Thursday, November 20, 2014

Good New, Dumb News from the Star Tribune

First the good news: Minnesota's trial run of specialty courts for chronic drunk drivers has resulted in substantially lower recidivism rates, saving both money and lives. Offenders who go through the experimental court underwent an intensive program, and were more likely to complete the programs than DWI courts nationally.

Then the weird news: people in the inner-ring, expensive suburb Edina (located on the southwest corner of Minneapolis) are opposed to adding sidewalks to their fair town. Not only that, they're said to be "up in arms" about it. What are they afraid of? Well, shoveling, I suppose. But it sounds like Edina is even planning to clear the sidewalks of snow in some areas. (Which makes me wonder why that isn't a thing everywhere. What message does it send to pedestrians that roads are important enough to clear with tax money, but sidewalks aren't?)

And then there's this, which isn't exactly weird, but isn't good either: A DFL member of the State Legislature wants to increase the sentences for people who assault nurses while they're on the job, mirroring the penalties for assaulting a police officer. Supposedly there has been an increased number of assaults on nurses lately. I doubt that, from a statistical standpoint, or if it's true, whether it's not just a random blip. And I also doubt that increasing sentences would have any deterrent effect. People who assault nurses are not in their right minds, obviously. In this age of over-incarceration, any move to increase sentences is the wrong direction, in my opinion.

The example given in the story makes my case:

On Nov. 2, an el­der­ly pa­tient at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood attacked and in­jured four nurses with a metal bar. The pa­tient, who suf­fered from de­lu­sions, died as po­lice officers worked to hand­cuff him three blocks from the hos­pi­tal, officials said.
How would increasing the penalty have prevented that attack? The bigger question is, why is violence increasing (if it is), and how do we prevent it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Huddled Masses Yearning, 2014

In which the Daily Show's Al Madrigal -- broadcasting from Austin, Texas, a few weeks ago -- manages to give the lie to almost every stereotype about Mexican immigrants in a single five-minute video:

"They're not leaving until they get what they came for: A life as boring as yours."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Keeping Jews Out of Yale

It's common knowledge that elite colleges (and even high schools) in recent years have struggled to stem the wave of Asian-American students with top-flight qualifications who want to get into their schools. Our student body needs balance, they say. We can't have too many of the same group of people. They only study, they don't participate in student life. The implication: They're all the same.

But fewer people know that this has happened before, except the "over-represented" group wasn't Asians -- it was Jews.
 
Thanks to Maggie Koerth-Baker's enewsletter, The Fellowship of Three Things, I just found out about Jerome Karabel's book The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. You can read his chapter on how Yale tried to exclude Jews in the 1920s, thanks to Google Books. Here are some of the ways Yale's admissions men described the "Hebraic problem," which sound eerily familiar.

"Qualities of personality and character" should become allowable, not just passing the rigorous entrance exam. The admissions process should carry out "Personal Inspection of all Doubtful Candidates" and target scholarships to the "cultured, salaried class of native stock."

The chairman of admissions wrote: "it would give better publicity if we should speak of selection and of the rigid enforcement of high standards rather than of the limitation of numbers."

In October 1921, data revealed that "while Jews outperformed their non-Jewish classmates academically, they were relegated to the margins of Yale's dense extracurricular life and were totally excluded from the senior societies." Orchestra, debate, and the Socialism club were exceptions.

Jews were thought to be an "alien and unwashed element" who graduated "into the world as naked of all the attributes of refinement and honor as when born into it." They were "Alien in morals and manners" and lacking the "ethical code" of their fellow students, "taking…all that is offered or available and giving little or nothing in return." They lack "manliness, uprightness, cleanliness, native refinement, etc."

Not surprisingly, Jews weren't the only ones on Yale's list of undesirables. As one admissions officer wrote to another: "How many Jews among [the freshmen]? And are there any Coons? …Don't let any colored transfer get rooms in College."

By 1926, the school's daily newspaper had weighed in as well. Yale's new policy -- to give up on being a meritocracy of "abnormal brain specimens" -- should be based on "more consideration of the character, personality, promise and background of the individual in question." And: "Survival of the fittest should yield men who are equipped to do more than pass scholastic examinations or earn money."

Part of the new requirements included submission of a photo of the applicant, and the paper called on admissions to require photos of the applicants' fathers as well. Gee, I wonder what the point of that was?

