with me is attacking my freedom believe in whatever spins my props. The shield of belief forms a circle of defense for the believer not dissimilar to the circular logic of claiming this or that in a holy book is true because a higher power wrote it and is thus inerrant. This phenomenon does not apply to everyone that believes there might be some force or power in the universe beyond themselves, but the anti-science world view has taken a prominent place in the thinking of conservative religious thinking in both Christianity and Islam.

Science denialism works differently. Creationists are unmoved by the wealth of fossil, molecular, and anatomical evidence for evolution. Global-warming denialists are unimpressed by climate data. Denialists ignore overwhelming evidence, focusing instead on a few hoaxes, such as Piltdown Man, or a few stolen e-mails. For denialists, opinion polls and talk radio count for more than thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles.

Denialists often appeal to the ideal of fairness, arguing schools should “teach the controversy” and address “evidence for and against” science, as in then-Sen. Rick Santorum’s proposed amendment to the No Child Left Behind bill in 2001. But they apply the ideal selectively to science they dislike: evolution, climate change, vaccines. They hope to cloak themselves in the mantle of science without being restricted by its requirements.

If denialists had evidence disproving global warming or evolution, they could submit it to scientific conferences and journals, inviting analysis by scientists. But, knowing their arguments don’t hold water, they spread misinformation in arenas not subject to expert scrutiny: mass-market books, newspapers, talk radio, and blogs.

Anti-evolutionists seemed to have latched on to the Piltdown Man scandal as a gotcha moment in the history of science. In a recent discussion Piltdown has also moved into the lexicon of the global warming deniers – Piltdown Man hoax = scientists are always lying and misleading people, thus global warming is just another Piltdown Man. One can tell the person read that off a blog or heard it on conservative radio. The far right noise machine has spoken, no further thinking required. Except, well, the Piltdown hoax was exposed by scientists like Kenneth Oakley and Gerrit Smith Miller whose findings were published in The Times of London.

Those hacked e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. One contains the word “trick” (‘trick’ — a scientist’s slang for a clever (and legitimate) technique). The global warming deniers have now taken it as a matter of deep faith and repeated as though mere repetition will make it true: those e-mail are proof that all global warming data from Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and thousands of climate scientists from around the world is fake. That is not even remotely true. Where is the counter research. The aggregation of compelling data to the contrary. There is at least one scientist who has been published who says global warming is doubtful and even if the planet is warming it is part of a natural cycle. Why was he even published. He seems to been able to skip over the peer review process as no one is able to replicate his data. Seen any headlines or featured news columns about the dubious data  being used by global warming deniers like James Inhofe (R-OK). No, you have to go to science journal and research center sites. The science writer for the librul New York Times wrote about how the scientists at Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia decided not to use tree ring data ( discussed in the infamous e-mails) and then admits they used instrument temperature measurements instead. The rest of Tierney’s piece simply goes off on a tangent of possibilities to be inferred from that snippet of information. Instead of full stop – scientists rejected spurious data, only published data they had hard evidence for. Tierney does not link to other research done at climate centers such as Yale – Global Temperatures Could Rise More Than Expected, New Study Shows, or Concordia University’s Department of Geography, Planning and the Environment – Carbon Emissions Linked To Global Warming In Simple Linear Relationship or the California Academy of Sciences – New study finds that the average ecosystem will need to shift about a quarter mile per year to keep pace with global climate change or even our very own NOAA reports – The Instrumental Record of Past Global Temperatures and Paleoclimatic Data for the Last 2000 Years. No Tierney actually links to a blogger who he says is dissecting the e-mails. Science writer at the librul NYT links to climate skeptic with zero science credentials and dubious analytical skills – not a new low in journalism, but certainly belongs in the annals of journalistic hackery. John provides no links to even one of the thousands of papers that support anthropogenic global warming.

Tierney was also the science writer that cried wolf about the city of New York considering passing a law against adding salt ( sodium chloride) to foods claiming the government was thus experimenting with people who could suffer dire effects from low sodium laws. He left out two simple facts, people would still be free to add iodized salt to their food and that most foods naturally contain sodium chloride – thus people generally not only get more than they need, a salt free diet is very difficult because it occurs naturally in so many foods – especially meat.

shirt tales

More on the subject of hackery – Reason Editor suggests his own magazine is lying By Glenn Greenwald. Reason has always been a mixed bag that included some good pieces on  1st and 4th Amendment. For the most part they have always been weak on economic issues – American labor is either invisible or unreasonable in expecting a living wage. They have not figured out that corporate collectivism – the shrine at which they worship – is every bit as evil as Stalin’s state collectivism. The general tenor over there is being further compromised by a mild panic over being associated with the conservative/Randian inspired economic policies that lead to the Great Recession. The back pedaling and excuse making should be an embarrassment, but hey they have a site that needs traffic and a magazine to sell.

