California to Tighten Pet Store Regulations

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill (AB) 485, legislation which will improve conditions for puppies, kittens and rabbits sold in pet shops inside the state. Beginning in January 2019, pet retailers must refrain from buying those animals from breeders.  Animals sold in pet stores must come from shelters or rescue agencies only.  It will still be legal for individuals to adopt from breeders, though. Jacey Fortin’s article on the New York Times site explores the pros and cons of this new law, and I hope people will read it carefully.  A link to the article is below.  The … Continue reading California to Tighten Pet Store Regulations

Powerlessness and the Appeal of the Right Wing

We see this mentality in the United States, with gun fanatics and people who seek to make their religion national policy. Tolerance for others requires a sense of personal strength.  A secure person doesn’t flaunt weapons, attend rallies demeaning other races, or call for a so-called biblical state where the court system consults Leviticus 20:13 when responding to the man lieth with mankind stuff. Amanda Taub has written an excellent news analysis piece, posted today on The New York Times site. The topic is a small-but-dangerous victory by a political party whose name translates to Alternative for Germany.  The party has secured … Continue reading Powerlessness and the Appeal of the Right Wing

Second Avenue Subway Safety Questions

The Second Avenue Subway in New York City opened at the beginning of this year.  The opening date was promised by New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and as far as the public knew everything was completed on schedule. There are concerns, though.  At the end of this post, please click the link to an article by Emma G. Fitzsimmons in the New York Times.  Although the New York Times disappoints readers more often than it used to, Ms. Fitzsimmons’ report is the product of real investigative journalism.  Read the item carefully to get an idea of the standards this newspaper used to … Continue reading Second Avenue Subway Safety Questions

Respected Institutions and Hate

At the moment, Cornell University has its hands full.  So does a man who was allegedly beaten and called a racist slur by one of Cornell’s students.  That man and an entire institution must recover now (in different ways), and it won’t be easy for either.  There’s also a question of due process for the student who is accused of beating that man. I’d better admit I have a bias, and it’s unfair.  The only Cornell graduate I’ve ever known was an absolute horse’s ass, God rest his soul.  He was a spoiled rich kid, and obviously didn’t use privilege … Continue reading Respected Institutions and Hate

The “Kensington” Stereotype

I haven’t traveled to London, but I’d like to.  Until then, I’ll remind myself of what I don’t know. Today, the New York Times posted a detailed, lengthy article by Katrin Bennhold which challenges everything outsiders assume about one district in London.  I’ll withhold my own comments and let you read the story.  Then you can reach your own conclusion.  The link is below. Wait.  No, I won’t withhold every one of my own comments:  This sounds exactly like what happens in the United States, and we should be disgusted.  It’s a disgraceful situation which has to change, but if … Continue reading The “Kensington” Stereotype

Travel Stress

Most of the time, I’ve been fortunate in airports and on airplanes.  Aside from a few individuals at security checkpoints who singled me out for bullying (pre-TSA.  The people in question were not the product of any screening or training) and a reservation bump which was corrected within a couple of hours, I’ve done okay.  I haven’t been subjected to the nightmare abuse or inconveniences we’ve heard about, maybe just because I haven’t traveled often. Okay, on the way home from JFK in May of this year, the plane sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours before … Continue reading Travel Stress

Amazon to Buy Whole Foods Market

At the end of this post, please click the link to a New York Times story about the expected purchase of Whole Foods Market by Amazon. While reading the article, we can only hope a particular disclosure made in passing won’t affect the Times’ coverage of this issue. Recently, Whole Foods hired a new Chief Financial Officer.  She’s Gabrielle Sulzberger, who’s married to NY Times Chairman and Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger. There are many reasons to think carefully and be alert to background information that can influence news reports.  The reasons aren’t always as obvious as this, so we must be ready to dig for subtle … Continue reading Amazon to Buy Whole Foods Market

Jared Kushner’s Conflict

You may have heard about a controversy earlier this year at the New York Observer.  Publisher Jared Kushner wrote an opinion piece supporting the candidacy of his father-in-law, Donald Trump, and included an account of how the Holocaust had affected his own family. At least one writer on the Observer’s staff published a rebuttal, and Mr. Kushner received wide criticism from the public in general for recalling his family’s Holocaust tragedy in that context. Yesterday, the New York Times posted a long article on their site, addressing Jared Kushner’s possible role as an unpaid adviser in the incoming Trump Administration.  A link to the article … Continue reading Jared Kushner’s Conflict