Person #151: 31 Posts

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  1. Talk to your friends (0 Replies)

    Bourne Selectmen Address Railroad Concerns

    Republicans Want Bourne to Consider Nixing MBTA Membership

    To be clear, I support mass transportation, to be deployed fairly and wisely and prioritized around need, benefit, social justice concerns, and yadda yadda. I’m not opposed to weekday Cape service. I’m just reporting what I heard from a friend who works a white collar job at the T and who weekends on the Cape. It is my understanding that it was his understanding that lots of folks on the Cape opposed weekday commuter rail because they felt the commuter rail would encourage folks moving from Boston Metro to the Cape, thereby changing the way of life. I’m not saying they’re right or wrong… I brought it up because I don’t have any idea what the feel is down in those parts.

  2. The First Amendment applies, not the Second (0 Replies)

    Ignoramuses have every right to peaceably express their membership in ignoramia.

  3. pithy subject there (0 Replies)

    By “You’re” you don’t mean me, you mean the Confederate battle flag waver. Right?

    You’re either an active racist or a passive and ignorant one.

    At the risk of turning to the definition:
    rac·istv a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

    The definition isn’t based around how people receive the action, but rather the action itself. Waving the flag isn’t discriminatory because to discriminate requires the person make a choice or an action; displaying the flag is passive. It’s not prejudicial either, because prejudgment requires determining something prematurely, and the display of the flag doesn’t, in itself, judge anything.

    IMO, a person who (proudly) displays a Confederate battle flag is racist and/or a not-racist social ignoramus.

    The folks in the latter category aren’t racist, because to be racist requires that the person either discriminate or prejudge, based on race. And, as lots of folks have discussed, people have a First Amendment right to express ideas rooted in their own ignoramia (and our right to call them ignoramuses). So yes! we should actively work on changing the cultural consensus about the flag, through education, empathy, and social pressure.

  4. And also sweet (0 Replies)

    Dangit. Rage against something or other.

  5. Dunno (1 Reply)

    If I were a black man from Chicago or Connecticut, maybe.

    If I were a black man from Bozeman or Hattiesburg, maybe not. Maybe I’d know white people who don’t have racism or hate in their heart, but also lack the empathy or experience or social cognitive ability to understand the clear racist implications of the battle flag those white people adhere to their truck bumpers.

    As a white man who has spent significant portions of his life in the South, I’ve come across 100s of confederate flag waving racists, and 100s of confederate flag waving social ignoramuses. I am immediately cautious and/or suspicious when I see the flag. I don’t assume the person is racist, but I’m far more careful about what I say and what I hear, in order to make a judgment based on that person’s own words and actions.

    That’s my personal experience, not quite data but far more than an anecdote, with interactions in KY, TN, WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL panhandle, AL, MS, LA, and TX.

  6. I don't. (2 Replies)

    I think it’s safe to presume that a person flying the Confederate flag is a racist.

    I don’t.

    I think lots of people hoisting American flags are racists. Many of them, on the other hand, are just ignorant. Blissfully and willfully so, perhaps, but ignorant nonetheless.

  7. But those are different people (2 Replies)

    Bernie won that very same county in the MI Democratic primary without being a racist

    I’m struggling with this one jconway. Bernie won a set of Dems (and maybe indies, I don’t know MI law). That’s a proper subset of voters in the county — and distinctly not ones inclined to vote for the GOP in a “normal” election.

    It’s not just white working people who abandoned Clinton-it’s the working people who stayed home, the black voters who stayed home, and the millennials who stayed home or defected to third parties

    Do you have good analysis that shows that blacks voted for HRC in lower rates than Obama, Kerry, or Gore? Folks in the 18-30whatever age group?

  8. Careful... (1 Reply)

    As far as I can tell they are decent civic and community organizations.

    How many SCV and UDC members do you know? Know well? How many meetings or events have you been to?

    There’s a pretty broad spectrum of decency and community-mindedness among the membership, as one might expect.

  9. A, meet not A. Not A, this is A. (2 Replies)

    we continue to celebrate the other genocide

    both genocides are so tightly woven into our culture that we are hardly aware of them.