So according to Welch, Obama “lied” because he used the word “report” to describe what the CBO does and because he suggested the CBO’s projections are reliable.  What, then, does that say about numerous Reason editors and writers, who wrote the following back when Reason loved the CBO because it was reporting that Obama’s health care proposal and other policies would increase the deficit?  Using Welch’s “reasoning,” it must mean that Reason’s staff is filled with outright liars:

Reason Editor Peter Suderman, July 10, 2009:  “I won’t dispute that Medicare is popular, or that politicians — even Republicans — don’t usually criticize it, but it hasn’t exactly been an unqualified success. On the contrary, as the CBO reports, the program’s fiscal future looks dire.”(bold mine)

Few things invented by man and certainly no social policy has ever been “an unqualified success”. An editor no less reaches for a meaningless cliché to convey a message devoid of any substance, but passes for a semantic wink and node. A  dog biscuit treat of sorts for a readership always anxious to hear that some enlightened social policy is not or was not up to Galt-like standards.

The thrush of Glenn’s column was Reason was glad to quote CBO reports as an authoritative source until the CBO issued a couple reports that were contrary to Reason’s agenda.

snow winter seasons

winter barn wallpaper

lessons in evolution from an african fish, another principled conservative and unearned wealth

There was a recent news report in which a scientist claimed the concept of gradualism in evolution was dead. Someone forgot to tell the African cichlid fish, Seeing how evolutionary mechanisms yield biological diversity

Cichlids have several different cone opsin genes that enable them to detect light across the visible and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. Different species express different subsets of these opsins to create alternate visual systems. The research team found that cichlid fish in the clear waters of Lake Malawi expressed a wide range of opsins, with closely related species differing in whether they used the shorter wavelength or longer wavelength gene combinations.

[  ]….The method of foraging for food was a key factor influencing fish vision. Fish whose diets consist primarily of zooplankton were more likely to have UV sensitivity, which enables them to detect the presence of these small transparent aquatic organisms that absorb ultraviolet light. In contrast, cichlids in the murky waters of Lake Victoria expressed longer wavelength combination of opsin genes, regardless of what they ate.

This long wavelength combination matches the light that is best transmitted through the murky water. A few Lake Victoria fish at clearer sites turned on shorter wavelength genes, suggesting that opsin expression matches the light environment. Therefore opsin gene expression in both lakes is adaptively determined based on important ecological variables.

That a family ( Cichlids belong to the taxonomic family Cichlidae) has closely related, yet intermediate adaptations according to environment, screams gradualism.

rooftops in spain

Truthdig is saying Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) is a Welfare Queen.

Bachmann, of Minnesota, has spent much of this year agitating against health care reform, whipping up the so-called tea-baggers with stories of death panels and rationed health care. She has called for a revolution against what she sees as Barack Obama’s attempted socialist takeover of America, saying presidential policy is “reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.”

But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006.

Shame on Truthdig for suggesting that another conservative is preaching one thing while practicing the exact opposite. That, subjectively might be welfare queenish behavior, but conservatives honestly see themselves as morally privileged, a modern aristocracy, with the special blessings of an invisible friend that lives in the sky. She is, according to conservative orthodoxy, entitled to anything she gets. As long as the government does have subsidies and price supports – which one would assume a principled conservative would fight tooth and nail to destroy – she is perfectly entitled to break off a piece of that unearned income for herself. Her constituents seem to share her raggedy bag of bizarre and paradoxical beliefs so come reelection time she will not even have to explain herself.

winter wallpaper

winter twilight wallpaper

This makes for a nice mental picture. If you’re writing a horror movie screenplay anyway, How do one-celled parasites move from the salivary gland of a mosquito through a person’s skin into red blood cells?

Under special microscopes, the researchers observed how the sporozoites adhere to several sites on the surface via the TRAP protein and then use the short actin filaments to push their body past these adhesion points. “The parasite can stretch forward while still attaching with its rear end – thus building up elastic energy. At the moment when the rear adhesion is detached, energy is released and the sporozoite glides forward rapidly,” explains Dr. Friedrich Frischknecht. The researchers call this mechanism the “stick-slip” method.