By 1930, the percent of Jews in the freshmen class had fallen to 8.2 (after topping out in the mid-teens). The admissions men were proud they accomplished the decrease "without hue and cry and without any attempt on the part of those chiefly affected to prove that Yale had organized a pogrom." This ethnic cleansing language and thought continues: "…if we could have an Armenian massacre confined to the New Haven district, with occasional incursions into Bridgeport and Hartford, we might protect our Nordic stock almost completely."

Wow.

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Subscribe to Maggie Koerth-Baker's Fellowship of Three Things here.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Or Does It Explode?

Today is the day Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency, even though the Darren Wilson grand jury hasn't finished its work. Saint Louise has stocked up on $200,000 worth of tear gas and plastic handcuffs. They've mobilized a thousand National Guard members.

It's four days after our local ABC affiliate, KSTP channel 5, insisted it was right to air a story saying the mayor of Minneapolis was flashing gang signs because she was pointing at a young black guy.

It's three days after the city of Saint Paul's police civilian review board decided there were no procedural errors, let alone crimes, by the cops who tased Chris Lollie for sitting in a public skyway.

Add just those three things up and it's hard to claim black people are full citizens in this country.

A state of emergency means Nixon can ban public gatherings, that police don't need probable cause, that journalists can be excluded from anywhere the government or police decide they shouldn't be.

Even without a state of emergency, Saint Paul's mayor and police stripped citizens of their rights during the 2008 Republican National Convention, carried out raids on people they thought might dare to block an intersection, limited our marches to places where convention attendees had no chance of seeing them, and kettled law-abiding protesters until they could be arrested. And all of that happened despite the fact that protest organizers met with local police for over six months to make sure things went in a way that preserved First Amendment rights, and where the protesters were mostly white and middle class.

What will a major protest -- made up largely of black people -- look like when police or soldiers empowered by a state of emergency try to control it? It'll either be complete repression, with a Boston-bomber-style house lock-in, or a military action that makes the armored personnel carriers and tear gas of Ferguson in August look like a gentle warning.

How hard would it be for the grand jury (and the prosecutor) to treat this case as if the life of the kid who died mattered? That's all anyone is asking.

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In case the title of this post is not familiar, here is the source.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Got Conflicting Billboards?

Driving along the highway the other week between Oshkosh and Appleton, Wisconsin, I came upon a string of consecutive billboards. This was the beginning:


That one at the right, which reads Got God?...


...is followed by another six or eight billboards for the same Lion's Den adult super store advertised in the first billboard, plus two more adult superstores.

Whoa, what a part of the country.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Album Art

There's nothing quite like old record album jackets.

















They're particularly beautiful to me, since I grew up with them, but I think they're legitimately notable even if you've never seen them before.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Finding Common Ground on the True Free Riders

The first thing I read this morning was Kevin Drum's essay on why members of the white working class mostly don't vote for Democrats anymore.

...when the economy stagnates and life gets harder, people get meaner. That's just human nature. And the economy has been stagnating for the working class for well over a decade—and then practically collapsing ever since 2008.

So who does the [white working class] take out its anger on? Largely, the answer is the poor. In particular, the undeserving poor. Liberals may hate this distinction, but it doesn't matter if we hate it. Lots of ordinary people make this distinction as a matter of simple common sense, and the WWC makes it more than any. That's because they're closer to it. For them, the poor aren't merely a set of statistics or a cause to be championed. They're the folks next door who don't do a lick of work but somehow keep getting government checks paid for by their tax dollars. For a lot of members of the WWC, this is personal in a way it just isn't for the kind of people who read this blog.

And who is it that's responsible for this infuriating flow of government money to the shiftless? Democrats. We fight to save food stamps. We fight for WIC. We fight for Medicaid expansion. We fight for Obamacare. We fight to move poor families into nearby housing.
I have the feeling Frank Luntz is lurking somewhere in the background of this successful framing by the Right, but I can't deny that there's true resonance in it for working-class people, based on the fairness principle. Fairness is one of the six key areas of morality identified by researcher Jonathan Haidt. As Haidt has said, [and here I'm quoting myself from the earlier post linked in the previous sentence]:
What a liberal and a conservative mean by the terms can differ. For instance, conservatives think of fairness in terms of self-sufficiency and free riders. Everyone needs to contribute, and no one should get anything for "free."
Drum's essay genuflects to the role of race in this tendency of white, working-class people to see the poor as free riders. I think it's more central than he does, but acknowledge that my working class friends and relatives aren't crazy about white people they know and perceive as slackers, either.

