Morning Ed: United States {2016.04.13.W}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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100 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon says:

    CPS: So let me get this straight, CPS is either way to aggressive or not enough? Either way incompetence abounds.

    Hawaii: Cool.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Damon says:

      CPS is either way to aggressive or not enough

      We might entertain the possibility that they mostly spend their days doing their job in such a manner as to not make the news.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        “We might entertain the possibility that they mostly spend their days doing their job in such a manner as to not make the news.”

        Indeed. Likely as not, similar cover ups take place that don’t get the notice of the DA. After all, these are poor kids, minority kids, etc. Who cares about them? No one.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        Like government overall, CPS is both too agressive and not aggressive enough, too large and too small all at the same time.

        Which is, that thinking of it one dimensionally misses it’s other aspects.
        Like most agencies, CPS has a broad mission scope, and broad police powers to effect it’s outcome.
        But in most jurisdictions it is poorly funded compared to its mission. For instance here in California it’s not uncommon for caseworker to have a load of 80 or 90 families.
        So they flail around, sometimes erring on the side of caution and sometimes not, and always lacking the time and attention that would be necessary to be effective.Report

        • Someday I will successfully convince Sheila Tone, my erstwhile HC coblogger and LA County family services lawyer, to do a series of posts on the subject.

          Her perspective pretty cynicism-inducing.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

            Family services, like mental health, is an area where we as a society fail regularly.

            The complexities and nuances needed in order to effect something approaching a “just” solution to family and mental health issues just isn’t something that the government possesses.

            Yet NGOs like churches and social organizations don’t have much better of a track record.
            And yet, throwing up our hands and declaring it hopeless and insolvable isn’t something many of us are prepared to do either.

            Most common is the approach that comforts us on the outside with simple verities and pat solutions, akin to “lock ’em up and throw away the key” mentality.

            IMO, the proper approach is to reconcile ourselves to the truth of human frailty and accept the presence and inevitability of tragedy and pain and find ways of coping with and minimizing it, rather than eradicating it.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Not really Chip. Most people have no clue what CPS regularly does or how mental health services ( not really clear what you mean here) work. People only hear, or care, about CPS after a big case hits the media. Whether it is representative or not is usually not important. How they handle a typical case never usually comes up. Some states do a far better job of CPS than others, so it isn’t really possible to have a blanket criticism of them; some places they are good and some not. Even when they do a good job that doesn’t mean people liked them. Even parents who admit it was good CPS intervened and they needed serious help often don’t like them. Often the things people criticize CPS for are solutions other people fought for to fix old problems. That kind of thing is usually lost on the critics.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                I am most familiar with LA County, so I’m sure my perspective is biased.
                I am open to the notion that there exist family service agencies that deliver smooth running just results regularly.

                And I definitely agree that the horror cases are like plane crashes, notably rare.

                But I also believe that the family relationships are wickedly complex and difficult to adjudicate, and demand intense amounts of time and patience and effort to resolve. they aren’t amenable to “solutions” that most voters prefer.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                CPS is not being asked to ‘adjudicate’ ‘family relationships’, but to undertake investigations to determine whether the intramural conduct of the children’s parents is sufficiently criminal that foster care or institutional care would be a better alternative. Not ‘wickdly complex’. Just opaque.

                (And of course, you have the biases of the people who produced studies consulted by policy-makers, the biases of the policy makers, and the biases of practicing social workers).Report

              • During one of my inter-session field visits when I worked for the legislature, I sat in the back of a room where a family was getting ongoing post-court counseling with Child Welfare. Two sets of grandparents that hated each other; dad was recovering alcoholic; mom had been in and out of drug rehab; kids had been in and out of foster care. The counselor told me after the session that I should visit more often — the whole family had noticed me and were much more cooperative than usual. I sat in the car and cried for a bit before going back to work.

                No way I could do that job.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Yeah the solutions are tricky and often not what people think. The typical CPS case in most areas ends up with no harm being found or if found the solution is maybe some education for the parents or a suggestion not to leave bruises on your kid. In many cases they help the parents get services they need which alleviates some stress and that is it. Most cases never involve kids even being taken out of a home for a short time. There are plenty of people who are royally pissed that CPS didn’t take kids of this home or that home which results in another round of complaints about CPS not doing their job.Report

          • The particular case you’ve linked to has been pretty earth-shattering for Sheila and her colleagues, who have more than enough professional problems of overwork and inadequate judicial resources on their plates as it is.

