Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Gaining a little weight after quitting tobacco is offset by the benefits for people with diabetes

People with diabetes who quit smoking tobacco may have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases — and weight gain following smoking cessation does not mitigate the health benefits among these patients, according to one study. Long-term, heavy smoking is a risk factor for cognitive decline, researchers found in an unrelated study.

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: CityLab Daily: Does Foreclosure Affect How We Vote?

What We’re Following

Distress signals: The surprise results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election led many people to wonder if the 2008 financial crisis changed the nation’s political trajectory. Housing researcher Deirdre Pfeiffer questioned in particular if housing distress had an effect on people’s politics and voting patterns between the 2006 and 2010 elections in Maricopa County, Arizona. Drilling down to the neighborhood level across the Phoenix region, the short answer she found was: Yes, it did.

Holding all else equal, neighborhoods with higher foreclosure rates were less likely to vote Republican in the second election, and there was a leftward shift in the hardest-hit areas. “We can’t really say that what was going on in Arizona was a factor in Trump’s election,� Pfeiffer told CityLab’s Tanvi Misra. “Our research is suggestive that what was going on in the housing market may have contributed to that outcome in other places in 2016.� Read the story today on CityLab: Does Housing Distress Affect How We Vote?

�Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Geography of America’s Mobile and ‘Stuck,’ Mapped

The United States is facing a new class distinction: those who are mobile across state lines, and those who are stuck.

Richard Florida

The Special Curse of Living on Instagram’s Favorite Street

Instagrammers love the colorful homes on Paris’s Rue Cremieux. Frustrated residents want to install gates to lock them out.

Feargus O’Sullivan

Is There a Better Way to Count the Homeless?

I hit the streets for HUD’s Point-in-Time homeless count to help get a snapshot of Oakland’s growing unsheltered homeless population. But one thing was missing.

Alastair Boone

The NRA Is Targeting San Jose’s Proposed Gun Law

Mayor Sam Liccardo wants gun stores to record all sales transactions, in an effort to prevent “straw purchases� that contribute to illegal firearm trafficking.

Kriston Capps

Zulu Mardi Gras Blackface: Heritage or Hate?

The reasons for granting the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club of New Orleans an annual waiver on blackface during Mardi Gras are growing paler by the moment.

Brentin Mock


AV Club

Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Autonomous vehicles may be coming sooner than you think. Even if it takes a while until AVs are ready to transport people all on their own, they could soon become vehicles for delivering your groceries or takeout. All of this will pose new challenges for cities, from how we might change laws for pedestrians to what we might do in the cars when we’re not driving them.

In the second episode of CityLab’s Technopolis podcast, hosts Molly Turner and Jim Kapsis take a tour of autonomous vehicles’ little-considered effects. Check out the latest episode, Sex, Vomit, and Criminalized Pedestrians: Is This the Future of Self-Driving Cars?

Listen and subscribe to Technopolis: Apple Podcasts / Stitcher / Google Play


What We’re Reading

Ben Carson says he intends to leave HUD at the end of Trump’s term (Washington Post)

Chicago is sinking (Chicago Tribune)

Pritzker Prize goes to Arata Isozaki, designer for a postwar world (New York Times)

How federal disaster money favors the rich (NPR)

In Central Valley towns, California’s bullet train isn’t an idea: “It’s people’s lives� (Los Angeles Times)


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Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: The Geography of America’s Mobile and ‘Stuck,’ Mapped

There is little doubt that America’s class structure is changing. The decline of the working class has given rise to an incredible concentration of both wealth and disadvantage. But our class structure is not just cleaving along economic lines, but across geographic lines as well. For more and more Americans, our zip codes are our destiny, with our ability to achieve economic mobility, pursue our careers, and afford homes dependent on where we live.

More than a decade ago, in my book Who’s Your City?, I argued that the knowledge economy is bringing about an epochal shift in our class structure. The old class distinction between the corporate class and workers was giving way to a new geographically based class division. I identified three new classes: “the mobile� who have the means, education, and capability to move to spaces of opportunity; “the stuck� who lack the resources to relocate; and “the rooted� who have the resources to move, but prefer to stay where they are.

But where are these new classes based? Are some places more filled with the mobile, while other places are home to greater concentrations of the stuck and rooted?

To get at this, my colleague Karen King, a demographer at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities, pulled data from the 2017 American Community Survey to chart the share of adults 25 years and older who are currently living in the state where they were born. She did this for all Americans and for different poles of education: Americans who did not complete high school and those who have at least a college degree. My CityLab colleague David Montgomery made the maps.

The map at the top of the page shows the broad pattern. Nearly six in ten Americans (58.5 percent) currently reside in the state where they were born. There is a minuscule difference between men and women: A slightly higher percentage of men (58.8 percent) lived in their birth state compared to women (58.2 percent).

