‘Response to Newspapers’ Archive

L.C.B. says Brown’s Redevelopment Plan is Illegal May 4, 2011 1 Comment

I was tempted to say horrible things about Legislative Counsel, but if the money were to go into the cities’ regular budget instead of the redevelopment slush fund, I would have no problem with that. Related “Legislative counsel says Brown’s redevelopment plan illegal” by Kevin Yamamura at SacBee.com

Redevelopment and Housing April 27, 2011 No Comments

There is a lot of worry that getting rid of redevelopment will get rid of the one affordable housing program we seem to have in California.  A quota of 20% of redevelopment land to be used for “affordable” housing was, given the nature of redevelopment, a good law that was forced on the agencies.  But […]

2011 is not 1995 April 16, 2011 No Comments

I confess that I was hoping that 2011 would be 1995.  After all, we had just climbed out of a serious recession in the earlier part of that decade – dwarfed by the more recent one of course, but big at the time – and we had the configuration of Democratic President and Republican Congress. […]

Dear Urban Cyclists: Go Play in Traffic April 7, 2011 No Comments

P. J. O’Rourke has taken off on the absurdity of bicycles.  However, there are some people that really need and use them, and I’m thinking of “Los Midnight Riders” from my earlier post.  There does need to be some safe place for bicycles, and cars do need to recognize the bicycles are ‘vehicles.’  However, I […]

Herdt: On taxes, redevelopment and teamwork February 20, 2011 No Comments

Timm Herdt of the Ventura County Star does an excellent column on how redevelopment cuts across traditional partisan lines.  I still say we have the social justice opportunity of the century! Related “Herdt: On Taxes, Redevelopment and Teamwork” by Timm Herdt at the Ventura County Star

Chinese Parenting, Part II: Why Chinese Mothers are Superior January 29, 2011 1 Comment

Here is David Brooks defending the upper middle class American approach to parenting.  He declares that Amy Chua sheltered her daughters from the kind of social interactions that teach us how to deal with people in the real world.  In Anglo culture, home schooling parents, though usually much less manic than Ms. Chua, have the […]

Chinese Parenting, Part I: Why Chinese Mothers are Superior January 28, 2011 No Comments

This article is not only interesting for its own sake, but because it illustrates a cultural division that has been raging in mixed Asian-Anglo communities such as Irvine, California.  There are not separate school systems, but there are “Asian” churches and “Anglo” churches and some trying to bridge the gap, and many Irvine public schools […]

There is apparently a shortage of sodium thiopental… January 11, 2011 3 Comments

There is apparently a shortage of sodium thiopental, a drug mainly used to execute people.  In a way, that is just as well.  The death penalty is not a medical procedure, and should not be disguised as one.  Gurneys, needles, and IVs are the instruments of health care, and not of its opposite.  And it […]

Rational consideration of “adaptation” for California… November 23, 2010 2 Comments

Rational consideration of “adaptation” for California as well as merely quixotic attempts at “prevention.”  A great book on this subject, about the British Isles, is Turned Out Nice by Marek Kohn.  I don’t know of any equivalent volume of that quality about the natural scene in California and the West. Related “Climate Change Planning for […]

Urban Bicycling – Or, Another Bicycling Tribe? October 26, 2010 No Comments

Right after I did my post about bicycling cultures, the LA times came out with an article about urban bicycling and designing clothes for it. Trying to use a bicycle for transportation! Imagine that! Well, in the early ‘70s, when I taught myself to ride a bicycle, that is exactly what we were doing. We […]

The Various Tribes Of Bicyclists – And Will Bicycles Ever Become Mass Transit? October 20, 2010 No Comments

The attached inspired me to set down what I notice about bicycles and bicyclists. On the first day of our San Andreas fault tour which I took with some friends – and there will be some posts on that soon, hopefully with pictures! – we passed large numbers of people riding back and forth on […]

California Tea, Like California Housing, Evidently Pricey October 5, 2010 1 Comment

According to Steven Greenhut, who I admire greatly, even though he is a philosophical Libertarian, one reason the Tea Party has not been so effective in California is that the state, being so large, requires candidates for statewide office to be so wealthy they can fund their own campaigns.  That means the “grass roots” cannot […]

Four Deformations of the Apocalypse October 4, 2010 1 Comment

David Stockman understands the difference between what they used to call fiscal conservatism and what they now call fiscal conservatism. Given the modern definition, I’m a “fiscal moderate.” Related: “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse” by David Stockman at NYTimes.com

Why The Religious Right Is Soft On Immigration: Plus, I Propose To Revive A New Deal-Era Institution September 23, 2010 No Comments

I read a recent New York Times article on the Mormon editor who is being lambasted by the conservatives for his views on immigration points up a little known fact – the strictly religious right is fairly soft on immigration.  First, they see a mission field, a chance to recruit new people to Red America […]

The Language of “Mad Men” September 20, 2010 No Comments

I found this on the New York Times website.  Comparative linguistics, or philology, has been one of my favorite subjects since my high school days, though I could hardly converse about it with my friends; it was the era of “Little Deuce Coupe” and the surf culture was fading from its earlier dominance (interestingly enough, […]

American Christianity – Soon a Phenomenon of the Educated? September 11, 2010 1 Comment

For years and years we have been fed with the story that orthodox Christianity and other conservative and demanding religions were primarily, though not exclusively, the domain of the less educated, and that the highly educated were inclined toward more “liberal” and “postmodern” forms of spirituality that did not claim to be exclusively true.  Now […]

More CA Teens Stay in the Passenger’s Seat August 23, 2010 3 Comments

Well, for one thing, kids have other ways of getting out of the house nowadays – into Cyberspace and Facebook, most notably. Related: “More Calif. Teens Stay in the Passenger’s Seat” by Tracey Correa at Fresno Bee.