            The criminal proceedings against mom and stepdad have also caused many disruptions to my regular go-to-court visits for more routine kinds of appearances. This new filing won’t help matters. Best of all, I’m scheduled to go to court the day these social workers are due to be arraigned. Lucky me.

            It’s an absolutely heartbreaking event.Report

            • @burt-likko Yeah, I’d imagine her job is about to get a lot more difficult. Not that that’s even close to the biggest tragedy here, but ugh. Such a terrible story.

              I have yet to succeed, but you really oughten convince her to write some pieces here!Report

            • Avatar Francis in reply to Burt Likko says:

              Another day, another defense attorney with a drug abuse problem.

              I’m pretty inured to the violence my wife brings home every day. Fortunately (?) most violent crime is by young adults against young adults.

              but articles like this bring back the worst memories. (like the case last year of the repeat pedophile who gave his six (four?) year old stepchild a STD through oral-genital contact.) my gods, people can be so incredibly awful to each other.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I’m sure greginak will correct me if I am wrong, but part of the funding problem is due to the nature of government work in the social services. The work ebbs & flows, having spikes & troughs, so some years everyone is busy as hell, and other years it’s make work time. Ideally, social services would be able to adjust staffing levels on the fly to meet demand, but that isn’t how it works in practice*. So for CPS, everyone is overworked until they’ve been overworked enough years in a row that a case can be made for more funding (and being able to make the case doesn’t mean you get more funding right away). And of course, should there be one year when you hit a trough, then suddenly your budget is yanked**, or your request for more denied, and you get to start all over again. Or alternatively, the public sector unit is strong enough that reducing staffing levels during a decline in demand, even a long term one, is such a chore that no one wants to increase funding/staffing when it’s needed for a temporary uptick because then you are stuck with that for 20 years.

          It’s a horribly inefficient way to run a service, but no one seem interested in changing it.

          *E.g. At SEATAC, the TSA is hiring 90 contractors to help with the summer travel season because they are so understaffed that people were missing flights, even though they arrived 2 hours ahead of time.

          **Which is why government agencies always burn their whole budget every year, even if it’s on wasteful crap.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            There is some truth to that Oscar. In general CPS workers are overworked. It is grueling work that often is time intensive. Rarely do CPS agencies have enough staff to have long term healthy case loads. Trying to increase staffing is about as easy as you might guess. When a bad time hits you have typically overworked staff who then have to take on even more work which is not a good recipe.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            E.g. At SEATAC, the TSA is hiring 90 contractors to help with the summer travel season because they are so understaffed that people were missing flights, even though they arrived 2 hours ahead of time.

            I think I have a solution for that, but it’s probably not what TSA wants…Report

    • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Damon says:

      Some time ago, The Public Interest had an article about family re-unification orthodoxy among social work academics and the implications for social work practice in child protective services. One possibility is that they followed current protocols, a (predictable) disaster ensued, and then they took steps to avoid accountability.

      Among the few scandals of which I’ve read concerning overly aggressive social work services involved cultural minorities as well, but minorities to which people in word-merchant occupations tend to be hostile. Another set concern quite ordinary suburban parents who are not so addled by anxiety that they refuse to allow their children to play unsupervised in parks and then walk home or leave them unattended in cars for a few minutes.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Art Deco says:

        Hah…yes.

        While I think that, all other things being equal, it’s a good idea for kids of one ethnic group to be fostered / adopted by folks of their own group, I don’t think that should be the end all.

        And I am aware of the “free range” kids issues and the actions by the state has been complete bs. When my niece was growing up she went to school LITERALLY across the street. It was mandatory that she take the bus. So she waited outside, the buss picked her up, and 30 seconds later, pulled into the school. WTF really?Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Damon says:

      Oh, I’m pretty sure that CPS was quite aggressive in taking Gabriel Fernandez away from his foster family. In fact, taking kids out of the Bad Nasty Awful Foster System and putting them into the Loving Arms Of Their Biological Family is something they consider a success story, so they’re going to go after it just as hard as they can get away with (and maybe a little harder, if they’re leaning on a family with something to lose.)