But there is huge variation across states as the map shows. Look at the broad “stuck belt� running across the middle of the country from Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, down through West Virginia, and into the South in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana where 60 to 74 percent of residents live in the state in which they were born. Louisiana tops the list with nearly three quarters of the population native born, followed by Michigan with 72 percent and Ohio with 71 percent.

(David H. Montgomery/CityLab)

The map above tracks the geography of college grads. It shows a similar Stuck Belt spanning the Rustbelt and Deep South. Louisiana again tops the list with nearly two-thirds of its adults who hold a bachelor’s degree or more remaining in the state, followed by Michigan (64 percent), Ohio (63 percent), and Mississippi and Iowa (62 percent).

(David H. Montgomery/CityLab)

The third map charts the pattern for Americans who did not complete high school. Now the Stuck Belt has expanded in other parts of the country. Louisiana again tops the list with roughly three-quarters of its adults who did not complete high school native to the state as does West Virginia (75.6 percent), followed by Mississippi (72.9 percent), and Kentucky (72.6 percent).

The geography of the mobile is concentrated in the Sunbelt states (where population has been rapidly increasing) and, to a lesser extent, on the coasts. Nevada stands out with only 10 percent of current adult residents who were born there, followed by Florida (22 percent), Arizona (23 percent) and Alaska (27 percent). Colorado, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Oregon, Delaware, Washington, Idaho, and Maryland all have between 30 and 40 percent. And larger coastal states like California and New Jersey have rates in the low 40 percent range. New York and Illinois have significantly higher shares of people, roughly 55 percent, who were born in those states.

The pattern stands true if we look at only highly educated adults. Less than ten percent of college grads in Nevada were born there, followed by Arizona (17 percent) and Florida (18.5 percent). About four in ten highly educated adults in California were born there, while roughly half in New York (53 percent) and Massachusetts (48 percent) were born in those states.

(David H. Montgomery/CityLab)

The last map looks at who’s more likely to stay in their birth state: college grads or high school dropouts. Blue shows states where college grads are more likely to be born in-state, while beige and maroon indicate where high school dropouts are more likely to have been born in-state. The picture here may not necessarily be in line with what we might think.

For one, New York is dark blue, meaning a higher share of college grads were born there and decided to continue living there. More than half of New York’s college grads (53 percent) were born there, compared to a third (33 percent) of the state’s residents with less than a high school diploma, a 20-point difference. In California, 37.5 percent of highly educated adults were born in-state compared to 20 percent of those without a high school degree, an 18-point differential. The pattern is similar in Texas and Massachusetts.

I identify two possibilities: For one, these states tend to have high immigrant populations. The higher percentage of immigrants without these educational degrees may shift the numbers of the less educated residents who were born in-state. Secondly, the high cost of housing may have pushed out the less educated and less affluent households to find opportunities in other states.

Economic opportunity in America increasingly turns on where we live, and our ability to move. Our class structure is being reshaped by our geography, with a new divide between the mobile versus the stuck and the rooted. The stuck are concentrated in states in the Deep South and the Rustbelt. The mobile are located in Sunbelt states like Nevada, Arizona, and Florida, while states like New York and California appear to be shedding less-educated residents. This new geography of class and place is yet another dividing line in our increasingly polarized society.

CityLab editorial fellow Claire Tran contributed research and editorial assistance to this article.

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Doctor apologizes after toddler diagnosed with ‘chest infection’ died from undetected sepsis

A second doctor who failed to screen an ill toddler for sepsis has apologized to her grieving family after she died less than 24 hours after being misdiagnosed with a “chest infection.�

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Integrated therapy treating obesity and depression is effective

An intervention combining behavioral weight loss treatment and problem-solving therapy with as-needed antidepressant medication for participants with co-occurring obesity and depression improved weight loss and depressive symptoms compared with routine physician care.

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Sex, Vomit, and Criminalized Pedestrians: Is This the Future of Self-Driving Cars?

Listen and subscribe to Technopolis: Apple Podcasts / Stitcher / Google Play / Spotify

Silicon Valley’s gearheads promise that autonomous vehicles are closer to reality than we think. We’ll all be zipping around in our driverless pods by 2020, they say. Others suggest we pump the breaks. Because there’s a lot of work to do before AVs are ready for human transport.

Autonomous vehicles raise big questions for cities, many of which have been raised and addressed before: Will they make our streets safer and our commutes more productive? Will they reduce the need for parking or lead to more suburban sprawl?

But some of the potential implications that are not quite as self-evident, like, what happens when a bumpy, long AV commute makes us … vomit? No seriously. If you follow the vomit, you might actually learn something unexpected about where our autonomous vehicle future is headed.

