(It's intentional!)

So, LA has the worst traffic in the nation.

What the story doesn't say, is that much of it is intentional on the part of the city leaders and the department of transportation. Their thinking is:
  • Cars are yucky!
  • Public transport is great!
  • The worse traffic gets, the more people will use public transport!
  • Yay!
Twits.

College as just a status symbol

Interesting article:

The whole point of paying thousands of dollars for a Louis Vuitton bag is that other people can't. If they could, the bags would instantly lose almost all value in the eyes of those who buy them. Hence, the more such things cost, the more desirable they become.

In economic terms, higher education is a positional good: It is valuable to have a college degree because other people don't have one. It is also to a significant extent a Veblen good: Sending one's children to college, and most especially a prestigious (meaning expensive) college, is a way of signaling social status via the conspicuous consumption of a luxury good.

All of this helps explain why college tuition has increased three times faster than the cost of living over the past three decades. University administrators have discovered that, to a remarkable degree, the more they charge for what they're offering, the more people will want to buy it.

Lucky boy

What a stupid article. Referring to the release of emails from Scott Walker's time as Milwaukee County Executive (the #1 post in the county), Politico says:

No crotch shots. No mistress in Argentina. And no political vendettas featuring a bridge.

Scott Walker is one lucky guy.

Lucky? The implication is that he was just lucky that he wasn't caught with all of the call girls, p*?n, and drugs that he was so obviously doing! That's what at least half the article deals with: look at all these pols brought down by their shenanigans with the ladies. Gosh! isn't Walker lucky he wasn't caught like that! They then go on to compare him to Christie's bridge scandal before finally dealing with the only thing that is really a problem in the emails, the racist comments made by his assistants. That's it, 19 paragraphs down, after saying it was too bad Walker wasn't like those other pols, they get to the only thing that is actually a problem with the emails.

If I were the editor...

Hillary 2016

This anti-Hillary piece is from a couple of weeks ago. You can't tell me the pic that was on the front page of the New York Times Magazine was meant to be flattering.



The ground is being laid for anybody but Hillary.

Hillary 2016

I don't think Hillary is inevitable; in large part because I don't think any of Washington actually wants her. The media are already writing critical articles, and I don't think the current crop of Dems want the Clinton machine back on top. I think they have an anybody by Hillary attitude, and are just looking for anyone else who is viable--that's what they did last time, even though Obama didn't even seem viable when he threw his hat in the ring.

Here's an insider's anti-Hillary story, taking the line that she's too old to run. Notice this in a a left-leaning publication, and written by the liberal Charlie Cook.

Clinton turns 67 this October. At that age, she will likely be making her candidacy decision, and if nominated Clinton would turn 69 two weeks before the 2016 general election, notably the same age Ronald Reagan was when he was first elected in 1980. The choice to run for president is effectively a nine-year commitment: one year to run, another four years if she wins a first term—finishing up that term at age 73—and then, assuming she runs for reelection and wins, serving four more years to end a second term at 77 years of age. None of this is to say that the age issue could successfully be used against her. After all, Reagan won the presidency at the same age. But how many 67-year-olds make nine-year commitments, and what concerns have to be addressed if they do?

Why I'd Rather not.

All I could think of when I came to this...
The problem with typewriters was that they used monospaced type—that is, every character occupied an equal amount of horizontal space. This bucked a long tradition of proportional typesetting, in which skinny characters (like I or 1) were given less space than fat ones (like W or M). Monospaced type gives you text that looks "loose" and uneven; there's a lot of white space between characters and words, so it's more difficult to spot the spaces between sentences immediately. Hence the adoption of the two-space rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. Here's the thing, though: Monospaced fonts went out in the 1970s. First electric typewriters and then computers began to offer people ways to create text using proportional fonts. Today nearly every font on your PC is proportional.
 was Dan Rather.

Davis distortions

Wendy Davis is being thrashed for giving up her children to her ex-husband, especially for her older kid that had a different father.

How could she do such a thing!

How could any mother give up her daughter!

How could any mother give up her 23-year-old adult daughter!

Oh...wait...nevermind.

The other "child" was 17 and in her senior year of high school.

Puts quite a different spin on it that the picture I've seen of Davis with her newborn and the baby's 6-year-old big sister.


Mom's Old Couch

Posting this screen capture from The Rockford Files (1976) for mom.  We had this very couch in our home.  Not the foot stool though.


Mandela

I went to Grinnell College in Iowa. It is a small liberal-arts college (I'd say that it is also a liberal arts college, but the school isn't really arts focused,) and these days it seems the administration there spends probably half its time crowing about how progressive they are.

That is probably why the school rarely mentions one of its most important alumni: the late John Garang. John Garang is know to his people as the father of South Sudan. He was a revolutionary fighter, leading an army into battle against the Sudanese government. In the end, he won, and South Sudan was born. Sadly, he died before independence was fully established; but on that first day of independence, the people of South Sudan unveiled a massive statue of Garang in their capitol. He's their founding father.

I'm sure Grinnell doesn't like to extol the virtues of a military hero--not kumbaya-ish enough for them--so, I've only seen one article about him in the alumni magazine, and that was long before South Sudan came into being. I am on Facebook with a 20-something fellow alum, and she had never even heard of him--and she was at Grinnell when he was still alive and winning his people's independence, and she was there when he died in 2005.

I see the same thing happening after Nelson Mandela's death; though, instead of ignoring the militant revolutionary, they are simply scrubbing that part of his life out of existence. He wasn't a man of peace, he was a fighter who had thousands of grenades with him at the time of his arrest. He wasn't going around putting daisies in rifle barrels; he was blowing things up. He had tried non-violence and decided it didn't work and couldn't work against Pretoria. He then turned to bombs and blood. He wasn't leading peaceful marches (when he tried that, the government shot at the crown and killed dozens) or penning editorials, or giving speeches; he was a fighter. That's what I admire most about him. He saw an intolerable situation and decided it was worth fighting against--with blood if necessary.

But the modern left; and, therefore, the modern media; is violence-adverse. They can't image actually celebrating a militant hero as a militant hero. That part of his life is scrubbed away. He is just another neutered black man, only acceptable when he's been made a milquetoast.

He wasn't Gandhi. He was Mandela. Honor the man for who he actually was, not a distorted, cleansed, mythologized facsimile of him.