"Extremely White" Is A Color
Full disclosure: It is possible that I'm related to the supposed Cherokee Senator, Elizabeth Warren -- possibly through the Cherokee ancestors in my family who lived along the German-Polish border (that is, until they emigrated to Detroit around 1900).
Maggie Haberman wrote (back in 2012) at Politico that supposed Cherokee Senator, Elizabeth Warren was playing it all clueless about the "minority" background (the one that she was clearlydragging around everywhere with her like Linus dragged his blanket in Peanuts):
Elizabeth Warren has pushed back hard on questions about a Harvard Crimson piece in 1996 that described her as Native American, saying she had no idea the school where she taught law was billing her that way and saying it never came up during her hiring a year earlier, which others have backed up.
But a 1997 Fordham Law Review piece described her as Harvard Law School's "first woman of color," based, according to the notes at the bottom of the story, on a "telephone interview with Michael Chmura, News Director, Harvard Law (Aug. 6, 1996)."
The mention was in the middle of a lengthy and heavily-annotated Fordham piece on diversity and affirmative action and women. The title of the piece, by Laura Padilla, was "Intersectionality and positionality: Situating women of color in the affirmative action dialogue."
"There are few women of color who hold important positions in the academy, Fortune 500 companies, or other prominent fields or industries," the piece says. "This is not inconsequential. Diversifying these arenas, in part by adding qualified women of color to their ranks, remains important for many reaons. For one, there are scant women of color as role models. In my three years at Stanford Law School, there were no professors who were women of color. Harvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995."
...She has said she had no idea Harvard was billing her that way or how the school found out that her family claims Native American heritage. She learned of it first from the Herald story, she said.
And it's possible Warren didn't see the Fordham story.
But the Fordham piece takes the description of Warren by Harvard Law beyond the boundaries of the Massachusetts school. Warren had described herself as a minority on a law professors' listing for several years, ending in 1995. She has said she wanted to meet people like herself, but stopped when she realized that's not what the listing was for.
She has pushed back hard on suggestions she got her job based on her heritage, and her backers have noted a 1995 Crimson piece, from the year she was hired, makes no mention of her background.
William A. Jacobson writes at Legal Insurrection:
It's hard for Warren to respond on the Cherokee issue in any meaningful way. She refused in late June 2012 to meet with a group of Cherokee women who traveled to Boston to speak with her.
It was an issue she assiduously evaded during the 2012 campaign, other than to have her staff accuse people who exposed the truth (like me), of being "right wing extremists."
Here is the truth. Liz Warren has no Native American ancestry. A Cherokee genealogist studied all her family lines, and there is no Indian history.
The so-called 1/32 Cherokee blood was a false claim, and now is an urban myth.
The fact is that, while there may have been some rumors or stories in her family, Warren never lived as an Indian, never embraced that identity, never helped Indians or associated with them, and didn't even claim Indian status when she registered with the Senate. The only time in her life that Warren fully embraced her supposed Native American identity was in a law professor directory used for hiring purposes when she was in her mid-30s and starting to climb the law school ladder, eventually landing at Harvard Law School.
I've often wondered why Warren never challenged Hillary. If Bernie is doing well, Warren would have crushed Hillary. But Warren chose not to run for some reason -- I'm guessing that there is something out there in her Oklahoma history relating to the Native American claim that she doesn't want coming out, but that would destroy her credibility on the issue. It's something that would take deep opposition research, the type that only people like the Clinton's have access to ... and may already have.
So Trump is onto something. It doesn't absolve Trump of any of his own faults and issues, but it does put Liz Warren's core political problem in play again. And that's important, because if Hillary gets into legal trouble, Warren will be one of the names suggested to parachute in to save the party.
A millisecond story.
Divorcing People Who Should Not Be Given "Spousal Support" Include Millionaire Hollywood Actresses
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp are divorcing.
Amber Heard is a Hollywood actress, making movie star money, not some poor washerwoman who won't be able to keep a roof over her head because her husband will no longer be in the picture.
They have no children -- so it isn't like her ability to earn was compromised by years of stay-at-home mommyhood.
Yet it appears she's asking for "spousal support."
Spousal support is the term used for payments from one spouse to another after a divorce for the purpose of maintaining the former spouse's standard of living during the marriage. The term "alimony" means the same thing as "spousal support."
Amber Heard's net worth is estimated to be approximately $4.5 million while Depp is reportedly worth $400 million.
