Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dear scholar,
We noticed that you have published an article in the journal Crime media cultere, so we kindly invite you to submit an article to our journal "Cross-cultural Communication" (CCC), which is a peer-reviewed petroleum journal published quarterly by Academic Journals (http://www.cscanada.netHttp:// All the manuscripts are required to be written in English, and they should be submitted as attachment to or . The preferred format for the manuscript is APA, although the MSWord format is also acceptable. Note that the submission deadline for the first issue is May 20, 2011. Our objective is to inform author s of the decision on their manuscript(s) within four weeks. Instruction for authors and other details are available on our website: .

Ha ha.   There is no journal Crime media cultere.  A petroleum journal?   Who wold pose APA and MSWord as  contrasting members in the category of format?   
But:  what is the purpose?  This isn't sophisticated enough to actually be doing a pay-journal scam, and the web page above isn't even in grammatical English. Cui bono?  Hm... are they targeting foreign academics trying to break into English language publications?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I finally read "I married a communist"

Away in Turkey while on maternity leave, every night before dropping off to sleep I'd read another half page.  Yes, the Philip Roth book.  It was really good.   The opening parts of the book describe the appeal of fighting against corporate domination and for a world free of wage slavery.   But a marriage is the centerpiece of the book, not communism, and it doesn't really matter whether communist Ira is fighting against unfair labor practices or whether he's active in some other up-hill social battle, because in the end, his quirky marriage to a film star both protected him initially from being blacklisted and later did him in.   It's a powerful story.

Although H is a Roth fan (once had to get up in the night and to go a 24 hour bookstore to get the next Roth novel on his list), he wasn't happy with the book -- felt that Roth had only the most basic understanding of what communists were trying to do in mid-20th century American.  "He doesn't really understand that era"  H said (contrary to the book's back page blurbs).

But now H is like Ira -- he's married and drawn into the demands of married life, including the total absorption required to help me take care of two little boys, now almost one year old, who never take the cute off.

No comments allowed unfortunately because of spam; you can always email me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two findings pertinent to evolutionary psychology

Finding 1

Male Abusers Often Sabotage Birth Control With Partners

The evolutionary psychologists must like this phenomenon, since they frequently claim that male partner violence is an extreme form of mate-guarding, and the goal of mate-guarding is to exploit the female's reproductive resources, and the goal of that is getting your genes into the next generation...

Finding 2

At this summer's meeting of the Association for Psychological Science (in Boston), the symposium on evolutionary psychology found that there are geographical areas of the world where men are more (slightly more) interested in monogamy and committed relationships than are women.  The primary area where reversal of the more common gender pattern happens currently is subsaharan Africa, mainly because women are relatively open to mon-monogamy and apparently more aware of the disadvantages of being tied to one partner.  This goes against all those evo psych people who say women must be more needy of pair bonding because they need male resources.  So what's different in Africa -- women are often economically self-sufficient; and males have few opportunities to be the sole provider for a family; or put differently, there isn't a large disparity in income/resource potential between genders.

What is out in that big world anyways?


Monday, June 7, 2010

The Aftermath of the Flotilla (comments by Anna Baltzer)

Anna Baltzer emailed her mailing list, :

