Notebook Entries April 2008

Notebook Entry, April 28th, 2008

My other activities with the City of Lakewood are continuing to grow.  Right now I am sort of brain storming with one other individual in town whose wife sits on the same Diversity Education sub-committee with me.  His name is Peter Facas.  Here is an exchange of one email during Earth Week, 2008.  His message is in parenthesis with my response following.  I realize that this has little or nothing to do with evolutionary psychology -- unless you think of the “big picture” that our species is becoming very concerned with our planet and we are thinking long range about survival.


(It's good to see someone is thinking about the opportunities inherent in the west corridor RTD expansion).

(What are the economic driving forces for Lakewood?)

(Construction will lower property values adjacent to the rail line and increase property values near the stations).
I don’t think that the old circumstances will stand.  The old idea that mass transit will lower property values adjacent to the rail line may be justified in the days of .99 cents a gallon gasoline.  It’s a different world out there.  With gas prices at four to five dollars a gallon, the perception may shift from “ugly and noisy” to “marvelous and wonderful” because the light rain is substantially lowering their transportation costs.  Besides, in the Eiber neighborhood all of the stations are within a one-half mail distance from each other.  That is the distance that has been determined by follow up studies in other Transit Oriented Development cities.

(In addition several taxable properties will come off the tax rolls for the station, parking and access routes. For Lakewood this would probably result in a modest but net gain in property taxes).
The mere rezoning of the TMU for high-density residences spending their tax dollar money in local retail outlets that would spring up would massively out weigh any loss of the current retail structures in place.  We are talking about 24 to 50 residences per acre.  I don’t know what the per acre population as it now stands but on my block it is about 1 to 2 residences per acre.   The more dense the population, the more the population will use mass transit.

(A larger gain may be accessible by rezoning the area north of the 13thAve corridor but this would need to be studied for total impact.)

All areas within a one half mile of the light rail line will be impacted.  There is a City/citizens/business group now in place that is attempted to write the zoning laws for this coming event.

(An argument could be made for Lakewood investment in "Green Tech" based on this increased revenue stream).

That is one of my goals.  To try and get the city to put in place a percentage requirement for buildings to be “green.”  I’m just at the beginning stage of study on these requirements.

(What are the economic driving forces for residential development?)

Very little for new construction as there are few unimproved available lots in the Eiber neighborhood)

I agree -- there really is only one way to develop: Higher Density by building up and building smarter.  The increased economic costs for transportation will force people out of the suburbs and into locations that are closer to transit homes and employment.  One of the challenges is to create employment near the transit sites.  You can only build so many hospitals and office buildings.  Lakewood needs light manufacturing – perhaps ---“green collar” jobs?.

(Remodeling and upgrading of existing homes would get a boost for those properties whose value will increase because of RTD. Lakewood/Jeffco could leverage these by carefully chosen building code updates that enhance  Green goals)

I agree.

(Hydrogen Powered Village (HPV) opportunities).

(The technology and infrastructure for an economic deployment of HPV is not yet ready. So to make this happen in the near term a significant subsidy would be required. This could be in the form of a cooperative demonstration program between Lakewood, NREL, DOE, NIST and Industry).

Absolutely agree 100%.  And herein lays the great sales job.  In order for hydrogen power to become a reality in a “village.” It has to become “destructive.”  Here is a quote from John Turner, the lead scientist for hydrogen development at NREL.  It comes from a Denver Post article, March 9th 2008 by Michael Booth:
“[Hydrogen] is the tie between energy and transportation.  It both produces energy and transportation.  This toy has everything in it.  Let’s see the nuclear guys do that.”

[quote from M. ] “In its simplest form, hydrogen energy is created when a renewable source like solar or wind power produces an electrical current that separates hydrogen from water.  Hydrogen can then be stored in tanks – at a utility, or alongside a home, or inside a car – and used in fuel cells to run anything demanding power.

“The technology is ready to go – end of story,” Turner gloats.  But hydrogen requires an expensive overhaul in the energy system which is now based on other forms of energy.