Which is science talk for how people get malaria via the injection of the mosquitoes proboscis which contains saliva which acts as an anticoagulant.

government welfare for gun owners, happiness has a barrel

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(D-NV) included some goodies in the Seante’s health-reform bill for the gun nuts – Gun Owners of America. I say nuts because I beleive that the constitutional issue of individual gun ownership has been settled – though perhaps wrongly – and a a law abidding citizen thus has the right to own a gun for self protection and hunting. Though for reasons that should be obvious I’m against selling guns to convicted rapists among other felons, against so-called cop killer ammo, I am for back ground checks and against what has been called the terroist loop-hole that allows terrroist and violent felons to buy guns at gun shows ( I’ve looked for a Moderate Gun Owners Association or a Sane Gun Owners Club – there are no such organizations unfortunately).  To GOA those kinds of reasonable restrictions on gun ownership are akin to anti-Americanism.

GOA got it into its head that, if health reform were passed, the health and human services secretary would compel insurers to punish gun ownership as an unhealthy lifestyle.

There is some irony here. I do not blame Senator Reid for putting language into the bill that protects gun owners from being included by insurance companies as a high risk group. Its just not worth spending the political capital on. Though it is certainly two things that serve as weekly, if not daily examples of how unprincipled conservatives are. First, since the GOA’s membership is mostly conservative and right leaning libertarians, they are asking Big Gov’mint to give them special protection from something the government had no plan to do anyway – the government will not collect information on individual gun owners as it pertains to their gun ownership being a health hazard. A myth to this affect made the rounds of the Gun Nuts from two insurance companies canceled  a couple property insurance policies because one case the guy was, unbeknown to the company, running a shooting range on his property. The other hypocrisy,

But apparently GOA is worried that private health insurers may, even in the absence of government pressure, take notice of studies like this one and this one and this one that show gun owners are (duh) more likely to injure or kill themselves or others, and adjust their risk tables accordingly. Now they can’t, thanks to GOA’s newfound enthusiasm for the heavy hand of government regulation.

Conservatives have thus forced the government to insert itself into the private sector’s risk assessment practices of the policies it issues. The actuarial tables say gun owners( such as myself) are a greater risk to their lives and health then non-gun owners. The corporate private sector, which  conservatives are said to believe has no great social responsibilities other then making a profit, are to have big bad government keep said corporations from pricing their policies according to documented risks. Its generally liberals that believe that the private sector should be allowed wide range, but human nature being what it is, the government should act like a referee – not allowing the game to turn into a free for all melee. Reid’s gift ( gun welfare) to these principled conservatives driven purely by myth is not about protecting free enterprise or reigning in excess. It is about using the government to cuddle the delicate mindset of the fringe.

happiness has a barrel

capitalism is not a synonym for freedom, back stairs, recycable chair

Milton Friedman is proof that gods are not immortal, nor do they always know what they’re talking about. That Milton was a brighter than average is part of his and because of his influence, ultimately our tragedy. Friedman was no more than your average blind squirrel. Like Rand he did stumble on an acorn now and then. The Friedman Doctrine declared,” There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” Anyone of college age or older knows that corporate America and the government has a difficult time defining exactly what deception and fraud are. And Friedman never entertained the idea of real costs. Say the environmental price of acquiring raw materials, the pollution to produce a product or service and its health care costs to the public. And of course the costs of dealing with the product after its usefulness was either over or it was simply time to get the newest and coolest. If Milt had majored in ethics in would have flunked out and may have done something productive with his life.  Friedman also contended that capitalism and freedom were joined at the hip. Bring capitalism to a country and freedom had to follow. Taking liberties

Kampfner begins in Singapore, the prototype and showcase of this new authoritarian democracy. The tiny city-state has an extraordinarily high per capita income, without the pockets of destitution that disfigure the US and UK and without those countries’ inequitable and underfunded education, pension and health care systems. Government agencies are efficient and honest; violent crime and business fraud are rare. Travel is unhindered; technical and managerial innovations are welcomed; shopping is world-class. Streets and public buildings are clean as a whistle and neat as a pin. Just a month ago, the popular website New Geography placed Singapore at the top of its list of “The World’s Smartest Cities”.

There is, naturally, a large “on the other hand.” Nothing is allowed that the government fears might threaten public order or social stability; and the government’s sensitivities on this score are very delicate indeed. Spitting, chewing gum, yelling, or failing to flush a toilet in a public place; overstaying your visa; depicting (never mind engaging in) certain sexual acts; rashly employing irony or sarcasm; and, most important, criticising the government in ways the government deems not constructive – all these are swiftly and severely punished.

It seems we’re still stuck in the days of the Red Menace. To question capitalism’s failures is to automatically be labeled an un-American commie. It’s like someone getting mad at you for pointing out their tail pipe is dragging the highway.

the back stairs

For Truly Green Funiture, Make All the Parts Recyclable–and Replaceable

The LYTA chair, manufactured by German firm Movisi, is composed of three parts: a removable cover, cushions, and a frame made of high-grade, recyclable foam.

