Thoughts on politics, religion, violence, inequality, social control, change, and random other things from an autonomous, analytical, adopted, abolitionist, anarchist who likes the letter A

Things You Might Have Missed

January 11, 2011 By: Mel Category: Misc

I feel like I should say something about the anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, but it is just a silent scream at this point.  Haitians are gathering all over Haiti to commemorate, grieve, and try to figure out what the hell to do.  I sincerely hope all white knights will get the hell out of the way so they can do it.

The Justice Policy Institute put out a new report on the proposed jail for women in Baltimore.  The stats on the current jail population are depressing.  What really stuck out for me was the prevalence of mental illness – 33% bipolar, 28% with anxiety disorders, 9% schizophrenic.  And mostly they are pretrial and just sitting in there because they are poor and got picked up for BS “crimes.”

In more encouraging news, a rather clever nonprofit in Michigan raised some money and then contacted locals who had lost their homes.  They encouraged them to bid on their former homes at auction.  “One woman bid $500 on her house, which was being held for a $5,500 tax arrears and got it when no one else bid.”  Love it.

Great paper on porn from the University of Hawaii.  The gist is that as pornography becomes more available sex crimes decrease.  Most interesting info:

  • rapists were more likely than non-rapists in the prison population to having been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster
  • rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males
  • sex offenders requesting treatment commonly disclose that pornography helps them contain their abnormal sexuality within imagination as a fantasy instead of their aggressively acting out in real life
  • what does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing

In short, if you want less rape and child molestation, you would be better off banning religion than porn.

This is a fairly long debate between Gary L. Gregg II and Bill Kauffman on whether or not the anti-federalists were right.  Really interesting quotes, especially given the Constitution mania that has taken over congress.  (HT Gene)

Mira Luna linked to a fascinating talk by Charles Eisenstein on time banks and the gift economy.  The woo woo quotient gets a bit high at the end, but the first half hour is really good.

Really liked this post about accountability in the anarchist community.

Also thought this post on the phases of anarchist history was interesting.

Clay Shirky thinks women should be lying, egocentric, narcissists (just like men) so they can become rich and famous.  He makes some interesting points, but I think his recommendations mostly go in the wrong direction.

This post about videos of disabled women being raped in nursing homes, sometimes by other patients, is so fucking disturbing.

And finally, I suppose I will say a few words about the Giffords/Safeway shooting.  First, I think it is ridiculous that people start pontificating not five seconds after something happens when they don’t know shit.  That’s how you have people lionizing Sheriff Dupnick when his department may have actually royally fucked up.  But heaven forbid people can wait two seconds before trying to squeeze a tragedy into some preconceived box they have.

I’ve read a lot of posts on the shooting, most of them horrible.  He was a right wing nut. Sara Palin made him do it.  He listened to black flag and smoked pot, must be an anarchist. We shouldn’t give a shit about this because she was a politician. We should lock up all the mentally unstable, or anyone who kinda creeps us out. It’s the parents fault. It’s the friends fault. It’s his schools fault.  Blah blah blah.  Some of them may have some points, but all of them should wait until they actually know something.  I think the only person who actually took a moment for a bit of self reflection was Matt Taibbi.  Kudos to him.

And finally, I will leave you with a rather amusing post weighing the pros and cons of having children.