Just a quick, no-frills heads-up that I’m shifting the content of my site from political stuff to my fiction work, since that’s what I’m working on most often and most decisively these days. I’ll be sharing short story bits as well as excerpts from my larger project, Take Care of Yourself, which is flirting with a ~30,000 word count at present. So, yeah: get excited.
Murder isn’t incomprehensible; it’s simply evil.
A person who murders several people isn’t necessarily insane or “unbalanced” or “not well”; that person is, however, a murderer. Maybe assuming insanity is comforting in some strange way, but it seems to come from a place where no one is truly responsible for anything.
An interesting-but-miscast observation from Michael Petrilli at the Fordham Institute:
Which communities in the U.S. are witnessing the greatest amount of gentrification? I started poking around Census Bureau data (with the assistance of some colleagues and the Census Bureau’s excellent help line) and here’s what I found. I looked at zip codes (which isn’t perfect, because boundaries can change) and places with a large increase in the white share of the population (which isn’t perfect, because you’d really want to look at changes in income levels, but those data aren’t available yet for 2010). With those caveats in mind, take a look:
This chart is about white people, for some reason. White people are interesting, and this chart is interesting, sure, but this seems quite beside the point of a discussion of gentrification.
Here’s the question: Is gentrification rightfully measured by the influx of white people into a neighborhood, or rather by the rise of mean household income (so, upward socioeconomic disruption) in a neighborhood?
Put otherwise: Wouldn’t we call Oprah, Spike Lee, Raven Simone and Neil deGrasse Tyson moving to Shaw “gentrification?”
(Pretty sure I know the answer to this question.)
UPDATE-1: Yes, he caveats a lack of current data about income levels, but that is beside the point: the chart doesn’t really tell us anything about income levels, so it doesn’t really tell us anything about gentrification as a socioeconomic phenomenon. Integration and gentrification are not, and have never been, synonymous meanings.
RUSH PLUS?! Guess this has been in the works for a few months now; but given that I bike most everywhere, I only first heard about it this morning.
Watch the WMATA video above and tell me whether you think it makes any sense.
The Silver Line will become the Orange Line. The Blue Line will become the Yellow Line, despite terminating at the end of the Green Line. Mexicans will become Salvadorans.
What the fuck is WMATA doing?
Why don’t you just tell me, like, you know, Yo, we’re adding some more trains to the yellow and orange lines. Doesn’t really matter where we’re sourcing the trains from, since describing the new system in entirely relative terms is clearly unhelpful; no one gives a fuck about Franconia-Springfield. More trains during rush hour. Hooray. That is all
Because, really, without confusing everyone, can you really say that a Blue Line train is becoming a Yellow Line train if its new final stop is at Greenbelt on the fucking Green Line?
Better yet, why not just announce new, rush-hour only lines? You could call them the Cyan and Bergamot Lines. Even “cyan” and “bergamot” would inspire less confusion than calling a train that neither starts nor ends on the Yellow Line “a Yellow Line train.”
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you we don’t have money. In fact, yes–you should give us some money, because what we do have are a very particular set of skills; skills we have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make us indispensable to people like you.“
Seriously, though, I was an intern at the Prospect only a few years ago, and while Gabe may have traumatized me mildly on a few occasions, the Prospect’s discipline, sense of purpose and curiosity about the world helped mature me into professional life and full-time adulthood.
You know, I recently blew a few notes on airfare to get me halfway across the world on vacation–broke as I am as a result, I’ve got no excuse, really, to not help the Prospect keep the lights on. The rest of you, though, should give because you truly appreciate dynamic thought and damn good journalism.
I’m to some degree a liberaltarian or some such. I’m not averse to critically engaging with libertarians or libertarian thought.
Somehow, though, Reason’s writers and bloggers have this inexplicable tendency to mirror my stances on various issues despite them wielding mind-numbing arguments and/or intensely petty writing and/or clearly (cherry-picked and/or half-digested) research to reach such agreement. (This occurs mostly via Hit & Run.) How is this so? Do I need to stop caring about politics so that I may escape this sad parallel and thus maintain some fortified shred of intelligence?
Baylen Linnekin’s recent post about Mayor Bloomberg’s War on Carbonated Corn Syrup, for instance, is some asinine shit; it’s just lazy and trite. There’s a point in the post where he’s responding to Drew Magary’s argument at Gawker that no one is proposing to ban soda from New York City; and that in any case Bloomberg is making a policy proposal—so, not an edict—as a public official who has been democratically supported and (re-)elected by his city, which is basically what public officials exist to do:
So maybe it’s not such a bad thing if a city official, who was freely ELECTED by his own constituents, tries his best to curb its influence. It doesn’t make this country a member of the Warsaw Pact if that happens. And if you want to go crying about a NANNY STATE or whatever other dipshit talking point Politico fed you, go right ahead. Sometimes, voters like being nannied. In this country, you are FREE to vote for a little nannying if you like. Now go buy a cold can of Dr. Pepper and jam it up your butt.
Linnekin’s thoughtful response to Magary’s post?
That’s it. I’m not contorting this or making it up; that’s the entirety of dude’s counter-point to an 844-word post: a pithy, truncated sermon to his choir.
Whatever—what bothers me here is that Reason is the editorial standard-bearer of libertarian thought in the U.S. Which is to say: Libertarians in the U.S. need better scribes.
Here, I mean to point out that while Barack Obama and Colin Powell’s gay rights “evolution” is certainly welcome by many LGBTQ and their political allies, including myself, their expressed motivations are a bit silly. Obama:
…Over the course of—several years, as I talk to friends and family and neighbors. When I think about—members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, in monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together. When I think about—those soldiers or airmen or marines or—sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf—and yet, feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is gone, because—they’re not able to—commit themselves in a marriage.
At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that—for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that—I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.
Friends and family and neighbors. When I think about. For me personally.
That’s touching, though maybe somewhat feigned to dodge acknowledgement of the political considerations that prohibited the president’s public support for equal marriage rights in earlier years.
In any case, we’re talking about marriage, so we’re talking about a civil right and a matter of civil law. It’s a bit unnerving, then, to realize that political leaders and policymakers’ conception of “rights” is so linked to whether said figures have friends or family or neighbors who happen to be both disenfranchised and appealing or empathetic in some way.
It’s a lowbrow thought, that the president has welcomed a sufficient quota of gay and lesbian couples into his life to warrant his support of equal marriage rights. Obama isn’t a lowbrow man, so I rather suspect that I’m being misled. As a man who is not currently the president of the U.S., I’m not typically required to be so shrewd. So fair enough.
Of course, “evolution”—either the evolution of intellect or the evolution of self-interest—is to be encouraged, and in this case it’s a cheerful development. But a republic is better than a defense of rights inspired by making puppy dog eyes at the president. And there is a point at which one’s own “evolution” is moot, because rights trump sentiments.
Google, how did you know??