Scientific American gives us some fascinating stats about who kills whom with what weapon (no, this isn’t the game of Clue, this is the reality of life and murder in America). Here’s a sampler: Of all the killings in the US, men commit more than 90 percent. Men use guns more often than any other weapon on nearly every type of victim—significant others, family members, and strangers. When a man kills a woman with a gun, she is most likely to be his significant other. (Women are more likely to use other means to kill their spouse.)
It’s almost becoming a cliché to say how you love Elizabeth Warren, but I don’t care. I love her. She used her remarks at the 2013 American Constitution Society for Law and Policy National Convention to warn that the Supreme Court is being captured by interests representing America’s biggest corporations. As one indicator, conservative justices side with the Chamber of Commerce (an organization actively lobbying, financing, and also filing amicus briefs to the Court) 82 percent of the time. The Chamber enjoys a record high 70 percent win rate under the Roberts Court. “Follow this pro-business trend to its obvious conclusion,” Warren warns, “and you will end up with a Supreme Court that’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce.”
And don’t miss Lawrence Lessig on Moyers and Company.
A cool Kickstarter campaign, for a film about Powder River Basin coal. The trailer looks really good!
Some academics argue that narcissistic CEOs produce worse results for their businsses. Weirdly, though, the study used the size of the CEO’s signature as a proxy for narcissism.
Some things just tickle me.
Cool bike tricks. (Do not try at home.)
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The science of why we don’t believe science. (Hint: when confronted with data that we find threatening, we reason like lawyers rather than scientists.)
Dan Savage compares the beginning of the AIDS epidemic to the politics of climate change in a way that I found extraordinarily powerful. “We have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution.”
The good folks at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives lay out what is perhaps the crispest and most forceful argument I’ve yet seen for opposing Port Metro Vancouver’s proposal to build a coal export facility on the Fraser River.
I finally finished Ioan Grillo’s 2011 tour de force on Mexican drug cartels, El Narco. Although the book only briefly explores drug legalization, Grillo’s documentation of the staggering scale and horror of rule-by-mafia makes a powerful case for radically transforming drug policy in rich countries like the United States. The US is, after all, the economic driver (and armorer) of the a huge portion of the global narcotics economy.
Stephen Colbert takes on Monsanto for losing track of its genetically modified wheat in Oregon.