“It’s a destructive technology.”  Harnessing it means new power plants, new pipelines and delivery systems, modified cars, renovated or newly built homes."

Since the northern part of the Eiberhood neighborhood from 13th Ave north is going to see major “destruction” and rebuilding, it is a perfect time for NREL to “experiment” with new housing configurations.   The keystone here is the “free market system” which will be in the process of trying to find money to redevelop these areas.  So, the “sales job” would be to convince real estate developers to jump on board and lobby the Federal Government, State, and City officials that this would be a great opportunity to subsidize the “reconfiguration” of housing within this transit corridor.  And the closer the redevelopment to the rail line, the more the financial assistance.

Peter: What does the acronym NIST stand for?

(Unfortunately there is nothing that distinguishes this neighborhood from any other established neighborhood in the metro area so that granting a subsidy/demo program would be contentious)

See prior email, April 25th.

(Green opportunities with RTD).

(Encourage biking to station by lowering speed limits in res neighborhoods, increasing bike lanes/paths and bike racks at stations).


(Encourage walking to stations by developing sidewalks and paths and pedestrian crosswalks).

Agreed.  The objective is to make everything “pedestrian friendly.”

(Some communities have seen Green gains by allowing golf cart access to stations.  This does entail motor vehicle code changes and traffic regulations/management for safety).

Agreed.  The only argument I might have is the “country club” image of golf carts.  Perhaps, a Lakewood made electric shuttle cart powered by batteries charged by solar energy?  Should be large enough to carry up to six passengers with luggage.


Those are my responses for the moment.  I really don’t know where I am going with these ideas yet.  There are merely “far out” visions of vague ideas that I have developed.  I know that if I wanted to go forward that I would still have to visit and seek out Mr. Turner at NREL and see exactly by what he means that “the technology is ready to go.”  If all of these is at all feasible, then I would seek farther support from others such as real estate developers, RTD officials, Colorado State Representatives who district falls within NREL, and of course, Ed Perlmutter, whose is a fantastic advocate for alternative energy and who district includes NREL.   .Should I form a formal “group,” like which would attempt to bring attention to Earth Day every day of the year….I don’t know where this journey is taking me.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.  I know that my next move is to visit NREL, would you like to meet for coffee  or join in visiting NREL and discuss anything?

Bill Spriggs

Notebook entry, April 21, 2008

Please refer to my Notebook entry, April 13, 2008

The Polygamist sect news is still in cycle and today there appeared in my hard copy The Denver Post on page 1, section A:

“Polygamist sect often casts out teenage boys,” by Jack Douglas Jr. of the McClatchy Newspapers.

The article basically supported my argument that these religious sects that allow multiple marriages of older men with very young females do so by expunging the young males.  In fact, in the article, we find that society has created a name for this group of expelled young males, called “Lost Boys.”

“Boys as young as 13 have been torn from their families and left on the unfamiliar streets of Salt Lake City and Las Vegas for committing such infractions as talking to a girl or rolling up their sleeves – a no-no for showing skin in public.”

The article also quotes a one Brenda Jensen who works as a volunteer for the Hope Organization, and was, herself a “polygamy kid.”

“The FLDS has traditionally kept the number of boys in its communities low, said Jensen.  That way, the male leaders can have their pick of young ‘plural wives’ without worry of younger competition…With the boys gone, the girls, fresh from graduating, are married off to ‘these old grizzly men,’ Jesnsen said.

Notebook entry, April 18th, 2008

Well, here's some news you don't read everyday. Here's a quote from the UK's The Guardian with a byline by Graham Keeley; April 18th, 2008 Please visit the paper's website and subscribe to real news. This news item is too good not post and I think that I will post a permanent link on the What is Evolutionary Feminism? web site. I was just musing last month with my essay Morphing Into Matriarchy: Inching Towards Peace what it would be like if women were in the political majority -- when poof!! An example pops up. I think what is really interesting is the pregnant Defense Minister. See the picture of the cabinet and the Defense Minister reviewing the troops.