They were married for 15 months. The guy owns an island. Okay, does that mean she will suffer terribly if she does not live in island-owning standards?
Or that this level of wealth should be continued?
Drones Over Homes: Where Should The No-Fly Zone Begin?
Welcome to the wild, wild high-tech West.
A question from the WSJ:
Drones are coming. Regulations are evolving. Should you be allowed to prevent drones from flying over your property?
Here's A Lady Who Isn't Whining About Microaggressions
Hermina Hirsch, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, sang the national anthem at the Detroit Tigers game this past Saturday, reports Beth Darby at The Patch.
It was a dream of Hirsch's to do this.
Hirsch and her family were sent to live in a ghetto in Czechoslovakia in 1944 and were later imprisoned by the Nazis in World War II concentration camps. She was 17 at the time.
...The camp where Hirsch had been imprisoned was liberated on Jan. 21, 1945, and Hirsch hitched rides to get back to her birthplace, her granddaughter, Andrea Hirsch, told WWJ.
After a year in a sanitorium to regain her health, a cousin set up a blind date with Bernard Hirsch, her now husband of 69 years. They moved to the Detroit area in 1953, and are longtime Tigers fans.
...Singing before thousands, she told WWJ at the time, didn't faze her at all.
"If I lived through the concentration camp, it couldn't be that bad," said Hirsch, who regularly sings "The Star Spangled Banner" to open Holocaust survivor meetings in the Detroit area.
Tattling To Daddy: Not How An Adult Woman Deals With Behavior That Makes Her Uncomfortable
But that's become how it works -- how women (typically) can go after men (typically) -- and have unearned power over them.
A new case in this mode comes from UC Berkeley.
Like this law professor who's now out of a job, I'm a hugger.
I try to ask first, or sense whether someone will be uncomfortable, but people I can recall hugging: A homeless guy, Nathaniel, who passes by my street; the manager at the Pico Trader Joe's; my boyfriend; my friend Kate; and Nancy Rommelmann and two other writers I saw recently. (I'm not getting out much, due to writing this book, my column, and a talk, so my hugging is mostly Gregg and my dog these days.)
Well, this professor, Sujit Choudry, at UC Berkeley law school, would sometimes hug his assistant and/or kiss her on the cheek.
As Ashe Schow writes at the WashEx, "This was unacceptable to her."
What was there to do but -- yes! -- report the guy to UC Berkeley.
Hello? No indication that she ever did the adult thing -- tell the guy or at least find a way to get out of the contact. Here -- I'll give you an example:
There was a guy I'd see infrequently at events who kind of creeped me out -- not only would he hug me; he'd give me a wet kiss on the cheek. Kiss is fine. Wet kiss -- yuck. So I started telling him I had a cold. Easy-peasy. No need to tattle.
If I had more frequent contact with him, I would have said something. But I saw no reason to perhaps hurt his feelings. I found a way to stop the saliva transfer without doing that.
A settlement was reached and Choudhry was punished. But when the school came under fire for the accusation -- and UC President Janet Napolitano herself came under fire for mishandling sexual misconduct complaints -- Choudhry was subjected to a new, second round of punishment and investigations.
Choudhry resigned in mid-March after the second investigation was launched. Had he not, he could have faced being fired.
There was some he said/she said, with his accuser, Tyann Sorrell, saying he did the huggy kissy five to six times a day.
Choudhry said he did so no "more than once or twice a week."
Sorrell gave UC Berkeley the names of two witnesses, but those witnesses backed up Choudhry's account.
...Despite this, Choudhry expressed "sincere and deep remorse for the stress and unhappiness that he caused." His sanctions included a 10 percent pay cut for the year, paying out-of-pocket for coaching related to workplace conduct, a written apology to Sorrell and monitoring from those who investigated him.
Amazing, huh? A guy -- whose name suggests that his family didn't exactly come to the country eons ago on the Mayflower -- achieves to the degree where he's at Berkeley law school. And an assistant can bring him down -- not because he raped her or harassed her, but because he would greet her with affection.
And again, if you have an issue with somebody's hugs, I understand.
However, we used to require adult women to act like adult women -- after women in the women's movement fought and fought to be treated like equals.
Oh, what a rollback -- one that will not, in the long run, be good for women. (If I were a man -- one who didn't want to have to fight off some false accusation or a lawsuit -- I'd sure prefer to hire a man.)
