...on the link between women's oppression and terrorism
"Divorced before puberty"
by Nicholas D Kristof in the New York Times
There are a couple of reasons countries that marginalize women often end up unstable.
First, those countries usually have very high birth rates, and that means a youth bulge in the population. One of the factors that most correlates to social conflict is the proportion of young men ages 15 to 24.
Second, those countries also tend to practice polygamy and have higher death rates for girls. That means fewer marriageable women — and more frustrated bachelors to be recruited by extremists.
So educating Nujood and giving her a chance to become a lawyer — her dream — isn’t just a matter of fairness. It’s also a way to help tame the entire country.
Consider Bangladesh. After it split off from Pakistan, Bangladesh began to educate girls in a way that Pakistan has never done. The educated women staffed an emerging garment industry and civil society, and those educated women are one reason Bangladesh is today far more stable than Pakistan.
The Tea Party is all about race
by Bob Cesca at The Huffington Post
Irrespective of whether the president passed a huge tax cut or went out of his way to bring Republicans into the health care process, the seeds of racial animosity from the far-right were sown during the campaign. In those lines waiting for then-vice presidential candidate and current tea party heroine Sarah Palin, their loud noises spread the pre-scripted lies, lies that entirely hinged on the president's African heritage. A white candidate would never be accused of being a secret Muslim. A white candidate would never be accused of being a foreign usurper. Only a black candidate with a foreign name would be accused of "palling around with domestic terrorists."
In the final analysis, when you boil away all of the weirdness, it becomes clear that the teabaggers are pissed because there isn't yet another doddering old white guy in the White House -- like they're used to. That's what this is all about.
and finally, some satire from those clever folks at The Onion:
Racial Slur Development Not Keeping Pace With Mixed-Race Births, Nation's Bigots Report
WASHINGTON—A coalition of the nation's most fervent bigots convened in Washington Monday to address growing concerns that the production of hateful new racial slurs has failed to keep pace with the rise in mixed-race births.
According to representatives from the American Racists and Bigots Council (ARBC), the growing number of children born to parents of different ethnicities has posed a real challenge to the nation's hate-speech developers—a challenge they say threatens their way of life.
"It all starts with education," ARBC strategist Michael McNeil said. "If you are at a bar drinking boilermakers in a desperate attempt to quell your rage and self-hatred and an Armenian- Brazilian man walks in, you have to be able to swiftly formulate the most vile and thoughtless way to demean him as a human being. Yell out an outdated or inaccurate slur in a situation like that, and you just wind up looking ignorant."
"The mind is an incredibly powerful thing," McNeil continued. "But it must be fed new and better ways to hate, or it will fail to grow."