Interesting comment in issue 872 of the Editor’s Letter in The Week magazine: “For much of the electorate, politics is a ritualized display of tribal identity, not a mere choice of policies. You are who you hate.”
IMO, it’s in the self-interest of our political parties (tribes) to drive ever harder wedges between one another, because the #1 function of a tribe is to out-compete other tribes. It’s hard-wired into our genes from our primate ancestors.
George Washington warned against the formation of political parties and urged the nation to choose leaders for reasons that transcended partisan politics. Hmmm.
The median home price in San Jose, the nearest big city, is $1M. That’s way more than LA, NY, and even SF. It’s the highest in the US. How can young families afford it? They can’t of course. And rents are likewise sky-high.
This article in Kiplinger lists the median home prices for the top 100 US metro areas. Even the median price, $800K, in the little burg I’m near, Santa Cruz, is a lot higher than anywhere else in the US. This 950 sq ft home in Santa Cruz recently sold for a little over $800K, the median price in Santa Cruz. In my hometown of Garden City, MI, it would be around $80K, a tenth of Santa Cruz. I’m speechless.
Blaming AR15s for gun violence is like blaming the texting feature of phones for the carnage on our roads caused by distracted driving. Should we outlaw texting?
People all too easily turn to guns to solve problems. Where did they learn this? Answer: popular media. The people in Hollywood who want to ban guns make billions on glorifying gun violence. What can we do? We could censor popular media; who currently have no self-censorship. What else could we do but won’t?
- We could make it harder for people convicted of ANY violent crimes to get guns
- We could aggressively punish violent transgressors instead of wrist slaps, even if it means building more jails.
- We could jail therapists who don’t “out” the nut jobs they know are a danger to others
- We could stop threatening the 2nd amendment so gun owners don’t have to take extreme positions and instead, work with everyone else on the problem
- We could legalize drugs and kill the revenue source of gun-using gangs and BTW, save the lives of countless innocent people in Latin America
- We could shift tax dollars from things like drug enforcement and incarceration to education. This would help build a strong economy so people get good jobs and have hope.
- We could identify at-risk individuals through schools and the military, and offer/ force counseling
- We could admit that suicides are not a gun problem, it’s a people problem
- We could punish every parent who’s found guilty of making guns available (unsupervised) to kids. A few examples would solve most of this part of the problem.
I’m sure there are dozens of other things we could do, after careful and bi-partisan study.
In a Feb 18 article by CALmatters on the “California Dream”, Matt Levin observes that if you factor in cost-of-living, California has the highest poverty rate in the U.S. Stated another way, California is the poorest state in the country. Poorer than states like Louisiana or Mississippi. The article mostly blames the cost of housing. In 1969, the average California home price was 3X the average annual income of younger Californians; today, it’s 7X. At the same time, we have the wealthiest citizens, and some cities with the highest per capita income.
Back in 2005, I was trying to be funny. It’s not funny anymore.
I’m so impressed that the California State University system dropped the algebra requirement. Impressed … because it’s more forward thinking than I normally give our established academicians credit for. In his book “In Defense of the American Teen“, author Ryan Teves makes a compelling argument to give young people a basic education, then allow them to pursue their passions. Forcing people who do not want or need algebra is just plain stupid. So I say “congratulations CSU!” Keep innovating and keep your curriculum relevant! You are in the business of serving students, not academic dinosaurs.
Next, let’s try to get the people in charge of K-12 out of the dark ages.
It appears that it’s a hardship to pay for your traffic fines. So, now, you don’t have to pay traffic tickets in CA.
Keep in mind that we have the worst drivers in the US.
Or if you believe this website, we only have the 2nd worst drivers. I’ve been to Utah, and I dispute their claim to be #1.
Seems like everyone is focused on politics, president Cheeto-head, the Kardashians, ISIS, or the crisis-of-the-month. But this little tidbit almost slid by my radar: 94% of the jobs created in the past decade were not traditional 9-5, full-time jobs. According to this study, conventional jobs are disappearing. You know, like jobs with benefits.
For those of us who are boomers and maybe Gen-Xers, it’s not a huge problem. We mostly already have jobs. But millennials have to figure out how to carve out a living with small chance of buying a home, getting health insurance from an employer, or providing for retirement.
Something to think about when the government thinks about shutting down health insurance subsidies and cutting back on social security benefits for those just entering the workforce. And I guess that Uber drivers can always raise their families in their vans, which is OK as long as the founders of Uber are zillionaires.