Believe The Camera
Luckily for this British taxi driver, there was a camera installed in his taxi to "believe."
He was accused of sexual assault -- when nothing beyond the normal parameters of a taxi ride went on -- and could have lost everything, reports the Hull Daily Mail:
"If it wasn't for my CCTV I could have lost everything," he said. "I would have lost my job which is my living, I could have lost my house. Thankfully, I have got a rock-solid marriage and my wife knew she was lying, but someone else might not have been so lucky."
The absolutely criminally rotten woman who accused him -- Claire Emma Carr, 20, from west Hull -- got only a 12 week jail sentence.
I'm for those who falsely accuse people of crimes being imprisoned for the amount of time their victims would have gotten -- plus paying restitution for the falsely-accused's pain, suffering, and legal fees.
Just think about the horror this guy went through. It could be the stuff heart attacks are made of.
About the "believe the victim" mantra, Barbara Hewson explains at Spiked why this is not justice:
Exhortations to 'believe the victim' miss the point. A legal system that shrinks from testing witness credibility robustly is not an authentic system of justice.
But, most cavalierly, in the WaPo, feminist writer Zerlina Maxwell argues for injustice as the status quo:
Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.
That accused person will likely be a man. If you are not for equal rights and justice for men, you are not for equal rights and justice at all. You are for special rights under the guise of calling for equal rights, and you are a person who makes our society worse for your being in it.
Furry handcuffs all around!
Angelina Jolie Hired As A Prof At London School Of Economics
As Emma Batha, of Thompson Reuters Foundation, reports:
Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is to join the London School of Economics (LSE) as a visiting professor on a new masters course on women, peace and security, the school announced on Monday.
The Little Brats Of Privilege On College Campuses
The real privilege is being able to attend a university in America in 2016.
I realized this back when I went to school. My parents paid for the University of Michigan, where I went for three years. Then, to do my final year of college and graduate from NYU, I wrote my way to a scholarship plus worked day and night in New York to pay the expenses beyond what Michigan would have cost.
I feel very lucky -- and privileged -- to have parents willing to do this and to be able to make the rest happen myself.
Today, students don't feel privileged enough simply being in college; they have to demand special privileges beyond that.
It's kind of amazing. While sneering at "white privilege" at every turn -- the accepted racism that can be hurled at white people simply for having white skin -- these oversized tantrumming toddlers on campus want special dispensations at every turn.
Take the kids who spend their time getting arrested instead of educated.
And believe me, I'm all for protesting -- but there are tradeoffs. If you aren't willing to make them, well, don't be whining about the costs and demanding special treatment.
From a New Yorker piece by Nathan Heller, one of these campus brats, Zakiya Acey, complains that he is actually expected to take his exams...and horrors...in the form they are given!
But not to worry -- he can get his special privileges, but -- horrors again -- he has to you know, ask:
"Like, the way the courses are set up. You know, we're paying for a service. We're paying for our attendance here. We need to be able to get what we need in a way that we can actually consume it." He pauses. "Because I'm dealing with having been arrested on campus, or having to deal with the things that my family are going through because of larger systems--having to deal with all of that, I can't produce the work that they want me to do. But I understand the material, and I can give it to you in different ways. There's professors who have openly been, like, 'Yeah, instead of, you know, writing out this midterm, come in to my office hours, and you can just speak it,' right? But that's not institutionalized. I have to find that professor."
Note that he subscribes to the consumer model of education, expecting the college to treat him like Target, as a shopper of educational products.
All The Little Neo-Victorian Ladies: How Campus Speech Squashing Policies Hurt Women
The women's movement has become a movement backward -- fast.
Feminism now involves women demanding to be treated as eggshells, not equals.
This is especially true on campuses.
Women buy into the SJW-driven idea that they are too frail to speak up and debate the issues or simply haul off and tell somebody who's offended them, "Hey, shut up, buttlint." (Or maybe something classier or more to the point.)
This -- increasingly -- leads them to be helpless to talk back.
No probski! Because college now prepares them for -- yes, prepares them to tattle.
To The Man. Like it's nursery school, not a university.
At SpikedOnline, Ella Whelan notes that all the censorship is holding women back. And guess who supports that censorship? It's a "significant proportion of female students."
Sad -- pathetically so.
All of this is done in the name of cleansing campus of 'demeaning' representations of women.
