Friday, December 11, 2015

Yet to meet a single man

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has been named Time Magazine Person of the Year. The magazine cited two reasons. First, the resolution of the euro crisis (even if it pace was plodding). The second was her throwing open Germany's doors to refugees, which will probably top a million by the end of the year.
It was an audacious act that, in a single motion, threatened both to redeem Europe and endanger it, testing the resilience of an alliance formed to avoid repeating the kind of violence tearing asunder the Middle East by working together.

The British Parliament has a petition website. I think anyone can created a petition on the site. Parliament has said they will consider any petition that gets more than 100,000 signatures. In about a day 200,000 people signed the petition asking Parliament to bar Donald Trump from entering Britain.

The Boston Globe created a map of all the mass shootings in America in 2015 up to Dec. 2 (so it is including the San Bernadino attack). The data is from the Mass Shooting Tracker website. A mass shooting is an incident in which four or more people are shot. "By that definition, the U.S. has experienced 353 mass shootings this year, resulting in 462 fatalities and 1,312 people injured." That is about one mass shooting a day!

This article compares America with Australia. Commenters claim the data for Australia isn't correct. Even so, the mass shooting rate for Australia is much lower than for America.

Melissa McEwen of Shakesville has a few hints for men, especially men who want to be allies. If a woman says she hates men, don't correct her (oh, you must mean you hate male privilege). Instead, listen to her reasons. As McEwen put it:
It is work for me to build relationships with men. Even the men I love, and who love and respect me, require me to educate them on how not to replicate the patriarchal horseshit with which they were indoctrinated. I have yet to meet a single man who didn't harm me in some way, even if unintentionally, with misogyny.
So if a woman says she hates men it could be because she has been so harmed by so many men that she has no energy left not to.

Bernie Sanders has been campaigning on the statistic that the top one-tenth of one percent of US earners own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. He's said it enough times that PolitiFact wanted to verify the numbers. Verdict: mostly true.

A new study by the Institute for Policy Studies, and reported by The American Prospect, says Bernie's statement is indeed true. Then it takes the numbers a bit further. The top 0.1% is about 300,000 people. Let's take a look at the top 20 people – Bill Gates, Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffet and such. These 20 people have as much wealth as the entire bottom half of U.S. earners (the phrasing makes me wonder if it excludes the poor who don't have jobs).

The study probably underestimates the wealth of those on top by about half because it doesn't take into account money held offshore.

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