Friday, July 20, 2007

Enemy propoganda

I'm so sick of people who criticize anti-war speech because it fosters enemy propaganda. We're in a war - wouldn't the enemy produce propaganda anyway??? And who the hell cares if they do? It's propaganda ! The Republicans love to dismiss other, non-war related criticism of Republican plans or ideas by Democrats as mere propaganda (,, but when it comes to war, propaganda is dangerous. Fools.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Woman vs. wildlife

I'm working from home today and I set myself up in the dining room because it's right next to the bathroom and kitchen. Also, there's a nice sliding door that looks out onto the backyard with the roses and daisies.

Anyway, I was in the middle of updating a piece of online help when I hear this thud and scratching on the sliding door. I looked over and there's this groundhog peering into the house like a kid looking into a candy store. I hollered out in fright, thinking "rabies!" and waited for the thing to start foaming at the mouth.

He just stood on his haunches with his front paws on the glass - like he was shading his eyes from the light so he can see better into the house.

Then he went away and started eating one of the plants on the side of the patio.

I don't think I'm safe in my own backyard!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Star Ledger series on the Newark riots: myth vs. fact

Part one ran today. It's fascinating - Newark was long in decline before the 1967 riots.

The push towards the suburbs was codified - the rules of the Federal Housing Authority actually specified that they wouldn't approve mortgages to "crowded neighborhoods" or to "inharmonious racial groups".


By 1967, Newark believed its property tax rate, $7.75 per $100 of assessed value, was the highest in the nation. If taxed at that rate today, an average home in New Jersey - valued at $350,000 - would owe more than $27,000 a year in property taxes.

Even though Springfield and Bergen was largely populated by rental housing, soaring taxes had an impact. Landlords, fearful that making improvements would increase their tax bills, began neglecting their properties.

Even though one of every nine servicemen during World War II was black, only one in 670 mortgages insured by the GI Bill went to black veterans ...


Coming north for factory jobs didn't help. After World War II, the nation's economy began shifting from manufacturing toward service-based businesses. Between 1950 and 1967, Newark alone lost nearly 20,000 manufacturing jobs.

"These factory jobs had long been the first rung on the economic ladder that immigrant groups had grasped onto as they climbed upward," said Clement Price, a history professor at Rutgers-Newark. "Suddenly, that first rung was gone. And it dealt a serious blow to the ability of this group of African-Americans to replicate the success of other ethnic groups."

So blacks essentially were stuck in the decaying rentals. Those coming up from the South seeking their fortunes couldn't get a decent-paying jobs in the factories. They couldn't afford a regular mortgage and they weren't allowed to have a subsidized mortgage in either the suburbs or the city.

Update: Here's more at the New York Times.