Women's autonomy has been hugely undermined. Forget the in loco parentis restrictions of the Sixties - female students today aren't even trusted to hear a racy joke without falling to pieces. The FSUR found that 33 per cent of universities and students' unions have 'zero tolerance' policies prohibiting jokes, cat-calling and even 'inappropriate sexual noises'. Women aren't even trusted to conduct their social lives without rules and regulations.
These protective measures treat women like children, incapable of handling the trials and tribulations of adult life by themselves. And all of it has been fuelled by contemporary feminism, which paints campus as a uniquely dangerous place for women and promotes the bizarre idea that the first step towards gender equality is women insisting they are vulnerable. This is, of course, nonsense. For all the fearmongering about campus rape culture, universities are among the safest places in the country. But in a climate where cat-calling is conflated with sexual assault, and rude jokes are considered traumatising, female students are constantly being encouraged to see themselves as perennial victims.
As Whalen puts it, just when women have the world at their feet, they're being encouraged to think of themselves as fragile and unable to defend themselves -- even verbally.
With so many women behaving this way, who's hurt? Strong women who are lumped in with the rest and are often probably seen as both too fragile and emotionally volatile to hire.
Democrats Doing Their Part To See That Entry-Level Employees Are Replaced By Entry-Level Robots
At Pajamas Media, they quote Ed Rensi, the former CEO of McDonald's:
"If you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry -- it's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries," Rensi told Fox Business. "It's nonsense and it's very destructive and it's inflationary and it's going to cause a job loss across this country like you're not going to believe."
"It's not just going to be in the fast food business," Rensi continued. "Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It's dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can't get people a reasonable wage, you're going to get machines to do the work. It's just common sense. It's going to happen whether you like it or not."
Sound effects sold separately.
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The Ugly Racism Of Indicting White People For Being White -- And The Ugly Backlash It's Causing
I've always loved that Martin Luther King statement about judging people by the content of their character.
Yet, increasingly we see the "white privilege!" sneer used to pre-punish white people -- for merely existing with their white skin.
It seems to lead to a backlash from some uglier sectors of society, with an increase in ugly groups like KKK chapters in recent years.
It seems that all of this indictment of white people for being white is fueling White Nationalism, writes David Marcus at The Federalist:
From 2014 to 2015, the number of active Klu Klux Klan chapters in the United States grew from 72 to 190, a massive increase for a group so closely associated with hatred. Along with these organized efforts, social media has given a dangerous new platform to white supremacists.
One of the key components to the success of this racism is the almost-daily parade of silly micro-aggressions and triggers.
The "white privilege" sneers have done a great job undoing Martin Luther King's thinking as the prevailing idea of how we should all live together. Marcus explains:
A big part of the reason white Americans have been willing to go along with policies that are prejudicial on their face, such as affirmative action, is that they do not view themselves as a tribe.
...What is new is the direct indictment of white people as a race. This happened through a strange rhetorical transformation over the past few years. At first, "white men are our greatest threat" postings tended to be ironic, a way of putting the racist shoe on the other foot. They were meant to show that blaming an entire race for the harmful actions of a few individuals is senseless.
...One can teach against white supremacy by encouraging students to treat everyone as equal, or at least as individuals not defined in important ways by their race. Privilege theory does not allow for this approach. It demands that differences be front and center and that we always consider a person's race in considering him. This focus on "valuing differences" over "the colorblind model" unlocked the door to the white supremacist revival that today's anti-white rhetoric has kicked open.
...This brings us back to John. What got him "worked up" about privilege theory was not that he'd have to compete for jobs with minorities. He was upset at having to confess guilt for events he had no control over. Many whites feel this way. Moreover, many resent the pedagogical transformations that their history and culture are undergoing. White historical figures once held in too high esteem have swung the other way into utter disrepute. Also, the histories of no other peoples are being held to these lofty standards.
Mohandas Gandhi's racism, the Black Panthers' vicious murders, and Santa Anna's barbarism are understood within the context of their positive contributions. Increasingly, white Americans perceive that Columbus, Jefferson, Jackson, and many other core white historical figures are consistently brought down a peg in order to decentralize whiteness in history. This assault on their history has a deeper impact than many on the Left are aware of, or willing to admit.
Free market linkeralism.
Just Like Homework For Your Kindergartener, Sexual Harassment Training Doesn't Work -- And May Backfire
The Real Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas, compares sexual harassment training to homework assigned in the lower grades:
The principal flat-out admitted that all the research showed that homework in the lower grades was worthless for the student, but that they assigned it because the parents wanted it.