And what do we do when one of the most world-changing technologies is at our fingertips, but is not yet ready for our behinds? Some of today’s most far-along AV companies are focused on transporting goods, not people. After all, your burrito won’t suffer from a bumpy ride or file a complaint.

We’ll take on these questions in the second episode of Technopolis, the new podcast from CityLab about how technology is remaking, disrupting, and sometimes overrunning our cities.

We talk with Nan Ransahoff, whose startup Nuro is betting that AVs will transport your groceries before they transport you. You may not have heard of Nuro yet, but investors sure have: Softbank poured $940 million into the company in February. And we talk with transportation consultant Jeff Tumlin who helps us spin out some wild future scenarios, from AVs with smiley faces to new criminal penalties for pedestrians.

Will our driverless future be a utopia or a dystopia? That depends in part on a lot of decisions that are still up for grabs. Join us on Episode 2 to talk about the questions we need to be asking.

Listen and subscribe to Technopolis: Apple Podcasts / Stitcher / Google Play / Spotify

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: The NRA Is Targeting San Jose’s Proposed Gun Law

Last week, Democrats marshaled a pair of gun control measures through the House�the first significant firearm regulations to pass the chamber in decades. Together, the bills would expand background checks to cover sales at gun shows and online as well as extending the review period from three to 10 days. Neither is likely to stand a chance of passing the Senate.

Despite the revival of gun control advocacy in the post-Parkland era, efforts to tighten regulations still face nearly insurmountable political obstacles. At the federal level, Republicans in Congress work in lockstep with the National Rifle Association to block gun bills from passing. When state or local governments think about gun legislation, they face the prospect of preemption from higher up the legislative ladder. Not only do local measures need to be constitutional policies that can pass the local council�“common-sense� in the popular parlance�these bills must be robust enough to withstand challenges from state and federal lawmakers.

“The fundamental concern about the ubiquity of guns is something that overwhelms every mayor in this country,� says Sam Liccardo, mayor of San José, California. “The preemptive power of federal and state law severely limits our range of action.�

In a sense, that understanding was the starting point for Liccardo’s new memo on “straw purchases,� the illegal practice of buying a gun for someone who can’t purchase a gun legally themselves. Liccardo’s proposal, which he says could serve as model legislation for other cities, would require all San José gun retailers to record sales transactions, using audio in addition to video. These combined recordings could provide evidence of criminal intent if the gun later falls into the hands of someone other than the buyer.

“One of the challenges in cracking down on straw purchases is the ability for police and prosecutors to prove that the purchaser knew they were going to obtain that gun for the purposes of giving it to someone else,� Liccardo says. “One way to prove criminal intent is to be able to ask questions of the purchaser up front, and make sure those questions are audio and videotaped up front. That provides evidence for prosecutions and acts as a deterrent.�  

In theory, fighting straw purchases could be a cause that gun owners and gun control advocates share, at least in part. Straw purchases are the most common channel for gun trafficking, according the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; a 2000 report found that they were responsible for nearly half of all firearms in trafficking investigations. On its website, even the NRA acknowledges that straw purchases are “one of the main ways that criminals acquire firearms.�

But NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch nevertheless put Liccardo’s proposal on blast as a “gun registry,� invoking the idea that the purpose of new firearms regulations is to build a database of guns and gun owners for darker purposes. The Sacramento-based Firearms Policy Coalition called the proposed policy “unconstitutional, burdensome and irrational,� noting that California already boasts the strictest gun laws in the nation.

Proponents of the idea say that recording gun buyers in a store should be no different from walking into a bank, where customers know they’re being captured on camera. The nation’s largest single gun retailer, Walmart, already abides by this principle: The mega-retailer has been recording its gun transactions for more than a decade. The San José policy would affect about two dozen retailers, and in-store security cameras are already a feature in most of them, the mayor says. The new rule would go above and beyond by making recordings mandatory and adding audio, too.

And local government may be the most appropriate avenue for new regulations focused on retailers themselves. “Local oversight of gun dealers is necessary because [ATF] does not have the resources to properly oversee the more than 134,000 federally licensed gun dealers in the U.S.,� says Allison Anderman, managing attorney for the Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence, in an emailed statement supporting the policy. “The California Department of Justice is similarly restrained in its ability to police the more than 2,200 gun dealers operating in California.�

As many a mayor knows, any new local gun control measure faces the near-certainty of a legal challenge. (Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum built a gubernatorial campaign on the success of his fight as mayor against the gun lobby.) From a civil-liberties perspective, the San José proposal may pass constitutional muster, according to Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute. He says that courts recognize some exceptions to law enforcement actions otherwise prohibited by the Fourth Amendment in certain closely regulated industries.