      My wife and I looked into fostering or adopting, and what we learned was that despite all the horror stories about “CPS TERK MAH KIDZ” it is virtually impossible for your children to be taken away permanently. It is entirely possible that armed police will drag them from your house…for a week or two, maybe a month, possibly a year or two if you are utterly screwed up. And of course this puts a mark on your record; something middle-class parents care about deeply, but it’s not enough of a mark to kick you off welfare. And if you can get straight for the two-week period it takes to pass a pee test and tell a judge that you’re sorry, you get your kid back…even if they’ve been living with another family from six months until age two. Even if that family was the one the kid had their first (and second) Christmas with, their first birthday with, learned to talk with, call “mama” and “dada”. CPS to the rescue, savin’ the babies from the wicked foster parents.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to DensityDuck says:

        FWIW, you are wrong that children cannot be permanently taken away from their parents. It happens, i’ve seen it. It takes a loooong time in general and a lot of failure by the parents. The courts and the law give bio parent a lot of chances since they are the parents…respecting the Rights and all. Do they give them to many chances, well in some cases yeah but those are inherently difficult cases. And then of course there will be the horror stories of kids being taken away to quickly from parents, which sadly, has happened in the past.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to greginak says:

          ” you are wrong that children cannot be permanently taken away from their parents. ”

          I didn’t say it was impossible. I said–as did you–that it was very very unlikely. The entire foster system bends over backwards to ensure that children stay with their biological parents, except in cases where those parents aren’t even remotely able to care for another living being.

          And even the “kids taken away too quickly” stories usually end up with the kids being returned. (You just don’t hear about that part of the story.)Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to DensityDuck says:

            It has been purposely made difficult to take kids away permanently because courts and legislatures have decided that parents rights have to be taken very seriously. Also there were, many years ago, horror stories about kids being taken away far to quickly.Report

      • This is why I need to get Sheila in here. Cause this… isn’t how she would characterize it at all. Keeping kids with their families… not such a high priority. Not in LA County, anyway.Report

  2. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The first three articles tell me that to solve a lot of problems at once, Portlandia bohemians need to migrate Bristol, Virginia.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Kolohe says:

      IIRC Portland is the most secular city in the US. I don’t think they want to live next to warehouse pastorReport

      • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        For $1000/month, some would probably consider it.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        That’s pretty rank bigotry, if true.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kolohe says:

          Is it really, tho? It’s usually a good idea to judge individuals one at a time, but communities? Organizations?

          I’d it bigotry to recognize the presence of bigotry? Is it bigotry to say, I couldn’t live among them, because they hate me?

          Cuz they do hate me. You get that, right?Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to veronica d says:

            @veronica-d

            Who is the “they” here?Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kazzy says:

              @kazzy — I’d say the larger evangelical community, along with that cluster of people who populate the comments sections of right wing blogs. Also, the people who post things like this, on and on.

              The fact is, I am personally considered a “wedge issue,” and the evangelical and other facets of the hard right have discovered they can gin up hate against me, in exchange for political clout. So that’s a thing.

              So a church in a warehouse?

              I mean, I don’t actually care about what church you attend, so long as you don’t shove it in my face. But I’m not stupid. It is easy to see the political winds. It is also easy to see how these communities have responded to a changing political climate. The fact is, they deeply resent social change. They deeply resent a “bluing” of their state, as young people in the cities vote for a world that would be good for me.

              They fucking hate me. They chose hate. I did not choose hate. The hate is absolutely 100% their fault.

              So maybe it might “reboot” their communities, if the urban hipsters take a chance and move in. Fine. Okay. Good. But does the “warehouse church crowd” actually want that? What is it supposed to look like, when part of that deal is accepting me?

              Except they’re pretty fucking steadfast on not accepting me. It’s a big deal. It seems like their number one agenda. So that’s that. The hip urban crowd can choose between low rent among people who resent them, hate their views, and will literally advocate murder against some of their friends — in exchange we can gentrify the hill town?

              Blah. Do these folks actually want overpriced artisanal olive oil?

              Anyhow, my main point is, there is plenty of bigotry here, but it ain’t coming from me.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Plus an old warehouse converted into an art space is the model of modern progressive economic thought. But an old warehouse converted into a church is something for modern progressives to treat with disdain and contempt.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I don’t think they want to live next to warehouse pastor

        How much should this inform policy?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Last, artist colony in economic downturn Appalachia that grows and changes the character and poltics of the region is Asheville, NC.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Kolohe says:

          There are about 80,000 people in and around Asheville. I would not bet on it ‘changing the character’ of a region with north of 4 million people resident.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Kolohe says:

          @kolohe

          I was in Hendersonville, NC in November doing work on a case. We went to Asheville for dinner both nights. The town is very nice. Downtown Hendersonville is also cute in a small town way. I ate at this place for lunch and it was tasty:

          http://www.flatrockwoodfired.com/restaurant/about.html

          The decor made it seem like it could be located in Sommerville or Portland.