...What about the corporate harassment training? Well, the purpose of that is financial. If John harasses Jane and your company hasn't done any sexual harassment training, Jane's lawyer is going to use that as a way to prove that your company allowed this type of behavior.
So, we hold our training to be able to stand up in court and say, "We did everything we could." Saying you did something sounds a whole lot better than saying "We know training doesn't work, so we did nothing." A jury is going to hear "We don't care about sexual harassment." The purpose of the stupid action? Covering our corporate rear ends.
The reality is, doing something isn't always better than doing nothing.
Jack Robinson reports at HREOnline that esearch has found that sexual harassment training can backfire, leading to a backlash in males.
I'd be pissed as a woman because I find it infantilizing. I want men to joke around with me and I want to joke around with them. If I'm offended, I'm not a helpless baby bird; I'll say something. (I'm unlikely to be offended.)
Robinson reports that other research has found that sexual-harassment training mostly inspires fear among workers.
Yes, that's the kind of workplace you really want -- one where your workers are afraid to say anything or be creative, lest they lose their jobs over it.
"Govt" Is Just Another Word For "Bend Over": Parma, Ohio, Charges Residents Who Collect Rainwater On Their Property
I thought this had to be a joke.
In Parma, Ohio, a city on the southern edge of Cleveland, if you put out a plastic barrel -- on your own property -- to collect the rain that falls out of the sky, you'll need to pay $31.
Bob Sandrick writes at Cleveland.com:
Residents wanting to install a rain barrel in their yards will have to pay a steeper fee than what was originally believed.
The fee is $31 for one barrel, $32 for two, $33 for three and so on.
Last week, the Sun Post reported that it would cost just $1 to install a rain barrel.
That was based on a reading of a rain-barrel ordinance that City Council approved May 7. The ordinance established regulations for rain barrels.
If you live in Parma and you voted for anyone on the City Council who voted for this, you are not a sentient being who should be allowed to vote (or cross the street without being leashed to a competent adult).
As commenter paradisoch wrote on the Cleveland.com post:
Unfortunately, now the city will have an excuse to send people on your property to see if you have an authorized rain barrel; people don't own their property, they are merely tenants of the state.
via Joe Wahler
In Islam, it is not only the warrior in battle who is considered "martyr." Hardy's theory is most likely true (I do not trust the aviation experts from Muslim nations). The pilot, Mr.Shah, on MH370, as well as Muhammad Shakeer of Egypt Flight 804, were designing a meticulous plan, not just on how he weaved through all the detection, but he must have meticulously considered his fate: drowning.
...And it is here that we come to the source, the mind, the theology and from our own experience as x-terrorist. It is difficult for westerners to comprehend the mindset unless they've been there and done that and sat in class in Bethlehem where our Muslim Brotherhood teacher Sheikh Zacharia would tell us of the benefits of dying drowning. In Islam, most Muslims know (which most westerners are oblivious to), when a Muslim dies by drowning, he is automatically considered a "martyr" and is perhaps why Shah, like Shakeer of flight 804 "landed" on water. Death due to an impact on a building spoils the recipe where Muslim passengers would lose that status. Under the classification of martyrdom in Islam, it clearly states:"... he who dies of a stomach disease is a martyr; and he who is drowned is a martyr." [Sahih Muslim].
Many of the silly comments I get, comes mostly from naive Americans who ask "why kill Muslims on board"? This is rather a stupid question, especially when these Americans who ask have witnessed 911. The pilots in the Muslim view are actually doing their passengers a favor. They are assuring their salvation since they died by drowning, all who drown are "martyrs" and are assured paradise.
...Listen up, no airline, especially an airline in a Muslim nation, wants travelers to think that the most entrusted individual, the captain, would kill his passengers. This would be more devastating than a bomb planted via access to restricted areas of Charles de Gaulle airport. This way they get to blame the French.
...With the Egypt Air flight 804, Osama Abdel Basset, the captain in charge of the air hospitality in Egyptian Air says it all: "The Captain Mohammed Shakeer, the pilot of that fateful flight" had organized a "last supper" knowing he is "about to die":he called on his colleagues before the incident a few days to lunch at his house hinting that the end is near, the end of his life that is, and that he is ready to meet his maker and gave his farewell. He was bidding them [his friends] farewell with words that came out of his mouth for the first time in his life"
Peak Trailer Trash
Mobile home in Malibu's Paradise Cove sells for a record $5.3 million.