spain192 PregnantDefenseMinister


This week, Spain got its first female-majority cabinet - a huge leap forward for equality. Then Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi derided them as 'too pink'. So who is winning the argument when it comes to women in world politics, asks Emine Saner

Friday April 18, 2008

An Italian politican preoccupied with fashion, hair and fake tan, and prone to emotional outbursts? I refer, of course, to Silvio Berlusconi. This week it emerged, to no one's great surprise, that the newly re-elected Italian prime minister seems to have something of a problem with women in government. Referring to the fact that the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has just appointed Spain's first female-majority cabinet, Berlusconi said on Wednesday that "Zapatero has formed a government that is too pink, something that we cannot do in Italy because there is a prevalence of men in politics and it isn't easy to find women who are qualified ... He will have problems leading them. Now he's asked for it."
Berlusconi isn't the only person who has been critical of Zapatero's decision to appoint nine women to his 17-strong cabinet (including 37-year-old defence minister, Carme Chacón, who just happens to be seven months pregnant). One conservative commentator in Spain described Zapatero's female-majority cabinet as his "battalion of inexperienced seamstresses", as if the deputy prime minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega (who has a doctorate in law, and a political career stretching back to the 1970s), and Magdalena Álvarez (a doctorate in economics, and a political career that dates from the 1980s) had just wandered in off the street.

And the attacks on Zapatero's decision have underlined the ongoing antipathy to women in politics. There seems to be an increasingly wide gulf internationally between those who are supportive of women in government - and make great strides towards representative government as a result - and those who think that the very idea of women bothering their pretty little heads with such matters as foreign policy is completely beyond the pale.

Zapatero, a self-proclaimed feminist, naturally represents the former attitude, being intent on equality. And he has shown that, given the right policies, it is possible to create a much more representative ruling class. When first elected four years ago, Zapatero appointed an equal number of men and women as ministers. Two years ago, he ruled that no more than 60% of candidates of any political party could be male, and that by 2010, the boards of any company pitching for public contracts should be made up of at least 40% women. "In Italy, as in Spain, there are enough women sufficiently qualified, intelligent and capable of being ministers or occupying other government posts," says Elena Valenciano, Spain's secretary for international relations. She adds pointedly that such an approach "would benefit politics and society in Italy".

Berlusconi, who has promised to include "at least four women" in his cabinet, embodies the less enlightened side of the equation. Campaigning in the recent elections, he referred to his female supporters as the "menopause section"; his women candidates are known as "the knight's ladies" (the knight being Berlusconi himself, of course, that noble 71-year-old ladies man). He has also referred to the appearance of the female candidates, in a bid to both publicise his party and undermine his women opponents. "The left has no taste, not even when it comes to women," rightwinger Berlusconi said recently. "As for our [women candidates] being more beautiful, I say that because in parliament they have no competition." Not to be outdone, Berlusconi's rival Walter Veltroni began amassing his own young good-looking female members for the cameras, prompting the media to brand them "Walter's angels".

Of course, referencing how female politicians look - suggesting that they are either too good looking or too ugly to be taken seriously - is a classic tactic of those who fall into Berlusconi's camp, whether in the government or the media. When Labour came to power in 1997, the policy of selecting candidates from all-women shortlists for half of their winnable seats resulted in the doubling of women in Westminster from 62 to 121 - a hugely significant result, which should have marked a new political age. And yet a single unfortunate photograph of Blair surrounded by women MPs, spawned the lazy, misogynistic tag "Blair's babes", which was used against them for years and undermined that great leap forward.

When Jacqui Smith, Britain's first female home secretary, gave her first statement to the Commons after the failed terrorist attacks last year, the focus of many of the news stories wasn't so much on what she said, but the amount of flesh she had on show (by most measures, not very much). The same fate befell Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, this week, when she wore a black evening dress with an admittedly plunging neckline to the opening of Oslo's new opera house. "Merkel's Weapons of Mass Distraction" was the Daily Mail's headline.

