More Links & Such
1. You know it's almost Christmas when the toy recalls start. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has an RSS feed for recent recalls so you'll know not to buy your favorite niece that Dream House Play Set from Target or to intentionally buy a Helix Remote Control Micro Helicopter for the neighborhood kid you don't like so much.
2. The scariest, but not so surprising, thing I've read all week: "Arrows for the War" at The Nation.
Lives such as these: Janet Wolfson is a 44-year-old mother of eight in Canton, Georgia. Tracie Moore, a 39-year-old midwife who lives in southern Kentucky, is mother to fourteen. Wendy Dufkin in Coxsackie has her thirteen. And while Jamie Stoltzfus, a 27-year-old Illinois mom, has only four children so far, she plans on bearing enough to populate "two teams." All four mothers are devoted to a way of life New York Times columnist David Brooks has praised as a new spiritual movement taking hold among exurban and Sunbelt families. Brooks called these parents "natalists" and described their progeny as a new wave of "Red-Diaper Babies"--as in "red state."
But Wolfson, Moore and thousands of mothers like them call themselves and their belief system "Quiverfull." They borrow their name from Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Quiverfull mothers think of their children as no mere movement but as an army they're building for God.
I do not need to comment. Just go read.
3. It just fucking figures: "City's trash hauling bill to soar." The cost will "quadruple" and there's still no recycling.
4. Though this is not a new article, "Natural Disasters in Black and White" is worth a re-read:
When the hurricane victim in the news was a dark-complexion white, the amount of assistance for hurricane victims actually increased. Perhaps well tanned whites are perceived as vigorous, fit and attractive, thus putting our respondents in a more favorable state of mind concerning hurricane victims in general. But for every other ethnic group -- blacks, Hispanics and Asians -- the effect of skin color ran in the opposite direction. When people saw a dark-skinned black, Hispanic, or Asian, they recommended lower levels of financial assistance. This divergence in the effects of skin color for whites and non-whites was statistically significant. A similar, but weaker pattern emerged for duration of assistance. Here the effects of darkened skin color were to increase the duration of assistance in the white and Asian conditions, but to decrease it in the case of the African-American and Hispanic conditions.5. When I tell people I'm a professor, or assistant professor more specifically, their eyebrows go up and they get a knowing attitude, like they can see my 401Ks and late-model Volvo or Audi and my house on Audubon Place. I'm not a hard sciences researcher with Department of Defense money pouring in every semester or a business professor whose salary has to at least make a show of competing with private industry salaries. And I do not work at Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Sarah Lawrence. I make LESS than the average for an assistant professor at a private or church-related baccalaureate institution found in this 2003-2004 report (PDF) by AAUP:
These results suggest that news media coverage of natural disasters can shape the audience's response. Framing the disaster in ways that evoke racial stereotypes can make people less supportive of large-scale relief efforts. News reports about flooding evoke one set of apparently positive images in the reader's mind; reports about lawlessness evoke quite another.
$20 means something to my ass.
6. Milton Friedman is dead. Will the interpretation of his ideas of the market as all-knowing and -solving adjust and change or solidify like religious dogma? It's pretty dogmatic already. I hold out little hope.
7. University Hospital opens! Sort of. From what I have heard through the grapevine, "scaled back" is a generous description. The press were brought to the few rooms that are ready and there are plans being made that cannot work. Don't get shot.