More listings in Paradise Cove mobile home park.
Years ago, I thought I'd get really clever and buy a place there.
Right. Here's what you get for $600K.
Here's a real bargain -- $575K for 750 square feet...plus "space rental" (the land use) for $1164 a month.
Gregg likes to joke that the only home I could afford in LA would come with its own street gang.
Progressive Thugitarianism: Shutting Down Conservative Campus Speakers
First, for anyone dropping by here for the first time, I am not a conservative.
I'm a fiscally conservative small-government advocate, but socially libertarian -- for legalizing drugs and prostitution, for getting the state out of marriage (but very much for gay marriage), pro-choice (though I find abortion, especially after the first few weeks creepy and troubling), and I stand for all sort of other things that many social conservatives don't agree with or approve of.
However, whatever your views and regardless of whether I think you're right or appallingly wrong, I support -- and defend -- your right to speak them.
I find it most disgusting -- and dangerous and troubling -- that so many progressive students think and act like the way to debate a speaker whose views they disapprove of is to keep that speaker from speaking.
It happened yet again at Cal State Los Angeles. Jennifer Kabbany writes at The College Fix:
Young America's Foundation on Thursday filed a lawsuit against California State University Los Angeles, accusing the public university of censoring a conservative speaker's guest lecture there by not stopping raucous and aggressive students from blocking the entrances into the theater, effectively shutting down the event.
The lecture did take place after conservative Ben Shapiro managed to enter the theater on the sly, but the February talk took place before a very sparse audience as both entrances -- back and front -- were blocked by the rowdy student activists who locked arms and refused to let people by, video and eye-witness accounts show.
The lawsuit was filed with help from the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom. It alleges school leaders violated the First Amendment rights of the Young Americans for Freedom student club, which hosted the lecture, titled: "When Diversity Becomes a Problem."
Personally, I think that "diversity" has become a convenient and government-supported form of discrimination.
However, there's a way to express that, and it is by debating the speaker in the question and answer period, writing editorials, postering campus, and inviting speaker with opposing views.
It is particularly sad that liberal students founded the Free Speech Movement back in the 60s but have come full-circle, and are now behind what is effectively the un-Free Speech movement, which is to say, thugitarianism.
RELATED: Stanley Kurtz with a plan to restore free speech on campus:
First: Colleges and universities ought to adopt a policy on freedom of expression modeled on Yale's Woodward Report of 1974, which identifies ensuring intellectual freedom in the pursuit of knowledge as the primary obligation of a university.
Second: Colleges and universities need to systematically educate members of their community in the principles of free expression.
Third: "A university administration's responsibility for assuring free expression imposes further obligations: it must act firmly when a speech is disrupted or when disruption is attempted; it must undertake to identify disruptors, and it must make known its intentions to do so beforehand."
Fourth: College and university trustees must monitor administrators to ensure that they promote and defend freedom of expression.
Fifth: Colleges and universities ought to adopt policies on institutional political neutrality based on the University of Chicago's Kalven Committee Report of 1967.
"Stepping Stone Housing" Should Be Legal
There's this well-intentioned cabbageheadedness from the well-to-do about housing -- demanding high-quality housing for people short on money. It has to be of a certain size and have certain amenities, blah, blah, blah.
Well, how lovely -- except for the fact that this probably often leads to unaffordable housing and/or no housing at all for people who really need it.
Emily Washington posts at Market Urbanism about the need for low-quality housing:
Last week I wrote a post highlighting how important it is for major cities to have places for low-income people to live. Without the opportunity to live in vibrant, growing cities, our nation's poor can't take advantage of the employment and educational opportunities cities offer. My post offended some people who don't think that reforming quality standards is a necessary part of affordable housing policy. On Twitter @AlJavieera said that my suggestion that people should have the option to live in housing lacking basic amenities is "horribly conservative."
Multiple people said that my account of tenement housing was "ahistorical." They didn't elaborate on what they meant, but they seemed to think I was suggesting that tenements were pleasant places to live, or that people today would live in Victorian apartments if such homes were legalized. On the contrary, I argue that in their time, tenements provided a stepping stone for poor immigrants to improve their lives, and that stepping stone housing should be legal today.
Historical trends provide evidence that people born into New York's worst housing moved onto better jobs and housing over time. The Lower East Side tenements were first home to predominantly German and Irish immigrants, and later Italian and Eastern European Jewish immigrants. The waves of ethnicities that dominated these apartments indicate that the earlier immigrants were able to move out of this lowest rung of housing.