    We can’t both be celebrating something and be hardly aware of it.

  10. I mean, strictly speaking... (0 Replies)

    the pro-life movement seeks to take away women’s agency, by definition.

  11. So let's say you're building transit in Indianapolis (1 Reply)

    Let’s ignore that the current US Government’s President and Legislature don’t support it, but let’s play along…

    You’ve got a big job. Need lots of equipment operators, in and around Indianapolis. You can either (a) require that the subcontractors employ labor from locations X, Y, and Z, (b) give them a bonus for doing so, or (c) just know that the mere act of building in Indianapolis will result in a tightening of the labor market there for those occupations, and hope that folks from Harlan County and Englewood go to fill in the gaps, or (d) do letter c, but also actively recruit/encourage folks from Harlan County and Englewood to apply for jobs in Indianapolis.

    Given that, at least in post-WW II era big construction, the US government doesn’t actually build it but instead hires others to do it… how do you get an outcome where a non-trivial percent of the people building the Indianapolis transit system are from the Harlan Counties or the Englewoods of the world? What’s the mechanism?

  12. Exception that proves the rule? (1 Reply)

    Small donors put a socialist in the Senate

    Sure — but that’s an edge case.

    For one thing, he ran for state-wide office in 1972, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2012. Fourteen times. And, of course, he also ran for may of Burlington in 1980, 1982, 1984, and 1986.

    For another, his 2012 senate race cost him a whopping $3.2M. Total. His opponent spent $132k; Sander certainly could have spent less. What about 2006? Sanders spent $6.6M; his Republican opponent spent $7.3M. In 2000, Jim Jeffords won the seat spending $2.1M. The other senate seat in Vermont saw Leahy spend $4.9M in 2016, $4.1M in 2010, and $1.9M in 2004. Historically, you don’t need an awful lot of money to win a US Senate seat in Vermont, certainly relative to other states.

    I recognize that VT went from GOP to Dem, but it managed to do so relatively quietly and conflict-free. We’re simply not seeing that in many other states — the races are fiercer and more expensive, and don’t allow for a candidate who has run for office state-wide fourteen times.

  13. I do favor more housing in Boston (0 Replies)

    I favor more emergency social services housing — shelters — in Boston and any area where there are folks who need emergency housing.

    I favor more affordable housing in Boston — but do keep in mind that, unlike most communities in the state, Boston and Cambridge both exceed the 10 percent minimum. But yes, I favor more.

    I favor more lower-cost (and smaller!) market rate housing in Boston, to allow working class folks with working class jobs in the city the ability to live in the city.

    I also favor that if a state or federal policy goes this route that it also pays for (at least more of) the infrastructure capital projects that the increased population requires: schools, police and fire, and transportation, to say nothing of upgrades to parks and playgrounds.

  14. You're not wrong (1 Reply)

    But if you hold up your purity card and don’t take donations from people who work in any industry that has any power…

    you won’t make it farther than state rep.

  15. Boston? (2 Replies)

    The MBTA isn’t “Boston” — did you mean that the MBTA refuses to provide services?

    Regarding commuter rail to the Cape, I thought that weekend-only service was the compromise because lots on the Cape don’t want weekday service, lest South Shore residents who work in Boston move to the Cape. Yes/no?

  16. Sortakinda (0 Replies)

    Winthrop is not* on the T. The nearest station is actually in Boston, and their buses are run by Paul Revere private transport, not the MBTA.

  17. My frustration was that we didn't do a little bit of SP or consolidation (2 Replies)

    I felt like we missed an opportunity to do some consolidation and SP in conjunction with the ACA.

    We could have made Medicare an at-cost option for health insurance for those under 65. We could have merged Medicaid into Medicare — just make the Medicaid customers eligible for Medicare and eliminate the duplicity. We could have lowered eligibility for Medicare to 62 or 60 or 55. We could have said that all pregnant women, postpartum women, and newborns were on Medicare because we all love the unborn and the newly-born.

    We could have added to the rolls of the insured and added to the rolls of Medicare at the same time.