Given the moral underpinning of their feelings, let alone the possible racism that underlies it, I think it's unlikely anyone can get anti-Democrat members of the white working class to realize the small amount of true free-riding is worth it in return for the greater benefit that reaches the many people who need help (which is how I feel about it, and have said before).

So, instead, I think we should find common ground on a different type of free-riding and build political power on that: so-called corporate welfare.

Yesterday, a conservative friend shared this from Bernie Sanders (of all people!) on Facebook:


Her post was met by a chorus of agreement from her usual conservative friends, and me, saying, "That's something we can agree on."

Here are some other meme graphics that get across the point:










It's a place to start, right?

___

Past posts that came to mind while writing this:

Disability for Me, But Not Thee

Dean Baker and Economic Realities

These Problems Are About Policy

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Making the Case for Government Programs

Bonuses and Bolling

Is Your Grandma a Welfare Queen?


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Skews of the World

Thanks to Jason Kottke at kottke.org, I just heard about the Ipsos/Mori quiz, which asks you to choose from among three answers to a range of demographic-oriented questions about your country.

Take the quiz here, if you want to, before reading further.

People in all the countries are woefully under-informed, but the U.S. was second worst on the index of stupidity (after Italy, huh). Believe it or not, most of us gave these answers:

  • the teen birth rate is 8 times higher than it is (24 vs. 3 percent in reality... jeepers, how could anyone think a quarter of teenage girls have babies every year?)
  • the number of immigrants is 2.5 times higher than it is (32 vs. 13 percent)
  • the number of Muslims is 15 times higher than it is and the number of Christians is about 50 percent lower than it is (15 vs. 1 percent for Muslims, 56 vs. 78 percent for Christians... hence the "War on Christmas" and all the other perceived assaults on victimized Christianity)
  • the unemployment rate is more than 5 times higher than it is (32 vs. 6 percent)
  • and, finally, 70 percent of us think the murder rate is going up, even though it's been going down since 1992.
As Kottke put it, "Then again, what do Americans hear about constantly on the news? Unemployment, Muslims and immigration, murder, and teen pregnancy. It's little wonder the guesses on those are so high."

I would add one caveat about the incorrect unemployment guess: people may be thinking of friends who are underemployed, or who have dropped out of the workforce and are not counted in the official 6 percent number at all. When those are included, according to Forbes, the percentage is over 12 percent. And in some communities, say, I don't know... maybe among black men in some parts of the country... 32 percent isn't far off the actual unemployment rate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Condemnation of Blackness

I don't think it's an overstatement to say Americans have little recollection of history, whether recent or long-term. The frenetic pace of 24-hour news means even the most recent crisis is soon forgotten (Ebola, anyone?). Trends that have existed over time are often unknown, so that each moment seems to arise from nothing, without warning.

The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is not quite as forgotten nationally as some recent news stories. His death -- following those of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and many others whose names are not as well known -- finally spurred me to read The Condemnation of Blackness by Khalil Gibran Muhammad. In it, Muhammad gives a scholarly, historical account of how black people, post-Reconstruction, came to be criminalized just for existing.

Some writers thought blacks were criminals because of inherent racial inferiority, while others thought it was because of their cultural inferiority (sound familiar?) -- but almost anyone with access to publishing wrote that blacks were more prone to breaking the law than whites.

Only W.E.B Du Bois, with newly minted degrees from Harvard, saw that unequal treatment based on race could lead to the statistics found in the 1890 census: that blacks made up 30 percent of the prison and jail population, while only making up 12 percent of the population. But even Du Bois didn't recognize the over-policing of black neighborhoods, and the use of vague laws like loitering, disorderly conduct, and "suspicious character" to prosecute blacks more than whites. (Just as today, blacks are much more likely to be arrested and convicted for marijuana possession even though they use it at about the same rate as whites.)

