Melt The Guns

Austin L. Ray came up to me the other day and said, “Hello, Andisheh Nouraee, how you would you fix Atlanta?”

“Hello, Austin L. Ray, publisher of the How I’d Fix Atlanta essay series, thank you for asking me that question,” I said. “How I’d Fix Atlanta, Austin, is I’d melt the guns.”

Says me:

“[W]hile Georgia Republicans have spent the last 20 years or so making it perfectly legal for nearly any idiot to take a gun nearly everywhere, there’s still one office that Republicans won’t let people bring their guns into—their very own. Guns are banned at the state Capitol. And honestly, that seems sensible to me. After all, someone might get shot.”

Read Melt The Guns, my newest contribution to the How I’d Fix Atlanta essay series.

And subscribe (free!) to How I’d Fix Atlanta to have each new essay delivered to your inbox.

Was the U.S. invasion of Iraq ever popular?

I remember the country turning against the war, but did the country ever really support the war?

Democrats won control of Congress in 2006, in part because the catastrophic War On Terror™ turned voters against Bush and Republicans. At least that’s how I remember it.

This morning I read a newspaper column I wrote in November 2002 (13 months after the Afghanistan invasion, 5 months before the Iraq invasion). It was about public opinion polling and whether the then-pending invasion of Iraq actually had the support of the public.

Was the Iraq war ever popular with the American public? It depended on how pollsters asked the question. Me in 2002:

To witness first-hand how small wording changes can alter answers, try asking these two questions next you’re at a bar. Question : Do you enjoy having sex? Question : Do you enjoy having sex with me?”

I then share bits of a Pew Research Center poll from October 2002 showing that a majority of Americans favored the invasion in general, but a majority disapproved of an invasion if there were significant U.S. casualties or we proceeded without support from allies.

Put another way, the public approved of the hypothetical best-case scenario (an internationally supported invasion with few casualties) that was sold to them by Bush and credulous journalists, but the public disapproved of a go-it-alone invasion that killed and injured huge numbers of people, which is what countless people who were actually paying attention (ex. me!) warned was about to happen.

Americans didn’t really support what the war was going to be. They only supported the fantasy version. 

Speaking of fantasies, check out how much a 3-bedroom house with a yard cost in East Atlanta in 2002. From the classifieds of the same November 2002 issue of Creative Loafing:

My column from that week, if you’re curious.

Atlanta’s Best Season

Autumn gets the glory and the cinnamon and nutmeg-flavored coffee drinks, but Atlanta’s best season is late winter. The mornings are cold, the afternoons are warm, the trees are naked.


I was recently interviewed by WebMD about one of my hobbies.

Nouraee, who lives in a suburb of Atlanta, made some changes that typically lead to better sleep – not eating close to bedtime, drinking less alcohol, and decreasing evening screen time. He also cut down on caffeine, switching from black to decaffeinated tea. And he sets his watch to vibrate 15 minutes before bedtime as a reminder to start winding down.

“I’ve absolutely changed my behavior. It worked,” he said. He now gets deeper sleep.

Everybody’s good at something. Turns out I’m very good at lying still in my bed for eight hours at a time.

Read more about how sleep technologies can help you get a better rest on WebMD.