    This isn’t to say I disagree with charley — I don’t. We’re better with the ACA than we were without out.

  18. Only because I like and respect you... (2 Replies)

    I’ve got too much work to do, but here’ goes..

    > maybe means tested for eligibility.

    This seems troublesome, for two reasons: Firstly, if you’re unemployed, you’ll pass the means test. If you’re not, you won’t. If your spouse is employed but you’re not… that gets tricky, because your household has some means but if you’ve got kids, probably not enough.

    > Just demolishing abandoned houses and planting grass on abandoned lots would create a lot of work within the potential employees own community.

    Sure, but this isn’t so easy. You’ve got to test for hazmat — asbestos, lead paint, etc. If it’s there, even in an abandoned house, it’s not cheap to remove and requires expertise. Then, you’ve got to demo and remove the debris — a mix of laborers, equipment, and equipment operators. You’ve got to do site remediation and planting, which requires equipment, equipment operators, laborers, and the vegetation. And, of course, you’ve got to do something about the deed or title — are we spending money that the owner should be spending? What if the owner wants to build a house on this land right when we’ve finished — shouldn’t he have paid for this? Etc. I’m not opposed, I just think it’s both (a) more costly, and (b) employs fewer people from your pool than you imagine. Ironically, a few good unemployed ol’ boys from the mines could operate the equipment in your decayed Chicago neighborhood, but they live 100s of miles away.

    > Similarly, a big challenge in Appalachia is basic infrastructure.

    Sure, except that once the mines have shut down, there’s much less reason for the infrastructure in the first place. I don’t just mean that it was dump trucks carting tailings or coal or God knows what from the mine using the infrastructure. I mean that the town exists because the mine existed; now that it doesn’t any more, the town’s population and economic activity is naturally shrinking. I’m not arguing that it’s OK to allow for health or safety risks (e.g. outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, bridge falling down), but I’m not interested in building Bridges to Nowhere when we’ve got areas of high use, high population, high economic productivity that have infrastructure needs not being met.

    > Many of these communities could benefit directly from eco tourism

    Tourism sucks. OK, everybody, I know we’re generally white, upper middle class folks around here who go down Cape or visit Berlin from time to time or at least take the kids to Disney World. But hear me out. When tourism is one industry of many, like in Chicago or Boston, you get a nice jobs boost, you get some diversity in the economy and labor market, it’s a good thing. But when tourism is your jobs base, you’re… Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or New Orleans. And it’s shit. It’s terrible wages, terrible hours, often physically demanding work, no job security, and your customers are assholes. Doubly so if, unlike Vegas and AC but like NOLA (and Appalachia), the folks visiting are from distinctly other cultures and aren’t there to celebrate or enjoy yours. I love New Orleans. Tourists come to get wasted and gawk at French and Spanish architecture, eat a beignet, and maybe to go over to the lower 9th on a bus and feel good about themselves for giving a shit a decade later. Very few tourists come to learn to dance zydeco at Tipitinas, to see Rebirth or Stooges or Dirty Dozen at Maple Leaf, or go hear some new young jazz at the Spotted Cat while sipping an Abita. And the tourists sure as hell don’t bother learning about the folks who work in the tourism industry — by and large black, poor, with no prospects, no savings, and no plans for what they’ll do when they’re too old to make beds or mop floors or drive the tourism bus. You think it would be any different in Hazzard County Kentucky? You think folks flying in to bird watch or white water raft or whatever it is people do out of doors will think of Kentucky as anything other than bourbon, horse racing, and basketball? Think they’ll be interested in Loretta Lynn, W.C. Handy, Wilson Pickett, or contemporary Christian music? And I haven’t even mentioned the all-too-common holier/smarter/better-than-thou attitude that emanates from tourists in NOLA that you can be damn sure would also emanate from the same tourists in Appalachia (it’s at least as much about education and class as it is race). I’m not arguing against individual enterprising folks creating tourism destinations and finding employees to work there (subject to fair labor laws). I am suggesting that tourism, as a major regional industry, creates exactly the kinds of jobs that folks like johntmay have rightfully been railing against — they’re just too much of unsafe, underpaid, and insecure.


