Ethnic Turkmen unrest in Iran and Iraq

I thought I was on to something – You almost never hear about ethnic Turkmens anywhere, but we’re heard about them twice in the last couple of weeks. First, Ethnic Turkmen Revolt in Baluchistan and Kurdistan in Iran. And now Iraqi Turkmens are asking for protection. I thought something was up.

However, my friend David Hunsicker, who knows everything there is to know about the Muslim world, tells me that Iranian Turkmens and Iraqi Turkmens are not actually the same ethnic group, and therefore the two news reports are most likely not related.

Mideast fertility rates plunge

EDITORIAL: Mideast fertility rates plunge –

So, lower fertility rates in the Middle East are a good thing. I think. This is embarrassing for a public health person to admit, but I’ve never really understood optimal fertility rates. It seems very strange to me that human society is a giant pyramid scheme, dependent on constant expansion, but that’s what most demographers seem to be implying when they talk about Russia or Japan. It seems to me that this Middle East decrease is a good thing, that it will help scarce resources go farther, but what do I know?