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Notes from October, 2019

The president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.
New York Times


Mr. Jean’s brother took the stand to address Ms. Guyger, he offered only forgiveness.

“I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail,” said his brother, Brandt Jean. “I want the best for you.”

When he finished, he turned to the judge: “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?”

When the judge agreed, Ms. Guyger stood up, walked toward Mr. Jean’s brother and threw her arms around him. As the two embraced, sobs filled the courtroom.
New York Times


I want your best name for ADUs! Anything and everything would be appreciated!!!

— Louis Mirante (@louismirante) October 1, 2019

A homelet is a smaller home that lives alongside your single family home. The homelet can house your family, or if you have a homelet to let, the rental income can help support your family.

Does your town have homeless? Consider building homelets!

On a chilly morning, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a fresh omelet fried on the stove in the modest kitchen of your homelet.


Single-Family Rental Bonds

Corporations bought up cheap houses during the Great recession, and rent them to families. “These large companies frequently charge higher rents and are more likely to evict tenants.”

But wait, there’s more:

These homes are not just properties that are rented out to house families; they have been transformed into a new class of financial asset and investment vehicle. According to the NBER study, the homes have been capitalized into single-family rental bonds, which has grown into a $15 billion-plus market.
Richard Florida, CityLab

You can buy shares in being an oppressive landlord.


I wonder if anyone has the right soul to be a cop. It is a hard hard job and I assume every cop is going to come up short to some degree. Some cops are better and some cops are worse. I try to respect these folks doing their hard work, and I want the failing cops off the streets.

— Danny Howard (@dannyman) October 23, 2019


Buckle up . . .

The Whitewashing of “#WhitePeopleDoingYoga”

The [Asian Art Museum] show’s lead curators and education staffers I’d met—all but one of whom were white …

. . .

[The founder of the Asian Art Museum] was “the preeminent American apologist for Nazi Germany,” in the words of author Jeremy Schaap.

. . .

Just a few years ago, the British Museum’s Twitter account revealed as much when it shared how it decides to label artwork, tweeting: “We aim to be understandable by 16 year olds. Sometimes Asian names can be confusing, so we have to be careful about using too many.” (Dang, sorry to all those 16-year-old Asian kids with funny names.)

. . .

At one point, a draft of the marketing material [for #WhitePeopleDoingYoga] referred to my work as an “amusing” and “lighthearted” collection.

. . .

One of the museum’s staff members, who was white, came to my defense in that boardroom. He exposed the museum’s hypocrisy by holding up its own branded tote bag that bore only the word “Asian” on it, and as I remember it he said, “I’m a white man walking around San Francisco with this bag that just says ‘Asian’ on it, without ‘museum,’ and it’s completely ‘out of context.’ Why is our bag okay but Chiraag’s is not?” The marketing chief’s response: “Well, that’s our brand, so it’s okay.”

. . .

The opening parties featured Indian classical music performed by white people, acro-yoga performed by white people, a chanting group mostly compromising white people, and a white couple from Marin teaching yoga for an hour. There was a sprinkle of Brown acts, but the headliner—wait for it—was a white rapper named MC Yogi, who spit about yoga and Indian culture over a beat dropped by DJ Drez, a white DJ with dreads. (Reminder: the largest institution of Asian art in the United States.)

. . .

After more than a month of fine-tuning our plans, the curator said there was one last “hurdle” to clear before approval: The Cleveland museum planned to invite the city’s commercial yoga studios to teach classes and had to make sure the studios felt comfortable in the same space as an installation titled #WhitePeopleDoingYoga.

Not that anyone is going to ask me, and, why should they, anyway? But if anyone asks: white people, we have got to step it up. And sometimes that means shutting up and stepping aside.

Oh, here’s a little bonus: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=705007463340633&id=100014941572916

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