Please see the update at the end of the post.
I don’t pay much attention when President Obama talks about jobs. He lost credibility on this issue long ago, certainly by November 2009, less than a year into his first term in office, when he said, “We all know there are limits to what government can and should do even during such difficult times.” I’ve never forgiven him for those words, but they told me all I needed to know about what he was going to actually do about unemployment. Read more
It’s the little things, really, that I find hardest about being vegan.
I’m spending the night in a motel in San Bruno, close to the San Francisco airport. It’s been a few months since I last traveled. Read more
The recent controversy in San Francisco over buses run by high technology firms between the city and Silicon Valley offices evokes a paradox. On the one side, I completely understand the concerns about rising rents and evictions.
The technology industry’s newest wealth is swallowing up the San Francisco Peninsula. If Silicon Valley remains the center of engineering breakthroughs, San Francisco has become a magnet for hundreds of software start-ups, many of them in the South of Market area, where Twitter has its headquarters. (Half the start-ups seem to have been founded by Facebook alumni.) A lot of younger employees of Silicon Valley companies live in the city and commute to work in white, Wi-Fi-equipped company buses, which collect passengers at fifteen or so stops around San Francisco. The buses—whose schedules are withheld from the public—have become a vivid emblem of the tech boom’s stratifying effect in the Bay Area. Rebecca Solnit, who has lived in San Francisco for thirty years, recently wrote in The London Review of Books, “Sometimes the Google Bus just seems like one face of Janus-headed capitalism; it contains the people too valuable even to use public transport or drive themselves. Right by the Google bus stop on Cesar Chavez Street immigrant men from Latin America stand waiting for employers in the building trade to scoop them up, or to be arrested and deported by the government.” Some of the city’s hottest restaurants are popping up in the neighborhoods with shuttle stops. Rents there are rising even faster than elsewhere in San Francisco, and in some cases they have doubled in the past year.
Someone on Facebook started a Vegan Singles group last June, and its growth seems to be accelerating. At this writing, there are 753 members. Read more
“It’s really OK,” Mary Willingham, a researcher at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told CNN, “because I’m telling the truth.” This brave—or perhaps foolhardy—statement comes in response to death threats and a university disavowal of her findings that some NCAA athletes there read at a level well below that expected for college students. Read more
So, it’s an election year. I think I’m going to find this one more annoying than most.
It has previously been noted that President Obama says different things during an election year than at other times, when he’s busy cozying up with the corporate elite. And that the left has generally done little to hold him to account, and that on those rare occasions when someone does hold him to account, the reaction from Team Obama will be patronizing and condescending. This is not a nice man. And we’ve now, on the national stage, been through the 2008, 2010, and 2012 elections with him. We should have already figured out who he is as we go into the 2014 elections. Read more
When Edward Snowden’s leaked material began appearing in June 2013, people in the U.S. were very quickly inclined to view Snowden as a hero, rather than as a traitor. And one might think that a reason to enable presidents to pardon people suspected or convicted of criminal conduct is to temper a judicial process driven much more by law than by justice. Accordingly, both the New York Times and the Guardian, which have run a number of stories based on the leaks, have called for just that: a presidential pardon. Read more