In Britain the divide between the forward-looking and dinosaur elements was on show again last month, when David Cameron - who has just seven women in his 30-strong shadow cabinet - promised to give a third of senior jobs in his first government to women. This angered many male Tory MPs, with Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, saying that it was "completely unacceptable ... if you believe in true equality, which I do, then it should be irrelevant what somebody's gender should be".

Which would be all very well if Britain wasn't failing so spectacularly to get women into government. The proportion of Labour MPs who are women increased to 27% in 2005 - considerably more than the Conservatives (8%) and the Liberal Democrats (16%) - but still not great. Overall, women make up just less than a fifth of British MPs. The right attitudes and policies - such as all-women shortlists - can change this. In Sweden, for instance, renowned for its progressive policies, women make up 47% of MPs, and in Norway, the Gender Equality Act requires that all public bodies, including the cabinet, should be at least 40% women. In Germany, more than 30% of its elected representatives in the Bundestag are women.

To see just how far some people's unease with women leaders extends, you only have to look at Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination in the US. Clinton's body, face and wardrobe have been pored over relentlessly, as if she was some kind of novelty specimen. The American media has been agonising over the question, "Are we ready for a woman president?" with Clinton being cast, variously, as a witch (her laugh has been described as a "cackle"), a bitch, and a ballbuster. Journalist Christopher Hitchens described her as "an ageing and resentful female". She has been too emotional or not emotional enough; too weak or too strong. She has been criticised for a perceived lack of warmth and the implication that she is not "motherly". There is that repeated accusation that she is only where she is because of her husband (accusations of nepotism against George W Bush were never quite so shrill). In a talk given last month, the American academic Barbara Pendleton said: "Many commentators appear to be unable to criticise her without dusting off their favourite sexist cliches, stereotypes and insults. Together they create an environment of hostility toward all women, not just Senator Clinton."

"Being hostile to women in politics is easy," says Sarah Childs, senior lecturer in politics at Bristol University and author of a new study, Women and British Party Politics. "You can no longer say, 'Hillary Clinton shouldn't be president because she's a woman,' but what you can do is slag her off for what she looks like. A lot of the evaluation comes from a gender perspective and at the extreme, it is misogynistic. There are still men who don't think women should be in politics, and particularly in certain positions. It taps into everyday understandings of gender: can women really cope with security and terrorism threats? It's old-fashioned sexism."

When it comes to the UK, she says that the quickest way to get more women into the House of Commons would be to use quotas. "If you want anything nearing 40 or 50%, you are going to have to use all-women shortlists and only the Labour party does that. I don't buy this argument that there are not enough women who want to be MPs - it's a house of 646. There are 300 women out there. It's about how you turn those who want to be MPs into MPs, and making sure political parties select women in their winnable seats. If you do that, you can get them in."
As Zapatero has shown, with the right attitude, you can truly cause a revolution in politics.

First among equals Who's who in the new Spanish cabinet

When the Spanish prime minister named nine women for his 17-strong cabinet this week, his choice prompted international headlines. Most attention has been focused on Carme Chacón, 37, from Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona, who is the rising star inside the re-elected Socialist party, and the first female defence minister in Spain. She is also seven months pregnant. Images of her inspecting the troops with a baby bump turned up on the front pages of Spanish newspapers, along with widespread speculation about how much maternity leave she will take.
Chacón began her political career nine years ago when she was elected to Esplugues council, later becoming mayor. She became a parliamentary deputy in 2000 and was named housing minister in 2006. Originally a lawyer, she is married to another socialist politician.

As for the other new appointments, eyebrows were also raised at the naming of Beatriz Corredor, 38, as the new housing minister, since her only experience in government has been serving alongside the failed socialist mayoral candidate in Madrid for less than a year. She takes over an important department at a time when Spain's decade-long housing bubble has just burst and banks are warning of record mortgage defaults. Trained in property registration, she is married with two children.

Cristina Garmendia, 46, from San Sebastián, is another new face. The science and investigation minister is a Socialist party stalwart, but has a background in industry, having founded her own biotechnology company, Genetrix, in 2000. For Zapatero, she is a key ally in the Basque Country.

