Link roundup, 12/18/15

I intended to put together a simple little post about the recent Pew Research Center report on the shrinking middle class, then I waded into the data. This is going to take more time and thought. So for now, here’s a summary of some interesting things happening in the world.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center: A very long and yet still incomplete account of white supremacist terror attacks in recent years

From the Washington Post: How mass transit options transform a neighborhood

From the Texas Tribune: Texas remains the national leader in number of uninsured citizens. And also, of course, in LIBERTY.

From the Washington Post: Vegetarian diets are not necessarily more “green”

From Quartz: A fun realization dawns on everyone who attempts any real genealogical research – Everyone is your cousin

From Aeon: On a related note, what should geneticists do when they uncover a family secret?

And since we’re on a role and many of us have some serious family time approaching, this PBS program with Dr. Henry Louis Gates called Finding Your Roots stumbled over both of those issues. The new season starts in January.

From the New York Times: Here’s a little sample of the controversy the show has inspired already. Some of those episodes are pretty tense.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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21 comments on “Link roundup, 12/18/15
  1. Creigh says:

    There’s a really great essay (“Men At Work”) on the Aeon homepage. The essay talks about how work ties into the masculine self-image, and how the erosion of economic opportunity for working-class males has affected their outlook. This is something Chris has touched on several times, but the essay adds a personal perspective that is quite powerful.

  2. flypusher says:

    Politics and the stone-age brain:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/12/donald-trump-2016-evolutionary-psychology-213444?o=0

    I’m definitely an abberation, I dig nuance and acknowledge complexity.

  3. johngalt says:

    The article about genetics and “misattributed parentage” was interesting, but rather old news. This is a problem that human geneticists have been dealing with for 30 years, since the earliest, painstaking, mapping of human genes. This article shied away from disclosing how frequent this problem is, but the data suggests that for 5-10% of us the guy we give ties to on Father’s day is not actually our biological father. Yikes!

    I did 23-and-me a couple of years ago (when they could still do the disease prediction stuff). They still send me periodic emails announcing a new relative match, usually in the 3rd-5th cousin range. Then one day I got one saying they had a new match, “predicted relationship: father.” Fortunately, his identity was not a surprise.

    • flypusher says:

      “This article shied away from disclosing how frequent this problem is, but the data suggests that for 5-10% of us the guy we give ties to on Father’s day is not actually our biological father. Yikes!”

      I’m reminded of a paper a friend and lab mate of mine gave to some of the summer student volunteers to study. It focus was tracing the Black branches of the Jefferson family tree (by DNA analysis of living descendants), but it also found a few of those “who’s your daddy?” surprises. His lesson on that -people are often lying bastards.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      JG, your story is nicely ambiguous, like the start of a good novel.

  4. goplifer says:

    Here’s a little preview of what life will be like under 8 years of the 2nd Clinton Administration. A nuisance opponent is running at less than 30% nationally seven weeks prior to the start of the primaries. The Clintons decide it would be a good idea to kneecap him: http://patrickokeefe.org/2015/12/bernie-sanders-dnc-ngp-van/

  5. Turtles Run says:

    Chris – You do understand that pointing out the racist actions of racists makes you the real racist because of reasons.

  6. Anse says:

    It’s a weird thing to be so terrified of having ancestors that owned slaves that you would go to almost any means to keep it a secret. That said, I recently overheard an older colleague talking to a couple of others, including one black lady, about how her ancestors owned slaves “but they were practically like family. My white ancestor worked in the fields with them.” I could almost hear the black lady’s eyes rolling.

    • duncancairncross says:

      Hi Anse
      If you ever get into the ancestor thing you rapidly discover that you are descended from a mass of black hearted villains
      Two reasons
      The villains have more descendants
      The occasional “nice person” among your ancestors doesn’t do anything noteworthy so there is no information on him/her

      The result is that the pirates, murderers and other villains are the ones that feature the most prominently in your family tree

  7. Creigh says:

    Looking forward to your view if the middle class shrinkage. It’s important.

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