          That being said, Asheville is a small blue and artsy oasis in a big place of red. The liberal sections of North Carolina really have no control over local politics. Look at how far smashing HB2 was. Why should someone who is LGBT or supports LGBT people feel at home in such a state and want to move there? Why should I as a Jewish person be judged for not wanting to live next to people who seriously say things like “Religion is man’s search for God. Christianity is God’s search for Man.” They don’t even realize the pomposity of the statement.

          There are plenty of parts of Oregon that are just as conservative as the deep red parts of Appalachia but they don’t have enough power to pass laws like HB2. Not even close to it.Report

          • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Why should someone who is LGBT or supports LGBT people feel at home in such a state and want to move there?

            For all the reasons anyone lives in a particular place while weighing costs and benefits. Cornel West once decided on one job offer over another because one locus had a multiplicity of a sort of radio station he liked. Few humanities academics have the luxury to make decisions on that basis. Strange as it may seem to you, there just might be people into sodomy who are not expecting the matrix in which they live to mollycoddle cross dressers.

            Some decades ago, Quentin Crisp was collared by some gay liberation pamphleteers and asked them this, “What do you want to be liberated from?” Contemplate just why he asked them that.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Art Deco says:

              I have a good friend who is transitioning M to F.

              I’m intrigued by the notion of mollycoddling her.
              Just curious for now, you understand, but intrigued. We have shared drinks and meals, and even watched tv. Is there more to it than that? I would hate to think I have already mollycoddled without knowing it.Report

          • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Why should I as a Jewish person be judged for not wanting to live next to people who seriously say things like “Religion is man’s search for God. Christianity is God’s search for Man.” They don’t even realize the pomposity of the statement.

            Just do them a favor and don’t stink up their neighborhood.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            “Why should I as a Jewish person be judged for not wanting to live next to people who seriously say things like “Religion is man’s search for God. Christianity is God’s search for Man.””

            As long as you’re not judging them or other people on their beliefs and how they want to live their life, it’s all good.Report

            • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Damon says:

              Neither his life, nor his liberty, nor his property is injured by anyone ‘judging’ him. Gets hairier when we consider school curricula, but I suspect he’s less likely to be slapped with anything obnoxious than are the children of hard-line evangelicals (it’s just that judges are solicitous of some sorts of people and not others).Report

    • Avatar David Parsons in reply to Kolohe says:

      “Bristol, Virginia” (+Tennessee) … is approximately 1/30th the size of the Portland metro area. Yes, it does have two colleges, but from my experience growing up in a similarly sized city (La Crosse, Wisconsin, which also had a medical-industrial complex that — at least in the 1960s — could almost keep up with the Mayo Clinic) there’s really not much margin for bohemia in a city that small.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    It’s not just the mainland, taro is generally known as taro in Hawaii, too.

    He is a travel & leisure writer, but still, that’s possibly the shallowest article regarding the history of Hawaiian agricultural economics that could be written.

    And poi is objectively terrible.

    Though it is true that there are remarkable parallels on historical, economic, poltical, and cultural lines between Appalachian coal & iron and Hawaiian sugar & pineapple. That continue to the present day.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Many parts of Appalachia are very gorgeous and it certainly could be a nice place to live in. From photographs it looks positively glorious in the fall. The thing is that to get reinforcements Appalachia is going to need to become more welcoming to classes of people that aren’t currently popular there. Laws like North Carolina’s recent anti-transgender law are not going to make Appalachia popular with transgendered people or people sympathetic towards them. Appalachia could theoretically try to become a sort of Social Conservative fortress area of the United States but that isn’t going to work probably.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Yeah, but you were the one saying that Pittsburgh was never going to be a thing, weren’tcha? (or was that your brother?)

      Appalachia is a wonderful place, from alpine meadow to bog, from waterfall to rill.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

      You’re not going to improve the quality of life in Appalachia by attracting more cross-dressing misfits.

      Appalachia is not nearly as impecunious as it’s made out to be. That aside, unless you posit multiple outbreaks of large cities rising from nothing a la Phoenix and Las Vegas, Appalachia will continue to be a redoubt of small cities, small towns, and countryside and will have a less internally differentiated and sophisticated labor force, which means lower incomes over all. The largest dense settlement in that part of the world is greater Knoxville, which has about 200,000 people living in it.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

        Keep right on sailing by, dude. The shoals of ignorance are rather good at poking holes in your arguments. When your boat is half sunk, I’ll be over here on shore pointing and laughing at you.