The most enlightening point Muhammad makes, for me, is the way he contrasts treatment of white European immigrants with black emigrants from the South in northern cities. Both were vastly overrepresented in the crime statistics. Yet the settlement house movement -- such as Jane Addams' Hull House in Chicago -- was focused almost exclusively on white immigrants. White progressives like Addams saw themselves in opposition to nativist conservatives who thought immigrants were naturally immoral (just like black people, ahem). The progressives built infrastructure to rescue immigrant youth from the streets at the same time they ignored the needs of blacks, who, if anything, needed even more help than white immigrants.

Addams -- despite her involvement with the founding of the NAACP and work against lynching -- did "not include blacks in her repeated calls for public recreation, which she argued was a silver bullet against 'the number of arrests among juvenile delinquents'" (page 124).

On the next page of the book, Muhammad writes a passage describing one of the most illogical ways of thinking I believe I have ever encountered:
The problem...was that black male ignorance and inefficiency, like black female ignorance and immorality, were defined in relation to slavery and to white civilizationist discourses that already ranked all blacks at the bottom. Therefore black reform...ought to be separate and distinct since blacks, as the logic dictated, could rise to a higher plane only through their own struggle following emancipation. All whites of whatever nationality were, by definition (through centuries of struggle in the wilderness of Europe and colonial American), already on a higher plane capable of being saved by others (page 125, emphasis added).
So get that: If you're already part way up the mountain, you can be helped to the top, but if you're at the bottom, you have to do it yourself.

"Too often," Muhammad writes, "white reformers settled for indexing racial injustice rather than fighting it. For example, Jane Addams could point out the perilous consequences of residential segregation for black families without ending the practice of segregated activities at her own Hull House" (pages 125-126).

Facing housing and job discrimination at every turn, black people in general became the permanent underclass we still have today. White progressives did nothing to end either practice, if they even acknowledged that they existed.

Muhammad also documents the corruption of police and their too-frequent involvement in supporting anti-black violence from white mobs. That's when they themselves weren't killing black men:
...the 1929 Illinois Crime Survey found that African Americans made up 30 percent of the recorded killings by police in 1926-1927, though they represented only 5 percent of the population.... In the manhunt for a sixteen-year-old accused of breaking a restaurant window, [Ida B. Wells] reported, the police entered his home without a warrant, guns blazing. He died in a hail of thirty-five bullets (page 249).
Ida B. Wells features in several chapters of the book. My god, what a woman. Driven out of her native Memphis for her anti-lynching campaigns, she moved from city to city in the North, trying to find a home and funding for her work to uplift and protect her people. At one point in 1910, she was in Chicago and had secured funding for a Negro Fellowship League from a rich white woman, but it ended in 1912 when the woman died and her husband "withdrew funding, insisting that [the League] should have been 'self-supporting by that time'" (page 131).

A few years before that, also in Chicago, Wells helped open the Frederick Douglass Center with support from another wealthy white woman. Wells assumed that she herself would be the director of the new center, but to her surprise, a rich, white suffragist was chosen instead, with Wells as vice president. The organization soon fell apart over disagreements about its purpose and direction.

This pattern of black intellectuals and activists always being placed second to whites becomes a pattern repeated in history. Another example is the case of James Stemons, who spent years working in a post office while he wrote and spoke about the treatment of blacks and their supposedly natural criminality. When he finally managed to build and fund an organization, he found himself the vice president, rather than the president (pages 182-183). All of this underlies current sensitivities about tokenism in organizations and sidekicks in media.

The Condemnation of Blackness is a thorough examination of a 40-year period of American history, seen through a lens I never encountered in my history education. It makes me ache with the sheer stupidity of my liberal/progressive white ancestors. As the NAACP's Crisis magazine put it, "It is senseless to regard crime as racial or characteristic of certain individuals. Crime is one of the best indices of social conditions" (page 244).

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If you'd like to check out a short version of the book, here's a five-minute video of Muhammad explaining his main points.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wayzgoose 2014

I never know what I'll see at Hamilton Wood Type Museum's annual Wayzgoose gathering. This year it was a report on a paper-making project in Ghana, images and ideas from a letterpress shop in Nashville that does public art, a talk about how the museum's small staff and a gaggle of volunteers moved the museum in just five months, and a virtual visit to the Tipoteca Italiana, a printing and wood type museum located a few hours from Venice, Italy.

My photos this year are not so much about the presentations as they have been in the past, although there was one by collector Greg Walter about the use of bas-relief watermarks in handmade paper that I managed to get some shots of. Often, the watermarks are meant as stand-alone works of art, particularly in Italy and Japan, or as commemoratives to honor famous people like Charles Lindbergh just after his transatlantic flight:


But the ones that fascinated me the most were on currency, including these two:


A ruble note with an image of Lenin showing through.


