Fair is a quality of humanity

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Equity is a critical feature of a humane society.  That we have a society in which those who have have a better chance of getting is a critical problem for it allows, especially in the case of children, it places the value of some above that of others.

From NYT article on the selection of children into select schools, children from the “better off” families having a far better chance of getting into the better schools than those from families with less.

Fairness is a measure of our humanity and in a great many instances we fail to be fair.

“You’ve set up a system of competition among high schools in which the easiest way for a principal to win is to select the students who are best prepared,” Mr. Kahlenberg said. “Certainly having that market-based ideology — without guidelines for equity — appears to have accelerated the growth of screening.”

The most coveted schools get thousands of aspirants for a limited number of seats and operate like de facto private schools with competitive admissions that can require families to stand in long lines to attend open houses, and pour thousands of dollars into tutors and admissions consultants.

White and Asian students are more likely to go to screened high schools, according to a study that looked at high school placements for the graduating class of 2015 by Measure of America, which is part of the Social Science Research Council. Black and Latino children, on the other hand, most often attended high schools without academic admissions requirements. Poor students were also overrepresented at those schools.”





It is inhumane to send your kids to the best schools and allow other people’s children to attend schools to which you would never send your own.


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It is inhumane to loan money to desperate people at desperately high interest rates.

It is inhumane to sell someone shit as candy.  It is as bad to gloat over having done so.

It is inhuman to take money for promises on which one does not intend to deliver.


Boycott Amazon

If there are 1,000 others who are willing to do the same I will drop my Amazon Prime membership and buy no more from Amazon or Whole Foods.

We would need to do this at the same time and with notice to others through social media that we are doing this because Amazon, acting in its own corporate self-interest is committing acts that are inhumane.  Send me a note of complicity to lafer@unr.edu.



Seattle lacks path to help homeless

After ‘Amazon tax’ fails, housing crisis lingers

Elizabeth Weise


SAN FRANCISCO – After a bruising, monthlong fight in which Amazon and other businesses squelched a new corporate head tax to fund homeless services, Seattle is struggling to find a path forward to deal with a crisis that’s exploded in recent years.

Other metropolitan areas with rapidly rising housing costs are also grappling with residents priced out of the market. But Seattle’s tax situation puts it in an especially difficult position on raising funds to help its homeless residents.

It could also be a warning to the 20 cities currently vying to become home to Seattle’s second headquarters. Amazon stopped construction on a 17-story office building during the debate over the tax. It would have cost big businesses $275 per employee per year and was approved by a unanimous vote of the Seattle City Council on May 14, then rescinded by seven of nine members of that same council June 12.


From our Sunday newspaper:

Pollution standards and Nevada

Health, regulations would be impacted

Benjamin Spillman Reno Gazette Journal USA TODAY NETWORK

Republican President Donald Trump’s efforts to loosen vehicle pollution standards at the federal level could mean less healthy air and more local regulations in Northern Nevada.

That’s according to air quality experts who say communities in Nevada and around the U.S. would face pressure to offset increased pollution from cars with regulations on other sources of pollution.

Additional pollution from tailpipes and other sources would also put people at greater risk of health problems associated with breathing polluted air.