        Pittsburgh is the Paris of Appalachia, and is quite a bit bigger than Knoxville. Nearly 2 and a half million people in the metro.

        Wall Street is currently trying to strangle the life out of Appalachian small towns, and with how on the edge they are, I won’t be at all surprised if it manages it relatively shortly. Locusts, a horde of locusts, feasting on a half picked over corpse.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    It’s sad that Bernie had to learn of the Colorado Dems fraud from a newspaper.

    Sanders picks up another Colorado delegate as party admits error

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-dem-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/04/bernie-sanders-colorado-delegate-221835Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to notme says:

      Making a mistake, discovering the mistake, and correcting it equals fraud?

      I am fascinated by the narrative shared by some Sanders fans and some conservatives that insists that Clinton getting more delegates can only occur through nefarious means. The nefarious means so far have amounted to persuading more voters. I constantly see claims that Clinton only leads in delegates due to super-delegates. This is an objectively false assertion. Here we have a refinement, suggesting that if she leads in pledged delegates, it is only through her evil evilness leading to evil acts in her evil quest to evilly destroy America. Excuse me while I point and laugh.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        The first sentence clearly states that the party, “informed Hillary Clinton’s campaign of the mistake without informing Sanders’ campaign or the public…” It seems like strange behavior to me. Sure they corrected their mistake but only after the Denver Post told the public. Why wait?Report

  6. Avatar notme says:

    Bono tell the US Senate to send Amy Schumer and Chris Rock to fight Islamic State. Sure, send them at US taxpayer expense. I guess Bono is too cheap to send them himself. This must be Obama’s new strategy for fighting ISIS. I’m not surprised that some senate Dem thinks Bono has anything intelligent to add.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/13/bono-send-amy-schumer-and-chris-rock-to-fight-islamic-state/Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

      If only Bono had been around when we were fighting the Nazis and the Japanese, we could have avoided a lot of bloodshed.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

      Let me get this straight… an Irish rock star’s plan for the Middle East is now representative of President Obama’s strategy for fighting ISIS?Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Kazzy says:

        First Obama said he didn’t have a strategy to defeat ISIS, then he told us “ideas” would defeat ISIS. Then it was “Our openness to refugees” that would defeat them. This sounds like another moronic idea that is perfect for Obama.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to notme says:

          Have you been paying attention to the reports about the fighting against ISIS? They aren’t doing to well now. They are being pushed back on all sides, taking causalities and losing ground.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to greginak says:

            American “ideas” are exploding everywhere, it seems.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to greginak says:

            Sure, I saw recently where Syrian gov’t troops and Russian forces captured the cities of Palmyra and Al-Qaryatain from ISIS. They must have been inspired by Obama’s ideas. This is another example of Obama leading from behind.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to notme says:

              So the worst bad guys are being pushed back without us having to put thousands of troops in. The dudes we are supporting with air and artillery strikes are doing well also. But hey, you got a fox approved talking point to type instead of looking at the results which are positive with little expenditure on our part.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                But the bragging rights- what about the bragging rights?

                How can we walk tall in the saddle and show our Churchillian resolve from the city on a hill and give candy bars and nylon hose to the pretty girls waving tiny American flags, unless it is American Marines raising the flag over Palmyra and Al-Qaryatain?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “In 1971, a much younger John Kerry complained to Congress about the phony distinction between ground troops and helicopter crews in Vietnam, and an American people who “accepted a differentiation fed them by the administration.”

                How fitting that Mr. Kerry, who recently returned from Baghdad, now serves as secretary of state for an administration feeding us the whopper that Marines fighting ISIS in Iraq are not combat troops”

                http://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-hides-his-iraq-war-1460416847Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak says:

            Hence, possibly, more “kinetic counter-oppression” in Europe.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Portland/Appalachia: There is an innate conservatism in most human beings. This is a conservatism that does not want change in ways that affects you and can be found in people of all political stripes. After 9/11, the novelist Colson Whitehead wrote an essay in the Times about how NYC is basically frozen in amber from the first time you move there. This is largely true. I notice all the changes when I go back and visit Lee but I also remember what is the same or where things where. I love visiting my old neighborhood but am sad about some of the changes even if I am probably not moving back and I know that nothing lasts forever. And I am not as anti-Chain as some of my friends. I don’t necessarily think it is bad that there is a J.Crew in a spot that used to be a produce store and that the one grocery store closed down. That grocery store was really bad. Smith Street was already filled with expensive boutiques and fairly expensive restaurants in 2006-2008. If anything, J.Crew is a more affordable shopping option for the neighborhood.