    I think we need to make it easier for people to move. Yes, there be dragons here. We don’t want a policy that targets cultures and eviscerates them, much like George W Bush’s response to Katrina more than decimated New Orleans (net population reduction of over 1/3 of black citizens in NOLA 2000 — 2010. Fewer than 1 in 6 white citizen net population reduction). We do want to preserve culture, and we don’t want to force people to move. And it’s hard to move, to leave behind a support network and comfort to strike out and find your fortune. But the saying is that America is the land of opportunity, not that every city and town in America is the land of opportunity at every moment. And in many ways, its easier to relocate than ever before — cell phones mean you can keep contact regardless of location. Better, faster, and cheaper (in real dollars) transportation means getting there and back is easier. Internet means you can more easily find out about the new locality, including customs and cultures and laws and jobs and housing and any number of other things. It’s not rational to think we can bring hundreds of jobs each small Appalachian town that’s had a mine close. Manufacturing is a non-starter due to transportation costs alone. There simply aren’t enough CCC-style projects locally. And if we’re going to have a CCC-style program that requires folks travel with the projects (as was the case the first time around), why not just facilitate the relocating and build the infrastructure where it makes sense for a forward looking 21st century, not based on where people happen to have had better prospects a half century ago?

    Check out population change 2000 — 2010 (a bit dated, but the best we got):

    Check out Appalachian Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia: quite purple. Now look at Indianapolis, Columbus, Charlotte, Loudoun County, and the Atlanta metro — hint, they’re very green. The distribution of population across America has always been tied to economic opportunity. I don’t think we should ignore that, but rather harness it. Make the economic transition in Appalachia easier by ensuring that there is safe, affordable housing in Indianapolis and Charlotte. Make sure the college recruiters for tOSU, UC, Kent State, OU, Akron, UofToledo, Miami U (OH), Cleveland State, Bowling Green, and Wright State all get way over to the Ohio River when looking for applicants and scholarship recipients. Make sure that contracting communities don’t have failing budgets because of the contraction — if that means the Feds buy and dismantle/re-purpose some things (think: too many school buildings in a shrinking urban area, or housing that’s become an attractive nuisance), that’s totally reasonable. Making sure that the folks who remain have access to education and health care is important.

    I’m all for substantially increased federal spending on capital projects (infrastructure) and operations budgets (school teachers). I’m all for substantially increased federal spending on job training and education (community colleges, tuition forgiving, literacy programs, and hey even national universities, but I digress). I do not think it’s reasonable to spend money in a part of America simply because those particular people are waiting around for the jobs to come back. Those jobs aren’t coming back, and while this country is built around opportunity, it’s not built to serve it up at the place and time of each person’s choosing.

  19. I think you're not cracking just the right nut (1 Reply)

    It’s absolutely true that there are pockets of high un/under-employment and high job insecurity. Black neighborhoods in cities. Rural white Appalachian and Rust Belt areas. Office workers aged 55 and up. Women without a 4 year college degree. ESL communities.

    One program to employ them all may not be the right way to do it. For a government job to make sense, you need an employee with the right skills and located in the right place. Some of the folks in the above groups meet those criteria, but many do not. A major barrier to white men in Appalachia is a lack of blue collar jobs due to stagnant or shrinking economic activity in their communities. The major barrier to women without a 4 year degree is a lack of good, affordable child care options. Want to help those 55+ stop getting squeezed out? Let them join Medicare with an employer contribution lower than the private insurance contribution. Different challenges, different approaches.

    There’s room around the edges. Subcontracted custodial staff often has low job security, low wages, and unsafe working conditions. Governments could either bring those jobs into the fold or contractually mandate better wages and working conditions. But our infrastructure needs repair, but it is where it is, and the fact is that most of those jobs both (a) require skills, and (b) are subcontracted to private companies, not employed directly by a government — so it’s not so easy to use infrastructure upgrades to target more/better jobs in specific areas.

    And look, the Democrats are the minority party. There’s not much we can do right now but oppose.