Income inequality between spouses – and erectile dysfunction

If that headline doesn’t grab your attention, new research…on the “Psychological and Sexual Costs of Income Comparison in Marriage” should.

The study, by Lamar Pierce, PhD, professor of strategy at Olin, and colleagues in Denmark, shows that men married to women with higher incomes are more likely to use erectile dysfunction medication than their male breadwinner counterparts…

The researchers looking at more than 200,000 married couples in Denmark from 1997 to 2006 also found that wives who outearned their husbands were more likely to suffer from insomnia and to use anti-anxiety medication.

They did not find these effects for unmarried couples or for men earning less than their wives prior to marriage.

In Sickness and in Wealth: Psychological and Sexual Costs of Income Comparison in Marriage,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Lamar Pierce et al., published online February 3, 2013.

The link at the beginning of the last paragraph gets you to a fairly readable online document. The .pdf of the article is $25. Here’s that link. I don’t have a university budget.

Swaziland government urged to increase witch-doctor tax


A Swazi Member of Parliament has urged the government to hike taxes on traditional healers and soothsayers to help solve a funding crisis in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

The mediums, known as sangomas in the landlocked southern African nation, pay an annual $1.15 license fee, but MP Majahodvwa Khumalo said they had jacked up their fees fourfold in the last few years and should pay more…

Swaziland’s budget deficit ballooned to 15 percent of its annual economic output in 2010 but the government managed to keep itself afloat by running through central bank reserves and delaying payment of wages to civil servants.

The International Monetary Fund declined to launch a bailout because of reluctance by King Mswati III, who has at least a dozen wives and a personal fortune estimated at $200 million, to cut royal or military spending.

Well, they asked him to do twice as much as would satisfy most Americans. We don’t have any royals to get rid of.

Excepting the ones in Congress, that is.

Sister Wives family ready to challenge Utah polygamy laws

The family featured on the U.S. reality TV series “Sister Wives,” about an advertising executive and four women he calls spouses, is challenging the government’s right to criminalize its lifestyle, the family’s lawyer said.

The family…will challenge Utah’s bigamy statute. It is not trying to get the government to recognize plural marriage, just to stay out of the intimate affairs of consenting adults.

“We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs,” family attorney Jonathan Turley said in a statement.

“Sister Wives”, which has just concluded its second season, premiered in the U.S. on cable television in September, earning strong ratings while also drawing the attention of authorities in the Utah town of Lehi, south of Salt Lake city, where the family shared a large house.

The show documents the world of Kody Brown, then 41, and the four women he lives with — Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn — along with their children, as they seek to fit in with mainstream society while maintaining their religious beliefs in plural marriage.

Brown is legally married to just one of the women, but counts the three others as “sister wives,” a term in polygamous sects that refers to a husband’s multiple marital partners…

Utah law enforcement officials conducted an investigation into the family but no charges have been filed, and their lawyer has previously praised prosecutors for their “commendable discretion and judgment” in the case…

Plural marriage, an early tenant of the Mormon faith and once common in Utah, was renounced by the church more than 150 years ago and outlawed, as it already was in the rest of the country, as Utah was seeking statehood.

Opposing states’ rights to prosecute people for their private relations, demanding equal treatment with other ordinary citizens is something that should be defended by any libertarian, democrat, old-fashioned Christian alike.

All this crap derives from politicians who hope to profit from choosing issues popular with organized [profitable] religions, held as somehow sacred to belief systems roughly akin to the Inquisition – the clown army ready to jail anyone on the spot who actually cares enough to fight to be free from paternalist supervision.

Husband beaten by wives over plans for number five

Runaway! Runaway!

A polygamist Pakistani man has suffered the shame of a public beating by two of his wives, who claimed he was planning to marry in secret for a fifth time.

Mian Ishaq had to be saved by police officers who hauled his two angry wives away from a friend’s wedding reception he was attending with his third wife in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Afterwards he told reporters that he had only three wives, and rumours that he had a fourth wife and plans for a fifth were not true.

“This is a blatant lie. I am willing to swear on my life that I only have three wives,” he told reporters…

Witnesses said his two disgruntled partners arrived with relatives at the wedding reception in Gujranwala on Monday, overturning tables and shouting death threats before they started attacking their husband with shoes.

The shoe attack still works pretty well in South Asia.

Rabbis’ wives call on Jews not to date Arabs


An Israeli group of prominent rabbis’ wives has urged Jewish girls not to date or work with Arabs, underscoring the rising power of the religious Right and fuelling fears of growing racism in the country.

A letter, signed by 27 wives, called on Jewish girls not to go out with Arabs, work with them or perform national service in places where Arabs are employed…

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the head of Israel’s Reform branch of Judaism, condemned the letter. “Israeli society is falling into a deep, dark pit of racism and xenophobia,” he warned.

Among the women who signed the letter were the wives and daughters of senior rabbis, including the daughter of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, a member of Israel’s coalition government.

The letter was distributed by a group called Lehava (Flames), an organisation influenced by the ideology of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was elected to Israel’s Knesset parliament in 1984 before his Kach party was outlawed as racist…

The incident is the latest in a series of anti-Arab initiatives by Israel’s religious Right. Earlier this month there was outrage after dozens of municipal rabbis signed a petition urging Jews not to rent or sell homes to non-Jews. The petition was widely condemned, including by Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister. But a poll published this week found that 44 per cent of Israeli Jews supported the rabbis’ call, while 48 per cent were opposed.

Racism and bigotry is always a useful adjunct to fascism. The Israeli government has learned well.

NSA spies on Americans’ intimate conversations

Congress is looking into allegations that National Security Agency linguists have been eavesdropping on Americans abroad. Government linguists say the U.S. eavesdropped on Americans, including military officers serving in Iraq.

The congressional oversight committees said Thursday that the Americans targeted included military officers in Iraq who called friends and family in the United States.

The allegations were made by two former military intercept operators on a television news report.

Adrienne Kinne, a former U.S. Army Reserves Arab linguist, told ABC News the NSA was listening to the phone calls of U.S. military officers, journalists and aid workers overseas who were talking about “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”

David Murfee Faulk, a former U.S. Navy Arab linguist, said in the news report that he and his colleagues were listening to the conversations of military officers in Iraq who were talking with their spouses or girlfriends in the United States.

According to Faulk, they would often share the contents of some of the more salacious calls stored on their computers, listening to what he called “phone sex” and “pillow talk.”

Relying on Congressional oversight is worse than letting the fox guard the henhouse. The fox has a vested interest in eating the hens. Congress only cares about lining their pockets and exercising enough political power to tickle their testosterone.

They will “question” the crooks and parrot their answers.