    Some of my fondest memories of New York are simply activities done by myself in the city. One memory that sticks out is the summer of 2006 and going around looking at apartments by myself and riding the subways. One apartment in a strange nowhere land sticks out because it is one of the few areas where the subway is elevated and this apartment was located on a small little shuttle in Brooklyn.

    The Portlanders want Portland to be the one from the 1990s where everyone who moved there was a misfit Bohemian with funky hair into their 40s and living was cheap and easy. The Appalachians want coal to be king even though coal has been destroyed by economics and technology.

    Where our compassion gets tested is that humans (based on a bunch of tribal markers and politics) tend to have compassion for one group or the other. People who rally for Appalachia tend to sneer at the Portlanders and vice-versa.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      where everyone who moved there was a misfit Bohemian with funky hair into their 40s and living was cheap and easy. The Appalachians want coal to be king even though coal has been destroyed by economics and technology.

      North of 1.2 million people live in greater Portland. I doubt very many people migrating in or out really fit your description. Actually, about 15% of the value added in West Virginia’s economy is so provided by the mining sector. Coal seems rather non-destroyed.Report

      • Avatar RTod in reply to Art Deco says:

        To different degrees, you’re both right and you’re both wrong.

        The population of Portland is actually only half that. The other half live in other parts of the local tri-county area. And there is a tremendous difference, both culturally and economically. That hipster/artisanal vibe people think of when they thin of Portland tends to end at the city’s borders. The burbs and surrounding environs are more similar to the suburbs of Sacramento or San Jose than they are to Portland in that regard. And while it’s true that not everyone who moves to (or chooses to staying ) Portland-proper does so for a certain type of lifestyle, the number that do is surprisingly large. Lots of the people who have moved here over the past decade especially have chosen to downgrade their housing, discretionary budget, etc. in order to live a certain kind of lifestyle with likeminded people.

        But it isn’t just the “stick it in amber” thang, Saul (though there certainly is plenty of that, t be sure). The cost of living here for people has risen dramatically, and a lot of those people who are complaining today aren’t doing so because they don’t want it to change. They’re doing it because they are being forced to move back where they came from; they simply can’t afford to stay here any longer. Most of the people I know would be happy to have the city change in the ways that it is if they could afford to stay and enjoy it.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to RTod says:

          @rtod @art-deco

          The reason Portland is getting expensive is at least partially because it appeals to so many people who want a certain kind of semi-Bohemian lifestyle. This is an increase in demand and it is going to cause an increase in prices because of a small supply. And this does force people out which will make the suburbs more urban. The couple in the Guardian article came to Portland in the 1990s to be musicians. The people I know in Portland seemingly came because it was a city where you could have a nice life, be artsy, and do so on a modest budget. Here is the NY Times on Portland:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/magazine/will-portland-always-be-a-retirement-community-for-the-young.html?_r=0

          The trapped in amber thing also exists in SF where you have people who think they came to SF for real reasons. This being that they want it to be the Summer of 67 always or they recall or wanna recall the days when SF was punk and cheap in the 1980s and pre-tech 1990s. They oppose people who came here for the wrong reasons which is Tech 2.0. This groups don’t know each other and do not get along.

          Since you are the Portlander, what do you think is pricing people out of Portland? Is it worthy of more rage than what drives people out of SF and NYC?Report

  8. Avatar notme says:

    How much is a pet dog worth? The GA S.Ct. will soon decide if it is zero per the kennel or 67k per the family for the costs spent treating the dog.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/04/12/how-much-is-a-pet-dog-worth-a-court-will-soon-decide/Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to notme says:

      Its an interesting issue. I think a stronger argument from the plaintiffs would to sue the Kennel for negligence and breach of contract rather than the more emotional torts.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

        But significantly less lucrative. Replacement cost for a dog (if treated as mere property or livestock) is very, very low. Compare to the emotional value of a loved member of a family taken away from you by a trusted third party’s negligence.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Remember the affluenza guy?

    Well, he got sentenced today. Two years.

    I’m somewhat surprised. It honestly makes me suspect some level of corruption.Report

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