"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

What Is To Be Done?

This is a follow-up to my previous post on Gentrification, which received quite a few thoughtful responses. Thanks to everyone for those. I really appreciate the stimulation.

So far I've ducked the question of right and wrong. My mode was one of reflection on my experience of living in places that are changing, being a part of that change. However, the themes of development and displacement have a moral dimension. People naturally go right to this; so why fight it? Let's get into it!

Notes on Gentrification

Earlier this month the Vara — the building where my wife and I currently live — attracted some protesters, anarcho kids decrying the police presence and influx of new money. I missed out on the action as I was away on honeymoon, but it got me thinking.

Elizabeth Warren vs Hillary Clinton in 2016?

An interesting piece by Noam Scheiber in TNR about a potential challenge to Hillary Clinton by Elizabeth Warren for the democratic nomination in 2016. He's absolutely right that "inevitable candidates have a way of becoming 'evitable'", and in drawing deja-vu parallels around Clinton's potential mis-alignment with the base (if not the nation in toto) over how to handle inequality and the finance sector vis-a-vis her positions on national security (esp Iraq) in 2008. It's an interesting read.

He also does a good job of describing how Warren wields her influence, by being willing to violate some of the social norms of Capital Hill in very public settings, for instance asking regulators "when was the last time you took a bank who broke the law to trial?" (to which they had no answer). I am a fan of Warren's rhetoric and style, and pedigree as an antagonist of the neoliberal establishment.

Still, I'm skeptical that Warren will make the run, but Scheiber makes a compelling case that she's motivated enough by her belief in economic policy and what it means for working families that she'd do it even as a long shot. He notes:

Of course, any prediction of a populist revolt against the party’s top brass must grapple with the tendency of such predictions to be wrong. From the Howard Dean campaign in 2004 to the Occupy Movement in 2011, the last decade in Democratic politics has been rife with heady declarations of grassroots rebellion, only to see the insiders assert control each time. Even the one insurgency that did succeed, the Obama campaign, was quickly absorbed into the party establishment, from which Obama was never so far removed in the first place.

But concludes with a quote from an insider:

Tags: 

Daddy's Got a New Pair of Shoes

After close to five months of inactivity, I've updated my design in an effort to break the logjam of writers block. I've based my theme on meedjum, which is of course inspired by medium.com. I have a long history of "borrowing" my design concepts, and this is no different. I love the way this design puts emphasis on the text.

Depending on my motivation level, I have a few clever ideas regarding images, twitter integration, and popularity tracking to add as features. I wouldn't hold your breath, but optimistically I'd like to find time to noodle on the innards of the site. Web development is fun, and I miss it.

As for what's been going on lately in life... oh man; a lot! Pantheon has been going gangbusters, and my fiancee is living in the Bay Area now, and we're 43 days away from our wedding. The vendors are booked, and we're collecting RSVPs. It's been a lot of work, but her parents have been doing an incredible job helping with the organizing, and we have a lot of support from my family and all our friends. It should be pretty rad.

While still stressful — everyone will tell you wedding planning will "test your relationship", and it's true! — I feel like we've turned the corner, and it's getting kind of exciting. I've got butterflies in my tummy when I think about it. I also think I'd like to have a little less tummy by the time the date rolls around. But that's another story.

In terms of what to do with this old blog, I have a bunch of substantive posts rattling around in my head that I think are halfway good. It's the usual kind of stuff, and I'm still doing it for mostly selfish reasons. Writing helps me think more clearly. Maybe someday I'll write for an audience or with an impact in mind, but for the time being you can expect the same 80%-baked thinky things as I make my stumbling way in parsing our common reality. Frankly, I'm looking forward to it.

It's good to be back!