I posted a 12-item photo essay on Twitter from the trip J & I took to Heart Mountain in July 2016. Here’s a link to the top of the thread. It’s about how injustices shape landscapes, and fade into them, and afterward have to be consciously accurately remembered.
I’m reading and retweeting the Harvey news, thinking of Hurricane Katrina.
[Update 8/28/17: This post is a “lessons learned” comment, not current advice. For early news you can use, see:
- Mark Shelburne’s post for Novogradac on how LIHTC properties can help displaced households.
- HUD’s early announcement of housing aid for people displaced by Harvey, via Affordable Housing Finance.]
Although Houston had no initial mass evacuation, some people in the Harvey flood zone are going to need temporary places to live if their housing has become unusable, especially as mold begins to form.
Whatever keeps people closest to their own homes is best — if people in low-density areas can get trailers to live in next to their houses or apartments, for example, that’s great — but it seems likely some may have to leave the area outright in search of a safe place to stay while they recover. Continue reading
Early this month the New York Times‘ Thomas Fuller wrote up a round of interviews with prominent men from the old-school power structures of Northern California inland towns. He portrayed them as speaking for a “Great Red North” (red as in Republican) that feels unrepresented by California state government, viewing it as dominated by urban liberals.
Casey Michel, a writer focused on right-wing nationalisms, almost immediately noted that one interviewee in the article, Mark Baird, was not identified as a leading figure in the State of Jefferson secessionist campaign. A proposed statewide ballot initiative to remove California from the Union is again in early qualification stages with the California Attorney General’s Office. Continue reading
I’ve been posting mostly on Twitter for a long time. A problem with Twitter is, when you manage to say a thing right, it slips away down the timeline at the same rate as everything you said wrong or halfway.
So this morning I wrote a short Twitter essay on why proposals for a universal basic income are riskier in the United States than in some other places. UBI talk seems likely to persist, so my worries might bear revisiting. Here’s a link to the thread. Midway in, it mentions an article about how UBI payments helped a village in Kenya. Here’s the link.
Would add that as an old public benefits advocate, I know means tests are terrible things. They’re intrinsically bureaucratic, demeaning and unfair. So it would be great if we could give everyone money instead of making poor people jump through hoops for cash aid. But in the United States of 2017, a UBI bill would be exploited to convert uncapped entitlements into individual block grants. In which case, what would happen to public support for long-term medical and disability needs?
It’s the old story: if we could trust each other in America, we could have nice things. It would be great if we could trust U.S. legislators to enact a UBI, but common sense says they would try to end more public entitlements in exchange. That’s an unpayable price.
J&I made a road trip of a visit to the Denver National Archives this month. Across the Great Basin and back.
We traveled by way of the Topaz and Minidoka camp sites, where thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. Both camps are desert places. They can be farmed with irrigation, but not easily. Especially not Topaz.
Here are some images from the Topaz site. Topaz Museum director Jane Beckwith said the word spelled out in barbed wire was added, without permission, by antiwar activists who visited the site around 2003. It’s now part of the site’s history, hence left in place.
People in the tourist part of Monterey look at the expensive bronze statuary of the Cannery Row Monument without laughing. Apparently all the time, every day.
The same mentality that took Steinbeck’s jolliest depiction of marginality and further sentimentalized it as a draw for tourists also sponsored this pole full of prohibition signs a very few blocks away: Continue reading
This site has been quiet for a while because I’ve been working flat-out as editor of California Planning and Development Report, a subscription newsletter on California land use issues. I’ll be going to contributor status at CP&DR shortly, which should leave time for other projects. Also possibly for more posts over here. For the moment I’m posting more actively on Twitter at @mbridegam and on Facebook.