At 31, Bibiana Aído Almagro, the new minister for equality, is the youngest person ever to occupy a cabinet post. Born in Cadiz, Andalucia, until her recent promotion she was head of the Flamenco Promotion Agency in the Andalusian regional government. Now her priorities will be to reduce domestic violence, which occupies a far higher position on the news agenda in Spain than in the UK.

These are the new appointments, but Zapatero already had a sizeable number of women in his cabinet - when he won his first election in 2004, he named women to half of the 16 cabinet posts. So his "right-hand woman" was the veteran María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, 59, who returns as vice-president, and is known as the enforcer in his government. After a distinguished law career, she became an MP in 1996 and rose through the ranks.

Then there's the rural environment minister, Elena Espinosa, 48, who has responsibility for climate change and the pressing water shortage in Spain.
Public administration minister Elena Salgado, 55, from Ourense, northern Spain, has worked in three difference ministries and is regarded as a safe pair of hands. An industrial engineer by training, as health minister she introduced Spain's partial ban on smoking in 2006.

Mercedes Cabrera, 56, who returns to the cabinet as education social affairs and sports minister, comes from a family steeped in politics - her uncle Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo y Bustelo having briefly been prime minister in 1981-82, after Spain survived an attempted coup. Cabrera has long been a Socialist party stalwart and was named education minister in 2006. She is married with two children.

Finally, the transport and development minister Magdalena Álvarez, 56, returns to her post despite having become deeply unpopular last year over the failure of the government to deliver on its promise to have the high-speed AVE train link between Madrid and Barcelona run on time. Zapatero has weathered a storm of criticism for his cabinet of "ministras", not least from the likes of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. But the Spanish prime minister is clearly confident in his choices, insisting all the women in his cabinet were chosen on ability. In the next four years they plan to prove it.
Graham Keeley

Notebook entry, April 13, 2008

A Polygamous sect that has been in the news for the past several days has caught my eye because of the sheer number of young females involved.  The following quote is from the Associated Press with the byline by Jennifer Dobner, dated April 12, 2008.

“Child welfare officials seized more than 400 children, most of them girls, in the raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints compound know as the Yearn for Zion ranch, saying the youngsters were in danger of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

“The renegade Mormon group requires girls at puberty to enter into polygamous marriages with much older men and produce children…The sect also teaches children to fear the outside world, including the very authorities who removed them until a court hearing Thursdays that will help determine their future.”

If you’re an individual who views the world through an evolutionary perspective then you immediately see the obvious:  Where are all the young boys?  The back story never told for most of these sect raids is that the young males are expunged from the sects because, quite simply, they would grow up to be serious reproductive competition for the “much older men” in the sect.  The mechanism in place follows that if the competition is removed, then “the much older men” have increased possibilities to become greater reproductive winners.  Because the mental thought of having sex with younger women carries with it the mental “boost” of a “youthful” experience that some older men find too hard to resist, they are willing to beat the living daylights out of young girls to achieve their goal.  The “excuse” of religion used by the sect’s “elders” is just that.  It’s all about getting young, wet, pussy and being next to smooth, tight skin to make their old limp dicks feel young and powerful again as when they were younger.  The payoff of years of coalition building amongst the male “elders” so that they can also have a “harem” is likely rewarded because of genetic closeness to the Alpha elder and less from loyalty.

Notebook entry, April 6th, 2008

There was an excellent post online at The New York Times from Nicholas d. Kristof, titled: Our Racist, Sexist Selves.  I consider it to be excellent because I believe that it is the fist time that I can recall Mr. Kristof referring to evolutionary psychology.  In which case, he is now the third New York Times correspondent to reference this new science.

Basically his article touches on the University of Chicago and Harvard online psychological tests that anyone can take.  In the Chicago test “in which you encounter a series of 100 black or white men, holding either guns or cellphones.  You’re supposed to shoot the gunmen and holster your gun for the others.”

