Body counts in Iraq

According to this Washington Post article, when the US Military reported last month that things were going swimmingly, they weren't quite right.  Rather than a reduction of Iraqi civilian casualties, the numbers from the morgue suggest that Baghdad more insecure and dangerous than ever.  The rub:

The morgue expansion plans and the final body count for August show the
dramatic surge in violence in Baghdad since U.S.-led foreign troops
entered Iraq in 2003. Baghdad's morgue chiefly handles unidentified
gunshot victims, now predominantly shot execution-style and often found
with hands bound and showing signs of torture.

Not only are deaths up, nasty execution-style deaths are up.  Unless you are in the green zone, Baghdad is not a place you want to be.  At least it is safe for democracy!

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Short people got no reason to live

Okay, maybe not quite “no reason” but apparently not only do tall people earn more than short people (as has been long known), but the reason seems to be that tall people are smarter.  The executive summary:

With detailed data from the United Kingdom, they followed two groups of
kids, one born in 1958 and the other in 1970, through to adulthood.
Every few years, the government collected information about height,
weight, intelligence, educational experience, and, during adulthood,
pay. Based on these data, Case and Paxton document once again that
taller people earn more. Then they note that from an early age, height
is related to intelligence. Even at age 5, a variety of intelligence
measures?based on conceptual maturity, visual-motor coordination, and
vocabulary?are higher on average for taller kids.

In fact, it appears that tall people are disproportionately represented in professions that place a premium on intelligence.  Though I have seen more than my fair share of short political science professors.  Hmmmm.

The author of the Slate article concludes:

Higher intelligence resolves the puzzle of higher pay for the tall but
begs the question of why height and intelligence are related in the
first place. It is possible that early childhood care, including
prenatal care, can increase both height and cognitive ability. But
maybe the Fates just have it in for short people.

Maybe so, but I cannot help but think that outright discrimination still must account for some of the differential success of taller people.  I seem to recall a 20/20 years ago where they sent in job candidates with equivalent resumes and equivalent physical attractiveness, but who were quite different in height.  I don't think I need to tell you the results.  Either way, I'm just glad I'm six feet.

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