The Aftermath of the Flotilla
 Last night marked one week since Israel's attack in international waters on the Mavi Marmara Turkish humanitarian ship bound for Gaza, killing nine. One by one, the hundreds of witnesses aboard the vessels have been returning home to tell their stories after being stripped of any and all footage. By confiscating all non-military evidence of the incident, Israel has been able to successfully dominate the narrative, at least in the US where news of the attack had begun to dwindle by the time witnesses were released. One wonders, if Israel is conveying the whole story of what happened that night, why eliminate every single other piece of documentation? What does Israel have to hide?
According to hundreds of eyewitnesses, the Navy shot at the boat and threw tear gas and sound bombs before boarding the ship, and then hit the ground shooting. The videos released by Israel show those aboard the ship attacking soldiers with sticks. Israel claims that the deaths were an accident, that the soldiers were startled by the sticks and thus forced to shoot people to defend themselves.
Now let's put things into perspective. In 2005, the Israeli Army removed 8,000 ideological settlers from Gaza, many of them kicking and screaming with sticks and rocks in hand. The Army managed not to kill or even shoot a single one of them. Do sticks from Turks hurt more, or is it not about the sticks at all?
As Dr. Norman Finkelstein pointed out, Israeli officials met for an entire week prior to the flotilla to plan precisely what they intended to do. The Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren himself stated that the Mavi Marmara was simply "too large to stop with nonviolent means." It's hard to believe that this was an accident. 
While the world focuses on the flotilla and Gaza, Israel's restrictions on Palestinian rights in the rest of Palestine continue to tighten. On Friday, soldiers surrounded the Old City in Jerusalem to prevent Muslim men from praying at Al-Aqsa mosque. Only those younger than 15 or older than 40 were allowed through. Hundreds of men gathered outside the metal bars installed by the Army around the city gates. Frustrated, many men sat down to wait to pray on the sidewalk, but soldiers on horseback pushed through the crowd, forcing the men to scatter.
It's important to note that many Palestinians wait for years to receive a permit to visit Jerusalem for just one day. Sometimes the permits are valid only for a few hours. I saw a woman in Beit Sahour whom I'd met in Syracuse last Fall. She said it's easier for her to travel to New York than to go 10 miles away to Jerusalem. She said often permits are sent to the wrong village and families fall over themselves to get the permit to the right person in time, often failing. At the gates, some men argued with the soldiers, close to tears, not knowing if they would ever get another chance to realize a life-long dream of praying at their country's holiest site. 
Eventually, hundreds of men began to gather next to the wall of the Old City and across the street. If they could not enter, they would pray as close as they could. As the call to prayer rang out (at least sound can overcome walls), a noticeable calm came over the space as they bowed down in unison. The soldiers stood over the group, some filming with cameras. In the middle of the group were an olive tree and a young child who stood by himself, watching.
When the prayers ended, those who hadn't brought prayer mats wiped the dirt off their foreheads and gathered with others across the street where an imam had started to speak. Lara, a Palestinian delegate in our group translated bits and pieces of what he said.
The sermon was about the importance of compassion and justice in Islam. There they were, being denied their religious freedom, and they were talking about compassion. The imam asked that their prayers be accepted even though they could not be in the house of God. At one point, he raised his finger and called out the following: "Someday, we will live in a place where it doesn't matter what color your skin is, or where you're from." With every sentence the group resounded in a collective "Amen."
After the prayers, hundreds of women and older men poured out, one of whom told me he'd seen a man beaten by the Army for calling out against Israel's attacks on the flotilla. This is likely precisely what the Army wanted to avoid by keeping Muslims from congregating at the mosque, and they had been largely successful, at least so they thought.
Just as I was turning to return to the hotel, I heard a chorus of women's voices coming from inside the city walls. Soon a large group of women emerged carrying a Turkish flag and singing out familiar calls for justice and praising those who gave their lives to free Gaza. The soldiers thought that keeping the men out would be enough, but they had underestimated the women.
Israel has also underestimated the international civilian community, which continues to speak out. Day and night, we watch protests around the world unfold one after another, seemingly stronger and larger by the day: Japan, Paris, India, Oslo, Australia, and beyond. This is being called "Israel's Kent State."
Far more significant than protests is the fact that worldwide disapproval has been transforming into concrete rejection of normalization with Israel, including major victories for the Palestinian movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) on Israel until it complies with international law.
This past week, the student body at Evergreen College voted to divest from "Israel's illegal occupation." Before she was run over by Israeli soldiers in a US-made Caterpillar bulldozer in Gaza, Rachel Corrie had attended Evergreen. Along with divesting, students have voted for a "Caterpillar free" campus. You can support the students by clicking here.
A week before the flotilla, Italy's largest supermarkets COOP and Nordiconad announced a boycott of the Israeli produce company, Carmel Agrexco. Four days later, Deutsche Bank (Germany's largest bank, worth more than $1 trillion) announced divestment from Elbit Systems, an Israeli firm that supplies technology for Israel's military, settlements, and Wall (as well as the Wall between the US and Mexico). Deutsche Bank was one of the company's largest share-holders.
The next day, it was announced that Sweden's largest national pension funds were also divesting from Elbit. (Norway did the same more than one year ago.) Going a step further, the Swedish Port Workers Union announced last Wednesday that it would temporarily stop handling Israeli cargo in response to the attacks on the flotilla.
On the same day, Britain's largest union, Unite, passed a unanimous motion "to vigorously promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies" and to boycott Israeli goods and services as in "the boycott of South African goods during the era of apartheid."
Then yesterday, the Pixies canceled their upcoming concert in Israel in response to Israel's attack on the flotilla. Musical artists Klaxons and Gorillaz canceled as well. This on the heels of cancelations by Santana, Gil Scott-Heron, Snoop Dog, Sting, and Elvis Costello.
These are but a few of the BDS victories that have happened just in the last month. The movement that officially began in 2005 crossed its first threshold in 2009 (having gained in four years the same momentum it took the BDS movement against South Africa 20 years to achieve), but 2010 has brought it to a new level.
Last month marked 62 years since 80% of the families in Gaza were displaced during Israel's creation, the Palestinian Nakba. And this week marks 43 years since Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Occupation has been in place 70% of Israel's life-span so far. It is not temporary. And it is but one part of the problem. Along with Israel's discrimination against Palestinians within Israel's de-facto borders and outside historic Palestine, the Occupation will not be stopped voluntarily by Israel. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." I spoke with a member of Boycott from Within (Israelis supporting the Palestinian BDS Call) paraphrased a common phrase during the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa: We will bring them to their senses, or we will bring them to their knees. For Israel, as was the case for the South African Aparthe! id government, the former has simply never worked.

For photos, more reports, and info on Anna's book, DVD, and upcoming speaking tours, visit

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My gorgeous twins -- born April 8, 2010

So cute, so smart already.  We play imitation games; both babies are already trying to make human sounds.
I like this picture of the hands upraised...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's worth reading to the end of Joseph Stack's suicide note

In It Can Happen Here: America On the Brink, self-proclaimed patriot, ardent capitalist and business school professor Bruce Judson (see his blog) begs all who will listen or read his book that the U.S. must rectify the last 30 years of income inequality or face the prospect of riots in the streets, political instability, terrorist acts from disenfranchised and impoverished Americans with nothing left to lose, and the end of America as we know it (see buzzflash book review here ).
Judson says we need universal health care and aggressive social works program (similar to the 1940's New Deal) in order to head off unrest.  Hm.  Bring on the unrest!  But do we have boots in the street yet?  Do we have desperate people with nothing left to lose committing acts of violence?

Well, as of today, we at least have flying your plane into an IRS building.

The media are generally spinning Joe Stack's suicide note as insane ramblings.  It's worth reading and making up your own mind,  here.  But if you don't have the time or inclination, at least check out his final two sentences:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed

Not very rambling.  Pretty sane.