See updates through March 3, 2023, at end of post.
It’s difficult for me to find much sympathy for high technology workers. They typically make six-figure incomes. They drove up already high rents in San Francisco to ludicrous levels and then complained about homeless people, when now, in San Francisco, you are either rich or you are homeless—there is very little in between—and for all their complaints, many continued to live there. Read more →
See updates through January 28, 2023, at end of post.
If, in the over 50 years I lived in and around northern California, you had told me I would ever miss the California Highway Patrol, I would have told you you were nuts, out of your mind, and I don’t even want whatever drugs you’re on. Read more →
Ruth Marcus still wants an answer to Sonia Sotomayor’s question:
“How is your interest anything but a religious view?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked the lawyer for the state of Mississippi during oral arguments in the case [Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] that would later eliminate the constitutional right to abortion. “So when you say this is the only right that takes away from the state the ability to protect a life, that’s a religious view, isn’t it?”
I don’t find Marcus’ op-ed especially well argued. She relies, rather, on cases making their way through the courts arguing that the state abortion bans that Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization enabled infringe on other (than conservative Christian) groups’ religious rights, as if the mere existence of these cases, which have yet to be decided, is sufficient. Read more →
I have heard it said from time to time that politicians fear their own police white supremacist gangs. I’ve always been skeptical. These gangs act principally to protect property, especially the property of the wealthy, including politicians. Try driving a ratty old car across a wealthy neighborhood, for example, and just see how quickly you have a black and white on your tail, ready to pull you over on the slightest pretext. Read more →
Fig. 1. A flag for the would-be state of Jefferson is seen along the Klamath River Highway in California. Photograph by MPSharwood, September 9, 2012, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
There are a lot of secession movements around the United States. I’ve focused on those in California, which fall broadly into three categories: 1) secession from the Union; 2) secession from the state; and 3) breaking California into smaller jurisdictions, but as Colby Galliher and Edison Forman observe in a Brookings Institution article, such movements exist all around the country. A common theme is functional disenfranchisement, which Galliher and Forman fail to properly explain. Read more →
Of the chaos of the House of Representatives’ so-far failed attempts to elect a Speaker, Molly Jong-Fast writes,
This intrinsic weakness in the GOP allowed the base to run wild, embracing everything from anti-science stupidity to paranoid conspiracy theories. Perhaps, in 2015, [Donald] Trump led the base. But by 2020, Trump had lost control of the monster he created. The base decided to reward social media stunts with small-dollar donations. Fox News and the right-wing internet ecosystem created a world of mini Trumps, little congressional bomb-throwers like [Lauren] Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz. More motivated by fame than governing, these members seem to want what Real Housewives want: to build their brands. These congressional Kardashians don’t have a governing principle beyond obstruction and attention, of which they’ve all been getting amid this week’s party meltdown.
See updates through February 18, 2023, at end of post.
Please, if you would, and especially if you’re young enough never to have heard the song, take a few minutes to listen to Paul McCartney’s “When I’m Sixty Four,” which he apparently wrote when he was 14 years old, and was included in the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967) album.
On one level, it’s a sweet and silly love song, whose protagonist is the male half of an ordinary English couple contemplating a life together ahead. Here are the lyrics: Read more →
This particular saga begins at a fast food restaurant in West Mifflin, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Uber has the pin for this on a particular side of the building, so that’s where I drove to and waited for my passenger. There are two doors on that side of the building.
Almost always, when I pick up at a fast food restaurant, I’m taking an employee home, and as it happens, this particular establishment has what appears to be a large workspace or office behind one of the doors, so there was absolutely no way I could rule that door out. Read more →
See updates through December 12, 2022, at end of post.
Fig. 1. Philip Slater. Photograph by Benjamin Wheeler, 1980, via the New York Times, fair use.
Before I was in the Ph.D. program that I ultimately completed, there was another Ph.D. program, one that was the wrong program for me, but one nonetheless that I learned a great deal from. I’m thinking of one of the professors, there, now deceased, Philip Slater, who wrote a book in which he applied the metaphor of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly to human society.Read more →
Fig. 1. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
I don’t advocate oxygen for the bizarre, but Republican Party politicians seem increasingly out of step with their constituents:
“That’s a remarkable statement. You’d support a candidate who’s come out for suspending the Constitution?” the host [George Stephanopoulos] pressed, with [David] Joyce replying, “You know, he says a lot of things—you have to take him in context,” before trailing off. Joyce ultimately closed the interview by shrugging off [Donald] Trump’s comments as a “fantasy” that should not be taken seriously.