In the Harvard tests, “These ‘implicit attitude tests’ very cleverly show that a stunningly large proportion of people who honestly believe themselves to be egalitarian unconsciously associate good with white and bad with black.”

Then Mr. Kristof turns to gender differences and then to the 2008 elections with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And to quote:

“At first glance, it may seem that Barach Obama would face a stronger impediment than Hillary Clinton.  Experiments have shown that the brain categorizes people by race in less than 100 milliseconds (one-tenth of a second), about 50 milliseconds before determining sex.  And evolutionary psychologists believe we’re hardwired to be suspicious of people outside our own group, to save our ancestors from blithely greeting enemy tribes of cave men.  In contrast, there’s no hard-wired hostility toward women, though men may have a hard-wired desire to control and impregnate them."

Mr. Kristof continues to quote John Tooby and as a result, welcome him to the evolutionary perspective.

Perhaps he will now move on with his education from the 40% biological basis of psychology to the social psychological studies in which we social creatures dwell 60% of the time, and he should start with

Notebook entry, April 7th, 2008

The April 14th, 2008 issue of Time magazine had an interesting essay by Nancy Gibbs on page 80.  Title: College Confidential.  “To close the campus gender gap, admissions officers often favor boys.  Is that a good idea?

The article starts by Ms. Gibbs telling us that when she entered college in in 1974, a Princeton administrator lamented on how the admission of women “has ruined the mystique and the camaraderies that used to exist.” Ms. Gibbs continued with the fact that when she entered college she was unnumbered by males with a 3 to 2 ratio.

But now there is a new discrimination taking place on our campuses; it seems that the numbers have been reveres and college admission officers discrimanting against desevering females to “even the gender gap.”  To quote Ms. Gibbs:

“But a gender gap has reopened: if girls were once excluded because they shomehow weren’t good enough, they now are rejected because they’re too good.  Or at least they are so good, compared with boys, that admissions committees at some private colleges have problems managing a balanced freshman class.  Roughly 58% of undergraduates nationally are female, and the girl-boy ratio will probably tip past 60-40 in a few years.  The divide is even worse for black males, who are outnumbered on campus by black females 2 to 1.”

Ms. Gibbs continues to inform us that the admissions director told the editors of U. S. New & World Report on why the admissions rate for males is 12 percentage points ahead of women is because:

“Even women who enroll…expect to see men on campus.”

It is hard to believe that the gender that forms collations and attacks its own species is given preferential treatment at colleges over women who don’t.

It’s time for you ladies to get your shit together and sue the fuck out of these colleges for reverse discrimination.
And you should do it because it is the best action for your future progeny and the future of the planet.

Notebook Entry, April 6th, 2008

There was a small article in the hard copy of the Rocky Mountain News on Satuday 4/5/2008 on page 23.  There was no byline nor news agency credit, so I am going to print the whole article and then make a comment.

“Sexual Images Trigger Men To Gamble Big.

WASHINGTON – A new brain-scan study may help explain what’s going on in the minds of financial titans when they take risky monetary gambles – sex.

When young men were shown erotic pictures, they were more likely to make a larger financial gamble than if they were shown a picture of something scary, such as a snake, or something neutral, such as a staple, university researchers reported.

The arousing pictures lit up the same part of the brain that lights up when financial risks are taken.

“You have a need in an evolutionary sense for both money and women.  They trigger the same brain area,” said Camelia Kuhnen, a Northwestern University finance professor who conducted the study with Stanford University psychologist.

The research appears in the current edition of the peer-reviewed journal Neuro-Report.”

Since women were on the scene for a much longer time before money was ever printed, than we can logically assume that when men think about women in sexual manner in 2008, then they immediately know that they have to run out and become the top dog and bring home the biggest pile of bacon to impress the ladies.  No pile of stuff – No nookie. Simple and to the point.

But, of course, my inquiring mind wants to know what other activities women are thinking about when the same area of the brain is lit up when they think of sexy men?  Vacuuming the living room?  Changing diapers?  Shopping for shoes?

Sorry, ladies, I couldn’t resist the joke. I'm sure that it is "what is best for my children?"