The cover makes the chair in terms of appearance. One can see that the frame could be made with design era curves in mind – Danish modern, French country etc.

tinted train

some notes on violence, finely crafted winter wallpaper

This is from an editorial(pdf) from the UK medical journal The Lancet,

On Nov 25—the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women—the UK Government took steps to address this problem with the launch of a new strategy to end violence against women and girls. In England and Wales, around 4·8 million women have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse since the age of 16 years. And about 10 000 women are sexually assaulted, and 2000 are raped, every week.

They also state that the statistics for the U.S. are similar. They also found 18% of teenage males had experienced some form of physical violence. According to  U.S. studies compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services teen males are more likely to be victims of violent street crime then girls – including assault and murder.

This recent study has a small sample size, but still some stats about violence against men worth thinking about especially for those  in the health care professions, Myth Debunked: Men Do Experience Domestic Violence

Myth 3: Abused men don’t stay, because they’re free to leave. In fact, men may stay for years with their abusive partners. “We know that many women may have trouble leaving abusive relationships, especially if they’re caring for young children and not working outside the home,” said Dr. Reid. “We were surprised to find that most men in abusive relationships also stay, through multiple episodes, for years.”

Myth 4: Domestic violence affects only poor people. The study actually showed it to be an equal-opportunity scourge. “As we found in our previous research with women experiencing domestic violence, this is a common problem affecting people in all walks of life,” said Dr. Reid. “Our patients at Group Health have health insurance and easy access to health care, and their employment rate and average income, education level, and age are higher than those of the rest of the U.S. population.”

Myth 5: Ignoring it will make it go away. Not so. “We doctors hardly ever ask our male patients about being abused, and they seldom tell us,” said Dr. Reid. “Many abused men feel ashamed because of societal expectations for men to be tough and in control.”

Of the men surveyed 29 percent had experienced domestic violence during their lifetimes.  According to a Department of Justice crime survey ( these surveys tend to be a more accurate measure of violence then FBI stats because the FBI only reports crimes that are reported to them) done in 2000,

Intimate partner violence is pervasive in U.S. society. Nearly 25 percent of surveyed women and 7.5 percent of surveyed men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime; 1.5 percent of surveyed women and 0.9 percent of surveyed men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a partner in the previous 12 months. According to these estimates, approximately 1.5 million women and 834,732 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. Because many victims are victimized more than once, the number of intimate partner victimizations exceeds the number of intimate partner victims annually. Thus, approximately 4.9 million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults are perpetrated against U.S. women annually, and approximately 2.9 million intimate partner physical assaults are committed against U.S. men annually. These findings suggest that intimate partner violence is a serious criminal justice and public health concern.

[   ]…Women experience more intimate partner violence than do men. The NVAW survey found that women are significantly more likely than men to report being victims of intimate partner violence whether it is rape, physical assault, or stalking and whether the time frame is the person’s lifetime or the previous 12 months. These findings support data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, which consistently show women are at significantly greater risk of intimate partner violence than are men.

I read the Lancet editorial, then started digging. While I was aware of some ballpark figures I have usually used the conservative FBI statistics. If you’re in a room with an even gender mix of a  hundred people, nearly 35 have been victims of sexual violence. The physical abuse in relationships usually goes hand in hand with emotional abuse. In a culture that actually has mixed feelings about the morality of torture, emotional abuse as a cultural issue is an orphan. The orphan will be assigned to the back of the bus until we can get past thinking its OK to torture and rape. The effects of emotional abuse can include health issues ranging from depression to heart disease, but since you cannot see the bruises or blood, its difficult to convey the severity of the consequences which may take years to develop. Children that grow up with in an abusive atmosphere can exhibit symptoms much like veterans who have PTSD.

It’s difficult to avoid hyperbole when talking about issues. It appears to be part of human nature. The sign of one Republican protester at an anti health care reform event compared reform to the Nazi death camp at  Dachau. One of the words that is being diminished in meaning by way of its hyperbolic use, is stalker. It’s frequently used to describe someone who has called once or twice, or still goes to the same restaurant. Didn’t they know that you got the exclusive rights on the old hang-outs after the break up. It’s not as bad as being called a Nazi, but often times it has become an unfair smear on people’s reputations. Just judging from my anecdotal observations the people using the word have never been stalked. If they ever are, they’ll find it’s not very funny and its more than than someone making a last ditch attempt to mend a relationship.

snow

finely crafted winter wallpaper

On a lighter note, Semi-nude Mary and Joseph spark outrage in New Zealand. The sign (at the link) was put up by an Anglican church and the Catholic church is outraged. They’re covered by sheets, hardly semi-nude. What might be legitimately offensive to some is Joseph and Mary are painted with skin tone and features as though they’re from northern Europe.