A bill from Suriname with a toucan peeking out of the right side.

Other than that, I mostly recorded a few of the printed pieces that decorate the walls of the museum:


This poster marks the creation of the new wood typeface, Artz, by Erik Spiekermann. It's named in honor of one of the people who was employed by Hamilton to trim the wood type while it was still in regular production (which ended in the early 1990s).


I particularly like the overlapping transparent yellow and pink inks on this poster.


Three colors printed on brown kraft cardstock. Somehow, the art reminds me just a bit of the serpent in the Garden of Eden...


And black ink (appropriately) on chipboard.

The wall of wood type was recently reassembled in the museum's new space. It's hard to get it all one shot, so this will have to do:


Pretty stunning in person.

And one last thing, this beautiful sign:


It used to grace a printing business in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was hand-painted by the proprietor, and only recently came into the museum's collection. (His sons Jim and Bill are the director and artistic director of the museum, respectively.)

If you're ever anywhere near Milwaukee or Sheboygan, or heading up to Door County, Wisconsin -- check out the Hamilton. It's worth a trip.

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Past posts about the Wayzgoose, which I've been attending for five years.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Bunch of Tabs -- Now with Subheads!

It's been a busy few weeks, so the tabs have grown heavy in the browser-boughs. Sagging to the ground once again. Time to clear them off and let the branches spring back into their skyward positions.

Education and Parenting

After the Star Tribune published teacher evaluations for the Minneapolis public schools and found that "worse" teachers were in the lowest performing schools (which also, coincidentally, have the lowest income students), the superintendent acted as though she was shocked, shocked, I tell you. Veteran teacher curmudgucation responded with a metaphor about classrooms without roofs. It's pretty apt.

On the same specific topic: Walk a mile in my teaching shoes by Minneapolis kindergarten teacher Greta Callahan, written in response to the Star Tribune story. "Blanket statements about 'bad' teachers in the 'poorest' schools simply aren’t real life. Here’s what it’s like in the trenches."

Why the Best Teachers Don't Give Tests by Alfie Kohn. A couple of great quotes: "Many years ago, the eminent University of Chicago educator Philip Jackson interviewed fifty teachers who had been identified as exceptional at their craft. Among his findings was a consistent lack of emphasis on testing, if not a deliberate decision to minimize the practice, on the part of these teachers." And "Assessment literally means to sit beside, and that's just what our most thoughtful educators urge us to do."

A veteran teacher turned coach shadows two high school students for two days; some sobering lessons are learned. Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting. High school students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes. You feel a little bit like a nuisance all day long.

Two stories about the so-called word gap (the number of words that young children hear before starting school, which varies based on class). First, from the New York Times, Quality of Words, Not Quantity, Is Crucial to Language Skills, Study Finds. Then, from the Atlantic, Poor Kids and the "Word Gap."

America’s dangerous education myth: Why it isn’t the best anti-poverty program. By Matt Bruenig, writing for Salon:

Almost as if engaged in an elaborate troll, Finland has apparently organized its educational system in exactly the opposite way as the reform movement here claims is necessary. The reformers say we need longer school days, but the Finns have short ones. The reformers say we need extensive standardized testing, but the Finns have almost none. The reformers say we need to keep a close leash on teachers, but the Finns give their teachers considerable freedom. Despite all of these pedagogical mistakes, the Finns consistently find themselves at the top of the international education scoreboard.
In spite of all that goodness,
Education boosters bizarrely think that providing everyone a high-quality education will somehow magically result in them all having good-paying jobs. But, as Finland shows, this turns out not to be true. Apparently, it’s not possible for everyone to simultaneously hold jobs as well-paid upper-class professionals because at least some people have to actually do real work. A modern economy requires a whole army of lesser-skilled jobs that just don’t pay that well and the necessity of those jobs doesn’t go away simply because people are well-educated.
Finland solves this problem with income distribution programs that decrease inequality, and this is what Bruenig advocates for the U.S.

Countries with greater income inequality have stricter parenting. It's almost as if parents panic and try to protect their children from the unfairness out there. How rational, but sadly, how counterproductive.

High-achieving teacher sues state over evaluation labeling her "ineffective." From the Washington Post.