...Those advocating greater government support for housing seemingly embrace ahistorical accounts of previous and current public involvement in housing. Rather than leading to better housing for the poor, the most common outcome has been the elimination of residences deemed inadequate by politically influential people. In 1934 in an early slum clearance project, one of the dreaded "lung blocks" was demolished to make way for Knickerbocker Village, public housing for middle-income workers. The rental rate was more than twice that of a typical tenement, leaving the displaced tenement residents to search for housing they could afford as reformers razed it.
She explains in her previous post:
Today's housing reformers are using the same fear mongering about microapartments that Jacob Riis used over a century ago, saying that they lead to neighborhood overcrowding and that they are rented by undesirable people. Because a person in the lowest income decile has a higher living standard in every category of goods than a person in the lowest income quintile did 100 years ago, today's low-quality, market-rate housing would be of a better standard than the tenements that helped fuel the progressive movement.
...Tenements provided housing that met a qualification that both Hertz and Jacobus stress; it was conveniently located and provided residents with easy access to jobs. Both writers point out that affordable housing is not only a regional issue, but that low-income people need to be able to live within a reasonable commute of the jobs that will allow them to improve their standard of living. Low-quality housing is key to achieving this goal.
This question was asked in the comments on the post at the top:
What would low quality actually mean today? Would it mean damp, mouldy apartments, or would it mean small, spartan ones?
What would a half-boarding house with ensuite bedrooms be considered as?
Commenter anonymouse writes:
Most likely, just pretty small units crammed into a renovated and reconfigured older building, maybe with living spaces added in attics and basements. Something like a Boston triple decker, but with 6-8 units (each 2 bedroom gets split into a 1 br and a studio, and another studio or two added in the basement). You can go even further into smaller units, maybe as small as 200 sq ft, with a small bathroom and shower and a kitchenette with mini-fridge, induction hot plate, and microwave, and single sink for the whole unit. It would make sense as student housing, and would probably actually be higher quality than cramming 4 or 6 college students into a shared house.
My stove works but my oven has probably been out since my landlord put it in. (I don't cook; I heat.) I could do just fine with a hot plate and a microwave, plus, in France, I've often stayed in the old "chambre de bonne" -- the maid's room, with the bathroom down the hall -- to save a few bucks.
Whether to do that should be the choice of the renter, not that of bureaucrats.
It's either a movie theater or a roller derby.
"I said hello to somebody already this week."--my introvert boyfriend, weighing whether to go to an event this afternoon.
Some Sick People Are Seeing This Photo As Sick
@CathyYoung63 calls it "Very revealing re: gender-based double standard."
It's a father holding his terribly sick son in the shower. When I read that, I teared up over what a beautiful image -- and act -- of fatherhood it is. The kid was throwing up, feverish, and besieged with diarrhea, and the father was trying to keep his fever down and letting the vomit and poo just rinse off of both of them as it came.
Photo credit, the mom, Heather Whitten:
The BBC posts:
This photograph of a father holding his son in the shower has been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook in the last fortnight. But over the same period it's also also been taken down by the social media platform more than once before ultimately being reinstated each time. Why?
In some ways the picture appears to show a fairly everyday scene. A dad cradling his severely sick child in his arms. Except in this instance, they are in the shower and both naked. The picture was posted on social media by the photographer Heather Whitten who lives in Arizona in the US. It shows her son Fox and her husband, the boy's father Thomas Whitten.
For many viewers the image is a touching portrait of parental care and affection. The reason that father and son were naked was because Fox had Salmonella poisoning for which he would soon after be hospitalised.
"Thomas had spent hours in the shower with him, trying to keep his fever down and letting the vomit and diarrhea rinse off of them both as it came," Whitten wrote in her post accompanying the photo.
"He was so patient and so loving and so strong with our tiny son in his lap... I stepped out and grabbed my camera and came back to snap a few images of it and, of course shared them."
But for some people the image is inappropriate at best and at worst has undertones of paedophilia. Whitten has been surprised by this reaction and was shocked when people posted negative comments about what was for her a beautiful moment.
"There is nothing sexual or exploitative about this image," she wrote in the initial post. "I was taken aback by how many people missed the story or didn't even look past the nudity to find the story."
The double standard that's revealed -- in people who thought it was exploitative -- is revealed in how the response was "overwhelmingly positive" to a mother, naked, holding her sick son in the shower. (At the link.)
