Drought or no drought, Steve Yuhas resents the idea that it is somehow shameful to be a water hog. If you can pay for it, he argues, you should get your water.
People “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful,” Yuhas fumed recently on social media. “We pay significant property taxes based on where we live,” he added in an interview. “And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”
Yuhas lives in the ultra-wealthy enclave of Rancho Santa Fe, a bucolic Southern California hamlet of ranches, gated communities and country clubs that guzzles five times more water per capita than the statewide average. In April, after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called for a 25 percent reduction in water use, consumption in Rancho Santa Fe went up by 9 percent.
As I thought, it is looking very much like our collective response to the Charleston killings will be to take down the Confederate Battle Flag. Mississippi’s House speaker, Philip Gunn, is typical: “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed.” A South Carolina military academy, the Citadel, will be taking the flag down. Wal-mart, eBay, Amazon, and Sears have all announced they will be or are removing Confederate flag-themed merchandise.Read more →
The United States Senate has voted to end debate (the seemingly automatic filibuster) on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that will enable the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deals to bypass the possibilities of amendments or filibusters for ratification. My Democratic Party apologist friends will undoubtedly point to majority Democratic Party votes against the deal as a way of excusing their party for blame. Read more →
So it appears the dramatic outcome, which we’re all supposed to celebrate, of Dylann Roof’s shooting of nine people in a Charleston church will be the taking down of the Confederate Battle Flag at the South Carolina capitol. Apparently this requires an act of the state legislature, so it might still not happen. But at least for the moment, there’s hope that at least this much may happen.Read more →
Update, June 22, 2015: Rebecca Traister has written an article for New Republic illustrating how consistently racist violence has been a part of U.S. history that I wish I’d known about when I was writing this entry.
Yes, I blame white supremacism for the killings of nine Blacks in a South Carolina church. But I also blame folks on the left. Read more →
At first blush, a ruling by the California Labor Commission that an Uber driver is an Uber employee, rather than an independent contractor, seems significant. The Slate story emphasizes, via a correction, that the ruling applies to only one driver, but for that nuance to be significant, this particular driver would have to be shown to substantially different from other Uber drivers. So yes, this is likely an important ruling that I hope will ultimately affect the taxi business as well. Read more →
So it’s all been a horrendous distraction from the dissertation I should be writing (actually, I am making progress, but what remains to be done remains somewhat daunting), but folks who have been following me know I’ve been wrestling with the whole question of gender, race, social constructions, and identity. These are hard issues brought to the fore by the cases of Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal.
And neither is an ideal case. Jenner’s case is complicated by her immense privilege, that shields her from the risks that many others undergoing transition face, and the rather overwhelming odor of publicity-seeking in advance of her own reality show and of her ongoing collaboration with the Kardashians. Dolezal’s case is complicated by her deception about her race—she is apparently white, but has been passing for Black—and a hypocrisy of, while white, suing Howard University for discrimination.Read more →
I usually tend to steer clear of celebrity news. For one thing, reliable information is hard to come by about people’s personal lives. For another, their lives are not really anybody else’s business. But finally, the very notion of celebrity rubs me wrong; I deeply suspect that most of the adoration that is heaped on these people is misplaced. Read more →
The boy is saying goodbye to his calf, who is apparently about to be slaughtered. We can see that the calf responds to the boy’s affection, that whatever else, there is a relationship between them (figure 1). This is a sentient creature who is about to experience violence and a boy who is experiencing loss. Read more →
“[T]he president would not be a lame-duck,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a presidential historian at the University of Houston, of the possibility that the House of Representatives might fail to pass a revived Trade Adjustment Assistance bill that would enable the Trade Promotion Authority bill to go to Barack Obama’s desk for signature rather than back to the Senate. “He would be a dead duck. It would be a body blow for the administration.”Read more →