2015 Election Ads
You may or may not know this, but 2015 is shaping up to be a big election year in San Francisco. Yes, it's an off-year. Yes, there are "only" nine propositions on the ballot. Nonetheless, if you believe the rhetoric, this is the year that's going to make it or break it for the city of San Francisco. How do I know all this? It's because I read through all 46 pieces of printed advertising that I've received so far this season.
Serious question about urban planning policy
Skye retweeted an article today which made me realize that I really don't understand something: what do people who are profoundly anti-gentrification want? The argument that I see usually goes like this:
- Rich people are moving into a traditionally mixed neighborhood
- The big spike in demand drastically drives up rent
- "Normal" folk can't afford to live there (usually "normal" is defined as "poor and racially diverse", sometimes it's instead defined as "people who've lived here longer than these whippersnappers")
- This is bad
I generally agree that a lack of diversity is bad but, uh, what's would society do instead?
BART strike remarks
This post is primarily a response to the article on the BART Strike
from The Nation that seems to be making the rounds on Facebook,
Twitter, and all of the other blagoblag echo chambers. I've adopted this
post from a Facebook message conversation I had, so it might be a little
strangely-phrased. I apologize for any inaccuracies, I do not speak for
my employer, and all of that necessary prelude.
I found the Nation article on the BART strike this week frustrating and
inaccurate and, because someone is wrong on the Internet, I had to
write a response. The BART strike is one of the more visible bits of
organized labor work in the last few years, and it makes me embarassed
as a stereotypical liberal that those defending to it are doing such a
bad job. If the union is striking for more money, then say that. But
don't misrepresent statistics to justify it. And if the union is
striking for other reasons, then it would be lovely as a Bay Area
resident and news-reader to know exactly what those reasons are. This
well-disseminated article is nothing more than one-sided,
poorly-researched editoralism masquerading as news.
What I Want: The Moonbat List
It's 11:39PM on the eve of the Great Tea Revolt. As I sit here, fresh
off of my 12-hour shift at work, the national media is reporting
headlines like G.O.P. Captures House and "Midterm Train Wreck"; the
Republicans (particularly in their hard-right Tea Party libertarian
wing) are winning this battle. And I thought to myself, "You know what
the world needs? More amateur political commentary!" So here's my
wingnut list, my moonbat list, my
this-will-be-embarrassing-if-I-ever-run-for-office list. Here's what I
wish the country, and the world could do. It's no more achievable than
are the Randian dreams of …
Trust, Government and Health Care
There's currently something going on in Washington that Twitter has
called "912dc" (New York Times story); it's a protest against
not any particular act by government, but against government itself.
More Jeffersonian than anarchistic, though.
This protest bothers me a lot, and I thought that maybe if I wrote down
my ideas as to why, it'd bother me less. There are a few reasons why
people protest what they call "big government":
- They feel that they don't need the services provided. – This
covers a lot of the rich-white-libertarian group and doesn't get a
- They feel that private industry can provide the services better than
- They actually only disagree with some action of the government, but
are protesting the whole thing anyway. — The foreign-born-Obama
and 912dc intersection falls here
- (most rarely) They actually think the government is too big.
I'm sure that there are people at this rally for all of those reasons
(and probably a few that I haven't considered), but there's really one
that bothers me, and it's one that I hear espoused a lot.
On Teaching and Value
A few minutes ago, I was reading an article from my hometown's
newspaper, the Fall River Herald News. It was an article indicating
that half of the schools in Fall River have been classified as "needs
improvement" by the state. I'm not here to talk to you about the article
so much; it was hardly good news, but nothing new for Fall River.
Instead, I'd like to talk about the comments. You see, I was reading
this article online, and the online edition of the Herald has a comments
field. Here are two of the posted comments, reproduced for analysis'
- city gets what it pays for— city gives the least amount of money
to education in the state-and the money they do have they misuse
- Thanks duclos, I knew that was the problem with our schools. We
have to start paying our teachers more in order to get them to
teach! I figure $80,000 to $90,000 a year might get us off the
I think that this represents an interesting divide in the perception of
schools, and one which I've seen a lot, at least anecdotally. So I
thought I'd do some research.