Note that neither of these photos reveal even as much as you'd see at the beach.
What they do reveal is the ugliness in some people and a lack of understanding of what healthy, loving fatherhood is.
Plenty of adults, I'm sure, would like to go back in time and have their parenting mirror the little guy's who's in the shower with his daddy.
Sotomayor's Stupid And Disgusting Call For Slave Lawyers
Beyond how completely anti-liberty it is to require people to provide pro bono services, think about the sort of service people forced into it might provide.
I, on the other hand, got pro bono legal work from a crazy, civil liberties-crazed Sicilian-American mofo. Marc Randazza worked tirelessly on my case, along with a bunch of his associates, whom he had to pay, along with his overhead, while not earning money himself for his work.
This is the kind of legal work you want -- whether pro bono or for pay. And P.S. Pro bono isn't free -- Randazza paid for the work for me by working for his more well-heeled paying clients.
Not understanding what it takes for somebody to do great, good, or even just adequate pro bono work betrays a lack of understanding of people and their motivation. It is thinking that is beyond unbecoming in a Supreme Court justice, but hey, meet Sonia Sotomayor.
Ilya Somin writes at Volokh about Justice Sotomayor's misguided advocacy of "forced labor" for lawyers -- in order to expand legal services for the poor:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that all lawyers should be required to provide pro bono legal services.
"I believe in forced labor" when it comes to improving access to justice for the poor, she said during an appearance at the American Law Institute's annual meeting in Washington. "If I had my way, I would make pro bono service a requirement."
Sotomayor made the comment in response to a question from institute director Richard Revesz about the dearth of legal services for low-income individuals.
Imposing forced labor on lawyers (or anyone) is a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment, which forbids "involuntary servitude" as well as slavery.
I think this is right on:
Fortunately, there are other ways we can increase the availability of legal services to the poor. As economist Clifford Winston has demonstrated in a series of articles for the liberal Brookings Institution, we can greatly reduce the cost of legal services (including for the poor) by deregulating the legal profession. As he demonstrates, we don't need to limit the right to provide legal services only to people who have spent three (very expensive) years in law school, and passed a hypercomplex bar exam that requires takers to memorize thousands of tidbits of information, most of which have little relevance to actual law practice. This is especially true of relatively simple services needed for many everyday legal transactions and cases.
It's the World Wide Webfoot.
Grow A Pair, Ladies -- Or Don't Play In The Big Media Leagues
Because men evolved to prioritize beauty in a woman (features which are indicators of health and fertility), any woman in the public eye is going to get comments about her looks.
Even women not in the public eye get evaluated by how they look.
For example, a tiny loser of a man who owes me money (but prefers to focus on other subjects) called me "wrinkled" the other day. This is pretty hilarious, because if there's one thing I'm not, it's wrinkled. I've been wearing the best French sunblock for decades, and I've barely left the house for a year and a half anyway, because of this book I'm writing. Still, it was sort of amazing to witness his best attempt at a low blow. (Which, by the way, didn't distract me a bit from the fact that the deadbeat owes me money.)
Anyway, the subject of this post is the BBC News deputy director, Fran Unsworth, telling female reporters they need to "harden up" and ignore web trolls.
Bravo. Finally, a woman telling other women that they should do something besides curl up in a little ball and sniffle about "male privilege." Or sue somebody.
Patrick Foster writes at the Telegraph/UK:
Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC's political editor, was the target of sexist abuse last week, in an online petition that called for her to be sacked from the corporation...
Ms Unsworth said she had not spoken to Kuenssberg, but added that women needed to become hardened to criticism about their appearance.
She said: "There's an element of how we possibly have to harden people up to it a bit, give them techniques about how they might deal with it. You need to disassociate yourself from it to some extent if you're the victim of it, so how can we help people do that?"
It's my feeling -- from witnessing women's reactions online -- that many women have gotten used to being infantilized and treated like victims, and don't expect to need to steel themselves or defend themselves.
Me? I've been on the web and been a public figure for quite some time and I've been attacked a lot. Sometimes by a mob. You want to play in the public leagues, you'll get some shit.
It's not fun; it can be upsetting; but I want to be here, so I deal...like by not looking at my Wikipedia page or GoodReads reviews (from all the women who think it's just horrifying that I would suggest women treat a man who asks them out with dignity, even if they aren't interested in him). I know...the horror!