I am not a fan of charter schools generally, but I believe that their original purpose -- to serve as labs for reinventing education -- can happen once in a while. Here's an example from the Atlantic: A Philadelphia School's Big Bet on Nonviolence. Memphis Street Academy took over a prison-like middle school that students called "Jones Jail" and immediately took down the bars from the windows, removed the cops and metal detectors... and got these results: "Allowed to respond anonymously to questionnaires, 73% of students said they now felt safe at school, 100% said they feel there's an adult at school who cares about them and 95% said they hope to graduate from college one day. These are the same Jones Jail kids who 12 months ago were climbing over cars to get away from school."


Social Justice, Mass Incarceration

If you want to understand why and how Chicago came to be the perceived as the murder capital of the U.S., check this out.

A black woman IT professional describes her career with the kind of detail that lets the reader know what it's like. This is just one effect she lists: "I am constantly making micro-evaluations about whether or not my actions will be attributed to my being 'different.'"

An American Warden Visited A Norwegian Prison, And He Couldn't Believe What He Saw. From Business Insider.

Kate Beaton uses her Hark a Vagrant web comic to explain just how great Ida B. Wells was.

In Interrogation, Teenagers Are Too Young to Know Better -- a New York Times article that outlines all the reasons why the justice system and its practices are a bad match for the young. Including the story of a 12-year-old boy who recognized the Miranda warnings from watching “Law & Order,” but thought “It means that you don’t have to say anything until the police officer asks you a question.”

Tweeted by writer Josh Barro with this sentence: "I can't believe civil asset forfeiture is even legal at all." From the New York Times, Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize.

Depressing, but oh, so clarifying as an example of how white privilege exists, regardless of class: I taught my black kids that their elite upbringing would protect them from discrimination. I was wrong.

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig on the conservative argument for private charity instead of government supports and safety nets, even as private people are arrested for feeding the homeless.


Climate Change, Environment, and Sustainable Cities

The 10 things you need to know from the new IPCC climate report. Most importantly: "We have the necessary technologies available, and economic growth will not be strongly affected if we take action, the report argues. As the cliché goes, all it takes is the will to act."

How climate change is like street harassment by David Rogers at Grist.

The future of low-carbon cement, from Ensia magazine. Cement production creates 5 percent of all CO2 output worldwide, so if technology could cut its carbon footprint by even half, that would take a significant chunk out of our greenhouse gas output.

You could spend a good bit of time playing with National Geographic's "What the World Eats" calculator. I did.

How can we get power to the poor without frying the planet? Another one by David Rogers at Grist.

Drivers of cars think they pay for all the roads and bridges through their state and local gas taxes, but the median percent of costs paid through these taxes is only 51 percent, with the rest being made up through general funds (aka state income or sales taxes paid by everyone, whether they drive or not). Remember that, the next time someone complains that bicyclists don't pay their fair share of road maintenance.

How Suburban Sprawl, Inadequate Transit Worsen Unemployment. By F. Kaid Benfield, Natural Resources Defense Council.

If you've caught the Strong Towns bug as I have, you might want to start with their compilation of eight posts that give the background and analysis that make the case for Strong Towns.

Here's a particular post from Strong Towns' Chuck Marohn advocating height limits on buildings. I thought I would disagree with him, since we need to increase density in cities to make transit more usable and use resources better, but Marohn makes the argument for incrementalism and, damn, he sure makes a lot of sense. (Not to mention that his description of incrementalism made me think about the Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.)


Miscellaneous Hobby Horses

Medical quackery and pseudoscience have a cost. That's not news, and in fact, it was assessed pretty thoroughly back in 1984 by former member of Congress Claude Pepper. Those were the days.

Why Banksy is probably a woman. Love this, but of course, it feeds my bias.

And finally --  there's a clear correlation between living in a country with a left-leaning government and individual life satisfaction. Being married and having a job are two factors that strongly influence personal happiness, as researchers know from previous studies. But “The effects of living in a country where the government intervenes in the economy is larger than both those effects.”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Trampled Under the Hooves

Seen at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum as part of their current show, Large Prints:


By Gail Panske, titled "Citizens United, After 1940 May Day Parade Banner." 2014, relief on plywood.

Panske is a professor of art at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I don't have to work very hard to imagine what she thinks of the recent election results in her state.