Saturday, November 28, 2015
Marin County Fair Housing Forum March 2015
Sara Pratt, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Enforcement for HUD explains why residency preferences will not be allowed if the demographics of the community do not fit the "racial balance" targets for "social equity" This theory of social equity maintains that a zipcode is "racist" and "exclusionary" if the population mix does not match the HUD racial standard. It is also known as "Disparate Impact".
Many Caucasian Housing Advocates are under the mistaken impression that they will qualify for affordable housing based on economic need alone. They do not know that "protected classes" will have a preference.
We think that people should not be judged on the basis of skin color. Need alone should determine who is qualified to live in affordable housing. Geographic preferences also make sense because of our priority of taking care of our neighbors regardless of skin color.
Diversity is a worthy social goal but its outcome should be achieved through the celebration of culture not through government edict. It is demeaning to EVERYONE when people are not allowed free choice to live in communities of their own choosing.
Friday, November 27, 2015
$1 billion by the time the 70-mile system is complete. The additional $120 million for station
- Glad to see somewhat objective reporting from the Pacific Sun, I have yet to see this reported on by either the IJ or the Press Democrat despite forwarding them both the documents.
- Good to read this statement affirming SMART is approaching a "price tag" of $1 billion...
"Based on information contained in the planning document, the total price tag will approach $1 billion by the time the 70-mile system is complete."
However Mike Arnold and I peg the total price tag as easily beyond $1bn and nearer $1.5bn. We have a records request due today from Farhad / SMART (if they don't deliver today they are late).
- Neither the IJ or the Press Democrat have touched upon this additional $695m (not $600m as reported) in funding asks from SMART to complete the line originally promised
- The bike lobby is clearly screwed over, the promised multi-use path is clearly unfunded, now estimated at $124m (instead of $91m from prior estimates). Arguably SMART, that only passed by a narrow margin, would not have passed without promising this path; now they've reneged on that promise.
- The $120m additional for stations is dismissed by SMART's spokesman Matt Stevens as the "station finish process" or by Farhad as a "wishlist" of improvements for MTC. Puhhhlease!
- The Petaluma station is interesting as it appears to show SMART is actually exacerbating sprawl, opening up development on land previously off limits or beyond the "urban land boundary". Why else would Pacific Lumber offer the land at Cornerstone up for free for a station if not so that then their adjacent land value becomes higher in value and more attractive to developers.
- Of course any such development would go through the "full public process" - I think we all know how that works by now! The argument for development is alluded to since the station site is so close to the (now vacant?) Firemans Fund offices.
- Sadly once again the media references the train in paragraph 2 as a "green and efficient alternative" clearly they are not in possession of the facts about diesel trains and ridership, or low emissions of cars - I submitted an op ed explaining that this narrative doesn't fit the facts that hopefully an outlet with integrity will publish.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
If you own land outside the "urban growth boundary" you may suffer a similar fate as these property owners in South Carolina. Urban planners and politicians are re zoning property rights out of existence. Some of the black landowners have held this land since after the slave days. We cannot let this happen in America.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Read the story in the Marin IJ HERE
See the full meeting below
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the EPA’s regulatory assault on energy production, Obama’s anti-suburban moves, American policy in the Middle East and other fundamental transformations, Common Core is so big and sprawling a change that it’s often tough to see it whole. That problem has just been solved by Drilling through the Core, a book that’s bound to become the go to handbook of the Common Core’s opponents.
But what sets the book apart is the 80 page introduction by Peter Wood. Calmly and with crystal clarity, Wood explains and connects nearly every aspect of the battle. It’s all here, from the most basic explanation of what Common Core is, to the history, the major arguments for and against, and so much more. The controversies over both the English and math standards are explained; the major players in the public battle are identified; the battle over Gates Foundation’s role is anatomized; the roles of the tests and the testing consortia are reviewed; concerns over data-mining and privacy are laid out; the dumbing-down effect on the college curriculum is explained; as is the role of the Obama administration and the teachers unions.
I found the sections on “big data” particularly helpful. I confess that despite my considerable interest in Common Core, I hadn’t much followed the data-mining issue. Boy was that a mistake. It strikes me that the potential for abuse of personal data is substantially greater in the case of Common Core than in the matter of national security surveillance. With Common Core we are talking about databases capable of tracking every American individual from kindergarten through adulthood, and tremendous potential for the sharing of data with not only government but private groups (balanced against assurances of privacy that seem decidedly weak and unreliable).
There are those who have declared an interest, not only in tracking information like students’ addresses, economic status, race, immigration and disciplinary records, free lunch status, religious affiliation, parents’ political affiliation, as well as every test you’ve ever taken, special education status, and other academic data, but even positively creepy indicators like facial expressions, eye tracking, and “smile intensity scores.” Furious parental opposition has already blocked some of this nonsense in some places. But there is still a very real possibility that Common Core will usher in cradle-to-grave dossiers on every American. At a minimum, we ought to be debating this issue. I doubt that most of the millennials exercised by NSA surveillance have even heard about Common Core data-mining.
Part of the problem here is the sheer range and complexity of an innovation like Common Core. Yet the rushed secrecy in which Common Core was adopted has also limited the number of people, to this day, who truly understand what is at stake. The extent to which the math standards have been dumbed down; the degree to which all the Common Core standards were adopted without being properly tested or evaluated; the sense in which the standards amount to an immensely expensive unfunded mandate on states—all of this and more has been disguised by the secretive and very arguably illegal and unconstitutional manner in which the standards were adopted.
Wood also does an excellent job of explaining how the supposed flexibility of the standards will soon be effectively eliminated as the newly-designed tests kick in. As with Obamacare, the most controlling aspects of Common Core have been conveniently delayed until several years after adoption.
In short, if you want to understand how common core works—including all that the creators of Common Core would prefer that you not understand—Drilling through the Core is the book for you. After taking in Wood’s invaluable introduction, you can pick and choose from among the topical articles that interest you most.
For making up your mind about this still-poorly understood issue, or for taking part in the battle, Drilling through the Core is essential reading.
Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
See this Marin IJ article detailing the paid activists in Marin that helped pass this plan.