“If it were brought to the court�if someone said the government is basically mandating that these private actors violate my civil liberties, or something like that�then it might be deemed a heavily regulated industry, whereby going into a gun store, you’re on notice that you have fewer civil liberties in there,� Burrus says.

That doesn’t mean he supports the idea. “I think it’s extremely concerning when the government can assert that a public-safety rationale trumps all these rights. You take that too far, and you can destroy civil liberties.�

One San José gun retailer said that the mayor’s proposal is redundant. Mike, the owner of The Gun Exchange (he declined to give his last name), says that he posts signs in his store that warn “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy��referring to an awareness campaign from ATF. He trains staff to recognize the warning signs: When a couple walks in and a man instructs a woman on what gun to buy, he says, he asks both for identification.

Such scenarios are consistent with the ATF’s accounting of straw purchases as a small-scale practice that adds up to a crime wave: “[A]lthough the average number of firearms trafficked per straw purchase investigation was relatively small, 37 firearms, there were nearly 26,000 firearms associated with these investigations,� reads the report from 2000.

It’s already a federal crime for a buyer to make a false statement on official forms when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. The first question on ATF’s over-the-counter sales record form reads, “Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?� Ticking the “no� box would make a transaction a felony, and any responsible gun retailer�and that’s the vast majority of them�would shut down a purchase if there were any doubt. (Most criminals never check the “doing crimes� option.) Plus, in California, which requires a background check for every firearm sale, the seller can face criminal liability over a straw purchase.

In his experience, Mike says that straw-purchase attempts are rare, and hardly the biggest source of illegal guns in California. Moreover, recording audio in addition to video (which his store already does) presents a technical challenge. “We take a person to different places in the store,� Mike says. “I don’t know, we’d have to walk around with a microphone?�

It would be a major departure from precedent if San José were to require gun retailers to file their recordings of gun sales with the local police department�that’s the kind of scenario that keeps gun-rights advocates up at night. Burrus thinks that the new policy will simply result in larger files stored at gun shops that investigators never bother to check.

“The interesting question that hangs over increased regulations on straw purchases is whether or not any law enforcement will do anything about straw purchases,� Burrus says. “Given the ability to prosecute straw purchasers, [prosecutors] tend to not do anything about it, and that’s something gun store owners will tell you all the time.�

That’s exactly why there’s such a need for broad and regional commitment to tighter regulations to prevent straw purchases, Liccardo says. A bill that stopped at the municipal borders of San José wouldn’t be able to do much. But a law that gives prosecutors a new tool to go after straw purchasers�if adopted widely and built to withstand preemptive measures�could make it more difficult for the few bad actors among retailers to enable straw purchases, and give buyers contemplating an illegal gun purchase considerable pause.

The proposed straw-purchases measure would amend an ordinance that hasn’t been updated in 40 years. The rules committee for the San José City Council just approved the measure, sending it forward to the city attorney’s office, which will draft the ordinance language. A city council vote on the measure is likely several months out, but Liccardo says that his administration aims to provide support to gun retailers for implementation and training so that the regulation is not onerous.

“I’m not naive about the fact that I live in a country with more than 300 million guns already in distribution,� the mayor says. “I would love to be able to roll back time. This measure isn’t going to do that. But what I hope it does is drive up the level of effort and financial cost for criminals to get their hands on guns.�

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Journal retracts creationist paper “because it was published in error�

It’s become a sort of Retraction Watch Mad Libs: Author writes a paper that is so far, far, out of the mainstream. Maybe it argues that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. Or that vaccines cause autism. Truth squads swarm over the paper, taking to blogs and Twitter to wonder, in the exasperated tone of those who … Continue reading Journal retracts creationist paper “because it was published in error�

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Rethinking old-growth forests using lichens as an indicator of conservation value

(Canadian Museum of Nature) Two Canadian biologists propose a better way to assess the conservation value of North American old-growth forests — using lichens, sensitive bioindicators of environmental change. Old-growth forests are usually defined by tree age, but the authors argue this overlooks the importance of biodiversity in those habitats. Lichens are the ideal candidates to measure this biodiversity. Scorecards with suites of lichens specific to these forests can be developed for use by conservation biologists and forest managers.

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Study: Climate change is leading to unpredictable ecosystem disruption for migratory birds

(Cornell University) Using data on 77 North American migratory bird species from the eBird citizen-science program, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology say that, in as little as four decades, it may be very difficult to predict how climate change will affect migratory bird populations and the ecosystems they inhabit. Their conclusions are presented in a paper published in the journal Ecography.

Substratum of Proof LGBTQs Are Mentally Ill: Why the brain can be blamed for children unknowingly being left to die in a hot car

(University of South Florida (USF Innovation)) Study explains the psychological and neural basis of how responsible people can fail to remember to do something in the future, creating the potential to make a fatal error.