The New Suburbs, a Plane Ride Away July 30, 2010 3 Comments

Does anyone air-commute from Phoenix to LA or OC? I”ll bet they do! Read: “The New Suburbs, a Plane Ride Away” by Nick Wingfield via WSJ.com.

Respectable ‘conservatives’ are Becoming More Open to ‘Metropolitan Government’ July 15, 2010 1 Comment

The article in the Wall Street Journal shows us that some respectable ‘conservatives’ are becoming more open to ‘metropolitan government.’ I would actually not have a problem with this as long as the ‘metro’ government were a kind of super-county, hopefully with a more ‘republican’ form of government than most counties with a stronger executive, […]

A Return to City Life After 20 Suburban Years June 24, 2010 No Comments

Ah, so the real reason people with kids live in different places than people without kids – it’s hard to find a three bedroom place in the hip parts of town. In Response To: “A Return to City Life After 20 Suburban Years” by C.W. Nevius for SFGate.com

Poll Shows ‘Sea Change’ in Californians’ Attitudes Toward Illegal Immigration June 10, 2010 No Comments

I personally favor some restrictions, but from a political view you can not win office by running against immigrants any more than Sitting Bull could have won the presidency campaigning against the white man. Yes, the average Californian is 30 and brown, and not from lying on the beach either, anymore; and the average California […]

Envy Isn’t Just a Left Wing Vice April 26, 2010 3 Comments

Envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and it involves wanting to deny other people things whether you have them or not. We generally think of it in terms of what the Australians call the Tall Poppy Syndrome; the more talented and outstanding people get cut down to “size” by the rest. And in […]

Down With Downhill Skiing March 24, 2010 1 Comment

California’s most popular winter sport exposed! Related: “Down With Downhill Skiing!” at The Daily Beast

Prudes at Dinner, Gluttons in Bed March 2, 2010 2 Comments

Apropos of my post more than a month ago on New Year’s Resolutions (attached to refresh your memory) I just found a column by George Will on a similar theme. It seems to me that the words “sin” and “sinful” occur in modern secular prose most often next to the words “chocolate” or “Las Vegas.” […]

When I am elected to the Board of Equalization… February 27, 2010 2 Comments

When I am elected to the Board of Equalization, I will move my headquarters to Fresno. It is well located at the center of the state, and for reasons specified here it is the best place from which I can fulfill my campaign promises. Related: “Fresno, Calif., tops list of ‘drunkest’ U.S. cities; Boston least” […]

In Which I Make Pompous Suggestions Concerning Transit in Los Angeles February 22, 2010 1 Comment

Source: LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority Anyone looking at a map of the LA Metro notices that it is an East Side phenomenon – the westernmost point it reaches on the coastal side of the hills is Hollywood and Highland.  It is kind of as if BART did not go under the bay to San Francisco! […]

Padding? Or Something Reality? February 20, 2010 1 Comment

There was a recent discussion in the Wall Street Journal about why a flight from Los Angeles to New York, which takes six hours under ideal conditions, should be scheduled at seven hours.  Some wonder whether this practice is ethical. I say it’s quite ethical.  If anything, I wonder whether they’ve padded enough.  What is […]

Sorry Wrong Number: A Basis In Reality February 17, 2010 2 Comments

One of the less cheery films that we as a family like – because it reminds us of some of our relatives – is Sorry, Wrong Number, a 1948 noir film with Barbara Stanwyck.  As a young girl, the Stanwyck character has heart palpitations, or many of the symptoms of a heart attack, when she […]

Tax Auditors Keep Tabs on Bars by Imbibing… February 16, 2010 1 Comment

I have never considered running for office, but I think I shall now consider running for the Board of Equalization. And I promise to anyone who votes for me that I will not delegate the important matter of liquor taxes to any faceless unelected bureaucrat, but shall take responsibility for these particular matters myself! Related: […]

San Jose Mercury News: Tech Group’s Poll Suggests Candidates Should ‘Friend’ Voters February 13, 2010 1 Comment

I’m not surprised on the least.  They already “friend” anyone who gives them more than $100 – more than that, if you do that, they will structure a whole social life for you.  If I was lonely and single, that would be nice…. In Response To: Tech Group’s Poll Suggests Candidates Should ‘Friend’ Voters by […]

Native is Now Normal February 11, 2010 3 Comments

I am of such an advanced age (let’s just say that my current age was a favorite number of the Babylonians!) that for me to announce that I was a native Californian was to claim something rather special and unusual. According to Dowell Myers of USC, however there are now enough of us native Californians […]

New Years Resolutions, Neuroscience, and What We Calvinists Knew All Along January 1, 2010 1 Comment

Greetings, beloved fans, and welcome to the decade of the teens, and farewell to the decade of the “aughts.”  Some of you are no doubt thinking about New Years’ resolutions.  For some of you your resolutions, no doubt, have to do with issues of morals and manners, but for many of you they may have […]

Death Penalty is Considered a Boon December 27, 2009 No Comments

If you’re going to state prison, and want posh accommodations safe from murder and rape by other inmates, make sure you commit a capital crime! You’ll get to enjoy the luxury for quite a while. Related: LA Times: Death penalty is considered a boon by some California inmates

How sweet is life when you live next to a celebrity in Malibu? December 11, 2009 3 Comments

How sweet is life when you live next to a celebrity in Malibu?  Outside Bob Dylan’s house, the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.  That’s what some of the singer-songwriter’s neighbors are claiming in an increasingly onerous dispute… Related: Los Angeles Times: Malibu residents upset at Bob Dylan’s outhouse